For the past year and a half, I've been self-producing works for myself and also producing some projects for others. Web series, shorts, music videos -- even a commercial. It's been so cool to develop something from just an idea into a fully-realized film ready to share with the world.
And the best part of it all is that, through this work, I've learned so many valuable lessons about collaboration and filmmaking, which in turn I believe has made me a better actress.
Here are some of my favorites:
1.) Be a Teammate.
There are so many hardworking crew members on set, doing grunt work, focused technical work, creative work -- and all are important and deserve respect. Love them. Treat them well. Offer assistance, kind encouragement, praise, laughs. It'll make the shoot so much more fun and easy, and you'll most likely make some awesome new friends.
2.) Be on Point.
Know your lines, and be as prepared and ready as possible. So many factors go into a great shot -- lighting, camera stability, angles, focus, sound -- so have the goal of always giving a fantastic take! Don't be the one to mess up the shot when everything else is perfect.
3.) Be Consistent.
Make it easy for the editors in post-production to craft their cuts. Keep continuity of movement, speak clearly, etc. This will also make them more prone to keep your takes, and less likely to dump you on the cutting room floor!
4.) Be Cool.
If stuff happens, stuff happens. Be flexible, open, and laid-back for any snafus or delays on set. It happens. Don't be a diva. Go with the flow.
5.) Be Communicative.
I haven't yet met a filmmaker who didn't want to make sure that his/her actors were comfortable. So speak up. Be honest about your dietary restrictions, let them know if you feel unsafe (Safety First!), and ask any questions about things you're unsure about. Stay in the loop and be on-board.
To Sum Up...
Work in the spirit of collaboration and show your best self in every way. Through this, you'll have amazing experiences on set and establish professional relationships for years to come.
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