For the last month, I have auditioned more than 30 actors and actresses, I have had more than six meetings, I have been to my location twice and I have replied limitless amount of emails. This is all for a 7-minute film. But, every little thing in the film is important and as a director I need to be aware of everything. Finally, the production is finished!
My 4th film that I directed at Columbia College Chicago taught me so much. My producer, who is a Creative Producing MFA student, has been working on the production for months to get everything we need. We had our production meetings every Monday, I got to meet with almost everyone in our crew before our shoot which increased the quality of the film because everyone was aware of what was happening on set.
Our call time was 8 a.m. The day before the shoot it was difficult to sleep. I kept thinking about the shots and I was trying to find problems with them. Finally, it was the day. It was the day that we all needed to prove ourselves, after months of preparation we wanted to get the best product out of it.
We had two children in our set. So, legally we do not have as much time as with the adult actors. Therefore, we had a crazy schedule. We were trying to get all the shots in a day. Thanks to my crew, they did an amazing job and at the end we were able to get all the shots we needed to plus some inserts, interiors and exteriors. It was a stressful experience but it was also so much fun at the same time. To me it is one of the most important things, the morale on set. Seeing my actors having good time with the hair and makeup department made me so happy. Though, we only had 2 grips on set, they were the best. Under a huge pressure, my DP, Luke Dyra, did a great job on staying on track. I also should not forget the person who kept us on track who was involved with our film 2 days before we shot, my classmate, Nick Graham as 1st AD.
This project, once again taught me how important the collaboration is. The communication between departments, everyone on set, from production assistants to the producers, is so important. Also, as a director I have been learning the leadership skills. Especially after having so many meetings with different people like cinematographer, production designer, sound, hair and makeup, costume designer, assistant director, script supervisor… Since I came to Columbia College Chicago, I have been learning how to deal with all these departments, how to have an idea about everything as a director. So, on this project, Her Voice, an important, meaningful project firstly to my producer, Kelsey Burrus and also to me, I got the chance to experience ‘directing’.
I am excited to get to the post-production stage. I cannot wait to see the final cut of our project!