It can be hard to foresee everything you might need on set, especially on indie films where budgets are tighter, set-ups are thriftier, and departments are a little bit more blended. Your crew position will also play a role into what you should bring, but even as a director, I still bring items that could potentially help G&E, art or even camera. Here’s a comprehensive list of everything I currently have in my production bin: 1. Paper Towels In case of spills or a lack of napkins…Continue Reading “Set Essentials: What I Always Bring to a Shoot”

In 2016, I helped put together three separate crowdfunding campaigns. And to be perfectly honest, I never want to do it again. Or, at least, I never want to do it again unless it’s a project where I’m sure of three things: It’s offering real value to its intended audience. Research has been done to determine how many people are likely to pitch in, and by how much. It’s a project that I deeply care about. In my first campaign, #3 was true, #1 was debatable and…Continue Reading “Lessons Learned From Running 3 Kickstarter Campaigns in a Year”

“Make movies not meetings” and “Be prolific” are the advice that we’re getting from prominent indie filmmakers like Joe Swanberg and the Duplass brothers. But how do you do that if you don’t have a story to tell? Writer’s block is the greatest hinderance to filmmaking. And, unfortunately, I’m not of the party that can just grab a camera and shoot something. I like to have a plan. So here are the components of my writer’s block prevention strategy. These are tips I’ve collected from screenwriting classes,…Continue Reading “Writer’s Block Prevention: 5 Tips for Story Ideas”

Until film school, I had always approached filmmaking with a DIY attitude. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this approach, that is, if you know what you’re doing. Whether I knew what I was doing back then is questionable, but my biggest fault for wearing all the hats was a lack of trust. Since then, I’ve come around to building teams, and let me tell you: it makes shooting so much smoother. Filmmaking is unavoidably collaborative, and as a director/producer, it can be easy to put your…Continue Reading “7 Tips for Recruiting Your Indie Production”

Since seeing La La Land, I was surprised by the variety of responses that it provoked from the people I discussed the film with. One friend loved it for the romance and nostalgia, my dad thought it as a sweet portrayal of puppy love, and a friend of a friend flat out did not like it because she could not relate. It’s interesting how much you can learn about people based on reactions to a film. For me, I fell completely in love with La La Land. I went to the theater expecting…Continue Reading “La La Land: An Ode to Artists and Dreamers”

Many great directors like Spike Jonze and David Fincher started their careers by directing music videos. I would argue that the distinctively-styled films they are now famous for are a direct result of these beginnings. Here’s why: 1. There’s (usually) no dialogue in a music video. Without dialogue, you’re forced to show your story, not tell. This is often the most common mistake committed by new screenwriters: feeding the audience the plot through dialogue. If you’re going to do that, you might as well be writing…Continue Reading “Why Music Videos Make Great Directorial Exercises”

With this being the first blog post, it feels appropriate to give a little introduction about who I am and why I’m doing this. I’m guessing you read the title of this entry, so I’ll take it from there. (You can also read the more detailed version of this story on HelloGiggles.) When I got pregnant, I was 21. The last thing I wanted to be was a mom. To me, this role was the antithesis to my ambitions as a filmmaker. At the same…Continue Reading “I Got Pregnant in College and It Made Me a Better Filmmaker”