I wanna be the guy part 1

The first page of Boytoy Beta, complete with vast scribbles

Getting to grips with technology is hard work. No doubt about it. With filmmaking, with it’s many aspects especially. Every area of filmmaking is so fine-tuned that it’s difficult to separate the art from the mechanics. I’ll illustrate exactly what I mean:-

Pre-Production

There are many aspects of pre-production that people may not realise. To get the very best product, the scripts themselves have to be built up, from basic concepts all the way to the tiniest detail. Before actually going into production, a script can be rewritten half a dozen times, not just adding tiny changes, but plot changing stuff as well. The problem is, is that when a writer first starts out, they usually either think their piece is really bad or really good. Really bad, the writer loses interest with the script and tries a different story, good and they’re unwilling to change virtually anything.

Of course, writing isn’t the only hurdle in the pre-production world. After scripting, comes the storyboarding, visualising exactly how the action is to be seen on screen. Even when this is sorted, somebody has to organise everything – the locations, actors, crew, props, etc… It’s not an easy task for a producer, even when taking out of the equation the concept of payment. It’s understandable why some skip some of these steps.

Character concept for the main character of a zombie TV series I was writing

Casting is actually something I’ve had little experience in, having had limited resources in previous projects. I’ve always had an actor in mind when writing characters, which isn’t something desirable (unless you’re writing the script for a “star vehicle”). What I will do on my first casting call for a film project, is making sure that a, the actors can take direction, b, that the actors can actually act and c, if the actors can work well with others. An actor who cannot take direction means they will play the character they are portraying potentially very differently to what you intended, and when you get a creative force opposing your own within the same project, it can mean disaster, tempers flare and the mood onset can be bad. If the actors can’t actually act, then it’s going to drain the energy from the film – both on set as well as the end result. An actor does need to be able to work well with others. I can imagine it not being pleasant if people segregated into groups within the cast and crew, and disheartening if people are unwilling to mingle. After all, filmmaking should be fun.

Stick around for part 2, where I discuss the production side.

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