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I'll Be in My Trailer: The Creative Wars Between Directors and Actors Paperback – July 15, 2006


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I'll Be in My Trailer: The Creative Wars Between Directors and Actors + John Badham On Directing: Notes from the Set of Saturday Night Fever, War Games, and More + Actions: The Actors' Thesaurus
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 219 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions (July 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932907149
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932907148
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The book is insightful, informative and easy reading.
Greg Rempel
His main goal is to facilitate the communication between director and actor, by explaining how to give direction in a way that actors can actually use.
W. Thielemans
Any aspiring or seasoned director would do themselves a big favor by buying and STUDYING his wonderful book, I'LL BE IN MY TRAILER.
L. Jacob

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Actors... can't live with them, can't fire them. Of course, actors are very special people. And of course, the main key to dealing with them is communication. However, finding the RIGHT way to communicate is often very difficult, because the way a director, writer or a producer thinks is very different from how the mind of an actor sees the creative process. (they also differ greatly from each other, but that's a whole different ballgame)

John Badham, director of some huge hits (Saturday Night Fever, Stakeout, War Games) tries to build bridges in this book, even though the title leads one to believe the tone will be fairly belligerent. On the contrary, while there are some stories about extremely bad behaviour here, Badham is being very constructive. In many cases, he puts the blame for an incident squarely on his own shoulders, even when an objective observer would think he did nothing wrong. His main goal is to facilitate the communication between director and actor, by explaining how to give direction in a way that actors can actually use. Badham himself uses the `as if'-technique (i.e. play this scene as if you got to catch the last train) to put actors in the right frame of mind. However, this approach isn't right for everyone (some actors DO want result-oriented direction), and Badham duly notes alternative approaches.

The book also provides a ton of helpful hints for almost all of the problems that can crop up on a set, acting-wise and actor-wise. When dealing with an addict, the only option is tough love. When some actors misbehave just for the fun of it or to flaunt their own power, a swift and just retribution is in order - except when you're dealing with real stars, who are beyond anyone's power to control.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By WeHaveSixFeet on November 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
Most directing books, I've noticed, are either basic primers (how not to cross the "line") or books of chatty anecdotes by major directors. Sidney Lumet's book is about the only one that gives away trade secrets, and he doesn't give many of those.

Finally John Badham has written the book I was hoping to get to read. I'll Be in My Trailer: Creative Wars Between Actors and Directors is as full of director tradecraft as you might hope, coming from the very crafty director of Saturday Night Fever, Stakeout, WarGames and The Jack Bull. Badham hasn't stopped at his own knowledge; he's interviewed fellow directors like Mark Rydell and Richard Donner, and quoted from interviews with other directors.

The tradecraft I'm talking about includes things like shooting closeups first if you're dealing with a scene that might wear out your actor emotionally (generally you shoot the master first, closeups last); the two points of view about rehearsals; what it means when an actor says, "I want to talk to you about my costume; and how not to waste your casting sessions looking important.

This book only focuses on dealing with actors. I'd love to hear what Badham and his colleagues have to say about the more subtle uses of different lenses, when to shoot at a location and when a studio, six day shoots vs. five day shoots, and other technical and production questions. But that really does deserve another book.

If you want to direct, or if you're just a writer or actor who wants to appreciate all that a director has to deal with, buy this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Miguel Ali on October 28, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've had the pleasure of having John Badham as my mentor in film directing, over at Chapman University --- I had no idea that directing is something that can be 'taught'

For aspiring and current directors, this book is a GEM ---- it gives clear instructions on how to dissect a screenplay, for the purposes of best directing, and most importantly, instruction on how best to communicate with actors and other creative staff members

The best part is that the book's directing examples show the 'right-way' to do things and the 'wrong-way' to do things ---- believe me, after reading, most aspiring directors will hit themselves over the head saying "ohhh... that's how you do it!"

For movie lovers, the book is also a great treat ----- Badham's lessons on directing are elaborated through his many experiences on set, making the book extremely humorous and entertaining as you journey with Badham through his mistakes and his successes ----- while it is a book that teaches directing, its entertainment value is one that will provide a lot of fun to any movie lover

It's a quick and informative read that anyone would thoroughly enjoy! The writing is superb and the material is easy to understand and apply ---- Professor Badham - well done!

HAPPY BUYING!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bookdynamo VINE VOICE on July 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
For those of us who can only wonder at the glamour and intrigue of show business, getting a behind-the-scenes look at what the glitterati doesn't reveal can be quite an eye-opener, and an illusion-shatterer. This book serves up a heap of insightful anecdotes, advice and wisdom from actors and directors working in the business, from difficulties in playing the part to the results of communication breakdowns to struggles with egos the size of small countries.

Director John Badham (WARGAMES, SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER) collaborated on this book with Craig Modderno of the New York Times, and together they uncover the reality behind the camera lens as thespians and directors alike deal with nasty temperaments, forgotten lines, insecurities, casting mishaps, faux pas while shooting, hostile invasions in the editing room, respect and lack of, stupid scenes, even more stupid casting tricks, and a host of other subjects that are part of the day to day process of making a film that we never hear about (unless someone gets hurt) since they don't involve walking the red carpet in a designer dress.

But what they do involve is the real human side of performing, whether you are in front of or behind the camera, and how that performance is a collaborative effort that requires the most delicate touches at times. We get plenty of lowdown from those in the biz from actors like Ed Asner, Gary Busey, Jenna Elfman, John Travolta, Candice Bergen and John Cusack, to directors like Randal Kleiser, John Frankenheimer.Michael Mann, Oliver Stone and Roger Corman (among so many others). We even hear from those who have worked both sides - Mel Gibson, Betty Thomas, Michael Chiklis.
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