From Ron Howard's MasterClass

Collaboration: Part 2

While collaboration is central to Ron’s process, he warns against directing by committee. Directors need to have the confidence to hear everyone, but listen to themselves.

Topics include: Apollo 13 Collaboration • A Collaborative SOS • Mine Collaborative Brain Power • Hear Everyone But Listen to Yourself

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While collaboration is central to Ron’s process, he warns against directing by committee. Directors need to have the confidence to hear everyone, but listen to themselves.

Topics include: Apollo 13 Collaboration • A Collaborative SOS • Mine Collaborative Brain Power • Hear Everyone But Listen to Yourself

Ron Howard

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Apollo 13 was a project that it was easy to fall in love. With we all became very passionate about it. One of the real champions of the verisimilitude, the honesty, the seeking the truth in the story was Tom Hanks who loved the space program. The initial screenplay was very entertaining, but there were some situations, some scenes, where things were sort of combined, slightly exaggerated for drama. And Tom would always say, why are we doing that? Is that really what happened? And I actually wrote on the cover of my script finally to tell the truth. Just show it. Because I began to trust that. And it was really the first time that I developed that trust in the ideas. And it was the first time I worked on a story that was based on real events. But again, one of the great triangles was in fact Dave Scott who was an Apollo veteran and an ex-commander who was our technical advisor. Tom Hanks and myself simply sitting with transcripts, and Tom wanted to understand as a commander what these various procedures might mean. And we wound up getting so much suspense and gaining so much drama simply by going through a process that began as sort of a technical understanding of a procedure. And wound up turning into a character moment, a moment of decision, a moment of suspense, that I was able to identify and do something with that would inform the camerawork, would inform the editing. But it would come out of these quiet three way conversations that were more informational than creative. And yet I think every conversation you have around the problem solving of a movie or a television show is ultimately a creative conversation. It was an important moment where I really availed myself of some relationships that I was lucky enough to have as a director, and I was timid about it at first. But I was going into a Beautiful Mind. It was the most serious movie that I'd made at that point in my career. And I had done a lot of rehearsing and preparing of movies. I loved to stage. I loved to rehearse ahead of time. But they generally were lighter movies or a little more action oriented. And it wasn't so much about mining these deep psychological minefields and these troubles, and setting the stage for triumphs that were supposed to be monumental for the character and for the audience, but in fact were small, small things. And we were about to begin rehearsals, and I decided that I would call on some people I really admired who I knew just enough to be able to send a call out, kind of an SOS of sorts. And it was a Martin Scorsese, Mike Nichols, and Sidney Lumet. And they're three directors whose dramatic work I admired. And I knew them well enough to call them. And they had three very different ideas for me in terms of going into this rehearsal period. I said how do you approach it? Mike Nichols said, I try to, in addition to working out the problems of...

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Ron Howard made his first film in 15 days with $300,000. Today, his movies have grossed over $1.8 billion. In his first-ever online directing class, the Oscar-winning director of Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind decodes his craft like never before. In lessons and on-set workshops, you’ll learn how to evaluate ideas, work with actors, block scenes, and bring your vision to the screen whether it’s a laptop or an IMAX theater.

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Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I've learned so much from Ron over the span of the course and will surely be revisiting it many times. Not only have I learned a great deal from the class but it also instilled in me the confidence to continue on my filmmaking journey. I can't think of anyone that's offering this amazing learning experience. I'm truly grateful for MasterClass, it really is special.

Ron's "in the room with you" style and his endless wonder lent an amazing level of energy and authenticity to his class.

Ron Howard is an amazing teacher. I've learned so much on so many topics. I think this masterclass is an act of generosity. Thank you Ron.

A wealth of knowledge that you can't put a price on. This class is truly priceless.

Comments

Blu L.

I absolutely love the fact that Ron is vulnerable in this lesson when he discusses the SOS team. Each of the directors that he spoke to offered their true insights on rehearsals and I find this as one of the key components to storytelling. Having an honest and truthful team to go to when things are not making sense is important to the filmmaking process. If anyone on here would like to discuss any projects they are currently working on, feel free to find me on LinkedIn (Oscar Armando Siliezar), Twitter & Instagram: @oscarasiliezar or via email directorsiliezar@gmail.com

David S.

Yet another fantastic lesson and insight. What struck me most is that, even though I went through the entire Scorsese Masterclass, Ron Howard relaying some of Scorsese's advice to him was more valuable than pretty much anything I got from Scorsese's class. Ron Howard is a great director but, more importantly for Masterclass and those of us eager to learn, he is also a great teacher.

Alena A.

@ Lacy Campbell It's devastating how one can't do one's job properly these days and share one's actual experience with an eager audience without having some hurt feminist at one's tail. Everybody is just forced to invent collaboratresses and inspirations that never existed just to avoid a negative label. I am often reminded of communist regime censorship and I wonder what sort of liberty this is

A fellow student

I've gained so much respect for Ron Howard, but it's devastating to hear him, time and time again, ONLY cite male filmmakers, directors, and actors. He pays so much lip service to diverse perspectives, but he is only citing other white men.

StanleydelGozo

Thank you Elizabeth Baker... "just as important is frequency - search for that collaborator who is on your wave length, that is willing to let the film win." win win win...look for that bridge and link....What I am "enjoying/opportuning" is that in my writing/creating/sharing, I now read for myself, than my dog, Yoshi....because many of the "first changes" come out with a "woof"...really enjoying this class....StanleydelGozo

David F.

Ron, would love to know how you feel about the movie as you accept a specific level of creative freedom (control/collaboration) with all the artisan on you're project. Meaning...after it's made what do you feel you give to the movie?

Grünenberg R.

For me the very best chapter so far! The three approaches to rehearsals: great!

Anson H.

I like how even though he made two parts about collaboration and it's importance, he still came back home to making sure to listen to yourself. Refreshing to know that even still, when it all comes down to it, you still have to trust yourself.

Elizabeth B.

I love his laughter about having been an actor, and knowing what they are muttering about the director back in the trailer...that directing isn't a popularity contest, that collaboration is so exciting, but the buck stops here with the director. And in this business you have one shot...make a bad film and you won't be making many or perhaps even any more. So exciting...I am back to my first comment YES! talent is incredibly important but just as important is frequency - search for that collaborator who is on your wave length, that is willing to let the film win. I have had some important lessons on how not to do this...now that it is going to count, let's hope that I learned something. lol

Lee

The concept of a collaboration of three It preserves time, energy and budget.