I'd love to be able to confirm the speculation, as reported by Jack Mathews, that I really directed "Dances With Wolves," but I just can't ("You Heard It Here First," March 24).
I was on location with "Dances" for a few weeks. Kevin Costner was there for several grueling months. I shot second-unit material for a couple of different sequences in the picture. So did other people. I also played a lot of cards.
I would imagine that other Oscar-nominated films this year contain second-unit material shot by someone other than the harried director. A number of sequences in the film I just directed ("Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves") contain such footage, including some done by the star, Costner.
The demands of large-scale film production make second-unit shooting an unfortunate necessity, particularly with regard to action sequences. That does not, however, necessarily mean the director's conception is compromised.