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Five Essential Film Directing Skills

January 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 


Directing a Shot on the Set of Dealing with Destiny

Post:  Five ways to make your film shoot work effectively 

Most people on our Film Courses love the Film Shoot.  The Film Course Participant learn more on the Film Shoot than any other part of our four month Film School.

The main reason for this is  team work.   A group of people bond and make a creative endeavor.  There are many laughs, intense moments and character tests. The satisfaction of creating a film, that will be seen by millions of eyes in the future, also adds a sense of purpose and excitement to the shoot.

However the amateur film maker can make a mess out of a Film Shoot and end up having a very challenging time. How can a Film Director make the most of a Film Shoot?  Prepare Prepare Prepare.  How does the film director make a Film Shoot fun and memorable. Here are five areas that one can focus on.

  1. The Script
  2. Actor Rehearsal
  3. Plan the Blocking in Advance
  4. Shot list and/or Storyboard
  5. Pushing the Standard High.

1 Know your Script: 

This is so important. Know your script intimately.  It is called Script Analysis. What this means is that you break the script down and work out exactly what the characters in the scene are doing. Generally speaking the characters will have objectives and they will have different ways of playing the actions in the scene. A Director needs to work out the game plan in advance of a Film Shoot. The Director needs to know how he wants his actors to play the scene in advance of the shoot.  When this happens,  the director can communicate succintly and deliberately on set. Know your script.

2 Actor Rehearsal: 

It really pays to have an actor rehearsal prior to the Film Shoot. What this means is that the actors and the director can discuss the script and the scenes. When one is on a film set, there is too much happening. The Director usually is peppered with questions and other on set problems. Therefore there is no time to rehearse in detail. Have an actor rehearsal prior to a shoot.  You can  weed out cluncky dialogue through improvisation. You sometimes will find a better way of playing the scene. If the director is lucky enough to rehearse on the actual set prior to the shoot,  this will save time. The director can lock down the Actor Blocking in advance of the shoot.

3 Plan the Blocking in Advance. 

Blocking refers to the movement of the actors on the set. The Director needs to know exactly where he wants his actors to move on the set. If left to the actors to move on their own, the movement can be very limited and will probally not fit in with the shot list. So one of the key Directorial tasks, is to work out the actors blocking. This takes training and that is why you should look at a really good Film Course to learn these key film director skills

4 Shot List Storyboard

A Director needs to work out  their Shot list in advance of the shoot. This is one of the areas that definitely reqrires training. Working our the coverage of a scene,  is so important.  A great shot list will create the building blocks for the edit.  Learn all about this on one of our practical Film Courses

5 Pushing the Standard High. 

Working on a film requires commitment . However the very best directors always push for the very best. They motivate and cajole their actors and their crew to push for the very best. If the actors and the crew feel that the director is pushing for a great film, they will try 10o times harder.

One needs to learn how to make films professionally and that is why it is very important to get the very best training available on the very best film course .  Remember learn from the best and when you are shooting prepare prepare prepare.

Film Schools in the very near future 2012  

Till next time   Have a great one.     Colm O'Murchu     Director International Film Base

Why did I get this film making email?  You signed up for our Free E Course on how film directors made it big and and therefore receive our blog on a bimonthly basis. 

Inspiration in the Australian Outback

January 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

 Post:  Driving in the Outback can be inspiring.

Praying for Inspiration

Valeska and I took off for about ten days and went to outback NSW and rambled from town to town, going with the flow and only moving when we felt like it. We did not see a drop of rain and loved  the constant blue skies.

Before you ask, "How can you go to a part of the world that has temperatures hitting the 40C mark (105 F)", please let me explain.

Well I did have a mission. I wanted to come up with a great story outline and treatment for our next screenplay.  I love the great open spaces of the outback and country New South Wales. Very inspiring. No tourists are crazy enough to go out here in the heat of summer and that is exactly why I love it. It feels like the real deal,  like a road movie.

Our goal was to create an awesome story outline  and utilize the passing scenery and all the quirky cooky and very friendly characters we met on the way.

Ok our bomb does not look the best but it got us around

Idea after idea flowed and nothing seemed to gel. We would come up with one story outline after another and then trash them.  We could only find enough for B Grade film.  Story after story idea was tossed around and then trashed.

Even  at Lightning Ridge where black opals are mined, we could not get a story outline that was a winner.  All the story ideas, we came up with in the first eight days of traveling just seemed to be a cliche and stale.  From Coonabarabran to Gundegai to  Lightening Ridge to Bourke to St George , we created only garbage. Our characters seemed to be just flat.

Exasperated, I was about to give up on Day 8 and just enjoy the rest of our road trip, when it happened. We were approaching Moree when something on the radio sparked me off. Suddenly an amazing idea floated into my head. I got out my IPhone recorder and started flowing with a story that would prove to be so cool and original and dare I say it "Fresh"

Road going to the West

Valeska and I then started talking about the story and more flowed. Out of that amazing creative dimension called creativity,  scenes spouted out at a faster rate than we could record them.

There was an excitement about this idea that was missing from all previous ideas. We were suddenly on fire.

The next day we went back to the story and it still seemed like a really fresh story.  More ideas and more scenes appeared to us and we felt that sense of flow that happens when you hit oil. I reflected on inspiration and what happens when a story truly appears.

Here are some of my thoughts:  I believe that finding a great story is like searching for gold. You have to shift a lot of dirt to get to gold but when it happens it's priceless. Then it's like striking oil. Ideas and scenes spew out at an alarming rate faster than you can process them.  To get to this point I believe  that you need to trash bad story outlines as soon as you know it. This saves you so much time and stress later.

A Beer always helps

Today I am knocking out a 20  page treatment of the story that will encapsulate the whole film from beginning to end. Then the story is submitted to my 3 week test. In other words, will the story be as strong at  the end of Janaury as it is now. If so, I will fully comit and move on to producing and developing the story as a  film.

What is the movie called ,   "Hot Streak".   30% of the film takes place in California and the other 70% in Australian outback towns. Our lead character is American and most of the supports are Australian. Anyone interested in investing, get in early.

If you are interested in creating a really cool story, look at our
4 month Film School in Sydney . The first two weeks is all about developing a story and writing a screenplay or please look at our Weekend Film Schools in Adelaide and Melbourne 

 

Till next time, have a great one.

 

Colm O'Murchu

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