Marginalia, Graduate Blog

See My Voice

Bubba Murray

It’s all over but the shouting. The third week of focus film shoots has wrapped, and now it’s time to exhale. Two projects in the can and one in development. That reminds me…did I show you all ROBOX? That was my Production 1 film. Take a look. I hope you like it.

Our last shoot was a project called “Stay Positive” written and directed by Rob Coghill. It was another weekend spent flexing my pencil sharpening skills as script supervisor. As always, the end of a shoot gives me time to reflect.

I’ve been at Columbia for about seven…yes…I think seven months. The end of this shoot also marks a monumental time for me. This is the end of my first year of shooting. Three times behind the lens, three chances to develop as a director. Like I said, it’s a time to reflect. Actually I’m reminded of a conversation I had just last week. I was working at the Admitted Student Day, and after the event was over, I talked to one of next year’sscren directors. He asked me what I wished someone had told me before I started the program. Now that’s something to reflect on…right?

I thought about it and then the ideas started flying. Here’s what I wish I knew. Actually there was a lot. Don’t get me wrong. I am very confident in my writing background. I have solid credentials, but I believe you can always learn more about form and structure. I still had a lot to learn in the pure film sense. And sometimes I felt I would be the one asking the “stupid” question. The thing about being an artist is that we all have an air of pretension about us. We never want to admit we don’t know everything. So for those of you who hate to ask questions, read on…this may help:

1)      Have a soft slate of ideas. You’ll be writing original scripts and developing ideas, but having an idea of what direction you want to go will only help you in the long run.

2)      Use kickstarter, indiegogo, and other fundraising websites. Many of my classmates already knew about these, but I was not one of them. It always helps to have a revenue stream.

3)      Aim for 10 to 12 shots a day. I’m still working on that.

4)      Storyboards are great, but overheads are more helpful in the field.

5)      What is an overhead? An overhead blueprint of the scene being filmed that takes into account the camera placement, actor blocking, and scenery.

6)      What does DP stand for? Director of photography.

7)      What does AD stand for? Assistant director.

These are just a few nuggets that popped into my head. But now I know, and knowing is half the battle. G.I Joe!

See My Voice

He asked me what I wished someone had told me before I started the program. Now that’s something to reflect on…right?

Film & Video - Cinema Directing MFA Bubba Murray, james.murray2@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

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