Filmmaking = Problem solving

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I genuinely enjoy working on the MortalCultural Kitchen project, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it was easy.

I have never been on a set that runs smoothly cause problems, delays and setback are always around the corner.

Obviously even the shooting of MortalCultural Kitchen didn’t go as smooth as we though.

Our set was particularly difficult to manage, because we had a lot of props and actors.

I thinks that I’ve learned during the years of my Film studies’ bachelor degree is that, having a lot of people around increases the possibility of mistakes.

In our video starred 11 people. We decide to divide the shooting in two days to fit the actors’ schedules and to have some back up time.

The first day of shooting supposed to be the easier one, we had to shoot only the scenes with the Indonesian judges and the host, that were both available only that day. But immediately the first problem showed up.

The host stood us up because of an emergency so we had to move her scenes to the second day and start looking for a replacement.

In addition, two of the three judges told us that they could only stay for one hour and half, that was less than what we expected.

Another thing that we didn’t considered was that cooking scene, requires actual cooking and it takes a lot of time.

The result was that the scenes that we shot that day were rushed and improvised.

But is when you have to solve a problem that you start to think creatively.

In order to save some time the second day, we decided to write a production schedule, that included actors’ calling times, costumes and props for each scene.

Since we were not able to find a female actress for the part of the host, we decided to put woman clothes  an a wig on one male actors, and it was an unexpected success. This solution in fact gave to the video a more comic look.

Unless to say that almost all the actors were late that day, but even in this case a setback became our fortune.

Thanks to this extra time, we were able to finish to cook all the dishes before the actors arrive, and it has allowed us to prepare the shots and set the lightning.

According to the articles that I’ve researched, the strength of Filmmakers is knowing how to solve the problems that they faces on sets.

Accident doesn’t occur only in young filmmaker production, but also famous directors have to face similar setbacks. You just have to Take it in account and don’t let problems discourage you.

The cinematographer Bill Butler said in an interview:

“The day-to-day business of making movies is a matter of problem-solving. You are constantly problem-solving from the time you arrive on the set until you quit shooting in the evening.” In Jaws (1975)

Also the Mad Max’s oscar winning director George Miller and the famous director Steven Soderbergh said in the linked interviews that problem solving and filmmaking are closely related.

There are also various studies and articles that prove how filmmaking helps to develop higher-order thinking skills and encourages to use creativity.

The fact that books like “303 digital filmmaking solutions to solve any video shoot or edit problem in ten minutes or less” or “First-Time Filmmaker F*ck-ups: The Common Mistakes New Filmmakers Make, and How to Avoid Them” exist, is an additional proof that mistakes during a shooting are the order of the day.

For all this reason I agree that having problem solving skills can really make the difference between being a mediocre filmmaker or a good one.



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