Priceless Film Production Tips from Eric Roberts

On Set with Eric Roberts

I was fortunate to be on set with Eric Roberts when I co-produced the psychic thriller, Scavenger Killers with critically acclaimed screenwriter and co-producer Kenneth Del Vecchio.

It was a great opportunity to learn from a seasoned actor who has been in countless movies and television shows and also nominated for an Academy award.

5 Film Production Tips from Eric Roberts

Here are some priceless tips he gave me while on set and I’m passing them along to you because he made a point to make sure I was taking notes:

1.  Cue Cards:  Always use cue cards instead of a teleprompter for actors because it is much easier for the actor to move around and act with cue cards. Why? Because the person holding the cue cards can move with the actor whereas the teleprompter must stay stationary and restricts the actor’s ability to move freely.  Regardless of which one you use, allow the actor enough time to rehearse with the cue cards or teleprompter before filming so that they get used to it.

2.  Fun on Set:  Always have fun on set no matter what is going on.  One of his ways to lighten the mood was to make a trumpeting sound before he started each new movie take.  It effortlessly broke the tension and lightened the mood.

3.  Cater to Your Stars:  Keep your movie stars happy and get them everything they need on set so they can do what they do best without getting stressed. That may mean a little work ahead of time. Call their agents or managers and ask them what they require on set.  Do they need a gym? Do they have special eating requirements?  Do they have a special drink they like?  You’ll be much better off if you address these things ahead of time so that you can plan ahead and enjoy their company rather than running in different directions last minute to attend to their needs. Also make sure you have a car ready at all times to take your stars where they want to go the moment they are done filming.

4.  Wardrobe:  Wardrobe your actors at least the day before they go on camera so you can deal with any wardrobe issues without racing the clock and without stressing out the actors. If you have any wardrobe issues that cannot be fixed before the filming starts, then adjust your camera angles so that any ill fitting parts of the wardrobe do not appear on film.

5.  Removing the Suit JacketWhen you film an actor seated at a desk, it is sometimes wise to take off the suit jacket or it will bunch up and appear sloppy on camera. If the jacket is critical to the scene, you can drape it on the chair he is sitting on or on a nearby hanger.

Thank you Eric Roberts for your seasoned advice!

Copyright © 2012 by Beth Rosen

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