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Mark Allen
Director , Screenwriter , Composer
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You Want Despite Doing Nothing

You're sitting at home.

You want to do something, but you don't know what.  You want to go somewhere, but you're not sure where.

The car is outside waiting.  You're inside doing nothing but acknowledging your desire to do something. 

What do you do?

You must think about something that makes you happy.  How to narrow it down?  Look around you - take in outside information.

You have thought about shopping or eating something or maybe hanging out with a friend (though you...Read more

about 16 years ago 0 likes  24 comments  0 shares

Misunderstanding Role Models

I think there is a huge misunderstanding of how role modeling works.

There is an inordinate amount of worry spent about the images presented to children, the assumption being kids should be exposed to heroes and good behavīor in order to become good people.

What this theory totally misses is that role modeling is about how more than what.

As humans, we search for definitions for ourselves.  This is pretty clear if you think about how many fans at games wear the team colors, how many music fans buy the T-s...Read more

about 16 years ago 0 likes  14 comments  0 shares

1000 True Fans

Kevin Kelly wrote an article about how creative artists can build enough of a fan base in order to support themselves and their craft.

His basic premise is that while most everyone dreams of having millions of fans.  If you remove a lot of the structure from in between the artist and their fans - an artist really only needs 1000 True Fans.  He defines "True Fans" as fans who can't wait to go to their next show or buy their next CD, who would buy a t-shirt or hat from the ar...Read more

about 16 years ago 0 likes  12 comments  0 shares

TV Directing 09: The Shoot 3:30am to 6:15am

3:30 am.  You're already awake.  Somehow you woke up a minute earlier than the alarm which just went off.  You were up until 11pm last night preparing for today.  You jump out of bed and get cleaned up and rush to the set.

5:00am  You arrive at the set 30 minutes before call time so you can walk the location.  You're shooting at a park in the hills today - two locations.  You arrive at base camp.  There are five trucks lined up on the street.  One is a long trailer for actors, one is for administra...Read more

about 16 years ago 0 likes  7 comments  0 shares

TV Directing 08: Who's in Charge

Just a quick note I thought might be a good thing to mention:

Unlike in movies where the director usually has the single most influence on a movie (outside of some producers who are known for their  own branding of movies) - in television, the executive producers / show runners are the people who have the most influence.  Often it is the executive producer's idea to begin with

Above the Executive Producers is the financer or studio who is actually paying for the show.  They usually want the EP (Execu...Read more

about 16 years ago 0 likes  6 comments  0 shares

TV Directing 07: Working With Crew

TV Directing 07: Working With Crew

I'm going to bullet point some tips:

  • If you want to direct, I highly recommend having worked at least 50% of the jobs on the set so you can understand what things are difficult.  Just like I recommend studying acting so you can understand their perspective, the crew are equally important to understand.  You will also have a chance to work  with other directors and see what works and what does not work.

  • Be decisive.  You are leading your crew and...Read more

about 16 years ago 0 likes  11 comments  0 shares

TV Directing 06: Rehearsing

One of the most surprising things for me is how little time you have to rehearse.  In fact, TV schedules are so compressed that sometimes you meet the actors as they are walking onto the set for their first scenes.

My feelings about directing actors is pretty simple.  Keep it simple.  You don't want to fill the actors heads up with any confusing information.  Here are some bullet points of things I find work.

Things you do before you talk to them, but you let them know:

about 16 years ago 0 likes  4 comments  0 shares

TV Directing 05: Shot Order

TV Directing 05:  Shot OrderChoosing an order to shoot is usually based on logistics - but I'm going to bullet point a few things to consider:

1.  If your scene is notably emotional - especially for tears - then shoot the crying person's close ups first.  Who ever has the real moment.  Shoot that close up first, then move to their wider coverage, but the performance will slowly fade.   Generally - people will shoot wide and work their way in because the wide is establishing the action.   This tip is for difficult ...Read more

about 16 years ago 0 likes  4 comments  0 shares

TV Directing 05: Storyboards

TV Directing 05:  Storyboards

I used to storyboard all my shoots meticulously.  Eventually I realized that no matter what you do, you can't draw reality.  The measurements and perspectives you draw always don't match reality - so you spend time trying to match you shots and you miss the opportunities for what exists on the set to use.  I stuck with the storyboarding notion for long enough to try 3D boards with perfect measured precision of actors and locations and it still didn't match reality enough.  There ...Read more

about 16 years ago 0 likes  6 comments  0 shares

TV Directing 04: Blocking

TV Directing 04:  Blocking

The first step of working a scene after the story analysis phase is blocking the actors.  Blocking means "where they actors move."  I will make lots of decisions for the actors, but if at all possible, I like to see what the actor's instincts are.  I might say "Enter the room and get comfortable."  I want to see where their natural path would take them.  Actors know their characters pretty well, my job is to enhance their choices for the drama.

Sometimes, you ignore...Read more

about 16 years ago 0 likes  4 comments  0 shares


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Los Angeles, United States
Member Since
April 13, 2007