The film is currently in post-production and much of the responsibility is out of my hands. Though I haven’t seen the final product I think it’s a good time to reflect on how I have developed throughout this process. Maybe some of this will be helpful to others, maybe it won’t.
As a Producer: I was a first time producer, I’ve had some experience in the area thanks to a wonderful opportunity of an internship at the fantastic Wild Canary. However it was my first time being in the driving seat of a film and what a ride it was.
- Be Clear
State Clearly what you need from each crew member. This might seem obvious, but it can be very hard to do, especially if you don’t have much experience, maybe you don’t know exactly what someone should be doing, but it’s important to find out, either by asking them or asking someone else or research on the internet. They need to know what their boundaries are. Even if it’s obvious, it’s no harm to outline it. People work and think differently, what’s obvious to you may not be obvious to someone else.
This may seem ridiculously obvious but you really can’t be too prepared. Especially try to prepare the contracts and releases, you don’t want to be scrambling for these last minute. Try to make a schedule and make sure everyone knows what’s going on. This leads onto the next point
Plans will change, it happens, it might be huge and it might be small but you have to be prepared to not get what you expected.
As a producer, you are usually the boss. You have to be prepared to make decisions. You have to be the one in charge, the one that people turn to for help, and people have to respect you. It can be very hard, but it’s your responsibility to make sure everything goes smoothly, and you need respect in order for that to happen. As with most things Assertiveness is the path of least resistance, even if passiveness or being aggressive seem like an easier option.
Delegation is the major skill that a producer needs to master, according to some very wise people I know 🙂 . This is definitely true in my experience. Sometimes you can take too many things upon your shoulders. Plan everything out, tell people what they need to do and then allow them to do it.
As a Writer:
The most important thing I learned as a writer is to learn what format your script needs to be in and write it in that format. It may seem like a silly thing but it’s a sign of professionalism and people will treat you and your work with more respect if it looks professional.
As an Casting Director/Actor/performer:
Make sure to research what you’re auditioning for. Who are the company? Who is in charge of the casting? What are they casting for? It’s promising when people do their research. I found that anonymous generalised cover letters really didn’t impress me. I felt I gave enough information in various places for people to at least know my name. This may seem conceited but it’s a personal choice, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Do you fit the bill?
If they state something specifically like an age, it’s normally for a reason so if you really don’t fit look the part there’s usually no point going for the audition. That being said if it’s something small and it doesn’t seem that big a deal it’s not a bad idea to investigate, let them know how you differ from what’s described, that way at least they know and if they still decide to audition you, you have a chance.
Make sure you know what you’re going for. If they give you an audition piece, it’s better if you can learn it well, not only is it impressive and it shows you put in the effort. Give yourself the best chance possible.
- Be Proactive
Learn skills that you think will be useful for your acting career, things like accents are fantastic to be able to do. Personally I believe that it’s a good thing to create your own work. I’ve learned so much about all aspects of film and acting from trying it out myself.
Overall there is so much I’ve gained from the entire experience. But there’s one important thing that I couldn’t have done the project without.
- Ask for Help
There are so many people who helped me on this project. It wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t asked for help and they hadn’t given it. Feedback, advice, promotion, space, and support were all essential in the process.
A huge Thank You to all those who helped me, I really couldn’t have done it without you.