Greta Gerwig on Learning to Direct: "You Have to Make That Leap" | Director Roundtable

Gerwig credits the directors and cinematographers she worked with as an actor for teaching her the mechanics of filmmaking.

"I thought I could [direct] but, I don't think you quite know until you're on the other end of something like that, that you can do it completely," writer/director/actor Greta Gerwig told THR during their Director Roundtable. "You sort of have to take the leap and hope that there's a parachute attached." Gerwig credited the experience of her directorial debut with the thing that taught her how to direct.

She also credited her former colleagues and her previous experience on set as an actor saying, "I've been so lucky to be on set with directors, DP's (director of photography/cinematographer) and all of these different people who took me under their wing and explained to me what they were doing."

"I always hear about guys whose parents got [their sons] little super eight cameras, and they started making films. I'm sure my parents would have gotten me them if I had asked for it, but it wasn't something that you gave girls as much. What I did was put on plays with everyone I knew."

Gerwig is not only a first time director, but her film Lady Bird focuses on a female main character, plus is written and directed by a woman (Gerwig herself). These facts made the piece difficult to get off the ground.

"[Lady Bird] is a female-centered film that is not important with a capital 'I,' that people could identify as, "Oh, this is worthy,'" or just that it's about people's lives in a quotidian way. It's not about something so large, and I feel like as a writer and as a director, I'm picking up tiny little pebbles," said Gerwig. She has earned a Golden Globe nomination for best screenplay for the film. This Gerwig's second nomination, the first for best performance by an actress in a motion picture, comedy or musical for her lead role in 2012's Frances Ha.

The full Director Roundtable also features Guillermo del Toro, Angelina Jolie, Denis Villeneuve, Joe Wright and Patty Jenkins, and airs on SundanceTV, Sunday, Jan. 21. Tune in to for more roundtables featuring talent from the year’s top films.

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