Directing films is a hard job. Take a movie like Dallas Buyers Club – did you know it took the script 20 years to become a movie? The production of the movie started and canceled almost 140 times. Whether you are planning to do an amateur film or a professional one, you will still need to go through a pretty complicated process: you need to choose a script, find your actors, and shoot and edit the film. How to direct a movie is very complex, and challenging concept to teach as step by step guide. No matter how much you’ll learn, your first film is going to be a stressful experience. Still, I promise you, it’s going to be a very rewarding one too. At the end of the day, like everything else, practice enough, and you can do it. This article is for students that are in a hurry and don’t have time to go through all of the Film Directing Course. In this article/lesson, I’m giving you eight directing tips that will help you on how to direct a film.
First, you need to know how you want the film to look at.
I recommend reading our article on the director’s vision that will help you understand how to choose the way your film is going to feel and look. Your first step to achieve that is to understand your idea of the movie and to make sure it is clear to you and later on to your stuff. Once you can write your idea of the film in 50 words or less, it is clear.
Your next step in planning is to go through every scene in the script and break it down. Breaking down the text means to identify in all the scene elements that are needed to shoot and edit the scene like locations, props, costumes, actors, music… Now usually, that’s a thing for the producer to do, but for the director, it’s a chance to find elements he can adjust his vision. Breaking down the script will also help you to know your script inside out.
2. Learn the different shots and their meaning – The angles of camera shots are important for delivering the meaning of the film. Usually, In every scene, the director will choose different camera angles. The angles of the shots will have a big effect on the atmosphere of the movie and it can dramatically affect the way the audience will perceive the characters.
3. Write a shooting script – Don’t improvise on the set, because you won’t be able to think clearly there. If you want to read more about it, check out our article about shooting script.
4. Build a budget – Don’t go to shooting without knowing how much it is going to cost you. Once you understand how much it is going to cost, you should also try to get financing. If you want to learn more about it, read this article about building your budget.
5. Find a producer – It might look at the start you can do everything by yourself, but once you are on set, you’re going to need some help. On the set you need as much work as you can, so you can focus on directing.
6. Cast the best crew you can get – They say 90 percent of directing actors is casting. I think it’s true, but it’s true about every department in your film. It is crucial to find crew and actors that believe in your movie and that you got a good connection with them. They need to be willing to do whatever it takes to make your vision come true. Read this article about casting auditions, to get some tips on how to do it right.
7. Rehearse – Do rehearsal before shooting and help your actors to build their character. Talk about their back story, give your actors homework.