To All My Homies About That Indie Film Set Life

Boom Operator
As a member of the XLR brotherhood, you have chosen a path many nine-to-fivers will not understand. Luckily filmmaker Tanuj Chopra (his feature PUNCHING AT THE SUN played at Sundance in 2006) is sharing a pretty great list of insightful “do and don’ts” for indie film set life.

A few of his tips are lessons I remember learning the hard way back on my student film sets:

5. Bring your crew real coffee on the difficult mornings. Everyone likes the gourmet stuff. Get it for them on the hard turnarounds or when morale is low. Your production will feel a shot in the arm. This means you need to start your day about 34 minutes earlier and you have to pay for it. And carry it all which sucks.

21. Lights do funny things. Even the most icy, confident, born to-do-it actors can lose their confidence when those hot kinos are up. The tension is multiplied by a live camera and a bunch of monkeys standing around, gaping at the take. Always protect your actors. If you think something is shaky, take five, bring some noise back on set, talk about something else, smile, stay loose, tell your 2nd AD to do the humpty dance. Change the energy. Don’t leave people out to dry.

27. It’s better to get creative folks to execute through the power of suggestion. However, there are times when you have to tell someone exactly what you want very clearly, in no uncertain terms. It’s good if you can do both. You must be able to do the latter.

What are some tips you’ve picked up from working on indie film sets?

You can check out Chopra’s full post featured by Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles HERE.

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