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in Filmmaking
on May 15, 2006

The Guardian has a good piece up written by director Whit Stillman in which he discusses his eight-year absence from the director’s chair. It’s a fascinating and all too recognizable tale of stillborn projects, grand plans, and moments of serendipity. Stillman is headed to Cannes this week at which he’ll pitch a new project, but before we meet him there, he wants us to know what he’s been doing the last decade. In doing so, he offers some wisdom that should not be forgotten as we scan the trades this week:

Silence is one of the greatest and least used weapons in the film business arsenal. The best rule seems to be: when a project is completed or nearly so, don’t shut up about it. But when it’s still in its early stages, don’t say a word. That rule will be massively violated next week when the annual Cannes non-existent-film festival gets under way. This event, running parallel to the actual film festival – or the festival of actual films – features the trumpeting of entire slates of films that will never be made, at least not by the people announcing them.

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