So the final version is put together and it sounds and looks great. Now we wait.
In my opinion, all roles on a set, whether TV or film, are as equally important and critical to getting the final shot. That being said, I want to talk about one of the most difficult jobs on set: the director.
In a TV production, in the field or studio, the director has many things going on at once and a lot of calls and cues to hit as the event is being switched live with multiple cameras. When I’m opening a show, my rundown from the top usually sounds a bit like this. Cameras to opening position, talent to opening positions, cue up music, cue up cg, cue up lights, cut up roll in, stand by with talent mics, stand by to roll tape, roll tape, (here, I will give a good 10 secs of black, stand by opening credits, which could be a cg or a roll in, take cg ( or roll in) fade up music ( or roll in sound if built in) preview camera 2, stand by to fade out roll in and music, stand by talent in 5, slow fade out of roll in and music, 3 fade up talent mics, any light effects if we have them, 2 cue talent, one, Mics should be live at this point. Take camera 2.
Ok. From here, I then direct my talent, cue up more CG, lower thirds or roll ins, music, and any other effects or lights cues we have planned for in pre-production. So, that is what a TV studio production can look like from a director’s stand-point. Of course, that is after you have helped decide what the set will look like, made sure the cameras are matching (if it is a small shoot), and you need to oversee everything.
I have directed over 25 live studio/field production shows in the last two years. That might not sound like a lot, but between film directing and my video production business, finding time to do a live-switch production is hard.
Film production is a different concept to directing. I still have to oversee all that goes on in the production, especially when I have a small crew of under 10. When I am fortunate enough to have a larger crew, I can delegate and trust more on my amazing crews to do their job to make the production run smoothly.
When I am on set, I usually have been through at the least two weeks of pre-production and at most 3-6 months of pre-production for the shoot I am directing. On set, the director is in charge of working with the talent, signing off on the look and camera moves, keeping things on time. On bigger shoots, an AD can do this, watching each take to make sure they are getting what they want, giving the talent direction if they are not getting what they want, knowing when to say “cut” and “print,” and being a professional. A bad director might not know what he or she wants and might not know how to talk to talent or get what they want from the talent or know what shots they want or what devices (camera techniques) they want to use to aid in telling the story. These people waste the time of the cinematographer, the talent, the crew and the funders if they have them.
A good director, in my opinion, knows a little about all aspects of filmmaking, a alot would be even better. I grew up an actor in NY doing print-ads, local theater, off-Broadway as a small child, stand in, extra work, commercial work, etc. I have studied cinematography for the last five years and taught filmmaking and TV production for the last four years. I have been almost every role in a film production, holding a boom, being a gaffer, a dolly pusher,puller, make-up (took a college course in it), sound mixer, producer, craft services, talent, editor, and director. Having a well-rounded view of what a set should run like and the crew to produce a good shoot are very important to a director.
Next time you wonder what the person behind the camera staring at a tv set yelling “ACTION” or “CUT” is doing, just remember what they went through to get to that spot and where they are going once the footage hits the can.
Thanks for reading,
Sean D Brown
My test demo scene for the movie “Reality Crash” is coming along wonderfully. Today I got my first cut of the sound for the whole scene and it sounds great layed down with rough-cuts of some of the music. It’s all coming along quite well. We have a lot of talented people working together on this film and it really shows. Right now I have a locked picture cut that the post-sound designer and music composer are working from. I will soon send the picture out to get color corrected by my colorist. All of these elements coming together will help tell the story we are trying to tell.
I would include some pictures here but can’t yet as I don’t want to spoil anything for you.
Color correcting can help tell the story in an amazing way. It can cool an image down or heat it up or make it scary and dark or warm and light. How we shoot and color the image is again another way of telling the story.
In sound mixing and designing we are discovering new ways to aid in the sorry telling that were not in the script or in the original storyboard plan. They work so well at helping tell where we have been and where we are going that I could not imagine the story without them.
Finally the musical score really helps put the mood and feel that we should be having outside of the picture. My composer did an amazing job so far at hitting all the right notes to help tell the story in the way that a production of this caliber should be told.
I want to thank all the hard work that my crew has put into this film to make it what it is.. I have worked for 6 plus months on this project almost everyday thinking about it and working on ideas. It feels good to be nearing the end of production on the scene and even better to have new prospects of moving on to a feature length film of “Reality Crash.”
Thanks for reading and pass it on.
Sean D Brown
This last few weeks I have been editing a lot in Premier Pro CS5. I wanted to share with you all how to set up a project in CS5 and how to adjust the Red Raws inside the application. This will hopefully be helpful to the first timers with RED One footage.
Sean D Brown
I have been in Post Production on my short demo for the movie “Reality Crash” for a few weeks now and it’s been alot of fun and hard work.
I have been editing the Red One’s footage mixed in with the 5D Mark II in Adobe Premier Pro CS5. I like this work flow because I can do my Visual Effects and Motion Graphics right in After Effects, and Dynamic Link them together. With Dynamic link I don’t need to export my effects each time and then bring them in to Premier. Dynamic link lets you edit in both programs at the same time and live update as you go along. So I can have a piece of footage on the time line in Premier where the clip is going to end up then when I am ready for the effects I can send the clip to After Effects and do my chroma key or matte paintings or any other effects I would add to the shot then click back over to Premier and see the live update.
Stay tune for some BTS photos of my clips from Start(RAW) to Finished shot(Keyed,SFXed,Color Corrected,)
Thanks for reading,
Sean D Brown
At the end of 2010 I got a chance to co-produce a promo for a New Zealand based hiking backpack “Bodypack” company called AARN.
We shot it all on my 5D mark ii and my T2i/550d. We were hand held most of the time as it was alot of action shots. The T2i came in handy as it was much lighter then the 5D and it can shoot at 60FPS. We got down in to small cracks in the cliffs and camped out in the snow over night.
It was a great time and I look forward to creating more promos for company’s like this one.
I would click the link and watch on Youtube as this does not fit quite on the blog.
Sean D Brown & 117 Productions