USE YOUR WORDS

“Use your words” is a phrase we hear often in preschools.  It’s a way of reminding children that acting out is not always an appropriate way to make their point of view clear.  We tell kids it’s better to say, “I’m mad at you!” than hit someone.

Similarly, directors sometimes need to be encouraged to use their words too, since we all have a tendency to “act out” whatever we’re trying to communicate. We are an impatient bunch, and often it seems easier and quicker to physically show an actor what we are asking for – to move to the left, to turn around, to lean in closer – than it is to patiently explain while using our words.  And we are often in such a gosh-darned hurry, we resort to doing it ourselves, acting it out for the actor.  And if, in our impatience, the actor doesn’t respond quickly enough, we may even push, pull, or otherwise put them where we want them.

But that is demeaning to them. It is belittling their craft.  Actors are not puppets for us to maneuver, they are people: incredibly creative people who have prepared the scene in their own way, just as a director prepares in his or her own way.  We would be fools to not welcome their insights and idiots to treat them like chess pieces.

Part of the problem is that we’re prescribing how we want them to move, how we want them to physically navigate the set in a pre-marking rehearsal. That’s because we’ve imagined the scene in our heads and now we want the actors to duplicate our visions.  But if we would let them feel it out themselves, we could incorporate their brilliant ideas!  And then, if we need adjustments, for camera or lighting, or just to simplify the blocking – often to get the scene on one axis instead of two – we can request changes, using our words.  I call it the “nudge, nudge, nudge” method of directing.  We acknowledge the actors’ contributions, we incorporate them, and then, if necessary, we nudge them ever-so-slightly toward something that may work better for us.  One nudge at a time, we can work through a scene, paying attention to the intention that the actor is illustrating, forming and molding the blocking to become an amalgamation of their ideas and ours.  “I see you have the urge to move there on that line. Great idea! Maybe we could do that, but let’s try going this way instead.  Just turn left instead of right.  Let’s see how that works.”  We collaborate to create the fullest expression of that scene.  But we respect our actors, try to have a little more patience, and use our words.

Tagged with: ,

ME AND MY SHADOW Or, How To Shadow Appropriately

The bad news: “We booked all our slots already, we can’t offer you a job right now.”

But –

The good news: “Congratulations!  We would like you to shadow!”

All rising directors in TV have heard some version of this speech.  Here’s what you don’t get: a job, a credit, a paycheck.  Here’s what you do get: an opportunity.

Shadowing a director is the television business’ form of apprenticeship.  Following an episodic director allows you, the fantastic director that no one knows about yet, to see how the job is done.  The practice has become de rigueur on both sides: the hiring entity (production company, studio, network) and you, the job seeker.  They want you to watch and learn on set without a commitment to you, and you want to get the shadowing out of the way so you can actually direct. Even though it’s a requirement, there is as yet no rulebook.  The evolving nature of the practice means that appropriate behavior is not yet codified and it’s an unspoken and potentially pothole-filled road to making a good impression.  You may finish an assignment trailing negative feedback just because you didn’t know better.  So, herewith, are my advisory “rules.”

  1. This is not about you getting a job and therefore making an effort to impress others with your directing capabilities. This is about you soaking up as much information as you can while being a fly on the wall. Don’t express an opinion unless asked.  Be humble and quiet.
  2. You are being given the chance to peek behind the curtain, to see behind the scenes. Pretend you signed a non-disclosure agreement and don’t mention anything you see or hear during your shadowing tenure.  This is all top secret, please be grateful to those who allowed you this unfettered look at how it all works.
  3. Don’t ask for anything, don’t need anything. Take care of yourself.
  4. To take full advantage this learning opportunity, prep as the director preps. Outline the story.  Know intention and obstacle for every character.  Block and shot list.  It’s too easy to sit back at video village and judge the director’s work in hindsight.  You need to go through the same thought process the director did to understand how the decisions were made.
  5. Be there before call and stay until wrap.
  6. Watch with focused attention and don’t be on your phone while on set.
  7. If you have a question, ask the director during lighting or another down moment. Most directors love the craft and like talking about it, so they’ll probably be happy to talk it through (and explain why they’re so brilliant!)
  8. Remember that the people who hired you will be asking on-set personnel (both cast and crew) for their opinion of you. Be nice to them.  It’s okay if you’ve been so quiet that they can’t assess your performance, that counts as a positive. But being nice, friendly and upbeat counts even more.
  9. Send flowers or wine with a handwritten note afterward to the director, producer and anyone else who supported you and your desire to direct. Be genuinely grateful.  After all, you were chosen for this shadowing slot over a hundred other people who were clamoring for the opportunity.
Tagged with: , , ,

WHAT I’VE LEARNED FROM OTHER DIRECTORS

For the past six months, I’ve been in the enviable position of observing other directors as they work while I’m the producing director of the CBS drama, BULL.  This is an unusual experience for me because mostly I’ve been a freelance director, one who floats in and out of the sets and offices of production companies, directing a single episode and then moving on, with little time to observe others.  So it’s only now that I have the opportunity to watch and learn since it is my job and pleasure to support BULL’s guest directors, to accompany on their episode’s journey, to assist without overruling them in their decision-making processes.  The fascinating thing is that we’re all different: in our spiritual nature, in our creativity, in our approach to the work and the execution of it.  And yet…there is an “x” factor to a good director that is instantly recognizable though generally unremarked-upon.

That “x”factor is self-confidence, a belief in one’s ability that is sure, quiet and rooted in one’s personal belief system. It’s not about ego, it’s about doing a job skillfully and joyfully.  It’s about loving the craft and nurturing all who participate as staff, cast and crew. There is an unspoken sense of purpose that this person radiates and issubtly acknowledged by all: this individual is there to fulfill the show’sneeds in a superb way because of who they are.

How does this capability reveal itself?  By:

  1. having a clear understanding of the story.
  2. presenting a specific point of view in telling that story.
  3. coming up with a method of visual storytelling that fits the show but brings that little extra pizzazz to it.
  4. communicating that vision clearly and strongly.
  5. respecting others’ contributions and incorporating them.
  6. realizing the critical importance of actors’ authentic performance, facilitating that process to bring each scene to fulfillment.
  7. leading everyone in a positive, uplifting manner, which impacts not only the final product but also the day-to-day process of creating it.
  8. having a lightness of being, a sense of humor, a subtext that reassures everyone that the director has it all handled, that the set is safe from long hours, bad storytelling and a mean temper. 

So that’s the evidence that there are core qualities of all directors. Each director that operates by those methods comes to them by virtue of who they are.  Can that be quantified? I believe the short answer is, a director is a LEADER.  (No shit, Sherlock…) But how does one become a leader?  Is it in-born or learned? Nature or nurture?  

Recently I observed a group of neophyte directors in an exercise of directing actors.  Regardless of their skills, it was fascinating to watch and assess individuals before they even started rehearsing a scene.  Did they have good posture, with their shoulders back and head held high? Did they speak with a clear voice? Did they greet their cast with a smile and shaking of hands?  Did they make and hold eye contact? Did they stand in the middle of the space or did they slink against a wall?  All of those mannerisms are a “tell” that indicate the individual’s sense of self.  Do they believe they have a right to be there and can achieve what needs to be done? Or do they operate out of fear that they are not enough?  The skills can be learned, practiced, and improved.  The sense of self that informs those skills is something that was given before birth.  End of story. At least from my very unscientific observation.

I always say, “I learn something about directing every day.”  That is so true, and usually I mean it in the sense that while directing, I make a mistake and consequently, learn.  (To my personal dismay.) But lately I’ve also been learning by watching others, whether professionals who are at BULL to direct an episode, or up-and-comers who are taking the first steps.  It is such a complex job, to direct an episode (or anything else, from web series to big-budget feature,) that it is a never-ending process to learn all that is possible.  But a director has to start, probably in kindergarten, to acknowledge their ability to lead and then start to practice the inherent skills, developing them over time so that he or she can walk onto a set and RULE: kindly, justly, and creatively. And of course, with JOY.

Tagged with: , , ,

Out Of My Comfort Zone

I just directed an episode of a show that was WAY outside my comfort zone.

My comfort zone is directing a heartfelt performance, of creating a scene in the ersatz environment of a soundstage that feels real and spontaneous. I feel confident directing fish out of water stories, family stories, coming of age stories. I am comfortable with small crews in which I know everyone’s name and how they contribute to the collaborative whole.

But I don’t have a whole lot of experience with Visual Effects. Or Special Effects. Or Stunts. Or the overwhelmingly male energy of a writers’ room that made a Tone Meeting feel like a football game, with the accompanying cheers and swagger. So this last assignment that incorporated those elements felt really uncomfortable.

I would give myself daily pep talks. “You’ve been directing for years. You’ll figure it out.” “Anything you don’t know, ask. People will be willing to help.” “You can survive anything for eight days (of shooting.)” But all of those felt like empty platitudes when I was facing the reality of failing. REALLY failing. FAILING big-time.

It made me think of the universal human response to trying something new. Being afraid but doing it anyway. A baby attempting her first steps. A singer stepping forward from the choir to a solo. A baseball pitcher taking the mound in his first college game. A newbie director saying “Action” in front of professionals. And all are facing judgment. “Ah, good job.” Or “I thought he’d do better than that.” Or even, “I don’t think this (endeavor) is right for her/him.” Case closed, it’s all over. You tried, and maybe, you failed. Or maybe, you did okay. Maybe there’s room for improvement – AS THERE SHOULD BE. No one will ever do anything perfectly the first time they try. Everything requires practice. Ten thousand hours’ worth, if Malcolm Gladwell is right (and I think he is.) So that means that a person is pretty much guaranteed a lot of failure when trying to learn a new skill.

Directing film is a challenging position. Many skill sets are required. So that means extra opportunities for failure. And for someone like me, well-established and full of the inflated ego that comes with that, trying something new can be terrifying. But… What I learned about myself is that fear doesn’t fit me. I can’t operate that way; neither can I pretend to be something I’m not. So how, I asked myself, can I cope with trying something new but refusing to be afraid?

First, I did extra homework. I was completely prepared. Second, I relied more on others for help (first AD, script supervisor, DP) rather than going it alone, as I usually do (there’s that ego again.) And last, I gave myself permission to not be perfect. To know that I would fail and I would learn and survive. To laugh about it, to take it in stride, to grow and become better at my job. It’s okay to make a mistake, we all do. All of us humans, all of us directors. It’s all a process of evolution. And I’m grateful for a show that took me out of my comfort zone. I was getting a little too comfortable there, anyway.

Why I Teach Directing

Because I absolutely love directing.

Because I have knowledge to share.

Because the business needs it.

It’s not that the business needs me, per se, but the business needs someone to step up and say, “Many directors in TV today don’t know what the heck they’re doing and don’t realize that directing can be done differently and better; consequently, there’s a huge lack of respect among cast, crew and everyone in the business for the craft and the individuals who purport to practice it.” So I’m volunteering to step up.

There were a couple of developments in the 90’s that lead to the decline of both the knowledge of, and respect for, the craft of directing. The first was video assist, the second was the practice of handing out directing assignments as perks to others (like writers and actors) in lieu of increasing their salary or title.

“Video assist” was a tap on a film camera that allowed anyone to see what the camera was seeing at “video village.” (Previous to that, only the camera operator was privy to the image, everyone else watched the filmed results – the dailies – the next day in a screening room.) By having a monitor on set, there was implicit permission for everyone watching to have an opinion about what they were seeing. Most especially, the writer of the episode usually had an opinion. That opinion was expressed to the director, who then had to choose whether to take it into consideration. At around this same time in the business, executive producers began to be referred to as “show runners” and acknowledged as the primary power in the structure of creating television episodes, as every episode must start with a script. Television then began to deviate from features, where the script was the starting point but the director was the main creative force. In television, the director began to be perceived as a cog in the collaborative wheel of production; someone who ran the set but may have differing opinions from the boss, the show runner, who was shaping the entire season with his or her ideas and script execution.

Because video assist allowed the director to see the shot in real time, directors began sitting at video village rather than staying on set with the actors. This lead to a shift in importance from actors’ performance to the visual representation. In other words, it was all about the shot. And since the writer was sitting at video village as well (as a spokesperson for the show runner,) directors began to defer to the writer, or at least have them corroborate the director’s opinion about whether the scene was progressing as it should. So there was a de facto decay in the director’s creative vision and power to achieve it without others’ input. This decay was in many ways the directors’ own fault, because they were abdicating final responsibility for determining whether they should “print it and move on” by seeking the writers’ permission first.

As this practice of video village becoming a scrum of decision-making spread throughout the television business, incoming directors saw the new paradigm. And many of those recent first-timers were previously filling other crew categories: writers, actors, DPs, editors. It was understandable: since they had had to pick up the slack from indecisive directors and support them with their own knowledge, they began to think, “Hey, I just pulled that director’s bacon out of the fat. I know how to do this. I can direct too.” And the next season, rather than a boost in pay or title, they asked for a directing slot. What they didn’t realize is that there is a craft to the director’s job which involves many skill sets: how to tell the story brilliantly, on time and on budget, working with actors to achieve performance, navigating politics, understanding camera, being an energetic and decisive leader on set. And that list doesn’t even include the work done in prep (location scouting, casting, blocking and shot listing, making decisions regarding production design, props, and wardrobe, planning stunts, special effects and visual effects) or in post-production. It’s an incredibly complex and joyous job, and a person needs to study it, practice it, evolve with it, in order to be even somewhat good at it. But the writer thought, “I just gave good performance notes to that director, based on my awesome script, so I can do the job.” The editor thought, “I saved his ass by cutting it so well, I can do that job.” The actor thought, “I am on set every bloody minute and I know how to talk to actors, so I can do that job.” Etcetera, etcetera. But none of them had the whole picture, none of them realized they had to study the CRAFT of the director. So the overall quality of TV directors eroded and their abilities were derided from the crews on set to the executive suites of the production companies and networks.

We need to win that respect back. There are many superb television directors out there, but for every excellent episode they direct, there’s another one by a newbie who doesn’t know the craft who dents the overall perspective. If a crew or cast has to deal with a lame director, their opinion of all TV directors goes down. We are all tarred with the same brush because we all have the same title and job description. I am teaching the craft so that the public perception of all directors can go up and we earn the respect of all those who collaborate in this amazing business of making television. I love my job. I do it well. And I want the same for all television directors.

So here’s the first lesson for emerging directors:

  • Direct from set, next to the actors and camera, not from video village.
  • Learn the craft.

It is a complex job: after over 200 episodes, I still learn something every day. That’s why it’s so joyful, so wonderful!! And it’s why I teach directing.

 

CALL ME A GOOD DIRECTOR

I am not a female director, I am a good director.

My gender has nothing to do with my creative vision, my leadership skills, my ability to tell a story for the screen. My gender has nothing to do with my ability to interact successfully with producers, studios and networks. My gender has nothing to do with my ability to coax actors to their best performance, nor to partner with talented directors of photography. Clear enough? Then why do we even put that qualifier on women who are hired as episodic directors?

At this moment in time, it’s an advantage to be a woman director. There is a push to hire more women, to begin to level the playing field, to finally drag the statistics into the light. It’s tragic that only 17% of episodic television is directed by women. There is a vast talent pool of women directors eagerly waiting to be hired, even as they do everything possible (like enroll in numerous studio diversity programs and direct multiple indies and shorts) to make decision-makers aware of their existence and abilities. Finally the tide is turning, finally it’s a positive thing to be a woman director.

But not for me. Yes, I’m a woman who proudly stands with and for her sisters as they get hired.   But quality should be the determining factor in being hired as an episodic director. Does the director candidate do good work? Does that director have the sensibilities to make the best possible episode of a show? Does that director have the strength and commitment to lead all the elements (cast, staff and crew) in the service of their vision?   A director’s gender, skin color, ancestry, or belief system should not be relevant as a hiring factor. The only question that should be asked is, “Does this director know what she/he is doing?”

Of course, that’s not the world we live in right now. Right now, the calls are going out to hire women and diverse directors. And the gender/diverse hiring push is a pendulum swing that’s been a long time coming. As one of the few women who have directed over the years, I have been the lucky beneficiary of a vaguely guilty industry conscience that whispered, “Well, maybe we should hire a woman director or two.” Many was the time that I was the only woman on a season’s roster of directors. And I’m grateful for that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware that being a woman helped my career. And I would never deny my femininity, it’s part of who I am.

But I’m at the point, after directing over 200 episodes of primetime network television, that I feel accomplished and capable. (That may have happened about a hundred and fifty episodes ago.) When a producer says, “I need a good director,” I hope my name comes up. When that producer says, “I need a woman director,” (to fill the quota imposed by the studio/network) I hope a new woman who is ready and smart and prepared will be hired. Producers don’t say, “I need a man director,” because that would imply that gender has something to do with a director’s abilities. In some future time, gender won’t even come up. At that point, I won’t be referred to as a “woman director,” because the only standard will be quality, the hiring decisions will be gender neutral, and all anyone will care about is that I’m a good director.

A Trustworthy Relationship

          The fundamental relationship between director and actor is one of trust. The actor trusts that the director knows what she’s doing and will support and lead the actor to an authentic and appropriate performance. The director trusts that the actor has the emotional resonance and skill sets necessary to become the character. Each is helping the other find and hone performance to best serve the story. They need to believe in each other, lean on each other, to achieve the best results.

          Recently I directed something in which my relationship with an actor was definitely not one of trust. The actor had a wall up which I could not breach. It wasn’t personal; I was in a long line of freelance directors who had the same experience on this show. It was disconcerting, though. I’m a director who prides herself on creating that intimate relationship with every actor. It is not normal for me to be ignored and even rejected when directing an actor.

          At first I thought, maybe it’s my pride that’s the problem. Just because I get along well with most actors doesn’t mean I should automatically get along with every single one. So I redoubled my efforts. I don’t mean that I was a subservient ass-kisser. I mean that I really tried harder to effect change in performance where I felt it was necessary. But I was trying too hard, and I was too focused on getting my own way, rather than serving the material. The wall just became higher.

          Then I thought, I need to get my ego out of the way. “Be the love, be the light,” became my mantra. I can’t control how this person behaves, I can only control my behavior. So I’m going to be love and light and wear this person down with truly-felt sunshine. I’m going to break down that wall with smiles and hugs and acceptance. That didn’t work either.

          But it was my job to make the best episode possible. So it was incumbent upon me to direct to the best of my ability. And that meant offering notes and insight no matter how it was received, and staying the course until I saw the realization of those thoughts. “I’m not going to crumble,” I thought. “I’m not going to just give up and let the wall stand in the way and let performance suffer. I’m going to be my own wall of integrity. I’m going to not say ‘Cut and print,’ until it is what I need it to be.” That resulted in a few standoffs, and in all honesty, a few scenes that required judicious editing to achieve the result the script demanded.

          But ultimately, my pursuit of excellence (or at least, better than acceptable) work elicited grudging respect. I’ll never be this person’s favorite director, but at least there’s trust. The actor knew that I was focused on telling the story and trying to make it the best episode possible, especially in performance. It wasn’t personal, it was professional. And that’s trustworthy.

Directing With a Different Voice

I heard a piece of music the other day that made me rethink everything I’ve learned about the business of directing TV shows.

I’ve directed over 200 episodes of prime-time network television over 30 years. I co-wrote a textbook about directing called “Directors Tell the Story,” to share what I knew and give back and help emerging directors learn. In other words, I felt like I pretty much had this craft down. But then I heard it.

It was a theme from the film The Mission, written by Ennio Morricone. It’s called “Gabriel’s Oboe.” But this time, it was played beautifully by Yo-Yo Ma on a cello. An oboe piece played on a cello. It made me hear a piece of music with which I was very familiar in a whole new way. It was the same thing done differently.

And that made me think: why is an episode of a particular show that is directed by me different than an episode of the same show directed by someone else? (Yes, the writer originates the story, but every other element is the same. TV shows require an identity that is forged of relative sameness to hook the viewers and retain brand loyalty.) I have always thought that my job is not to reconfigure a show to suit my ego, it’s to deliver my best episode of an existing paradigm. I want to fit in. I want to have my episode look and feel like other episodes of that show. The producers, studio and network want it to be similar.

And yet, mine will be different. Because it came through me. The script is processed in my brain through layers of life experience: how I grew up, what I learned, who I loved, where I made mistakes. This is not news, since we all know that the entire business is completely subjective. We’re making art, not mathematical equations. However, I’ve always endeavored to play by the rules, to deliver what is expected. Because there is no room in episodic television for an auteur.

But now I think, I can do the same thing, I can just do it differently by celebrating my uniqueness rather than downplaying it. Anything I direct is going to be impacted by all the things that I am: I’m from Ohio, I’m a mom, I’m a Democrat and a fallen-away Catholic. But the primary difference between myself and 84% of episodic directors is that I’m a woman. And like me, other women directors bring their individual voice to their episodes or films with their gender difference being a big part of who they are. The world needs to hear our female voices, the ones we could liken to a cello rather than the familiar oboe of the male voice – because just as I was blown away by hearing the unexpected within a familiar format, so the audience might be too when watching a familiar show that seems just a little different somehow. Maybe even better.

Thank you for the insight, Yo-Yo Ma.

Tagged with: , , , , ,

What Makes A Good Director?

 1. The passion to be a storyteller.

2. A love for actors.

3. An outgoing personality.

4. Intelligence.

5. An ability to use the camera well.

6. An outgoing personality.

7. A facility for political gamesmanship.

8. Dogged determination to succeed.

9. An outgoing personality.

10. Communication skills.

11. A vivid imagination.

12. An outgoing personality.

You get what I’m saying.  This all comes to mind because I’ve had a few shadows (people learning to direct by watching) lately, and the Warner Brothers Directing Workshop (which I teach) is gearing up for its first open-application season, so I’ve seen first-hand a fair number of people who want to direct.  They are unique individuals, as different from each other as can be, but they share a common desire to direct.

For most of them, I want to say, “Give it up, it’s probably not going to happen for you.”  It’s not that I want to be negative, but realistic.  They don’t seem to have what it takes (see above).  But they will try.  They will make shorts, they will submit to festivals, they will spend their weekends and hard-earned cash to keep making movies.  And very few will succeed.  I’d like to save them the heartache – but then I think, it’s all a subjective business, that’s just my opinion, who am I to judge them?

And yet… I know what I know. This aspect of having an outgoing personality is not a learned skill, it’s an inherited trait that you either were born with or not.  It’s really about leadership, about having the ability to enlist others to follow you.  It’s about sparking their enthusiasm because they sense yours and judge you to be worthy of their time and attention.  And many of the people I’ve met lately who want to direct are not leaders in that sense.  I wish they could see themselves as I and others do, those who do the hiring, the producing, the financing.  I wish the wannabes could objectively grade their abilities and decide whether they really want to pursue this elusive goal of being a director.

Yet again… I’m grateful that there are those who crave to live in this magical world of make-believe where the collective consciousness doesn’t always matter, where money isn’t always the bottom line, where with faith and hope you can sometimes succeed when everyone predicted you would fail.  So I’m not going to rely on my realistic perspective about these directing hopefuls, I’m going to shut my mouth and wish them well.

Choosing to be Happy

I am happy where I am.

Just now I’m in Nashville, directing the eponymous show, and in my free time talking with area college students.  I am invariably asked if I wish that I directed movies.  The subtext I take from that is, “It’s all well and good that you’re directing TV, but don’t you wish you directed a MOVIE?  It’s the height of the profession, you could be an auteur instead of a hack, don’t you want to see your name on the big screen?” They seem disappointed when I say no, I’m happy where I am.

Firstly, I get to do what I love all the time.  I get to direct.  A feature director may be lucky to direct every three years or so, after spending grueling months grubbing for cash and cast.  I am privileged (and grateful for it) to join multiple film families, get to play in their sandbox, and emerge with a well-told story in a finished product.  Eleven of them this year.  How great is that???

Secondly, I AM making movies.  I’m directing a script with a beginning, middle and end, using the exact same process as any feature director.  The budget is $3-5 million.  I’m supported by a complex structure including a distributor (the network), a production entity (studio) and a company consisting of individuals who all contribute their best efforts to help me tell a story. We call it TV but that is the box (or laptop or phone) on which you watch it.  When we watch a visual story in a shared experience such as a movie theatre, our culture respects it more.  But have you really paid attention to narrative episodes of TV lately?  Amazing stuff.  They are movies, shot in eight or nine days, with great stories, phenomenal production value, and heartfelt performances.

Lastly, it’s my choice to be happy.  Back when I was an Associate Producer, responsible for post-production, I wondered whether I should just stay where I was rather than strive for a higher goal.  I was a good AP, I reasoned, and perhaps that was the peak of my abilities.  Americans are conditioned to continually reach up, push beyond the status quo, and maybe that’s all it was for me, rather than an organic move to stretch creatively.  But I chose to reach up and have been blessed to continue as a television director.  After a few years of that, the conditioning made me ask, “Okay, I’ve kind of mastered this directing thing.  Shouldn’t I want more?  Shouldn’t I want to direct movies?”  I thought about it a lot.  And I realized that, in addition to the factors above that were an influence, I could choose to be happy where I was or I could yearn for something that I didn’t have, which would make me feel incomplete and unhappy.  It seemed clear.  In every day, in every minute, in every situation, I had a choice.

So I choose to be happy.  Right where I am.

Top