Marginalia, Graduate Blog

The Director’s Fault

Bubba Murray

I came to Columbia College Chicago to learn the skills needed to become an Indy film director. Whether it’s knowing how to frame a shot, how to format a script, or the most effective way to distribute craft service, I’m picking up a new skill everyday. But, the most important thing I’ve learned (and some of you may disagree with this) is this: it’s the director’s fault.  More specifically, in independent film everything is the director’s fault.

What the _______ does that mean? The director needs to be on top of things from the very beginning. That means pre-production. I’m talking tasks like script development, budgeting, and location scouting. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to work with one of the talented creative producers. They can help guide you in some of those tasks. In the absence of a creative producer, the director has to figure out what resources can be used to complete the project.

One of my go-to resources is the Screenwriting Center on the third floor of 1104 S. Wabash. What I like about the facility is that it has a huge library of scripts, and the computers have all the software you need to begin your projects. They have Final Draft for script writing, Movie Magic for budgeting (although I’m fine with an excel spreadsheet,) and whatever basic office software you need. To repeat, these are the tools you need for pre-production.

There’s also the ETC, or the Editing Training Center.  Aside from having a bunch of editing stations, they have tutorials and workshops to bring your skills up to speed.

Then there’s my favorite online resource: Lynda.com. This is a website that offers tutorials for almost every type of editing and post production software. And, as a Columbia student, you have free access. SCORE!

I’ve been using these facilities extensively since starting Columbia College Chicago, and it has really helped me as I’ve prepped projects. You never have to feel overwhelmed when you’ve got access. If you are smart about utilizing the resources around you, the next time someone says, “it’s the director’s fault,” you can proudly say, “yes it is.”

The Director’s Fault

…the most important thing I’ve learned (and some of you may disagree with this) is the following: It’s the director’s fault.

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

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