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Remembering Alan Metter – Film Director

Remembering Alan Metter – Film Director

 

 

Introduction to Alan Metter.  1:59 min.  Interview:  Raymond Elman.  Videography:  Manuel Perez-Trujillo.  Recorded:  5/27/15, Plantation, FL. 

 

 

ALAN METTER (1942-2020) was a film director whose most notable credits include Back to School, starring Rodney Dangerfield and Sally Kellerman; Girls Just Want to Have Fun, starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt; Working Tra$h, starring George Carlin and Ben Stiller; and Moving, starring Richard Pryor and Randy Quaid.  He also produced and directed the 1983 television special The Winds of Whoopie for Steve Martin.

Metter grew up in the Boston area, lived in the Hollywood Hills for most of his adult life, and moved to South Florida in 2009.

Metter began his creative life at Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB), the legendary advertising agency.  In the late 1970s, Metter leaped at the opportunity to direct some of the first music videos for the likes of George Harrison, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Chicago, Olivia Newton-John, and Donna Summer, as well as comedians Rodney Dangerfield and Steve Martin, which were aired on the fledgling MTV.

The experience of directing major rock stars and comedians in music videos established Metter as a candidate to direct feature films, and he gave Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt their first feature film starring roles in Girls Just Want to Have Fun in 1982.

He also had the good fortune to collaborate with major talents like Harold Ramis, Steve Martin, Robert Schimmel, and Sam Kinison on other projects.

 

 The videos below are organized by topic and run between 30 seconds to 5 minutes. Click on any video.  You must be connected to the internet to view the videos.

 

CURIOSITY & AWARENESS:  1:42 min.

Where did you grow up and what was your first awareness of movies?

 

DEVELOPING A VOICE:  1:26 min.

Was there a point in time when you became interested in how movies are made?

 

EDUCATION: 2:36 min.

What did you learn in school that helped you in your career?

 

CREATIVITY & FLEXIBILITY:  2:02 min. 

How did you land your first job?

 

SKILL DEVELOPMENT:  1:59 min.

How did you get a job at Doyle Dane Bernbach, the hottest ad agency of the 1960s?

 

SEIZE THE MOMENT:  5:15 min.

How did you transition from advertising to making films?

 

COLLABORATION:  2:31 min.

How do you develop comedy scripts?

 

BE OPEN MINDED – 2:18 min.

Why did so many unknown actors like Sarah Jessica Parker, Ben Stiller, and Helen Hunt get their first big breaks in your movies?

 

CREATIVITY & FLEXIBILITY:  0:58 sec.

How much do you rely on casting directors?

 

CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM:  4:01 min.

How do critics impact your decisions?

 

SKILL DEVELOPMENT  3:12 min.

Describe a difficult situation that you overcame successfully.

 

COLLABORATION  2:58 min.

What was it like to work with production designer David Snyder?

 

CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM 2:27 min.

How would you prepare to become a critic?

 

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