Sunday, August 3, 2014


Quick question, ever heard of 
Morgan Freeman?  

Of course you have. If you're like me you would like for him to read you a bedtime story every night and you've seen all of his movies, even the one about penguins. 

What about Scarlett Johansson?  If you're a male I'm guessing you know exactly who I am talking about (she's a total hottie- I don't blame you) and if you are a lady you probably have heard of her.  

I bring this up because they are the lead actors in a new movie called Lucy that I really want to go see and I have heard lots of people talk about and it is listed as one of the summer Blockbusters and I have seen previews for it and the premise looks amazing and those actors are great and...

my point?

I, honestly, have no idea who directed it.  I had to look it up.  

His name is Luc Besson.  Turns out he directed another little film called The Fifth Element. Without looking, I know that Milla Jovovich and Bruce Willis were in that. 

I started thinking about other movies I love.  Could I name the directors?

Dirty Dancing... nope ( Emile Ardolino)
Run Lola Run... nope (Tom Tykwer)
The Shawshank Redemption... nope (Frank Darabont)
Forrest Gump... nope (Robert Zemeckis, I knew his name but didn't make the connection)
The Silence of the Lambs... nope (Jonathan Demme)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind... nope (Michel Gondry)

Now don't get me wrong.  There are lots of movies I love (or didn't love) that I know exactly who directed.  In my undergrad as a media arts major I studied some of the "greats." Names like Scorsese, Spielberg, Tarantino, Kubrick, and the late but great John Hughes stand out in my mind as stars of their industry.  However, that doesn't mean that the work of the previous directors isn't quality material.

I have read many articles and heard interviews with a lot of famous actors who give credit to the directors of films.  They are the ones with the creative vision, the big picture idea, and the connection to all the various other teams that are needed to create great cinema.  And what do I do?  I focus on the actors.  The ones on camera.  And, usually, not the one behind the lens capturing those moments to be edited together into the story I love.  

Much like a movie, a classroom and a school doesn't just happen.  It, indeed, "takes a village."  However, in my own classroom, am I trying to be the actor?  Getting noticed for the great lessons I plan, the cool projects I introduce, and the awesome bungee chair I own?  Or am I the director?  Allowing my students to blossom and take my project to a whole other level, giving them the opportunity to shine, and stepping back so they can take the credit.  

It isn't through being the biggest voice in the room but, perhaps, the most quiet where students are allowed the opportunity for ownership, collaboration, and the feeling of personal success.  Those fine educators who do this well, I think, are the ones that have become household names in this great profession.   

As I go back to school tomorrow to prepare for the return of the students in a couple of weeks, I am going to make sure that I keep this in mind.  It isn't about me at all.  This is just my job but it is their life.  I'm going to establish some ground rules (I am still the director, after all) but then I will let them be the stars.  They are the ones I want people to remember and talk about.  I'm just happy to be a part of the "Action!"   

1 comment:

  1. Maria
    Love the analogy
    Much better than being a guide on the side
    Thanks for sharing