2009 Directors Special Report: Jake Scott

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Credit: Skip Bolen
what are some of the best lessons you've learned about directing?
To trust your gut. And allow things to happen. You don't need to "direct" everything that goes on. It helps if you stand back and approach it more like a conductor. Listen to people—you might hear something useful. Directing is hard, finding a voice, getting your ideas to the screen. The first time I really felt I actually had this voice I kept hearing about was when I directed "Everybody Hurts" for REM. Tarsem had made an incredible video for "Losing My Religion," and I was virtually paralytic with fear when I heard that I'd been given the job, because in my mind I had to do something as good as Tarsem's....yikes! So I guess the thing I learned was that we're all different and unless you really stick your neck out you may never find that elusive voice that you have inside you. In some ways I'm still looking for mine.

what do you wish you had known when you were just starting out?
That it's alright not knowing. And ignore the people that talk down to you— they're just worried you're going to be good. Try everything and be willing to fail, you probably will at first. For me, experience is everything and daring to do something that is outside of your comfort zone builds a foundation. The problem I had when I was just starting out was that I knew everything, or thought I did. I am by nature a bit gregarious so being a director tends to inflate my ego unless I rein it in constantly. Horrible things can happen otherwise. So I guess I would say, know yourself. And behave. A little bit.

what are you still trying to figure out?
How to get more comedy scripts. How to diversify and be a better storyteller. And how not to take every comment as a criticism. Honestly, I look at the other guys too much and wish I could get the work they get. Envy is a terrible cloud that obscures creative vision. I have to battle this almost constantly. The thing we must all be conscious of is that directing is a fucking brilliant job. We get to be creative, travel, meet incredible people and sit on a dolly looking important. Remember that and you'll be able to figure out any problem that confronts you in the work. Enjoy it more..

Watch some of Scott's spots

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