06/11/2014 10:48 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Director Joel Hopkins Breaks Down What It's Like to Both Write and Direct a Film

This question originally appeared on Quora: What is it like to direct a film you've also written?
Answer by Joel Hopkins, Director/Writer, The Love Punch

I don't know anything else.  I've done three films and I have written them all. I would love to direct someone else's script because I would love to get outside of my own head and world. There is only so much I can imagine and it is always going to be a certain type of film, whether it is comedy or a drama, and I would love to have the opportunity to take someone else's imagination and run with that as a director. In the same breath, I would love to one day write something and have someone else direct it.


The challenges of both writing and directing a script are that sometimes I might underwrite things a little bit. I write very simply and sometimes to someone who doesn't know my work, they can read it and think there isn't enough fleshed out content and its probably because if I know I am going to direct, I will have a lot of it in my head. A studio can read a script of mine and go, 'I didn't get it,' so the challenge is to attract people enough with your script. There is nothing worse than when you first read a script and there is this chunk of description on the first page. I try to avoid that as much as possible, especially in a film like this that is reliant on quick fire dialogue. I think other challenges of writing and directing, if I'm being honest, is that there are limitations to what I can do. I probably don't spend enough time writing and don't spend enough time directing. The danger is being the jack-of-all-trades and the master of none.

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