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Archive for January, 2011|Monthly archive page

The problem with prep

In Shoots, Updates on January 6, 2011 at 4:12 am

We go to camera in two days.  That’s a sobering thought.

I am shooting an indie feature called ‘The House‘ (check out the facebook page!), and we go to camera in two days.  It’s an exciting and nerve-racking time.  One of the main challenges in filmmaking is having all the pieces in a very complex puzzle come together.  The actors, costumes, props, locations, sound, etc. must all be there and ready at exactly the right time.  For me, I need to make sure the cameras and lights are there.  Breaking down a script – going over every details 100 times to make sure you know how the director wants to shoot each and every shot in every scene – can be painstaking work.  Knowing that the director will change everything on the day and freestyle his or her way through a scene, and then accounting for that possibility is wise.

The problem with prep is that is makes one complacent.  One can feel confident that all possible scenarios have been accounted for, but it never works out exactly that way, and movies aren’t made in prep.  Don’t get me wrong, prep is an invaluable time, and it is vital that everyone know the material inside and out, but films are shot in the real world on set where the light is fading in the sky and the prop laser gun doesn’t work quite right, and the weather has taken a turn for the worse.  Preparation is key to making good decisions, but it is on set that decisions must be made quickly and correctly.  It is on set that one’s mettle is tested.  It is on set that there is no time for second guesses.

Wish me luck on my latest adventure.