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Things I’ve Learned as a Moviemaker

Things I’ve Learned as a Moviemaker

Articles - Screenwriting

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Bruce Greenwood
Philip Seymour Hoffman and Bruce Greenwood star in Bennett Miller’s Capote (2005). Photo: Sony Pictures Classics.

Stick to a schedule.

Don’t over cut. If a project goes on too long in post it gets a smell on it that won’t go away.

Go through every phase.

Do a complete to script cut to understand all of the intentions of the writer before restructuring. Understand the intended architecture before renovations.

Keep a fresh view at all times.

Try to look at each cut or version as if it’s the first time you’ve seen it.

Be open to good advice and the opinions of others but always keep your own perspective.

Try to surprise yourself.

Keep it spontaneous. Avoid a laminated feel.

Improvisation is great when it is integrated and undetectable.

You can always find a way to fix a beginning or middle but altering an ending is trickiest.

Less is more.

Don’t over explain. The audience is always smarter than you think. Comb a performance for consistent quirks; on-screen reality is about believable character behavior.

Find the mystique within the piece or the character you are working on and exploit it.

Filmography for Chris Tellefsen:

Perfect Stranger (2006)
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006)
Capote (2005)
The Village (2004)
The Human Stain (2003)
Changing Lanes (2002)
Birthday Girl (2001)
Man on the Moon (1999)
Analyze This (1999)
Legionnaire (19980
Chinese Box (1997)
Gummo (1997)
The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)
Flirting with Disaster (1996)
Blue in the Face (1995)
Smoke (1995)
Kids (1995)
Barcelona (1994)
Darkness in Tallinn (1993)
Jumpin’ at the Boneyard (1992)
Metropolitan (1990)
The Color of Money (1986) (Assistant Editor)

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