The filmmaking process is different to that of a painter, a novelist or Josh Groban, it’s not a solo endeavour. A film takes huge commitment, many years, involves many collaborators and goes through various incarnations before it ever sees the light of day. For this reason a director needs to commit and marry the idea for the film they want to make. It’s crucial that a director has a clear vision because he is essentially leading a team of creative collaborators.
Vision can sometime be a tone the director wants to convey or a feeling they want an audience to leave with. Sticking to your vision takes confidence and unequivocal faith in the process.
In order to kill Bill you need to envision killing Bill, that’s the key.
2. Embrace the limits
The Professionals know that the audience never gets to see the budget or schedule of your movie, they only judge you on the final product. No matter your limitations, you need to find a way to embrace them.
All movies have limits, be it; technological, schedule conflicts or perhaps Nicolas Cage is in the lead role (let’s be honest, he is all over the place). Small movies can be grand and grand movies can be small, it’s just how you embrace the limits you are working with that makes the movie memorable.
Great artists know how to work with limitations. They know how to craft their story within the constraints they come up against, and this often creates a beautiful habitat for new original ideas to flourish.
3. Free gifts
Once you’re on the journey of filmmaking, be ready to accept free gifts. They are all around you. Often a planned shot might not be working and improvisation can be the remedy.
You really can’t plan everything so it’s important to go with your gut. Experience obviously helps and a good filmmaker will know where and when to claim these gifts. They could happen on set where an actor delivers something unscripted that brings the scene to life, or in the edit room where something average can be transformed into something magical with the click of a mouse.
4. Dream team
Filmmaking is teamwork and you need to assemble a team of like minded people with different strengths. With great collaborators, it generally comes down to having similar tastes albeit with different expertise. A film is a product that can only be produced by a well oiled machine where all cogs, nuts and bolts are synchronised.
This being said, the director is the benevolent matriarch. She has her trusted advisors in the court, and although she is a merciful Queen, she has the final say.
5. There are no templates
Perhaps you were looking for a template in order to make your next project or maybe you wanted to know how the pro’s get it right.
Every filmmaker has their own unique process, which is the key to their success. If anyone ever tells you there is a template, they’re lying. Processes come is all shapes and sizes.