There are so many great film makers out there. There’s also some cowboys. And some who may technically be insane. Here are some warning signs that you may be working with the wrong production company:
When your director turns up on set wearing a beret, an alarm bell should sound. Don’t get me wrong. In the right context, beret’s are awesome: This is Ingmar Bergman. Considered to be one of the great film directors of all time. And also happens to look cool in a beret. But your director probably doesn’t look like Ingmar. And you may have a problem.
Following on from that, when your director takes himself too seriously. I remember, one of the first videos I actually worked on. It was about twenty years ago. It was a medical training video about first aid. I remember this moment when the director wasn’t happy with how things were going. So he grabbed the camera off the tripod from the director of photography and boldly declared, “we need to go handheld”. Then he turns to me with this maniacal smile and says, “y’know, Kubrick shot all of his handheld stuff!!’
Now, if you ever hear your crew say, “this will be great for the reel”, this is not necessarily a good thing. What they mean is, this shot…that we’re spending two hours lighting immaculately, and 20 different go’s at to get right, will look really impressive when we use it to promote our business, not yours.
If a company tells you that they make ‘Viral’ (do the airquotes) video. Just trust me on this one. They don’t. I mean, you can’t. This kind of greatness just happens.
And finally, if you ever hear anyone utter the words on set, “we’ll fix it in post”, be afraid. Be very afraid. It means that getting it right during the shoot has gone into the too hard basket. And the hope is it will all be sorted out in the edit suite through some sort of post production sorcery. This usually ends in tears.