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The Director’s Chair Issue #23 – March 25, 2002 (Pre-Production Activities)

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THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR
Free Monthly Ezine for Film and Television Directors

March 25, 2002          Scene 3 – Take 3
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Published once a month.

Publisher: Peter D. Marshall
Email: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com
Web Site: http://www.actioncutprint.com

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Dear Friend,

You are receiving The Director’s Chair because you requested a
subscription. Subscribe and Unsubscribe instructions are at the
end of this Ezine.

PRIVACY STATEMENT: This Subscriber List is a private mailing list
and will not be made available to other companies or individuals.
I value every Subscriber and respect your privacy.

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CONTENTS
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1.  Introduction
2.  And Now a Word From our Sponsor…
3.  The Busy Person’s Guide to Directing
4.  FREE Bonus for Subscribers
5.  Action-Cut-Print!
6.  Feature Article – Pre-Production Activities
7.  Back Issues of The Director’s Chair
8.  Directing Tip – Understanding the Business of Film
9.    Tips for Young Filmmakers – Working With Non-Film Crew
10. Film Links of Interest
11. Film Scheduling Tip
12. Quote of the Month
13. Out Takes –  Cinematic Slip-Ups
14. Share This Ezine
15. Suggestions & Comments
16. Subscribe & Unsubscribe Information
17. Copyright Information

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1. INTRODUCTION
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Welcome to Issue #23 of The Director’s Chair (March 25, 2002).

1) Starting with this issue, I have added 2 more film sections:
“Film Scheduling Tip” and “Film Links of Interest”

2) I have also added a “Top Sponsor Ad” section if you want to
advertise any of your products or services to a niche group of
filmmakers. Contact me for advertising rates at:
mailto:tdc-adv@actioncutprint.com

3) THE FEATURE ARTICLE – “Pre-Production Activities”

A quick reference pre-production activity list for directors.

4) THE DIRECTING TIP – “Understanding the Business of Film”

5) TIPS FOR YOUNG FILMMAKERS – “Working With Non-Film Crew”

If you’re a budding filmmaker, you’ve probably encountered the
problem of finding people to help you with your new form of
self-expression.  Some people are lucky and have a sibling or a
willing parent to help them on their quest.  But for others,
resorting to your friends and school-mates may be the best
solution.

6) VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – If you would like to contribute articles,
tips, links of interest, industry news, interviews, special event
dates or other resources to The Director’s Chair please email:
mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com

—–

Enjoy.

Peter D. Marshall

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2. AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR…
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All the best.

Peter D. Marshall

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3. “THE BUSY PERSON’S GUIDE TO DIRECTING”
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Check out “THE BUSY PERSON’S GUIDE TO DIRECTING” where I review
the best Film and Television Directing Websites and keep you
updated on the best Directing Websites in my weekly Directing
45-Second Newsletter.

Each issue will include more filmmaking Websites, links to film
and TV directing articles, and a weekly Film Directing Tip.
http://wz.com/arts/Directing.html

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4. FREE BONUS FOR SUBSCRIBERS TO “THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR”
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If you are a subscriber to The Director’s Chair, you are entitled
to get the first 3 chapters FREE to the eBook, �”Screenplay
Secrets – How to Create and Sell Compelling Characters in the New
Millennium.”

Markets for screenwriters are exploding: cable, Satellite, DVD,
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on this link: http://www.ctheshops.com/s.cgi?index-180

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5. ACTION-CUT-PRINT! –  A Website for Filmmakers
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If you are a Film or TV Director; a working professional who
wants to Direct; a film student who wants to learn more about
Directing; or a “student of film” who just wants to know more
about Filmmaking from the pros, Action-Cut-Print! is for you!

Take a moment now to visit http://www.actioncutprint.com where
you will find over 1200 Online Resources for Filmmakers, a Film
and TV Bookstore and Film Directing Workshops.

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6. FEATURE ARTICLE – PRE-PRODUCTION ACTIVITIES
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Here is a quick reference pre-production activity list for directors.

PRE-PRODUCTION ACTIVITIES

1) Location Scouts

– the location manager has a concept meeting with the producers
and the director after reading the script
– the location manager finds as many choices as possible for the
Director
– (always try and group as many locations together as possible)
– scouts: Director/Location Manager/1st AD/Producer/PM or UPM/Art
Director/Transportation Co-ord or a Driver

First Scouts (when their is lots of time!)
– does it work for the Director
– does it work for the schedule

Last Scouts (when their is no time left!)
– does it work for the schedule
– does it work for the director

2) Department Head Meetings

The director should have the following meetings:
– concept meeting with producers/location manager/art director
– script meeting with producers and writer (if available)
– casting meeting with producers and casting director
– costumes
– props
– set dec
– special FX
– stunts
– extra casting
– transportation
– other (animals,optical FX)
– visit the set and talk to – DOP/hair & make up/sound/actors

3) Director/1st AD Meeting

– go through the script scene-by-scene
– give the AD a list of all special equipment needed
(crane, steadicam, circle track, special lenses, insert car etc.)
– find out what he thinks/what he says/what he wants

4) Production Co-Ordinator

– consult them regarding your travel, hotel arrangements, family
travel etc.

5) Production  Manager

– go over all concerns with PM (budget etc)
– prep is the time to organize (make mistakes on paper)
– go in prepared and speak your mind (“CYA”!)
– let them know if you foresee a problem early (overtime etc.)

6) Extra Casting Meeting/Budget

– 1AD, 2AD, Extra Casting, Costume Designer go over the extra’s
for the show

7) Stunts and Special FX

– get to know the Stunt Co-ordinator and SPFX Co-ordinator
– (the 1AD is the on-set Safety Supervisor-Safety Meetings)
– go over all details of a stunt or special FX so you know the
potential dangers, length of time for shooting and other details

8) Animals

– talk to the trainers about the animals and the script
– take time to watch them rehearse the animals
– find out the animal’s specific feeding times, work times habits

9) Children

– scheduling is more difficult with children under age 16
– get to know the parents, guardians and tutors
– always be honest with parents and tutors. Let them know what is
really going on regarding time etc.

10) Day-Out-Of-Days(DOD)

– this shows you the work, travel, hold days for all actors

11) One Liner
– sets the schedule out on a “one line” basis for quick
reference (usually on Movie Magic)

12) Key Location Survey

– Director, 1AD, 2AD, PM, LM, ALM, Producer, Set Dec, Art
Director, DOP, Grip, Gaffer, Transportation Captain, Construction
Co-ord, Sound

13) Production Meeting

– review of all production arrangements and the director’s
concepts
– the AD reads through the script scene-by-scene (no dialogue)
and not by the one-liner
–  every department discusses with the director their specific
requirements
– it is an open discussion about the show
– it is usually the last time anything can be asked for by the
director (re: budget)

14) The Shooting Schedule (1AD)

– the show information (individual elements) is put into
breakdown pages for distribution to crew

15) Stock Shots, Second Unit, Video Playback, Photographs, Inserts

– these items have a tendency to be forgotten. Make sure the AD
has noted them

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7.  BACK ISSUES OF “THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR”
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To read back issues of The Director’s Chair, visit:
http://www.actioncutprint.com/ezine.html

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8.  DIRECTING TIP – Understanding the Business of Film
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Understanding the differences and similarities between both TV
and Film is essential to a successful and productive career in
the film business because of one word:  POLITICS!

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9. TIPS FOR YOUNG FILMMAKERS – by Cody Agenten
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“Working With Non-Film Crew”

If you’re a budding filmmaker, you’ve probably encountered the
problem of finding people to help you with your new form of
self-expression.  Some people are lucky and have a sibling or a
willing parent to help them on their quest.  But for others,
resorting to your friends and school-mates may be the best
solution.

The problem here is that most people you ‘hire’ won’t feel the
same way about film that you do.  Surprisingly, many people love
watching films, but very few want to put out the effort to create
them, (I know I have this problem sometimes). Because of this,
motivating your new crew may be very difficult.  Here’s what I
suggest for getting your helpers in high gear and wanting to
shoot.

First, if you can’t afford to pay them for their work, use their
stomachs.  I know it sounds a little odd, but food is the best
way to keep people on your side throughout a shoot. Spend about
fifteen bucks to get soda, chips, dip, and small treats for them
to snack on during shooting.  Why do you think Hollywood spends
millions on craft services during a shoot?

Second, let them have a voice.  Ask them what they think would
work in a particular scene.  Ask them how the scene looks
visually.  Ask them about the story, characters, plot, and
setting.  If they think that they’re contributing to the final
product, they’ll want to do all they can to help.

Third, don’t be a slave driver.  People hate being bossed around,
especially when you’re not paying them.  Treat them like humans,
and become their equal.  You may be the Director, but without
your crew, you’re nothing.  The best Directors are only a member
of the crew, not an all-knowing presence on the set.

I hope this will help you out in your quest for finding help on
your films.  Filmmaking is a social art, there’s not way around
it.  Hundreds, if not thousands, of people work on Hollywood
films.  When you have as much creative energy flowing through a
set, you can’t help but create a great film.

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Cody is a young filmmaker from Northern Wisconsin who is
presently enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
To contact Cody, email: cody.agenten@gmail.com
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10.  FILM LINKS OF INTEREST
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1) The shot “heard” around the world – Lisa Mitchell profiles the
man behind the Abby Singer shot.

http://www.dga.org/index2.php3
Click on – “DGA Magazine’s March Issue is available online now”

2) The Business of Filmmaking – Internet Marketing

Finding distribution for your film is the key to having a
successful career as a filmmaker. The savvy producer understands
that creating an audience for his or her film is the most
effective way of attracting distributors and that marketing will
be the primary agent in creating this audience.

http://www.cyberfilmschool.com/columns/berry_13.htm

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11. FILM SCHEDULING TIP
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It is not the page count per day that matters as much as the
set-ups per day!

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12.  QUOTE OF THE MONTH
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“I have to go now. I’m having a friend for dinner.”
Anthony Hopkins to Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs, 1991

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13.  OUT TAKES – Cinematic Slip-Ups
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There’s a kind of magic about movies. They can transport us to
another place, another time, another world. However, sometimes
the people behind those films make a mistake, and the result is a
jolt from the cinema world back into reality, a sobering reminder
that even in the seemingly perfect world of movies, things aren’t
always perfect. And you can get a laugh out of it, too.

http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/2549/slips.html

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14. SHARE THIS EZINE
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Share this Ezine by email – forward it to your friends and
associates.

This Ezine may be reprinted with permission.
Email me at: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com

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15. SUGGESTIONS & COMMENTS
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Send any comments, suggestions, questions or advice to:
mailto:comments@actioncutprint.com

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16. SUBSCRIBE & UNSUBSCRIBE INFORMATION
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17. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION
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Copyright (c) 2000-2002
www.actioncutprint.com
Peter D. Marshall
All Rights Reserved

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