Ten More Things Every Producer and Director Should Know
It’s Just Some Extra Zeros
- Understand that while you’re shooting, you are the most vulnerable. There
are a lot of people out there who would rather see you fail than succeed.
Keep your defenses up at all times and remember that after your film is in
the can, control will return to you.
- Prepare yourself both mentally and physically well before you begin
shooting. Think of yourself as a long distance runner who knows there will
be plenty of time to rest and celebrate after the marathon is finished. If
you feel bad, the whole cast and crew will feel bad too. Save the celebrating
for the wrap party.
- Remind yourself everyday: It takes the same amount of effort to make a good film as it does to make a bad one. I’m not going to make a bad one.
- To a distributor or financier, “Passion,” describes a filmmaker who can
be easily screwed out of their money because they’re so dedicated to making
their film. It’s good to be passionate, but be smart too. You can never really
care about your film unless you care about yourself too. You, and
your film, are the same thing.
- Don’t sacrifice your vision. You got where you are because of that vision - because what you wanted to say was important to you. When times get tough don’t abandon your vision and compromise your story or production values.
- Make all spending decisions based on “production value.” That is, will spending ten dollars on something, deliver twenty dollars of value on the screen.
- Become an amateur shrink! Recognize the signs of insecurity and jealousy
in your cast and crew members. You’re the one person who can help them most
of all. Reassure the insecure, and relax the jealous ones.
- Think ahead. While they’re re-setting the lights and camera, concentrate
on the next scene, the next set, or the next location. Never arrive on-set
without a shot list and the first several hours of work already mapped
- You can never spend too much time in pre-production.
- Filmmaking is a collaborative process. One person doesn’t make a film -
hundreds of people do. Encourage your key cast and crew to come to you with
their ideas. One day you’ll be out of ideas and you’ll need theirs.