When a film is acclaimed, the director usually gets the lion’s share of the credit. Yet the movie director’s job—especially the collaborations and compromises it involves—remains little understood.
The latest volume in the Behind the Silver Screen series, this collection provides the first comprehensive overview of how directing, as both an art and profession, has evolved in tandem with changing film industry practices. Each chapter is written by an expert on a different period of Hollywood, from the silent film era to today’s digital filmmaking, providing in-depth examinations of key trends like the emergence of independent production after World War II and the rise of auteurism in the 1970s. Challenging the myth of the lone director, these studies demonstrate how directors work with a multitude of other talented creative professionals, including actors, writers, producers, editors, and cinematographers.
Directing examines a diverse range of classic and contemporary directors, including Orson Welles, Tim Burton, Cecil B. DeMille, Steven Soderbergh, Spike Lee, and Ida Lupino, offering a rich composite picture of how they have negotiated industry constraints, utilized new technologies, and harnessed the creative contributions of their many collaborators throughout a century of Hollywood filmmaking.