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Ever wonder how veteran filmmakers survive doing what they did despite the obvious demands of putting an idea or vision of a story into a visual image? That’s because these people are good in managing their projects. It’s not just about time management — creating a film as a director requires a lot of oversight and monitoring on your behalf.
Don’t get discouraged or scared, though — the first time is always the most difficult, but it is also the most educational. To guide you along the way, here are some tips for managing your film production that could help you out in the starting phase of your journey.
Always Spend Time with the Script
It’s not enough to just hire somebody to write the script for you. You should be involved as much as possible with the writing as well. You can give your thoughts while writing is ongoing, so the writer can make adjustments accordingly. In this day and age of laptops and desktops, collaboration is even more possible so there’s no reason that you, a neophyte filmmaker, cannot work with your writer to come up with a good script.
Be Generous With the Takes
It’s the digital age. You can now shoot a lot of footage without having to spend a lot of money in tape, as was the case 20-30 years ago. To err on the safe side, always shoot at least or at most three takes just so you get some variation with the deliveries by your actors. That’s why there is what they call the safety shot — what looks good to you on the monitor while shooting may not look good enough when you’re putting it on the Timeline in the cutting room.
Put Extra Days Into the Expected Production Schedule
It is always a sign of professionalism to be able to stick to the schedule, or even finish it early. However, to be safe, always add extra days into the production schedule to hedge yourself up against delays. You don’t want to end up crunching time because the project has exceeded the projected schedule because of circumstances you cannot control. It saves you a lot of time, and shouting spells at your cast and crew.
Appreciate Your Cast and Crew
Last but not the least, make your people feel appreciated. It’s a very good motivator to receive a pat in the back from the director in a film project. After all, it’s your name that will be attached to the project together with the cast, and it means a big thing for the crew and cast to feel that the person behind the production appreciates what they are doing.
Without them, you won’t have a film so remember to share some loving.
The beauty of film making is that not all projects are the same. You’ll find a different set of people to work with on your next project, so it gives you a chance to learn and evolve, and to refine your work processes. However, keep these four tips in mind and you should have a solid foundation to work with.
Photo credit: Christian Junker