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First Feature Film (Possibly)


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#1 Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones
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Posted 07 January 2009 - 01:11 PM

Hey all,

If you've seen my other posts on here you probably know that I'm in talks with a small, independent production company for making a film out of a script that I sent them not long ago.

At first, when one of the producers said "The brief answer is yes" to my question as to whether or not my film would be in "development," I kinda freaked out (excited). But now that I have had time to cool down, I'm feeling a bit differently (nervous).

This would be my first feature film, if it does happen to reach the production phase, which might not be for another 2 years. I have shot and directed many shorts, mostly in high school with crews ranging from 2-10; most were done on either GL-2s or XL-1s. I have also directed a short for the Atlanta 48 hour film project with a crew of about 25, shot on an HD camera (prosumer type, not sure anymore as to what brand).

48 hour was definitely a learning experience. I really started to hone my ability to talk to actors both when not shooting as well as when shooting. It helped me realize how to work around short time schedules, thanks especially to my producer who would call me every half hour to see where I was on the shooting schedule.

But am I ready to take on the task of a full blown production of a Super 16 feature film?

I never bothered to read up on books that tell one how to direct or work with actors, I'm much more of a hands on, learn while you go, visual type of guy. I have read the infamous "Film Technique" by Pudovkin, which might seem dated, but gave me a good idea of how making a film works. Now, with all that said, I'm not saying that I'm full of knowledge in the aspect of directing or making a film (especially one SHOT on film), but I do know a lot about the filmmaking process, thanks to working on shorts and reading up on the subject of filmmaking, outside of the Robert Rodriguez books and such. That's not to say that I don't think that Rodriguez's thoughts don't mean anything, I just have the belief that every film is made differently and by it's own means; that is to say, there is no real formula to making a film, let alone making a film good.

I guess all this ranting must come to a series of questions I'm supposed to ask all of you. I guess I should start with:

Am I qualified to make this film? I know the script inside and out, if an actor was to ask me something about a character, I would be able to answer it clearly.

I am clearly nervous about the film, but what aspects of the filmmaking process should I be most nervous about? and by nervous I mean: what should I be researching the most? I have been talking to DoPs through this site, thank you, and have been looking into equipment that would be cheap but effective in use.

On the subject of equipment, and this is in your opinion, what works well for Super 16?


I know most of you will say "chill, wait 2 years, dammit," but I just want to be somewhat ready for what MAY come.

Thanks to everybody who posts in advance.


Kevin
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#2 Jim Keller

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 02:28 PM

As a general rule, if you think you're ready to direct your first feature, you're not. If you think you're not, it's much more likely that you are.

The key with any thing you're doing for the first time is to be honest with yourself and others about what you know and do not know. If you're not confident about the technical aspects of working on film, make sure you've got a good DP and a good crew you can trust. If you're not confident about working with professional actors, make sure you talk with everyone at callbacks to see who can be patient and communicative with you without trying to take the reigns.

So, in short, the nerves are not only fine, they're appropriate. Use the threat of having to deliver on your promise to direct to keep making yourself more and more ready. And remember, that no matter how much you prepare, something will catch you off-guard.
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Visual Products

Glidecam

rebotnix Technologies

CineLab

Abel Cine

Rig Wheels Passport

CineTape

Tai Audio

The Slider

Gamma Ray Digital Inc