BY EMILY EAGLIN
I’m compiling a “comprehensive” list of tips and tricks I’ve learned working on my forthcoming film (Sweeter) that will help you crank out that too zoot, quality, fresh flick you’ve been trying to produce for a while. If you have your own advice please post ‘em in the comment section and lets get a communal thing going here!
1. If you could gaze into the future...
In your Pre-production process, organization is key and truly translates on screen regarding how polished your final piece will be. As soon as you get an idea for your project get to brainstorming, script writing, shoot scheduling, and thinking about those editing deadlines. There are several resources you can use in order to get going and be proactive in your organization.
2. Be fluid AF
If you've worked on a video project or a movie before, you know that the final product never looks how you had originally envisioned it. But what we must ask ourselves is if it looks too much like what we had originally envisioned it. Let the project take you out for dinner, grab a coffee afterwards, see where the night takes you. When you don't challenge yourself to be fluid (I'm talking nix this scene here, rewrite this ending, etc.) you have already failed so early in the process. :(
Like everything fluidity is a balance so, do not overdo it.
3. Be seen, Be reviewed
For the film I'm currently working on a friend of mine pointed out the film's biggest potential issue:
I, myself, wrote/directed/acted in/edited it. Dangerous, truly. This one-woman show is a good percentage of underground/independent filmmaking.
A solution this friend brought up was to have viewing sessions with professors, friends, and those with a critical eyes who are uninvolved in the film's creation. If you aren't in school, invite your friends, film buffs, and the artists you know over for food and ask them to critically view your film. This might seem extra, but in the end you will be thanking yourself. Something that's great for scheduling these meetings (as well as shooting dates by the way) is Doodle.
The more pairs of eyes on your piece the better, new people will always see new things that you missed before and that's what's lovely about being seen and being reviewed.
4. Eat an Edit Sandwich
5. Communist it up a bit
6. Look deep, deep within and...
Drop that ego.
This vaguely goes along the same lines as my whole spiel on fluidity, but it's quite possible that nothing has costed films more money than the egos of those involved. Look into ego death (I'm deadass) while not thought to be 100% possible, detaching yourself from your own sense of self importance will nurture your projects to come and make it so much easier for everyone working with you. Do what you gotta do though! Meditate, read, go to therapy, or whatever else may cure you of your own self importance, it will get in the way (horror story here). ☮
7. Pay your crew & actors
Are you Olivia when it comes to this? I know, this one might be harder to hear, but hear me out. If you're working on a bigger project where you are asking other, likely also broke, people to dedicate their days, energies, talents, and various efforts to your flick consider including them in your budget.
I've found a great amount of success on GoFundMe for being able to pay my casts and crews (or even fund mugs for my talk show). At the end of the day showing people that they are valued, whether its through money, food, or working for them in return, will get you farther and it will show in your finished product. Can't give your actors what they deserve? Make them free head shots, you got the cameras. But at the end of the day, nobody (including you) wants to be paid in exposure, so food is a minimum requirement, but challenge yourself to do better than that. And if you can't do any of that consider that your project might be too big to make for the time being.
DISCLAIMER: The views and beliefs of Raven Simone do not necessarily represent those of this blog/author. May she truly see the light one day.