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Old October 28th, 2007, 02:17 PM   #1
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Suggestions on "Making of" / "Behind the scenes"


Do you have any suggestions on what should be included and how to make a "making of" / "behind the scenes" documentary for a feature film. I tried to google and search dvinfo but couldn't find any guidelines on different approaches. Do you have any do and don't ideas?

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Old October 28th, 2007, 02:31 PM   #2
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Do have a plan. Don't be afraid to improvise. Basically, you're making a documentary. You know what you're subject is "The Making of THE Movie"... but who is your audience? Is it fans of the director? Fans of the star? Fans of the Genre? This might influence where you place your emphasis. Maybe it's a genre flick, and you want to do extensive shooting of the makeup and special effects, (There's only one of you, and you can't be everywhere at once, so you might have to skip something else to focus on this aspect). Is the location particularly challenging?

In other words, WHO/WHAT is the 'star' of your documentary? Try and get a good mix of 'verite' comments - that is, asking people to answer questions or comment about what their doing while their doing it - (BUT DON'T INTERFERE WITH THE FILMMAKING PROCESS) - along with setting up 'sit down' interviews with any important people you can manage to wrangle.

When you're done shooting, sit down with your CLIENT to decide what they want in terms of format. A series of 'shorts' that can be accessed by menu? One long 'documentary' that plays from a single menu. Something that can be 'marketed' seperately for festivals in and of itself?

And finally, go to school on someone else's dime. WATCH a lot of 'BTS' docs to see how others approach the challenges.

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Old October 28th, 2007, 08:19 PM   #3
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Include a basic summary of everything, but focus on the interesting things. When you sit down at a table with friends and start chatting, which interesting stories come out? Use those. Don't feel like you MUST discuss all the boring details... because... well... they're boring, and the audience will know. But anything in the production that was really important to you, they'll know that as well.

If you were working with a really low budget and found a good way around it, say so!

If you really worked hard to find the right angles and you have some good material showing this, do it.

One thing that is important is that you have stuff to back up your BTS video from the production. If you have some great shots of rehearsals, use 'em. If not, probably better to not focus too much time on that.

Every production has pre-pro, production, and post. Don't need to go into every detail of yours. But go into anything special, anything interesting.

Why did you make THIS film? What will you remember about making it?

There are no rules... just make it entertaining.

As a personal thing, I really like seeing how elements are achieved visually, either with VFX, miniatures, camera tricks, or something else-- tell us.

But anything can make a good story. If it's interesting, tell us. If not, skip it or mention it quickly to setup the rest.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 09:14 PM   #4
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I watch tons of BTS stuff on the point where I won't spend money on a DVD if it doesn't have tons of Special features that are informative for me as a filmmaker.

The parts that are missing...taking a scene from script to shot...mostly the blocking and motivation for that particular staging/camera setups...the art part of it, not the technical part.

One of the problems with the democratization of cinema making is that geeks tend to be the ones who pick up the technology and run with it...I'm guilty and the art part of it escapes me a bit. I can get the script to the screen in an efficient manner, but all of my stuff so far have missed that "spark", the lightning in a bottle that makes films suck you in and not let you go for 1.5-2 hours. So perhaps all of the stuff that goes into the Mise-en-scene of a single scene and deeper than just showing the jacket that fred's character wears in the scene...and we've got 5 of them...but why those were selected by the costume folks/director. and where they were found, how they were treated.

Basically, I'd like to see a thorough piece on how to take a scene from concept to completion rather than the mostly superficial ones that are out so far. Panic Room 3-disk set is currently my gold standard for BTS, with the LOTR and King Kong BTS as a close second.
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