Ok, I don’t have a lot of time because it’s been a long day and I still need to pack for the Virginia (Farm Story location scouting) trip, but I did want to just get out a quick blog post. I will do a longer/joint Farm Story blog post about this but I did want to take a minute and talk about the amazing week I’ve had directing a web series.
As many of you know, a few weeks ago I was brought on to direct the web series, The Jane Games. The show is an imagining of 6 Jane Austen heroines brought to modern times, who are competing on a reality dating show hosted by Jane Austen herself. The scipt is pretty hilarious and it’s gonna be really fun for the audience, but that’s not what I wanted to post about. What I wanted to post about was what I’ve learned so far directing the show.
Now, as you know, I’ve directed a fair amount of theater in my time in NYC, and I’m pretty confident in my abilities in that arena, but I have much less experience directing film. I have made a music video and a 16 minute short film, but I’ve never done anything that could be considered long form and, though each episode of The Jane Games is only about 5 minutes, there are 22 of them, and they do follow one complete story arc, so this has been quite an education. And I don’t just mean that about learning the logistics of being on a film set (some of which have started to come back to me from my PA days in the late 90′s – ah, remember that time Tommy Lee Jones scolded me and I snapped at him? Yeah, good times) or learning the art of knowing how to get the stuff you want on film so that you and the editor can build the show you want to build in the editing room later. And I’m not talking about the education of how you direct – how you talk to actors, how you tell the story, how you skew the characters’ and story arc to show your idea, your “vision”, turns out all of that stuff is actually the same whether it’s film or theater (and it was amazing to me, that about 15 minutes into the first day, it just felt normal. It was just directing – (directing with much less rehearsal time than I’m used to) – but directing all the same). The education I’m actually talking about was the tiny miracle that came with this experience. You see, I’ve gone through my life, particularly my adult life, knowing I was born to be a director – theater, film, tv, whatever – but it’s really hard to go through life knowing that and yet not having had the opportunity to really test the “film, tv, whatever” part of that statement.
So, now that I have seen the footage we’ve shot so far and now that I’m starting to picture the very funny and fun narrative we’ll be telling, I can actually say (with some real knowledge of the fact) that I was right. Turns out I was born to do this. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a relief, a revelation and…an education.