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DouglasHorn.com

Tag: The No-Sit List

Storyboards, Shooting Plans, and Shot Lists

by on Feb.19, 2013, under Filmmaking

Storyboards can energize a project

As a director, you can always phone it in with standard coverage or rely on your DP can find you lovely backgrounds and nice shot compositions, but if you want to pull off any shots that are interesting, meaningful, or cool, you need to plan them out ahead of time with storyboards or a coverage plan.  Great shots don’t just happen.

I believe that being a good director means making a plan that I can share with other people before the morning of the shoot.  That’s why I typically put in a bunch of prep time creating storyboards, shooting plans, and shot lists.  In this post I’ll talk about what these are and why I think they’re important.

Preparation: The Burden and Opportunity

Typically on a shoot day you barely have enough time to get all the shots you need, let alone explore them.  As much as I love the romantic notion of a director figuring out his vision on the set as he and the actors try new things, the reality is, a good director figures all that out long before the shoot.  And then maybe, if he’s done his prep, he gets a few more ideas in the moment.  But that’s only after all the work is done.

So how do you figure out your vision before you’re actually on the set looking at everything?  One of the best ways is with storyboards and shooting plans.  Sketching out what you want to shoot is a great way to try new things, refine your vision, and then communicate that to all the people who will help you realize it.  In many ways, the director’s real visual exploratory work is done on paper.

(* The other exploratory work a director can do—the performance exploration—is in workshopping and rehearsing with actors.  I’ll talk about this in a future post.)

(continue reading…)

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Beware of Backblog

by on Jan.17, 2011, under Uncategorized

Backblog bak’ blôg n.

1. an accumulation of unwritten blog posts
2. a blog that is deeply out of date.

v.intr being in a condition of backblog.

“The last couple months I’ve been so slammed with work, my poor site is in serious backblog.”

I see a lot of backblog going on right now around the web.  I don’t know if people have lost some of the blog fever or if they’re just busy making a living in tough times.

My acute case of backblog is due to a whole lotta projects all demanding my time.  But of course, that’s when I need to blog the most.  So here’s the quick overview of what I’ve been up to.  I hope to catch up with more info on each of these projects shortly:

  • Two short documentaries I made for MTV have finally hit the web as part of $5 Cover: Seattle.  Look for the “Seattle Scene/B-Side” Videos “Tube Addiction/Verellen Amps” and “Vortex.”  You can watch them on the MTV site or in higher quality here.
  • My family film, The No-Sit List (staring Danny Trejo, Rico Rodriguez, Trenton Rogers, and Dee Wallace Stone) is about to be released on DVD (street date: March 8, 2011) by Phase 4 Films, retitled Babysitters Beware.
  • Another family film I wrote is preparing to go into production in a month.
  • I directed the short film Coffee & Pie in New York, and just learned of its first festival acceptance.
  • My co-creator Dan Southworth and I (along with a truly amazing nano-crew) shot the first several episodes of our action/sci-fi web series Divergence. We’re now winding our way through post.

There’s some other bric-a-brac but that’ll hold until I get some more photos, links, and updates uploaded on these projects.

So, sorry about the delay.  I’m still breathing, still dedicated to the blog.  More info, videos, and articles are on the way.

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Fantasy Football for Drama Nerds

by on Mar.10, 2010, under Filmmaking

Fantasy casting is a reality for almost any filmmaking.

I’ve never really understood the allure of fantasy football or baseball.  I think my friends who speak with great passion about “their” players, trades, stats, are a teensy bit bat-shit.  But that’s just me.  I’m luke warm about sports unless I’m either playing them or watching them right at that second.  However, the world of film has its own version of fantasy football: Casting. (continue reading…)

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What to Wear: Director’s Edition

by on Feb.18, 2010, under Questions

Here’s a question I made up because I’ve never seen this issue covered:

Hey Douglas,

Amazing site!  Here’s my question:  Everybody talks about how to direct, but no one addresses the really important stuff, like what a director should wear.  Any advice?

– D.H.

Wow, what an amazingly insightful question!

For an indie director, what you wear matters, because you’re going to be in it all day.  (And possibly all night when you collapse in a stupor at the end of the day.)  It’s important to be comfortable all day long…and it’s a long day we’re talking about, especially on location shoots.  (Isn’t every independent film a location shoot?)  What I walk out the door wearing is probably what’s going to be on me all day long.  I’ve found that anything I take off during the day usually ends up lost or borrowed.  While making smart choices about what you wear on set may not seem all that crucial the first day or two of your shoot, by day 17, little choices can translate to big differences in your ability to push ahead without your body going into revolt. (continue reading…)

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The No-Sit List Wins at Kids First!

by on Jan.30, 2010, under Projects

On the set of The No-Sit List

On the set of The No-Sit List

A couple weeks ago, the family film I wrote and directed, The No-Sit List, won an award at the Kids First! Film Festival.   I didn’t have this blog then, so I’m announcing it now.  Hey, the whole point of awards is announcing them!

Kids First!

Kids First! gave The No-Sit List an award!

The Kids First! Film Festival is run by the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media.  I’m pretty sure it claims the be the biggest or oldest or best-attended or something children’s film festival in the country, world, or universe. 

The No-Sit List won for “Best Independent Feature, Ages 5-8″.  So that’s kind of cool.  You can see a complete list of winners at the Kids First! 2009 Winners Page.

Congrats to everyone in the cast and crew who worked so hard to make he movie great!

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