Challenges Every First-Time Director Faces On and Off Set

Written by: The Charlie Matthau Company

Summary: Some tips to help you get through your first time sitting in the director’s seat.

Every veteran director has had his or her first time in the director’s seat. It tests the resolve you have for filmmaking, because you have to learn how to function on a continuous amount of pressure. Some of the common problems you’re likely to face during your first project are acquiring funding, creating a solid production and dealing with criticism.

Budgeting

The key to budgeting is breaking down the aspects of the project and allocating the money you have where you think it needs to go. Actors and crew are most likely going to be your two biggest expenses, so you need to be efficient with your budget. Consider the potential impact of every dollar spent during pre-production meetings, and present a clear plan for your budget.

Adding Production Value

The right camera, lighting or location can all help add to the production value of your film. Take some time before you start shooting to scout some locations, even if you just go for a walk and think about the film. Invest in some excellent lighting and spend time in post getting the look right. Think local, rent equipment and remember to get film permits for locations.

Dealing with Criticism

The prevalence of blogging, and of click bait titles, has led to a lot of negative and positive criticism. It’s especially hard to avoid this criticism if you begin searching for yourself or your film online, which inevitably we all do. Try to remind yourself that everyone really is a critic, and don’t shy away from legitimate criticism. You might become a better filmmaker if you develop a thicker skin.


 

Bio: Charlie Matthau is a graduate of USC, and is best known for his adaptation of “The Grass Harp” by Truman Capote. Matthau owns and operates the Charles Matthau Company based out of Los Angeles.