What’s the best way you have found to handle the stress that pops up while filming? – Jairo
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Stressing out while filming is inevitable. The most important thing you can do is DELEGATE, DELEGATE, DELEGATE but even then – a lot of money is on the line and you don’t want to mess up. So while you’re doing your best on set, it’s really important to keep a cool head. Doubly so for women, really, because you have the added pressure of “not being a bitch”.
First, I think it’s really important to keep in mind that you and your crew all want the same thing. You want to make a good movie. And generally speaking, people don’t make a good anything if they’re worried about stressing out their boss. The second thing I keep in mind is forgiveness: forgive yourself if you do crack, forgive people if they mess up. Kindness, forgiveness. Third, especially if you’re making a movie, this time on set is a gift and it ends. Even if you hate everything about the work on that piece, your job here will end. It’s not worth the meltdowns because it just doesn’t last that long.
It’s a very hard job to “put away” when you go home at night no matter what stage of production you’re in and sometimes you just CANNOT put up clear boundaries, but when and where you are able to, do so. Tell your partners: I don’t work after X time, make it clear. The more clear you can be, the easier it is to stick to your personal needs.
So – to sum up: be forgiving, be kind, and defend yourself and your needs.
What can you do to network and hone skills without COMPLETELY taking advantage of friends and family?— Meg
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Let’s do this as a LISTICLE. Also known as a fucking list.
- Take classes, take classes, take classes. You are a work in progress, always. You have things to learn, forever. So get your ass in a class. I’m currently taking voice lessons, horseback riding lessons, and scene study once a week. I also do workshops periodically for direct feedback from casting directors (I aim for 2-4 a month). I’ve previously maxed out improv at UCB, done comedy study and scene study with a whole LOT of teachers in LA, worked on different methods / styles of acting, and probably a lot more I’m forgetting. Don’t shirk. Do the work.
- Make your own stuff. You learn so much by grabbing a camera and pointing it, so do that. Photography helps hone your eye, so practice that too. You aren’t taking advantage of anyone if they want to help!
- Grab books from the library about every disciple of filmmaking you might touch. If you want to be a director, you need to learn about acting, writing, editing, cinematography, etc. If you want to edit, you need to learn about acting, writing, IMPROV AND COMEDY for pacing. If you want… You get the idea. Study it all. Know who everyone else is and what they do, that way you can talk to them in their terms.
- Shadow people. Find a mentor, even if it’s online, and try to connect once a month or so. Get their feedback; if you can show them work, do it.
- Find an online community. Stareable has wonderful forums that are available for people to connect, ask questions, and learn.
- Balance yourself. Allow yourself to be more than just filmmaking too. Have other interests that overlap with your friends’ and family’s interests. This is one piece of you, not the whole thing! Make your balance and protect that.