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The Working Director: How to Arrive, Survive and Thrive in the Director's Chair Paperback – February 1, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
According to Wilkinson, numerous volumes have been devoted to the "A" director who helms blockbusters. This snappily written, candid and informative book addresses the other 95% of the world's directors: working "helmers" (Variety-speak for "director") like Wilkinson who lack absolute power and must answer to producers. Told briskly, in the style of an old, trusted friend, this narrative about "getting work, doing work, getting more work" recognizes the competitive nature of the business. But Wilkinson, who has directed independent features, network TV movies and TV shows, believes talented people can break through. He discusses the value of agents, assesses whether "to schmooze or not to schmooze" and analyzes a director's responsibility to come up with a viable cast and valid ideas about film style, script, location, crew and shooting schedule. On a personal level, Wilkinson stresses the need for directors to recognize their strengths and weaknesses and gain a clear idea of how others see them. He covers multiple details of pre-production, casting, storyboarding, mixing, editing and choice of music. Above all, he emphasizes extreme care: after a take, a good director will say, "That was perfect—we're going again." That assertive precision is evident throughout this meticulously organized book, one that should prove highly useful for aspiring directors. Photos.
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The book is full of tips on not only how to survive but also be effective in what one does.
This book made me grow as a person. Talent is great to have, but attitude and proper procedures is what takes most of us forward and this book teaches us that.
I think all professionals should read this, no matter what field they work in as it teaches working procedures which can be adopted by many.
Looking forward to reading next edition!
I am an actor who had a directing gig fall in my lap, and will be in Australia at the end of the year DIRECTING a circus movie! No formal film school, (beyond my degree in acting), so I've been interviewing everyone I know who has directed films, and reading every book I can find on 'Directing The Film', directors on directing, Dmytryk "On Screen Directing", "The 5 C's of Cinematography"... and MANY others. Hands down, this is the most useful and practical. ...Followed by The 5 C's.
Thank you Charles Wilkinson. It is my fervent wish to meet and work with you someday.
~ Jordana Capra
By Charles Wilkinson
Review by Pi Ware
Many are the books which lay out the technical processes of directing. These types of manuals instruct the aspiring director in how to choose lens sizes, how to stay on the correct side of the 180 degree line, and how to stage eyelines for multiple actors in a dialogue sequence.
But what about getting a job? How do you do that? Or once you've staged your multiple actors in a dialogue sequence, what happens when one says, "There's no f-ing way my character would say that line!"? And how exactly should you comport yourself when the transportation department offers you a ride in the Shelby Cobra stunt car?
Real-world questions like these are addressed in Charles Wilkinson's new book, The Working Director, (Michael Wiese Productions, $22.95) The book is written in an easy, informal style and deals not simply with the technical aspects of directing but with the day-to-day politics of pursuing directing as a career.
Wilkinson takes you on a ride through the entire process: moving to town, setting up shop, applying for and getting the job, casting, pre-production, production, post-production, even the wrap party. While learning how to get the shot correctly is the focus of most technical manuals, learning how to get the shot quickly, effectively and within the given budget is the focus of The Working Director.
The majority of The Working Director is eye-opening. It's a kind of "things they never teach you in film school" book, a book that informs you of more than the department heads' responsibilities, a book that invites you into the mindset of the main players. The one drawback of Wilkinson's book is the author's assumption that the reader has an intimate knowledge of such terminology as "banking time" and "owing setups". This type of film jargon distances the writing from all but the most seasoned professional.
But overall, The Working Director is instructive and enlightening, offering countless real-world tips on how to stay calm, cool and collected in one of the world's most stressful jobs. And thus, The Working Director is a must-read for anyone seriously considering a career as a director of film or television.