View Full Version : Directing oneself.

01-27-2005, 06:04 PM
I am working on my first long project Heroes 4 Hire.
I'm shooting/lighting and acting in it (short on bodies :-X)
I trained as an Actor so I feel confident in my performance, even though I worry about the lighting too much. I'm finding the switch from Director to Actor sometimes tricky, worrying about the shot (re-framing, the lights again(just shoot bright and fix in the edit!) I'm half way through the project and feel that the directing side could slip or is already slipping.
Should I stick to one thing, should I decide on my shot and just commit or should I just get on with it?

Jim Brennan
01-27-2005, 06:13 PM
If you think you are slipping, you probably are. It's rare enough to find someone truly competent at either of those crafts. It's nearly impossible to find one who can do both well. If you want to do both, you might want to do them on separate projects. At least until you get an experienced crew.

My .02. Good Luck

01-27-2005, 06:16 PM
I'm commited or should be.

J.R. Hudson
01-27-2005, 07:54 PM
Have you considered bringing on a DP? You can still direct and act but your life might be easier with some experienced and trained eyes behind the camera.

Jim Brennan
01-27-2005, 08:13 PM
It also depends on your motivation for the specific project. If you are doing it to see how well you direct yourself, don't take my advice. I set down specific things I want to focus on each film I do, so it's like an exercise. I can look back and see how much I accomplished. If you are trying to make a high quality film for submission to festivals or trying to get distribution, that's a different story.

And John Hudson is a very smart man.

01-28-2005, 04:49 AM
My first 30min project I had a great crew and met Ama Barn a life-long friend and D.P. I've used big crews on other productions too. The problem is Ama is starting to get booked and he had to let me down on my last project I-Remain video. After shooting/lighting myself it I felt a massive sense of freedom (trying out everything) so I thought I would carry it on in Heroes-4-Hire. I am the crew on the project + 3 other Actors. I know from the way Ama shoots that part of filming is to use whats around you and be creative. Due to money constraints I still want to film, so it's on no budget or nothing. I would rather carry on and be independant than sit at home day-dreaming about it.

01-28-2005, 09:36 AM
If that's the case, maybe you should slow down a bit (if the other actors don't mind). Double your shooting days so you can have enough time to do the lighting right (it's imperative that your set is lit well) and that way, you can breath a little. Just my 2cents.

Good luck with your project. Also if you maybe say which city you're in, maybe you can ask a few DVXuser members to show some love. You never know. I, for one, would be willing to give a little hand if you're around LA.

Jim Brennan
01-28-2005, 09:42 AM
Is LA near Manchester? ;D

I agree with your strategy jpbankesmercer as well as victorian's suggestion. When in doubt, just shoot it. Especially if you have people willing to work on it with you.

01-28-2005, 09:57 AM
Very funny Jimm!!!! The flag should have given me the clue

01-28-2005, 02:46 PM
Victorian maybe you got fly over and operate for me ;D
I agree with the double shooting days if I want it to be good.
I've been shooting over the past couple of days (some ext. weather bad in Manchester all the time) and decided that if I don't like the results just keep shooting and re-shoot if I can tighten or add anything.
I have another problem...
As I have said I am the crew and acting in it but...
Because I was so short on Actors I decided would'nt it be funny if my good super team had arch villans but twins ;D
So I'm playing two parts too.
Anyone want to see a finished scene???

Jim Brennan
01-28-2005, 02:52 PM
My friend, you are ambitious.

I'd love to see what you are up to. Post it in the screen grabs forum.

01-28-2005, 02:57 PM
Not got any decent hosting/free ;D
Trying to get it sorted and I'll post one up.
J.P. :-X

01-31-2005, 04:37 AM
I've fośnd that if you've fully prepared your role (in my opinion preparation is 90% of an actor's work) the less thinking you do about it at the time of performance the better (looser, more free) the results are. Being preoccupied by directing can be a blessing rather then a curse. It's much easier said than done but trust your choices as both an actor and a director and see where that freedom takes you. Of course you truly have to be prepared or everything suffers.

01-31-2005, 09:09 AM

02-01-2005, 04:38 PM
its a tricky thing - directing + acting, in the past what ive done is to first frame the shot with a friend and see it through the eyepiece and then when its time to shoot i walk over to where my friend was standing and hit my mark - then if there is camera movement, i make sure i tell my camera man what i want...if hes a good camera guy who understands your vision, then you can trust him - but more often than not, you will get some unusable shots because you werent behind the camera and if you are shooting guerilla, well then theres no way you can reshoot....its a tradeoff but it can be done

02-02-2005, 08:41 AM
Directing oneself is a completely natural phenomenon for a person who consider him/herself to be a performer first and a director second. Spike Lee, Orson Welles, John Cassavetes, Woody Allen--these are directors who see no conflict between acting and directing because they come at it from a performer's point of view. They are able to both perform and enage others in performance without distraction. It's one and the same. They were also lucky to be surrounded by exceptional crews. Decide once and for all how important it is for this thing to "look great."

Jim Brennan
02-02-2005, 08:57 AM
Yes. To me the success of a project usually resides in how clearly you understand exactly what you are trying to accomplish.

02-02-2005, 04:38 PM
Shooting is going well. I'm working hard in all my roles , now not rushing and taking the time over the footage (if I am unhappy I'm resigned to re-shoot and use the editing outsider point-of-view to add to the scene rather than take what I have)
We are steaming ahead and hope to have things wrapped up in the next couple of weeks. The website will be up within the next two-three weeks then you can all decide...
A. What I need to re-shoot.
B. If I should stay on the other side of the camera.
C. That you should keep people like me away from sharp objects.
Thanks for the support.
J.P. :-X

Jim Brennan
02-02-2005, 04:48 PM

02-02-2005, 08:28 PM
Of course you CAN do it. I JUST DID IT :) Wrote, Directed, Shot and Acted in my filick. I had one person to help me with lights and the same person was holding a boom when I was shooting. It works but you have to make sure the actors are after rehearsal cos there is not enough energy left to give them. You put so much of it into framing, lighting, making sure the boom guy points the mike in the right direction.

You know, I dont have money at all that is why I am doing it this way. I love it actually but if you can afford a DP or a Boom person or some guys who will take care of lighting (you still can tell them what you want but at least they can move the equipment from place to place so you can do other stuff like cheking the picture on your LCD or monitor or take a piss..)

I agree with R.R. that if you want to make a movie, just make one.
Now I am learning editing (to edit my 13 hours footage). I love it too even though just deleted something and dont know what the fcuk is going on.
But will learn. Cos I love it. 8) Let's make a movie!

02-13-2005, 08:24 AM
Hey guys,
Nearly finished 1hr pilot Heroes4Hire. Took all of your advice. Slowed down/Set-up then switched to Actor. Took longer to shoot. Stopped worrying and I feel much better about my performance and the Directing/Lighting. Even my dear grey haired mother said that I could act (Capricorn very honest) and she did'nt think I could in my last short 'Unlucky' (can see in screen grabs) only she didn't say that at the time, she lied! Proves that you just can't trust anyone ;)
J.P. :-X