Category Archives: Directing

What is a helmer?

Just another fancy word for director.

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What are the different types of agents within a talent agency?

Within a talent agency, you typically have different types of agents…not all of them are referred to as “talent agents”.

Literary agents work with writers and directors. Motion picture lit agents represent writers/directors who work in feature film and TV lit agents represent writers/directors who work in…you guessed it…TV.

Talent agents represent with actors & actresses.

Book agents represent authors.

Public appearance agents represent comedians and public speakers

Commercial agents represent actors and actresses but are only concerned with booking them jobs in TV commercials and other forms of advertising.

Voice-over agents represent voice-over actors.

A lot of the time, client will have agents from all divisions as a part of their team. For example most TV writers also work in the feature film work and vice versa.

Keep It Down On Set!!

Whether you are producer or director, one of the biggest mistakes you can do on a set is to publicly give a direction or a note. Particularly with directors, if you need to give a direction to your actor, you always want to get up of your directors chair and approach the actor and give him the note face to face so that nobody else can hear it. The days of the directors sitting on high chairs with mega phones are over. Actors are put in the most vulnerable position on the set out of anyone and you as a director want to make them feel secure in their craft. Never scream out a note. Never give a direction that everyone can hear. Then what happens is people start to judge the actor and the performance and because the actor is aware of this, it will undoubtedly affect his/her performance.

Same thing goes for key crew members. If you have directions or instructions, always pull them aside and tell them privately. This will always make for a better tone on set because it makes the crew feel that their work is respected and valued. TRUST ME!

A studio film director once told me, the best directors and producers are the ones that are able to EMPOWER all the creative people they work with in a way that makes them all feel like the project belongs to them.

What is a “Day-Out-Of-Days Schedule”?

After the shooting schedule is made, the production manager will also make a day-out-of days schedule which is a special schedule that shows when each actor works during the course of the schedule. This is important for the producer to structure the best actor deals, and for the director to know when each actor will be needed on which day.

What is a “P.A.”?

When talking about a film set, you often hear the term “P.A.”. This stands for production assistant. This person is the assistant to the first assistant director. These guys are the lowest in the totem pole. PA’s can be asked to do any general task. This could involve being hands on working on set, or doing menial work like getting coffee. If you are looking to work on set or in production, becoming a PA is one of the easiest jobs you can find and it is also one of the easiest ways to get your foot in the door. Most accomplished film directors started out as a PA on a film set.

What is “Continuity”

Continuity is always a concern for any filmmaker. When making a motion picture, the filmmaker usually has to shoot a particular scene more than once in order to get the best performance and with different angles in order to get sufficient coverage. When he/she does this, it is crucial to maintain continuity. To maintain continuity is to maintain consistency with the appearance of a set/actors, dialogue, and physical state of props as scenes get shot over and over again. This may seem trivial, but you’d be surprised how many mistakes actually occur in movies. Check out http://www.movie-mistakes.com when you have a spare moment.