Director's Notes - Directly from the "From Script to Screen" seminar (check out "Tom's Blog" page for more notes)
Do it right first.
Making a film - any film - will require a lot of patience, a lot of perserverance and a lot of attention to detail.
The best advice I can give first time filmmakers is to do it right first. Taking "shortcuts" often results in much more work down the road. For example, hiring or engaging a script supervisor in the short run might increase your total budget a bit right from the start but will save you tons of time as you move from the shooting to the editing process. Try not to cut corners to save a nickel and end up spending many times that nickle in the long run. You'll thank yourself at the end of the process.
Feeding Your Crew - the Real Reasons
Filmmakers are control freaks - get used to it. In a recent blog post, I wrote about feeding my cast and crew. Although this idea applies to a variety of different projects, in this particular post I was talking about a film set and a 10 to 12 hour shoot day.
So why is it so important to feed my cast and crew? When I hire cast and crew for something like this, those professionals become my responsibility for the time they are on my set and I have to keep them happy, fed and on the set (rather than hopping into their car to go get Big Macs, donuts or other meals that have a high potential of making them sleepy midway through the afternoon). I want my team energized, rested and ready to go when the time comes.
Also, imagine what might happen if I let my actors or crew leave the set for lunch and something unexpected occurs... they have a car accident or get stuck on the highway for two hours in a traffic jam. In addition to the potential for human suffering, this sort of event could shut down a production (see "Safety Concerns - IMPORTANT STUFF" and "Guerrilla Filmmaking - Is It Worth the Risk?").
My cast and crew arrive on the set and do not leave until they are released at the end of the day. As the filmmaker, you need to take control of the entire situation.
By the way, when I am working on a film, the talent is not just the team of performers but also the DP, the AD, the gaffer and boom operator, the hair and makeup person, and any other member of the crew. Crew talent doesn't necessarily get all the attention for their work. In fact, the less obvious the camera work, makeup, hair, sound and set management is, the better they are all doing their job. (Wednesday, July 9, 2014)