View Single Post
Old 04-27-2012, 11:09 AM   #25
Basic Member
rayw's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: About a thousand years from now
Posts: 6,621
Originally Posted by FantasySciFi View Post
Modern, you're approaching this at too advanced a level. He's never shot anything. He's never written anything. He's never edited anything. He has no clue about lighting, shot angles, or sound. He's only "directed" (whatever that means to him), a 1-2 minute doritos commercial which was written and shot by someone else with 30+ years experience and that guy's resources.

It's like your kid has a paper route and wants to open a bank account. You're advising to watch the stock market and evaluate with markets he should invest in avoid poor returns. He's looking at you blankly as glances over the columns of cryptic numbers and letters with his twelve dollars in hand.

Desperado needs to get his feet wet and he needs to do it at the basic level. He needs to just write a few shorts himself, get his friends together and start filming. IF it is something that he really wants to do in life, THEN he will dedicate himself to the other aspects. Many of us have jobs that pay for the filmmaking/writing/acting side. His friend can help him out by teaching him to shoot, set up lights, work the sound equipment. He can write a few shorts and shoot them with his friends. It's the only way to really learn to make films. Unless your parent is a movie bigwig, it takes gaining skills in all the areas--including acting and writing. A good director can do miracles with $5000. An incompetent director can spend $5 million and still have garbage. Money is important, but only when combined with experience.

You're right that the 'business side' will drive the movie's production. He needs to learn what goes into that from all sides. I've known 'backseat directors', videographers who like shooting and want others to 'direct'. Somehow, though, they get to call the 'shots' ("You know, if X did Y that would look cool." "Let's try that from over here because of the lighting." etc.) I think collaborative directing can be helpful. However, when you have to direct solo and the cast and crew are looking to you, you NEED to have a good grasp of the different aspects besides the budget.

Did you break out the angles/shots/transitions for the script, maybe storyboard them? What kind of lighting and effects do you want? Will you need extra shots for special effects/green screen? Will you need multiple angles shots for conversations? Do you have permissions? What will appeal to the viewers? There are lots of considerations in telling the visual story.

Paraphrasing: "I need a 10-15 page script to shoot. The only thing I've done was a two minute Dorito's commercial. I want someone else to write it [because they have experience]. I'm going to have someone else shoot it because he has experience and people who can help out [who have experience]." I don't mean to be unkind, but directors get respect because they HAVE personal experience. It's hard to be the director when cast and crew keep turning to someone else for the answers.

I'm NOT suggesting that every director needs to go to film school or have tons of movies under the belt. I would suggest that a director MUST have the experience of going through the important roles of acting, writing, shooting and editing. Doing this a couple times on shorts magically brings things together. Lighting, sound, and set construction are also highly recommended. Then the money side makes sense (cents?).

Desperado, you're making this too hard for yourself. Just write a short 4-6 page script. Learn how to work the camera. Get some friends and shoot it. Directing is much simpler once you understand how to frame shots (Rule of thirds), how to shift angles (high/low, 180 rule, etc.), and understand lighting and focus. These take experience. Read lots of scripts, see how the writers break out shots that can help you as the director visualize the story. Write some yourself. You're not writing a masterpiece just a couple stories to play with writing! Take your favorite TV show and write a quick scene. Read up on how to make a shot list and storyboard. Practice these with a couple 4-6 page scripts. Learn about editing. Even those that come pre-installed on most computers (like Microsoft MovieMaker) are ways to get a feel for transitions and effects. Shoot some footage of friends and edit it. There are freeware applications out there that let you do more advanced effects that you can explore (Jahshaka, Wax 2.0, Blender, etc.). As you play and gain experience, you will become a better director. You will know how to tell the story visually and have a better sense of what you can do within your budget. Shotlists give you a great deal of control over what and who needs to be in a scene. As you watch TV and movies, study how the light and shots are framed. Understanding the basics of 3 point lighting will change the quality of your movies.

If the only impression you have of being a director is telling people how to act and yelling action, then it will be a surprise when you assist on other sets. I would STRONGLY encourage you to work/volunteer time on other productions. I always learn a great deal from observing different styles of direction. If you want to make filming your life try and do a little bit of everything! Being a production assistant or assistant director is an awesome learning experience that will make you a much better director.

Best wishes as you explore filmmaking.
rayw is offline   Reply With Quote