31 December, 2009


Film schools seem to promise a quick route to the film industry, so let’s for a moment compare the professional feature team’s process with that of a lean, independent production. The differences are significant to directors-in-training, and show up most in schedules and budgets. Professional feature film priorities are economically determined. Scriptwriting, though slow, is relatively inexpensive, while actors, equipment, and crew are high cost and used with military precision. Hollywood skills and intelligence are second to none, but the system requires “bankable” stars and highly developed technicians, all able to produce without delay or experiment what is usable and repeatable. During a feature shoot, about 50 to 100 specialists carry forward their particular part of the communal task. Each will have begun as an apprentice in a lowly position and will have worked half a lifetime to earn senior levels of responsibility. Many come from film families and imbibed the necessary mind-set with their orange juice.


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