View Full Version : how many rehearsals before shoots...

10-07-2004, 12:21 PM
How many rehearsals do you guys usually do before a shoot? I have a shoot scheduled on the 16th of this month. We just went over the scenes last night. I'm planning on one more sometime mid next week.

10-07-2004, 12:42 PM
I wouldn't say there's a set amount of rehearsing needed - really, if you're comfortable with what the actors are giving you, and everything is running smoothly after two days of rehearsing, then there's much less need for more rehearsals. This is opposed to everything going wrong after the fifteenth day of rehearsals - although if that's the case, the producer likely would want to start firing and re-hiring :P

10-07-2004, 01:10 PM
Yea, I'm pretty confident after last night on the direction we're heading. I just wanted another rehearsal before we go out there. It's an hour drive to the mountains. Wanted to make sure everything runs smoothly. Thanks for the reply :)

10-07-2004, 01:53 PM
I try to get a point with my actors in rehearsal where I am totally happy with their performance and I believe they are ready for the camera.

If they are not where they need to be I work with them until they are. If they just aren't getting where they need to be I fire them.

10-07-2004, 05:08 PM
I have a question, alright. As independent film hackers we usually do not pay the acting cast now if the cast is not doing a job how can you really "fire" them? How do you do it?

David Jimerson
10-07-2004, 05:27 PM
Tell them they're fired, ask them to leave, and recast the part.

10-07-2004, 06:17 PM
That's a tough one because... well, I mean, how do you tell someone that they're not good enough to work for free? But if they're not right for the part, they're not right, so you have to do it (or else your whole project will go down the tubes).

I try to be very gentle with their feelings if possible. "I thought you'd be right for the part, but it's just not working. I'm going to have to try recasting this role. Thank you so much for your efforts, and maybe it'll work out next time." Something like that.

David Jimerson
10-07-2004, 07:23 PM
Wait -- are you looking for the best method of firing them, or asking if you can really do it at all?

Jim Brennan
10-08-2004, 09:15 PM
I fired a DP 2 weeks ago who was working for free. I just told him that "it wasn't working out", "square peg in a round hole", "creative differences", "it's not that you aren't good, it's just not a good fit"

It was tough, because he was a great guy who had driven 120 miles round trip a number of times to meet with me and for the first 2 days of the shoot. But when I weighed my reluctance against both how bad the film would look, and how tense the set would be (I was writer/producer not the director, and the director and he were already starting to get annoyed with each other) it was the only option. I hadn't invested untold hours into something, only to let it fall short because I was too "nice" to let somebody go who was holding the project back. It's probably one of the most important filmmaking lessons that I've learned.

10-24-2004, 06:28 AM
I have found that the more a shoot is rehearsed the less effective it seems to become. I think that this is because the shoot becomes too predictable and it loses its magic. For this reason I avoid if possible rehearsals because I want to catch the realness of the situation. Having said that on the day I regularly reshoot a shot multiple times to get it right. Of course if it is time/equipment/location dependent some times it has to be rehearsed.


10-25-2004, 07:29 AM
My rule regarding rehearsals is always "as few as we need"

10-25-2004, 10:32 AM
I ve asked Jim Jarmush the same question before I started shooting my first feature and he said he doesnt rehearse at all.
He tells his actors about the character and then, puts them into the situation.

I tried it. Works.


Jim Brennan
10-25-2004, 10:40 AM
It can work. It doesn't always. It depends on how complex a scene is, how it needs to be blocked, and how good your actors are. The only Jarmusch film I've seen is Ghost Dog, so I don't feel qualified to give an opinion of his work. There are other directors who don't even write much dialogue, like Christopher Guest. He just writes the characters with the actors, introduces the situation and they improvise, (with uneven results, IMHO) In the end I agree with J_Barnes: as few as necessary. Whatever works.