Archives For Directing

As of right now, it is six weeks until the completion of the first short film that I wrote and directed, entitled AvariceIt has been a project that has taken 2 and a half years to complete, and it will only be about 15 minutes in its entirety. It’s crazy to think that 2 and a half years of a person’s life could be defined by 15 minutes, but that’s kind of how it feels.

It has been the most challenging thing I have done, which I’m sure will be followed by even greater challenges. It’s been a long journey, and I walk away with so much more than I had ever expected to. My only hope is that I can pass on valuable information to other first time filmmakers.

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Why is it when people have a dream, the first time they set out to fulfill it, their expectations are that it will just be perfect and magical on the first try? I am completely the same because for some reason, I think that if I can’t accomplish something on my first try, I must be doomed for failure. Even though we might know that the “right” expectation is to make a lot of mistakes on your first attempt, somehow that sneaky little expectation for perfection creeps back into our heads.

For me, I thought that the first time I made a film would be the most incredible experience in the world, and people would see it and think that I could really be something some day. Then I made my first film, and all those thoughts just went flying out the window. Continue Reading…

When I moved back to Memphis in 2006 I was chomping at the bit to start shooting. Since I was inexperienced, I needed guinea pigs. I turned to my roommate’s band, Hey Heidi-Rae, and pitched to them a music video concept they gladly agreed to.

For grins, I dusted the resulting video off recently for a local music video festival. Despite the circumstances it was shot under, I don’t think we did half-bad. Enjoy Back to the Blackboard and read on to see what I learned from the experience:

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Haley’s confidence and humor made her a standout during auditions, and her razor focus and commitment to her role saw her through a very demanding shoot. We’re looking forward to seeing what she does next… hopefully another film with us!

We sat her down a while back to talk about her experience shooting Avarice. Give it a watch and see for yourself; her infectious charm will get all up in your sinuses making you sneeze rainbow glitter. It’s awesome! We also asked her a few more questions outside the video about acting and her experience directing her first short film, Friends ‘Till the End.

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A film set is a living organism. There are many teams, like organs, working independently to support the whole. At the center of it all is the brain, the Director, responsible for making sure all the teams work together in unison.

But there’s a hitch. Unlike our brains which are hardwired to every inch of our body, the Director can only be in one place at one time. To make matters worse, during production the Director’s time will be dominated by the actors. In order for the film to come together smoothly, the Director must provide a set of blueprints that the crew can work from. Continue Reading…

Fantasy films are so much fun to create and watch, but so freaking expensive! I had no idea my imagination was going to cost so much money when I was writing Avarice, but once we sat down to really think about what we needed to sell this world, I started thinking that maybe creativity was overrated.

However, I quickly learned that creativity is not just about coming up with new and interesting ideas. It’s also about how to make those ideas into a reality. Here are some cost efficient ways to turn your imagination into a world you can share with others. Continue Reading…

Effects shots are incredibly tedious.

In my short film Avarice, we have over 180 visual effects elements and it’s only a 12 minute film. We have been in post-production with this film for about 8 months, and the only visual effects shots that are completed as of now are two shots of opening titles. Visual effects take quite a bit of time to complete, even if you have someone who is very skilled and talented in the area. Continue Reading…

Here are the five most read posts this past month:

  1. 3 Ways the Hunger Games Movie Will Ruin the Books (Beware: SPOILERS)
  2. 3 First-Time Producer Mistakes
  3. If You Love Movies, Don’t Marry a Filmmaker
  4. Feeling Like a No Talent Hack? This Won’t Help.
  5. 3 Tips for Directing Children

And here are the underdogs, five great posts that fell through the cracks:

  1. 5 Ways to Escape the Chaos
  2. Tutorial: How to Create a Light Glint Effect
  3. Why Silent Films Have Such a Loud Voice
  4. Wardrobe on a Shoestring Budget
  5. Top 10 Hard Lessons Learned While Shooting The Glass

Enjoy, and we’ll see you next week!

Working with kids can seem overwhelming at first, but as long as you figure out what makes them tick and learn about their little worlds, it’s not quite so difficult. Continue Reading…

Directing actors is one thing. But how do you direct a character that isn’t actually there? In Avarice, one of the main characters was the Light, a fairy type light that befriends the Girl in the beginning of the film. I had never directed a film when I started this project, and I certainly had never dealt with directing something that wasn’t even there, so there were a lot of things I wish I had known before going into it.

These are some little tidbits that I learned along the way that might help someone who is filming something similar: Continue Reading…