Over the last two weeks, I’ve posted twenty Cinema 2.0 Hacks for successful microcinema management. I’ve had lots of feedback and great emails from readers here at Raindance and from around the world. Thanks for taking the time to read – and act – on them.
I promised 5 final VIP Tips to Cinema 2.0 Success to round out my personal recommendations for maximizing your microcinema.
These are the five most important things to remember while working with limited or no funds.
1. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE PRODUCTION INSURANCE IN PLACE FOR LOCATIONS AND RENTALS.
Pony up the $$$ for production insurance and pay the short-term premium price for the length of shooting. Cover all essential equipment. Extend the cover at a discount for a full year if you are looking at running a production company year round. It’s not a question of if a lens will drop – but when. #coveryourass. This is one of the first areas that most newbie microfilmmakers avoid – and it’s a false economy. Please take the time to insure your work. Check for insurance underwriter’s in your area. Reach out to local film offices, content creators and industry guides to see who they recommend. It’s well worth it.
2. HAVE BACKUP GEAR AVAILABLE. TWO CAMERAS = SAFETY NET
When I shot big-boy cinema, we had a minimum of two camera bodies with interchangeable lenses and batteries. For my latest microcinema, I have four cameras I can shoot with at anytime that all intercut. Cameras are smaller now – and much cheaper. Gear breaks down from wear and tear. If you don’t maintain your equipment, it will fail when you least expect it. Know how to fix your equipment or have backups available as needed. Or pay the price. #twobodies #doubledown
3. HAVE YOUR PRODUCER DEAL WITH THE CIVILIANS. KEEP SHOOTING.
The microcinema producer is the guy or gal who deals with the locals (and all the fiddly bits of the budget). They handle the details while you get the shot. On my DIY feature film, Fall Away, my producer dealt with the State Troopers while I filmed a scene in an interstate bathroom (don’t ask). On all of the films or micro-movies I produced, I stayed away from the poor director and ran interference with anything that would slow down the show. A good producer deals with the madness of life while you make the film. Don’t crowd the director on the floor and NEVER backseat direct. #stayawayfromthemonitor #keepshooting
4. LEAVE NO TRASH ON LOCATION. #NOTRASH #NOTROUBLE
Be polite and treat each location like gold. Leave it as good – or better – than how you found it. I’ve repainted Bowery flophouses in the middle of July, mowed lawns, shoveled snow, wiped down blood from hospital walls and picked up shell casings with the rest of the team. Make it so the next film crew is welcome. Not all big budget shows can boast that. You are a representative of the greater micro-cinema community when you are out in the world – so please keep it clean and remember that we are ALL responsible for our public presence. #cleanup
5. Be THANKFUL – and mean it.
Thank the cast, the crew, the location owners, the guy who opened the place up at 4:00 AM for you, the Gods that you worship and all that is good because you are doing something that most people never get to experience – the camaraderie and joy of making cinema. How many people get to do what you do? #bethankful. NOBODY gets to be a big shot and ‘demand’ everything – or commit the unpardonable sin of hubris telling those working with them that they are ‘lucky’ to be onboard. #fuckego #donot believeyourownpress
Ultimately, we are responsible for our group safety, public interaction and personal growth as indy content creators – and the VIP you serve is everyone else. Put the safety and welfare of your cast, crew and general public before your own self interests. Remember, what we do is important – but it is never acceptable to bully, lie, be careless, rude or ignorant of basic courtesies and proper manners. #karmakinema #keepitcool #carefulhowyougo