2009 Directors Special Report: Traktor

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Credit: illustration by Fred Harper
What are some of the best lessons you've learned when it comes to directing?
The beauty of lessons learned is that they instantly evaporate in the face of new challenges spewing forth from the fax machine at Traktor Towers. Just when you thought you knew when to cut to a close-up, a mid-shot comes along and tickles your nether regions. So we try not to learn anything, and to walk gently over to the craft service table with a curious stride and dumplings on tap. The one lesson we truly treasure is that loyalty is everything. To each other, to crew and to those about to rock. We salute you. And others.

What do you wish you'd known when you were just starting your careers?
We wish we would have known that the color of the sofa in the background doesn't really matter. We spent many grueling hours in our formative years deciding sofa colors. The shape of the sofa, however, is a whole different kettle of juice. Better get that right! As for advice to younger directors (even though we are incredibly young), we say this: don't have your wrap party in complicated bars. You will end up getting stuck next to the client or an aggressive grip who you ignored on the shoot, and you will invariably flub your exit line. Better to go bowling. When it's your turn, you simply have to say: "Oh look, I'm up!" And you get the added benefit of putting rude names in the Bowling computer; Sam Sphincter strikes again!

What are you still trying to figure out about the job?
How to use our air miles. We have enough to feed a nation of millions, but the next available flight is in April 2011. To Brussels. One way.

Goodbye, magazine! We leave you with a poem:

Lessons We've Learned.
Here is the lesson my steam-driven friend
One that will serve you right up to the end

It's not that the script is overwritten
Or that the account girl with you may be smitten

It's not that the client can look through the lens
Or that the shot of the product makes sense

It's not that you wear a complicated hat
that makes you resemble a self-loving twat

It's not that we will fix it in post
Or suddenly demand some truffles on toast

No here is the lesson you need to digest
That will arm you for any ostensible test:

There is always some soap left under your sack
As you cross the hotel-room in search of a snack!


Watch some of Traktor's spots

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