“Quite a number of people have asked me about ‘remote directing’ in this age of lockdown and COVID19.
Well, I have experience in directing remotely and can say, although difficult, it’s not impossible – especially if you have a good team assembled on set to actually do the filming. Obviously, a whole team is not possible with lockdown, but if you have someone in whom you trust and can communicate efficiently, it’s not too bad.
Some time a go I had to direct a scene set in Moscow from a hotel suite in Florida. I was on vacation and the production upon which I had been working needed to do some urgent pickups and they could only shoot one particular day because of artist’s availability. Suffice to say, it was the middle of the night where I was, but we set up a Skype call and they fed the on-set monitors into it – as well as another camera so I could talk to either the local AD, the DOP or the artists themselves. It actually was immensely successful as, instead of having questions from a number of sources being shot at you willy nilly, everything was funnelled through these people. Also, one could instantly see the drama of the actual shots without the distraction of the everything else that goes on around a film set.
Having said that, there is nothing better than being on set to work with actors as those little ‘off the cuff’ discussions one has with the performers puts them at ease and often results in sudden ideas and better performances.
It will be interesting to see how we all get on once the lockdown is over and we have to deal with social distancing on set!”