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.
I just spent a day producing a live, one-time special event. I had a crew of two camera ops. I also operated a camera as well as presenting 24 short film clips via Apple's Keynote presentation program that I had worked on for roughly six weeks. The day of the event (which kicked off at 6:00 p.m. and went for six hours) started for me early in the morning the day before. And yet, when it was time for the MacBook to fire up and the cameras to roll, I wished I had had more time to prepare. No matter how much time you have to get ready, it's almost never enough. My point? Don't dally when you are producing an event, especially if you are relying on other people to do their jobs properly in a timely manner. Sometimes that just doesn't happen. Plan your day(s) carefully and factor in extra time (if you can do so). Oh, and one other thing - when it comes off without a hitch, it's incredibly satisfying. Don't forget to enjoy that moment.