Director's Notes - Directly from the "From Script to Screen" seminar (check out "Tom's Blog" page for more notes)
First, do it right.
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.
Based on the recent news about the death of a production assistant on the Allman Brothers biopic and the involuntary manslaughter charges filed against the producers and director (which could result in a ten year prison sentence), now is a good time to mention this.
As a producer or director of a film, you are responsible for the safety of your cast and crew from the time they step onto the set until the time they leave.
You can't have too many safety checks. You can't ask too many questions regarding all aspects of the shoot. You need to know about every potential safety issue that could affect the lives of your cast and crew.
In addition, although insurance is often overlooked, especially in first films or indie films, you MUST make arrangements for coverage to protect everyone and every location in your project (workers comp, medical, E&O, et al).
Do your due diligence and protect your team, your project and yourself. (July 3, 2014)