You are here: Home // Posts Tagged With production crew

daily filmmaking tips

Okay, this goes for those independent filmmakers that are shooting shorts (and features) with a complete lack of insurance. We’ve all done it, but there is something to keep in mind when doing it… Don’t be stupid!

If you can’t protect your actors and your own future, than you really need to avoid doing certain things:

  • Car Chases; you’d have to be nuts to think you can go on open streets and choreograph your own epic car chase scene. Not only is this dangerous for your cast and crew, but you also put everyone on the road in danger.
  • Stunt Fights; sure, you can do a few little things, a punch or a kick. Keep it grounded and use camera tricks. Don’t have two ninjas doing real flips on the roof of a house or sky scrapper.
  • Hanging off Buildings; you can’t risk you actors on the real ledges of buildings. I know it is dramatic and you really want to get that cool shot of your actor hanging for his life. This is film, you have to fake reality, not actually put them in danger.

The biggest thing that should stop you from doing anything really stupid is your common sense. If it seems dangerous, don’t do it! Crew members and actors have to be willing to speak up also. Never do something that makes you uncomfortable. As a producer, remember, if you don’t have an entertainment package, or truck hauling HVG insurance, or any type of cast coverage, than you better be careful. Otherwise if anything happens, you can lose your house, be in debt for the rest of your life and have something you’ll likely never get off your conscious.

A week ago we talked about affordable printing ideas in our first part of Filmmaking 101. One of the most important things for every filmmaker to get is a professional business card. I’d like to take a moment to talk more about business cards and their importance.

First, lets talk about what your business card needs. Your name (of course), your professional title (be honest, more on this later), cell phone (no one cares about your home phone), e-mail address (very very important, this is how must people will stay in touch with you, fax (if you have one, if not it is no biggie), and a URL (if and only if it is related to your position; a website with a reel for a DP or actor, etc).

Now, what you should not include! Do not include your resume on your business card, if people want more information about you, they will look it up. If you are an actor, do not have an extremely close picture of yourself on your business card, not only is it tacky, but is also sometimes scary! If you are a crew member, don’t have any picture of yourself on the card (I’ve seen this, I don’t get it, but I’ve seen it). If your website has nothing to do with your production position, don’t include it on the card. If you are a make-up artist, having a website with a silent film you did in college is not going to help you get jobs. If you are a grip, your blog about cheese should not be on your business card. Nothing personal and unproduction related should be on it. Also, while talking about positions, don’t lie on your business card. If you are a set production assistant, and you write that your a writer/producer on your business card, people will lose any respect for you when they look you up on IMDB and discover that you’ve never produced a feature and you haven’t sold any scripts. Be honest. If you are a PA, you can put them on a business card. It could help you get more PA jobs. If you are embarrassed about your position in life, than just write filmmaker. No matter what position you are in the business, you’re a filmmaker. Is it vague? Yeah, but it is still honest.

I prefer simple business cards, but design wise you should have something that reflects you. Can be a certain font or design. And there are a ton of places that handle business card printing, and you can get 1000 business cards for as cheap at 10 bucks. Business cards are one of the most affordable and effective tools in your filmmaker kit. They will go a long way!