Thursday, January 26, 2017

James Cagney on Directors

Direction, I've always held, is implicit in the writing. One doesn't go to the post with a bad script if he can help it. If the script is right, the direction is all there, implicit in the writing. Consequently, whenever I hear much ranting and roaring about this, that, or the other great director, I will admit there are some directors who are imaginative, who can get the most out of their material. Hawks, Wellman, Walsh, Keighley, Curtiz, Del Ruth, Ford and others were all expert and did their job to the fullest. But many directors are just pedestrian workmen, mechanics. Ostensibly they choose camera angels and on occasion they do, but I've often seen cameramen take over when needed. The director would indicate where he wanted it, and quietly the cameraman would indicate to his assistant a spot one good foot off the director's mark. Then the cameraman would turn to me, wink, and walk away.

(from Cagney by Cagney).

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this posted by David August at 5:12 PM 

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