I’ve been watching a lot of behind the scenes clips lately for a few shows and movies. I saw one in particular from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (I know, I’m obsessed…what can I say?)
In the clip, the Executive Producer comments jokingly that a camera should’ve been put on the director, Chris Columbus, because he was working with three completely inexperienced child actors and so everything the kids put up on screen was a reflection of what Columbus was doing off-camera through his direction.
This struck me as enviable. Why? Well, look at it from a writer’s point of view. Actors stand in front of a camera–they’ve memorized their lines, they’ve done their best to get into character and to be able to draw that emotion out for the camera. But really, if they fail, the director is there to call, “CUT!” and then explain how they should do it the next time.
“You’re not showing enough alarm on your face. This is the worst thing that could possibly happen to you. And once more! ACTION!”
Right? You’ve all seen it happen that way. Actors get cut after cut after cut…they end up with countless outtakes until they’ve hit their mark perfectly and it all falls into place. THIS is what goes into the film or into the show/broadcast. You don’t see their failures or their pathetic attempts (until the blooper reel, yeah!).
As a writer, I sometimes wish there was someone like a director to stand over my shoulder and point out when I’ve gone wrong.