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What About Directors Do You Hate?

What About Directors Do You Hate?
"A few years back, I had just come off this Off-Broadway play when I was immediately hired for an independent film. The filmmaker had absolutely no clue how to deal with actors. In fact, at some point he was seen giving his principals line readings just to keep up with his schedule. There was a lot of infighting, but thankfully, it turned out to be a great little film—because of the actors knowing how to direct themselves. Since then, I've been fortunate to work with directors such as Paul Greengrass. What Paul has that this other director didn't is the ability to distance his time management from the actor's process."

—Jerry Della Salla, Manhattan

"The thing I most hate about film directors is that some of them rehearse the film as if it were a play. It's okay to have a read-through or a table read of the script once or twice. Sometimes rehearsing can be helpful if you're shooting on film as opposed to digital. But most of the independent filmmakers I've dealt with shot digitally, and they would rehearse and rehearse, making the actors restless. To deal with it, I just try to become very familiar with my character and her surroundings early on. I try to dig down deep for the emotions of the character, to breathe life into her. Then I just don't think about how frustrated I am because we're over-rehearsing."

—Mala Wright, Trenton, N.J.

"Some of the worst directors are yellers who think that a higher decibel level makes them right and more intelligent. It's hard to focus and concentrate if you think some demonic director is going to appear out of the audience yelling and screaming at you about a minor infraction on the stage. I find that good actors respond better to a kind word or good idea, much better than hearing how untrained they are. After all, don't we all want the same thing: to tell a great story?"

—Kenneth McDade, Jackson, Miss.

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