Please note the extremely filtered nature of this post. If a word of this gets out, it's all memes from here on out. Thx.
Okay, not so much a redaction, just an acknowledgement of the First Rule Of Blogging: Never blog in anger. See, I received my training in the theatre, and am used to working with a tight-knit group of professional actors and reliable friends. These are people who have an interest in what's on the page and who take their jobs seriously. So moving beyond that into the realm of...let's call it "personality" performers...is not a choice I would have made. But you go to staged readings with the cast you have. And three of my four actors range from quite competent to downright outstanding. (And all trained in regional theatre!) And the fourth? um, he means well. I'm assuming.
I suppose the trouble, again, is the schism between film acting and stage acting, and I strongly prefer the latter: you get it at least some semblance of right every time
. Man up and get off book. Know your character. The lines are not suggestions. Crap, I'm doing it again, sorry.
I suppose in post, you can assemble ten sloppy takes into one passable one. Sadly there is no post available for the tragic victims of Wednesday's reading. Pray for them and for me, friends.
So it was a rough day like that, but an illuminating one--it reminded me immediately what I'm giving up if I let this script go without iron-clad attaching myself as director. Sobering, yeah. There's a marvelous sequence in Ed Wood
where Ed is trying to direct Plan 9
and everything is going wrong. The Baptists who financed the thing are ruining everything, tinkering and futzing and driving Ed bats. When they see Ed in his Angora director-doll outfit they flip out, and Ed runs away to Musso & Frank
to drown his sorrows. There, in the corner, is his idol Orson Welles, who in a few well-chosen words convinces Ed to fight for his vision.
Well, friends, life imitates art, because in my own moment of despair tonight I spent a good ten minutes talking--I shit you not, alone
, just me--with Steve Buscemi and Kathy Kinney. I went to the gala screening of the late Bill Sherwood's wonderful Parting Glances
at the DGA, and through an improbable series of events, accidentally found myself next to the film's stars at the post-show reception. (They were doing what I was doing--hiding from the maddening crowd.) So I nervously introduced myself and we talked about their film, the 80s, my script, and my desire to direct the thing myself. Buscemi had a lot of extremely helpful advice about directing, setting the tone on a set, putting the right people in place and then getting the hell out of their way so they can do their jobs, knowing ultimately you'll have the final say. Kinney and I talked about acting and articulated what I'd been feeling all day--"Casting is everything," she said, "But you're an actor, you get that. You have to cast people you believe in." They were very encouraging, and at no time did they ask security to haul me off, as they probably should have done. It made my night.
In keeping with the whole life-imitating-art thing, I shall now go off and direct the worst movie ever made
I also snuck into a high-dollar VIP donor party, did my cute pixie thing and got yet another potential producer on the ol' MCB bandwagon. WHO THE HELL AM I? And what have I done with mcbrennan
Anyway. I need to go to bed. HBO panel breakfast thing at 8:30am. Then I think I'm taking the day off from Outfest to talk to some legal personages and do a lightning-fast polish on that old standby The People's Choice
which is also mysteriously in demand. Tune in for more showbiz drama tomorrow, folks.