Sometimes when a movie turns out so bad, its director will apply to have his or her name taken off the film and replaced with a pseudonym like the well-known Alan Smithee. This is usually in cases when a studio interferes with the production to the point where the director no longer feels that the finished project no longer represents what they were trying to achieve. So it may seem strange that someone is actually trying to get recognition for directing a notoriously bad film, but that is precisely what is happening with The Room.
In the February 18th issue of Entertainment Weekly, not yet online, Sandy Schklair has come forward to claim that he has actually directed a sizable portion of the film that is currently making the rounds as one of the worst films ever made. Schklair claims that Tommy Wiseau, the film’s credited director as well as writer, producer and star, hired him in 2002 to serve as the film’s script supervisor but to additionally”tell the actors what to do, and yell ‘Action’ and ‘Cut’ and tell the cameraman what shots to get.”
Sounds like directing to us.
Schklair characterized the exchange as such –
Schklair – “Umm…you want me to direct your project?”
Wiseau – “No! I am director!”
Schklai – “Yeah, you’re the director, whatever. But you want me to direct your movie for you?”
Wiseau – “Yes, please.”
Schlair also contends that it was his idea to play to the script’s awfulness rather than try to make some sense out of it.
Yes we were making the world’s worst movie. But we knew it at the time. I embraced The Room.
Corroborating Schklair’s story is one actor from the film, who spoke to EW on the condition of anonymity, stating –
The script supervisor ended up sort of directing the movie. Tommy was so busy being an actor that this other guy directed the whole thing.
Of course, Wiseau vigorously denied the claim to EW.
I will never give this guy credit. He did not direct the movie. He was hired as a script supervisor. If he was my assistant, so be it. But direct? I don’t think so.
So what’s next for Schklair? Theoretically, he could petition the director’s guild for credit, but his case might not be that strong as Schklair quit the project after a month of filming.
The history of film is filled with films that are credited to one director where others did a portion of the work. This looks to be one of the more unusual chapters in that continuing story.