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February 20, 2018

How to Maintain Your Sanity as Director When Everything Descends Into Chaos

No matter what you've heard, the most important part of directing is keeping your cool.

In his introduction speech prior to the premiere of The Catcher Was a Spy, Sundance Director of Programming John Cooper described the film’s director Ben Lewin as the “nicest director you'll ever meet.” When you’ve got four decades of dealing with the chaos of filmmaking under your belt and can still be described as such, you know you must be doing something right. While Lewin may describe his career as a “career built on accidents,” in reality, it is his attitude and personality that keep people coming with projects again and again.

The greatest lessons Lewin’s learned don’t come from a technical, professional or even filmmaking level. They’re personal lessons. These are the type which help to maintain a working personality, sanity, level-headedness and leadership when the shit around you has hit the fan. His philosophy is to stay positive, especially between projects. Everyone knows it's hard to make a movie, so why gripe about it?

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