Movie Making 101 An introduction to directing By Bonginhlanhla ncube MPUMALANGA SHORT FILM festival 07 – 12 AUGUST 2014
Mr. B is an award winning Producer with 2 films under his credits and a handful of documentaries, music videos and corporate videos. Mr. B. was awarded Best Producing in 2010 for the film “Wrong Call”, which he produced and directed with team GR8 for the 48 Hour Film Project contest. He attained his skills under the training of the North-American based film guru, Peter Marshall, a former Steven Spielberg’s assistant director. He is listed under the South African Movie Database, IMDB “Internet Movie Database” and is a member of the Writers’ Guild of South Africa and the President of “Filmmakers of Passion – FoP”. Mr. B’s recent blockbuster, 48, has landed him travelling to Hollywood, Los Angeles, where his film was selected for US debut screening at the Pan African Film Festival in 2012. It would later on snatch an Award presented by the Honolulu Film Awards in Hawaii, United states. The film received 3 nominations at the 2012 Africa Movie Academy Awards, AMAAs popularly branded as the “Oscars” of Africa.
Movie Making 101 Directed by: Bonginhlanhla Ncube The Filmmaking process Executive Crew in the filmmaking process - What is a film director? 7 STEPS OF FILMMAKING The Director's Responsibilities 3 Types of Directors Getting Started as a Director The Director's key crew - ON SET PROTOCOL
What do the following have in common? Alfred Hitchcock Ridley Scott Steven Spielberg James Cameron Bonginhlanhla Ncube Quentin Tarantino Chris Nolan Woody Allen Peter Jackson
The Filmmaking Process Filmmaking (often referred to in an academic context as film production) is the process of making a film.
The Filmmaking Process It involves an initial story, idea, or commission, Through scriptwriting, casting, shooting, editing, and screening the finished product before an audience that may result in a film release and exhibition. Source: Wikipedia...
The Filmmaking Process Production stages / phases • In simple there is PRE-PRODUCTION, PRODUCTION and POST-PRODUCTION. However, I personally prefer a more elaborate production process, A 5 stage one. 1. Development 2. Pre- production 3. Production • Idea generation • Concept Meetings • Script Revisions • Finance & Distribution • Casting & Crew Hiring • Locations • Storyboarding & sets • Costumes & Props 5 Steps of shooting; BLOCK, LIGHT, REHEARSE, ADJUST & SHOOT
The Filmmaking Process Production stages / phases • I prefer the 5 stage approach because it allows one to breakdown and easily manage these tasks. Also helps with more accurate budgeting. 4. Post-Production 5. Distribution • Festivals & Markets • Cinema release (IF) • TV, Internet, • Transmedia - DVDs • Editing • Sound Design • Music composing • Test screenings
Executive Crew in the Filmmaking Process - Producer - Director - Line Producer
Executive Crew in the Filmmaking Process • AFILM PRODUCER OVERSEAS AND DELIVERS A FILM PROJECT TO THE STUDIO OR OTHER FINANCING ENTITY, WHILE PRESERVING THE INTEGRITY, VOICE AND VISION OF THE FILM.
Executive Crew in the Filmmaking Process • AFILM DIRECTOR • ? A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic aspects, while guiding the technical crew and actors.
Executive Crew in the Filmmaking Process • ALINE PRODUCER IS THE KEY MANAGER DURING THE DAILY OPERATIONS OF A MOTION PICTURE PRODUCTION.
What is a Film Director? A Film Director is responsible for overseeing every creative aspect of a film. They develop a vision for a film, decide how it should look, what tone it should have, and what an audience should gain from the cinematic experience. He/she is in short the “storyteller” taking a story on paper and making it visual.
7 Steps of the Filmmaking Process… 1. STUDY HUMAN BEHAVIOUR What makes us tick, why do we do what we do. Make it a habit to observe people.
7 Steps of the Filmmaking Process… 2. STORY What is the story, theme, what are the scene objective, What is your POV?
7 Steps of the Filmmaking Process… 3. PERFOMANCES What are the character’s objectives? What is the subtext? What tools do I use to get a performance from an actor?
7 Steps of the Filmmaking Process… 4. PRINCIPLES OF MONTAGE Using Juxtaposition of images, using a series of images to create certain motion or experience.
7 Steps of the Filmmaking Process… 5. The PSYCHOLOGY of the CAMERA -The camera is a character -Each shot must advance the story -Visual meaning of shots and angles
7 Steps of the Filmmaking Process… 6. BLOCKING and Staging techniques Relationship of the actors to the camera. Choreography of scene action with actors, vehicles, animals…
7 Steps of the Filmmaking Process… 7. TECHNICAL STYLE Locations, Cinematography, Editing, Sound, Costumes, Stunts, Visual Effects.
Director’s responsibilities • Approve/determine camera angles, lens, • lighting, and set design • Hiring of key crew members • Coordinating and managing actors’ performance • Writing, financing, and editing of a film • Stays in the project until post-production processes • editing, SFX, colouring, sound design, etc… • Approving locations [Incl. technical recce] • Planning, and breaking down of the shooting script • Participation in determining the requirements, of • the sets, costumes, make-up, props, etc, …
Director’s responsibilitiesCAMERA SHOTS/ANGLES Bird’s Eye View High View Neutral View Low View Worm’s Eye View
Director’s responsibilities • Participating in the final casting of all performers • Determine what extras do • Directing the dialogue and pre-recording and post- • recording of dialogue ‘ADR’ • Supervision of the crew during rehearsal and • principal photography • The right to the “First Cut” • Considerations about utilization of trick shots, • inserts, and montages. • Production meetings with HoDs and everybody • Camera and other equipment tests
Director’s responsibilities 800 pixels 1920 pixels
Director’s responsibilities • Gear check – checking equipment before shoot • Cast stills photography sessions • Special training e.g. Fight/Dance choreography, military training, driving stunts, etc, … • Spending time with oneself, watching ‘reference • movies’
3 Types of Directors • 1) The "Technical" Director • Spends lots of time with the crew • Spends very little time with actors • He may just "let the actors do their thing" • He may not know how to successfully communicate • with an actor.
3 Types of Directors • 2) The "Performance" Director • Works with and understands the actor and the • "acting process" • Also spends time with the technical aspects of the • shot and scene.
3 Types of Directors • 3) The "New" Director • Knows "a little about something but not enough of the entire job of directing." • These directors work elsewhere and get a • "shot" at directing (Ex: producer, writer, 1AD, editor, actor, DOP)
Getting started as a Director • 1) Read books and magazines • 2) Take classes and workshops – YOU ARE HERE • 3) Internet (websites, eZines) • 4) Observe on any movie set • 5) Get a job as an Office PA, AD • 6) Learn by doing – shoot lots, use you phone, etc… • 7) Work on small projects (for free if you have to) • 8) Watch movies (lots) and television • 9) Watch the DVD specials ("behind the scenes") • 10) Read film scripts and watch
The Director’s Key Crew A film Director relies on the following key crew members to paint the right picture; Art Director (Production Designer) Casting Director Cinematographer / Director of Photography Sound Engineer / recordist Editor
The Director’s Key Crew • The Art Director is in charge of the overall visual appearance and how it communicates visually, stimulates moods, contrasts features, and psychologically appeals to a target audience. The art director makes decisions about visual elements used, what artistic style to use, and when to use motion.
The Director’s Key Crew • THE CASTING DIRECTOR A.K.A. “CD” (AND SOMETIMES THE CASTING ASSOCIATE) IS RESPONSIBLE FOR GETTING THE RIGHT TALENT (ACTORS) FOR ACTING ROLES.
The Director’s Key Crew • A Cinematographer is the person filming the motion picture camera. A cinematographer is sometimes given the title Director of Photography (“DP/ DoP”) and is the head of the camera and lighting crews working on the film, and responsible for achieving artistic and technical decisions related to the image.
The Director’s Key Crew • Sound Mixer/Recordistis the member of a film crew responsible for recording all sound of the film during the filmmaking or television production using professional audio equipment, for later inclusion in the finished product. • There are is also a sound designer, sound effects editors, or foley artists.
The Director’s Key Crew • THE EDITOR IS ANOTHER KEY CREW MEMBER WHO PUTS THE FILM AND SOUND TOGETHER, THE EDITOR USES PACE, EFFECTS, TRANSITIONS TO TELL A COMPELLING STORY. • PEOPLE OFTEN CONFUSE KNOWING HOW TO USE EDITING SOFTWARE TO AN “EDITOR” – HOW WRONG CAN ONE BE.
Basic Script Terms Synopsis Tagline Treatment / Story Outline Character bible / profile Aligning script to structure Compelling story with unique taste (no ordinary stories) Types of stories and Genres
The SCREENPLAY Most screenplays have a three act structure; ACT ONE (Set Up/Separation) ACT TWO (Confrontation/Initiation) ACT THREE (Resolution/Return)
The SCREENPLAY QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT THE SCRIPT The following are questions directors should ask about a screenplay. 1. What precisely is the protagonist’s predicament, and is it the stuff of drama? 2. What is the main tension of your story? 3. At what point does the audience gain emotional access to your film? Or does it? 4. Why today? Why begin your film at this point? 5. Are the circumstances clear to you? Are they imbued in the characters? 6. Are your characters clear? Interesting?
The SCREENPLAY QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT THE SCRIPT 7. Is there an emotional consistency to your characters? 8. Does each of your characters deserve to be in your film? What is their dramatic function? 9. What is the character’s arc–journey? Is it psychological, dramatic, spiritual? 10. Are your character’s wants clear, strong, urgent—life-and-death? Can you make it more difficult for him/her? Can you raise the stakes? 11. Are your character’s wants opposed by obstacles? 12. Are your character’s actions in service of their wants? 13. Is the dialogue action or talk?
The SCREENPLAY QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT THE SCRIPT 14. Have you written performances for your characters? Do they have something to do all the time? 15. Do you set up the proper tone at the beginning of the film? (Permission to laugh in a comedy.) 16. Have you explored the dynamics of your transitions? Use of contrasts: fast/slow, light/dark, loud/soft, and so on. The “what” that happens between the cuts? 17. Do your characters have an entrance into your film? An exit? 18. Does your film unfold? Does it allow the audience to actively participate?
The SCREENPLAY QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT THE SCRIPT 19. Have you made use of question marks? What will happen next? (Questions create suspense.) 20. Have you made maximum use of locations? 21. Have you taken into account the power of the film image? What does the shot tell you? Or the moments of just looking at your character—letting them be? 22. Have you created the atmosphere for your story to happen in? Romance, suspense, supernatural, and so on? 23. Have you set up the required universe for your story to happen in (e.g., elephants can fly)? 24. Have you planted when necessary (clues, props)?
The SCREENPLAY QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT THE SCRIPT 25. Have you prepared the audience for something that will happen in the future, so that when it happens it will be accepted? 26. Have you made sure there are no emotional or dramatic U-turns taking place offcamera? 27. Are you working with expectation? 28. Do you show aftermath (the result of realizing or failing to realize the expectation)? 29. Is the narrative thrust kept alive from scene to scene? 30. Is there moment-to-moment reality? If not, do you have a reason?
The SCREENPLAY QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT THE SCRIPT 31. Do your characters exhibit credible human behavior? (Idiosyncratic behavior - behavior that is not wedded to character, circumstance, and wants—is not interesting.) 32. Can everything that happens to or between characters be made available to the audience when transferred to the screen? 33. Does everything you have set in motion at the beginning lead to an ending that is inevitable?
The SCREENPLAY • SCRIPT SCENE BREAKDOWN DEFINITIONS • 1. Key Scenes (Could be dialogue or action scenes) • These scenes set the mood of the story • They require more time than “regular scenes” • 2. Dialogue Scenes (talking, talking, … • - These scenes take less time to shoot • 3. Action Scenes/Special FX Scenes/Visual FX Scenes • - These scenes require more shooting time
The Screenplayers - ACTORS Everything you need to know about directing actors can be put into three words: MOTIVE - DETERMINES - BEHAVIOUR Let's break this down: MOTIVE (Our inner world) DETERMINES (Controls) BEHAVIOUR (Our outer world)
Basic CINEMATOGRAPHY the art or science of motion picture photography. It is the art or technique of movie photography, including both the shooting and development of the film. It can involve the use of film or digital imagery, usually with a movie camera.