Everyone wants to direct. That’s what it seems like anyway. But why? Most of the time, it seems like people caught on to the fact that directors and actors get most of the attention and a lot of people have that desire to be noticed. People need to understand that just wanting something doesn’t make you good at it. That being said, if you’re not successful at something, it doesn’t mean you’re bad at it. So I’ll focus on those that have some talent and try and give you a small piece of advice. Keep in mind that what I am going to say, just like with everything ever said, is not set in stone… there are exceptions to the rule.
If you want to direct don’t star in your fucking movie! Just don’t do it. Why would you want to? To hog all the lime light? Because somewhere in your warped sense of self grandeur you truly believe you are the best fit for the role? Obviously if this is your thought you are trying really hard to do your film a disservice. Wake up and do the right thing. Focus on directing, stop focusing on making yourself a super star. Don’t split your time, directing takes an insurmountable amount of focus as does acting, these are not small jobs. Directing yourself is also a major conflict of interests, how could you possibly be objective on either front?
Like acting, directing comes with experience, it’s a rare occasion that someone is born with a challenging gift of holding a film together and being a leader. Most of the rest of us need experience, time and patience to gather the skills to hone our craft and we fail many times during the process. Understand, it is ok to fail, there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, you must fail to learn, but make sure you reflect on your mistakes and actually learn from what went wrong.
What about writing and directing? You, after all, know your script best…right? Wrong! Again, how could you stay objective during the process? Make the right choices? Not have tunnel vision? Save this sort of venture for later in your career and focus on one thing at a time. The worst part of the double or even triple duty for those that want to direct, act, and write, is that you are making yourself an island. Filmmaking is a team effort and without the rest of the good people you surround yourself with, you truly are nothing.
In closing, we know that there are many cases of successful films with a two, three, or even four hat combo of directing, writing, producing, and acting, but in most of these cases, these successful films came with tons of experience. Most of these people have been in the industry for years and have made mistakes and learned how to immerse themselves in each of these jobs before tackling a pet project. Do yourself a favor and give your film the best chance it could have.