The HHM Film Slam Challenge was created with a simple goal in mind – Remove all the usual excuses and provide a simple framework for aspiring filmmakers to ‘get out there’ and shoot something that they can see on the big screen.
Tammie Stimpfel, HHM Film Slam Producer
The most important thing to success is preparation, preparation, preparation.
You need to have locations, cast and crew ready to roll, but as a producer you also need to make sure you are ready.
Here are a few things that should be on the top of your list:
Tip 1: Pull together a solid production team. Although a one-person team has been done, it’s not recommended. You need a passionate team that will work with you and your vision. Trust their abilities and talents, and be open to their input and ideas. Filmmaking takes teamwork.
Tip 2: Cast good actors, not just bodies to move around on screen. It’s much easier managing people who understand the filmmaking process. If using someone new to acting, have them start small.
Tip 3: Tell a good story but keep the script simple. This means easy dialogue, limited locations for set up and minimal effects for your visual editor.
Tip 4: Visit all locations before starting production. It will not only help with blocking but will make crew set-up quicker by knowing lens usage, lighting and camera placement.
Tip 5: Pace yourselves. Give yourself and your team deadlines so you don’t run out of time to edit.
Tip 6: Know your script by heart. Learn the lines, visualize every scene in advance keeping in mind the message you are trying to deliver. Make note of where your required elements are in the script.
Tip 7: Create a storyboard. Storyboards are very helpful and unfortunately usually the first thing dropped on a tight time structure. Storyboarding will help with vision and strategy.
Tip 8: Rehearse with your actors! Getting the scene down before the camera rolls will help your editor tremendously.
Tip 9: Pay attention to sound. Nothing takes you out of a story faster than sound levels that bounce all over the place. This means while filming as well as in post.
Tip 10: Schedule nutrition breaks. Have food and water on hand. It’s easy to forget to grab something to eat when you’re in the zone and then you’re dealing with hangry cast and crew.