Friday, June 8, 2007

Bruce Campbell's Tips on Directing

In 2005 shortly after I had wrapped shooting on Monster Cops: The Midnight Special, Bruce Campbell came to Dallas as he was on his Man With The Screaming Brain tour. You bet your ass me and my wife went. We got his autograph at Barnes and Noble (he was promoting Make Love The Bruce Campbell Way) and then saw him present his movie at the Magnolia in Dallas. It was a blast. The featured pic is of my wife as we had just caught Bruce after the screening.

Earlier in the day, at his book signing at Barnes and Noble, as he was signing my Boomstick Edition of Army of Darkness, Bruce asked me what I did. Like the silly little fanboy I am I geekily said "I'm an independent filmmaker." He replied, "Well Patrick, get to work." And then he smiled as he handed me back my freshly autographed DVD. This would've been less comical if he hadn't immediately followed that up with "And don't touch the ink, cuz it doesn't dry very fast."

I've met Dennis Hopper, got autographs from all of The Kids In The Hall, except for Bruce McCulloch he wasn't there for some unknown reason, Bruce Campbell was the first one to make me feel a little star struck. The Evil Dead movies were a huge influence on me because it was the kind of movie I wanted to try to make and also because understanding how Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, and Robert Tapert started out, made me really relate to them as filmmakers. Bruce always felt like one of the guys that made it big and made it the way the rest of us could make it. And here I got to meet him.

I find myself perusing Bruce's Official Site and I find one of his blog posts interesting and quite useful for all us indies. I repost it for you here. It's entitled:


1. Communicate, communicate, communicate!

Actors must be aware of your intentions - even how you are photographing them (to some extent) so that they can serve you and the film better. The same goes with all of the department heads - they must know what you want, or else they cannot give it to you.

2. Don't get all wrapped up in Storyboards, cool shots, lenses, etc. any more than your story demands.

Don't forget things like blocking, characters, and MOST IMPORTANTLY - a working script that doesn't suck!

3. Getting 40 set-ups in a day isn't always the goal. It isn't a contest - 40 shots of what? And how rushed do you have to be to get that? How about 20, really good, planned out shots? making the film shouldn't be a zoo, unless your producers are idiots.

4. Don't neglect the proper shooting process. First thing in the morning (and at the beginning of each new scene to be shot), clear the set, work with the actors to establish/sign off on blocking, then show the scene to all concerned departments, then get the actors out of there and line up with stand-ins and light - then bring the actors back in and shoot. It sounds horribly basic, but so many people forget/never know the correct procedure.

5. Work your little, doughy ass off!

See the original blog post HERE

See his official site HERE

I eagerly await his current movie MY NAME IS BRUCE

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