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Filmmaking: Director’s Perspective

1. You have the script, actors, and the camera at your disposal to tell the story.

2. Try to always set up the scene as real events as may be seen through the eyes of the characters.

3. Think about what the character sees, feels and decides to do with what they see and feel can be a good starting point for placing the camera.

4. If you aren’t the writer of the story, you should empower the writer to search deeply for the right solutions for the characters. You shouldn’t give the right solutions to the characters’ problems; this isn’t your job.

5. What tools can you use to direct the scene/film?

  • Back-story.
  • Scenes objective.
  • Filmmaking tools such as camera movement, lights, design, setting, location, music, sound, colour etc.

6. You take responsibility for what you tell your actors and what you talk about during the rehearsal or just before the take.

7. You need to be brave and have the courage to tell your cast and crew what is your vision of the story and what you need from everyone to make that vision a reality.

8. You should know what sensory event the actor was working with during the scene. So you can either build on this or readjust.

9. Make yourself looking uncomfortable with some specific skills the character needs if you decide to show off in front of your actors. So they can be better than you and don’t feel the pressure of being perfect.

10. Solve problems by being specific and straightforward. Don’t beat around the bush, telling irrelevant stories. Nobody likes those.

11. Make sure your actors know that acting for film is like a real event, not like acting for theatre.

12. Block the scene before shooting with the actors so the actors know where they should go and look. It doesn’t mean your blocking should be perfect. It merely means you are trying something and if that doesn’t work, you will try something else. You can make things as easy for the character or as difficult as you want.

13. You should set up scenes in a way that will allow the characters to make the decisions they need to make in that particular scene.

14. You can ask your actors to do the alphabet backwards or multiplying 17×27 if you need them to be a bit confused or unfocused.

15. Give actors direction that they understand. I believe in simplicity and like to keep my direction simple.

16. Don’t be afraid to ask your actors: ”What got on the way of our working together?”, “What was good and what was bad?” Don’t explain yourself, just listen.

While you are here, you might also be interested in Creative Distribution.

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