I feel about Rod the way I imagine vets feel about people they’ve been in the trenches with. Of all the BEGINNERS crew, I’ve worked with him the longest. On our first job ages ago I remember saying to him, “I want it to feel as if everyone is not just working and having just another shoot day, but that we are the hosts and they are guests” - and that the set is, if not a party, at least a special, unusual, mildly sacred day. Rod brings this idea to life in the way he organizes the shoot, with so much care and respect for all the different personalities that make up the cast and crew on our ship. When you hire an A.D. you want someone with his deep rudder, his calm, his ability to see 3 problems into the future, and someone who cares as much as Rod. I love directing more than anything, I love shooting, and a big part of that is just being around all the people who work so hard, everyone wanting to do their best (and not just for you the director, but for their own sense of dignity). The importance they grant to the simplest things makes life while you’re shooting feel... very full of purpose.
I thought it would be nice for you all to meet, so I devised the following penetrating questionnaire which Rod kindly answered.
1. Favorite color and your Astrological sign:
2. If you could travel in time, to what moment, era, or epoch would you go?
Vienna 1905 (if I could speak Austrian) or Rio 1960.
3. If the number 5 was a color, what color would it be?
5 is Blue.
4. In 3 sentences, or less, how did you get into your present line of work?
Saw someone else doing it. Thought to myself "cool". Got lucky.
5. If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
I can't think of many animals that I wouldn't enjoy being for a day or two. If I got stuck as one, I'd want to be my wife's dog. Or the hawk that lives on our hill.
6. Any memory about BEGINNERS you'd like to share?
All a blur. Get back to me on that one. Oh. The sound of bagpipes on the last night sticks in my mind. How the dancing at the Halloween Party took on a life of its own and I felt bad calling “cut” because everyone was having such a good time dancing. Being front-row when Ewan and Christopher did their heavy scenes. Awesome.
7. You're leaving for a desert island tonight, forever. You can bring one book and one record; which ones?
Moby Dick and either Beethoven's Sixth or the Cocteau Twins, and I could spend my time making up lyrics.
8. If you were a character from the Muppets, which one?
The piano-playing dog
9. If you had a memoir, what would the title be?
Lies I Remember
10. If you could ask me any question, what would it be?
When is the cast and crew screening?
Lord, that's right, Rod hasn't even seen the final film! I'll ask again about our screening!