I’ve spent a lot (and even for me, I mean a lot, a lot) of time thinking about how to get the best performance out of people. I don’t just mean actors, all the people I work with need to do their job to a high creative level for a film to work. What makes a performance good? It needs to make sense to the person that is doing it and it is needs to be the right performance for the film. This means there are essentially two processes in tension and it is one of the main jobs of a director to keep these these in balance so that the story gets told whilst keeping the creativity up.

So how do I as director try to keep this balance?

Firstly, I present my thoughts as clearly as possible. There’s nothing wrong with simplicity as there are an infinite opportunities for confusion.

Secondly, I treat the person I’m collaborating with with kindness. If you try to hammer an idea into someone’s head, it is likely to give them a headache.

Thirdly, mistakes happen, forgive them. (probably twice)

Fourthly, be tough. If I’ve done the first three steps I’ve earned the right to be tough. I’m the director and I have to make this film.