Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Some advice for your first feature, Part 1 (Amin Matalqa)

Since I am in the throes of writing a feature that I will be directing in the next 18 months, it's natural that I seek out advice from others who have already made their first feature...  

This is part one in a series of I don't know how many- this first string of suggestions comes to us from,  Amin Matalqa whose film Captain Abu Raed I mentioned in a previous post:

1- Stay open to ideas from your collaborators.
2- Pick your battles
3- Keep editing in your head while shooting so you have a feel for what you may be missing
4- Watch the performances as the ambassador for your audience.  As the director, you're the only person who sees the big picture.
5- Learn on the job, but be prepared.  Do your homework.  Know your gameplan and shot list.
6- Throw your shotlist away and adapt to the performances
7- Never talk to actors about what they should feel.  Talk about what their objectives are as a character and what's in their way.  Direct through blocking, not through confusing abstract emotional direction.  Let the actors do what they do from within.  Stay out of their way, then give them adjustments.
8- You don't know everything so don't pretend that you do
9- Communicate and delegate so you can focus on your actors and your camera.  Let everyone do their job.
10- Remember to have fun because you create the atmosphere on your set.
11-  Adapt to surprises and find creative solutions to the limitations that get in the way.

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