Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Scheduling Actors/AF Tip of the Day

Once again we’ll start with your AF Tip of the Day.

If a couple of your characters are going to have a major fight with each other, give them time to get in to rhythm and character on the set before you demand that they emote their brains out.

- - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming in Spring 2008)

I am sure most of you know what I mean by this. When you are doing your production schedule during PRE-PRODUCTION, take a hard look at the scenes you want to shoot first. I never put the intense scenes at the beginning of a shoot. I know the actors have rehearsed and know their characters but they haven’t been working on a set together that long yet. And the same thing goes for the crew.

I like to put the intense scenes or any nudity towards the end of the shooting schedule. I want the actors to really have time with each other to really get in to character. I also want my crew working like a well-oiled machine.

Since my shooting schedules are usually only 3 – 4 weeks in length I try to put the really hard scenes in the last week. Sometimes it works; sometimes they go late in the second week. As a filmmaker I am always looking at what is going to be the best for my cast, and for my crew. When I worked as an editor I saw filmmakers schedule really dramatic scenes in that first week, and I can’t tell you how many times those scenes were re-shot. And if they weren’t re-shot I know that most good directors I worked with regretted shooting those scenes early.

Don’t forget my Masters Class in Filmmaking this summer through the Franklin Film Institute. Go to for more details.

Find out more about the Angry Filmmaker @ And don’t forget to buy some of my stuff!


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