DIRECTING IS EASY (Got 6-Minutes? Learn The Facts.)
by Dov S-S Simens on July 3, 2017
WANT TO DIRECT?
Don’t make it difficult… Get a script. Get a Camera. Use a Wide-Angle Lens. Cast Actors. Hit the On-Button. Say “Talk” (OK: say “Action”). Wait 90-minutes. Say “Shaddup” (OK: say “Cut”).
Voilla. You got a movie… Why make it difficult?
(“Who doesn’t have a script? Cameras are cheap. Actors are everywhere. So, if you want to direct…then direct.)
Yes, of course there is more and there are two film school methods (Traditional and Alternative) to master the craft of directing…Pick one.
But remember, all buildings are not the same just like all movies are not the same. And learning to build (aka: direct) a massive 20 story, 300,000 sft, condo project does little help when you are about to build (aka: direct) a small single story, 1,500 sft cottage…
2 SCHOOLS FOR DIRECTING
Directing is not difficult… once you have the facts.
(“Spielberg started his career with a nuts-and-bolts 4-actor, 1-room “Night Gallery” episode titled “Eyes” with Joan Crawford and mastered the basics.”)
Lets compare the 4-Year (Traditional) and 2-Day (Alternative) film programs.
4-YEAR FILM SCHOOL (Theory): The 7 Directing Trends
Traditional film school programs at schools like USC and NYU, take 4-years, cost $250,000-$300,000 and teach how to make shorts using the textbook, “Introduction to the Craft of Directing”, that states the “7 Modern Trends” for directing, are…
….. (Trend #1) Plots are old fashioned. A story with a plot is contrived, artificial and boring.
(“Huh? Plot is contrived?”)
….. (Trend #2) When you start writing a script, just begin at the beginning without trying to plan how it will end. Planning isn’t necessary. Its much better to be spontaneous. Improvise as you go along.
(“Huh? Just Fake it. Every building has a blueprint. Every journey has a roadmap. You just don’t fake it.”)
….. (Trend #3) The most boring thing of all is to be obvious. It’s much more interesting to be ambiguous. Leave it to the audience to work out what you mean. Why does everything have to be explained?
(“Huh? Audiences don’t come to figure things out… they come to be entertained.”)
….. (Trend #4) Ideas and issues are what interests me. That’s where I like to start: from an idea. I don’t really care about the character so much.
(“Huh? Tell the story with boring, one-dimensional characters.” Hollywood Execs say, “You got a message…Call Western Union”.)
(“Tell Eastwood you want the characters in your movie to be one-dimensional and he’ll say “Make My Day””.)
….. (Trend #5) I think the most interesting theme nowadays is alienation. That’s what’s true to life because everyone is alienated nowadays. A character that wants to do things, or who has something he wants to achieve is somehow phoney, or corny.
(“Huh”. A Character that wants to do things is phoney. I ain’t gonna respond to this…”)
….. (Trend #6) I like symbolism. I don’t see the point of characters that are realistic. (“I wanna scream”) It’s much more interesting when they are abstract.
(“Huh?” “Huh” and “Double-Huh”)
…. (Trend #7) I like to play with scenes of fantasy rather than reality. I like dream sequences (“Hey, keep a pencil & notepad by your bed. Wakeup during the dream. Jot it down. Type it into 90-120 pages. Now direct it.”) and flashbacks. It’s more interesting when you can play around with time.
(“Huh?” “Play around with time? Flashbacks and Flash Forwards are bloody expensive and not doable on Low-Budgets…”)
This is the directing method taught at 4 year schools at a cost of $250-300K.
(“$250-300K…Someone poke my eyes out.”)
Now the alternative method…
2-DAY FILM SCHOOL (Facts): The 10 Directing Truths
The Alternative weekend program wastes no time, cuts-right-to-the-chase on the morning of Day-1 with 10 Directing Truths, not Trends, within 2 Hours (read below), that are so easy to understand you go to lunch proclaiming “I Got it! I get it. I got it.. OMG I got it!”.
(“Within 2-hours, before lunch (Aug 19-20 or Dec 9-10) you will know exactly how to direct… Guaranteed. Now do it with talent. Talent is important, very important, but I can’t teach it…no one can.”)
The 10 Directing Truths
….. (Truth #1) DIRECTING THE STORY: Script Selection: Keep It Simple. 90-pages. 1-3 Locations. Highlight the drama. Block out 40-50 scenes. Set-up. Plot Points. Crisis with Resolution….which you learn in 12-minutes.
….. (Truth #2) DIRECTING THE PRODUCER: No Money-No Movie: Direct the producer with a super pitch to secure $20,000 to $300,000, independent of the studio system, to make a movie…. which you will learn how-to do in 20-minutes.
….. (Truth #3) DIRECTING THE BUDGET: The Shoot: With $20-$300K you can afford a 1-, 2- or 3-week shoot… Direct a 1-week Shoot with 16-18 hour workdays, a 2-week Shoot with 15-16 hour workdays or a 3-week Shoot with 12-15 hour workdays… which takes only 20-minutes to teach.
….. (Truth #4) DIRECTING THE SCHEDULE: The Schedule: With a 3-week shoot you have 18 shooting days. With 18-shooting days and a 90-page script you must direct (aka: get-in-the-can) 5 pages/day or 1-page every two hours… which you will learn in only 12-minutes.
….. (Truth #5) DIRECTING THE SHOTS: Shot Selection: First get a Master Shot. Then get two Over-The-Shoulder Medium Shots. Then Close-ups & Cutaways and before you leave the location… Get an Establishing Shot. … To learn how to direct a Master, two Mediums, an Establishing Shot and 7-8 Close-ups… only takes 12-15 minutes.
….. (Truth #6) DIRECTING THE CAMERA: Lens Choice: For Master Shots use a 18mm-25mm Lens. For Medium Shots use 30mm-50mm Lens. For Close-ups use 70mm-100mm Lens. For Establishing Shots use a wide-angle lens unless restricted within confines of walls that limit movement… you will learn in only 10-12 minutes.
….. (Truth #7) DIRECTING THE ACTORS: Cast Actors: Get a Casting Director who gets 10 actors/part, then direct a Cattle-Call and two Call-Backs and pick the best actor for each part… who looks right, is creative andt when you say “Action” he/she does what you want. If not, say “Back to Position On”e and do it again… Casting actors is much easier than thought and it only takes 15-20 minutes to learn.
….. (Truth #8) DIRECTING THE SHOOT: Work Days: For a 3-week shoot, you must get 5 pages in-the-can per day. For a 12-hour day (one-hour lunch and one-hour morning startup), you have 10 hours of daylight left to get one-page directed every two hours… this only takes 12-15 minutes to understand.
….. (Truth #9) DIRECTING THE LIGHTS: Light the Scene: First get a Key Light. Next an Eye Light, Back Lights and Fill Lights. Look into the camera’s eyepiece; and if you can see in the actor’s eyes, without him blinking, a little twinkle. Voilla. Rehearse, say Action & get the shot… Directing the Gaffer (Lighting Director) will take 15-20 minutes to understand.
….. (Truth #10) DIRECTING THE EDIT: Oversee Post: In Low-Budget the director is usually the Post-Production Supervisor… Thus, direct the Picture Editor, then the Sound Editor, then ADR, then Foley. Now, direct the Mixer, the M&E Engineer and the Colorist and you now have directed a finished film…. The steps of Post-Production, which is a 10-15 week period in real time, only takes 35-40 minutes to learn.
SO YOU WANT TO DIRECT!
OK, if you want to direct… Then do it but ask yourself “is it better to spend $250,000 at a 4-year traditional film program loaded with theory or $289 at a 2-day alternative film program with honest, no-bull facts?”
Don’t get me wrong… Film schools like NYU, UCLA and USC are great film schools but “are they worth 4-years and $250,000 to make shorts?”
Now, pick one.
(1) 4-Year Traditional Film School method costing $250,000-$300,000 and direct shorts.
(2) 2-Day Alternative Film School method costing $289 and, with the money saved, direct a feature film.
The ball is in your court now.
Dov Simens / Creator 2-DAY, DVD & VOD Film Schools
16-HOUR (Live, DVD, VOD) FILM SCHOOL
Want facts not theory… Then my Film Schools ($89, $149, $289 & $389) are perfect for you.
Pick One. Enroll. Graduate. Write. Produce. Direct.
Next “HOLLYWOOD (2-Day) FILM SCHOOL” sessions are August 19-20 or December 9-10, 2017.
Join our E-Mail list… Stay up to Date.
*** NO-BULL ***
2 comments on “DIRECTING IS EASY (Got 6-Minutes? Learn The Facts.)”
one of the better blogs !
thanks for telling it like it is
casting right actors
Tips and tricks,