The Truth About Work-Life Balance by Bill Duke

Watch the video interview on Youtube here
Film Courage: How do others in the industry relate to your work ethic?


Bill Duke, actor/filmmaker/author: I think a lot of them think I’m crazy. I mean if I can’t get it done, I can’t sleep. No matter how tired I am I know if I don’t get it done (my work done) that day, I can’t sleep. I’m worried about it the next day and Okay how many hours do I have? And so I meditate and the meditation helps me, but they respect it because I don’t stop. Because I am super, super, super prepared. I don’t have to guess so I said a week before we shoot I’d have every shot, every single set-up, and shot of the movie on a piece of paper. All they’ve got to do is follow the map that I’ve created.
Watch the video interview on Youtube here

Now I’m not saying they don’t have the freedom within that context to say Hey Bill, what about this? What about that? But you have a map so they respect that. Family wise, relationship wise…never been married…I’ve been very selfish and the women in my life have hated that because of my work ethic. I try not to bring my work home but the next day I’m going to go prepared. I want to be able to go Okay, let’s have a few moments of camaraderie and whatever. Okay, great! 

Bill Duke: My 40-Year Career on Screen and behind the Camera by Bill Duke

I go work on the script and that’s not the most comforting of things in a relationship because we owe each other the attention that each other needs and I’ve always struggled with that, I’ve always had in relationships. And the other thing (it sounds crazy) but being a black man in this business, I felt I always had to be better, not as good but better. Because as good is not good enough. It’s always paranoid. I could be super duper, duper super prepared. I am speaking for more than myself as an individual, speaking for a culture because we’re judged like that, you know? Oh, I didn’t know he was going to be that good because he’s black? You see, he’s a B-guy, you know? I never want to be a B. I never want to be an A. A plus plus.

I don’t sleep much when I work, it’s always on my mind. I can’t explain it (it exists) and the stuff I shot before, I know I could have done it better if I had a few more hours. I just want it to be better. I want in my legacy that it’s excellent, it’s something that I gave a 1,000 percent.

But it’s crazy too because you can always be better, it’s kind of like…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

Bill Duke directing Lou Diamond Phillips in CREATED EQUAL




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