Rob sent me this terrific interview with Martin Landau...
I really liked the part of the interview when he was asked about how he's been directed by such diverse and talented directors. He said "I haven't been directed, literally, in 30 years by anybody. I haven't been given a direction. I come in with stuff and I figure if they don't like it they'll tell me. They don't tell me. I hit my marks, I say the words, and I go home."
The great direction is in the casting. I've often said that good directing is letting good people do their jobs. We collaborate with people that share our vision.
A few years ago I did an animated show that revolved around music. I gave virtually no direction to the composer, the writer or the designer/animation director. They knew what they were doing and they were great at what they did - much better than I was at their job. To interfere and 'direct' them didn't serve the show. They 'got it' and I was constantly amused and surprised by what they came up with. They got the idea and they ran with it. The show benefited by this collaboration. I didn't need to make it 'mine'...
If it starts going off the rails then the director needs to put it back on. They are, as one great filmmaker put it, the Circus Master...
Hire and cast great people. They will make the film better. Leave your ego at the door. It's all about the film.
Crimes and Misdemeanors. Ed Wood. North by Northwest. Tucker: The Man and His Dream.
If you haven't yet, see them all. And then go for some more.