Reviewing People and Location

During preproduction, try to revisit all the filming locations and talk once more to the main people who will appear in the film. The location review (on which I often take the cameraperson) helps first of all to refamiliarize you with the subject matter. A few months may have passed since you did the scouting and research, and things may have changed. The review also helps you sort out practical questions regarding parking and security. You are also now looking at locations from a slightly different perspective, with a director's eye rather than a writer's eye. What will be the best shots? Which direction does the sun come up? Should you plan to shoot that building in the morning when it's shaded, or in the afternoon when it's sunlit?

This is also a time to meet again with your key film participants and anyone else who is going to help you. The meetings serve both a psychological and practical purpose. First, it may be beneficial to talk over the film in a little more detail with your on-camera interviewees and explain to them what you want to do. It's a time to put their minds at rest about how difficult it will all be and about how much their lives will be disturbed. This is also a time to get to know them better—to explore who they are, what they will say, how they might appear on camera, and if anything new and important has happened to them since you last met. You should also work on establishing a real trust between yourself and the participants or the interviewees. I cannot stress enough how important this is; it has always seemed to me that documentary directing is more about trust than about finding the right camera positions. You should also use this time to examine scheduling possibilities. When are your participants free? When do they do those particular operations at the hospital? When do the main business meetings take place? What is the actual date of the school graduation? Whom should you have to contact when you come to film? How many days in advance should you notify them?

One particular point that calls for your attention is future lighting options. For example, it was only while doing a preproduction "recce" that I noticed that the hospital where I wanted to film used electrical outlets totally different from those normally used. If that had been overlooked, we would have been in serious trouble. Remember to check how much power is available and how accessible it is.

Film Making

Film Making

If you have ever wanted the secrets to making your own film, here it is: Indy Film Insider Tips And Basics To Film Making. Have you ever wanted to make your own film? Is there a story you want to tell? You might even think that this is impossible. Studios make films, not the little guy. This is probably what you tell yourself. Do you watch films with more than a casual eye? You probably want to know how they were able to get perfect lighting in your favorite scene, or how to write a professional screenplay.

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