John Carpenter says directing remotely is “fabulous”

Genre master John Carpenter really took to directing remotely when he worked on his namesake Suburban Screams series.

John Carpenter has always been full of surprises, but it’s especially so as a septuagenarian. Through interviews, we know that the man loves video games and basketball, ideally enjoying both in the comfort of his own home. But this has extended into something we would expect most filmmakers to hate: directing remotely. But John Carpenter and remote directing got along just fine when he took on the season finale of Suburban Screams from the confines of his home.

Speaking on the Last Donut of the Night podcast, John Carpenter said that directing“Phone Stalker” was a breeze and one of the most convenient jobs he could imagine, calling the experience “fabulous. Just fabulous. I didn’t have to get up and leave the house. I could get coffee any time I wanted. I had a chair to sit in. It went great.” As far as having that necessary interaction with his cast and crew, he noted, “It was easy, because the computer was right next to me.”

John Carpenter hasn’t directed a movie in well over a decade and he hasn’t taken to television directing since the Masters of Horror anthology nearly 20 years ago. But he has remained a vital – if sometimes curt – voice in the industry. While he has discussed stepping behind the camera once more, that does leave us to wonder, will he be on set or has remote directing taken him over like The Thing?

No doubt this style of directing gave John Carpenter a fresh way to work on a project, something some filmmakers adapted to during the Covid era. As he previously told The Los Angeles Times, “I remote-directed it, which was fun. That’s the way I’m going to do it now. I’m too old to run around, stomping around…I [directed from] a chair in the front room where I play video games, where I watch basketball and watch the news. It was all set up so the big screen TV has the [live camera feed] through the lens. That’s all in Prague, coming to you right here in L.A.”

How do you feel about John Carpenter praising remote directing? Is this something you could see him finishing up his career with or should he be on set?

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