I saw a double-header at Vancity this weekend: ROBIN AND MARIAN and CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT.

Sam and I are book people. (Did you notice that both those films are based on books? I didn’t; not at first.) Sam’s brother and friends are film people. Which made for interesting conversation in the pub afterwards.

(Relatedly, I’m developing a theory about how much you can learn about a person by which David Simon series they call their favourite. It’s the new medicine cabinet.)

I almost went to film school, and that night I figured out why it never felt right enough to finish the application. Most artists can do their art cheap and independent. Which means they can get down to the doing part faster, earlier in their lives. Painters don’t need canvas, writers don’t need MacBooks, dancers don’t need shoes. Directing is expensive and cumbersome; you can’t do it alone.

So the people who want to be directors end up talking about doing it endlessly. It’s the only thing they can do until they raise capital and hire actors. Even now, when technology allows for more freedom, there’s this tradition and mystique about what a director’s supposed to be, and the kids are still trying to follow it. I mean, I love the typewriter as much as the next writer, but I still know that to get shit done, I use my laptop. I find a pen and any piece of paper and get those ideas down.

Of course writers talk nonsense, too. Of course we do. It makes up at least half my creative process. But I write every single day. How many directors feel like directors every single day?