P.S. I STOLE YOUR CAR
Making a film requires a lot of effort. It includes crewing, planning, scheduling, budgeting, casting and that just pre-production. In filmmaking, there are three important elements; pre-production, production, post-production. Everything starts with research and planning. Scheduling is extremely important if there is a deadline. Keeping everything on time is a professional sign.
My job was to translate a script (words) into visuals (shots) that will be turned over to an editor to pull together into a film. I was a movie director. There are many different types of directors, some of them are playful like Federico Fellini, some of them are serious, some of them are political like Sergei Eisenstein or really assuming like Woody Allen. Some directors are more technical, they spend most of the time with the crew checking technical aspects, directing actors but more focused on the technical side. Directors like myself put everything into two halves. 50% of the time I spend with the actors, going through the script, talking and directing them. Second half I was collaborating with the technical crew. This helped me and the crew to find the best solutions in all aspects. Also, actors were the equal part of the team. We always listen to actors opinions, because they had quite a few great ideas. I think great teamwork was our biggest strength. Great collaboration gave us unique ideas that we did think about it before. I learned, that listening to each other and sharing ideas gives the best results.
I did research on the cinematic look I was looking for from the film. I found some videos and images, that inspired me, creating an imagery for the film. This gave me ideas of which colours, costume and locations I wanted for this film. I realised that we need to use “warmer” shades, to give more “western” look for the film.
When researching locations I collaborated with the producers to have a look at so they could find the right area for the setting I had in mind. I think collaborating with producers and sharing ideas gave us more options on locations because we all had what to offer. Always working with producers helped me to avoid misunderstandings.
I also found some inspirational songs for composers and the crew. Once we’ve completed the production days, we saw that the music that I chose for inspiration doesn’t fit our movie anymore. We found this to be true once our composers followed the inspiration we gave them and we did not like it with the film.
Making it real
When everything was planned I worked with the production designer to discuss clothes. This enabled us to consider a few ideas of how our locations should look like and what the spectrum of colours should be. Pre-planning this helped us to develop the cinematic look of the film. In one scene Sean hits himself and get’s a bruise. The production designer and I discussed this, I showed her how I wanted the bruise to look like. Now, looking back at the shooting day, I feel like we needed to pay more attention to make-up to make it look more realistic. I had a few photos that I will link below how I wanted the bruise to look like, but unfortunately, it didn’t turn out how expected. Maybe next time we need to choose a different technique and different face paint.
I worked with the director of photography and completed the Script Analysis, completing the shots list. We discussed the storyboard and cinematography. Specialising in every detail, trying to imagine the visual look of every shot helped us a lot as. We planned every shot, every camera movement, so it saved us a lot of time on filming days because we were prepared.
Casting actors was a new experience for me. We had a personal casting for each actor. I asked them to read a part of the script. After that, I gave them situations like “Your girlfriend just divorced you, now read the script with that emotion” or “Someone just ate all of your food”. I did this because I wanted to see how long can actors “keep” the emotion that I asked for. Also, we did some online castings trough “SKYPE”. I asked them to do the exact same thing. I think casting went well because I’m really happy with my actors.
Before starting filming I was feeling stressed about directing actors. I didn’t know them personally, didn’t know what kind of people they were or if was going to be easy to work. Of course, castings helped a lot, but still, it wasn’t enough. I did a lot of research, I watched a lot of videos for tips of directing. “Our stories unfold in time as well as in space, and the ability to use both in service of our stories if of paramount importance. A simplistic view of the use of time in film – but one that contains much storytelling savvy – is that we shorten what is boring and lengthen what is interesting” During the editing we had to make a few important cuts, just to make everything look on point. Sometimes just a few extra seconds can destroy the whole scene. My motto in directing was “Acting is about reacting” Every action has a reaction. I always told my actors to be in the moment, to listen to each other, not just give me dry lines. I asked them to REACT to each other. In my opinion, actors did a great job. I think it’s because we understand each other very well. I, personally improved as a director. Now I have more knowledge about how to speak with the actors, how to ask them what you want in the right way. I think good communication is the key to success.
- Dancyger, Ken. Director’s Idea. 1st ed. New York: Focal, 2015. Print.
- Weston, Judith. Directing Actors. 1st ed. Studio City, CA: M. Wiese Productions, 2014. Print.
- Proferes, Nicholas. Film Directing Fundamentals. 2nd ed. [Place of publication not identified]: Focal, 2015. Print.
- In reference to a method of acting, 1924, from Russian actor and director Konstantin Stanislavsky (1863-1938).
- “Filmbug Movie Stars”. Filmbug.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 28 Mar. 2017.