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Birth of a Nation director Nate Parker got directing advice from Mel Gibson

08.24.2016

When it comes to acting in, producing, writing and directing your own movie I can imagine that there’s a bit of stress involved. This is especially true for men like Nate Parker, who sat behind the director’s chair for the first time on his movie THE BIRTH OF A NATION, which he also stars in. So, naturally, he sought out a lot of advice.

During an interview with Variety, Parker talked about how challenging the new experience was and how he went to seasoned directors to get their advice on his flick. He was able to sit down with Edward Zwick, who used his own movie GLORY to give Parker advice:

I reached out to Edward Zwick. We went through, frame by frame, DEFIANCE and GLORY— the battle scenes. He was like, “This is what I did, and what I would have done differently.” It was an education few people get.

But Zwick was not the only person Parker was able to get an education from. He also reached out to another Oscar winner with plenty of experience with period pieces:

I also reached out to Mel Gibson. Maybe three months later, I get a phone call — “Nate, it’s Mel.” “Mel who?” I took maybe 30 pages of notes. His best advice was don’t work on Sunday. He said: “You need a day off you’re going to direct yourself. I did this for seven months on BRAVEHEART. You need time for recovery and reflection — just sitting, drinking tea.” That’s exactly what I did. On Sunday, I would go into a dark room and drink tea.

In the interview Parker also mentioned how he didn’t originally want to direct the movie, instead wanting two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington (who directed this year’s FENCES) to helm the movie.

I wanted Denzel [Washington]. It would have been his project period. But I had a big list of demands. You don’t give a director demands!

In the end, Parker directed the movie himself, embracing the teachings of the battle-worn directors. Now, the movie is leading the Oscar-buzz pack heading into awards season. So, clearly, he took the great advice to heart. From both Zwick and Gibson, Parker seems to have gotten a fantastic crash course in directing. Zwick advised him more on technical matters, whereas Gibson taught him how to stay relaxed behind the scenes. This is the kind of advice most directors dream they had when they started. However, Gibson is not the first person I think would be giving advice on how to stay calm. But I guess it works for him. Did you see that HACKSAW RIDGE trailer?

THE BIRTH OF A NATION is set for October 7 starring Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Jackie Earle Haley, Gabrielle Union and Mark Boone Jr.

Source: Variety

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4:49PM on 08/24/2016

Juggling For A Cure

Birth of a Nation is an important film about our history that needs be be seen. And there appears to be a double standard in regards to rape. While Nate Parker is being besieged, Amy Schumer is in Hawaii signing books and filming a movie with no criticism. How is this so when she admitted to having sex with a college student named Matt while he was too intoxicated to know what was going on. Schumer bragged about the incident in a speech. Why is it rape with Parker, but not with Schumer?
Birth of a Nation is an important film about our history that needs be be seen. And there appears to be a double standard in regards to rape. While Nate Parker is being besieged, Amy Schumer is in Hawaii signing books and filming a movie with no criticism. How is this so when she admitted to having sex with a college student named Matt while he was too intoxicated to know what was going on. Schumer bragged about the incident in a speech. Why is it rape with Parker, but not with Schumer? Why is Schumer getting a pass, and there are no discussions about Schumer’s rape?

Source: “Wait A Second, Did Amy Schumer Rape a Guy.” Thought Catalog, May 5, 2014. (Schumer’s speech at Ms. Foundation for Gloria Awards).
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2:28PM on 08/24/2016

Rapist

I am boycotting this film.. this guy is a rapist, in fact he is essentially a gang rapist. He and his roommate (who co-wrote this film) sexually assaulted an unconscious girl (they invited a 3rd guy, but he declined), and then stalked her on campus and threatened her when she came forward to authorities. 2nd guy was convicted, but the victim was not willing to testify during a 2nd trial after appeal. The victim committed suicide a few years ago, and her death cert showed PTSD from emotional
I am boycotting this film.. this guy is a rapist, in fact he is essentially a gang rapist. He and his roommate (who co-wrote this film) sexually assaulted an unconscious girl (they invited a 3rd guy, but he declined), and then stalked her on campus and threatened her when she came forward to authorities. 2nd guy was convicted, but the victim was not willing to testify during a 2nd trial after appeal. The victim committed suicide a few years ago, and her death cert showed PTSD from emotional and sexual assault.

And yes, before anyone says it was years ago and that we should give the guy a second chance, I call bullshit. We are all beholden to the crimes we committed when we were younger.
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2:07PM on 08/24/2016
I am highly conflicted about this. On the one hand, it appears to be a well-executed retelling of the Nat Turner uprising. On the other hand, Nate Parker, though talented, is a fairly shitty human being (although what does it say about the media and rape culture that I have known about Nate Parker as an actor for a few years now and it took this movie for me to learn about his past?).
I am highly conflicted about this. On the one hand, it appears to be a well-executed retelling of the Nat Turner uprising. On the other hand, Nate Parker, though talented, is a fairly shitty human being (although what does it say about the media and rape culture that I have known about Nate Parker as an actor for a few years now and it took this movie for me to learn about his past?).
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12:05PM on 08/24/2016

Oof. His story keeps getting better doesn't it?

"Hey Mel, you got any advice for handling a character-destroying and oscar odds-crippling controversy?"
"Hey Mel, you got any advice for handling a character-destroying and oscar odds-crippling controversy?"
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10:28AM on 08/24/2016
I wonder if Brock Turner went to Nate Parker for advice on how to get away with rape.
I wonder if Brock Turner went to Nate Parker for advice on how to get away with rape.
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11:29AM on 08/24/2016
I suggest you research these two cases before you go slamming together a poorly executed rape joke.
I suggest you research these two cases before you go slamming together a poorly executed rape joke.
1:02PM on 08/24/2016
I'm not making a joke. Parker got off because they used his sexual history with the victim as leverage. His writing partner/former roommate, if I recall, was convicted or would have been convicted but the victim would have had to re-testify. Parker and his roommate and their family and friends harassed the girl to the point where she didn't want to re-testify. She eventually left the University and recently killed herself.
I'm not making a joke. Parker got off because they used his sexual history with the victim as leverage. His writing partner/former roommate, if I recall, was convicted or would have been convicted but the victim would have had to re-testify. Parker and his roommate and their family and friends harassed the girl to the point where she didn't want to re-testify. She eventually left the University and recently killed herself.
2:30PM on 08/24/2016
@Tash226.... you don't know what you're talking about. Its you who does not know the facts.
@Tash226.... you don't know what you're talking about. Its you who does not know the facts.
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