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Monday, September 7, 2015

Directors As Hacks.

There is this wonderful documentary that can be found on Netflix.
It's called "Casting By"
It examines the extraordinary influence that casting directors have had on major films.
Most of the major directors have given enormous credit to their casting directors.
The irony is that there is no award given at the Oscars for casting directors.
They'll give them for editors, sound editors, other technical achievements, that fill up the overwhelming amount of time taken up at the Oscar ceremonies---but nothing for casting directors whose contribution is far more significant than those who receive those technical awards.
"Casting By" is a virtual love letter to Marion Dougherty generally regarded as the queen of casting.
Ignored throughout awards time because of the existing rules.
She found Jon Voight for "Midnight Cowboy", Dustin Hoffman for "The Graduate" and countless other creative major contributions to casting of major movies.
There was a major push to provide Ms. Dougherty with an honorary Oscar.
People like Robert Redford and Al Pacino wrote letters on her behalf to the head of the Directors' Guild whose attitude was that casting is merely an extension of the director's vision. The casting director deserved no credit whatsoever.
The head of the Director's Guild was this appropriately named asshole-----Taylor Hackford.
In this documentary, you get to see and hear just exactly how big an asshole he is.
Hackford's best known film was "An Officer and a Gentleman"
I never saw it, as usual, frightened away by the leading lady, Debra Winger, whom to my knowledge has never given a decent performance.
So I'm sure this movie contained not a moment of humor.
Checking his IMDB, I don't see any creative casting choices that he ever made.
There are two kinds of directors, excluding writer-directors, whom I consider to be visionaries. They are executing their own vision from their own pages.
Otherwise, there are only a handful of visionaries: Spielberg, Scorcese, George Lucas, and Francis Ford Coppola, who also writes.
Everyone else who directs movies are functionaries.
And are interchangeable.
They become directors for reasons other than how brilliant they are.
That's Taylor Hackford.
He has no writing credits to speak of.
He feels wa-a-a-ay too good about himself.
And he denied Marion Doughterty's honorary Oscar.
She died in 2011, Oscarless.
I've worked with Ms. Dougherty's disciples, and they are invaluable and wonderful.
Always providing me with wonderful choices.
And I'm pretty sure that I have a much greater knowledge of the talent pool than Hackford to begin with.
More respect should have been paid, and more awards should have been given out.
If Hackford didn't think his casting people deserved awards he has every right to tell them not to submit their names.
But he has no right to impose his ridiculous views on the rest of the industry.

----------------------------------------------------
My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download it.
They can be downloaded on IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is that you can't sign one.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

4 comments:

  1. Is it really necessary to slam other crafts in your praise of casting directors? Aren't sound editors enough of a punching bag every time someone writes an article complaining about how long the Oscar show is?
    - A sound editor

    ReplyDelete
  2. There is literally no comparison between a good casting director and the best sound editor that ever lived.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You could be qualified to receive a Apple iPhone 7.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You could be eligible to receive a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

    ReplyDelete

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at macchus999@aol.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."