How To Shoot A Feature Film With A Cast & Crew Of One

Is it possible to be taken seriously as a first-time filmmaker if your director, DOP, camera operator, sound recordist, driver, fixer, logistics manager, stills photographer, voiceover artist and lead talent are all the same person?

James Newton and Tom Allen think it’s possible, and they’ve got some very convincing evidence to prove it. In this Q&A, they talk about their feature documentary Janapar, and how Tom went from having never picked up a video camera to shooting a Raindance-selected feature film – in the space of a single project.

Read on at tomsbiketrip.com →


6 comments on “How To Shoot A Feature Film With A Cast & Crew Of One”:

  1. Tom Allen

    James and I are both happy to respond to any more questions you might have. Please drop them into the comments thread below…

    Reply
  2. Matt Galat

    Its funny how life works sometimes. A person may ask a question, and moments later an answer pops up in the least likely place. As far as this article goes, I was sitting in my bed wondering how, as an aspiring and dedicated filmmaker, am I going to actually capture the essence of my upcoming journey. In a roundabout search I run into your article, and up comes suggestions and answers to my questions, from someone that was knee deep in it. Thanks Tom and James.

    One question. When you say shoot for the edit in the beginning.. do you mean that you were actually shooting “setup” shots… like… “today I am about to go into a village… I hope it is wonderful!!”? Instead of letting the camera roll and seeing where things fell? I tend to walk into a situation and then try to figure out how it best looks on lens then setup and shoot. But I wonder if I am doing it wrong from your point of view. My trip is going to be world wide in scale and cover 5 years and 100+ countries, so I don’t want to look back and say… “darn… I should have ….”

    Ok… another question… If you could go back now… and do it all over… would you have more cameras to get contrasting angles? Like a gopro… had it existed when you started? I am going with my best friend and figure we both need diary cameras as well as a cinematic camera… my 5D mark3. It’s a bike trip… so I think I will run into the same issues you, tom, have with regards to space and logistics…

    I have been gathering steam reading thru all your blog posts… and wish you the best. Look for my posts popping up here and there…

    All the best,
    Matt Galat

    Reply
  3. Jamie

    I am sitting in an internet cafe in Turkey after having just purchase Janapar. I am waiting for it to download onto my camera memory card and I very much look forward to watching it this evening. Thanks for taking the time to share this story.

    Reply
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