Directing A Movie 101

Let’s get to the nitty gritty, shall we?  Here are my postulates about getting a film made:

  • The quickest way for me to direct a feature is to write my own script.
  • The script has to be great.

Well that seems easy enough, right?

Aside from the obvious assumption that a great script has the highest probability of becoming a great movie, a great script also serves as the best way to attract recognizable “name-brand” actors.  Recognizable actors equal financing.

Financing merits it’s own paragraph —  I don’t have the money to finance a film myself, so I will be seeking investors.  These investors will be looking for marketable elements in any script they finance.  As mentioned above, attaching recognizable actors is a top priority, but other elements include:

  • The movie is in a lucrative genre
  • The movie has awards potential
  • The movie has an obvious marketing hook

My goal is to direct big, world-building type of movies.  These types of epic movies generally have a large scale, and make significant use of special effects.

So let’s add another postulate:

  • To function as the cornerstone of my career, my movie should should be large scale, and utilize special effects.

Hmmm, that could be a problem.  Since I’m a first time director, the budget for my film will probably be relatively small.

That makes epic filmmaking a challenge, since when I think “EPIC”, I think:

  • Exotic locations
  • Expansive sets
  • Large casts
  • Big, important themes

Themes are free… and though complex sets and large casts can be expensive and unwieldy, exotic locations aren’t necessarily more expensive than just shooting in LA (where I live).

Right now, I’m currently developing four different ideas that I think are feasible as films.

  • An action horror movie
  • A highjacking film
  • An alien abduction horror film
  • A supernatural thriller

I don’t want to dive too deeply into the relative merits of each project (this is a public blog, afterall), but the important thing to notice is that each idea takes place within a recognizable genre.

Now I just have to decide on which project I want to develop further.

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