I met at the 101 today with a very experienced Bulgarian director. She has directed hundreds of hours of multicamera and single camera drama, comedy and childrens' programming, and has won awards in her native country. She is fluent in English, Russian, Ukranian as well as her native tongue.
This middle aged woman is a formidable presence: there is no doubt of her ability to command a set. She has taught acting as well as directed, and most important, she is a dreamer. Her head is full of ideas, delightfully free of the genre-lock that binds virtually everybody here except Charlie Kaufman.
Naturally, the idea of her directing something domestic scares the bejesus out of the usual gang. But I'm determined to break her out. She was brave enough to come here to tackle Hollywood, and I've asked her to take one of her most commercial ideas, a major spectacle feature set in an exotic time period, containing ideas and conflicts applicable to our lives, and get to work on the script. She also promised to read McKee.
How many other terrific directors with years of experience are there in the countries so chock full of studios and gear that our major directors shoot our films there to save money? Ever wonder what those studios are doing there? Cranking out pictures is the answer.
Here's a call to the world's screenwriters and directors: got a demo reel? Let's see it. Why wait and pray your picture gets distribution here and you win an Oscar?