Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Advice to New Directors

To all you who want to direct your own movie:
  • Try to focus on just the job of Director. This means it will be harder and the directing will suffer if you are the actor or producer as well. This doesn't apply to jobs that don't really run concurrently like writing (or even editing, but see note below).
  • You are going to make first-timer mistakes. The movie can't afford too many of these, so don't hire other first-timers in key positions.
  • You will need people you trust to advise you on not making too many first-timer mistakes. But your insecurity will try and stop you from taking the advice. Or listening to those with more experience.
  • Cast every position like it's the lead. Don't give in to your insecurity by giving out roles so people will like you or think you're such a nice guy.
  • Don't be the editor too. Most director's cannot "kill their children." Which means you love scenes that don't move the story and lose any kind of objective storytelling sense.
  • Know your goal-- do you want a calling card for bigger/greater things? Or do you want this movie to find distribution and make money? Because it's a totally different strategy for each of those end games.
  • Study, research, learn. When I meet a person who wants to direct, I meet someone who has read many, many books, seen many, many films, and listened to many, many commentaries. And they've also shot some shorts. You say you want to direct but haven't done any of these things? Then I say you really don't want to direct.
  • Learn how to communicate.  Know the basics of the communication model (sender/receiver/medium/filters).
  • Learn some psychology.  (Get the DSM).
Anyway... just some random advice for you up and coming directors.

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