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I’ve written things I didn’t direct, directed things I didn’t produce, and produced things I didn’t write. In every scenario I can point to a list of creative or technical choices I would have made differently, but in no way shape or form does that mean my way would have been better or worse, it’s just different. And even if I believe my way would have been better, we’ll never actually know, so why dwell? In fact, seeing how different people attack different obstacles is always an opportunity to learn. About yourself. About your collaboration. About your project.

BTS, Behind the scenes, Indie film, The Drama Club, Joe McClean, Ginger Beard

On set for The Drama Club in Sanger, CA

The word “compromise” does not have to mean lowering the integrity of your vision, but rather working together to find the best path forward.

The question “Do you want your story told?” can be asked in many different ways. Years ago, I asked someone for money to make a short film. They said they couldn’t give it to me, but needed the trim, walls, and ceilings in a 3-story building painted. In that scenario “Do you want your story told?” literally sounded like “Will you paint a building?” I said "Yes."

BTS, Behind the scenes, Viral, Blair Underwood, Joe McClean, Ginger Beard

On set for Viral in Suffern, NY

Desperate to direct a feature I’d written, I took out a loan. I hired a top-tier casting director, and people circled the project, but no one took the bait. No one looked at the script, tilted their head slightly askew, and asked me “do you want your story told?” That is until Blair Underwood asked, “Can I direct it?” Now that movie is shot, it has an incredible cast, and the sales team is making a plan to bring it to an audience.

Sometimes “Do you want your story told?” sounds like “Can you shoot your movie in Croatia?” or “Do you need to shoot on film?” or “Will you cast my Granddaughter?” … I’m not talking about abuse of any kind. Abuse should be shut down at every turn. I’m simply talking about working together.

Joe McClean, Ginger Beard,

Within reason, I say “yes” to any form of “Do you want your story told?” because it means more ideas become pages, which become productions, and find audiences.

I want to make movies and television, not talk about making movies and television.

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Staged reading

of Joe's play

The Brothers Booth

at Rogue Machine

Theater Company

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