In the elite all-guy fraternity of big time directors it's a rare thing for one of their own to speak out against the excesses of the brotherhood. But notoriously difficult auteur Doug Liman seems to have forgotten his loyalties.
In an entry in a blog devoted to chronicling the development of his new film that apparently involves the moon, the Bourne Identity helmer let slip that that old "process" thing that has been used by generations of Hollywood enablers to excuse all sorts of psychotic behavior might just be, you know, creativity aside, a bunch of excuses used by megalomaniac directors and actors excuses to get away with shoving their hands down the crew's pants.
Liman himself is no stranger to taking full advantage of a directors perogatives. During the shooting of Bourne he was by his own admission, "flippant," difficult and suspicious of anything the studio did or said," moving the shoot from Montreal to Paris at least partially on the justification that it would give him a chance to practice his college french. Despite the massive success of the first Bourne film, Liman was not summoned back to direct its sequel.
Blogging now about the problem of getting adequate sleep during production, Liman tells the story of an unnamed director who made up for his missing hours at night by napping on the set, including sleeping through the climactic action scene of his film. He goes on from that point:
A hilarious thing about the movie business is that you can get away with anything as long as you call it "process." Literally, anything. I mean, he's sound asleep! The director is literally sound asleep on set - what the hell's going on here? Well, he's slept through his last three movies, and they were huge hits. It's how he works; that's his "process." He'll wake up at some point and give notes, but for now, let him catch a few Zs. I haven't been in the business that long, but at this point I can't think of a single outrageous behavior that I haven't seen occur on set and then heard excused as someone's process.
I have a friend who was directing his first feature film, and the actor who's starring in it came up to the director, my friend, and said: "Just to let you know from the beginning, I'm going to be stoned in my trailer every morning and all day long. But before anyone panics, I've been stoned in every movie I've been in, and I was stoned when I auditioned for you. You've basically never seen me when I'm not stoned. The guy that you've cast is basically stoned, so don't be alarmed that I'm in my trailer getting stoned."
Then there's the director who was known for fondling P.A.'s in the video village. Explicitly fondling them - putting his hands down the pants of P.A.s in the video village in front of everybody. And what did the studio do? They built a tent so no one could see. They created a private little video village for him so they wouldn't get sued for sexual harassment by the rest of the crew.
Of course, now that Liman has publicly revealed this, there won't be a director in Hollywood who wont demand a PA-fondling-ready Video Village be included in his contract. Doug Liman has just cost Hollywood millions in tenting fees.