Monday, 8 February 2010
Finding People That Get You.
"..and some of the people that you meet on the road are really amazing people. Like you."
-Russell Hammond, 'Almost Famous'
Occasionally someone just gets it. It's the most magical thing. You might be working at it for ten years before you find one, but when you do, it makes everything worthwhile.
I met this guy last year who auditioned for two scenes in a film I did. I cast him, we shot it in one day, and we met up again a few weeks later to hang out. I haven't seen him since - we're in different continents, but he's one of them. One of those rare finds -- someone who just gets what I'm doing, and supports it, and believes in it. When he praises something I've done, well -- not much in the world feels better, or more right.
I was casting someone in the role of a war hero, this must have been five years ago. The guy I cast - his daughter saw the advert and contacted me for him. He was great in the film - but it was the daughter who went on to act in three of my recent films and eventually be my Assistant Director. Actors don't generally become AD's, but she's one of them. I can think of no better person to be on set with. She's a giant ball of positivity. We could be shooting a film where someone steals our kit and murders the cast. She would take a moment, think it through, and get everything back on schedule without moaning or complaining once.
There was this girl who came over from New Zealand, landed in London - and did one audition. It was for a short film I was doing. Her audition was great, she was perfect, but I didn't cast her. But she definitely had it. I've helped her a bunch of times with her career and she's helped me even more times. We're countries apart, but we are always involved in each others careers and lives. I cast her in a project last year. I barely had to say a word when directing her, she just got it. Because she get's me. I have this painting (which she bought for me) above the door in my room which reminds me of who she is and where she is anytime I look up.
And there's this guy in the middle of America who I've never met - he's a musician. But fuck, he GETS me. He gets my work, he gets my struggles; he's a mentor and an elder without even knowing it. He's got more class as a musician than anyone in the charts today. When we have a gripe, a complaint, a joke, a problem, a song--- whatever it is we have, we email each other. If I'm scared because I haven't written a script in a year, I email him, he tells me what to do. If I'm so excited because I've written four scripts in three months; I tell him, he understands. He's like a Brother.
We stood side by side each one fightin' for the other,
We said until we died we'd always be blood brothers
-Bruce Springsteen - 'Blood Brothers'
There's this girl in New York City who came to the neighborhood I was staying in, on the morning I was leaving, just to see me before I left. We sat down and made goals for the year-- confident we're much more likely to achieve them with the support of each other in our lives. She has this amazing, spontaneous, electric energy-- it's unlike anything I've ever known. It pops up in random ten word emails, in instant messages I find when I've left my laptop on, in Facebook wall messages linking to a video she thinks will inspire me. She's like some angel sent down to help me along the road. She's got it. Loads of it.
There's an actress I know who's moving to L.A. It's not that I'd necessarily say we're that close, it's just that--- I really believe in her. I believe in her talent, in her ambition, in how she approaches what she does. She has got it. We were emailing back and forth recently, and at the bottom of one of her emails she'd written "P.S I believe in you." Wow. That was one of the greatest things I'd ever read. It occurred to me that everyone who's ever emailed me had the opportunity to write that, and hadn't. And in every email I'd written to people I believe in, I could have said that, but didn't. She believes in me.
They believe in me. They get me. They see beyond 'structure problems' in a script or 'weird lighting' in a scene; they Get It.
And that is the precise reason why, when I finish a draft of a script, it's them I send it to.
"I'll be there to comfort you
Build my world of dreams around you
I'm so glad that I found you
I'll be there with a love that's strong
I'll be your strength; I'll keep holdin' on"
-Jackson Five - 'I'll Be There'