Tag Archives: director

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 “Pre-Production”?

This is the second phase of the film making process. You engage in this phase once you have secured financing for your film. The main objective of this task is to assemble your team, and secure your locations. The first thing you want to do is hire your director. This is crucial. Your director will basically be the man in charge of all creative decisions in your film. You want to find someone who is capable, likable, and shares the same vision as you. Once you find your director, you need to hire your casting director. Have him/her start searching for and narrowing down the actors to approximately 5-10 for each major role. While your casting director is doing that you will assemble your crew. Of course, every crew member is important, but if you had to narrow your crew down to the top five most important people, most directors would say: DP, Production Designer, Editor, Script Supervisor, and First AD. Once you have secured those people then start recruiting the rest of your team. After this is done, you are going to work with your director, production designer and first AD to scout for locations. After securing locations, you will work with the first AD and the director to develop a shooting schedule. Once you know how many days your actors and crew members will be working, and how long you will be spending at each location, you can start building your budget. You should have already started working on your preliminary budget during the development phase in order to secure financing, but now that you have more details ironed out, you can start fine tuning your budget. During this time, as a producer, you are also working with your UPM to get permits and sort out all legalities involved in shooting at certain locations. Your production designer is preparing all the set designs, art work, and props. Your DP and director are working on shot lists, determining the visual tone of the film, and sorting out all the angles needed for thorough coverage. After your casting director has narrowed down the field to 5-10 actors for each major role, the director – and sometimes the producer – will watch the tape of all the actors and see if there is anyone that can be cut just from watching tape. Then the casting director will call in all the remaining actors to read for the director. The director ultimately chooses which actor will be chose for each role. Some times the director will narrow it down to 2-3 candidates for each role and have them do chemistry testing. Finding the right actors can be a long and daunting task, but having a great performances in your film is arguably the most important aspect next to the story. Once all this is achieved, you are ready to move into production and push “record”!

What is a Director of Photography?

This person is also known as the DP, or the head cinematographer. It has been argued that, besides the director, the DP is the most important person on a set when it comes to the visual aspect of the film. He/she is responsible for achieving the artistic and creative vision that is desired by the director. When the director says what he/she wants a certain scene to look like, it is the job of the DP to make sure that look is executed properly. The DP has to make sure that the scene is lit properly, and framed correctly. DP’s have been said to “paint with light”.

What is a film director?

A film director is responsible for the entire creative execution of the film. He/she is in charge of the entire process from pre-production all the way to the end of post-production. Despite the fact that the director is ultimately responsible for all the aspects of the film, he/she usually has a reliable crew to look after these aspects. For example the DP will look after the look, color, lighting and framing. There will be wardrobe, make-up, and sound specialists. However, there is one responsibility that the director has that nobody else helps with and that is working with the actors. In saying that, the number one job of a director is to work with their actors and get the best performances out of them. Nobody else is supposed to give direction to the actors except for the director.