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A Script Is No Longer Enough: Why First-Time Feature Directors Must Make a Proof-of-Concept

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Hollywood’s narrow focus on producing $150 million-and-up tent-poles, the spec script is no longer enough to get your project up and running. So what else do you need?

Cue the proof-of-concept video. Simply stated, a proof-of-concept is a scene from your feature film script, shot and fashioned into a short. Its purpose is to provide an example of the writing, directing and cinematography that will go into the feature, as well as demonstrate the film’s viability on the big screen.

The biggest hurdle you will encounter these days, as you set about a career in directing, is the Catch-22 that is intrinsically involved in the pursuit. It’s not easy to direct a short film, but it is a great deal easier than directing a feature film. So, the question is: How do you get to direct your first feature film? And the answer that everyone who asks that question gets: You have to direct one first.

Well, that doesn’t make any sense. After all, how did the directors who are currently working in the industry get to be where they are? The proof-of-concept is, in the present era, the entrée that humors such a thing—it allows investors to hedge their bets and limit their risk. This business is currently all about risk management. In the current climate, it’s safe to say that you probably cannot direct your feature script unless you have already shot a proof-of-concept, particularly if you’re a first-time feature director.

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Editor in Chief @TheCruu.com

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