Thursday, March 31, 2016

Directing is not easy

So, coming into this class, my main goal was to make something that I would find funny. Throughout my time here at Ithaca, and being a screenwriting concentration, I've written a lot of stupid short scripts. But I've never had the opportunity to make the stupidity come to life. That's why I decided to take thesis. I wanted to make something - 100% of the way - directing, filming, editing, maybe acting - instead of just writing the story and being done with it.

But, as I started to shoot, I soon realized that I totally underestimated the of challenges of actually making a film. And considering I haven't taken any production classes prior to thesis, it was either sink or swim.

Writing the script has always been easy for me (well, relatively speaking...). But actually taking the finished script to the locations, with a camera, and audio equipment, and actors, and unforeseen problems, and then filming it - well, that's fucking hard.

The biggest thing I worry about is making everything look good. So, I decided to re-watch some of my favorite shows and look at how they're directed and what makes them look so good. First, I watched Louie - probably my favorite show ever in the entire world of television. Since I want my film to have a very Louie-esque feel to it, I took close note to the camera work, the shot angles, what is in focus and what is out of focus, etc. Louie has a lot of hand held camera work. It gives a very "real" feel which is something I want to accomplish in my film. Another element that gives it the "real" feel is the use of natural lighting - street lights, lamps, sunlight, etc. There are also a lot of close ups on characters when they say or do something important, with the background out of focus.

A lot of what I'm saying is pretty self explanatory and obvious, but when it comes to actually implementing these elements in your own film, it becomes challenging. Not only did I watch Louie, but I watched specific scenes from other movies and television shows. For example, I have a scene where my main character gets mugged. So I researched all of the best mugging scenes in cinema to see how they did it. And the more I watched, the more I was able to take and use these techniques.

If I learned anything, it's that you have to steal. You have to steal from the best and make it your own. That's the only way you can make something of quality.

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