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Making Short Films - Chapter 6 'The Director' Review

Clifford Thurlow Making Short Films

Chapter 6 The Director Review

For this review I will consider what I believe to be the key points from part 2, chapter 6 which explores the role of ‘The Director’.

Thurlow begins by summing up the role of the Director in filmmaking describing the main skill set as having “an eye for every small detail”, using actor Gary Oldman’s description “death by a thousand questions” to show the “multiplicity of detail” a director is faced with. Thurlow perfectly sums up in a single sentence, what I believe to be the main role of a director, to comb “the material for emotionally charged moments” and “reveal the heart of character”. This section is very informative and engaging with an easy to read style without being to text heavy and overbearing.

Sub-chapter ‘Attitudes and Morals” discusses how it is the directors role to carefully think about what the film or movie is portraying, its message and meaning. Some of the key implications are how the movie/film will be received in different countries, and different cultural or racial backgrounds. Thurlow brilliantly sums this up, saying “the directors brief is to set out ideas in new ways and allow the audience to fill in the gaps”, allowing for various interpretations to be made. He goes on to describe how a developing director would “not only be able to reveal the world in what we see, but in what we do not see”. Through my first and second year at university I have come to agree with him that sometimes “what is most interesting is what happens in the gaps between images, in the moments between moments”. Thurlows writing style in this segment is almost poetic and it really draws the reader in and makes you engage and have a greater emotional and thoughtful reaction and understanding to what is being said.

Some other sub sections of this chapter that I found interesting include:

  • Genre– sticking to what is known/accepted, or trying something more obscure.

  • Having something to say – Behrel’s Guidelines – tips and tricks

Whilst, like in previous chapters,Thurlow’s emphasis in this chapter is not on technical advice, the chapter is still very informative and provides more down to earth and hands on advice about how one can improve in a role as a director.

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