My First Time: Five Questions with Marc Lawrence
As part of an ongoing series this week, in anticipation of directing my first feature film, “After the Wedding,” I’ve asked some of Hollywood’s most prolific directors to share their stories on directing their first feature films, and their advice to first-time filmmakers. Luckily, they’ve agreed to share what they know. Next up is director Marc Lawrence. Marc’s films include “Two Weeks Notice”, “Music & Lyrics” and “Did You Hear About the Morgans?”. Here’s what he had to share about the first film he directed…
What was the first feature film you directed and how did it come about? Were you approached with the opportunity or was it something you created on your own?
As a director, what are some of the things you learned directing your first film that you were able to improve upon on your second feature? Did you interact with the actors differently after your first feature? What about with the crew? If so, how?
I learned not to eat a big meal during night shoots. I learned that if you are nice to the craft service people, they will make a special sandwich for you. And I learned that I tolerate keflex better than Cipro.
What is some advice you can offer to first-time directors? Anything you would have liked to have known your first time directing a feature film?
Advice is very difficult. I would say — don’t be afraid to let people know there are things that are new to you, don’t be afraid to ask questions, don’t be afraid to get input — and in the end, don’t be afraid to make the choices you want to make, the choices that will hopefully lead you to realize what you first saw in your head when you imagined the best version of the film.
What is your advice to filmmakers coping with failure? (E.g. Having trouble getting funding or troubleshooting on set.) What are some words that you live by?
Lastly, what is one of your favorite films that you would like to recommend to first time filmmakers? What is it about the film, in particular, that we should pay attention to?
Watch “The Bicycle Thief”, revel in its simplicity and directness and how powerful the emotion is, weep for a while at your inability to ever create anything that beautiful, and then go back to the computer and start writing. And be thankful you’re not looking for a job in postwar Italy.
Thank you, Marc, for sharing your story and this great advice!
You may visit our Kickstarter at: www.aftertheweddingkickstarter.com