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.
Knowing What You are Talking About
Each area of specialization on a film project has its own vocabulary. As a filmmaker, although it is not necessary to know, for example, how to change a lighting element in an HMI or the mechanics of being an excellent focus puller, you must know the basics - you must understand what people are talking about. So, in the above example, you should know what an HMI is and why it is used... you should know what a focus puller does and why he positions himself where he does.
Knowing the difference between a stinger and a mult, understanding the reasons why proper screenplay formatting is so important, knowing what to do at an audition when the CD says, "Slate"... this is all part of the vocabulary of film and you have to know this stuff if you want to call yourself a filmmaker. (Friday, June 13, 2014)