Production
Rules and Benefits of Product Placement in TV and Movie Production

Rules and Benefits of Product Placement in TV and Movie Production

In the latest action spectacle playing in a local movie theater, a square-jawed hero is more likely to pull out a latest shiny laptop or smartphone from Apple or Samsung and display it prominently for the audience to see, than he is to pull out an Uzi. This less than subtle sleight-of-hand is known in...
How To Setup To Film My Shots

How To Setup To Film My Shots

Many directors think that the primary role of the craft of moviemaking is the shots. Bruce Beresford, a director of such films as “Driving Miss Daisy” and many others, left little doubt that he considered how the shots are planned to be absolutely crucial to the art of being a director. I spend a lot...
The Power of Authentic Casting

The Power of Authentic Casting

If you’ve ever seen an Italian neorealist movie from the post-World-War-II era, you may have been amazed at how impactful the actors were, and came to the conclusion that the leading man is famous for his genuine performances and his appearance happens to be the perfect fit for the character. How else could the director...
Movie Sets vs. TV Sets

Movie Sets vs. TV Sets

An important part of the popularity of today’s TV shows and movies is not only due to the brilliant acting and writing, but the sets on which these shows and movies are filmed. On screen, these sets translate to vividly imaginative alien words, such as James Cameron’s Avatar, or the iconic bar scene in How...
Influential Music Producers

Influential Music Producers

The Music production industry has developed since its infancy in the mid 20th century as it was established. The structure of the industry matured from music professionals in different spheres to record companies that hired those professionals. As time went on the independent music producers appeared, founding new recording companies and inventing new brands and...
Seven Influential Film Producers

Seven Influential Film Producers

Creating the idea, finding money for making a movie, finding decent directors, writers, and approving actors for their roles: these are the responsibilities of a producer. The producer must plan his or her work in an effort to make the movie successful so that it pays off; otherwise the producer loses money and prestige. In...
Managing Creative People

Managing Creative People

The film industry is populated by creative people. Directors, producers, writers, and cast members are all creative, and their collaboration makes a production successful. But screenplay business management is not an easy task. Creative people are often described as prima donnas, undisciplined or self-absorbed people who finds it difficult to work as part of a...
Nine Laws to Follow on a Movie Set

Nine Laws to Follow on a Movie Set

Making a movie, whether it’s a low-budget indie flick, or a multi-million dollar Hollywood extravaganza, is a process that must run as efficiently as a well-oiled machine. Each person from a make-up assistant to a leading director must play his or her part in order for the operation to continue uninhibited. Since the production relies...
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,...
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...
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...
Breakdown of Tasks for Principal Photography

Breakdown of Tasks for Principal Photography

First Day of Principal Photography At this point preproduction is over and the actual production can begin. It is time to start filming.  This chapter will walk you step-by-step through what happens during the shooting period.  We will focus on daily and weekly tasks and address issues that inevitably arise during filming. First Day of...
Producers make a creative contribution too!

Producers make a creative contribution too!

Everyone freely acknowledges that the producer is the main champion of the film.  It’s the producer that makes the sales pitch to get finance,  and essentially it’s the producer who carries the can for the success or failure of the film.  But the contribution of the producer often starts at the very beginning of the...
Production Scheduling

Production Scheduling

Just as in any big business, scheduling in the film industry is extremely important.  This means not only creating the schedules, but also reading, interpreting, and following the various scheduling devices, boards, and memos.  The Director and their Assistants (AD’s) create the schedules, usually with the help of software and devices. The Production Manager (PM)...
Daily Production Reports

Daily Production Reports

Also known as DPRs, daily production reports are published daily and are essential to officially recording the daily happenings during the most expensive time of filmmaking: principal photography. DPR: What are they? The daily production report summarizes all the reports – from the Camera Department to the Sound Department and various other department reports –...
Micro-Managing & Actors Shouldn’t Try to Have Feelings

Micro-Managing & Actors Shouldn’t Try to Have Feelings

There is a stark difference between smoothing out rough edges; making a scene or script as crisp and clean as possible, and trying to control the actors on an emotional level. There is nothing wrong with maybe wanting a little more sadness here and a louder gasp there, but when it comes down to almost...
The Blocking Plan

The Blocking Plan

A blocking plan is a vision the director has of the movement and activities of a scene in 3-D. They are typically sketched from an aerial perspective. The “scene shaping” – the construction of its emotional action – is crucial to the quality of the scene produced. This way the director has a clear plan...