Trying to find a film director for commercials and documentaries is tricky; first you have to find one you like, then you have to find where he or she is. However, the finding and hiring issues are not the only barriers to your project. The more critically-acclaimed and awarded the director, the more issues you might have with getting him or her to agree to being your director. As an example, John O'Hagan is your preferred director, but what do you need to do to get him to sign on? Here are a few tips about getting your first choice in best commercial directors signed onto your project, and what to do if you cannot get your first choice.
Fly to Prague (or Wherever Your Preferred Director Resides/Is Currently Working)
John O'Hagan lives in Prague. If he is not working, he may be at home in Prague. You may have to speak to his administrative assistant regarding your project and setting up a meeting, in which case, you might have to fly to Prague. Of course, there is also the possibility that you may have to fly to whatever exotic locale the director is currently working in, so you should be ready to board a plane to wherever you need to go. Constant contact with the director's assistant is crucial, or you may not be able to meet with him or her and then you flew around the globe trying just to meet him (or her, if you are not after Mr. O'Hagan).
Have a Really Good and Interesting Project Offer
You may need to take a lawyer with you as witness and document officiator, but you should already have a really good and interesting project offer. What might be considered good and interesting to you may be vastly different from the director's idea, so it helps to offer the project with a specific idea thread, but give the director full creative rights. Sometimes this helps both the director and you decide if you can work together on your project, or not at all.
Be Ready and Able to Pay the Director What He/She Wants
Directors automatically know how much they want to be paid for a project. If you are just shooting a thirty-second commercial, it may not be as much as a short-length feature film, but you never know until after the director tells you. If you absolutely have to have a specific director, be prepared to pay him/her whatever the asking price is. Otherwise, you will be turned down and have to settle for your second or third choice in directors and have to repeat this process anyway. Keep in mind that your first choice director could refuse at any time, even without seeing you or seeing what your project is about, and then you should be able to handle things with a little more finesse.