Tips to make my first real shoot not fail?

Im going to meet actors and be a director for the first time. Do you have any quick tips so it turns out the way I want it to, and not be a complete fail?
 
Have a clear vision of what you want, but at the same time, be flexible. If things don't go as planned, be prepared to deal with that without getting angry or upset (even if it means taking a five minute break to go be angry or upset not in front of your cast and crew so you can come back and be professional). I'm finding that a lot of being a producer/director is crisis management and problem solving. The way you deal with things when nothing is going right will have a huge impact on your success.

Let people do their jobs. That means if you're working with people who know what they're doing (or at least know more about what they're doing than you do), defer to their expertise. Tell them what you want, but then let them figure out how to get it for you, a listen when they tell you something won't work or would work better a different way.

On the music video I just shot, one of the guys decided the best way to get a particular shot was to run a zip line with my GoPro (originally we were going to have someone with a remote controlled octocopter for the shot, but that fell through). I told him and the one other guy that was there helping me out to figure it out and do it. Sure, that meant I was suddenly running two cameras and starting the music by myself, but I made it work. And in the end, we got an awesome zip line shot. :yes:
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
indiePRO
Let people do their jobs.
I want to repeat this 100 times.

It may not turn out exactly as you want it to, but if you bring on
the right actors and director (and DP, audio, art department, crew)
and let them do what they do it will not be a fail.
 
if you see actors failing to perform, stop them immediately give them a talking, if they still suck, get rid, dont let one bad actor ruin your film
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
plan for everyone to show up 2-3 hours late .. allocate more time than you need for an amateur shoot. unless they are in the SAG and you can complain to the union, be prepared for them to be really late.
 
My biggest tips:

-People will show up late, expect it.
-Always shoot MORE footage than you need. A LOT of extra footage. More seems to always be better.
-If the actor thinks they know what to do, let them try. If it doesn't work out, then offer advice.
-Plan EVERYTHING. Make lists. Be prepared.
-Review footage before moving on (I've screwed up a lot of shots that I ASSUMED would work, especially audio...my nemesis).
-Be prepared to do some of the work yourself if need be.
-Be ready to improvise whenever necessary.
-Remember that you'll end up with far less footage than what you shot. If you want a 5 minute feature, expect to shoot 5+ hours (that's my going average, 1 minute of footage for 1hr of shooting).

There's probably MUCH more, but that's what comes to mind first.
 
some good advice some guy gave me on yahoo answers:

"Plan meticulously. Plan for contingencies, accidents, and unexpected weather. Plan for permits, sicknesses, police interference, crowds, stray dogs. Plan for broken equipment, lost props, damaged sets. Plan every angle, every shot, every scene. Plan everything and plan for things that don't happen.

If you plan well, even when things change unexpectedly, you'll have a back-up plan for that. There will be no wasted time if you plan every detail.

Take care of your people well. Make them feel cared about and part of the creative process. Happy staff makes a better, faster, smoother production. Feed them well. Make sure they know the relationship between getting a good job done and getting a good lunch. Keep them out of the rain. Keep them warm. Keep them happy."
 
-Always shoot MORE footage than you need. A LOT of extra footage. More seems to always be better.
-Remember that you'll end up with far less footage than what you shot. If you want a 5 minute feature, expect to shoot 5+ hours (that's my going average, 1 minute of footage for 1hr of shooting).

While a 60:1 ratio may be excessive in my opinion, don't be afraid to shoot a 6:1, 10:1 or even a 15:1 footage ratio. It's better to have extra footage to work with, rather than the alternative, scratching your head in post production trying to work out how on earth you're going to make the lack of footage work is not a stress you want to have.

Always get inserts. They can help tell your story and save your "ass" in post.

Experience over time will help you know what footage you'll never use.


-Plan EVERYTHING. Make lists. Be prepared.

Learn why you do everything and when you will use it will help you make decisions during production.

It all takes time and experience.

My biggest suggestions:
Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
Don't be afraid to try something.
Don't be afraid to fail.
Always have a safety net.
Don't be afraid to make decisions, even if they could be the wrong decision.
Don't be afraid to admit a mistake and change your mind.
Learn how to effectively express want you want.
Concentrate on the result you want, not how you want it done.
 
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