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Tip 6 – A Director Prepares

October 26, 2016 by · Comments Off on Tip 6 – A Director Prepares 

A Film Director needs to prepare diligently for a film shoot.  The areas that a Film Director is involved in, during preproduction is as follows.12747868_10208310152209130_7276638341045919815_o

  1. Casting and Rehearsals with Actors
  2. Meetings with the Production Designer ref the design or enhancement of the film sets
  3. Meetings with Costume Designer ref the wardrobe for the actors
  4. Meetings with the Key Makeup Artist ref the makeup for the actors in the film.
  5. Meetings with the DOP ref the Shot Lists and the visual look of the film.
  6. Meetings with the First AD ref the shot list and the blocking of the actors.
  7. Meetings with SFX or/and VFX people involved in production.
  8. Meetings with any Stunt co-ordinators ref the stunts involved in any scenes.
  9. Location Inspections of the locations sought out by the location scout.

This is something that can be taught on an exceptional film course.

The more planning, the better the film shoot. It is a very simple equation. The shoot is an exciting part of the filmmaking process. A Film Director needs to have vision and clarity when directing a film. Most of the direction takes place in Preproduction. On the shoot itself, the director will work exceptionally hard at directing the crew and actors. But the bulk of the work must be completed in preproduction.  The simple rule for a Film Director is this. Prepare Prepare Prepare.

You can learn how to do the above on our One Month Film Course


Tip 5 Find the Best Crew Size for your production.

October 5, 2016 by · Comments Off on Tip 5 Find the Best Crew Size for your production. 

Tip 5:  Find the Best Crew Size for your production. 


Our Camera/ Gaffer truck for Tabernacle 101 shoot

The best Crew size varies from production to production. I have shot a micro budget short films with 7 Crew and I have directed a weekend feature film with 15 Crew. I have also directed a $1million dollar cash budget with 20 crew. It varies depending on budget and complexity of the production.

When we shoot films on our Film Course productions, we usually work on a 11 Person Crew on set, composed of the following people.

Essential Crew: 

  1. First AD
  2. Director
  3. DOP
  4. Focus Puller
  5. Clapper
  6. Grips
  7. Gaffer
  8. Make- up Artist
  9. Continuity
  10. Sound Recordist
  11. Boom

You could have the 15 people we had on our recent one hour 40 minutes film Tabernacle 101

When you are taking on a bigger project, it really pays to the have the following.

  1. Production Designer
  2. Costumes/Wardrobe.
  3. Production Runner
  4. Production Assistant.

Colm O’Murchu directing Tabernacle 101 2016

You may be asking what some the above crew actually do.  I often get asked what the gaffer does and the grip. Each crew member specialise in a specific important area for the production of the film.

On our  film course you actually learn what each crew member does You also revolve through each role on an  actual film production and actually do the crew role. This is very important for directors, DOPs and producers.

Each film production has the following exceptionally important pillars.
Script, Crew, Cast, Locations , Film Equipment and Post Production.   A productive crew is exceptionally important.  So how do you find them?

Where to find Crew?

  • Build your network. We have a network of past alumni  who have completed one of our film courses. It is called Indie Film Club and it meets four times per year and the idea is that people network and build their crews and help.
  • Film Courses that you make a film on.  This is a great way to understand crew roles and how they work and also build your own crew for your film productions.e
  • Hire from Crew websites or google crew. Sites such as Aus Crew or Top Techs have crew listed. You will have to pay top dollar or at least half of their normal rates.  The advantage is that you get great crew. However it will cost you.

What ever way it works, as an indie film maker you must gather and recruit a crew for every film production that you make. If you want to learn the easy way how all this works, have a look at one of our film courses

Colm O’Murchu – Director International and Australian Film Base 2016-10-04 14:49:36

October 4, 2016 by · Comments Off on 2016-10-04 14:49:36 

Tip 1 –   A Film Director must Prepare Prepare Prepare. 

Film Directing is divided into four distinct seasons.

  1. PreProduction
  2. The Shoot
  3. Post Production
  4. Film Festivals and Screenings

Today, lets focus on Preproduction.
Having personally worked on hundreds of film productions in various roles over the last 20 years, I have observed certain areas that a Film Director must be an expert in.  At the moment, I am directing my 4th feature film, Tabernacle 101.  As a result I feel compelled to clarify Film Directing for the Emerging Film Director.

Preproduction is preparation.  A really experience and brilliant director will totally prepare for a film shoot. Most of the hard work is done in preproduction.A Film Director will want to work with the  following experts in the Preparatory Preproduction phase.

  • The Screenwriter – The Director will want to work on further drafts and revisions of the script to make sure that the best script possible is ready to shoot. Many times the director is the screenwriter in Indie Films.
  • The Casting Director – The Director will want to work with the Casting Director to maker sure that the casting attracts the very best acting talent available. If the budget is small, the director will work on casting from scratch without the help of a Casting Director.
  • The DOP (Cinematographer) – The Director will want to work with his or her DOP of the lighting look of the film and the shot list. You should always have an experienced DOP. Complete Shot lists in advance of the shoot are very important.
  • The Production Designer – The Director will need meetings with this very important person. The Production Designer work on the colour schemes of the set on location. The Look of the film set is very important and when this area is neglected, the film looks cheap.  A production designer is a great help and they will help collaborate with the director and source all the set dressing and props for the film. If very low budget, a short film can be effectively and dramatically improved for a small budget of $500.
  • The Makeup Artist – The Director will need to talk to the Make up Artist ref the look of the characters scene by scene. Makeup is very important in Sci Fi or Horror genre.
  • The Wardrobe or Costume Designer. — The Director will have all important meetings with their wardrobe person ref the costumes for actors.
  • Rehearsals – Once the film is cast the director will work on rehearsals with the actors to improve and work on performance before the shoot.

If you do all of this preparation as a Film Director, the shoot will be at a much higher standard than with poor preparation.

If you prepare prepare prepare, the film will be at a much higher standard. Learn how to do all of the above on our 3 month Film Course

Tip 2 To Direct Like a Pro – Cast like a Pro.

October 4, 2016 by · Comments Off on Tip 2 To Direct Like a Pro – Cast like a Pro. 

Tip 2 To Direct Like a Pro –  Cast like a Pro. 

When we teach on our Film Courses, we always have a full night of casting as one of72891eb61a8e80d72915d79f3ca0bc0e the sessions. There is a very good reason for this.I have seen many films where the technical side of film making is on par with a Hollywood film.However the writing and the casting is abysmal.

So bad it totally destroys the film making.The acting is wooden, lacks credibility and totally takes the audience out of the film. Do not let this happen you.
My advise is this. Learn how to cast properly.
Here in Sydney, emerging film makers and indie film makers alike use Star Now to find their actors. On the 3 month Film Course , we teach the film makers to do the exact same. We show you how to create the correct copy to attract actors to apply for your casting. Every day actors are inundated with audition adverts sent via Star Now.You have to make your casting call as appealing and as attractive as possible.

We teach you how to do this and then how to book the actors.
We show you how to organise a professional casting and audition process.
As the Director, you need to be present at the casting.
You also need an assistant and a camera person and a reader actor to read opposite the actors who  are attending the casting. It is so important to look professional.

Recently for our film Tabernacle 101, our 95 minute feature film, we saw 173 actors total IMG_3719-300x200and cast our 2 leads and 2 supporting actors from this total. It is hard work. We saw everyone first and then we had a short list of about 25 people who came back for a 2nd casting. Then we whittled the short list down to 8.
On our third round we tested our final actors. In the end we cast our 4 actors after much deliberation and intuition and advise. We know that we found the best 4 actors. Seeing them on set makes me feel and know that we are making a great film with the very best acting talent available to me. As always with film, try not to do things the hard way.As a small part of our film Courses we teach you how to cast properly. This will raise your film making and your film to the another level.


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