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Get Your Read On

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Reading is a great way to learn new things, gain experience and try out new and practical exercises to better learn the craft and gain insight on creating your process and style as an indie filmmaker. There's a great quote by Pablo Picasso (although I'm pretty sure he "borrowed" this quote himself), "Lesser artists borrow; great artists steal.” 

Very few ideas are new ideas, meaning, you might see the same hundred techniques done, but it's going to finally stick when someone you resonate with explains it to you. And then, you're going to explain the same idea and put it into practice your own way, and so it goes, the circle of life. Cue the Lion King theme song. Reading and learning is so fundamentally important, dare I say more important than watching a YouTube tutorial? 

While there is so much you can learn from videos when it comes to filmmaking, I personally love a good book and audio book on filmmaking. There's something about learning from people with decades of experience who managed success before YouTube was a thing. #OldSchool

Directing Actors Judith Weston

Directing Actors

The author teaches her audience how to speak to actors. While directing involves a lot of things, the most intimate part, in my opinion is evoking the best performance possible from the actor.

Granted, there will be times when you don't have time to pull that out of an actor, but it is part of the director's job and vision to aid the actor in creating a world where the actor can paint in the colors of a performance and create a safe space to do so.

The last thing you want to do is tell your actor "be sexy" or "be less." Actors are not mind readers, and it's not their job to be. It is the job of a director to learn to speak the language of art to fulfill their vision. I think this is one of the best books on filmmaking, while specifically teaching how to effectively communicate as a director. 

MasterShots Vol 1: 100 Advanced Camera Techniques to Get an Expensive Look on Your LowBudget Movie

A lot of people new to filmmaking seem to think that if they're writing or directing a film, they don't have to have the slightest clue about shot set-ups. I, once, long long ago, was there too.

But, without knowing what types of shots you want in the project or how to write a fight scene - is it going to look good onscreen the way you think it will on paper? People aren't mind readers and it'll be very hard to get your vision across to the DP and other members of the project without having enough knowledge to effectively communicate your vision. After all, communication and collaboration is a huge part of filmmaking.

MasterShots Vol 1: 100 Advanced Camera Techniques to Get an Expensive Look on Your LowBudget Movie CHRISTOPHER KENWORTHY
Acting: Advanced Techniques for the Actor, Director, and Teacher TERRY SCHREIBER

Acting: Advanced Techniques for the Actor, Director, and Teacher

It's important to learn about other aspects of artistry when it comes to creating films and TV.

Understanding the fundamentals of how actors work will make you a better director and help with character building as a writer (trust me on this one). Understanding how a DP attacks a scene will make you a better editor.

You don't have to know all the intricacies of these positions, but how can you possibly understand these departments if you don't know general things about them? After teaching myself how to edit for my own pleasure years ago, I found such a respect for the work editors do because I learned the basics of film editing.

I had no clue how much work went into editing a film or series, especially when it came to CGI. Editors are such an integral part of the process. And when it comes to filmmaking, EVERY PERSON plays an important part in the process. 

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