Directors' Hidden Talents: Simon Ratigan

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Simon Ratigan
Hands are my favorite things. I find I don't use them much in directing. It's more a matter of...feet, oddly enough. It never ceases to amaze me how much time I spend on them. It's not like I'm just standing around waiting for things to happen. Sure, the process is not always a fast one, and for those not immediately involved, it must feel like time passes at an interminable rate. But if you're near to the camera or where it's happening creatively, it's intensely absorbing and time just flies. Sitting down never quite fits in.

It's just such a joy and buzz to be at the creative epicenter of a project. You've got this finite amount of time and all these talented people with great instincts and brilliant ideas, who want to share what's in their heads and be a part of the joy and the buzz. How could I possibly sit down?

I want to see everything, speak to everyone and be immersed in every aspect of the filmmaking process. Surely that's the beauty of being the director. And for me, that means being on my feet. I'm not complaining; I love it. My feet carry me and every step takes me somewhere I've never been. I can never be completely sure or in control of where that might be. But when I get there and see something I like, it feels euphoric. And, as if that's not enough, those talented people around me, more often than not, see something even better.

Maybe that's what makes directing so exciting and enjoyable. You never know when inspiration is going to strike and you're never far away when it does. In this way, every film is a series of revelations rather than executions and my feet wouldn't have it any other way.

And when I'm not directing? They get a break and I can use my hands.

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