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Ill be In My Trailer: The Creative Wars Between Directors and Actors [Kindle Edition]

John Badham , Craig Modderno
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Beneath the entertaining and instructive war stories lies the truth: how directors elicit the best performances from difficult and terrified actors. You'll learn how to use proven techniques to get actors to give their best performances - including the ten best and ten worst things to say - and what you can do when an actor won't or can't do what the director wants. Includes never before published stories from veteran director, John Badham, as well as Sydney Pollock, Mel Gibson, James Woods, Michael Mann and many more.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1456 KB
  • Print Length: 252 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1932907149
  • Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions (July 15, 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003FPN3NS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #405,376 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Crafty Directing November 17, 2006
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
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST book on Directing available!!! 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!

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Behind the Scenes Look Behind the Scenes... July 26, 2006
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great purchase!
Published 4 months ago by Floyd Wofford
5.0 out of 5 stars Badhams teaches you how to deal with those pesky actors! ;)
Any parent knows how hard it is raising kids. Children go through stages of loving you and hating you. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Forris B. Day
5.0 out of 5 stars Meisner School Of Acting
This book fascinates me. A lot of incite from a lot of directors who have made some really great movies with stories that offer a lot of incite into how to direct actors. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jon B
3.0 out of 5 stars More a textbook than a narrative
Director John Badham (Saturday Night Fever, WarGames) tells stories of Hollywood as a means of helping directors understand how most effectively to work with actors. Read more
Published on May 28, 2011 by Jim Beaver
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, great read
Badham writes a great and fun book that any director would enjoy. He gives hints about how to work with actors that are very helpful. Read more
Published on May 27, 2011 by Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real World Secrets To Directing Actors and Problem Solving on Set
I am a screenwriter and a director. I am also a screenwriting professor at Towson University. "I'll Be In My Trailer" is one of the best books written about real world directing. Read more
Published on April 14, 2011 by C. W. Anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable
Given Mr. Badham's career, the stories he has to tell, the experiences he can draw from, are varied and plentiful. Read more
Published on September 8, 2008 by Greg Rempel
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe you should read this instead of taking a class
It's been a while since I read the book, so let me endorse it by sharing with you the comment I remember telling others: I learned more about directing in a few weeks (by reading... Read more
Published on July 9, 2008 by E. Gurel
5.0 out of 5 stars I'll Be in My Trailer
I've worked in the film business for 30 years and enjoyed reading stories and tips from these film makers. Everything they say is true!! Read more
Published on March 2, 2008 by Ron Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars A Necessary Step Toward Greater Directing
No matter what the filmmaker's experience may be, John Badham's book is a necessary tool in becoming a greater director. Read more
Published on February 19, 2007 by Jolie Skidmore
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