Meet the Mayfarers

Top 12 Tips for Making Films & Web Shows

1. Be honest and open: If actors have to take their clothes off – do it on the first day!

2. Just like in a restaurant, atmosphere trumps all:  If you’re not able to pay top dollar, then pay in set atmosphere – good food, good people, lots of fun. Its like hosting a party. If you make sure everyone is happy and having fun – good results will happen. (however, unlike a party, imbibing a great deal of alcohol does not help)

3. Don’t sweat it. You can’t control if someone likes your work, just if you enjoy it.  Everyone has an opinion. Form your own. One man’s “Best Picture” is another man’s “Pretentious Picture.” Likewise, one man’s “Quotable comedy” is an other’s “Snooze Fest.” Make the project you want to make. You can only please yourself.

4. Get rest. If you have to choose between an extra hour planning shots late at night or extra sleep – choose the sleep – the more sleep you can get the better you can make those decisions, even if they are at the last minute.

5. Focus on what matters. If people are paying attention to the color of the wall in the background, or that the background light doesn’t match, they’re not paying attention to the story or characters, and you’re screwed anyway.

6. Be in the Moment. If you’re thinking about Stanislavsky, Method, or Motivation while you’re acting, then you’re not “being” the character.  The same with writing – if you’re thinking of structure while writing dialogue it won’t feel real. Just get the characters to talk.  When you’re rehearsing, or outlining the story, then use all your learning, but when you’re actually doing it – go with your gut.

7. Embrace failure. The more tripping, stumbling, and outright fall off the cliff crashes you have, the more you’ll learn, and the better you’ll be.

8.Be open.  Editing the film is actually the final draft of your script. Be open to changing everything.

9. Be prolific. The more you write and film, the more times you have to fail, to learn – the more you don’t fall in love with anything, the easier it will be to ruthlessly look at and edit your work.

10. Be a kid. Remember the moment you wanted to be a filmmaker? An actor? A writer? The first time you picked up the camera? Got up on stage? Whatever it is, remember that moment, and always think of it. It’ll get you through the hard parts.

11. Don’t be an asshole. There is no such thing as competition with other filmmakers. Help everyone.  The only person you can be in competition with is yourself. As long as you win that competitive battle, you’ll always get better.

12. Be yourself. If you don’t know who that is – find out. Without knowing that, you’ll never be able to make anything.

Lasts updated on January 18th, 2010. Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in blog, Uncategorized | No Comments

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