Director’s Blog – 9/3/2013

Even after the cameras are done rolling, the Director’s involvement is far from over. It’s much more than the planning, the rehearsals, and the filming.

The Director is the keeper of the “vision”, which could roughly be described as the movie you see playing in your head when you think about the finished project. The director works with every aspect of the project and collaborates with others to make one vision come to life on screen.

I’ve worked with our Editor, a composer, and Special FX Supervisor to ensure they all understand the vision and help move closer to that ultimate goal.

The editing process usually comes first. Your editor uses the script, shotlist, and any other notes to make a rough cut of the scenes. You want somebody that has a good eye and a good ear to know what the best takes are, but don’t be afraid to ask them to keep multiple options readily available for your review. When possible, I like to review footage in person. If it is not possible to do this, make sure you have an editor that works well with constructive criticisms.

So, you’ve gone through the long editing process, and you are ready to see the Special FX make your film super cool. With the readily available tutorials online for effects, you can accomplish almost anything (short of 3D models, unless you are really really lucky and find a person that is very good at it). You want to make sure that you can give a detailed description of what you want to see to your Effects Supervisor. Keep in mind that it’s likely that you could be describing a house, and they will give you a car. Keep communicating, and use examples as much as possible. You’ll eventually see something awesome come out.

Now that you have a cool edit with effects and sounds, you need music. Finding composers can be as easy as posting on Facebook or Stage32. The best advice I have is to be up front and clear about what they get out of writing music for you. If you don’t have any money, hopefully you have friends that write music or can throw together a contract for if/when your project makes money. Composers are great artists, and if you give them the feel and the cut of your project, they may turn out something you’ll really like. Once you have a demo back from them, you can make notes on what scenes need something different, or what you’d lie to see the music do at certain points. Before long, you’ll have a soundtrack!

If you are an aspiring director, or just have an interest, leave me a comment below with your question or send an email to


-Ben Watkins

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