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Directors of Actors Make the Film
by Michol Little

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The way it used to be

The way it used to be
In looking at the bigger picture of, well, PICTURE SHOWS , I had an epiphany when considering who or what birthed a film and genetically created those characteristics that could be described as enduring, memorable, thought-provoking, entertaining, fearsome, educational, mysterious, or even repugnant? Obviously there is a team effort most would say, but there is to me one overwhelming influence that germinates the possibilities for all the above characteristics. I have to say, though, there first must be a story, so I'm excluding the script, the biographical history of the story, and skipping on to the development of a character or event. There is always an individual; a group or an event which is the "seed" by which the film is born. But with that said, it is my personal opinion that it is the director who ultimately frames the film we finally see. Obviously the actors contribute significantlyto the success of the movie with their acting skills, yet I believe the Director is the Mastermind.

Let's take for instance our various Network News channels. There was a time we were fed the real news; it was a delivery system of clips and footages of actual happenings based on the details as they existed. It was NOT a commentary; not a synopsis of some events that had been dissected, and served up with an agenda by the one delivering the event to the public. Most of us understand that concept and recognize that if we really want the facts, we have to dig a little and find it somewhere between the left and right extremes. In film we
Universal Pictures celebrates 100 years of film

Universal Pictures celebrates 100 years of film
have a Director who has a personal opinion of a script, event or projection of a future that draws from his internal well of imagination, experiences and personal events. The film is his/her interpretation; his meaning of a story, fiction or not. If you think about it, the locations, the camera angles, times of year or day, the goal of that film as to what is the agenda to be delivered to the public are all his personal world; his creation. He can take a writer's script and broaden and/or enhance it, or use a basic theory and change the whole prospective of the film. He has all the latest tools of technology that his imagination could possibly contain at his fingertips, and he has the teams of people all experts in their field ready tmao follow his leadership.

I know there are those who would say the actor's abilities can make or break the film. Yes, that is true to a point, but consider that should the actor's performance prove to be a negative to the outcome of this film considering the millions of dollars spent by the production company investing in this film do you really think they would chance a total flop if the Director really believed that would be the outcome? No, why? Well, Hollywood has enough egos for the entire world put together, and a Director simply won't put their name on a film they hated. So that brings us to the theory of the magical qualities of the Director to weave his unique skills, directing sometimes temperamental actors; driving the techno teams to produce the exact 5 seconds of special effects he
What, another Oscar???

What, another Oscar???
feels crucial to his (and yes they feel possessive) films. It's the dozens of takes to get that 3 minute clip that's perfect to who? The Director. It's the exact location that gives the ambiance he needs to "feel it" for a particular scene. Should the character be angry? Snarly? Smile a little? Cry a little? It is his leadership that's required. I think of the Director as the sculptor and the actors as his clay. If the clay is of poor quality; a bad mix of elements, too dry, too wet; the Director has to make changes until the modeling clay is perfect in his mind for each and every scene.

The story is the seed; the actors the conduit for delivery; the directorship the grand orchestrator. All are required but the Director makes or breaks that film with his imagination or lack of and even the choices of actors for each character.

I began thinking of all of this when I noticed Universal Studios will be celebrating their 100th anniversary and all the hoopla that will go with that. I started looking at the films that made them in the top 6 studios of all times and you know who I found who directed 3 of the top all time 10 most famous films ever for Universal Studios? Steve Spielberg.
I'm sure we could list numerous all time favorite Directors, but in my opinion Spielberg has got to rank in the top 10 of all times. TOP 10 REVIEWS ranks Spielberg as #1. IMDB ranks him as #6; Movie Makers considered all the top 50 Directors in the past 100 years and ranked Spielberg as #10. Now I'm not promoting Spielberg as such in my
Spielberg's WAR HORSE

Spielberg's WAR HORSE
theory that Directors make the film yet when you actually look at all the top producing films; most notable; highest grossing films ever, Spielberg is sitting right there near the top. Why is that? He is magical; his imagination for capturing the perfect emotion, the close-up at the right time to trap that one emotion only the camera can claim. It is his unique instincts to know what to do and when. If you hear the name Steven Spielberg one would think of action films; imaginative possibilities whether current day or future; we think of a skill to see the reflection of an oncoming care in the side mirror that adds excitement to a race scene. It is a genius few can claim and THAT is what makes the movie exceptional. Great Actors? Of course. Think about all the films he has directed. He is famous for recruiting and selecting some of the most brilliant actors in the industry for his films; again, his magic touch Additionally, the actors I've read about would perform in a Spielberg film for free if they have to just to say that were part of that genius.

We all know how to pretend; we are in some way actors in this life. We do it every day; some get paid for it. It is the Director's genius and magic that can take the simply and make it special. Thank God we have enjoyed some of the very best in our life time. I wish I had watched more of Alfred Hitchcock's films and understand more of his unique talents. When you think about it, it is always the most notable directors who have lead the film industry to the most brilliant films.

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Every other Saturday

An update of current gossip surrounding the good, bad and just horrible events while filming different movies. What went wrong, who did what and the answer to the burning question, "What is the point of this movie anyway?"

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Other columns by Michol Little:

Do Actors Necessarily Make Good Politicians?

What movie nearly wrecked Kevin Costner's career?

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Dinesh D'Souza and 2016: OBAMA'S AMERICA


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Michol Little
I've been writing about anything and everything all my life: fiction, research projects, speeches and term papers for anyone who needed help. I'm a single Mom with all kids out of the nest, and now have time to really enjoy my writing passion. While finishing my courses for my MBA, I developed a burning desire to actually publish some of my work in fiction as well as research white paper on most anything that interests me. I work for a national retail food brand as a construction project manager which is my DAY job; and hope to increase my exposure as an author and ghost writer as well as write articles and commentaries for various venues. .

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Michol Little by clicking here.

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