Filmmaking wisdom from Howie Klausner

I participated in the Faith in Film Conference and the Film-Com Financing, Packaging and Distribution Market in Nashville last week.

In addition to pitching our film, SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL, I also Klausnerpicked up some wonderful tidbits about story, filmmaking, and working with cast and crew from Howie Klausner, longtime screenwriter and relatively new film director who participated in a panel discussion on the making of his upcoming film, “The Secret Handshake”…

  • On the importance of relatable characters: “We go to movies because we want to watch these people in stories that reflect our lives.”
  • On working with actors: “Talk with them on a human level. Ask them how they’re doing, if they have any questions, if there’s anything they want to talk about. You’d be surprised how many directors don’t do this. They just expect the actors to show up and perform.”
  • On getting the day’s work done, even if it seems insurmountable: “I learned from Clint Eastwood (he said somewhat shyly, apologizing for name-dropping. Eastwood directed Howie’s screenplay “Space Cowboys”). I gather the cast and crew at the beginning of the day, hold up the day’s pages and say, ‘this is what we have to do today.’ By bringing everyone in on the agenda, we all feel ownership. People will work their butts off if they feel they’re part of the team. “
  • And, on choosing crew members: “Don’t hire position-fillers; bring in ‘family members.’ A sense of family keeps a crew going through tough days.”

More gleanings and droplets of wisdom from the conference in a later post…