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Saturday, June 30, 2012

"The Rise Of The Robots" - Principle Photography is Done

"The Rise Of The Robots" Principle Photography is Done
The Crew and Cast of "The Rise Of The Robots".
This is the great crew and cast I have ever worked with.

Filmmaker. A person that makes films. So far we are about two thirds finished with "The Rise of The Robots" sci-fi feature film. We completed preproduction and now principle photography is completed. We have post-production to complete over the next nine months, this is the longest part, as well as the part that will make or break a film.

Rehearsing with the cast

This is my first time to direct a full length feature film. I have helped out four times before on previous feature films shot in the summer. From each one I learn things to do and things not to do. The biggest is to have a vision and heart in what you are working on.

Was my screenplay perfect, no. Was my vision of what I wanted this film to be, yes with out any doubt. When I wrote this screenplay about two years ago, I could see the film in my head. Having this vision helped me explain to the crew and cast what I was seeing, so they could make it happen on camera.

How the cast looks on camera

Over the last month I have learned many things. The big one is how much do you want to make a film? Was I tired at times, yes. Was I mentally drained after spending all day in the East Texas sun on my feet, yes. Was I going to do what I had to do to make the film happen, yes with out any doubt. When I was tired, drained, hot, thirsty, or whatever, if I wanted this film to look the way I wanted to, it was up to me to make it happen. If I had to worked all week directing and the weekends making props, I did it. Many others worked all week and during the weekends too!

If this film turns out great it is because of the crew and cast working so hard to help me get my vision on camera. If the film turns out bad, it is because of my lack of expressing what I saw in my vision to the crew and cast. When you the captain of a starship, everything that happens is because of you, and you must be able to take responsibly. That happened in Star Trek, it happens on a film set.

The cast and the director

Film making is a collaboration work of art. The director of photography and myself talk about how to make the vision appear on screen. The graffer lights the set with this vision. The production designer works on this vision on the set and props. The assistant director works the schedule to make this vision happen, and on and on.

With any collaboration, you have to have communication. As a director, you have to communicate your ideas clearly to everyone. Listen to feedback and make decisions on the spot. Actors give you notes, you listen to them and use the ones that make the screenplay better. As the shoot goes on, you modify your script to fit the actors and the groove of the set. There is constant feedback and collaboration going on during principle photography.

The Last Day of Principle Photography with the cast and director

I had three former first time directors tell me that you are going to have a mental breakdown at some point shooting your feature film. Did it happen, no. Why? Because we had a plan so when the weather, location, missing person or whatever happen, we could figure out a way to solve the problem and go on filming. That is the difference from an amateur to a professional, a professional has a book of plans and experience to make it happen when something changes. We were professionals on this shoot.

There was a lot of love on set to make this film great. I felt this love every day on set. I didn't get upset or yell at anyone, the set was relaxed and we all worked to do the best job we could do. When someone needed help, there were ten hands offering to help. There was no one saying "that's not my job". It was the job for all of us to make a film, and we did. Many of us did multiple jobs without batting an eye.

If the people on top are working hard, everyone else does too. If the people on top have a passion and love of the project, so will everyone else! If you want to make a great film, you will make a great film with hard work!

It's a wrap on principle photography on "The Rise Of The Robots"!
Only the best crew and cast could have made this happen. As you all go on, we in post will work even harder to make this film rock! I promise as hard as I worked on the set, myself and the rest of post will not let you down! You all are going to have a great reel and calling card once we are done.

My thanks can not be expressed in words to the crew and cast. The love that was in the air everyday will shine on the screen screen. I will remember you all and this experience forever.

Herbert Midgley

Look for "The Rise Of The Robots" April 20, 2013 in an East Texas theater near you!

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