Filmmaking Lesson 17 Production Part 1

Production is a result of months and months of planning.

I’ll repeat this. When making a movie, production results from months and months of planning.

I emphasize the planning aspects of pre-production because many filmmakers crash and burn during production because they don’t have a solid plan.


But you’re different.

To ensure your production goals are executed so that you get the most movie for your hard-earned money, you will need to check and re-check with your department heads to ensure everything is AOK.

Assuming you have plans A, B, and C, you’re ready to shoot your movie!

Here are some tips that have helped my filmmaking run smoothly:


  1. Make sure whoever directs the movie starts each morning with a shot list. A shot list is a list of shots. And once you have it for each day, you’ll be able to check each shot off the list as you go.
  2. If you’re directing, work with your DP to get an assortment of cutaways. You’ll need many cutaway options to save you from yourself should you miss something in Post-Production. I’m not kidding about this.
  3. Make sure you have a photographer on set.
  4. Again, work with a terrific 1st Ad.
  5. And hire a bunch of Production Assistants to help make your life easier!

The production process is a ton of fun. You’ll bond with other creative folks, and by the end, assuming all goes well, you’ll feel like family. If you get a chance, check out American Movie.

It profiles a guy so passionate about making his movie that you sometimes don’t know if you should laugh or cry. For a more educational perspective, Hearts of Darkness – A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse profiles Francis Coppola as he struggles to make Apocalypse Now. Both DVDs are full of filmmaking passion and must-see for any filmmaker working to make a movie.

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ARTICLE BY Jason Brubaker

If you'd like more tactics like the article you just read, make sure to grab a copy of the filmmaker checklist. You'll get 65 useful steps you can employ to produce your next feature film.