/ by Jared Jones

I recall a conversation with director Joe Dante, in pre-production on the set of Small Soldiers. “So why did you pick this project?” I asked. His answer always stuck with me: “This is the film they’re letting me make now.”
  This is the film they’re letting me make now.
  So there he was, on set, making a film, holding time risk at bay.
  Which, by the way, illustrates a key aspect of the psyche of a director – the manifest need to take action. Most directors cannot tolerate down time. They need to shoot, if not a film, then a commercial, if not a commercial, a music video. Or a documentary, or a short film, or test footage. Or they will open a winery, or paint, or dive into the Atlantic and locate the Titanic. Directors thrive on action, and innately embrace the mindset of doing, not waiting or hoping. I can’t imagine James Cameron writing a screenplay, sending it around town, hoping to get a break. That’s not in his DNA. (Reportedly, Cameron saw Star Wars and got really angry. Envious that someone else got to do that. If anyone was going to get to do that, it would be him. He vowed to make films, and started by experimenting with lenses, even going so far as, with his brother, tearing them apart and designing his own.)
  Directors exhibit an intolerance for delay that screenwriters would do well to emulate. We know the names of Cameron, Spielberg, Jackson, Tarantino, Nolan, because they each took a look at the lay of the land, those piles of unread and unproduced screenplays (trying to get films made) and kept walking, until they found the land of making films, the ground littered with maxed-out credit cards, second mortgages, and empty boxes of Top Ramen.
  Ironically, the common strengths of the screenwriter-type (attention to detail, delayed gratification, endless optimism) can work against advancement in Hollywood.
  Directors are often brash, attention-deficit, and fearless. Screenwriters, kind of the opposite.
  You can polite your way into oblivion.
  You can optimistic yourself to fifteen years of a non-career.
“Time Risk” by Terry Rossio
(via pablolf)
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