A Connection From Clint Eastwood’s ‘Starving Days’ Led To Him Direct Play Misty For Me

Eastwood recalls the sense of relief he felt when he finally was able to control every aspect of production himself. As the director, he was able to communicate more directly to his co-stars, as well oversee editing, something he had never been permitted to do before. By the early 1980s, Eastwood would also begin producing his own movies, and would also eventually come to write songs for them as well. For “Misty,” Eastwood was too happy to be in control, saying:

“After 17 years of bouncing my head against the wall, hanging around sets, maybe influencing certain camera setups with my own opinions, watching actors go through all kinds of hell without any help and working with both good directors and bad ones, I’m at the point where I’m ready to make my own pictures. I stored away all the mistakes I made and saved up all the good things I learned and now I know enough to control my own projects and get what I want out of actors. So I directed this picture and I’m editing it myself and I think it’s damn good.”

Eastwood also eventually came to hire trusted teams of artists and crew people, working with editors Joel Cox and, later Gary Roach on the bulk of his films. He initially worked largely with cinematographer Bruce Surtees, with Jack N. Green and Tom Stern becoming the director’s regular photographers when Surtees passed away in 2012. He no longer wanted to be a member of the team. He wanted to be its leader. Luckily, 20 years of experience as an actor allowed him to develop the habits he needed to handle a production with competence. 

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