Monday, December 5, 2011

Film Production Forms

This last weekend I worked on filming my pitch video for the Kickstarter campaign I'm going to be putting up soon.  As I scrabbled about making lists and checking them twice (and no, not because it's close to Christmas, but because I would forget my head if it wasn't attached to my body--I'm a big list person; lists keep me functional), I reflected on the volumes of paperwork involved in filmmaking.  This was just a simple little thing I was working on, yet I had sent I don't know how many emails, called several people, made a bunch of lists, had to write and re-write my script, create personal release forms, go over shot lists and other things.  It's a lot of work keeping things organized!

I'm thinking there has to be a better way.  And there is.  There is actually software that can help with the coordination of the logistics of production.  Celtx, the scriptwriting software I prefer to use (like it better than Final Draft, actually) can help with some of this.  In the Reel to Deal book I reviewed earlier, there were all sorts of tools listed that can help out, including books and software.

One of the books recommended was The Complete Film Production Handbook by Eve Light Honthaner.  It's in its fourth edition, and I just so happen to own a copy.  Now, I created my own personal release forms by changing around somebody else's to suit my own needs.  But this book has that and tons more.  This book has pretty much any form for filmmaking recordkeeping and organization that you could ever dream of. There is even a walkie-talkie sign out sheet!  I mean, who would think of that?  I didn't.  I don't know why I didn't check this book out more BEFORE I started preparation for filming.  It probably would have been very helpful.  Pages 26-28 list all the different kinds of forms you can find in the book for blank forms and files for features/movies/television/cable/internet. The chapter talks about the method behind the organization of the different files and forms. 

I know for my documentary, which will be a long, on-going project over the next couple of years, I will likely be using a number of forms in this book.  The handbook is geared toward those who want to make a feature film, but much of it is still helpful to people making documentaries or television too.

If you want to make a film and you don't know where to start, I highly recommend you check out this book!