which one is more important : director, or script writer?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by felix_suwarno, Mar 1, 2002.

  1. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    i am not sure which one is more important. steven spielberg made a simple script of jurrasic park a movie that would be enjoyed by lots people years after years. but even he couldnt make the lost world any better than the first one.

    and now rollerball, directed by die hard director, sucks big time.

    i tend to say that the script would be the most important thing ever.
     
  2. MichaelPe

    MichaelPe Screenwriter

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    I have to agree with you that the screenplay is more important than the directing. There are some very well-directed pieces of s**t out there. [​IMG]
    It's too bad that "The Lost World" wasn't more like the Michael Crichton novel. It could have been a much better film, especially with Spielberg's great directing.
     
  3. Scott H

    Scott H Supporting Actor

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    Historically, screenwriters were the lowest of the low in the business. Until perhaps the mid 1970s.

    I would say that at the very least the screenwriter and director are of equal relevance, but more often the script is more important than who is directing it.
     
  4. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    Interesting...would I rather see Plan 9 From Outer Space directed by Stanley Kubrick or Dr Strangelove directed by Ed Wood...I have to think some more about this...
     
  5. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer
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    I think the director is slightly more important. You can have a bad script with a director that by some miracle makes it work but a good script will be ruined by a bad director every time.
     
  6. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    how many good scripts turned out to be a good movie in the hands of unknown directors?

    u571 was really good, handled by jonathan mostow whose previous works were not really popular. beverly hills bodysnatchers, for example.

    what about shrek? directed by newcomer directors. the movie was better than most disney's. or maybe these directors were actually really good, heheheh. i consider shrek as my favorite animated flick.
     
  7. David Oliver

    David Oliver Second Unit

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    I think it is like asking " Which blade on the scissors" cuts the paper?" Both are vital to making a successful movie, it is impossible to discern where one is more important than the other.
     
  8. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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  9. MatthewVielkind

    MatthewVielkind Auditioning

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    The screenwriter is by far more important than the director
     
  10. Tom-G

    Tom-G Screenwriter

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    The cliche of "you are only as strong as your weakest link" applies here. I don't value any one component of filmmaking more than anything else.
     
  11. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    Personally, I have never, ever seen a truly good movie that had a bad script. So, I would say the screenwriter is more important. Now, who's CONSIDERED more important in Hollywood is another matter -- I'd say the director.
     
  12. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    While they're both very important, I give the edge to the writer. There are lots of very well-directed films that I still find boring, and I attribute that mostly to the script. Most of the time when a great director has a less than stellar film, the screenplay seems to be at the root. Look at Hitchcock's strongest works, he had great screenplays (NxNW, Rear Window, etc.). But in his weaker ones (Torn Curtain) the script just wasn't up to snuff.
     
  13. Josh_Hill

    Josh_Hill Screenwriter

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    I'd say its the director.
     
  14. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

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    I would say that the director is the most important.
     
  15. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    a director who wrote his own script would be more important than anything else, i guess.

    now. did spielberg create saving private ryan? who came up with the idea for the first time?
     
  16. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

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    I am pretty sure that Robert Rodat wrote the screenplay for Saving Private Ryan. He also wrote The Patriot[​IMG].
     
  17. Dave Barth

    Dave Barth Stunt Coordinator

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    I couldn't begin to guess at an answer to this question.

    There's also the issue as to whether the director and actors follow the script or improvise a lot. The final cut can certainly be different than the script in a lot of ways that may improve the film greatly, or not.

    Complicating the issue, I would hazard a guess that good directors will tend to know better than to make films based off of bad scripts. I'm sure there are exceptions -- in acting, I think Geena Davis is pretty good but she chooses TERRIBLE material...
     
  18. Luc D

    Luc D Second Unit

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    The screenplay is merely the foundation. The rest is up to the filmmaker. Directors are way, WAY more important. Just think about it. Why do you think people remember the directors. From Griffith to Eisenstein to Renoir to Fellini to Godard to Kubrick and all those in between, we remember them because ultimately what made their films so great and so important to the artform is that it was their vision as directors. Yes the screenwriter is important, but what you see onscreen is because of the director.
     
  19. RobR

    RobR Second Unit

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    Good question!

    A bad director could ruin a perfectly good script. On the other hand, a good director could improve a bad script (when handed one) to a large enough extent to make a satisfying film.
     
  20. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Director.

    Scripts are a good foundation, but the director of a film coordinates the separate parts of production.

    Notice how Batman is much much better than Batman & Robin. The script could really be the same style, but it's the director who gets the film in the right shape (or wrong in case of B&R...)
     

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