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December 21 at 1:23pm

50* Ways You Can Do Something Different On This Production

By Ted Hope

New work, and sometimes great work, comes from thinking differently. We all get stuck in ruts, fixed ways of thinking. How do we bring a fresh perspective to our work? What are different options that we have before us?
There are certainly a whole number of different questions we can all ask ourselves when it comes to indie film production. Granted it is a tad complicated when film cost significant amounts to produce (or at least generally speaking). Here in America, without any government support, we also are obligated to deliver a financial return to our investors, and that is a great influencer on the process.
I would love to have a list of fifty to put before myself before stepping into a new production. For now, I will have to settle for this list of 13 until you all add to it. Thanks for the help in advance (and here’s to hitting fifty)!

  1. How can you help other artists with this film you are doing? Can you bring others into the process?
  2. Do something stylistically just because you like it. Allow something to be “outside” the film, something that doesn’t fit so right and is only there because you dig it. Why does it always have to fit?
  3. How can you help the world by the content of this film? How can you work for impact first, and business second (without ignoring those financial obligations, that is)?
  4. How can you have less environmental impact on the world with your process? Recycle. Use less paper. No styrofoam. Car pool. Carbon credits.
  5. How can you do more to show appreciation for your collaborators? What if you put people first would that change your content significantly?
  6. Are you really collaborating with your crew? Do they feel like you are? What if you listened more, and spoke less?
  7. You say it is a team approach, but what if everyone was treated equally? What if your equality carried over not just to financial matters, but also in terms of access?
  8. What if you completely demystified the process and opened it up to comment by all cast, crew, and fans? As opposed to the studio’s no-twitter policy, what if you made it a requirement>
  9. What would be a different business model? Could you give it away? Free it? Never plan to screen it theatrically? What if the movie was not the main event, but something else was?
  10. Place the bar higher & reach higher. What makes something better? What if you made sure you could answer any question as to why before you started? Or maybe this would be the opposite and you should answer no questions but hold it all within yourself…
  11. Is your work truthful? Is every action, emotion, reaction honest? Are the settings truly lived in? Can you extend only from your characters, their psychology and socio-economic situation — removing your own intent from the design?
  12. What if you built your audience base prior to shooting? And maintained significant communication with them throughout the process? How might that change your final work?
  13. Innovate. Try some new equipment on every production. Improve a simple process. Isn’t production about the communication of information in the service of art, as efficiently, economically, and aesthetically as possible?


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54 Comments

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