Great directors are not necessarily great writers, or at least not when they only have 140 characters. Twitter is packed with directors with multiple awards and lots of glowing reviews for their films, but for a lot of them the site is just another way to publicise their work or retweet any mention of how great they are. These are not people who are fun to follow. The ones who are fun to follow are those who use Twitter like anybody else - as a silly way to distract yourself when you should probably be doing something else.
Some of the people on this list are superb directors. Some of them have mantelpieces packed with Oscars. Some make mediocre stuff you might one day get around to watching on Netflix. But they're all great in 140 characters or fewer.
Adam McKay (Anchorman, Stepbrothers)
Season finale's good time for Breaking Bad to introduce an animated weasel sidekick for WW. “Sneakers! Quit eating all the fries”— Adam McKay (@GhostPanther) September 29, 2013
The Anchorman direct tweets a lot but it's almost always funny and he very rarely bangs on too much about his new movie. He's as likely to tweet witty anger about political situations as he is to offer his commentary on TV shows or just a surreal aside.
Lee Unkrich (Finding Nemo, Toy Story 3)
I once heard someone say, “In the old days, animators would draw on layers of cellulite.”— Lee Unkrich (@leeunkrich) October 17, 2013
One of the big guns at Pixar, Unkrich tends to be a bit quieter when he's working on a film (lazy) but when he tweets it's a mix of chat about goings on at Pixar, stupid videos (has a bit of a thing for chimps), views on TV he loves and quite a lot of stuff about The Shining, with which he is absolutely obsessed.
Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code)
Has no specific remit, Twitterwise. He's just on there, buggering about, avoiding doing anything pressing, just like us normals. Seems to be an insomniac. Every now and again he'll tweet about his dad, David Bowie, so that's always quite fun.
Zach Braff (Garden State, Wish I Was Here)
You may choose to remember him as J.D. in scrubs, but for the purposes of this list we're choosing to think of him as a director. And he barely acts anymore anyway. Braff has more in common with stand up comedians on Twitter than he does with other movie directors. Almost everything is a gag for gag's sake, and most of them are hits. He'll also offer up the occasional movie review. Cries a lot.
David Wain (Role Models, Wanderlust)
I’ll say this about 7/11. They may not have the best bananas, but you can’t beat the hours.— David Wain (@davidwain) September 21, 2013
His films may not be especially beloved, but his work on Twitter is excellent. He's quite Eeyore-ish about life generally (if Eeyore had a bit of wit about him and wasn't just a saggy old moaner), with his jokes usually being about mildly disappointing things that have happened in his day. Occasionally mentions movies.
Ron Howard (Rush, Apollo 13)
We're just going to ignore the fact that his Twitter bio is "Storysmith". We're just going to let that go. Howard is excellent if you enjoy a look at the filmmaking process. He tweets pictures of his films throughout production and is often up for a bit of a chat about what he's up to. Seems like a lovely man. Tip: Turn off retweets as he is really trigger happy with broadcasting all Twitter reviews of his films, no matter how banal.
Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat)
Someone must have really broken my grapefruit juice's heart because it's extra bitter this morning.— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) June 30, 2013
Very snarky, as you might imagine. Has issues with flight attendants, supermarkets, his own aging body (he recently turned 51 and it is occupying his mind). He's quite 'on message' when he has a movie out, but then he gets very guilty and apologetic about being such a shill.
Dan Scanlon (Monsters University)
Fun Fact About Me: My hands are so small if you put out your index finger I will instinctively grip it like a baby.— Dan Scanlon (@MrDanScanlon) October 11, 2013
Scanlon only has one movie under his belt so far, the very enjoyable Monsters University, and he's on this list for two reasons. 1) He's charmingly bizarre. There's a stream of consciousness quality to most of his tweets, just random, silly ideas that fell out of his head. There's quite a strong focus on his physical appearance. 2) He seems enormously excited that anyone ever wants to talk to him and offers updates on his world tours as if he's some sort of competition winner, which is very endearing.
Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper)
Big news! I'm crowd-sourcing my next film. $5-$15 donations accepted at theaters on our release date. Great prizes include: seeing the film.— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) August 23, 2013
You'll get most out of Johnson if you're a Dodgers fan. He goes into absolute meltdown when the Dodgers play. But baseball aside, the Looper director is a big updater from set (he directed part of Breaking Bad) and also a huge film buff, so there are a lot of recommendations for upcoming movies most of us won't have heard of yet. There is also the occasional picture of a dog. But mostly it's The Dodgers.
Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, This Is 40)
Leslie is searching for hoarder experts for me. I think she is overreacting. I will definitely get to that issue of Time Magazine from 98.— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) October 8, 2013
He veers between very silly and somewhat angry. If something annoys him he'll fixate on it for a day, then be back to tweeting photos of his bald spot. Seems to genuinely enjoy the interaction with fans on Twitter, takes any criticism on the chin and is more often than not just making fun of himself. Also, his wife and daughter are on Twitter and both funny, so there's an element of family interaction that is happily not at all excruciating.