So I've been directing for the past four days now, and I do have to admit that I've been enjoying it. It's a strange position for me though. I've had so many years of training myself to move like a ninja whenever I hear "quiet on the set!" that there were a few occasions when I forgot that I'm the one who was supposed to yell "Action!" this week.
The energy on the set is amazing, so I'm pleased to tell you that I have indeed tested all my theories about what directors can do to improve the conditions on their sets and put together a good working team. (Nice to know I haven't just been blogging out of my arse for the past few years, eh?) I'm not about to say that everything runs perfectly... let's face it, this is a micro-budget creature feature that is being held together with duct tape and a prayer to the Film Gods, but at least the food is good and the energy is, well, very energizing!
We did have a near-fatal blow about 48 hours before filming was scheduled to begin when one of my lead actors had to suddenly drop out. It wasn't his fault and I certainly understood the circumstances so there is zero bitterness there. Fortunately, my husband Duckie volunteered to jump into the role and after a mad dash to get a very specific costume made for him, we were good to go by 9:00 AM on April 25th.
I know that sounds horrible. "Hey guys, we lost one of our leads, but don't worry... my husband can play the role!" What everyone found out quickly: Duckie is actually a veteran actor who has just been away from it for the past few years. He shook the dust off easily and made a very smooth transition from crew-to-cast...which I was entirely thankful for since the first day was shooting two sex scenes involving his character.
Please note: I would never recommend that anyone ever replace a lost character two days before shooting with one's Spouse or Significant Other unless that person does have a very solid acting background! I was REALLY REALLY lucky in that situation!
So far it has been the expected headaches involving equipment malfunctions and airplanes, and the very unexpected thrill of having a cast and crew that work so well together that you'd swear we'd all been working together for four years rather than just four days.