Friday Questions



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  • Friday Questions

    Halfway through the month, which means we’re much closer to the 20th. Here are this week’s FRIDAY QUESTIONS.

    YEKIMI starts us off.

    I've noticed recently [and this goes back for decades] but it seems that when the credits at the beginning of a TV show/movie roll the director is always listed last. Any reason for this or is it just something that has always been done and Hollywood just doesn't like breaking with tradition?

    This is something that has been negotiated by the Directors Guild of America. If credits come at the start of a movie or TV show, the director receives the last credit. If the credits are at the end, the director gets the first credit.

    Now that’s the rule in America. Internationally, it might be different.

    From kcross:

    I remember that you would take improv classes a few years back. Have you tried any since the shutdown? How were they better (or worse)?

    Yes. I’m in Andy Goldberg’s workshop and we’ve been doing Zoom improv since last March. Usually two-person scenes with everyone else off camera.

    I have to say it works better than I thought it would. But I do miss being able to do physical comedy or just be active during a scene. Still, as a placeholder, improv on Zoom has been a great creative outlet. Scotty Watson in New York also teaches improv on line and is terrific.

    ReticentRabbit queries:

    When an actor directs himself or herself in an episode, how does that work?

    First of all, when an actor of a series directs an episode it’s usually one where he’s light in it. The hard part is obviously an actor having to judge himself and the others while performing. Sometimes they’ll have someone to rely on off-camera who can provide some feedback. Otherwise, it’s just their judgement.

    The technical part is easier because the Director of Photography or Camera Coordinator can keep an eye on the camera to make sure it’s shooting what the director planned.

    Actors are generally good directors because they know how to talk to other actors. They’ve also experienced multiple directors so they themselves know what they like and don’t like in a director.

    The only time it got weird was on this one show where supporting actors occasionally got to direct. Normally a lovely person, this one actor became Jekyll & Hyde when he directed. Snapping at people, even his fellow cast members. Then the following week he was back to his usual lovable self. I don’t know why the rest of the cast didn’t kill him.

    And finally, from DEJ:

    How long would it take you to write a half hour show if you were doing it on your own? You will probably answer, "how long is a piece of string"? but a ball park figure would be of great interest.

    It has changed over the years. It used to take me much longer when I was starting out. But now, after more years than I care to reveal, I can write a half-hour script in probably four days — three if there was really a time crunch.

    But like I said, in the early days the same script would take me two weeks. I’ve put in my 10,000 hours (probably times 5).

    What’s your Friday Question?