Ideal Background for a Director

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Ideal Background for a Director

Postby Col Klink » Oct 15, 2018 6:17 am

Since C.S. Lewis was really influenced by medieval literature, it might be a good to get a director or directors who are familiar with that. However, I can't stand medieval literature myself. (Sir Gawain and the Green Night? Hate it. The Canterbury Tales? Hate it. Beowulf? Wait a minute. That's not from the Middle Ages, is it? Eh, close enough and I hate it.) So I sort of hate to inflict that kind of literature on an innocent director. :))

What kind of background and interests do you think the director or directors should have? And can you name any directors who fit the profile?
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Re: Ideal Background for a Director

Postby fantasia » Oct 15, 2018 8:04 pm

I really only have one requirement for a director, and that's that they love the material. If they're only here for a paycheck, then I'm not going to be terribly supportive of him/her.

As a side note, something I was thinking of the other day is that we're all so used to the idea of a single director. But if they end up doing a mini-series, will they use multiple directors?
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Re: Ideal Background for a Director

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Oct 18, 2018 3:27 pm

Well, in 1962, The Christian Century asked C. S. Lewis what books did the most to shape his vocational attitude and his philosophy of life, and this was his answer:

1. Phantastes by George MacDonald.
2. The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton.
3. The Aeneid by Virgil.
4. The Temple by George Herbert.
5. The Prelude by William Wordsworth.
6. The Idea of the Holy by Rudolf Otto.
7. The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius.
8. Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell.
9. Descent into Hell by Charles Williams.
10. Theism and Humanism by Arthur James Balfour.

It would be nice if a director was interested in doing some reading to get into Lewis's head! (I've a number of titles to add to my own reading list now...)

I agree with fantasia that the director needs to love the material, but I also hope that they have an interest in Lewis himself and what made him tick. I feel like someone who understands the man behind the stories is going to have a better understanding of Narnia in general. Especially if they are seeking to expand or explore the stories in a significant way.

Watching Star Wars get rebooted with the new Disney trilogy has left me thinking that even people who grew up with Star Wars just aren't going to approach the stories the same way as George Lucas, no matter how much they love the original trilogy. Lucas was drawing so inspiration from so many different places for those films — Flash Gordon, spaghetti westerns, and the jidaigeki adventure film The Hidden Fortress, just to name a few — and someone without that particular imaginative background is going to have a very difficult time creating the same experience, no matter how much they try to be faithful to what Star Wars means to them.

I'm not suggesting George Lucas to direct, but his creative hodgepodge definitely calls to mind the mythological mishmash of Narnia with its Greek gods and beavers with sewing machines.

With Andrew Adamson, we had someone who had loved the books from childhood, but even that may have been a hindrance in a way. "I said very early on that I don't want to make the book so much, as I want to make my memory of the book," he famously said in a 2005 interview. Obviously his experience of the story worked very well in many ways, but when I watch the movie, it often feels like a lot is missing. I feel like a director (and writers, for that matter) with a little bit of a ghostwriter streak might do a better job getting into Lewis's head and world. Or far better: someone with a genuine love for the myths and stories that influenced CoN.
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