Tuesday, August 13, 2013

On shooting first and asking questions later

On shooting first and asking questions later,

For more information, visit: Producers Make Stuff

Apparently . . . producers make stuff.

The implication is that execution means more than anything else. If you can make can get a final cut out of crap, then you can certainly seal the deal elsewhere. The burning question you'd want to ask: "but who wants to make crap?"

Ah ha! Well, I once had a talk with an evil Frenchman (ahem, not all French are evil) who said that filmmaking was a battle between an artist and his pretensions. Once he accepts he will may make shit, he must proceed to make the shittiest thing possible. And then he will have made a film.

This is bad advice.

DO NOT take J&Bs tip below out of context. You have a standard that is reflected with sensible ideas like "block, light, shoot." You will look for proper and compelling character arcs within your scripts. You will find the marketing angle for your film and the audience that must respond to it to keep your director and your crew moving on to more show. You'll care for your crew and feed them. You'll care for your actors and get them the DVD. You'll manage your paperwork and build your brand because people who are not producers are relying on you.

But what I'm promoting here, is that being a perfectionist, and forgetting that concessions are part of the job, will harm you. Everyone is making them on set when time, money and weather are the true emperors. Perhaps more important than arbitrary standards is output. Any intelligent industry vet can imagine what you could have done with an extra $100k and another month with a captive crew. The fact you did anything at all with only $3k is fantastic.

Accept your limitations, adorn them like a crown and produce a script you enjoy anyway (even if quality had to level out at 80% to make the day). Make use of absence and focus on craft and performance and prove as many times over as possible that you don't just shoot, you produce. You don't just accept the title, you produce. You don't just think you produce. You've produced.

Go get as much of that action in the past tense, and your quality standards will inevitably raise as a matter of survival and respect for the game (cause you can't produce continually if no one likes you or you don't pay attention to feedback; unless ofcourse you have money and no concern that the rest of you may be meaningless).


Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

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