Director Guidelines for Working on the Set – Part 1

by Peter D. Marshall

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1. run through the rehearsal until everyone knows the technical and mechanical areas (but is not emotionally exhausted)

2.  camera movement should be dictated by the dramatic content (not unmotivated)

3. keep the film moving (if the show is well paced, the flaws won’t be as apparent)

4. find the right tempo for each scene (how the actors say their lines, camera movement, cutting)

5. be able to communicate with the DOP and camera operator on their own terms

6. you must be able to understand camera lenses

7. think of imaginative camera angles (reversal of expectation)

8. find unique ways to heighten the impact of the scene

9. try to incorporate fast moving and overlapping dialogue with a moving camera

10. know which lines are to be emphasized for pauses and editing

11.  the pace of comedy is faster than drama, but make sure there is still time for reactions

12. nothing can kill comedy quicker than the lack of pace

13. never leave an unintentional silence in a comedy

14.  never over rehearse a comedy scene

15. what is left out of the shot can be just as important as what is seen

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Want to Learn More Film and Television Directing Tips and Techniques? Check out Peter D. Marshall’s 2008 multi-media reference guide for filmmakers, The Art and Craft of the Director 10-Day Audio Seminar – a 162 page eBook packed full of insider film directing tips and tools supported by over 500 film making reference links, 26 mp3 audio files, 28 video links and 23 pdf special reports all designed to help you become a successful, working film and television director.

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