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Producing and Directing the Short Film and Video, 3rd Edition

Book Description

Producing and Directing the Short Film and Video is the definitive book on the subject for beginning filmmakers and students. The book clearly illustrates all of the steps involved in preproduction, production, postproduction, and distribution. Its unique two-fold approach looks at filmmaking from the perspectives of both producer and director, and explains how their separate energies must combine to create a successful short film or video, from script to final product. This guide offers extensive examples from award-winning shorts and includes insightful quotes from the filmmakers themselves describing the problems they encountered and how they solved them. The companion website contains useful forms and information on grants and financing sources, distributors, film and video festivals, film schools, internet sources for short works, and professional associations.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Halftitle
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Preface: Third Edition
    1. Efficio Cognosio (Learn by Doing)
    2. The Power of the Media
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Introduction
    1. Craft versus Art
    2. Four Short Films
    3. Film and Video
    4. Animation
    5. Timeline
    6. Chapter Breakdowns
  9. 1 Finance
    1. Producer Raising the Capital
      1. Basic Fund-Raising Problems
        1. How Much Money Will You Need?
      2. Funding Options
        1. Private Investors
        2. Corporate Sponsorship
        3. Public Foundation Grants
        4. Private Foundation Grants
        5. Bank Loans
        6. Personal Savings
        7. In-Kind Services and Donations
      3. The Prospectus
        1. Presentation Is Everything
      4. Spending the Money Responsibly
    2. Director Pitching the Project
      1. General Fund-Raising Suggestions
        1. Be Positive and Be Patient
        2. Act Professionally
        3. Be Informed
      2. Sources for Students
      3. Fund-Raising Strategies
    3. Key Points
  10. 2 Script
    1. Producer Overseeing Rewrites
      1. Script Development
      2. What Is a Script?
      3. What Does a Script Look Like?
      4. Where Do Scripts Come From?
      5. Adaptation
        1. Why Adapt?
        2. Rights
        3. What Is the Story About?
        4. Find Your Plots and Characters
        5. Make the Internal External
        6. What Do You Do Now?
        7. Some General Guidelines
      6. True Stories and Events
      7. How Are Scripts Developed?
        1. Workshops
        2. Working with a Writer
      8. Legalities
        1. Rights and Adaptations (Preexisting Material)
        2. Noncommercial/Festival Rights
        3. Original Material
        4. Copyright
      9. Expanding the Creative Team: The Director
      10. How Do Scripts Affect Budgets?
    2. Director Supervising or Performing Rewrites
      1. Director as Storyteller
      2. Working with the Writer
      3. Basic Guidelines for the Short Form
        1. Length
        2. The Central Theme
        3. Conflict
        4. The Dramatic Arc
        5. One Major Character
        6. Follow Through
        7. One Primary Event
        8. Dramatic Expectations
        9. Minimum Back Story
        10. Internal Motives, External Actions
        11. No Talking Heads
        12. Rewriting
        13. Readings
        14. Images before Words
      4. Story Questions
      5. Story Analysis
      6. The Shooting Script
      7. Animation
      8. Documentaries
    3. Key Points
  11. Part I: Preproduction
    1. 3 Breakdowns
      1. Producer Breaking Down the Script
        1. Production Book
        2. Proper Script Format
        3. Breaking Down the Script
          1. Step 1: Breakdown
          2. Step 2: Schedule
          3. Step 3: Budget
      2. Director Storyboards and Floor Plans
        1. Developing a Shooting Plan
          1. Know the Script
          2. Know the Theme
          3. Know What Each Character Wants in the Story
          4. Develop a History of the Main Characters
          5. Break Down Each Scene into Dramatic Beats
          6. Determine a Visual Style for the Story
          7. Settle on Pacing and Tone
          8. Create Floor Plans and Storyboards
          9. Make a Shot List
        2. Workshop Ideas on Video
        3. The Final Word
      3. Key Points
    2. 4 Schedule
      1. Producer Building a Stripboard
        1. General Guidelines
          1. Fixed Dates
          2. Locations
          3. Cast
          4. Exteriors
          5. Night Shooting
          6. Continuity of Sequences
          7. Child Actors
          8. Time of Year
          9. Weather
          10. Special Effects, Stunts, and Animals
          11. Crowd Sequences
          12. Special Equipment
          13. Turnaround, Setup Time, and Swing Crews
          14. Animation
          15. Other Considerations
        2. Beginning the Schedule
        3. Creating the Schedule
        4. Making the Day
          1. Keep the Day under 12 Hours!
        5. Shooting during Preproduction
          1. Animation Lip-Sync
        6. Locking the Schedule
        7. Call Sheet
        8. Scheduling Documentaries
        9. Student Scheduling Tips
        10. Computers and Production
      2. Director Determining Coverage
        1. Coverage = Time = Schedule
        2. The First Day
        3. Contingency Plan for Overages
        4. Things Change
      3. Key Points
    3. 5 Budget
      1. Producer Creating a Budget
        1. The Budget Form
          1. Above-the-Line Costs
          2. Below-the-Line Costs
          3. Postproduction
        2. Beginning the Budget
          1. The Budget Process
          2. Information Is Power
        3. Production Value
          1. Student Budgets
      2. Director Shooting for the Moon
        1. Learning by Doing
      3. Key Points
    4. 6 Crewing
      1. Producer Hiring the Crew
        1. Who Hires the Crew?
        2. When Do You Need a Crew?
        3. How Big a Crew Do You Need?
          1. The 3–30 Rule
        4. Selecting the Crew
          1. Attracting the Right People
          2. Evaluating Credits
          3. Negotiating the Deal
        5. Key Crew Members
          1. Production Manager
          2. Assistant Director
          3. Director of Photography
          4. Production Sound Mixer
          5. Art Director
        6. Hiring an Animator
          1. Production Assistant
          2. Interns
          3. Specialty Crew
          4. Video Shoots
          5. Documentary Crews
        7. Developing the Right Chemistry
      2. Director Hiring the Crew
        1. Director’s Disease
      3. Key Points
    5. 7 Location
      1. Producer Securing Locations
        1. Where to Look for Locations
        2. Scouting the Locations
          1. Lighting
          2. Power
          3. Sound
          4. Green Room and Other Special Areas
          5. Safety and Security
        3. Securing the Location
          1. Location Contract
          2. Location Fee
          3. Permits
          4. Insurance
          5. Communication
          6. Transportation
          7. Catering
          8. Company Moves
          9. Parking
          10. Proximity
          11. Backups
      2. Director Scouting Locations
        1. Aesthetic Concerns versus Practical Limitations
        2. Be Flexible
        3. The Power of Illusion
          1. What Does the Script Require?
        4. Identifying the Location
          1. Interior and Exterior
          2. Day or Night
          3. Stage or Practical Location
          4. Near or Distant
        5. Walk-Throughs
      3. Key Points
    6. 8 Art Direction
      1. Producer Assembling the Team
        1. The Art Department
        2. Images Can Tell a Story
        3. Responsibilities of the Art Department
          1. Sets and Locations
          2. Set Dressing
          3. Duplicate Set Items
          4. Props
          5. Wardrobe
          6. Makeup
          7. Hair
        4. Animation
        5. The Producer’s Role
      2. Director Creating a Look
        1. How to Define the “Look”
        2. Architect of Illusion
          1. Black and White versus Color
        3. Breakdowns—Listen to the Script
        4. Defining the Space with Storyboards
        5. Camera Tests
      3. Key Points
    7. 9 Casting
      1. Producer Auditions
        1. The Casting Director
        2. The Basic Casting Steps
          1. Advertise Specific Roles
          2. Scout Local Theater Companies
          3. Scout Acting Schools
          4. Organize Submitted Head Shots and Résumés
          5. Arrange Casting Calls
          6. Arrange Callbacks
          7. Negotiate with Selected Actors
          8. Deal with Rejected Actors
        3. Added Benefits of Casting
      2. Director Auditions
        1. Casting
          1. Casting Children
          2. Audition Guidelines
      3. Key Points
    8. 10 Rehearsals
      1. Director Working on Scenes
        1. Before Rehearsals
          1. Getting to Know the Actor
        2. Developing Mutual Trust
        3. Researching the Character
        4. Rehearsals
          1. Benefit of Rehearsal
          2. Rehearsal Schedule
          3. Read-Through
          4. Develop the Theme
          5. Keep Notes
          6. Scene by Scene
          7. Videotape the Rehearsals
          8. Shaping the Scene
          9. Communicating on the Set
          10. Special Situations
      2. Producer Preparing Call Sheets
        1. Sample Preproduction Schedule
        2. Preproduction Planning Suggestions
        3. Production Meeting Suggestions
          1. Week 1
          2. Week 2
          3. Week 3
          4. Week 4
          5. Week 5
          6. Week 6
          7. Week 7
          8. Shoot Date
      3. Key Points
  12. Part II: Production
    1. 11 Set Procedures
      1. Director Control
        1. Running the Set
        2. A Typical Day
        3. Camera Moves
        4. Video Tap
        5. Slates
          1. Slating Procedure
          2. Slate Lights
          3. Smart Slates
          4. In-Camera Slates
          5. Informal Slates
          6. Tail Slates
          7. Video Slates
          8. Action! Cut!
        6. Calling the Shot
        7. Script Supervision
      2. Producer Organize
        1. Guidelines
          1. Keep Morale Up
          2. Support the Director and the Creative Team
          3. Watch the Budget
          4. Act as Coordinator
          5. Keep the Production Moving Ahead
          6. Be a Troubleshooter
        2. Safety on the Set
        3. Proper Wrap-Out
        4. Dailies
      3. Key Points
    2. 12 Camera
      1. Director Collaborate
        1. Keeping Up with Technology
        2. Style
          1. Collaboration with the Camera Department
          2. Stock
          3. Consult with the Director of Photography
          4. Do Your Homework
          5. Shot List
          6. Introduce the Camera during Preproduction
        3. The Camera as Storyteller
          1. Composition of the Shot
          2. Focus
          3. Use of Color and Black and White
          4. Type of Shot
          5. Size of Shot
          6. Lens
          7. Shot Perspectives
          8. Camera Movement
          9. Coverage
          10. Second Unit/B-Roll
          11. Continuity
          12. Specialty Shot
          13. Lighting
          14. Editing
        4. Equipment
          1. Film Camera
          2. Film Formats
          3. Aspect Ratio
          4. Camera Terms
          5. Tests
        5. Video
          1. Video Camera
          2. Camcorder
          3. Monitor
          4. Interlaced Scanning
          5. Component versus Composite Video
          6. Digital Impact
        6. Video Formats
          1. Analog Formats
          2. Digital Videotape Formats
          3. DV, DVCAM, DVCPRO
          4. HDTV
          5. Tape Stock
        7. Other Equipment
          1. Grip Package
          2. Lighting Package
        8. Tricks
          1. Poor Man’s Process
          2. Simple Mattes
          3. Night for Day
        9. Integrating Animation
      2. Producer Support
        1. Responsibilities of the Producer
          1. Laboratory
          2. Equipment
          3. Rental House
        2. Technical Considerations
          1. Power
          2. Lights
          3. Camera Noise
          4. Fans
      3. Key Points
    3. 13 Sound
      1. Director Recording Clean Tracks
        1. Production Sound
        2. Sound Preparation
          1. Location Scout
        3. Responsibilities of the Sound Team
          1. Dialogue
          2. Perspective
          3. Sound Effects
          4. Room Tone
          5. Additional Sounds
          6. Sound Reports
          7. Consistency in Sound Recording
          8. Playback/Music Video
        4. Set Procedure
          1. Basic Attitude on the Set
          2. Communication with the Boom Operator
        5. Approaches to Recording Sound
          1. Boom
          2. Plants/Stash
          3. Lavaliere
          4. Radio Microphones
        6. Variables for Placing Microphones
        7. Recording Concerns
          1. Pickups
          2. Keeping It Clean
          3. Difficult Situations
          4. Crowd Scenes
        8. Video Sound
          1. Documentary
      2. Producer Controlling the Environment
        1. Equipment Needs for the Shot
          1. Film
          2. Video
          3. Microphones
        2. Care of Equipment
          1. DAT
          2. Nagra Analog
      3. Key Points
    4. 14 Art
      1. Director Guide
        1. Set Procedures
        2. Set Dressing
          1. Continuity
          2. Duplicates
        3. Props
          1. Continuity
          2. Duplicates
          3. Personal Effects
          4. Improvisation
        4. Wardrobe
          1. Special Rigs
        5. Makeup
          1. Continuity
          2. Positive Reinforcement
          3. Special Effects
        6. Hair
          1. Continuity
        7. Additional Crew
      2. Producer Construction
        1. Sets
      3. Key Points
    5. 15 Cast
      1. Director Direct
        1. The Process
          1. Call Time
          2. Makeup and Hair
          3. Stand-ins
          4. On Call
          5. Final Staging
          6. Technical Requirements
          7. The Director as Audience
        2. Directing Actors
          1. The Director’s Tools
          2. Types of Characters
          3. Continuity
          4. Special Situations
          5. Interviewing for Documentaries
          6. Interview Questions
      2. Producer Accommodate
        1. Socializing
        2. Contracts and Deal Memos
          1. Wrap Out
          2. Firing Talent
      3. Key Points
  13. Part III: Postproduction
    1. 16 Pix Postproduction
      1. Director Edit
        1. The Director as Editor
        2. The Editor
        3. The Editing Process
          1. The Creative Steps to Editing
          2. What Is Editing?
          3. Screening the Dailies (Working with an Editor)
          4. Finding the Story
          5. Analyzing the Rough Cut
        4. Restructuring the Picture
        5. Screening the Second Cut
        6. Refining the Story
          1. Editing Techniques
          2. Cut with Sound in Mind
        7. Evolution of the Edit
          1. Shifts in Tone
          2. Adding Reshoots and Stock Footage
          3. Temporary Music
          4. Screen for Story
          5. Screen for Pacing
          6. The Impact of Nonlinear Editing Systems
        8. Locking the Picture
        9. Technical Considerations When Editing Film on Video
        10. Digital Basics
          1. Key Terms
          2. Analog versus Digital
          3. Sampling Rate
          4. Advantages of Digital
          5. Broadcast Quality
          6. Resolution
          7. Digital Compression
        11. What Is Nonlinear?
          1. Film-Style Editing
          2. Random Access
          3. Digital Nonlinear Editing
          4. Basic Components of a Nonlinear Editing System
          5. Capturing and Organizing Clips
          6. Digitizing
        12. Editing Sequences
          1. Editing Interface and Time Line
          2. Basic Sound Editing
        13. Special Digital Video Effects
          1. Types of Effects
          2. Ending a Session
          3. Animation
        14. The HDV Revolution (In Post)
        15. Film to Video
          1. Telecine
          2. Video Dailies
      2. Producer Advise
        1. What Do You Want from a System?
        2. What Is Available?
        3. Editing Room
        4. Postproduction Schedule
          1. Finding an Editor
          2. Evaluating Prospective Editors
        5. Stepping Back and Looking Ahead
      3. Key Points
    2. 17 Sound Postproduction
      1. DIRECTOR BUILDING TRACKS
        1. Sound in the Digital Age
          1. The Digital Audio Workstation
        2. Basic Steps
          1. Projects Shot on Video
          2. Projects Shot on Film
        3. Respect for Sound
          1. How We Perceive Sound versus Picture
          2. Sound Equals Space
          3. Sound Equals Production Value
        4. The Design of Sound
          1. Do You Need a Sound Designer?
        5. Preparing for the Mix
        6. Spotting
        7. Dialogue Tracks
          1. Cutting Dialogue
          2. Automatic Dialogue Replacement (ADR)
          3. Walla
          4. Voice-overs and Narration
        8. Sound Effects Tracks
          1. Unique or Enhanced Sounds
          2. Cue Sheets
        9. Music Tracks
          1. The Music Team
          2. The Original Score
          3. Preexisting Music
        10. The Mix
          1. Rhythm of the Mix
          2. Preparing for a Mix: Nonlinear
          3. Digital Mix
          4. Different Formats
      2. Producer Setting Up the Mix
        1. The Moral
      3. Key Points
    3. 18 Laboratory/Online
      1. Director Time
        1. Opticals
        2. Animation and CGI
          1. Rendering and Compositing
        3. Cutting the Negative
        4. Film Matchback
          1. 24/30 Frame Issues
        5. Timing
        6. Types of Prints
          1. Mute Print
          2. First Trial
          3. Answer Print
          4. Release Print
          5. Video Copy
        7. Traditional Linear Video Online
        8. Nonlinear Online Edit
        9. Video-to-Film Transfer
          1. Systems
          2. Digital Intermediate
      2. Producer Making Prints
        1. Looking Ahead
      3. Key Points
    4. 19 Distribution
      1. Producer Making a Deal
        1. Start Early
        2. The Markets
          1. Theatrical Markets
          2. Nontheatrical Markets
          3. Exhibition
          4. Television
          5. Video
          6. The Internet
          7. Foreign Markets
        3. Distribution Options
          1. Self-Distribution
          2. Distributor
        4. Approaching a Distributor
          1. General Distribution
          2. Foreign Distribution
          3. Contracts
        5. Marketing Your Short Film or Video
          1. Deliverables
          2. The Press Kit
      2. Director Publicity
        1. Truman
        2. Mirror Mirror
        3. Crazy Glue
        4. The Lunch Date
          1. Cannes
        5. The Academy Awards
  14. Appendices
    1. A Genres
      1. Experimental or Alternative
      2. Corporate
      3. Commercials
      4. Music Videos
    2. B Screening List
      1. Short Films and Videos
    3. C Case Study Scripts
      1. The Lunch Date
        1. Pitch
        2. Synopsis
      2. Truman
        1. Pitch
        2. Synopsis
      3. Crazy Glue
        1. Pitch
        2. Synopsis
      4. Mirror Mirror
        1. Pitch
        2. Synopsis
    4. D Insurance and Legal Matters
      1. Insurance
        1. Comprehensive Liability
        2. Miscellaneous Equipment
        3. Third-Party Property Damage Liability
        4. Errors and Omissions
        5. Cast Insurance
        6. Negative Film and Videotape
        7. Faulty Stock, Camera, and Processing
        8. Props, Sets, and Wardrobe
        9. Extra Expense
        10. Workers’ Compensation
        11. Hired, Loaned, or Donated Auto Liability
        12. Hired, Loaned, or Donated Auto Physical Damage
        13. Guild/Union Travel Accident
        14. Office Contents
        15. Animal Mortality
      2. Legal
        1. Music Rights
        2. Public Domain
    5. E Film Schools
      1. Programs
      2. References
      3. United States and Canada
      4. International
    6. F A Short History of the Short Film
  15. Glossary
  16. Bibliography/Software/Internet
  17. Index