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Never make a film with friends and family

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  • Never make a film with friends and family

    So after doing a test video with friends and family, I found it is hard to complete a video with "friends and family"!

    I do not know what it is, but no one could keep focus... Someone would start laughing about something and then
    others would start laughing and everyone would stop helping.

    There was a point where I was the only one getting the next shot ready and I was so mad...

    So please, from my experience, do NOT make a movie with friends and family!

  • #2
    I have had a similar problem with filming my short From the Core. My friends are awesome and really into it. My family well that is another story. One of my main actors int he film is married to my sister and it has been impossible to get any filming done lately. She always has something that is more important than my film. So today I canned the film and will reevaluate it at a later date and time. In which there will be different actors.

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    • #3
      I would chime in and ask that girlfriends or boyfriends of cast or crew not be allowed on location. I shot a film a million years ago and my producing partner was bringing his girlfriend as his "assistant". I knew right off this would be trouble. He was suprised that I wasn't bringing my girlfriend. I told him my GF had no place on location--I was directing--why would I want my girlfriend around?

      The whole time we're on location, his GF is whispering to him that he should be directing and that his ideas weren't being used and he's so wonderful--it finally blew up mid-production and we sent him and his GF home early. It was awhile before things were civil again. To this day, I don't know why anyone would want their GF around when working. It's work--not playtime.


      Kurt Hathaway
      khathawayart[at]gmail.com

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      • #4
        true. film making is so serious. most of guests only come to have fun when the film maker try to focus.

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        • #5
          It depends on who your friends and family are. As you get more into film making, you'll make more and more friends who are serious about it. But yes, you are absolutely correct about not using people who are just doing it to help you out or just think it sounds like fun... It won't be fun. It won't be fun for you. And it won't be fun for them after you smash them over the head with a shovel for ruining your shoot you worked so hard on.

          Most people have no concept whatsoever how much incredibly hard work it is to make a movie.

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          • #6
            my entire life in a nutshell. very frustrating.

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            • #7
              That's really funny how you say that.

              I'm ok when it comes to people having fun when filming but as long as we still keep moving forward. A good laugh is always nice but when people just get distracted or just stop...it sucks.
              The newbie.

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              • #8
                I've actually never had this problem. Granted I haven't made anything particularly big with friends involved but the small stuff I've done has worked out fine.

                I did a scene for a video in highschool that was cast using the friends of one of my group members, everything went off without a hitch. I did another video that same year with two friends acting also no problem. For my basic film project in College I had two CS major friends PA for me. It was slightly annoying that they didn't know film terms, but they were on task and helpful the whole time. In fact I once had a tech exercise due the day after parents weekend. I ended up with my dad as a dolly grip and my little sister acting, again worked out fine (well other then the fact that I'm a subpar cameraman).

                Still I understand how this situation can create conflict and on any shoot with money behind it I wouldn't try anything like this unless I had no other choice.

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                • #9
                  I guess you are right. You can do business like that with friend and family, also be sure that you have people who will like to get more money. Always work with people who invest in the movie because that people will be more focus.

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                  • #10
                    It's not so much the acting that causes the problem for me, but the individual's schedule and lack of cinematographical knowledge and skill. Back in 2011 when I was a junior in high school, I had to do a short 8 min. video relating to any historical event. I got a cousin and a couple of his friends to act in it. When it was my turn to be in my first scene, I had to pass the camera to one of my cousin's friend. When I looked at the footage, I noticed it was lacking headroom and it would shake a lot. I had to teach him a few basics. This is something you need to have a lot of patience for. In the end, I got first place with a 10/10.

                    That was a fortunate event. Now, let me tell you about an unfortunate one that just recently happened a few months ago.

                    I had a screenplay ready for production. Me and a couple of friends were going to begin production when they stopped getting in contact with me. After a few weeks they told me they could be a part of it because they have things they have or want to do.

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                    • #11
                      For me, I've never involved family, just never had the need or want to. As far as friends, unless they are professionals in the same field, it's almost always a recipe for disaster.

                      I've been there as a student filmmaker where the only people willing to help you out at friends. Best you can do is minimalize the amount of talent you need and craft a story around 2 actors. Get the best quality you can squeeze out of them, and then use that film to attract real actors or aspiring actors.

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                      • #12
                        Best thing to do is visit a theater class in one of your local scools/college.

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