FILMMAKERING LIKE A BOSS : How to be a good director

(Thomas Tulak) #1

Hello, I’m Thomas Tulak, and this is FILMMAKERING LIKE A BOSS, a weekly micro column about how to filmmaker like a boss.

I have been on many sets, both in front of and behind the camera. I have been the director many times, and I have taken some one else’s direction many times. I have worked on another director’s set and recruited crew members from that set to work on my set, under my direction.

As such, I have noticed a few things about how some directors handle their production, in comparison to how I handle mine.

I have heard other directors converse with their DP’s about the shot at hand. I have witnessed the director tell the DP they want a shot of something, and the DP sets up and composes the shot.

I have heard the director say, “This looks great, I can’t wait to see how the editor edits this.”

This mind set blows me away. How could some one put in so much time and energy into a project, just to give control of it over to some one else?

I think it comes down to this: Those directors don’t know how to run the camera or compose a shot. Those directors don’t know how to edit.

This is their fatal mistake.

A good director should be concerned with more than just the performance of the actors. A good director should care about every aspect of the production.

A good director should know exactly what they want to see on the screen. They should know exactly how they want each shot composed, and where to place the camera to achieve that composition, and how each shot will edit together.

Because a good director should see the finished product play out in their head long before production even begins so that when they step on set they already know exactly the shots the need to get.

as a long time director, myself, I find a great amount of joy in that. There is no feeling quite like seeing the scene in your head, and putting it together how it was in your head, and seeing it come to life on the screen just how it was in your head.

I was able to accomplish this after many years of practice making my own content by my self. I would write a script, set the camera on a tripod, compose the shot (using another tripod to stand in where I’ll be standing), hit record and jump in front of the camera, act out the scene, then jump behind the camera, set up the next shot, and do it again. Then I would take the footage I shot into my computer and edit it together.

here is an example of a video I made in this method.

I then challenged myself to make videos in this manner every week, and try to make each one better than the last.

In time this built up my ability to not only see what I wanted, but knowledge of the the camera, and editing skills.

I believe this is essential for a good director.

The only way to accomplish this is to get in there and get your hands dirty. learn how to work a camera. learn how to edit. learn how to put it all together. Do so by making stuff.

each time you make something in this way, your abilities will get better. It wont take very long before you can lead a production team, and get exactly the final product you want.

And a good director should know exactly the final product they want.

Thank you for reading this week’s FILMMAKERING LIKE A BOSS.

Look out for another post next Thursday.

I’d like to invite you to watch some of my filmmakering in action at
Until next time,
-Thomas Tulak

(Bri Castellini) #2

@HailstoneHarper You’ve been asking about this every once in a while. Good read :slight_smile: