August has been a busy month for me, in the best possible way. “One Week in Windchocombe” has been in full swing, and it’s been a blast to work on. We’re already getting some press, and of course, I’ll share what I can when I can about the project. In the meantime, have a couple images:
Also, my ebook, “From Page to Screen and Everything in Between” is now available for purchase. It started as a seminar for an arts and technology conference I was invited to speak at this past year, and I spent a lot of time revising and re-organizing the material into a 25-page ebook. It’s designed to help any independent filmmakers who want to refine their process, avoid pitfalls, produce high-value work on an independent budget, or even get started in the business.
Check it out here.
I’ll be slowing down a bit in September and also getting back to the gym (I stopped as part of role prep for “One Week”). Perhaps more importantly, I will once again be taking commissions for modeling/photography work. If you or anyone else you know needs either a model or photographer (or an actor/improviser, for that matter) drop me an email and we’ll discuss your project. I offer very affordable rates and love working with new people.
Lastly, as a special gift to all of my readers, I wanted to share a page from my ebook with you:
If you’re going to make films, do it because you love it. It’s not glamorous, it’s a hell of a lot of work, and especially when you’re starting out it can be one of the most ambitious pursuits for some of the tiniest rewards. A lot of people outside the process won’t understand the sheer volume of time that goes into filmmaking, and film in general is a business of a thousand rejections and a handful of approvals. You will make mistakes, you will discover later that you could’ve done something a lot better, and if you really are pushing yourself (and especially if you have a lot of other life commitments) you might even burn out. That’s the brutal reality of it, right there.
But if you’ve got a burning idea, if you’ve got the passion for it, if you’re going to be more miserable or bored not doing it… then do it. Ask yourself why and what you want to create: do you want to make a fan film for your favourite TV series? Do you want to film something short and silly to generate hits on Youtube? Do you have a story you want to bring to life? Do you want to enter film festivals? Once you have that question answered, then it’s time to get started.
Especially on your first film, keep in mind that it takes time to build up a name, to build credibility for yourself and to find reliable people to work with. Conducting and portraying yourself as a dedicated, organized professional, right from when you meet someone for the first time to when the end product screens will make people that much more likely to want to work with you and be interested in what you’re doing.
Learning to be organized – or how to at least appear to be organized – will help your production run that much more smoothly. Always honouring and being early for scheduling commitments like meetings and call times shows that you’re reliable. Getting prepared before shoots or meetings, knowing exactly what you need, and taking your time to get everything set up properly will go far in helping you achieve professional-looking results in the end. A badly run set, no matter how much money it has to waste, will still produce inferior work when compared with someone who has every detail organized and perfectly executed. And that includes planning to improvise and creatively problem solve when things don’t go 100% according to plan.
On the subject of organization, keep detailed lists of absolutely everything in your production bible – something that will be discussed later – whether it’s something like what actors need to be on set what day to what specific props and costumes you need for scene 11. And if possible, take a page from Hollywood when it comes to movie making – have as many people on set as possible to each handle a specific job. It gives everyone less to worry about and helps significantly with more professional-looking results, because there’s less for each person to focus on.
Now, you may not know five people to help keep track of costuming, seven people to help focus lights, a chef or restaurant to do the catering, and so on. That’s okay. There are times where you may need to be director, camera person, lighting, sound, script prompter, makeup artist, and seven other things all at once. Again, that’s a possible reality, especially on first projects, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
That’s it for now. Let me know what you think of the ebook content, and I may post another page soon!