Greenlight Script Coverage

Greenlight Script Coverage
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American Gem Short Script and Literary Festival


To take pressure off of a director, camera operators must anticipate what camera positions, lens types and positions, and framing they are to use for the segments they are to shoot. This must all be worked out in advance, in collaboration with the director. While it is possible for the director to make instantaneous changes during the final filming, the risk of making major mistakes is greatly increased with each major change that is made. This is especially relevant while filming on location, where substitutions of cameras and other materials may not be readily available or even accessible.

"I divide in my imagination the directors I know in two big categories," Jean Renoir once stated, "One category is the directors from whom the work starts from the camera. I am the opposite. I like to start with the actors." The actor is the most vulnerable person on the set, and it is up to the director to bring out a great performance in the midst of the actors uncertainties and insecurities. Unfortunately, knowing what exactly it is that each individual actor needs to accomplish their goals is not an easy accomplishment.

There are those actors who are willing to listen to whatever the director says and try and comply with them. On the other hand there are actors who are very strong-willed and have their own ideas set in stone. Sometimes the director must be willing to give in a little in order to reach the desired result. The best and most creative directors will constantly be in search of solutions, and will usually find them. Some directors are willing to change everything possible in order to appease their actors. Other directors, like as Brian De Palma, have been known to be very strict on their set and inform actors from the very beginning that they run the show.

A director can make or break the entire experience for an actor. Good directors can create great experiences, while poor directors can create unworkable situations. Actors are looking for directors to protect them on the set. By this I mean that they want the set to be a place where they are able to transform themselves into the character they are supposed to be, without any reservations or distractions. Actors become dependent on directors and vise versa. One last item of importance for the director-actor relationship is that of keeping the "thread" of the story on track. This means that the director must sometimes step in and inform the actor if their emotional line is off track or if they are getting out of sequence with the shot.

Many directors end up using the same actor's picture after picture. Once a good working relationship becomes established it is only natural that the collaboration continues. The director and actor will know each other's idiosyncrasies, their style of filming and their approach to a picture. Once they have worked together and established a good working relationship, it is much easier to collaborate together again rather than moving on to someone new. A perfect example of this is the relationship between director Martin Scorsese and actor Robert DeNiro. To date the two have worked on eight different pictures together. Scorsese and actor Harvey Keitel have also collaborated on numerous films.
Film Editing
Like director-cameraman or director-actor relationships, the director-editor relationship is of great importance. Once a good relationship is established between and editor and director, they tend to work together on numerous projects. Each will know what to expect from one another and will in turn create respectable work for one another. An editor is looking for flexibility; enough material to work with to create the best overall production possible. When there is plenty of coverage of scenes, it gives the editor much more to work with in order to accomplish this task.

Film editing is used to determine which shots are to be used where and when. Editing is also used to determine which shots should be preserved, which should be broken up and which should be cut out completely (called out-takes). Because many films are shot out of sequence, it is the job of the editor to put the film in the order in which it is intended and to create the final product. Films are often shot out of continuity. That is, all shots to be made at one location are recorded at the same time, regardless of when they occur in the script.

Film editing usually begins the same time as the production begins. The raw footage of that particular days shot will be given to the editor, which in turn is presented to the director (known as a daily or work print). The editor, director and producer view each day's work print in order to evaluate how well things are going. After viewing and approving the footage, the editor catalogues it before beginning a rough-cut. The best editors are able to determine immediately which shots will work visually and which will not. They will try to integrate the best aspects of every shot, determining how to make it seem as though everything occurred in one single shot.

Once the picture has wrapped, it is now up to the editor to produce an initial cut of the overall production. The editor cuts together various pieces of film into a single visual track and an accompanying sound track. The sound editor is a specialist who constructs and organizes all the various sound elements so that they can be properly blended or mixed together into a final soundtrack. Typically an editor will try and make the film as close a relation to the shooting script as possible. Sometimes this is just not a possibility for some previously unseen circumstance, and the editor must decide the best version of the picture that they can possibly put together.
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