The "What I've learned..."1:07 AM
(P.S.) Styling for 1896: (see related articles, 1, 2, 3, 4) Last leg of post! I'm wrapping everything up by sharing things that I have learned, realized, based on my experiences (and regrets of what I shouldn't and should have done). Thanks for putting up with my all-out Ang Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio-related posts. Hehe.
For the last couple of posts, I've been blogging, non-stop about my film shooting experience. I was too busy then so shoot-related posts piled up. If you're too sick of it, well, the most that I did was try to keep every single entry about it different, interesting and non-monotonous.
This is my way of contributing to the film's promotion. Indie (the name itself) films work on low budget and only a little portion (or none) of that goes to promotion. Every single day, until premier night comes, I continue to worry for the movie. It being my first real job, I've been attached to it so much, I want it to succeed badly (so please understand my overselling, haha).
Honestly, my eye isn't on the prize. I just hope it turns out the way it was envisioned to be. Doesn't matter if it will not win an award, or even if it will not be the greatest as long as it doesn't suck. Don't get me wrong. Mediocrity isn't an option but if ever another film outshines it, at least it is one of the "good films" (you know what I'm saying? haha).
Okay, that's enough over thinking. This entry is supposedly about lessons. Not the cheesy kind. Since it my first, let me share with you some of the things I learned in this job which I think are applicable to any endeavors (not just film or styling per se).
Disclaimer: Photos don't necessarily match the text. Haha.
1. Study the material.
In my case, the material is the film script. It doesn't end in reading it. It is given for you to comprehend, interpret and internalize. Take down notes and keep in mind its demands. Go beyond the material by researching information related to your actual job (whether its in styling, cinematography, production design, etc.).
When you plan, you come to work prepared. Make sure you attend team meetings so you know everything that's going on. Don't depend on a colleague's notes, it will never be reliable. Have your own; it's the only thing you can trust.
Make sure you have your to-do list mapped out in a clipboard. The brain forgets! Also, plan (on your own) on how you will efficiently accomplish the tasks assigned to you. This way, you don't waste time and it may leave you free enough to extend help to others.
3. Bring everything with you.
When you're on location, always bring a bag (no matter how heavy it is, but pack lightly as much as possible) to carry your job essentials. In my case, I should always have scissors, masking tape, stapler, safety pins (plenty!), thread and needle, tissue, pen, paper (or better yet, a small notebook) and my clipboard.
Aside from these, my backpack also contained my kits: hygiene, kikay and first aid, a change of clothes, face towel/s (pawis!) and an umbrella. This way, you don't need to go back (to a room, holding area or where ever that is) whenever you need something on set.
I made sure I bring the requirements per scene as well like this water spray bottle.
4. Think quickly.
Simple decision-making will arise every now and then. When you know the plan and the clear instructions have been set out, use these as guide to resolve something promptly. When in doubt, ask your superior but if you can handle the situation on your own, go ahead.
In my case, I asked every little thing to my superior only because I was too scared to make a mistake. Thinking back, I don't recommend that. Baka maging makulit yung dating mo; which brings me to my #5 tip.
5. Ask questions - when necessary.
Like I said, when in doubt, ask. When you don't understand, ask.
Avoid asking nonsense ones though. Think first before you do. Maybe you know the answer you just forgot for a while. Isn't that annoying for your superior when you question or inquire on something you supposedly SHOULD know beforehand. So make sure you go through the plan and your notes again before bringing up a question.
6. It's not a bad thing to be OC.
But not to the extremes of course. Just be mindful of details. In film, this is very important especially on continuity. You'll regret it in post production if not.
Every minute detail - a prop placing, an accessory, the manner a sleeve is folded, etc. - everything is important. No big or small deal. When you neglect the little details, you'll fail to do a perfect (or even excellent) job.
No matter how exhausting it is, always maintain a high level energy. If you are starting out like I am, in working with experienced (and some veteran) people, early on, you have to show them that you don't only have potential, you also have impeccable work ethics.
8. Do it - even if it's not your job.
What I mean is, if you have to take over something which is not your job, just GO! People will see how well-rounded you are and you have what it takes.
During the shoot, my boyfriend had to leave so I took over the documentation. And to my surprise, I now have something to put on a portfolio (some of my shots were chosen)! How sweet is that!
See? Opportunities may just come your way just because you helped out or just because you were willing to learn and do something though it's not your cup of tea. Scared that you can't do it well? Don't worry, you just have to do it right.
I had a minor part on the film but sadly, I was edited out. Haha. Despite that, I was offered to attend a CCP acting workshop
because I registered well on cam "daw". Bonnga di ba?!
9. Make friends.
As the project ends, make sure you keep a person you can truly be friends with. It's not just about "connections" with people who can give you future jobs. A heart to heart connection - you know what I mean, people you can still talk to, hang out and have fun with (kahit isa lang).
1st photo: New found friend Ryza! She's part of Trilogy team. She even asked me to intern there! Gosh. Unfortunately school made me reject a really good offer. Aaaw.