Not too long ago, I posted an article written by a local journalist about how directors need to direct. Recently, our local productions have also been under fire for unoriginal content, incoherent plot, inaccurate facts and poor performances. So much has been said and clearly the problem is glaring at us defiantly. It’s not about to go away and leave us alone.
If people are losing interest in local content, it is a worrying phenomenon, not because it impacts my job, but because local content helps shape our media scene which is something unique to us. If it’s strong and vibrant, it helps puts our country on the global stage, and allows us to bask in collective pride; if it’s unworthy and disconnecting, we lose a common relation.
I feel strongly that something needs to be done to revive the passion but I don’t know where to start. What I do know though, is that it’s going to take a lot of people and a lot of effort.
What are your views?
I have always admired Clint Eastwood as both an actor and director. He has the ability to transform ordinary stories into emotional journeys. He doesn’t milk moments to evoke sympathy, he doesn’t abuse close-ups to prove his actors’ suffering, he doesn’t need fancy cinematography to create mood and atmosphere. That is what makes a remarkable director.
If we put the acting chops aside and look at the production process, you will realise a lot of what we see, is the result of various decisions made by the director.
It is the director, not the actor, who decides whether any take is ok or not. It is the director and editor, not the actor, who finally piece the rushes together to tell a complete story. It is the director, not the actor, who decides what music and sound effects to put in, fading in and out at which point and to sustain for how long, that can complement an actor’s performance or create mood; It is the director, not the actor, who eventually decides out of so many takes for one particular action, which one to use; whether to cut an expression shorter; or what shots to include before and after a moment that can change the dynamics of the story. These decisions all impact the final product and performance of actors. Being a director is not easy because it comes with heavy responsibility.
While actors are important assets in a production, the role they play in the production process is very limited.
As such, what does an actor turned director like Clint Eastwood have to share in an interview in the latest issue of Men’s Journal (US)? I think much can be learnt from the maestro.
Excerpts from the interview can be found below.
我一直都很尊敬 Clint Eastwood，也很喜欢看他导的电影。因为他可以成功的让一个很平凡或很乏味的故事，在不煽情的情况下，感动观众，扣人心弦。
以下是身为演员也身为导演的Clint Eastwood 和 Matt Damon在美国杂志“Men’s Journal” 里访问的语录。
“He [Damon] knows. He instinctively knows. When he directs he’s going to be great at it. Because he understands actors, and all you have to do is have some compassion for the process.” – Clint Eastwood, predicting success for Matt Damon.
“如果 Damon 当导演，他将会很棒。他的直觉敏锐。他也了解演员，所以他只需要对过程表示同情。” － Clint Eastwood 相信 Matt Damon 会成功
“It’s easy to fall into that trap of following what’s being made now, what people like, but if you fall into that calculus, you’re already completely fucked. You have to do something that you believe in and that you like.” — Matt Damon believes that the proper use of power is the pursuit of independence.
“我们如果跟随大众的喜爱，和目前现有的作品来决定制作的方向， 我们就惨了！你必需跟着自己的直觉，自己的喜爱。” －－ Matt Damon
“Budget-conscious Eastwood — beloved of money men, crews, and actors alike because he doesn’t squander precious time, needlessly tinker with the script, or cover his artistic ass by shooting every scene from multiple angles”
“Eastwood 精打细算，非常受到台前幕后工作人员的爱慕 －因为他不浪费时间，不无谓的修改剧本，也不会为了发挥个人的创意而多余地从每个角度取镜。”
“It’s futile to follow fashion — not because fashion is contemptible, but because it’s unpredictable.”
“Go placidly among the noise and haste.” — Morgan Freeman summing up Clint Eastwood’s philosophy. In other words: “Do your job, help others do theirs, and then relax and let what happens happen.”
“在吵杂和仓促之余，温和地前进。” －Morgan Freeman 谈 Clint Eastwood 的哲学。其实也就是说：“做好本分，帮别人做好他们的本分，然后就放轻松，让一切该发生的发生。“