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Fiscal Responsibility on a Short Film (with FREE Petty Cash Template)

If you want to know how to make a successful short film, stop and consider a few words on fiscal responsibility. Even if you have an award winning short film script, and a short film budget some features would drool over, you could see it all fall apart. This is why knowing about every financial aspect of your short film is key. Every line producer or indie filmmaker needs to know how to handle the financial aspects of short filmmaking. This includes what you need to have in place so that the budget is well-managed at the start of pre ...

Making a Short Film Pre-Production Workflow - Featured - StudioBinder

Making a Short Film: Pre Production Workflow Step-by-Step

You’ve got some money in the bank, some time on your calendar, and a great short film idea to produce. You’re ready to start making a short film. Now what? If you’ve read our overview of short film pre-production, you already know not to jump too far ahead. Much as you might be tempted to hire your cast and crew, there are a few important things that you need to do first. Let’s go through the whole process step by step, and as we parse it out you’ll find that it’s not so daunting after all. (more…)

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Tales From The Boneyard: Knowing Where the Scenes Are Buried

Everyone has an opinion about your script. In the rewrite stage, you or your producer will find things that don't work. Many of these things will be your babies. These are the scenes, or lines of dialogue, even vague ideas, that you should move to the boneyard. "The Boneyard" is a place to put the ideas that aren't working right now. A screenwriter, or assistant director, can keep track of them, and keep them safe, for later use. Let's see how beneficial using the boneyard is for creating near masterpieces. (more…)

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How to Properly Identify Cast When Breaking Down a Script

In every script, there are elements that can go unseen. Sometimes even hiding in plain sight. If overlooked for too long, this misstep could affect your scheduling and budget. Hidden elements can make a huge impact on your bottom line and schedule. It is the producer’s job to find these elements before they become a surprise in production. We’ll discuss how to find the most common hidden element in any script: characters. And we will use script breakdown software to do it. (more…)

13 Ways You Can Become a Better 1st AD - Feature - StudioBinder

13 Ways You Can Become a Better 1st AD

Assistant Directors (the 1st AD) are one of the most valuable crew members on any production. Your 1st AD is responsible for on-set communication, department coordination, maintaining the shooting schedule, conflict resolution, and safety.  (more…)

Principles Leadership Filmmaking

11 Ways to Become a Better Producer or Director on Set

Successfully running a film set requires very specific leadership skills. Vince Duque, 1st Assistant Director to projects like “House” and “Battle Creek” shares 11 Leadership Principles he learned in the US Marine Corp at West Point, and how they can be repurposed as core filmmaking tips for directors and line producers to become more effective leaders on set. (more…)

4 Things To Consider Before Signing a Film Contract

4 Things To Consider Before Signing a Film Contract

Signing film contracts may feel like a formality on smaller productions, a Crew Deal Memo, Producer/Director Contract or Talent Release has real meaning. It is a legally binding employment agreement and should be drafted and signed with care. Here are some best practices to guide you through the process. (more…)

Find Production Crew with Facebook

Whether you're looking to hire locals when shooting out of town, or searching for "hungrier" crew who are willing to exchange experience for a pay cut, Facebook Groups are a great place to start. (more…)

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Tales From the Trenches: An Insider’s Hack to Casting Background Talent

Background talent has been a staple of the movie industry since the early days of filmmaking.  The need for background continues today on sets in Hollywood. But now, union rates and minimum wage laws means that it's costly to use a cast of thousands, even when the project calls for just that. But producer’s on a budget and indie filmmakers don’t have to reign in the scope of their imagination or productions. The film industry has evolved to find a way to satisfy the need for crowds in some clever and cutting-edge ways.  Now, the savvy producer can multiply a ...

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How to Make a Short Film: 3 Proven Steps to Master Pre Production

So you’re financed and ready for pre production. But with so many steps in the film production cycle (casting, shot listing, insurance), how do you get organized? Where do you start? Never fear. Pre production is a linear process. You just need to check off the boxes in the right order. In today’s post I’ll detail how to make a short film like a veteran filmmaker: with practical efficiency. I’ll focus on the three phases of pre production that worked to make my short film, The Pirate Captain Toledano. I'll share why the steps have to happen in this order. ...

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Helpful Tips on How To Schedule a Day For Night Scene

There are dozens of filmmaking techniques that require special consideration.  From tracking shots to dutch angles, each of these cinematic gems helps to tell a story in a creative way.  Each technique also comes with its own set of rules and logistics. One such technique that has evolved over time is Day for Night.There are many ways to achieve this cinematic effect of Day for Night.  But, that doesn’t mean that getting it right is necessarily a cake walk.  This is especially true when it comes to scheduling. Come along as we take a look at everything you need to ...