When people think of quality films and filmmaking, they think of Hollywood.
Andrew Boomer and Garage Door Films prove that quality depends on storytelling, not exotic locations, big names, nor expensive equipment. As an indie filmmaker and director, Andrew has embraced the plethora of opportunities now available to the indie filmmaking industry.
Netflix, Amazon, online streaming services, and even gaming systems like Playstation are all platforms that indie filmmakers can work with to showcase their skills.
The opportunity is there, but indie filmmakers must often work with lower budgets, unknown actors and actresses, and a smaller team than Hollywood filmmakers are accustomed to.
Andrew Boomer proves that quality films can still be produced despite these obstacles when the heart of your filmmaking methodology begins and ends with storytelling.
Filmmaking Methodology Must Start with Story
“What makes a film is storytelling,” says Andrew. This is what captivates the audience, keeps them on the edge of their seats, and is what they remember once the film is over. “If you have a great story that you are telling, there is a market out there.”
People have an inherent inclination and appreciation for good stories because they have the power to provoke emotions and inspire audiences. Delivering that provocation or inspiration is the essence of effective filmmaking.
When writing and drafting the stories for his films, Andrew compares his stories to a rollercoaster. Does it have ups and downs? Is the story engaging and are the characters’ dialogues relatable? Does the story leave an impression?
These are some questions that Andrew finds necessary to ask himself to ensure his films strike an emotional chord with the audience. A compelling and emotionally provocative story will shine through despite any hurdles you may encounter.
The story is what people care about, and creating one that the audience is captivated by is what leaves them entertained, impressed, and eager to return.
Pre-Production is More Important than Production
With the story established, Andrew goes into the film’s pre-production phase. A key part of Andrew’s methodology is placing importance on pre-production aside from production itself.
As he puts it, “This is where the movie is made”.
Through his many films, Andrew has learned that if pre-production is not given the time it needs, production will be a nightmare.
This is because everything that goes into the film is determined in pre-production. Here, Andrew writes and revises his script and dialogue until he feels they are perfect – and he even goes the length of creating 6 to 7 revisions of the script.
The filmmaking logistics are also determined here, including the cast, location, blocking, shot list, color palette, costuming, storyboarding, scheduling, and more. Identifying these factors allows the production to run smoothly. One can get lost in perfecting his passion and Andrew makes sure he knows the entire script for him to make sound
judgments as a director. Needs to push the story forward, it needs to make sense. If it’s not pushing the story forward or adding anything to the story, it does not need to be in there.
With the pre-production logistics and story finalized, Andrew then goes into production.
During production, Andrew believes to have a smooth-running set and workday, the director should follow his script notes, follow through with his shot list, give notes to his actors, and address any issues that may arise. Everything else should already have been accomplished in the pre-production phase.
Assemble a Passionate Crew
Another crucial component of Andrew’s methodology is the crew. A passionate crew will commit to doing whatever needs to be done to produce a quality film. This means the director can trust those he directs to support one another, work in multiple roles, and provide constructive feedback. They will feel like they are a member of a passionate team, and teams perform best when united.
A passionate crew also allows the whole production to enjoy the filmmaking process. They will see themselves as friends, increasing communication, making the environment fun, and the interaction among them more natural.
Being surrounded by a crew that has earnest intentions of seeing them succeed helps the cast feel welcomed, comfortable, and motivated to act to the best of their ability.
Andrew also believes a passionate crew enables long-term success. When they are happy and motivated, they stay. “Your motivation will seep through the project because you’re passionate about it,” he says. He sees himself moving forward with them into future projects and has no hesitations in investing in them as friends.
Find A Cast That Can Reflect the Quality of Your Story
Just like choosing a passionate crew, Andrew’s successful filmmaking methodology includes making good casting choices.
A good casting choice is not determined by experience or expense, but by how well they characterize the emotions of the story onscreen. During the casting process, Andrew looks at their faces and asks his team, “Can you see the emotion in their eyes?”
This is pivotal to the success of your film because your cast is what brings your story to life. It is through the actors that the emotional resonance of the film is communicated to the audience. This does not mean you have to go for the highest ticket cast you can afford. It means being intentional in determining if they can accentuate the quality of your story.
You would meet a variety of actors from different walks of life and with a bit of a different experience than the others—a crucible of wisdom. They may not be A-listers yet, but the goal is to succeed together, considering each other’s goals and dreams.
Them standing there, without saying a word, does it evoke the kind of reaction you want your viewers to indulge in? Do their expressions tug at your heartstrings? Look into their eyes like Andrew does and gauge whether or not you believe they have the presence that you need to keep your audience in their seats, immersed in the deluge of emotions.