Filmmaking Lesson 18 Production Part 2

Once you build momentum during production, assuming you meticulously planned everything, you’ll soon find that most everyone working on the movie will fall into a collective, collaborative groove. And it’s an awesome feeling!


Even when everything is going as planned, or sometimes better than planned, you still need to make sure you pay attention to the little things. For example, I met with one producer who told me how props was sure wardrobe would bring the watch… And wardrobe was sure props would bring the watch. When it came time for the shot, nobody had the watch. This minor boo-boo resulted in overtime and meal penalties for over 30 people.

See what I mean? Minor hiccups can have not-so-minor consequences. One too-many of these overlooked elements can hurt the moral on the set, slow down production hurt the final product.


  1. I’ll repeat this over and over for as long as I live – but when you’re making a feature, food is currency. Make sure you have great food on set. Don’t get skimpy. Don’t expect fast food or pizza or generic treats and cookies to fit the bill. Get good food!
  2. The other thing I’ve learned the hard way is this… Sound! You’ll need very good sound. So many times sound is overlooked. And by the time the filmmaker figures out he or she has a problem, it’s usually in the editing room. And it’s usually too late!
  3. The other thing you’ll need is legal releases. You’ll need releases for just about everything in your movie. The most common releases are actors and talent, crew and locations. There are probably many more that I’m forgetting. So make sure you speak with a qualified attorney who has experience in this arena. But basically, the motto to follow is CYA. (Google that!)

As a recap: Shot list, cutaways, sound, FOOD, and legal releases!

I’m pretty sure I mentioned Robert Rodriguez and how he started his filmmaking career. But I think his story is one of the best stories from the trenches. His passion for doing what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it resonates so strongly with me, that I can’t help but credit Robert with much of my early inspiration. Plus, this was before HD – so making a movie was almost twice as difficult! Check it out: Rebel without a Crew: Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker With $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player.

Happy Filmmaking!

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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.