Before You Shoot: Simple Film Directing Tips from Raindance


It’s usually the simple things that are forgotten, here are seven simple film directing tips which will make your shoot day a whole lot easier.


1.Set Your Scene

Walk through your scene step by step to identify any problems with your script, making sure everything you have written can realistically be shot. By doing this, you may also pick up some new ideas before your shoot.




2.Script Breakdown

This is one of the most important simple film directing tips.

You’ll need this to know your budget. Go through your script and make a list of everything you will need to make your film. Do not miss this step, if you forget something on your shoot day, you may end up spending a lot of your time on troubleshooting, and that’s the last thing anyone wants. Be organised.

When doing this, you want to pull out all elements. EG: Props, Actors, Extras, Locations/Sets, Equipment, Hair and Makeup, Animals, Special Effects, Costumes, etc.



3.Location Recce

Always do a location recce, making sure your location is suitable and safe for filming. Look into what can/will affect your shoot day at the location. Pay special attention to what is around you that may affect lighting or sound, such as busy roads or tall buildings causing shadows. Whilst on a location recce, be sure to take notes and photographs to remember the location, this will help you to compare it to others you have looked at.




4.Cast and Crew

Make sure you have reliable people, and make sure you keep them up to date with everything. The best way to do this is by sending out a daily call sheet to your whole cast and crew informing them of when and where they should be.


5.Gear Check

Have a checklist of everything you need; it’s usually the smaller items that are forgotten on the day. Be sure to get everything together at least a day prior to shooting, running around on the day trying to get everything together is sure to end badly.




This may seem like the least of your worries, however it is what keeps your cast and crew happy, so, truth be told, it is up there with the most important. Everyone loves food. Have this planned before your shoot so you’re not fussing around with what to order last minute.



7.Shot List

With your Director of Photography, decide which and how many shots will be necessary to represent your script in the best way possible. The more thought you put into this stage of pre-production, the better your final film will end up looking. Share the shot list with everyone so they are able to prepare all the necessary equipment needed per shot. This will also help you to remember all of your shots and organise the shoot.

Bonus Simple Film Directing Tips: The Director’s Role

Many think a film director simply shows up on the set and yells ‘Action’ then ‘Cut’.

It’s the preplanning that a good film director understands and executes.
Raindance film directing courses focus on this aspect too. You can see the mouth-watering list of film directing courses here: