Rehearsals

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  • Rehearsals

    Anyone have notes or suggestions about rehearsals. Should the crew be at the rehearsals? I am assuming yes of course. They need to make the shot lists and prepare.
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  • #2
    I would say that you probably don't need your entire crew at rehearsals if you do them ahead of production. Often times for low budget movies you only get a chance to rehearse on set when you do blocking and then you make your adjustments between takes.

    If I get a chance to do rehearsals before production it is usually just me and the actors...if needed I may ask the DP or any stunt coordinators to be there if the scene requires it.
    Jared Isham
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    Editor: CW Seed, Nike, Ugg, GoFundMe, Disney, Hulu, Panini and more


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    • #3
      I keep getting drawn into these conversations. Too much time on my hands, obviously.

      Let's draw a line between what gets planned photographically, specific set-ups planned because the director and DP visited all the proposed locations, discussed plans of how to build sets with certain coverage in mind, also considered stunts, green screen, on-set special effects like wind machine and rain sprayed from a fire truck, whatever the picture requires -- a shot breakdown ("blocking" if you must use the term) -- which is completely different than working with actors. Whether to have actors rehearse a scene or not is a complicated question. In any case, a read-through during casting, or some improv work with an ensemble cast, is not the same as a walk-through for camera rehearsal. I like stand-ins for lighting set-up and some camera rehearsals (save the actors from getting bored; it aggravates stars to no end, if you have star talent). I wish there was an easy answer, but like all things, it depends on the project. Generally (1) do a shot breakdown and plan the movie, every set-up and every angle, so the PM knows what rentals and set decorations are involved, DP knows what lenses and grip equipment he needs, scene by scene; (2) consider the actors and don't force them to rehearse, deal with each one as a unique chemistry equation, and (3) use stand-ins for lighting, rigging, and complicated camera moves. When it comes time to shoot a scene there is much to be done with actors, not on the set, but when they are in costume and make-up, standing by ready to work. That's the moment to prepare them dramatically or comically as the case may be, to ask (not tell them) what do you think this scene about? The work is explained in my book, but it's hardly a secret. There are only two ways for a director to relate with an actor. Give orders, or help them evolve the actor's interpretation. Some can rehearse, others are only spontaneous. Hepburn could rehearse and do a hundred takes. Spencer Tracy hated rehearsal and lost all energy after two takes.

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      • #4
        Rehearsals for independent film is non existent.

        With a good director and a good cast, rehearsals aren't required. Casting neither.

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        • #5
          Hate to say it, MooiFilm, but that is very much untrue. In independent film you are just limited on how much rehearsals you can do.

          I rehearse every scene before we roll cameras, actors need to know where they will stand, where they will walk, the camera needs to know where it will go, lights need to be set up. You have to rehearse to know what the heck is going to happen.

          Casting, even more so, if you feel you don't have to cast for your film then you probably won't have anybody to be in it.
          Jared Isham
          Filmmaker
          Director: "Bounty" - Lionsgate, "Turn Around Jake" - PureFlix Entertainment
          Editor: CW Seed, Nike, Ugg, GoFundMe, Disney, Hulu, Panini and more


          IMDb
          Filmmaking Resources
          YouTube Channel
          Portfolio Website
          Stage Ham (my production company)

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          • #6
            Sure, if you have unlimited time and an unlimited budget and you want everybody on set to get bored and not want to work with you again, rehearse until the cows come home.

            But with good talented people, you tell them what is going to happen and get them fired up, they'll sort it out within three actual takes. For some reason, the first one that was still not so rehearsed is usually the best.

            Rehearsing doesn't get a scene done. Filming it does. So my motto is, less rehearse, more doing. Saves time and money.

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            • #7
              Sure, that is one way to do it. I still will rehearse every scene before I shoot. It also comes down to what your definition of a rehearsal is.

              From my experience, based off the many short films and 2 features I've directed, doing a rehearsal, even if just for basic blocking and knowing where to put the camera and lights, speeds the process up way more than just winging it. Just winging it usually results in a poorly made film.

              Rehearsals for performance alone is sometimes a much different situation. I try not to let my actors nail it in the rehearsals, I do it for them to "warm up" or just get an essense for the scene and so that the rest of the crew can plot out what they need to get done. Lots of my work before cameras role is having discussions about the scene as opposed to practicing the scene. The whole idea is to keep things fresh so that they don't feel rehearsed.

              My saying is "improvisation without prep is chaos, improvisation with extensive planning is creative genius."

              It comes down to expectations. You have to be willing to compromise depending on what resources you have. So there really isn't a wrong way, but you do need to know what way works for you and that will come with practice.
              Jared Isham
              Filmmaker
              Director: "Bounty" - Lionsgate, "Turn Around Jake" - PureFlix Entertainment
              Editor: CW Seed, Nike, Ugg, GoFundMe, Disney, Hulu, Panini and more


              IMDb
              Filmmaking Resources
              YouTube Channel
              Portfolio Website
              Stage Ham (my production company)

              Comment


              • #8
                I want to rehearse everything and plan for anything. right?
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                Publisher
                StudentFilmmakers Magazine
                Never Stop Learning - Never Stop Networking

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                • #9
                  "My saying is "improvisation without prep is chaos, improvisation with extensive planning is creative genius.""


                  Too long. That will never stick. Shorten it by half somehow.

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