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Directing back to back shorts


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#1 Andre LeBlanc

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 05:45 PM

Hello,

I'm wondering if any directors out there have had the experience directing/producing two back-to-back short films. I'm talking about indy projects you helped shephard into production (not gigs you were hired for). As an example, imgine you had two shorts that would take 3 shooting days each. You would do pre-production for both at the same time, and then shoot them back to back over, say, 1 week (as one of many possible scenarios). Then maybe you'd spend the next weeks doing post on both shorts. Have any of you done this? Just wondering what your thoughts and experiences were. Thanks!

Edited by Andre LeBlanc, 04 February 2007 - 05:48 PM.

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#2 Atli Magnusson

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 05:05 PM

The film school that I go to in northern ontario in canada you make 2 bolex films and a Arri SR1 film in first year. 16mm that is. Second year you shoot with Arri SR2 super 16 with 1080HD transfers, which is the film I am working on now. These are all films that you would direct yourself and then you would crew on other peoples films. Not exactly what you are talking about but hey. I dont imagine it to be too hard espesially if you got the same crew. Every film I make I realise how much pre production is key. I skimped out on a lot of mine and I now I have bags under my eyes that are the size of golf balls. Remember that pre production is not for yourself its for everyone else that you working with so they are on the same page as you, so when a location gets screwed last minute and you have to move your mind isnt scrambled.

lol I dont think that was any where close to an answer to your question

Take care.
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#3 Chris Keth

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 12:35 AM

If you have the scripts and crew, that's how I would do it. You will end up paying less for insurance and gear rentals overall if you can pack it into a full week.
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#4 Tim Partridge

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 07:18 AM

No, don't do it.

I helped out on two shorts with a similar set up back to back a few years ago. Both ran out of time and money for post, both overran, and neither really had the funds to continue, and eventually one had picks ups done many many months later so the camera budget on that one short ended up being the same if not more as if they'd had a normal shedule. On top of this the tiny production company went bankrupt under the strain!

NOT recommended!!!

Put all your efforts and concentration into one at a time. You can never plan for all the stresses inherent in one film let alone two.
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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 09:29 PM

We can agree to disagree I guess. With films that short, I see no problem with combining their schedules, equipment, and crews. If they were longer projects in question, I would agree with you.
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#6 Tim Partridge

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 05:22 AM

Chris,

Andre wants to direct and produce these himself. THREE days per film of shooting (on what sounds like) no budget is a mammoth task on extremely limited money. It might be a ton of fun from a camera crew perspective, but as the person overseeing everything, getting the least amount of sleep out of the whole crew, and more more than likely putting his own money and name at stake with numerous favours, there's just no margin left. As a director/producer (and especially as both at the same time) you need as much of a margin for error as possible, especially on the indie front where thousands/millions of dollars of other peoples money isn't there to support you (and equally reign you in), nothing is concrete, you are depending on favours and you've still really yet to prove yourself (and your responsibility). That extra hour of overtime from the crew, or the extra day to do pick ups/record sound because it rained/had unusable sound/equipment broke/actor or crewmember got ill the night before and had to be moved off set- with two shorts going, when the time runs out you have to drop one and put priority on the other regardless. Like I said before, if for whatever reason stuff isn't working later in the edit and a reshoot or even a line dub is required, your budget is flat out and your crew and equipment favours are exhausted, well?? I haven't even mentioned the inevitable location logisitics/headaches (depending on where your "films" are set, where they are shot, times of day, daylight/nightlight, variety of locations)...

Andre, put all of your efforts into producing and directing ONE, quality short at a time. As you know, directing/producing is an intense discipline that requires MAXIMUM concentration (and very much so when the project means something to you personally and you are fierce for a good result). Don't go this suicidal route, it's a pointless double compromise and too much of a roulette wheel.

I cannot disuade you enough!

PS Andre made his original post in February, hope whatever decision he made (preferably the sensible one) it turned out best...
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#7 Andre LeBlanc

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 03:30 AM

I just realized you guys replied to my original post from 2007. In the end, I just did one short, and am leaving #2 for later this year. The reason I separated them in the end was that they were so different in subject matter (one taking place in the 80s, one current, one comedy, one dark...). Grouping them became a logistical nightmare in terms of even just getting into the right mindset. Also... there was the whole issue with money, as was mentioned in the replies.

In the end, I'm glad I separated them this time. Maybe there will be a day down the road where two projects are small enough and similar enough that I can do them back to back, but right now wasn't the time.

Thanks for the replies!
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#8 Bill Totolo

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 08:47 AM

I'm shooting three different projects at the moment, two of which overlap, one of which I'm directing.

It helps to have people around that you can rely on to keep things organized so you only have to concentrate on very specific tasks.
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