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Marshall You know those wonderful scenes where the actor is walking in slo-mo and his long coat is blowing dramatically in the wind. (Think of Nick Cage in Face Off when he gets out of the car at the airport. A trick to get the coat to billow like that is to have your costume designer either purchase a coat made of light-weight material, or they can creatively rip the lining out of the coat. This lightens up the material so it will move easier in the wind. And by the way ± 60fps and 90fps are good frame rates for the effect. 2 ± Shooting Comedy Scenes ± Peter D. Marshall Nothing can kill a comedy scene quicker than the lack of pace. The pace of comedy needs to be faster than drama ± but not so frantic that there is no time for reactions. And never over rehearse a comedy scene ± use rehearsals to block out actor movement, then turn on the camera and see what happens! 3 ± Page Count vs Camera Set-Ups ± Peter D. Marshall When you look at the 1st AD¶s call sheet and see all those scenes and pages you have to shoot each day, remember: it¶s not the page count that matters as much as the number of set-ups (shots) you have each day. 4 ± Use Your Hand as the Foot for a Great Hit!- Peter D. Marshall Want to get a great CU of Person B getting hit in the face/head by Person A¶s foot? Take the shoe, sock and pant leg of Person A and dress it on the stunt coordinator¶s hand and arm.(re: fit the pant over the arm, put the sock and shoe on the hand). You can then move the camera in close and use the stunt coordinator to swing at Person B¶s head right beside the camera. You get a great looking shot and you have more control of the ³kick.´ I¶ve used this technique several times in fight sequences and it looks great on camera. 5 ± Screen Direction in an Fight Sequence- Peter D. Marshall Which way an actor looks, or which side of the camera he exits or enters, is called Screen Direction (the ³180 degree rule´). Maintaining proper screen direction is one of the jobs of the Script Supervisor and is very important to the uninterrupted flow of your story. But should the screen direction rule always be ³obeyed?´ During fight scenes, ³crossing the axis´ adds a dramatic sense of confusion to the action ± where punches and gunshots come from odd angles and characters enter and exit unexpectedly. And when you add slow-motion, dutch tilts, hand-held cameras and jump-cutting techniques, you can create a ballet-like scene that is stylistic and dynamic. 6 ± Work Expands with the Time Allotted ± Peter D. Marshall
actors. you should know what scenes you want to spend extra time on (more coverage or more time with the actors) and which scenes you will shoot quickly (to make up for the longer scenes). and it should be something the actor can believe in and commit to. but you should also understand lenses when talking to a camera operator and DOP. (by the producers or writers) you still have to shoot them. 11 ± Communicating to the Crew ± Peter D. Marshall Two actors have to walk from Point-A (a hallway) and finish their dialogue when they reach Point-B (an elevator or a door). A character¶s objective should be something that will engage the other characters in a scene. But there is one important rule to remember when choosing objectives for a character. Discipline and organization are important here. 9 ± Character Objectives ± Peter D. That means you should not only know the techniques of acting when talking to actors. An actor can only play ONE objective in a scene! Always ask yourself ³What is the character¶s need in this scene?´ and then make sure the actor plays that objective! 10 ± Advice on Making Short Films ± Peter D. characters. or scenes that are only for character development. Direction of Photographic. Remember. if you are shooting a low-budget movie or a TV Series. Marshall Every script will have scenes that are not necessary. I would like to share some directing tips that I have learned. Marshall An experienced director should be able to talk to key personnel in their own terms. you should understand . space. Location.In a TV Series. and crew. in detail.« You should know the material that you have in your hands. Marshall My name is Luciano Bresdem. scenes that have nothing going on. Sound. it¶s ³Gone with the Wind´ in the morning and ³Duke¶s of Hazzard´ in the afternoon! 7 ± The ³Walk and Talk´ Scene ± Peter D. it should create it¶s own obstacles. Give the 1st AD this information so he can help you out in the schedule. 8 ± Learn to Balance Your Scenes ± Peter D. with every aspect of the production (Performance. Make a list. the most important part for a director is knowing the script: structure. plot. Where they stop (finish their lines) is where you can start them for the scene. And the last thing: You should find the ways to say what you want to say. But if they haven¶t been omitted. A quick way of deciding where they must begin (in the hallway) is to have them start walking FROM Point-B to Point-A. you will lose the control over the material. Second thing: You should know what you want to say with this film ± if you don¶t know what you want to say.«) and remember that ³there¶s no unimportant decisions in filmmaking´. Marshall Actors and Directors have to come up with as many objectives for a character as possible. I am from Brazil and I have made some short films. For me. The trick here is to not spend a lot of time on these scenes ± just shoot them fast and get onto the next one.
Marshall . Marshall As a director. But it will help you to communicate your ideas and vision to the people that have to make it happen! 12 ± A Quote from Frank Capra ± Peter D. it must be for reason. they can go ahead and improvise their dialogue ± and the objective of the scene will still be met.´ 17 ± Developing Small Character Roles ± Peter D. Marshall When working on your script. Once you and the actor both agree on the scene intent. Does this make you a better director? Not necessarily.) 16 ± Actors Should ³Do´ Rather than ³Say´ ± Peter D. And the cardinal sin is Dullness. even if it seems to make little sense. 18 ± Understanding the Business of Film ± Peter D. (If it¶s there. only sins. and when shooting on the set. Allow the smaller roles to have offbeat remarks or unique bits of action to make them memorable. ³There are no rules in film making.costumes when talking to the wardrobe department.etc. Frank Capra. 14 ± The Director and 1st AD Relationship ± Peter D. you should understand the basics of hair and make-up«. Marshall Here is one of my favorite tips ± and it comes in the form of a quote from the legendary director. WITH the Producer 15 ± Directing for an Audience ± Peter D. (the greater audience involvement. Marshall When dealing with actors who want to improvise and change their dialogue. make sure you have the actors ³do things´ rather than ³say things. an audience will accept as pertinent almost anything portrayed on the screen. make sure they know what the intent of the scene is first. Marshall Understanding the differences and similarities between both TV and Film is essential to a successful and productive career in the film business because of one word: POLITICS! 19 ± When to Use a Second Camera ± Peter D. Marshall In Television ± The 1st AD works WITH the Director FOR the Producer In Features ± The 1st AD works FOR the Director. Marshall Any character in a script that is worth keeping is worth developing. it¶s important to properly gauge the length of time the viewer needs to digest the information in a scene.´ 13 ± Dealing with Actors who Change Dialogue ± Peter D. the more successful the film) Remember.
motion control. it is based on something you have already seen b) in Television. 21 ± Working with Visual Effects ± Peter D. reference shots and green screen shots. computer screens etc. about when to use the second camera. 3) Filming kids and animals ± this will help you get the shot on the first or second take as both children and animals will never do the same thing twice. so try and block some scenes so that your action takes place in one direction (to avoid turning the camera around for reverses) . what it is covering and what lens to use. 1) Action Scenes ± you should always use several cameras during Action and stunt scenes. 2) Dialogue Scenes ± you will need to work closely with the DOP. Marshall Shooting at night takes more time than shooting in the day so make sure you are totally prepared.) Because of the complexity of these shots. make sure you work very closely with the Visual FX Supervisor to properly schedule all of the plate shots.Shooting with a second camera is a must if you want to save time on the set. 22 ± Blocking a Scene Tips ± Peter D. when you make a suggestion. Marshall Having a shot list will help you during the blocking process. and the soundman. It is also helpful to know how to cheat your reverses ± so you can spend less time lighting and more time shooting. speed is essential. 20 ± Night Shooting ± Peter D. Marshall Most film and TV programs today utilize some form of special visual FX (Green screen. The shot list is like a map: it gives you a path to your destination but you don¶t always have to follow it a) let the actors show you what they want to do first. then.
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