What does it mean to be a director on an indie film?
By Justin Decloux
On paper, being the director is the sweetest job in the world. You get to be in control, people follow your vision, and at the end of the day audience will praise you if the whole shebang turns out to be entertaining.
The reality of being an indie director is a whole other matter.
Being a director on independent projecst means that you have to do everything. You have to prepare, you have to organize and you have to execute. And that’s not even the creative part! It’s been said that a director has to be a teacher as well as an artist and that’s doubly true when you’re working with extremely small crew. You have to be in complete control and the people on the project must trust that you have a creative vision that’s worth their time. Otherwise, why would they come in the first place?
But first, you have to worry about getting ready.
You prepare your script.
You prepare your shot list.
You contact the crew and cast to make sure everyone is available and organize transportation if necessary.
You make sure there’s food.
You make sure the batteries are charged and you have all the necessary equipment.
You make sure that there are props! Oh man, don’t forget any props! Everything be worthless if you forget those!
And then there’s the actual SHOOTING of the whole thing. Nothing will go the way you want it. That’s just something you have to come to terms with. You are going to have to compromise, cut and re-thing things that you’ve been slaving over for weeks into what you believed what was diamond-like perfection.
And throughout all of this you are the director. You make the calls. You answer the questions. You lay down the line.
It’s the greatest job in the world. It allows a person to work with a team of creative team of people to bring something together that’s pure magic.
It’s always impossible, but it’s always worth it.
Now, I have to go and work on some props that I need for the shoot tomorrow!
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