BMC Productions

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What Distinguishes You From Other Film Makers?

Your point of view is how you, as a director, differs from other directors and how your film differs from other films. It’s about the unique choices that you make. The choices become really critical to not only what the film looks like, but also what is the films meaning.

Choosing the right cinematographer, one that fits the style and flow of the film is one of the first choices. This is crucial to the way story is you are wanting to tell, the kind of relationship you want to put together on camera.Part of the process is having theright cinematographer sitting down and discussing with the director exactly the director’s vision and what they envisage on screen. Communicating effectively with a Director of Photography, a director must know what the story means to them personally and whateach scenes needs to convey.

In the case for Dishonest Bunch, it will have a unique fast paced feel, so choosing a DoP was a crucial choice, Dan Macarthur was the perfect fit. I’m a big believer in story boarding and sitting down with my Dop and discussing everything from camera movement, lens choice, specific equipment (Steadicam/cranes/drones etc), lighting, blocking, locations, we discuss the challenges that each and every shot pose.

The most important thing between a director and DoP is trust.

The director should listen to their cinematographer and consider their ideas. After all, not all directors are versed in lenses, blocking, and other areas of cinematography. Film making is not just about creating shots. It’s also about trying to create the story and using the camera and the lighting. When you remember that, it becomes more about what are we trying to say with this and how do we work together to say it?

It’s not about just covering the scene, it’s also allowing the audience to follow this character or that character. Getting the audience to feel the emotion of the narrative.

Because every single shot has a story to tell.

You need to be going through the script blow-by-blow. Chart the trajectory of the journey and the choices made, that will ultimately end in the films finally. Who do you want to tell the story? Whose point of view do you want to tell the story from?

There must be a reason for every choice that is made.

As a filmmaker, in order to make decisions about what the film should look and feel like, you have to know exactly what you are trying to convey to your audience. You have to know your story inside and out, back story, emotion, motivation, every ingredients.

Look at the intention of your scenes and how it affects you, do you want the shots to be organic or more traditional. The usual master and then you go in and do your close ups and you do your reaction shots, or do you want to shake it up a little bit, allow more movement, steadicam and hand held. You want your film to feel unique and dynamic. This will all come down to the director making strong creative choices prior to shooting.

Creating a look-books (in addition to story boards) in which you can break down how to create each scene, the specific feeling for each scene is another aspect.

Blocking can shape a scene’s meaning by choosing how the actors move within the space, where they are in relation to each other, and what they’re doing from moment to moment.

It’s really important that you talk to the actors about their movement in a scene. Everybody thinks just let the actors go where they’re going to go. But you as a director are in charge of the meaning of the scene. Even though it’s written in a certain way, you’re shaping the meaning of the scene. You have flexibility in terms of where you’re going to put your actors.

Not only is a scene’s blocking the director’s technical task, but also their creative responsibility.

Never underestimate the power of research. The more you know and prepare for, the better positioned you’ll be on set.

Lighting impacts the meaning of the film and the way that the audience feels, the shape and the texture.What’s the quality of the light? What is a feeling of it? Does it move with the character? What’s the colour of it? What does it do? Does it move? Do you want the light to be transparent? Or do you want us to feel the light? Do we need to know what the source is? Is it fixed?

Lighting decisions are not just random.

The lenses you should use to shoot your film are the lenses that the story calls for, whether they’re prime, anamorphic or zoom lenses.

When scouting a location, it’s important to consider how the location will affect the choices that can be made. What is the quality of the light? Where can the camera be?and how it will all work? When you choose a location, you are in a sense choosing the sort of problems that you want to solve as a director.

Collaboration is the key to creativity

The crew is essential, and it’s important for there to be respect on set. Everyone present is important to the process.

You need actors being natural and doing things that have this specific honesty and vulnerability about them, which, I think, invites us into the various moods that we want to convey to the audience. I like the emotional situation of someone who’s in a certain headspace and needs to turn to someone for help and characters who are delusional about their own reality, pretty much every character in Dishonest Bunch. An emotional complexity to that we could exploit in this movie.

Music can set a tone that is melancholy, or humorous, get the blood pumping, or amplifying the tension. Music can touch the senses and really compliment the scene and the way it is being projected to the audience. So when you are set out your visual scenes always keep the music in mind as a crucial part of that scene.

Editing is where you really decide how long the moment should go on or whether you should cut it abruptly to create a certain psychological effect. The final part of the puzzle and as Dominic(Crisci) would say, “The final draft of the script”. Having a good editor helps you know how long a shot go, but also you have to feel your way through it. What feels natural, what feels funny, what feels the most impactful, you develop an instinct for what will get areaction.

The crew is essential, and it’s important for there to be respect on set. Everyone present is important to the process.

You’re creating a story that you want people to look at and believe in.

Movies have a tone of their own, through the pace and beats, music, the emotional content, casts a mood over an audience like a spell.

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