Andrew Dominik

Andrew Dominik was under no illusions when it comes to film directing. "Making movies is hard," he admitted in one interview. "It's political, and you feel like you're failing 90 per cent of the time. It's a tough job." His experiences over the last decade certainly explain his disenchantment. The start of his debut feature, the 2000 biopic "Chopper," was postponed after funding fell through because the Australian authorities were wavering over giving him permission to shoot in the notorious Pentridge Prison where con man-turned-killer Mark Brandon "Chopper" Read had been incarcerated. Then, having scored an international hit and come to the attention of several Hollywood A-listers, Dominik saw his adaptations of Alfred Bester's 1953 sci-fi novel "The Demolished Man," Cormac McCarthy's "Cities of the Plain," and Joyce Carol Oates's fictive Marilyn Monroe memoir, "Blonde," disappear into development hell, along with his remake of the 2006 French thriller "Tell No One" and the Jim Thompson duo of "The Killer Inside Me" and "Pop. 1280." He was even fired while shooting 2nd unit footage for Terrence Malick's "The New World" because he was not a member of the Directors Guild of America. Then Dominik met Brad Pitt, who was so keen to star in his take on Ron Hansen's novel "The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford" (which he had found in a secondhand bookshop) that he signed up as producer alongside Ridley Scott. Nevertheless, some dozen edits were still submitted before the film was finally released in 2007. The film's critical acclaim stabilized Dominik's career, allowing him to move forward with another quirky literary adaptation, "Killing Them Softly" (2012), based on George V. Higgins' crime novel "Cogan's Trade." In 2015, Dominik's longtime friend Nick Cave, who had written the score for "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" with longtime creative partner Warren Ellis, suffered a personal tragedy when his 16-year-old son Arthur died in an accidental fall from a beachside cliff near their home. As Cave began recording his new album Skeleton Tree (2016) in the wake of his loss, Dominik filmed the sessions for the somber documentary "One More Time With Feeling" (2016), released in conjunction with the album.