Saturday, August 30, 2003 at 3:46PM
Today was the day, my triumphant return to the director’s chair. I woke up this morning convinced that it would either be the greatest day of my filmmaking life or the absolute worst. It was neither but closer to the bottom end of the scale. As arrogant as I am, I’m just not egomaniac enough to not feel like an asshole on set. There are two things about directing a movie that really suck, one is the feeling of twenty or more people that you barely have time to say “hello” to patiently waiting for the next (and sometimes first) shot to be set up, two is the feeling you get when you have to ask people to show up for the shoot under very bad circumstances. I hate feeling that I’m being demanding of people, but to make a movie you have to be. My lead actress is a diabetic who had a seizure two days ago. She was found babbling incoherently in the street, bruised up and covered in her own blood. She showed up to the set today with a busted lip and bruises on her arm. You gotta know how much I hated asking her to be there today, but with the rest of the cast already confirmed and the HUGE amounts of money I’d spent on equipment, there was no other way. I hate it. I hate feeling twenty pairs of eyes on me as we fix minute camera problems, lighting problems, or sound problems that the rest of the cast may not even be aware of. All this before you even talk about getting the performance right or the camera moves right. Last night I stayed up until 2AM watching “A Decade Under the Influence” on IFC, trying to get inspired to be a filmmaker again. Today, however, I did not feel like a filmmaker. I didn’t even feel like a director. I felt like a crisis manager if anything. Certainly not an artist. I think about those interviews I saw with Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola and I don’t see even the slightest resemblance between what they were doing and what I am doing. This process is painful and embarrassing. If I wanted that, I could just get a remarried. Oh well, maybe I’ll feel differently after the shoot tomorrow. Maybe I feel differently after I get in to the editing room. But right now, I feel like this may be my swan song from filmmaking.