People can rattle off the top 10 directors in our business pretty damn easy. But what about their producers? Doubtful. These guys are the silent ones behind the scenes with the biggest circles under their eyes. The most canceled vacations. The mountain of unanswered emails they have to answer at the end of each shoot night. All in the effort to make your work better. I have learned over the years, the biggest mistake a director can make is being teamed with the wrong producer. Treat the courtship as if it was a marriage because you are going to spend more time together than any husband and wife do. And when you find the right combo, your career's ascent will be huge.
What do you wish you had known when you were just starting out?
I wish that I had listened to my gut instincts about some of the people who I surrounded myself with in my career. There are those who are truly there for you and are brutally honest at every turn. And then there are the back slappers. The vampires. The ones who are there for you because they want to suck you dry. These guys aren't deadly. They are just an annoyance.
What are you still learning about the job?
There are only two givens on a shoot day: the sun rises when they say it's going to rise, and it sets when they say it's going to set. Outside of that, it's all up for grabs. And if you go into any shoot day thinking otherwise, you're going to end up with a perfectly forgettable spot.
Watch some of Bryan Buckley's spots
Read more from the 2009 Directors Special Report