aggressor limited directors protagonist vs. antagonist
audience leave no foot print scene
conflict location self-reliant
difficulty moves story
directions order of importance third eye
film tells story pattern of behavior time period
green light, red light pictures have meaning theatre



without agony book
3.      The Art of Directing

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     Red light

stop, bad impulses of actors.

     Green light

good impulse of actors.

     Train yourself as director. Don't let lies go by.

     Director intrepid artist. Honest, the way the author wrote it.


     To tell the story.

     So audience knows what they are looking at.

     Look for dramatic elements.
     What will excite audience?
     Think in theatrical terms.
     Physically tell the story with the actors.
     Who is the audience rooting for?

    There is no one truth. If it works, it works. Director's job is to make it work, don't worry about the logic.

     Beware of great artists who become great thinkers. Intellect doesn't make it, instinct will help most.


     For the director the secret is casting.

     Director has to conceive who can do it in casting.

     Casting is 99% of what you have to do correctly.

     Can't overcome wrong casting.

     Learn directors secret: Right casting.

  1. Actor has all the judgment, not the director.
  2. Actors hate to play villains. Director must keep them in place if actor starts being likable.
  3. Actors like to be sympathetic, they want to be loved by the audience, director has to watch out for that.
  4. Actors tried to make every scene the big one, actors act to be liked by audience. Director has to watch this. Director has to keep things in proportion.
  5. A director and an actor cannot save a bad script, like no unity.
  6. A director should not put actors on marks per say.
  7. As a director watch a scene: does it do what the story requires.
  8. As an actor, make your own choices. Never argue with the director, just say, could I show you something.
  9. As an actor take practical advice from directors, etc. You must try to look good for camera.
  10. A series of variations of actor. Director pick one.
  11. Audience wonders what will come next gets our wonderments. Give audience time to say "what would I do?" Director: quality is story telling make and come to edge and peer over, that's mystery.
  12. Back to core of the story. Purpose of the story.
  13. Be able to state a statement, your influence to go a certain way. Actors like to be sympathetic, they want to be loved by the audience, director has to watch out for that.
  14. Be a well trained actor. Director won't tell you. A good director will say: 'lets try it'. He won't tell you marks until after actors do it.
  15. Best staging comes from good actors.
  16. Come out of character to listen to director.
  17. Director can't have people play outside own imaging.
  18. Director can not read lines to actors.
  19. Director favors the one who can act.
  20. Director feel it out, keep going back to story.
  21. Director formalize it.
  22. Director gives green light and red light.
  23. Director hires talented people, then give them their head. Actors are not lonely.
  24. Director has images. Actor: deals in causes, what makes the character. Modern acting is subjective.
  25. Director has a matter of judgment from the heart, not the head.
  26. Director has to be a charmer and a diplomat.
  27. Director is the pilot of the story in a lighthouse to keep the actors off the rocks.
  28. Director has to make scene seem actual, rather than theatrical.
  29. Director: I'm picking this objective to help actors show a certain feeling.
  30. Director is an observer.
  31. Director is audience. Scene must progress. Characters grow with the minute.
  32. Director is chief.
  33. Director is in charge of story telling. Actor can't think of story, except in planning. Director is third eye. Red and green light for actors. Approve or don't approve.
  34. Director is moral officer. Say "action" with enthusiasm.
  35. Director is the pilot of the story in a light house to keep the actors off the rocks. Keep actors from wanting to be liked by audience.
  36. Director's job is to make a scene work.  If it works, it works. Don't worry about the logic.
  37. Director - make something real in.
  38. Director measure the actors truth. Did the audience accept it. Is it going the way of the story? Director gives red light if it is phony or fake.
  39. Director must divert the eye. Don't do repetition with actors. Physically tell the story.
  40. Director must keep actors from wanting to be liked by the audience.
  41. Director must learn the human part of the movie. Human values are the suspense: (will he give her money, etc.)
  42. Director must train them self to not let lies go by from the actors; but have the actors stay honest.
  43. Director must have wisdom and street smarts.
  44. Director must understand people.
  45. Director never give line reading.
  46. Director says, I would like... I would like...
  47. Director says show me what you've got.
  48. Director should not think of actors as statues.
  49. Director sets it up, how to effect the audience.
  50. Director showmanship.
  51. Director talk in telegram, not a letter. Not enough time. Get use to working with little time to do anything.
  52. Director thinks in results: clinch mouth, etc. Actor thinks in causes. Have to be precise. Director says something, do it.
  53. Director to actors: "Show me what I don't expect".
  54. Director to make it seem, it is actual than theatrical.
  55. Director turn actors loose on set. Then lock it in for camera.
  56. Director understand it from humanistic view.
  57. Director wants input from actors on the set, especially if they know the story. Actors bring things to work.
  58. Director wants people behavior, like people.
  59. Director wants to see if you can talk. Monologue.
  60. Director watch with antenna.
  61. Director works with the head, but must have heart too.
  62. Director, don't read lines to actors.
  63. Director; don't make notes during scene.
  64. Director: don't think of actors as statues.
  65. Director: feel it out, keep going back to story.
  66. Director get hold of the audiences pulse and their heart string. And play on it like a fiddler. With great sensitivity and great understanding people's romanticism. The audience is extremely romantic.
  67. Director: I'm picking this objective to help actors show a certain feeling.
  68. Director: mid-wife.
  69. Director: People behavior, like people.
  70. Director: to be a job, profession, technicians, psychologist, understand people. Endlessly curious human.
  71. Director: wisdom, street smarts.
  72. Director works with the head, but must have heart too.
  73. Directors know camera not acting.
  74. Directors responsibility is to separate the bad guys in the scene. Who are the likable characters in the scene?
  75. Directors say I like that, more of this. All the unexpected.
  76. Director says show me what you've got.
  77. Directors trick: make bad actor small, do little.
  78. Don't have actors acting like mouse. Stop the minimal shit. Be on, don't do minimal shit.
  79. Don't let actors stand where they think is correct. Actors vanity, the director can't allow it. Actors do show off things. What is actor doing at start of scene? What would character be doing?
  80. Emotion. Objective. Don't show personal anxiety. Director wants to see if you can talk. Start big. Like a celebration. If holding a hand, look like you are holding a hand "sensory memory". This will tell a director you can act.
  81. Films. Hire the best actors and let them loose on the set. That is it. And most of the time there is very little to change if you choose the right actors and that they understood the scene. That was it. That is the best kind of staging.
  82. For the director, the best staging comes from good actors.
  83. Give director hints, then he will buy it.
  84. Good Director will turn the actors loose to see what they come up with.
  85. Governor of the story: What is it about?
  86. Has to decide the more real the better for this. Who is to broad and who is not broad enough. Who is not in proportion to the story. Director is chief of proportion. "Touch of showmanship."
  87. Has to decide; third eye, stop and go, question the actor if doing, is it coming from this impulse or that impulse.
  88. How is the audience reacting at this point. Further business will not work: Start out with emotion (terror) and objective (to not lose her) this will suggest what the actor does. Director likes it or enhance it, that's all. Director thinks in results. Act, they have to make it happen.
  89. I'm picking this objective to help actors show a certain feeling.
  90. In staging, be a well trained actor, a director won't tell you. A good director will say, "lets try it". He won't tell marks until after actors do it.
  91. It is good for a director to know all the elements of movie making.
  92. It is possible to: [NOT TELLING A STORY], just lines, no idea.
  93. Job of actors and directors is to recreate a reality. Can't fake it just by doing it this way then that way.
  94. Just have a general idea of scene. Ammo given to actors is the emotion and objectives. Director then let's the actors go.
  95. Keep actors honest.
  96. Director should never argue with actors, just get them to do what you want.
  97. No evidence in directing.
  98. No such thing as blocking, let actors go.
  99. Offer a feast for director , he'll choice.
  100. Organize what is in your head, Time is money. Look for dramatic elements. What will excite audience? Business is: we are entertainers. Think in theatrical terms. What will interest audience? Off the story; perceive the story.
  101. Quality is best. Physical means nothing. Cast according to that.
  102. Say "action". Director has to be a class act. (Show me something worth $ 10.00.)
  103. Staging: be a well trained actor. Director won't tell you. A good director will say: 'lets try it'. He won't tell an actor's mark until after actors do it.
  104. The key: (Everything young is beautiful). Director has to have sensitivity, tell a story.
  105. The secret is casting. Casting is everything.
  106. Tennessee Williams did not write conversational plays. His is illusions, nightmares and dreams. It wasn't reality. His characters have different levels.
  107. What they are casting?
  108. To lure the audience into a dream that you invent, make them forget their own problems.
  109. Watch out for vanity of actors.
  110. What a director would say to actors when he doesn't have time to explain what's wrong: "Fellows it never came to life."
  111. What will help?
  112. When you watch a scene, just become an unknowing audience, just react to the scene. Don't make notes in your head, otherwise you lose the scene.
  113. Wisdom, street smarts.
  114. Working with the director.
  115. You must know what to ask for with director .
  116. "The director should work up closely with the actors and then as they get on their feet, get more security, step back and back and leave no foot prints."
  1. As a director watch the audience, see what jokes reach the audience.
  2. Comedy of any kind find opposites. Comedy is never literal. Got to be stylized. Directors responsibility to stylize. Find the craziness. This is kooky how do I make it kooky. Director think as a chief, what am I making. Beef and potatoes.
  3. George Abbott, master of comedy.
  4. Nothing unusual going on, no laughter. We laugh at what is kooky. You have to make the right choices. For director it is casting.

"In the end, it can't look like acting."