Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Godbooth

Richard Donner tells this story on the DVD "First works : [a revealing look at today's greatest directors]". Rather than transcribe his words from that recording a found that on E!online site, a Q&A session where he told the same story.
I was most fascinated by his use of the term "godbooth" to describe that control room from which a TV director directs.

"I was an actor on a live show in New York, and I had five lines or less. It was called Human Bondage. I was Phillip's roommate. During rehearsal, I did everything right all week. I did my three lines or my one line. It came to the night of the show before air, live. When my cue came, I said my line and went left when I should have gone right. In those days, left cued the camera, it was live, you had guys running all over the place, wardrobe being changed, and I heard this voice up in the tower, the Godbooth say "What did you do?" I heard somebody coming down what we called the Godsteps, and I knew it was the director, Marty Ritt.
And one of the actors said to me, "Bye, bye!" And he came down and he said, "What did you do, you've been going right all week!" I said, "I just thought I should go this way to get away from him, to give him some privacy." He said, "Why didn't you say that earlier? Your problem is that you can't take direction. You want to be a director." I said, "Sure." Easier said than done. He said, "You're my assistant on my next show." And that was it! I became his assistant for the next three shows. I went from that, I learned film, and I became an assistant for film."



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