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From in Front of the Camera to Behind the Scenes

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If you are ready to make the transition from actor to director, you already know this is no easy feat.  It will take some well-thought-out planning and preparation.  If you feel you have what it takes, however, the first step is to come up with a viable project and go from there.  There are also a few important things to remember.

You must learn to expect the unexpected.  Not a far stretch from your career as an actor.  If you’ve been involved in productions before, you know not everything goes as planned all the time.  There will inevitably be some hiccups along the way.  Mentally preparing yourself for the unexpected will help you stay centered and focused when things get a bit off base.  It’s beneficial to have the mental focus and clarity to handle the unforeseen.

That being said, in order to pull all of the pieces together and make your vision come to life, try storyboarding.  This can be as simple as marking up a white board with arrows and stick figures, or it can be very detailed.  Everyone has their own ‘tried and true’ method for visualizing the end product, and what works for one person may not for the next.  It’s simple important to take some sort of notes on each of the important aspects of your story, regardless of your approach, so you cover all your bases.  Some of the most important things to consider: the genre, the main characters, the location, and the beginning, middle and end.  Get the bare bones into place and begin filling in the white space after you have an outline.

Once your storyboard is complete, it’s time to start nailing down the details.  This means actually researching the feasibility of securing the desired location and the characters you’d like to include.  It also means having a solid understanding of the budget required to do so. 

When you’re putting together the project’s budget, it’s important to consider both the big and small.  Easy-to-forget line items might include wardrobe, hair and makeup, snacks and meals, etc.  Listing all of the associated costs on a spreadsheet will help you stay organized and easily spot any items left out.

When you have the project’s outline and budget in place, it’s time to get to work.  Start contacting whoever you need to do get things done.  You will likely have to reach out to various venues, collect resumes, and start interviewing candidates for each role.  This is the final piece of the puzzle before shooting begins, but it is arguable the most complex and time-consuming.  Make sure to keep yourself motivated by envisioning your end goal – to direct an audience-gripping masterpiece!

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