Filmmaking
Story Subtext

Story Subtext

Subtext Playing from the subtext allows actors, writers, and directors to trust their subconscious during scenes; that is, to respond to a scene reflectively. Being able to do this allows all parties to work most effectively to arrive at the overall story truly being told in the script. There are two kinds of subtext: story...
Development Teams: Storming, Forming, Norming, and Performing

Development Teams: Storming, Forming, Norming, and Performing

Film teams can be less stable than conventional business teams; however, there is literature that describes the phases of behavior film teams cycle through well. Bruce Tuckman, a leader in the field of group dynamics, examined fifty different research studies and proposed a unifying model of five phases. The following table summarizes Tuckman’s model, emphasizing...
Circling The Perimiter – On The Outside Looking In

Circling The Perimiter – On The Outside Looking In

When producing, you’re on the outside looking in. Organizing your staff should be your number one priority. Your first job is to hire a dynamic, confident line producer who will represent and oversee the day to day running of your set. Then you’ll be free to take meetings, visit the set, keep everyone on track,...
Assigning Team Roles to the Producer, Director and Writer

Assigning Team Roles to the Producer, Director and Writer

Much research has been done into how teams should be put together for maximum efficiency, and one of the most important factors is the attention given to assigning the right people to the right roles. By looking at a system of business team roles, we might come to better understand the positions of the producer,...
Director’s Authority - Sharing Your Visions

Director’s Authority – Sharing Your Visions

The backbone of successful directing is to ask questions and tell stories. A former student referred to this tactic as “stealth directing,” because it unobtrusively guides the actors, who come to feel that the proposed idea was their own; it enables rather than instructs, which empowers the actor. The greatest virtue of stealth directing is...
Why Aren't Studios Making Better Sequels?

Why Aren’t Studios Making Better Sequels?

Why is it that movies like Hangover 2 and 3 are so terrible?  It would be nice to think that these movies would be as good, or better than, the original. Usually this isn’t the case and sequels rarely measure up. Understand the following: Generally movies aren’t that great.  The story ideas and scripts can...
How Do Filmmakers Make Actors Look Taller?

How Do Filmmakers Make Actors Look Taller?

There are many reason why filmmakers have to make actors look taller. For proper framing, character depiction and, even though casting is the best option it is extremely difficult to cast based on height; a tall female lead casted with a short male will require height adjustments for the film. Let’s examine the heights of...
Why do Studios Rewrite Scripts?

Why do Studios Rewrite Scripts?

It is very common for studios to rewrite scripts after purchasing the rights to the film.  Here are a few reasons why studios do this: Scripts aren’t rewritten because the writing is bad. They are rewritten because somebody, if not everybody, involved with the film has “better” ideas. Once this many people input their changes,...
The Producer As Leader

The Producer As Leader

The producer must always be a leader for his team, as much as (if not even more than ) the director, if a film is to have a chance of success. Unlike the writer and director of a film however, the characteristics of a successful producer can be difficult to pin down. After all, the...
Director’s Authority - Thinking like a Director

Director’s Authority – Thinking like a Director

A director is responsible for four forces: the story, the audience, the cast and crew, and the schedule and budget. Sometimes “actor-oriented” directors can get so caught up in the inner lives of the actors that the responsibility to the audience is forgotten. A director who wants to be actor oriented needs to be able...
The Ins and Outs of Independent Filmmaking

The Ins and Outs of Independent Filmmaking

The processes behind independent (indie) filmmaking have led to a unique problem. Perhaps surprisingly, this is not due to ethical or legal issues with indie filmmaking; it is based on the fact that certain parties feel they can take advantage of the process due to independent films’ reputation for being low budget, having naïve and...
More Than Just Acting

More Than Just Acting

For the most part, we are inclined to believe that the creativity that actors have is limited to simply acting. This simply isn’t true! In fact, there are a number of stars who not only do a great job in front of the camera, but also unleash their creativity in front of a microphone too....
Dialogue: Getting That Perfect One-Liner

Dialogue: Getting That Perfect One-Liner

Great dialogues create great films When we recount our most loved films to each other, we often repeat our favorite lines ad nauseum. Indeed, one-liners have defined careers and made actors unforgettable. It goes without saying that if you want to produce a great film, you need a great script.  Moreover, a great scripts needs...
Scenarios For Rehearsal

Scenarios For Rehearsal

Rehearsal: one hour per scene Goals of Rehearsal: Slightly adjust rehearsal to actors and script. Be cautious not to fit the rehearsal to actors but to slowly get the actor to adjust to script and rehearsal Locate subtext and clues to the subtext and bring to physical and emotional reality for the actor to better...
Art of Active Listening

Art of Active Listening

The need to communicate touches every aspect of our lives. Almost anything we do in life involves some form of communication with others. There is a wealth of theories on how to speak to others to best convey your message. But, communication is a two-way process. It is an activity, not a one-time event. A...
The Language of Imagery - How Directors and Actors Use Visual Imagery To Communicate

The Language of Imagery – How Directors and Actors Use Visual Imagery To Communicate

Our words and the way we communicate with one another are so complex that universities now teach communications as a field of study.  It is also a very important feature in acting. The most fascinating aspect of communication is how words evoke images.  Images engage our full compliment of senses, causing us to not only...
Influence of Film on Modern Society

Influence of Film on Modern Society

The film industry has grown and evolved rapidly since its inception in the early 1900’s.  Over the years, it has gained the attention of every culture in every part of the world. These days, thanks to Hollywood, it is instrumental in shaping the social culture by transforming the viewers’ opinions or swaying them one way...
Creative Tension in Film

Creative Tension in Film

Creative tension?  What does tension have to do with creativity?  Tension is defined as the act of stretching or the condition of being stretched. It can also be mental, emotional, and nervous strain. But what would happen if we consciously let tension compel us to grow in life and work? A good example is found...