But What I Really Want to Do Is Direct

But What I Really Want to Do Is Direct : Lessons from a Life Behind the Camera

4.05 (80 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Ken Kwapis has worked for more than thirty years in Hollywood. With time has come experience, and with experience he has charted a career full of hits, from The Office to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and become one of the most reliable and sought after directors in show business.

He didn't start there. He struggled just like everyone else. Using his experience and inside knowledge of the business, But What I Really Want to Do is Direct is Ken Kwapis' take on William Goldman's classic Adventures in the Screen Trade, but from the director's point of view. The book tackles common Hollywood myths through Ken's lively and highly entertaining experiences. It's a rollercoaster ride through the entertainment business fueled by battles over budgets, temperamental actors, and the passion that makes it all worthwhile.

This humorous and poignant memoir is filled with positive instruction, hilarious outtakes, tutelage, and joy. It's also a celebration of movies and TV, and what it takes to succeed in show business on your own terms.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 138 x 209 x 25mm | 345g
  • Saint Martin's Griffin,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Plus one 8-page color photograph insert
  • 1250260124
  • 9781250260123
  • 77,259

Review quote

Ken Kwapis always brought out the best in the actors on The Office. Whenever Ken was directing, I always felt safe to go out on a limb and take chances, knowing he had my back. Every aspiring director should read this book. (I can think of several "professional" directors that should read it too!) -Jenna Fischer A vital, magnificent manifesto on the art and craft of directing, written with emotional, instinctual and intellectual depth by one of America's most beloved film and television directors -Amber Tamblyn In the years that I was fortunate to work with Ken on Malcolm in the Middle, he had an uncanny ability to guide actors right to the heart of a scene and reveal its truths. He admits that he doesn't have all the answers, he'll make mistakes, and at times he'll struggle, but as he says in the book, 'It's the struggle to get it right that makes us human.' -Bryan Cranston Good luck finding a more kind, passionate, and talented director alive than Ken. Seriously, good luck. -Tig Notaro "'Action!' is what most directors bark out to begin a scene. But Ken Kwapis starts by gently intoning the words 'Go ahead...' That simple suggestion assures everyone they're in smart, capable, humble hands. That's how you'll feel reading this book. And so, if you're anxious to discover how a top director always brings humor, honesty, and humanity to his work, all I can tell you is...Go ahead. -Larry Wilmore An entertaining and informative guide for film buffs and filmmakers. -Kirkus An enjoyable memoir that offers lessons of filmmaking, what counts as success in Hollywood, and the magic of film. -Library Journal [Kwapis'] illuminating memoir will appeal to both film and TV buffs and aspiring directors. -Booklist Ken Kwapis' But What I Really Want To Do Is Direct is a must read... If you want to be a director, read this book. -James Gardner, Chapman University (Kwapis) effortlessly balances theory, empathy, intuition, and pragmatism as pillars of his directorial work and interactions with students and faculty. His perspective is an elixir to anyone struggling with stress, doubt, or anxiety over ongoing projects. -Norbert Herber, The Media School at Indiana University, Bloomington ...Ken has just written an essential book about the craft of directing. -Jack Lecher, Columbia University "But What I Really Want to Do is Direct offers thoughtful and thought-provoking meditations on directing for film and television. Kwapis's insights were born from his influential work in the media industry, but they apply to many other fields of endeavor." -University of Alabama Professor Emeritus Dr. Jeremy Butler
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About Ken Kwapis

KEN KWAPIS is an award-winning director who has moved easily between the worlds of feature filmmaking and television directing. He has directed eleven feature films and helped launch seven television series, including NBC's The Office.
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Rating details

80 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 32% (26)
4 46% (37)
3 16% (13)
2 4% (3)
1 1% (1)
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