The In The Flicker filmmaker team has garnered their experience from being on sets all over the world and we’re lucky enough to have their expertise brought on set. Here are a few tips on filmmaking from our worldly collection of contributors.
- Don’t do it, unless you can’t live without doing it–it’s likely to kill you anyhow.
- Be a “no” filmmaker. Push hard, and work hard for what is right and true. Every detail matters. “Suppose you take a journey around the world. You must not think it out ‘somehow,’ or ‘in general,’ or ‘approximately,’ because all those terms do not belong in art. You must do it with all the details proper to such a large undertaking.” –Constantin Stanislavski An Actor Prepares.
- Have a good script. If your story isn’t worked out on the page, it’s not going to magically work itself out while you shoot.
- Cast the right actors for the role, not just whoever is available, affordable, or popular. this is someone who is going to represent your vision on screen and you’re going to be working with for several days. Use your instincts, and work with someone who is willing to work with you, not the latest Instagram star who can bring you a huge following (but do cast that person in the supporting lead or a smaller role!).
- Make sure you and your team are all on the same page about which movie you’re making. If you are trying to make an indie thriller and your DP is trying to make the next Sam Raimi movie, that’s going to be an issue down the road in the editing room. Happens more than you’d think.
- Don’t ever let anything reach panic mode. Don’t shoot while in panic mode. If sh*t is hitting the fan, step back, take a deep breath and don’t put any more sh*t in proverbial fan. Let your crew take 5 and go on a walk by yourself or with a producer to clear your head.
- Visit locations by yourself before production to find the magical shots you want. you can invite your DP along too if that’s something that’s helpful for you. It’s much easier to execute a production day that’s on time and on budget: if you already know the plan. and much easier to pivot on the day if you are already familiar with the locations.
- When everything seems to be on the brink of complete collapse, take a deep breath, and carry on.
- Production is never perfect, and how you cope with each contingency is what makes you stronger, better, faster.
- Respect the AD, even when things get tight and you want to squeeze in a couple more takes, sometimes it’s best to move on for the sake of the whole. Time is everything on an active set!