By the gracious hands of many kind and entrusting individuals, I’ve been fortunate enough to work on a handful of feature films, along with a hodgepodge of short films and commercials. I couldn’t ever pay for film school so my education comes from being on set. It’s quite the classroom. Like any school, it offers some excellent teachers and some… not so excellent.
I’ve learned so many helpful nuggets of knowledge that have shaped how I attempt to make movies. On the same coin, I’ve learned how NOT to do so many things on set — how not to direct an actor, how not to lead a crew, etc. Sometimes learning how NOT to do something is the best way to learn. Rough set experiences are sometimes the most fruitful.
Making movies isn’t just about the final product. Some may argue that, I’m sure. To me, it’s how you get there. It’s about a lot more than just the final film itself. It’s about the experience. It’s about having character no matter how tough the movie is on yours. Ultimately, it’s about other people, just like life. People will remember how they were treated on set more than the two hour viewing experience. In the end, movies will collect dust and so will your pride.
Granted, this all comes from someone (me) who hasn’t made a feature film yet. And I can assure you, I’ll be asking for forgiveness a countless amount of times from many of the crew members after wrap of day 1 (if that day ever comes.) My edges are rougher than most. I’m a work in progress. I’m human. Now, I’d love to make great films one day, but I want to be a better human than I am a filmmaker. No one wants an oscar for being the on-set Hitler.
All of this being said, I’m trying to put together a helpful, honest, and educational blog post for aspiring filmmakers like myself. One that would be filled with content from respectable professionals in the industry. Basically, the post would be a potluck of on-set stories with the tint of “Don’t be THAT guy!” or “Be THAT guy!” And what I mean by that is this — a “Don’t be THAT guy!” story would derive from a moment on set where someone did something horribly wrong or even worse, horribly selfish.
That story will then turn into somewhat of a PSA to say, “Don’t be THAT guy!” And for “Be THAT guy!” stories, it would be just the opposite — a story of a glorious PA who went above and beyond, or the director who did _______ to save the day, etc. All the while, these stories would all come from different points of view. The good, the bad, and most definitely the ugly.
- From crew about directors
- From crew about actors
- From actors about directors
- From directors about crew
- From you about anyone on set
So, whatever role you fit into, share whatever story or stories that overflow your heart. And for all you women out there, this isn’t a gender specific blog idea. It’s just a phrase. This post will be from all sorts of people in different stages of filmmaking, men and women alike. If you’re a working actor, director, or crew member in the industry, I’d love to hear your stories. I’ll be editing all the stories into something readable and presentable. Email me at: email@example.com
DISCLAIMER — This is NOT a post that will be about bashing people or bashing a film. Some of the posts won’t include names for that reason. This post IS about helping younger, aspiring filmmakers with information to help guide the mistake-driven road into the film industry. So, at the end of the day it can help one of the young buck filmmakers to avoid being THAT guy and in return, be THAT guy.
To give you a taste of what this blog post will be like, here’s the first “Be THAT guy!” post from an actor about a director. From none other than the brilliant actor, David Dasmalchian (THE DARK KNIGHT, PRISONERS, ANIMALS) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2810287/