Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why John Badham will be on our show

Trouble on a set almost always means trouble for the finished product. A project can go from a “can’t miss” to a “can’t get made” in the span of one bad conversation. Problems stemming from “creative differences” can hobble a production, especially when they are between actor and director. Now, Badham and Modderno offer a way to build a bridge between creative differences for those who work in the film industry with I’ll Be In My Trailer: The Creative Wars Between Directors and Actors.

Drawing from his own moviemaking war stories to illustrate his points (like the night John Travolta refused to do his scene in Saturday Night Fever or the day Richard Pryor walked off the set of The Bingo Long Traveling All Stars and Motor Kings), Badham imparts hard-earned insights with the wit, honesty, and humility of a man who truly loves and respects his craft. In clear, engaging language Badham details how to create an atmosphere of trust on any creative project, and how to cultivate and maintain healthy, productive, mutually beneficial relationships with coworkers on set.

A veteran of over 30 films, Badham not only drew from his own extensive experience, but he and Modderno also tapped some of the industry’s top directors and actors for their thoughts on that most intimate and delicate of creative partnerships – the one between actor and director. Directors including Steven Soderbergh, Oliver Stone, Richard Donner, Martha Coolidge and Sydney Pollack, and actors Martin Sheen, Stephen Collins, Mel Gibson and Richard Dreyfuss, each share lessons learned and offer opinions and advice on what exactly is needed to create a great film. The book also includes conversations with Hollywood legends John Frankenheimer (to whom the book is dedicated) and Anne Bancroft, who both were interviewed shortly before their passing.

“So many of us are trained in the technical aspects of film, but have no idea how to successfully collaborate with other artists,” says Badham. “This book is about understanding actors and getting over your fear of working with them.”

“Where was this book forty years ago when I started directing?” adds Arthur Hiller, former President, Academy of Motion Pictures & Directors Guild of America.

I’ll Be In My Trailer: The Creative Wars Between Directors and Actors offers movie fans a rare snapshot of how the creative process unfolds behind the scenes, and gives an instructive and entertaining look at ways one can overcome some of the unique challenges an artist is faced with when working in the collaborative medium of film. Badham guides directors on how to articulate their vision to others without alienating their cast and crew, by boiling down the dramatic action into usable, actable verbs.

Both actors and directors can benefit equally from this guide, which includes both practical, how-to instructions on technical matters and invaluable tips on navigating interpersonal issues, which as anyone who’s ever had to work on a team well knows, are far less cut and dried. From minimizing miscommunication to navigating personal politics and harmonizing a cast of contrasting personalities, this book will show directors how they can elicit the best performances from actors…and keep their names attached to projects as opposed to the tabloids.

About the Authors

Badham has earned the reputation of being an “actor’s director” through a career impressive in its range and diversity. In 1977, he guided a then-unknown Travolta to worldwide fame with Saturday Night Fever (a cultural milestone that launched the disco era and went on to become one of the top-grossing films of all time). His career hit another high point in 1983, when two films he directed that year, Blue Thunder and WarGames, received four Academy Award nominations. Since then he’s collaborated with such luminaries as Laurence Olivier, Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson, Johnny Depp and James Garner in films that have won both critical praise and box office success. Other films Badham has helmed include Point of No Return (1993), Short Circuit (1986), Bird On A Wire (1990), Stakeout (1987), Another Stakeout (1993), American Flyers (1985), Whose Life Is It Anyway? (1981) and the stylized Dracula (1979).

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