Those of you who know David Ian Lee know him as a very shy, retiring personality. Slow to voice his opinion, we try to bring this wallflower out of his shell.*
On this picture he was 1st Assistant Director, 2nd Unit Director, and Fight Director (as well as playing in the #2 position the role of Steady). And he did a brilliant and proactive job at all those tasks. That made my life vastly easier.
The fights look really good. Even better than that is that David came up with the story in the fights -- because there's an emotional through-line to all fight scenes and it has to fit the overall story in the movie.
He also gave a great pass of notes on the screenplay before we locked it up. Mostly that was about dialog reduction. Most scripts have too much dialog. There's no need to say all the crap the characters are saying. Reducing the dialog before we shoot is always better than reducing that dialog in the edit.
He can even act. Apparently. I wasn't really paying attention. Let's face reality, I was drunk for most of this movie. But David was sober. I think.
And here is David doing his best work, as slate-boy.
I've always thought it funny how on some shoots the director does very very little in the way of logistics or organizing. Frequently the 1st AD is the only one who talks to "extras" or background talent. But I'll tell you it made this movie much, much better that David created the fights, storyboarded the fights (sometimes we even shot one or two of the shots which was on the storyboard -- but that's another long post regarding storyboards) and cast and directed the talent in the big fights. That made it so all I had to do was sit back in my director's chair and tell the camera operator not to bump into me so that I spill brandy on my smoking jacket. Again.
*We grab the bull by the hand and don't mix our metaphors.