Are directors a superior writer to actors? Do actors and filmmakers really have a higher level of creativity than other individuals in society?
The truth is complex and not always clear cut. The truth is that it’s a combination of factors, all of our lives being intertwined together. The writer and director are not necessarily “better” than other individuals. Their work is in the process of coming into focus as being at the higher-level of creative expression.
And a couple of things…
Many of the stories I tell in my movies are inspired by myself, sometimes from a very early age. These stories are all about personal growth, and about dealing with our fears, insecurities, or challenges. And that includes dealing with the pressure of being an actor in a business where people do not always share your vision and sometimes expect different things in return (because they make a living at it).
Many of the stories are autobiographical. I have a big brother. And I have a big sister. Both of them had to deal with life challenges as kids. It doesn’t surprise me they both made it because I share a lot of their experiences.
The same can be said for many of the directors and writers I work with. I don’t say these things to disparage anyone else. Quite to the contrary, I know what is coming next if I don’t act on some level. It’s the same for many of the actors.
To me, this is a question of responsibility. I am responsible for my own journey. Many people in the film business (including me) have come in and taken me under their wings. Often I can see their process and understand what they are trying to do. Often I find I can also influence them in the same ways.
But is it the filmmaker’s job to do that? Of course not. It’s a producer’s job to make sure the process is done right, the direction is followed, and the vision is communicated. In this sense, there is a great deal of pressure to make the “perfect” movie.
Often I do not make the perfect movie. And I can feel the need to change something in the process. At least once a week, there is even a conversation about “changing a scene.” And this need to make the magic happen makes the process feel like more of an adventure and creates more pressure than it might otherwise.
Many of us at the movies spend our whole lives preparing for and working on making a film