OK, been getting a lot of responses regarding “how to become a director”, some of them quite desperate. I personally do not have any Hollywood movie director friends or contacts so can not help personally get you face time with a big director.

I have however researched the subject and found a ebook called Film & Movie Finance which will give you the sort of information needed to get into making movies or getting a movie idea financed.

If you can’t get finance (maybe your film sucks) try the ebook Make Independent Films.

Now stop asking me to help you direct a movie, I’m NOT a Hollywood director so can not help you become one!

Hollywood

How to become a Hollywood movie director

Since yesterday was the Fourth o’ July – being born on which would, unless I am much mistaken, make you a fatalistic Cancerian like me – what better time can there be to celebrate all things Hollywood. Well, one thing Hollywood, actually: the movies the big Hollywood type directors manufacture make in those giant steel sheds there (Those would be studios, you idiot. – Dude.).

And what better way would there be to do this than by showing YOU how YOU TOO can become a Hollywood movie director. Yes – YOU TOO could see YOUR NAME in the credits (right after “Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer”) by following

Hollywood Movie Director

The FIVE-STEP ROAD (Eh? – Ed.) TO VIDEO STORE CULTHOODITUDE for wannabe Hollywood movie directors

Hollywood movie genre #1: The Claustrophobic Actioner

Director Needs: a confined space, such as a plane, train or non-military ocean-going vessel of some kind; lots of exploding stuff; breaking glass; fire axes in every corridor; the structural complexity of a Counterstrike level.

Director Wants: a Charlton Heston cameo in a room full of screens and blinking lights; a storm, flood or tidal wave; a baggage area with nothing in it that can be used as a weapon; setting: Christmas Eve or Thanksgiving.

Movie Characters:

The Action Hero: Vin Diesel type who is in trouble with his boss (who must be a black man), yet we, the audience, know his instincts are always right;

The Female Lead: – who must always be of the same ethnic group as the hero – a feisty stewardess (banter between female cabin crew-members prior to takeoff/departure about the difficulties of meeting Mr Right is essential) who is also a single mother and/or divorcee (children make good emotional leverage and can be exploited by The Bad Guy or The Asshole – see below);

The Bad Guy: likes the sound of his own voice too much for his own good, fake east European accent desirable (“Ve are doink these for Maatha Raasha”). Willingness to demonstrate own high pain threshold to terrified hostages;

The Asshole: always, always called Richard (go figure), always trying to use the situation to advance his career/make quick buck/get Pulitzer. Wears bad suit;

The Flake: talks the talk, then pisses his pants when the shit starts. Possibly desk-bound jarhead with delusions of grandeur. Uses phrases like “mission parameters” and “by the numbers”;

The Black Guy Who Knows His Shit: the only one The Hero has any respect for. Knows his way around maps/wiring schematics/Windows 98. Gets a hug from The Hero at the end.

The British Guy With The Steady Nerve And Calm Voice: he helps the feisty stewardess land the plane/stop the train/steer the ship into something other than a coastal-located kindergarten loaded with nuclear material. Only sign of stress is a slight sheen of perspiration on his stiff upper lip;

Bad Guy Sidekick: probably a German Freikorperkultur freak and/or Baader-Meinhof Gang veteran, called Hans or Gerhard. Can do unusual things with knives;

Assorted Bad Guy Minions: killed off one by one until only the mastermind is left. Have a habit of going off by themselves and poking into darkened cabins or seemingly empty baggage areas in the mistaken belief that they can ‘take’ The Hero. Are a useful source of walkie-talkies for eavesdropping on The Bad Guy’s plans.

Hollywood movie plot:

The Directors scene-setting: lots of pointless dialogue, because every Hollywood movie director must pretend – at least for the first ten minutes of the movie – that he is Quentin Tarantino. Meaningful close-ups of stuff that becomes important later on. We know who’s going to die early on because they’re the characters played by actors we don’t recognise. The more likely we are to recognise them, the longer they will live. (Analogous to the ‘red uniform’ principle in Star Trek.)

The Bad Guy makes his move: it all runs smooth and “by the numbers,” as The Flake would say. Within minutes they achieve “lock-down” and have total control of “the system.” Lots of staccato exchanges via walkie-talkie and/or mobile phone. The Hero is somehow overlooked, probably because he’s “not on the manifest” or something. The Bad Guy picks up on the stewardess’s feistiness and starts coming on to her but she’s having none of it. Some passengers are probably shot dead for illustrative purposes, in the directors cut several of the deaths are close ups in slow motion black and white to emphasis the loss of life.

The Hero scopes out The Bad Guy and his Assorted Minions. Notices the feistiness of the stewardess. Manages to get a call out to the outside world, which is “patched through” to The Black Guy Who Knows His Shit. During the call he is disturbed by one of the Minions doing a “sweep and clear” patrol. Obtains walkie-talkie.

The Bad Guy sends another Minion out to look for the first Minion. On entering the room where he thinks his fellow Minion has gone and where, unknown to him, The Hero is hiding, he says “Come on, [name here] – stop screwing around!” Is killed. The Hero obtains a gun.

The Bad Guy goes looking for the Minions personally, accompanied by Bad Guy Sidekick. Notes that the Minions were killed “professionally.” Checks passenger manifest. No joy. Delegates Bad Guy Sidekick to hunt down The Hero.

The Hero is pursued by Bad Guy Sidekick. Just as Bad Guy Sidekick – unbeknown to him – has The Hero trapped somewhere, he is called back via walkie-talkie by The Bad Guy and told to “seal the area” behind him.

The Hero escapes the sealed area with the help of the feisty stewardess. He then proceeds to make a nuisance of himself, provoking The Bad Guy to send Bad Guy Sidekick to “deal with him” once and for all. They fight. Bad Guy Sidekick thinks he’s killed The Hero, but in true James Bond villain style, doesn’t bother to make sure.

The Bad Guy “regains control” but not for long. The Black Guy Who Knows His Shit has explained to The Hero how to make the plane dive/slow down the train/alter the course of the ocean liner. The Hero decides to make his move on The Bad Guy. They fight. Meanwhile, the feisty stewardess makes it to the cockpit/engine/bridge where The British Guy With The Steady Nerve And Calm Voice is trying to explain which buttons to push, levers to pull or knobs to turn in order to land the plane/stop the train/steer the ship.

The Hero and The Bad Guy are still slugging it out. Eventually The Hero triumphs, only to realise that he and the feisty stewardess have only minutes left to prevent the plane/train/ship from impacting on cold asphalt/a cliff face/Kennebunkport. Through sheer willpower, they avert disaster by a whisker.

Emergency services arrive in droves, armed with blankets. The Hero finally gets to put a face on the voice of The Black Guy Who Knows His Shit. The Asshole gets a smack in the face from the feisty stewardess. The British Guy With The Steady Nerve And Calm Voice congratulates her on a fine landing/stopping/not destroying too much Kennebunkport beach-front property. Christmas/Thanksgiving-themed crooning over zoom-out and fade to credits.

At this point the theatre audience should depart feeling mildly violated. The movie is quickly forgotten. The dropped popcorn and snack wrappers are cleaned up off the floor of the theatre. The cleaners and lobby staff go home.

Fade to black.

(Next Week: The ‘Patriotic’ Movie)