I’m done trying to write these posts like chapters in a manual. I’m going to start putting stuff up as I think of it. If I miss something, or you can’t find it, comment below or message me and we can talk directly. I’m fine with having a chat.
Here is some information I will impart on you if you’re ever interested to make a movie:
Write to the resources you have now. As I’ve stated before I purposely made this movie with the resources I accumulated from years of making shorts. Typically most filmmakers DON’T do this. They lay a rap down about letting their creativity run wild and writing the perfect script and then getting funding. But those big dollars never come in. I don’t know one filmmaker whose made a movie like that. Also, I read a lot of filmmaker biographies, and found all my Hollywood heroes had budgets and parameters set by that budget. They had to figure out how to do with financial constraints, so damn it, you will too. Besides, everything costs way too much. More than you’ll raise your first time out. Trust me, if it ain’t free, don’t include it.
The number one thing to look for in a cast or crew member: Enthusiasm. Everything else will fall into place. Anyone can be excited and eager to help out in the beginning, but most people get burned out and flakey after a while. If you’re not working with enthusiastic people all the talent in the world will be meaningless when they stop showing up.
Also, pay attention to how much you’re working your cast and crew. They’re doing you a favor. Try and do them a solid by not wasting they’re entire weekend or keeping them up late on a work night. I over compensated for this fear by stretching shoot dates sometimes months apart. There’s a happy medium in there somewhere.
Whoever is directing should also edit. Shooting a film is like a football game (note: I don’t watch/like football but I find the concept of sports intriguing. What a wiener kid I am). You will spend so much time carefully planning every detail in pre-production, but come game time you’ll have no idea what will go wrong. You need to be ready to make crucial creative decisions in the moment, multiple times through out the shoot. If you’re also editing, it will be so much easy to make those in the moment decisions because you won’t have to explain it to some one else later.
Speaking of editing: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD edit while you shoot. Even if your production will only be a few weeks (keep dreaming) you will have the colossal task of putting it all together. Edit while you go and you’ll be assembling it while it’s still fresh in your head. If any mistakes are made you can incorporate them into the re-shoots, or change the production accordingly so you won’t have to re-shoot. It takes a giant job and breaks it up into smaller, easy to manage jobs.
Hair: It grows, it gets cut… and the ladies always be changin’ it, amiright fellas?!?!?!? But seriously if you’re shooting over a long period of time (like over 3 years for instance) hair will change. It’s not as obvious in real time but it will be when you edit footage together. Mind the facial hair too.
For my next film I will make something with a more ensemble cast as opposed to one main actor throughout the story. This caused scheduling and availability problems. And why wouldn’t it? I’m not paying the guy. Having an ensemble cast, specifically one who are not all in the same scenes all the time together, will make it much easy to schedule and shoot. Your performer friends have things to do on nights and weekends (like perform for instance) so all of them being in the same place at the same time is hard to orchestrate. Dole out the parts and the scenes evenly amoung a group of actors and you increase your chances of getting it done quicker.
Sound is as big of a nightmare as people say it is. No joke: get your sound game in order up top. People fuss about cameras. Editing software. Computer specs. What mics do you have? How will you be recording sound? Go so far as to incorporate your production process into the early stages of writing your film. If you got shitty mics, write something where bad sound is an asset. Make a silent film if you have too. That might sound excessive but if you have shitty sound: that’s a wrap on your film. Bad sound will ruin, absolutely ruin, your film. Beware!