Directing a Film Isn't All Terrible

A dispatch from a first-time filmmaker chronicling his experience for The Atlantic

drumming TNC 615.jpg

Making a film with limited resources can certainly be a struggle. But I feel like readers of this column—not to mention friends who flinch at the bags currently under my eyes—may have been misled to think that the past couple weeks of shooting have been nothing but a succession of trials. Not true at all. Last week, while complicated by tight scheduling and even tighter locations, was filled with high points for me. For one, we had our first real celebrity cameo: Readers of the Atlantic may recognize the dapper dude dwarfing me in the photo above. Also, we shot a sequence that will, in all likelihood, be the opening scene of the movie. It looked awesome and it helped me see the finished film in my mind more than any other scene yet has. Even more exciting: Last week we were joined by several other principle actors: Darien Sills-Evans, Gbenga Akinnagbe, and Zachary Booth. We shot our first scene with the rapper Jean Grae as well—but more on that later.

Today, we shoot a very funny bit with Lucy Walters, the lovely actress who silently enthralled Michael Fassbender in the opening of Steve McQueen's Shame. I'm jazzed—and not just because there are so few white people in my film. If you think Walters is captivating in the clip below, wait until you hear her, yunno, say words.

Presented by

Neil Drumming is a filmmaker, screenwriter, and journalist. He is a former staff writer and editor at Entertainment Weekly, and his work has appeared in Wired, The Washington Post, Vibe, Rolling Stone, Essence, and Vanity Fair.

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

More in Entertainment

Just In