Maria Djurkovic was recently nominated for an Academy Award for her work on “The Imiation Game.“ Other film credits include Stephen Daldry’s award-winning “The Hours“ and “Billy Elliot,“ “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,“ “Mama Mia!,“ “RKO 281,“ and “Vanity Fair“ among others.
I thrive on pressure - if I didn’t, I couldn’t do the job. Sadly, at work, staying calm has always been a challenge but I always manage to maintain control of everything and pride myself on doing the job as well as I possibly can.
I don’t think that anyone who has worked with me would describe me as calm. Passionate, enthusiastic, opinionated, argumentative, perfectionist, confrontational, uncompromising,
forceful, undiplomatic and honest, would be adjectives much more likely to be used. I probably deal with stress by being a little too aggressive. If I was a man, this would be considered quite uncontentious.
I am always in awe, but also rather irritated by people who can maintain calm at all times. I am incapable of wearing a mask. and I find that I seek a good dose of confrontation to give my adrenals an extra kick, to keep me fully stimulated. I am often astonished that I have career at all...
I have worked with Tatiana McDonald, my Set Decorator, on 19 films now. She is far more placid than I am, but certainly not calm either.
We discovered, to our horror, that we were known as ‘Manic and Panic’ within the British Art Department. Probably I am ‘Manic’ although I am sure that it is quite interchangeable. Therefore, finding a calm Supervising Art Director is all the more important to me. I realise that all this is quite relative. Last year filming in Thailand during the monsoon, a river burst its banks and drowned my main set under 12' of water, washing away $150,000 worth of greens. The problem seemed insurmountable, but we rebuilt a 5 week build in a different location in 1 week...
I am not quite sure how we did it...maybe I am being too tough on myself. Now, that’s another subject...
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