This subject was suggested to me by George from Academy. It sounded interesting, so let’s see if some ill-thought-out conjecture and baseless bollocks helps to make it even more so.
George thought it was worth pointing out that directors only do a job for one of two reasons: the reel or the cash.
Having thought about that for a bit, I think he’s right, but that’s partly because those two reasons cover a large bunch of sub-reasons.
Here’s an example: early in my career my head of TV managed to persuade a director who had won a BTAA gold the day before to film a script that my partner and I had written. The ads were not of the Mountain/Odyssey/Cog standard that might tempt a director because of what they might do for his reel, but the director knew that in taking the job on he was keeping my agency sweet for future jobs. It was a favour that would be repaid, either in ‘reel’ or ‘cash’. In the end it was a bit of a disaster because the director’s heart wasn’t in it 100% and his post involvement was pretty non-existent. I’ve since gone on to become a regular blogger, while he is directing Hollywood movies. How the world turns, eh?
Example number two would include those jobs where a director takes on a charity script. he might well want to do his bit for the charity in question, but there’s also the ‘reel’ to think of. Charity ads are more likely to win awards. They just are. If you haven’t worked this out yet, go to the back of the class. So the director gets to satisfy his conscience AND, if all goes to plan, get a tasty award-winner for the reel. I’m sure some directors are motivated purely by the goodness of their own hearts, but there is always that nice added bonus that plumps up the warm feeling still further.
Example number three is the one where they have this great new technique they’ve always wanted to try out. This is usually another disguise for the ‘reel’ argument. If someone’s willing to spend a bunch of cash letting them lose on the suites of MPC then that might persuade them to do a script that they would not otherwise be interested in just so they can get slapped on the back for their great ‘craft’.
However, there are a couple of reasons outside the reel and the cash that motivate directors:
One is the ‘movie factor’. This means that the director will be more likely to shoot a script if it allows them to be in LA for those all-important meetings on Final Destination 6 or Saw 12. The other way of doing this is the Tarsem technique of using up the spare time in the shooting schedule to actually shoot your own movie. Cheeky, but it worked for him.
The second is the ‘tits’ factor. Most directors are men and most men like tits, so a script that involves hot girls wearing very little might also attract certain directors who would not otherwise be interested. Hey! maybe that has helped Lynx over the years. Or maybe the scripts were just good.