1. Observation - before you can write a good story, you need to observe behavior of real people. That will help you create realistic film characters.

2. Story - You need to establish what story you want to tell. Director is first and foremost a storyteller.

3. Performance - what tools do I use to get good performance from actors. One of the key responsibilities of a director is getting great performances out of actors. You need to help actors achieve realistic performance. And to get realistic performance, you need to understand how to make film characters look realistic. Also, actors need to be able to trust you, to get to a level of comfort needed to play their role.

4. Montage - understand the editing process. It will help you to construct scenes. A story can be told without even using dialogue, by carefully constructing the shots.

5. Psychology of the camera - understand angles of camera and zooming effects. Cameras are not there to just press the record button. Every shot needs to be carefully constructed by using the techniques of the camera.

6. Blocking and staging techniques. Blocking - relation of actors to the camera. In theater they call it "staging". Blocking has to serve the story, just like everything else in the film.

7. Style - everything else involved in film production, costumes, locations, stunts, etc. Every director has his own style.

Without understanding the first six steps, all the technical and art things have no meaning. If you don't start with the first six steps, you will just produce a lot of cookie-cutter movies that look good, but are very predictable and non-compelling, just like many of today's movies. You can hire other people to take care of all the technical aspects. But telling a story is a job only a director can do. You can make a great movie by just coming up with a great story that draws people in, with believable characters, without much special effects, and people will watch it.

Making a good movie is the art of visually telling a compelling story with believable characters who make us feel something.

Film making is a collaborative process, you have to work with other people to make it happen. Film is written three times, when you write it, when you shoot it, and when you edit it. If you want to be able to write a script that nobody changes, become a poet. In film, it gets changed all the time.

Director empowers people. It's not just an artistic endeavor, you have to keep track of all the people around you, as well as costs.

Listen to people around you and take advice. If you're a new director, people will instantly know you don't know what you're talking about. So be transparent, and take advice from others. Don't be afraid to hire very experienced people and than learn from them.

Pick out people for every role that come to have a great time, rather than been obnoxious or scream at everybody. It will show up on the screen and everybody will want to come to work every day. You might still get momentary flare ups from time to time, because it's a creative environment, but it will be over quickly, rather than been a constant dread on the team.

Long filming hours require a sense of humor from somebody. When the tension builds up, it's so great to have a laugh to lighten it up.



"The Essentials of Film Directing", http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdzzK9kf3cg, Published on Dec 19, 2012

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