I’ve already discussed the differences between writing and directing. When writing, the sky is limit. I can create anything my little heart desires. Staging all those wonderful things and capturing them on camera is another story, especially when money and time are limited.
It is a balancing act. I am staying true to my original concept for ISN’T ROMANTIC?, but I’ve got to plan my shots within the parameters of what we can afford and what can be done in a reasonable amount of time. It’s not easy, but with the right effort, it is possible. The key is effective communication and respect between myself and key members of my team. Things are going beautifully in that regard.
I had a meeting this afternoon with my director of photography and my first assistant director, two of the most important members of my crew. The DP is the eyes of a film and using his technical and creative skills, gives a director the images needed to tell the story in the way the director envisions. The DP is the second highest ranking person on set and runs the crew. The 1st AD runs the set. He calls crew and cast to the set, calls for quiet and keeps everything running so the director can focus on the creative aspects of the film. And in my case, playing my role.
The two guys I have in those positions are terrific. Both are much more experienced than I am. They offer advice and suggestions without being condescending and with respect for my vision for the film. They always explain why they are proposing their ideas and what the benefits would be. They’re much more tech savvy than I am and understand visual storytelling. I enjoyed myself very much at the meeting, learned more things about lighting and we are closer to being ready for production, which begins in a mere three weeks.
On a less positive note, we’ve had our first glitch. I knew it was coming sooner or later, things were going much too smoothly. The family who owns the house we are shooting in, will be out of town on the last scheduled day of our shoot. A problem to be sure, but just a speed bump. A good director solves problems and always has a plan B. I proposed a couple of solutions to my guys, and my AD came up with a good alternate schedule. It will push back the finish of production a couple of weeks, but will actually make things easier and give us more time to get things right. And not cost us any more money. I’ve got to run it by the team at our production meeting Tuesday night.
A huge positive is that we are in excellent shape financially. I’m going to bring this movie in considerably under budget. A very good thing for a director to be able to do, especially since I would like to make a movie with a big budget for a big production company some day. Always a plus when you can save them some money.
Money, time, creativity. It’s a juggling act. So far, I’ve got all the balls still in the air. I think I’m getting the hang of this.