While in rehab, actor Shia LaBoeuf wrote a script about his fraught relationship with his father as a child star on a Disney show. Alma came on to develop the project which became the critically acclaimed film HONEY BOY. She talks about working with actors to transcend their experiences, capturing complex shots with her cinematographer, and how the filmmaker's connection to a story translates to the screen. 

Key Insights

  • As a director, you have the opportunity to explore what the truth means to a subject and create something new from the pain and memories.
  • Each actor you direct needs something different, which can include helping them find their truth, being a friend, or being an enemy, someone to rebel against. Most important, allow your actors to find the space to be vulnerable, present and connected to the material.
  • It takes time in the writing, shooting and editing process to find the story and right ending for your film. As an example, Alma re-shot the ending, and used the original footage of the ending as a dream sequence.
  • Use your prep time to plan with your DP, going through the script and discussing the intention of each scene, the stylized elements of the film, the color palette and complex shots you need.
  • As a director, you have a responsibility to your subject, your actors, and your story. Having an authentic connection to your subject can be felt by the audience and is something sacred to share. 

Director/ Producer/ Founder, Free the Bid
Alma Har'el is a film and music video director, best known for her documentaries LOVETRUE and BOMBAY BEACH, the latter of which was awarded the top prize at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, was nominated for a Film Independent Spirit Award, and has been taught in Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab and Film Center as a “genre-redefining work.” Har'el received the Special Jury Award for Vision and Craft at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival awards. more...

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