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challenges for debutent Directors


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#1 jay singh

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 12:11 PM

HI friends
First time I am getting into Direction with the bounded script, and with constraint budget :unsure: . There is a kind of fear inside, what may come to make my movie look substandard :rolleyes:
What are those small things which I may not know.
Pls someone out there help me make my movie look as good as any other experienced filmmaker's. one tip of each you throw would b of great help.
thanks in advance

Edited by jay singh, 22 August 2011 - 12:12 PM.

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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 01:17 PM

Best place to place tight budgets is in production design. Look @ Monty Python and the Holy Grail, for example. Very cheap film (200K pounds... I think...) but they invested it in production design to help you buy the world, which helps the photography and helps the jokes, and I'd say helps the acting (creating a real world to act in -v- something like the Star Wars prequels where you have just blue/green screen...).
As I often say to directors, "if you want the room to be "blue," then you have to paint the room blue."
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#3 Shelly Johnson ASC

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 03:33 PM

HI friends
First time I am getting into Direction with the bounded script, and with constraint budget :unsure: . There is a kind of fear inside, what may come to make my movie look substandard :rolleyes:
What are those small things which I may not know.
Pls someone out there help me make my movie look as good as any other experienced filmmaker's. one tip of each you throw would b of great help.
thanks in advance


Hi Jay,

I think you see all kinds of Directors out there. Some really know allot about cinematography and lenses, some know about editing or writing... and some just know how an audience should feel. To me, enthusiasm for a project starts at the top. If there is one thing to go for, it's bringing out the best attributes in your crew and cast. If you bring something to the plate, everyone else will follow. To me, it's about telling your cinematographer, designer, editor and actors what you DO know. You may have a strong feeling for one image of a scene, or a musical note, a cutting style... or point of story structure you feel is important to accentuate at a given dramatic moment. Your generosity with what you feel will say more to your collaborators than any one aspect of their own jobs. From your insight, they can begin to build towards a common goal.

It's a vulnerable place in which to put yourself, but a place where true expression lives... and that's where you need to be. You lead by example and that's what all good Directors do. It will inspire your crew to work outside their safety zones and give the audience a profound experience. I think it's less about technique and more about laying what you've got out on the line.

Just my opinion... but the times that I've been able to get to that place are the times that have been the most expressive and fulfilling.

Good luck!

Shelly
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#4 Justin Hayward

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 06:37 PM

Good question, and these guys already put it really great, but I want to add what, I feel, is passion for filmmaking; it’s being honest with yourself about wanting to create the best project possible. If that’s what you honestly want, (and you don’t let anything like being paranoid people will find out your inexperience, or paranoid ego clouding your thoughts, or whatever) that’s passion for the project, and the rest of the departments will sense it, and will help you the best they can.

From a technical standpoint, acting is most important, script is second (I say that because you can have a really dull script that becomes interesting with some great performances, and bad acting is the first sign of a bad movie), production design, lighting, editing….

You have to be honest with yourself about everything. Look at the monitor and honestly ask yourself if what you’re looking at works. If not, everyone put their heads together and figure out why not.

Another thing is many of us “no budget” guys tend to compare ourselves to each other, and then we go to the local theater and rip the biggest blockbusters out there. There’s a shield we put over our eyes when we watch our own stuff that we remove when we watch the Hollywood stuff. Compare what you’re shooting to the latest Hollywood blockbuster and see how what you’re doing holds up. Are the performances there? Do you have a style? Is your idea of blocking simply two people standing face to face and talking for a whole scene?

Of course I understand the Hollywood blockbusters have a lot of money, but I’m talking about the simple things that don’t require a ton of money to make interesting; like blocking actors in a room. Would they really just stand there, face to face, in a kitchen, and do nothing but talk? Wouldn’t one of them grab a glass of milk, or do some dishes, or at the least, lean against the counter for a break from all that standing and talking? :D

Ask yourself what your honest interest is in making this movie. Would you be willing to take your name out of the credits if that somehow made the movie even slightly better? If the answer is yes, and that you honestly want to see a really great project come to life no matter what it takes, then you're light years ahead of most people.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 08:22 PM

I once saw a collection of interviews with second-time directors, and the most common lesson they learned from doing their first movie was to watch the PACING. If you fall in love with a slow performance on the set, it can be hard to trim it in post when the movie runs long.

Some other advice:

Make strong choices. You may not get a second chance to direct, so don't be wishy-washy and overly cautious -- shoot the best movie you can in the manner you feel is best, don't have regrets later in life because you played it too safe. There will be hundreds of other small movies in the market at the same time as yours so try to stand out a little.

Think about the transition shots joining scenes... but don't get overly complex or too clever with them, they can't take a lot of screen time or else they will hit the editing room floor. For example, don't do a 10-second pan that finally lands on the beginning of the scene and dialogue, find a way of creating a transition shot that contains enough screen action or dialogue that it can't be cut out. Think like an editor.

However, give yourself enough wiggle room in the coverage of a scene so that it could be truncated if necessary, figure out what's the most important part of the scene, why it has to be in the movie. The old rule is "Start a scene as late as possible; get out of the scene as early as possible." The other rule is: "End a scene on unfinished business or a question, not an answer" in order to propel interest forward.

The best shots are the ones that tell the story most effectively, not the prettiest. And when you run out of time, point the camera at the story, don't try to be overly clever with dolly moves, etc.

Design a simple visual game plan for the narrative that is easy to remember.

You may have doubts but don't pass them along to your actors, make them feel comfortable and confident.

Get enough sleep. Drink plenty of water. Wear comfortable shoes.

Strong simple graphic images are better for low-budget movies where you don't have a lot of time to get coverage or design complex shots.

Pick your battles.

Be nice to your crew and thank everyone at the end of the day.
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#6 Chris Millar

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 09:06 PM

"End a scene on unfinished business or a question, not an answer"


This sums up a lot of 'The Wire' for me - clever little interstices hinting at possibilities this way, that and what not Posted Image



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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 10:01 PM

Alexander Mackendrick used to say that all narrative was driven by a childlike need to know "what happens next?" as a story unfolds.
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#8 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 01:58 AM

One short I directed, which was part of short film scheme that committed us to shooting at night during the spring. This meant that the hours of darkness were limited and combined with a small shooting radio (we were using 35mm) resulted in going for most direct method of telling the story. The result had a fair amount of energy, although a number of the "touches" in the script had to fall by the way side because of the constraints. A TV director described the process as being like picking your most precious belongings out of a burning house.

A scene ending should really be done at the script stage, but the audience should be left wondering, the resolution only coming in the last act of the film.
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#9 jay singh

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 07:47 AM

Very Valuable suggestions and tips, I'm very grateful to all of you. some more pls. Some tips on cinematography also would really help.
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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

Willys Widgets