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Topic: First Film Set Experience...

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    Default First Film Set Experience...

    Hello everyone.

    I am currently directing my first short. We are doing this exercise to prepare for our first feature next year. The shoot went fairly well but I have a question for all you veterans. I am working with a young producer who is very ambitious and sharp. I started running into what I believe could be a problem down the road. As I was working with my DP framing a shot, the four actors (all of them teenagers and inexperienced) started talking and laughing on the set. The Producer snapped at them and told them to settle down and focus. The actors were totally embarrassed and let me know about it after the shoot. From there on the mood was darkened and their confidence was a bit stalled.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but I was under the assumption that the Director was the only one responsible for directing the actors. Is this true? If it's not, is there a way to talk the Producer down a bit?

    Thanks!

    John


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    Your producer, should not have done that. It is the directors job to control the actors. If the actors are having fun and the mood is good (As long as its not effecting the time schedule) then that is the way it should be. On set should be a fun experience and this will show in the final product. While I don't know the full story I can't say for sure that your producer doesn't know what his is doing, I can say that if your producer is effecting the talent like that then you have a serious problem on your hands.

    What he should have done was take you aside, and discussed it with you. Never yell on set unless you are the first AD and talking to your crew


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    Thank you, Nick.

    I appreciate your input. I understand that the producer calls the shots and I respect that. He was also filling the roll of AD (which may have been a mistake) but you answered even that in your post by suggesting that the AD only reprimands the crew - if necessary. My understanding is that actors are the Holy Grail. As a Director, I see them as the face of the film and my method is really one of pulling the story out of them and acting with them in a sense (in this case I also wrote the script). It's tough when so many roles are filled by one person on the set. But you've helped clear it all up. Thanks!

    John


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    Multiple rolls on set is one of the main reasons low budget films suffer. I mean that in a way that even all of my films had people doing many rolls, even the million dollar film, its not really until you get the much higher budget films you can literally have one person per needed position, but it is possible and profitable if done correctly. Let me know if you need anything else, and again we are glad to have you here.

    Nick


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