I talk a lot about producers and directors getting in the way of their movie. I blame it on ego. I blame it on too many cooks in the kitchen. But there is another piece I haven’t touched on. Emotional attachment.
Often times in independent films, the director is also the writer, the producer, and sometimes even the editor. They’re attached. They have to be otherwise they end up making a generic piece of rubbish. Film is inherently emotional. If that personalization and attachment wasn’t necessary, then robots sure as hell could do it.
So what happens when emotionally attached director can’t seem to let their baby go? Well, the baby doesn’t go ANYWHERE. That film sits in postproduction for as long as that director says so.
This blog post isn’t about why producers should maintain final cut over some directors who have these tendencies so the investors can make their money back. This post is about how to be emotional and detached to your film.
I’m currently in preproduction for a film I’m producing, directing, and rewrote. This has given me a lot of insight on how easy it is to lose sight of the big picture and the overall goal. Everything from casting, shot listing, and hiring crew members is emotional. I’ve already found it tough to not let my emotional thoughts on a person get in the way of their resume or there lack of.
This is where I rely on my producing mind as a director and I encourage everyone involved in any aspect of filmmaking to produce something at least once. You will have such a better understanding of how all the pieces of this crazy puzzle come together. It will allow you to see the big picture, and think somewhat objectively.
It’s part of a director’s job to give everything they emotionally have into a film so it can connect with audiences. That is part of their job. It is part of the producer’s job to get the film out there to audiences. Directors who aren’t letting the film get out there to viewers aren’t doing their job. Producers who are letting directors hold their films hostage aren’t doing their jobs.
So, to sum this all up, just do your job. Pour your heart and soul into it, but know that you have a job to do. Don’t get in the way of it.