Directors Close Up





“This book is pure gold from beginning to end. It’s an absolute must for any serious filmmaker.” – STEVEN SODERBERGH, director

“These superbly edited interviews put you in intimate touch with some of the film world’s most gifted spirits as they tell, in richly anecdotal and often humorous fashion, how they created their most memorable works.” – RICHARD SCHICKEL, filmmaker, author, and critic, Time Magazine

Since 1992, the Directors Guild of America has hosted annual seminars featuring its nominees for outstanding film directing. Since its inception, film and television director jeremy Kagan has moderated these sessions, in which the finest contemporary directors weigh in on every aspect of the filmmaking process. In this second edition of Directors Close Up, Kagan has culled the most insightful and entertaining responses from these acclaimed directors. From script development through preproduction, production, and postproduction, they offer personal insights into every step of the creative process, including their takes on the best and worst aspects of their profession. In addition to those featured in the previous edition, this volume includes all participants from 2000 through 2005 and contains personal materials from many of the directors, including storyboards, script notes, sketches, and on-the-set photos. Directors Close Up will be of interest to both professional and aspiring directors, as well as film fans who enjoy behind-the-scenes glimpses into movie making.

The interviewed nominees include:

Roberto Benigni, Life ls Beautiful

Rob Marshall, Chicago

James L. Brooks, As Good As lt Gets

Sam Mendes, American Beauty

James Cameron, Titanic

Anthony Minghella, The English Patient

Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation

Mike Newell, Four Weddings and a Funeral

Cameron Crowe, Jerry Maguire

Christopher Nolan, Memento

Stephen Daldry, The Hours

Alexander Payne, Sideways

Frank Darabont, The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile

Roman Polanski, The Pianist

Michael Radford, Il Postino

Andrew Davis, The Fugitive

Rob Reiner, A Few Good Men

Clint Eastwood, Unforgiven, Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby

Gary Ross, Seabiscuit

Martin Scorsese, Gangs of New York and The Aviator

Marc Forster, Finding Neverland

Mel Gibson, Braveheart

Ridley Scott, Black Hawk Down

Taylor Hackford, Ray

M. Night Shyamalan, The Sixth Sense

Curtis Hanson, L. A. Confidential

Steven Soderbergh, Erin Brockovich

Scott Hicks, Shine and Traffic

Ron Howard, A Beautiful Mind

Steven Spielberg, Amistad and Saving Private Ryan

Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings trilogy

Spike Jonze, Beingjohn Malkovich

Oliver Stone, JFK

Neil Jordan, The Crying Game

Barbra Streisand, The Prince ofTides

Ang Lee, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction

Mike Leigh, Secrets & Lies

Gus Van Sant, Good Will Hunting

Barry Levinson, Bugsy

Peter Weir, The Truman Show and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Baz Luhrmann, Moulin Rouge

John Madden, Shakespeare in Love

Michael Mann, The lnsider

Robert Zemeckis, Forrest Gump

JEREMY KAGAN works as a director, writer, and producer in feature films and television. His credits include such films as Heroes, The Chosen, and Thejourney of Natty Gann. He won an Emmy in 1996 for directing an episode of the series Chicago Hope. He is a professor at the University of Southern California, has served as the Artistic Director at the Sundance Institute, and is on the National Board of the Directors Guild.



Nominees in Attendance, 1992-2005

1 “How I Got Here”

2 The Script

3 Preproduction

4 The Cast

5 The Crew

6 Design

7 Rehearsal

8 Production: The Shoot

9 Postproduction: Editing

10 Postproduction: Music and Sound

11 The Best and the Worst

Appendix A Biographies

Appendix B The Directors Guild if America Nominees and Winners

Appendix C Elia Kazan: On I/Vhat Makes a Director


About the Moderator and Editor


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