2009 Directors Special Report: The Perlorian Brothers

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The Perlorian Brothers: Ian Letts (left) and Michael Helfand
The Perlorian Brothers: Ian Letts (left) and Michael Helfand Credit: Barry Parrell
Good advice from the Perlorians
1. Once somebody said to us, "Don't think you're making art films. You are not making art films." Maybe he was trying to give us advice. Actually he screamed it at us. It was: "DON'T THINK YOU'RE MAKING ART FILMS! YOU ARE NOT MAKING ART FILMS!" Actually he was another director. And he had a British accent. And he made the strangest arty little commercials you can imagine. And he was crazy. And not very nice. He insisted on speaking French most of the time, which was funny because he wasn't even French. Do you want to know his name? Please. That's not our style.

2. It's important to try things on from wardrobe when you are wardrobing your actors. That way you'll know what looks good on you. If there are hats or glasses or a shirt you like, it's important to wear them during the wardrobe session and maybe to keep them on after the session ends and to wear them to set the next day.

3. One thing you may not know about being a director is the insane amount of money commercial directors make. It's really changed our lifestyle being able to buy anything we like—rare oil paintings, bronzes and other objets d'art.

4. Being vulnerable is not the same as being weak.

5. Recently during a pre-production meeting where many of the clients were unable to attend and instead chose to participate via teleconference, the creative director (a world famous creative director by the way, you'd recognize his face and name—that's for certain) scribbled a note on a piece of company stationery and slid it to us while one of the clients rambled on over the speakerphone. The note read: "On the shoot, do what you know is right."

6. After every take shout "Do it more naturally!" at your actors and eventually you'll get what you're after.

7. One thing you may not know about being a director is that after you join the Directors Guild you suddenly start to receive tons of mail. More mail than you ever imagined you would receive in your whole life. So, if you are one of those people who loves to receive mail, being a director might be a great job for you.

8. Flawed is better than boring.

9. Shimmering and beautiful is better than flawed.

10. If you have a co-director, you can go to the bathroom whenever you want. It's great. During pre-production meetings, during casting sessions. On set. Seriously. You never have to feel like you're missing something or that something won't get done. It's just: "I'm going to the bathroom, talk to my co-director if you need anything." One piece of advice we would give to a young director is get a directing partner because then you can go to the bathroom whenever you like.

11. Fake beards compensate for a lot.

Watch some of The Perlorian Brothers' spots

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