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.
Want to be a screenwriter? So does every valet parker, waitress and movie theater popcorn pusher in LA. What are you doing to become one? For starters, you should be writing - every day. Make it part of your routine. Second, you should learn HOW to write in proper screenplay format.
I also recommend obtaining screenplays for your favorite movies. Get them in "Screenplay" format and not reprinted in a non-industry way) and read them. Watch the movie from which the screenplay was made and follow along as the movie unfolds. See how the writer "designs" the page.
Also, you would do yourself a great favor by investing in an amazing ccreenwriter resourse, "The Screenwriter's Bible", by David Trottier (http://www.keepwriting.com/). It's full of samples, tips and "rules" for writing your screenplay in the proper format. It's WELL WORTH the investment. (Monday, July 7, 2014)