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The Director's Chair Issue #83 – Feb. 25, 2008 (Shooting Action on a Shoestring Budget)

Free Monthly Ezine for Film and Television Directors

February 25, 2008                  Scene 9 – Take 2

Published once a month.

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


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You are receiving The Director’s Chair because you (or
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1. Introduction
2. The Art and Craft of the Director Audio Seminar
3. The Director’s Chair is now on FACEBOOK
4. The Director’s Chair Filmmakers Discussion Forum
5. Film Workshops in India
6. Internet Marketing for Filmmakers
7. Subscriber Shameless Self-Promotion
8. Subscriber Links of Interest
9. FEATURE ARTICLE – Shooting an Action Short on a
Shoestring Budget
10. Write an Article for The Director’s Chair
11. Filmmaking News, Websites, Articles and Events
12. Filmmaking Workshops
13. Back Issues of The Director’s Chair
14. Subscribe & Unsubscribe Information
15. Copyright Information


Welcome to Issue #83 of The Director’s Chair (Feb. 25/08)


Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas,
Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Botswana, Brazil, Bhutan, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, China,
Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican
Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Faroe Islands, Finland,
France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland,
India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica,
Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon,
Liberia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico,
Monaco, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand,
Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal,
Puerto Rico, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia,
Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri
Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania,
Thailand, Trinidad and Tabago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda,
United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States,
Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe

NOTE: If your country is not represented here, please let me
know and I will add it to this ever growing list.

2) FEATURE ARTICLE – This month’s Feature Article is called
“Shooting an Action Short on a Shoestring Budget” by Alfredo
Quinones. “Shooting a movie, weather it’s a short or feature
is no easy task. Now, throw in the mix “Action”.  Guns
blazing, fight choreography, falling, and so on. You, the
filmmaker, can be easily overwhelmed. So, my man advice is
to prepare, prepare, and prepare some more. (see below to
read article…)

From time to time I will contact you by email to inform you
of certain filmmaking workshops or film products that I feel
are beneficial to filmmakers like yourself. Of course, you
are under no obligation to purchase anything. I only offer
this information as a service to subscribers of this free

4) BLOG – Film Directing Tips and Resources Blog
Take a look at my Film Directing Blog and post some
filmmaking tips or add some resources. And please, make some
comments on the posts – your feedback is important to me
because they will help me decide on the content I will add
to this blog. http://filmdirectingtips.com/

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

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

7) REPRINT THIS EZINE – This Ezine may be reprinted with
permission. Email me at: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com



Peter D. Marshall

2. The Art and Craft of the Director Audio Seminar(2008)


If your dream is to have a professional career as a
filmmaker but you don’t know where to begin, or you’re
having difficulties getting your films made, or you can’t
find creative work as a film director… you owe it to
yourself to check out the 2008 updated version of The Art
and Craft of the Director Audio Seminar.

This multimedia 10-Day online audio course is packed with
filmmaking tips, techniques and tools designed to help you
become a successful, working film & TV director.

Here’s what you’ll receive when you order the 2008 updated
version of “The Art & Craft of the Director Audio Seminar”

1) a 162 page PDF eBook you can download to your computer
2) a free 30 minute consultation with Peter D. Marshall
3) a free script review from script consultant Michael Adams
4) $100.00 off any of my Filmmaking Workshops
5) a 30 minute audio interview with a young filmmaker
6) 18 Bonus PDF reports
7) 100% risk-free one year money back guarantee

Here are comments from three subscribers who have
received their copies of this 10-Day audio seminar

“Great resource and extremely well done. As a working film
professional I am constantly learning more about my craft
and honing my skills. Your dedication and work is to be
congratulated.” Julian Grant, Toronto, Canada

“I’m so glad that you offered those of us who bought the
audio seminar last year the chance to download the updated
version this year. Your courses have given me the confidence
— and steadily increase my desire and fuel my passion — to
make films as a director. Thank you, Peter. It’s a wonderful
gift that you offer.” Larry D. Barr, Texas, USA

“Now this is what I call customer “DELIGHT”. Thank you so
much for the updated version. I know, any input from your
side is worth a film school.” Amar, India

All the information about the 10-Day “The Art and Craft of
the Director Audio Seminar,” including the content list,
audio files, support materials, free bonuses and how to
order, is available on my website for you to check out now.

I talk a lot about PASSION and TRUTH in this 10 day course
because these are two of the essential ingredients to having
a successful directing career.

I am very proud of this audio course and I guarantee that
anyone who listens to the entire 10 days will discover many
of the tools a working film director needs to survive today.

3. The Director’s Chair is now on FACEBOOK

I have published the Director’s Chair for 8 years now and it
has been a very rewarding and enriching experience. I have
met and chatted with filmmakers from around the world and
together we have fueled our filmmaking passion.

But sending an ezine out once a month is a very one sided
form of communication. So I have decided to take steps to
create a “Social Network” for subscribers of The Director’s

I started this step a few months ago with the Filmmakers
Discussion Forum (see below for more info.) And now I have
created a Facebook page for ezine subscribers.

If you haven’t signed up to Facebook, I sincerely recommend
you think about doing it. Facebook is a fabulous place to
meet people who share your passions and it is one of the top
Social Networking sites on the Internet today.

Here’s the Facebook home page: http://www.facebook.com

Once you are signed up, type in “The Directors Chair” and
the page should come up. Sign up as a fan and then start to
join the discussion forums, post photos, videos and write on
the Walls.

If you are already a member of Facebook, here is the direct
link to the page:

See you there!

4. The Director’s Chair Filmmakers Discussion Forum

The Director’s Chair Filmmakers Discussion Forum.

Ask film directing questions, submit your website for
review, post film and television directing links, share film
making tips and special events or just keep in touch with
other filmmakers from “The Director’s Chair.”

This forum is for subscribers of “The Director’s Chair”
only, so you will have to register in order to post
questions, give answers or add links. All you can do without
registering is read the posts.

Please visit this new forum now, sign up and take a look
around. http://www.actioncutprint.com/smf/index.php

5. Film Workshops in India

I received quite a few responses from subscribers regarding
my question on presenting a workshop in Gandhinagar, India.
The general response was very favorable – but the main
suggestion was that the best location should be Mumbai, as
it is the heart of the film industry.

The second place to conduct a workshop (based on this survey)
was in Dubai, UAE as this seemed accessible to many people.

So, now that the Writers Strike is over now and productions
are starting to gear up again, I will wait until I know what
my production schedule will be for this year and then I will
begin to plan for some workshops.

And by the way, I also plan to do workshops in Vancouver
again and one in the USA as well.

So if you are interested in helping me to bring a workshop
to India, Dubai or the USA, please let me know.

6. Internet Marketing (Workshops/Products) for Filmmakers

I’m creating some workshops and related products for
filmmakers on how to use Internet Marketing techniques for
promotion… BUT I need to know what filmmakers like
yourself want to know about using the Internet (and
especially social networking sites such as Facebook,
MySpace, Squidoo, YouTube etc.) for marketing and promoting
yourself or your films.

By participating in a quick survey of four questions, you
will help me decide on the content for my Internet Marketing
for Filmmakers website.

To help me out, could you please visit my Squidoo webpage at
http://www.squidoo.com/internetmarketingforfilmmakers and
participate in a quick poll of four questions.

1. Why do you want to know about Internet Marketing?
2. Do you have your own website or blog?
3. Which social networking website do you like the best?
4. Have you ever posted a Video or Demo Reel on YouTube?

Also, can I add you to my Internet Marketing mailing list?

This will enable me to contact only those subscribers who
are interested in using the internet (particularly Social
Networking Sites) for marketing and promotion.

If you want to find out more on how to use Internet
Marketing for promoting yourself or your films, click below
to get on my mailing list and to receive a free ebook called
“The Multi-Layered Mindset of Web 2.0 Marketing” describing
the evolution of Web 2.0. Click Here: mailto:imfm@aweber.com


Each month, I give two subscribers an opportunity to promote
themselves, their company or their productions in this
section. If you are interested, send your “shameless
self-promotion” to: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com.

Please limit your promotion to less than 200 words. I also
reserve the right to edit the promotion for length, spelling
and formatting.

There were no self-promotions submitted this month.

So…what are you waiting for?


“Subscriber Links of Interest” is where you can further
promote yourself, your company or your productions by having
your information displayed on a special links page at:

If you are a subscriber to this ezine and you want me to put
your self-promotion on this page, just send an email to:

Again, I also reserve the right to edit the promotion for
length and formatting.

9. FEATURE ARTICLE – Shooting an Action Short on a
Shoestring Budget.

“Shooting an Action Short on a Shoestring Budget” by Alfredo

Shooting a movie, whether it’s a short or a feature, is no
easy task. Now, throw in the mix of “Action.” Guns blazing,
fight choreography, falling, and so on. You, the filmmaker,
can be easily overwhelmed. So, my main advice to you is to
prepare, prepare, and prepare some more.

Your first task, of course, is to make sure your story takes
place in one location. Before writing your script, make a
list of things and places that you can get your hands on for
no money, i.e. location, props, fake blood, mats, elbow
pads, camera (preferable two), sound equipment, etc.

I know you’ve been told this many of times, but it’s true.
Just like a horror movie where the villain chops up everyone
at the sleep away camp (one location), your hero is going to
beat them up, all at one location, like a bank or warehouse.

Keep your stunts simple. No fire burns, no high falls, and
no car chases. Just fighting, and basic falls. Now fashion
your story around everything you’ve begged and borrowed

Once you’ve secured your location visit it as many times as
you can. You may also have to rewrite your story to fit your
location. If you have a digital still camera, take as many
pictures from every angle where you feel you will be placing
your camera. These pictures will accompany your shot list as
a reference point. You will also use them when it comes time
to editing.

Now, for casting your short. If you ever have the
opportunity, take a class in stage combat. This is a great
place to network with people who know how to deliver a punch
and react to it in front of the camera – it’s also a great
place to add a new skill, whether you’re a director, writer,
or actor.

Have your cast meet at a place where you can rehearse. If
any of them take classes in martial arts quite possibly they
can ask their instructor to use the dojo, if not, meet at
your local park and rehearse on the grass. Video the
rehearsal and study it. Come up with ideas on how you can
make the action exciting. Bear in mind, as a director you
must not only think of story and performance, but now you
have to think of safety. You don’t want anyone getting hurt.

Once you have your cast and crew, now comes the daunting
task of trying to schedule everyone to show up at the
location. If anything, this is where you will pull your hair
and your patience will wear thin. Remember, you have these
people coming over to shoot your movie for free, so be nice.

In my case, by the time I had a commitment from everyone on
their available days, my location was going to be torn down
in one week – giving me only Friday night, Saturday, and a
Sunday to shoot. Lucky for me, I did my homework, and was
able to scale down my shot list, and I scheduled everything
to be done in that weekend.

Your first shots should be of all the action, the fighting,
the running and the shooting. You’ll want to get all the
physical stuff out the way. This is where having two cameras
in your action movie comes in handy. Use one camera for your
master, the second one to catch all your medium shots and
close-ups. Leave dialogue for last. Don’t go shooting a
fight scene then go shoot a dialogue scene. Actors/fighters
will have to go and clean up, and your scenes won’t match
and you’ll waste more time. I’ve worked on independents were
they have done that and all it’s done is extended everyone’s

Now the most important thing you need to remember is that
you need to feed your crew. This is where your action movie
budget goes. So besides buying tape stock and some
expendables, you need to feed your crew, and feed them well.
Go to your local pizza shop or deli. If you did your
homework, you should know how long it’s going to take you to
get everything in the can. Get a head count on your cast and
crew. Get a price on a six foot hero, and a tray of
whatever, most likely chicken. Trust me, no one will
complain. I had a five man crew, and if I included my cast
it would have been around more like twenty. They were all
helpful in carrying equipment to the next scene.

Now that you have your short in the can, there are two more
words besides “Action” and “Cut” that you should use for
your cast and crew, and that is “Please” and “Thank You.”
Remember, they went out of their way to help you get your
short off the ground. And make sure when you’re done cutting
it, that they are the first ones to get a copy.

To see my short “BUSTED,” here is the link. Feel free to view
it, vote, and make comments. Hope you enjoy.


And at


Alfredo Quinones is a filmmaker and owner of New York based
Ronin Film Studios, Inc. He has worked on independent movies
and commercials as a director, camera operator and fight
coordinator. He has a background with over 20 years in
martial arts and 17 years in film and video. He has trained
with stuntman/effects coordinator Brian Shuley who he has
worked with as a fight coordinator and stunt safety.

10. Want to Write an Article for The Director’s Chair?

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 me at:

11. Filmmaking News, Websites, Articles and Events

1) Article – Local group encourages filmmaking of all sizes
With the popularity of Internet sites such as YouTube
sparking people to create their own videos, one Iowa City
group is encouraging budding filmmakers to share their work
with a local audience…

2) Article –  Filmmakers call for hot submissions to chick flick
It could produce the ultimate “hot chick flick,” or it may
erupt as a boiling international rant against the threat of
global warming. But whichever way it goes, producers of an
all-women directed interactive mobile phone film say it will
be a “cinematic symphony of women’s voices from around the

3) Paul Kurta’s Linkable Production Checklist
his Checklist is over 12 pages when printed. Use it to track
your progress and to navigate to other Film Production web
sites. http://www.caryn.com/indie/checklist.html

4) Film Genres.
Film genres are various forms or identifiable types,
categories, classifications or groups of films that are
recurring and have similar, familiar or instantly –
recognizable patterns, syntax, filmic techniques or
conventions such as… http://www.filmsite.org/genres.html

5) Film Analysis Web Site 2.0
The Film Analysis Guide was developed to meet the needs of
faculty and students at Yale who are interested in becoming
familiar with the vocabulary of film studies and the
techniques of cinema… http://classes.yale.edu/film-analysis/

12. FILMMAKING WORKSHOPS – Peter D. Marshall

I have worked in the Film and Television Industry for over
34 years – as a Film Director, Television Producer, First
Assistant Director and Series Creative Consultant. I’ve been
asked many times to share my Film and TV production
knowledge with others. As a result, I developed several
workshops that I have successfully presented over the past
15 years.

To find out more about these workshops, just click on the
link below. If you are interested in any of these four
workshops for yourself or your organization, please contact
me to discuss how we can bring these workshops to you.


To read back issues of The Director’s Chair, visit:


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Peter D. Marshall
All Rights Reserved


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