Thursday, July 12, 2007

Assistant Director Extraordinaire

With apologies to Ali G. my main man when it comes to assistant directors is Normann (yes, three N's- that's how it's done Skokie-style) Pokorny. Normann is my friend, occasional golf partner, and regular member of the 7am omelet club at the local diner. He is also the person who answers all my (and many of my friends') computer questions, "Hey Norm what's a USB?"

Even if we weren't friends, Normann would still be our first call for a.d. He works on the BIG Chicago jobs, E.R., when it shoots here, many films- Stuart (Smalley) Saves his Family, Normal Life and TV series such as The Untouchables and Early Edition. When not busy on those type projects, he slums it and works with us.

Most assistant directors look to run an efficient show- time is money. Normann does too, but he is also always thinking about how to make the film better. While we have worked together often, my favorite time was on this little film for the Batesville Casket Company. I had written the script and was going to direct, but I just couldn't "see" the film in my mind. I think I was so wrapped up in the writing- I finished the last draft just a day before production began- that I was burned out. So, on a dreary Saturday before our Monday shoot Normann- on his own nickel- asked me if I wanted to go to our location and we talked through the shots. The time we spent together and with Jim, pre-visualizing the film was priceless. Normann saved the day for this dumb filmmaker.

For that I say to him, "respek." Thanks Norm.


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