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

Taylor C. Baker
Worldwide Premiere of the of the 5th Annual Short Film Program!

Hello filmmakers!

I wanted to personally share with you some AMAZING films by some of your fellow Stage 32 members. Now through Sunday, you can watch the seven winning films of our 5th Annual Stage 32 Short Film Contest.

These filmmakers are from all over the world, and their films will make you laug...

Expand post

John Ellis

Taylor C. Baker Hi! Is there a film festival that S32 is active in that is having an in-person event in 2021?

Taylor C. Baker

John Ellis we are partnered with a number of festivals in 2021! However, as of right now, most of them are scheduled to be virtual still - we will see how things evolve in the New Year!...

Expand comment
Tony Byrd
Asking for someone's script

I don't know to say this. I've written own my own scripts but I want to direct other people's scripts. Is asking for someone else's scripts to direct it considered wrong? I want any answers. Thanks.

Erik A. Jacobson

What's your track record as a director? If you have little to no experience, it makes more sense to start with a script of your own instead of expecting someone else to trust you with one of their's.

Tony Byrd

I wrote my scripts and about to finish, I did a trailer for a short film that will never get made. I did two space films and I'm also doing anthology projects.

Karen "Kay" Ross
Soderbergh's Sequel to Contagion

To the surprise of NO ONE, Contagion was a huge hit in 2020. So of course, Soderbergh is planning a sequel. But there are two queries I'd love to discuss:

1) Why was it so popular? Are we really so conditioned to derive our information from stories first and our fact-based resources second?

2) How mig...

Expand post

Steven Soderbergh Working on 'Philosophical' Sequel to 'Contagion'
Steven Soderbergh Working on 'Philosophical' Sequel to 'Contagion'
Steven Soderbergh is working with "Contagion" screenwriter Scott Burns on a "philosophical" sequel to their pandemic film. " Contagion" might be nine years old, but Steven Soderbergh 's well-received…
Beth Fox Heisinger

Not talking about censorship, Robert. I'm all for a free market. It's just that after all that has happened this year and is still happening, the loss, the hardship, the damaging misinformation, there...

Expand comment
Beth Fox Heisinger

When Contagion came out, it was a fictitious yet scary "real-world-like" take on what a modern-day pandemic might look like. Well, now we know; we are in the middle of a real modern pandemic and will...

Expand comment
Karen "Kay" Ross

Ooo, love seeing you weigh in, Beth! And it is deep stuff - the responsibility of information as presented in narrative, especially once you realize how many people rely on it for building their belief systems.

John Ellis

I show my ethics and morals through my checkbook - or debit card or whatever... :) - not paying money to see anything like that.

Robert Russo

Im sorry but I really think people in the modern era are just incredibly soft and spoiled. We are lucky we live in the era we do where we think this is a huge tragedy. This is a reminder that the worl...

Expand comment
Jim Ross
Should You Direct AND DP Your Project? NO! And here's WHY!

Another in my series "Fimmaking Tips From the Back of the Grip Truck" -

https://youtu.be/8HaXz05xcVw

Doug Nelson

Dan, my mantra was in the can, on time and under budget when I was a Field Producer. And nobody ask me how as long as I got it done.

Shadow Dragu-Mihai

It's good advice. He didn't say anything about collaboration, though. As a director, I have two people who are my main collaborators in any scene. One is the talent, and the other is the DP. I require...

Expand comment
Rohit Kumar

I agree with your view. But I feel it has to do with economy of filmmaking and if one have to find someone or can do it themselves they have to take decisions based on what can be done within the budg...

Expand comment
Andrew Sobkovich

Some directors love having creative input from team members. Others don’t. Some team members are very supportive of directors, sadly others aren’t. This is a situation that varies personality to perso...

Expand comment
Royce Allen Dudley

In theory this is solid advice. In practice, as a working pro of some decades, fast schedule virtually always dictated that as DP, I also operate; and I'm good. But I seldom opped Steadicam, I had som...

Expand comment
Tony Byrd
Adapting Source Material

I'm nervous. I've written my own scripts. I never adapted source material before. What should I do?

Jaye Adams

Hi Tony,

I’ve never tried to adapt anything from source material unfortunately but I always say if you don’t know how to do something then google it! That should give you good articles, videos, books...

Expand comment
Karen "Kay" Ross
Foreign Language Films - Unfair Categorizing?

With award season ramping up, and nominations announced, the system and all its glorious flaws are being broken down. This article brought up the complaints brought on by the creators of "Minari". Has anyone seen it? What do you think about the stance to get rid of the Foreign Language Film category...

Expand post

Hollywood Slams Golden Globes for Categorizing 'Minari' as Foreign Language Film: 'Enough of This Nonsense'
Hollywood Slams Golden Globes for Categorizing 'Minari' as Foreign Language Film: 'Enough of This Nonsense'
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association's category guidelines ignited an outcry Tuesday when it was announced that " Minari" would be classified as a foreign language film for Golden Globes voters. Di…
Derek Reid

I mean, the original intent (I assume) was to guarantee a foreign language film won an award each year. Take that away and whatever happens happens I guess.

Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Well, like the Academy, the globes are an industry organization, and not a public trust. They can do what they want.

Niksa Maric

"A movie about the American dream, set in America, starring an American, directed by an American, and produced by an American company, is somehow foreign." What Foreign Language Film category, Karen?...

Expand comment
Bamutiire Jerry Edmund

Dialect considerations for awards have always caused chaos: the African Julia Roberts herself Genevieve Nnaji had her 2018 movie Lionheart nominated for the 2019 Oscars international feature film cat...

Expand comment
Kiril Maksimoski

Nothing new here...back in '88 Dutch Spoorloos couldn't qualify for the Academy as Foreign film from Netherlands...had too much French dialogue within...

Matt Kotrob
Seeking advice on starting a TV series in Germany.

It was an idea that started two years ago. Our collaboration resulted on 10 episode first draft with commissioned writer. Now the second draft is in-progress and I was asked to join them in Germany for pre-production. I am planing to travel there before February. .

I will be the Director of the seri...

Expand post

Alex Moreno

Make sure your producer knows things like laws for actors (like we have SAG) and permits for local shoots.

Marleen Irani

Hey Matt, that's a cool opportunity! Be sure to keep track of the latest Covid news when traveling. I'm in The Netherlands, in a strict lockdown right now until Jan 19. Also, speaking German can be ha...

Expand comment
Karen "Kay" Ross

Thanks for reaching out Matt Kotrob! Gathering allies is a great way to ramp up to a big project. I often work on other people's sets to gain support. If you are attracting help, whether on small or l...

Expand comment
William Joseph Hill
How to Create a Web Series With Literally Zero Budget - posted on the Blog!

In case you may not have see it, Pamela Hill  and I wrote an article for the Stage32 Blog about how to produce a web series on a zero budget.  We thought you might find some useful tips in the post.  Check it out here: https://www.stage32.com/blog/How-to-Create-a-Web-Series-with-Literally-Z... Thank...

Expand post

William Joseph Hill

Hey Debbie Croysdale ! Thanks so much! Glad you are a fan of of our web series "That Darn Girlfriend"! Your collection is awesome--thanks for the pic. Take care.

Pamela Hill

Thank you Debbie Croysdale ! William and I had fun crafting our article about "That Darn Girlfriend" with tips and pics. We appreciate your kind comments and positive support. Cool collection! Take ca...

Expand comment
Debbie Croysdale

Thanks for your update @William J @Pamela and all the very best for 2021. If "That Darn Girlfriend" wants perfume for Christmas, it better be Faberge. (All other relevant props available in my Retro Cave.)

Pamela Hill

Cool Debbie Croysdale! Thanks again for your kind support. Happy Holidays!

Debbie Croysdale

Kudos @Pamela "Groovy" Holidays, n Psychedelic New Year!

Jaye Adams
Accessible Filmmaking - Integrating Audio Description within the Filmmaking Process

I'm a new indie horror filmmaker and after doing my first horror short POC last year about a young lonely blind boy who is befriended by a sinister entity and unaware of this creature's true identity or motives, I started researching the accessibility of films to visually impaired audiences.

I came a...

Expand post

Doug Nelson

Cheers for your efforts and best wishes for the outcome. I have no direct experience so I speak with little knowledge. I've seen (listened to) some Audio Description used on tv, but I've not been over...

Expand comment
Shadow Dragu-Mihai

I did post work with a number of companies who did "closed captioning" and alternative language sound tracks - this seems, like those, to be properly part of the post production process, and often the...

Expand comment
Jaye Adams

Great to hear your thoughts Doug Nelson and Shadow Dragu-Mihai Yes it seems most of the strides made in Audio Description for the blind has been in the TV, Commercials and News spaces. Netflix actuall...

Expand comment
Richard "RB" Botto

THE Jaye Adams. One of the hardest working creatives in show. Great advice in this thread, gents.

Jaye Adams

Appreciate it RB! Really enjoyed these guys chiming in to such an interesting topic and hoping others will too!

Vital Butinar
How to grow as a director/filmmaker even more

Hi guys.

Hope you all are doing well these days.

Anyway something kept me awake last night and got me thinking.

While this year has been devastating in terms of production of films for most people. I have to admit that it has been really good for me as far as producing something, because my team and I...

Expand post

Vital Butinar

Shadow Dragu-Mihai thank you very much. You're completely right about not letting the environment affect the artistic identity. But I actually don't have many doubts about what I want to do. I actuall...

Expand comment
Dan MaxXx

I faced this issue when I turned 30. Should I be a freelance artist, bounce job to job or be a staff Technician, get weekly pay to work on other people's movies & TV shows, have 401K retirement plan, Health insurance? I chose the latter.

Vital Butinar

Hey Dan MaxXx thank you for sharing. Well I tried doing the 9 to 5 thing but for some reason it never worked out. Begin a freelancer was always a better option for me. I did for some time have a succe...

Expand comment
Jaye Adams

Hi Vital Butinar Congrats on everything you have achieved this year, it's amazing to hear everything you're learning and doing! I think Shadow Dragu-Mihai has made some great comments and awesome to s...

Expand comment
Vital Butinar

Jaye Adams thank you so much for writing. I'm so happy to meet someone who's also doing something and creating. I understand what you said about using your time off your job to shoot your film and tha...

Expand comment
Wayne Hazle
Stedi-cam and mini-crane shots

Anyone shot with a stedi-cam lately?

Also who has used a mini-crane lately?

Would love to hear some experiences both pro and con. Looking at some shots now and trying to decide. I will be in an open house likely using a lot of natural light. I am not thinking stedi-cam to "save" lots of time. First a...

Expand post

Andrew Sobkovich

Worked with Steadicams for a long time. Another professional tool to use and draw upon to achieve our artistic goals . They allow us to move the camera changing the viewpoint and the center of attenti...

Expand comment
Doug Nelson

Sounds like Andrew knows what he's talking about. Pay attention to what he says. I've tried using lightweight jibs and cranes on exterior shots but the results were not good. I expect that a mini-jib could work on an interior shot but it'll take a lot of patience.

Damien Beckel

Hi, I use Zhiyun Crane 3 for some of my movies and also for sport video. It requires a lot of practice to master it. You must have a very good autofocus on you camera and track one actor only if you d...

Expand comment
Kirk Sanders
Obtaining a script

Found a few scripts for a short to direct. Still deciding. Have been in touch with the writers, each of whom is willing to give the script over to the project if they can receive a credit and stay involved.

I typically direct my own scripts but I want to interpret new material. We will of course giv...

Expand post

Karen "Kay" Ross

You're not obligated, but you may rob yourself of a fantastic collaboration by removing the writer from the process. I had a chance to work with a young, ambitious director who did as you did - snagge...

Expand comment
Kirk Sanders

Thanks to all for the comments but I have no plans to remove the writer from the process. Collaboration is key. I just wanted to understand if it's assumed they'd be involved in every rewrite and whatever concept is applied to the story to make it work as a film. Appreciate the feedback.

Kiril Maksimoski

Well first of all, build relationships with writers who are exactly that - writers...

Karen "Kay" Ross

Nothing is assumed, everything is in writing, including rights and responsibilities, where you could determine how much or little the writer is involved.

Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Kirk Sanders As Karen Ross says, no, nothing is assumed. This business works with other people's creative rights and collaboration needs to be set out in writing, if everyone is to be, and remain, on...

Expand comment
register for stage 32 Register / Log In