What I'll learn
In this second workshop, we consider how a screenplay doesn’t just have to be funny, scary or moving but also needs to double up as a technical document.
There are clear requirements that need to be met before the main planning instruments (a production schedule and budget) can form the foundation of dozens or sometimes hundreds of cast and crew coming together and collaborating towards the director’s creative vision across days, weeks or even months.
Long established filmmaking procedures charge the first assistant director with the final production schedule and the production manager or line producer with overseeing and controlling the budget.
However, early-career producers or directors often lack the resources to engage more experienced heads of department during the initial stages of getting a film made, and so have to draw up initial draft versions of both documents that clarify both the creative approach and the final cost that needs to be raised from investors.
This can be a steep learning curve that demands decisions about the look of the final production: spontaneous or polished, simple or complex, location or studio?
We’ll explore these ideas in the workshop.
“Deciding the Budget is one of the most creative things that a producer can do.”
—Christine Vachon, Producer
Boys Don’t Cry, Velvet Goldmine, Colette, First Reformed
How I'll learn
Through discussion and collaborative projects, together, we’ll consider both established methods as well as more flexible problem-solving approaches that may be necessitated by unexpected changes.
These include simple tools such as:
- tech recces
- risk assessments
- contractual arrangements and regular production meetings building to more complex recruitment of relevant collaborators
- chain of title (proving ownership of all intellectual property)
- engaging the services completion bond to indemnify investors against potential losses
“Everyone usually thinks the director is the most important person on set. But as director I think the actors are—after all they're the ones who will ultimately propel the film. The flipside of this is that the most important person on the set can be the person who's not pulling their weight or pulling it in the wrong direction!”
—Simon Rumley, director
The Living and the Dead, Red, White and Blue, Crowhurst