Movie Directing Lessons – Clint Eastwood practices fiscal discipline

To be a successful director in Hollywood, you need talent; a vision; a knack for picking the right material and projects and stars; and all the leadership qualities necessary to marshal and inspire a small army of actors, crew members and production staff.

But to maintain an A-list career over decades demands some other key ingredients in the helmer's makeup -- most notably, stamina, discipline, flexibility and, perhaps above all, a healthy regard for budgets, schedules and the bottom line -- the cold, hard realities in the dreammaking equation.

And in these tough economic times, the latter qualities have become all the more important. Hollywood is strewn with the ruins and rubble of once great studios and companies laid to waste by the hubris and profligate spending of visionary -- and talented -- men (the name Cimino can still send shivers down executives' spines).

Clint Eastwood, a proud child of the Great Depression, is not one of those men. "I grew up in an era when you knew the value of a buck, and I've never forgotten it," he says. "My old man used to preach to me, 'Nothing comes from nothing, no one's going to give you anything,' and that's probably the best advice I've ever had."

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Directors, Filmmaking


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