Taking Charge – behind the camera:
(a) “What I learned is that film is really a director’s medium. The script is essential as the beginning of a great story, but there’s a whole other element to a film which involves the visual – and even more importantly, there’s what the actors bring to the script. I learned as a writer, I have to release my script to my fellow collaborators… Directing has made me a very spare writer.”
(b) “The old cliché is true – you write one movie, you direct another movie, and you edit a third movie. You have to embrace the process that in the beginning was the word, but is gonna end up pictures.
I care about the words on the page as much as any writer who ever lived, and I try to get ‘em right. But when we’re shooting it, if there’s a better way to say it or do it, I’m the first guy to say, ‘Let’s try it that way.’… you have to let the discoveries and inventions happen. I think a good director does that. You also have to know when to say, ‘No, let’s get back to the script’. It’s a dynamic process.”
(c) “Directing a film is fascinating because you put all of your scenes on celluloid, and then you put them all together just as you wrote them, scene by scene by scene. Then you sit down and watch what’s called the assembly…
…the script for me is still truly the creative birthright of the movie. It is the writer who gives birth to a movie, not the director… A director is an interpreter. They come in and refashion the script, but it wouldn’t exist without the writer.”:
Excerpted quotes: (a) Jane Anderson & (b) Ron Shelton & (c) Bruce Joel Rubin
Tales from the Script (2010)