Filmmaking / Directing

The place to discuss, share content and offer advice and tips on all things filmmaking and the craft of directing. From pre-production to on set practices to navigating the industry and beyond, this is your forum

Good "Creature" Design artist or shop

Heya, I'm looking to film a fantasy short with a very unique, alien type creature (very large and non humanoid). I was wondering if any one had any suggestions of creature workshops i can reach out to for the puppet design. CGI modeling may be a more cost efficient avenue, I'm just trying to go old school by this point!


Producing a Feature Doc on Healing Racism

Hi Stage 32! I read the emails most days, and truly appreciate all that is offered through this platform. After the election and resulting upwelling of hate crimes, etc, I decided to film and in-depth and solution-driven story about a couple who have led "racial healing circles" for 30 years in West...

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Rutger Oosterhoff

Talking about the top directors; theres no 'best', just different.

Mauro Russo Rouge


Doug Nelson

If I were the best Director OF the world, things would be a lot different for sure.

Cherelynn Baker


Diane Knight

thats very subjective....everyone will probably have different answers....

Paying a DP

I have a question. My writing partner and I spoke with a DP about shooting, editing, and co-directing a small project. This DP toured the location and agreed to work with us for a price. No contact was signed. In the weeks leading up to the shoot, we saw signs of irresponsibility, including him telli ...

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Michael LaVoie

You may wish to cover just a scouting fee. That's typically half of the rate of a single shoot day. Sounds like that's all he did. He can't legitimately invoice you for anything else.

Royce Allen Dudley

Matt Massie, kill fee is a well established and normal contract clause used by corporate, industrial, web and broadcast cinematographers and videographers... among many vendors who use it. It does not...

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Ken Koh

Before going down any legal path which would cost time, money and pain. I suggest talking face to face. This sort of thing usually can be resolve with talking in person. Try to avoid the courts best...

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Dan MaxXx

Mental note: don't hire one person to do multiple jobs- unless the person is your partner.
You're not saving $ hiring a Director who is a cinematographer who is an Editor who owns all the equipment. you're unconsciously paying for someone else's showreel.

Kaye Bewley

Your key phrase is here: "spoke with a DP about shooting, editing, and co-directing a small project. This DP toured the location and agreed to work with us for a price.spoke with a DP about shooting, ...

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Did you know?

What do Michael Bay, David Fincher, Ridley Scott, Guillermo del Toro and Edgar Wright have in common? They all started their careers making television commercials. Who reading this are making commercials and corporate videos but want to make feature films?

Rutger Oosterhoff

... and they all had to REFOCUS on telling a solid story, not only showing a pretty picture!

Gregory Green


Roy S. Ford

I love what you said there about REFOCUSing to tell a solid story.

Rutger Oosterhoff

Hey Roy, a horror writer ones told me he hated it that a director who came out of shooting comercials, always fucked up his screenplays because he only wanted to shoot pretty pictures and had now idea how to tell a proper story.

First Time Directors

‘Thoroughbreds’: How a 28-Year-Old Playwright Who Had Never Been on a Film Set Directed the Best Debut of the Year

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Storyboarding -

I’ve finally just started doing the storyboard for one of my movies - about time, after I’ve been writing scripts for a few years - and I can’t believe how time consuming it is to portray my clear idea of the movie into shots. I’m doing it by drawing out oblongs, cut them into areas and draw the peo...

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Lauran Childs

Thanks Royce, I’ll follow your suggestions!

Francisco Casals

Lauran Childs why don' t you network and TRADE services with someone who is better at it than you. Film is HIGHLY collaborative medium, you can decide to take on many hats but more often than not, thi...

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Lauran Childs

Thanks Francisco! I’m actually very nervous of that because as an artist and woman, I’m really sick of people asking me to work for free. But yes, maybe film credit is a good thing to suggest. I would LOVE someone to do a budget for me on that basis.

Francisco Casals

You actually DON'T work for free if there's a fair trade in regard the VALUE of the project. For example, I have directed shootings fro free BUT using agency models, photographers with impressive port...

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Rew Jones

There are lots of templates online. Pages even used to have one built in, I’m pretty sure No Film School has a few options. Do stick figures in there, draw well enough enough to communicate with your crew, not well enough to eat up all your time.

The one about using facebook or other social media UI

Is showing social media user interface such as facebook and twitter okay to use in a film?

Richard Gustason

I would check with them frankly. I would say yes but for licensing reasons, you may need to see if permission is going to be granted for that. Because Facebook and Twitter are brands like Pizza Hut or Pepsi.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Neo, with "fair use" copyright doctrine, you certainly can mention brand names, etc, as they are commonly known in real life. "Fair Use" allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring pe...

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Dan MaxXx

Sure, why not! Write it. Let the producer worry about errors & omissions. Nobody sues the writer of a production

Jesse Jensen

It's sort of a grey area.

Rew Jones

It depends on roles, if you are just writing, go for it. If it ends up being made the producers will either obtain permission or design a look-alike so the audience gets it. If you are the producer, t...

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Rehearsal Time

How much rehearsal time does the cast really expect in preproduction? For a microbudget project, or a low budget project, or even a studio project? Sorry for the noob question.

Jacob Buterbaugh

Hi, Stephen! It seems like it's mostly dependent on budget and schedule. I can certainly see how rehearsal would benefit the cast, the crew, and me, especially if I want to keep shooting ratios low. Thanks for the information and the advice.

Stephen Anthony Bailey

Absolutely. Saving takes based upon the time you've put in rehearsing is absolutely true. The other thing to be said for that is discovery for actors comes with the amount of takes. But they won't discover anything great until the material is in their bones. If that makes sense...

Doug Nelson

The simple answer is that it takes enough time as it takes to get it right.

Dan MaxXx

Jacob Buterbaugh from my experiences doing low budget indie shoots, there is no time to rehearse on set. It's more about blocking and setting up camera shots. The actors have to be in costume & makeup...

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Jacob Buterbaugh

Dan MaxXx - What little experience I've had definitely matches what you're saying. The shorts I've been involved with so far have provided a table read at most, private meetings with the director by r...

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The 10 Best Filmmaking & Writing Contests to Enter in 2018

It’s a well known fact that many top writers and filmmakers got their big breaks from winning competitions, but what are the best contests to enter in order to kick-start your career?

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Debbie Croysdale

Thanks for the share.

Russell Comber

Thanks for this!

Brad Johnson

I wish some of the contests would evolve for the changing marketplace. The sweepstakes winner takes all model is not really very useful for most of us. Why not invest the money in better readers, some minimal notes and some transparency.

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