This is a director’s nightmare: Everyone’s in position, the cameras are rolling, but something’s not quite right. You’ve been shooting the same scene for what feels like an eternity and no matter what you do, the actors’ performances are just not getting any better.
For the past twelve months, Chris and I have been developing the script that has turned into PLAY IT SAFE. As the project now approaches the production phase, we occasionally remark with wonder that, "Hey, we're making a movie!" Though a lot of work remains - really, the bulk of it - to get to the finishing point, reflecting on the project's humble origins to the broad, collaborative task it has now become is quite inspiring.
In my last post, I talked about the main aim I had when I started this project. To put simply, I didn't have a particular vision or idea I want to realise. I just wanted to make a feature film! When Jack and I agreed to write the screenplay, we both knew that realising that (seemingly simple) and was going to be very challenging. Neither of us had written a feature length script before, and we both enjoyed procrastinating as much as the next writer. To combat this, we decided to set up a bunch of commandments or rules to help us along the way. We decided upon four main commandments to keep us on the straight and narrow, and then gradually added a bunch of other guidelines to help us with specific areas.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I spent a lot of time last year trying to learn as much as possible about the different aspects of my craft as a filmmaker and director. One idea that I came across again and again was that a director cannot work well with actors unless they have some acting experience. It's a simple idea that I think holds a lot of truth. Would you get up to conduct an orchestra if you had never played an instrument?