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Book Details

Title:   I'll Be in My Trailer
Author:   John Badham, Craig Modderno
Times Read:   1
Last Read:   07.25.12

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Notes History
Date Read Note
07.25.12 I bought this thinking it would be full of gossippy anecdotes about specific actors being primadonnas on sets of specific movies. What I got was a text book for directors on how to handle actors. For all the books I've read and special features I've watched, I've never ever had any exposure to anything even close to what this book focuses on. I feel like it's the missing link in my own personal little amateur learning course on how to make movies. I've always wanted the special features to show somebody do a take, follow the director as he walks up to an actor, listen to what he tells them, then watch the resulting take to see actual honest-to-god direction actually take place. The only place I've seen it is on the Frighteners DVD when the camera films 40s minutes of raw principal photography, and that is in the midst of all the myriad technical details that take place between each take. This book is really the first time I've ever heard any director speak about what he actually does and not say it in some vague impressionistic way so it sounds good as an interview question or comes off as self-important and abstract because James Lipton is the one asking the question. So the book is structured like a text complete with summaries at every chapter and a detailed table of contents so you can revisit certain sections if you ever need a refresher. This book should be taught in all film schools I think. I learned so much in how to actually handle actors so much so that in my vague fantasy of one day making a movie I am no longer at a loss to what I'd actually be doing there other than lining up awesome shots and having everyone worship at my little director's chair. It's chock full of what I take to be vital advice and instruction, sourced from a ton of interviews with actors and directors and written as clearly as possible. It's also weird to read a book that quotes another book that I've read. Badham talks quite a bit about differing opinions about rehearsals and mentions Sidney Lumet's favored style which I've read all about in his excellent book. It was a weird connecting-the-dots moment that usually only happens to me when I'm reading another book on film noir or something like that. So i really enjoyed the book, not so much in an entertaining way as much as an educational one. If I ever do find myself on a set trying to get an actor to act, I now feel comfortable in doing a good job. Indespensable reading for any aspiring director.



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