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View Full Version : Thinking about Directing a Feature



MrJay10
07-31-2013, 06:03 PM
So far I've been working on shorts, (which is pretty much what I've done all my life) I've made stuff in the past that has been up to 45min in length. But I really need solid opinions on what's it's REALLY like to put a feature together. I don't want to produce & direct next time. It's simply too much stress and work. I just want to write, direct, & edit.

I have a really solid concept for a feature that I've been dabbling on the screenplay for a while now, but have never gotten around to finishing it. The budget would def be do-able with a little funding. Not a lot of actors, nothing bravado. It needs a lot of revision and re-development, but I feel the concept is strong and involves subject matter that would be accepted well by the general population. I actually had a friend in the past read the rough draft and she gave the story a 9/10 but the dialogue a 7/10 which is something I need to work on.

I'm still really just trying to build my network of connections to help me out. I feel I've had enough experience to finally get to making my debut feature sometime in the near future, but didn't REALLY know the amount of tireless work that went into it. What are your guys opinions on this? And how do you know when you're ready to direct a feature?

JoeCanton22
07-31-2013, 06:48 PM
I personally have done some features, even if they aren't professional in the sense that they are still zero budget productions. But even then, I feel like part of me is ready to tackle feature length, but part of me feels like experience beforehand is necessary. Case and point, my third feature (first in my universe, considering the previous two before that were when I was 12), I did and did so immediately following two years of doing nothing but sketch comedy shorts and episodes. The film, SuperZeroes, suffered because of that since I was accustomed to making comedy skits and editing in that sense. So definitely I think short films and things of that nature are a necessity, it helps you understand your own groove and style while also providing a good time experiencing directing people, or in my case, honing your acting and writing as well.

Nick Soares
07-31-2013, 07:55 PM
MrJay, when you picture the quality of the feature you want to direct can you tell me what you envision? Maybe a sample movie people have seen so I can imagine this scenario.

mara
08-01-2013, 04:46 AM
Two thoughts from the perspective of someone who has done 1 feature (wrote and produced), and is planning a 2nd:
(1) if possible, try to find someone else to edit your feature, if/when you do it, simply because you will be so immersed in it that you won't be able to be objective about what needs to be cut; and (2) in my opinion, the best way to evaluate dialogue is to do a reading and actually hear what it sounds like. If possible, follow that up (same day) with a discussion as to what's working and why/why not. You can also try doing an improv session with a few troublesome sections, so you can get a feel for how people actually speak in a given situation.

Good luck!

UniqueAmI
08-01-2013, 01:44 PM
IMO the most important part of directing is getting the best possible performance out of your actors.

IMO 99.99% of failure in the micro/no budget world lays solely on poor acting. Which is the casting director and director's fault. If you hire bad actors, you can't expect anything good. If you hire good actors and the performances are bad, the end result lays at the Director's feet. Even the best actors need direction. Since you're going to be the writer, you need to know exactly what's needed out of your performers.

If you can do that, and KNOW that you can do that. Then shooting a full length feature is no different than shooting a short, it just takes longer.

As much as I hated both Paranormal Activity and Blair Witch, they both had good acting. If the acting sucked in either, they'd be on the pile with all the other lo budget no name films.

Again IMO I've rarely seen a micro/no budget production with decent acting. If you have good acting, an audience will forgive most everything else.

MrJay10
08-01-2013, 02:15 PM
MrJay, when you picture the quality of the feature you want to direct can you tell me what you envision? Maybe a sample movie people have seen so I can imagine this scenario.

I'm kinda confused. You mean show like a movie that is similar to the one I want to make or the style you mean?

Jimmy
08-01-2013, 03:25 PM
I'm kinda confused. You mean show like a movie that is similar to the one I want to make or the style you mean?

I think that is exactly what he is talking about. i could be wrong but yea,,,

MrJay10
08-02-2013, 03:29 PM
I think that is exactly what he is talking about. i could be wrong but yea,,,

hmm good question then. I'll have to find something. The film is called Livestock.