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why is the writer often not the director of a movie?

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why is the writer often not the director of a movie?

Old 12-02-06, 04:26 AM
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why is the writer often not the director of a movie?

doesn't the writer know how he intended the the scene to play out while writing the script? wouldn't the writer be the best person to direct the movie?
Old 12-02-06, 04:30 AM
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No. It takes different skill sets to direct a film as to writing one.
Old 12-02-06, 04:42 AM
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Some writers can do both. But, most writers are only good at creating dialogue and setting up scenes. It's the directors job to translate what is on paper to visuals. He or she is also responsible for how a scene is lighted, what kind of money he has to shoot a scene and he or she also has hands on involvement in the editing/audio process. I agree as Fincher said it's a different set of skills.
Old 12-02-06, 04:48 AM
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Ditto to the different set of skills. A writer is also, more often then not, in love with the stuff he wrote and may not cut out stuff necessary to cut because of that fact.
Old 12-02-06, 06:46 AM
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That's like asking why a Car designer isn't on the factory floor sodering the metal pieces together.

Why are comic writers not the same person who is the artist of the book?

yeah.. I thought so.
Old 12-02-06, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Jackskeleton
yeah.. I thought so.
But...but...

Yeah, I got nuthin'...
Old 12-02-06, 08:29 AM
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Yes,very different skills are required, but there is (in many cases) another consideration: a writer can sit at home and do his job by himself, while a director must be able to oversee dozens (if not hundreds) of different crafts people, coordinating all of them. Writers do not need any managerial skill (except for managing their own time and effort).
Old 12-02-06, 09:50 AM
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Film is a visual medium. Writing is verbal. I fear most writers' attempts at film direction would be very static and talky, and uninteresting to look at. I think painters or cartoonists make better directors than writers. Look at guys like Fellini, Hitchcock, or Greenaway (to name just three.)
Old 12-02-06, 10:28 AM
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Well, at film school, I was a good writer and a crap director. Use the best man for the job.

What's the line from "Les Miserables"? "Why not let the best potters throw pots and the best glazers glaze"? Something like that.
Old 12-02-06, 01:14 PM
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Writers can have visions, but they may not know how to bring them to life. In smaller movies writers often do direct (not to mention sometimes fund) the material because they are comprised of mostly dialogue and not many money shots.
Sometimes a writer of smaller movies might pen a larger scale movie, but he would have no idea how to handle it all. Also, it would be a lot more difficult, or so I think, to convince a writer to chop up his "baby" so to say for the sake of saving money.

For instance, Kevin Smith has the writing skills to pen an epic superhero story (or not, I liked his script for Superman Lives for the most part), but I doubt he would know what to do with all the money and people it would take to realize it.

Last edited by Dr. DVD; 12-02-06 at 01:17 PM.
Old 12-02-06, 03:02 PM
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Yeah but when writers write they are often visualizing camera angles and how scenes would be set up. At least I do when I write screenplays. I can understand why some writers don't direct but I like to think that most of them could. They just don't get the chance to until their 2nd or 3rd movie.
Old 12-02-06, 03:02 PM
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Well, granted that the jobs take different skills, but a huge number of directors have done writing in some form for a significant number of their films. Just off the top of my head:

Fritz Lang
Preston Sturges
Francis Ford Coppola
John Huston
Billy Wilder
Quentin Tarantino
Lawrence Kasdan
Nicholas Meyer
Orson Welles
Sam Fuller
Luis Buñuel
... and just about anyone associated with the French New Wave (Goddard, Truffaut, Rohmer, Melville, etc.)

Just guessing, but I'd think that the most common background for directors would be starting out as writers. Counter-intuitively, perhaps, probably the least common might be cinematographers (again, just a guess). I can think of only a few:

Jack Cardiff
Nicholas Roeg
Ernest Dickerson
... more???
Old 12-02-06, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by obscurelabel
Well, granted that the jobs take different skills, but a huge number of directors have done writing in some form for a significant number of their films.
What you conside a "huge number", I consider an almost insignificant percentage. True, some very small amount can do both.
Old 12-02-06, 07:06 PM
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Because they are two entirely different professions.
Old 12-02-06, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by obscurelabel
Counter-intuitively, perhaps, probably the least common might be cinematographers (again, just a guess). I can think of only a few:

Jack Cardiff
Nicholas Roeg
Ernest Dickerson
... more???
Jan de Bont.
Old 12-02-06, 10:24 PM
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Why don't police officers put out fires?
Old 12-02-06, 11:32 PM
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Wow, not a good analogy.

I've been racking my brain for a good analogy but all I can think of is comparing it to the military as the guys who draw up the plans for a mission and the people that execute them.
Old 12-03-06, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
Yeah but when writers write they are often visualizing camera angles and how scenes would be set up. At least I do when I write screenplays.
I do too, but imagining is one thing and actually accomplishing it is another. This is not to say that a writer can't learn to direct, but it certainly doesn't come naturally (to most of us, anyway).
Old 12-03-06, 02:34 PM
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Just watch the first season of "Project Greenlight." Afterwards, you'll have an answer to your question.
Old 12-03-06, 03:11 PM
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Why don't architects build the houses themselves?

Why doesn't Howard Shore perform all the music for his soundtracks himself?

Why don't writers not just write and direct, but play the parts as well? After all, they know better than anyone how the characters are supposed to act!

It's easy to remember the great writer/directors because, like Peep says, they are a such very small percentage of the total. We forget all the directors who tried to write and did a bad job or writers who tried to direct and flopped.
Old 12-03-06, 03:39 PM
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I would love to be a director. I often translate thingas visually into a movie in my mind. I critize DPs or shots or how a movie is done.

I rarely do that for the story. The story isn't always what I see. I would be an awful writer and honestly never thought about doing it.

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