Adopting A Plan To Succeed In Filmmaking

Published: 28th December 2011
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It has often been said that if you do not have a plan for success, then you have a plan for failure and this is very relevant to the process of filmmaking too. Think about it; a producer gets a script that he or she likes, then what? Top actors can be booked up for years as may all the top directors and technical staff.

So, while you are trying to get financiers for the film, you have to start co-ordinating all your principal personnel. Let's say that you would like a particular director, a few of the main technicians and you have five leading character roles, for which you have preferences. First, you might have to wait for your favourite casting director to have time to help.

You get in touch with the director and he cannot begin until the end of January. However, your first choices for the leading five actors cannot all be free for long enough to shoot the film until June,

However, some of them can spare a couple of days here and there before that. Now the leading man and the leading lady would like to appoint executive directors to look after their interests.

The script writer and a few the top investors also demand to appoint executive directors in order to look after their interests too. Now you have what amounts to a board of directors with a chairman, every one with slightly different focuses, but all wanting the film to be a success.

Naturally, the backers would like to know precisely how much the film will cost and the actors will need to know when their agents may book their next film role.

This means that time and money has to be allocated to each scene. So someone has to price up each scene and make allowances for weather, sickness, breakdowns and delays.

If the producer wants to begin before everybody can be on the set, he can arrange to shoot scenes as and when actors get a free day or two and this means a lot of co-ordination by the continuity staff.

It might also mean hardship with visas if shooting abroad, where authorization to film will also have to be acquired. This might mean a license or corruption.

If the film is an epic, they might require thousands of extras and perhaps none of them will be able to speak English, so you will require interpreters and the script may need to become translated in part. And that translation has to be proven to be accurate

Customs and local habits have to be respected, so first you have to know what they are and you have to be certain the actors and technicians understand them. If you are shooting some scenes on location and others at home, you need to take the local seasons into account.

Some countries just have a few hours daylight at some times of the year, while other areas vary from 15 hours to five hours. What if you need a monsoon, you have taken your cast to Thailand and hired 500 extras and the monsoon comes six weeks late? Your insurance will have to be very detailed and specific to cover each eventuality.

Shooting a film is a mammoth task and frighteningly costly, so if you do not plan, you will fail and the more detailed the plan you have, the more control you have and the more likelihood of success.

Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on many subjects, but is at existing involved with professional studio photographers. If you have an interest in photography, please go over to our web site now at Photography Studio Cameras

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