Author Topic: About to make a movie...  (Read 7706 times)

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Jeremy Blackman

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« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2004, 12:28:29 AM »
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Quote from: Cinephile
I think this is obvious, but if the actors are your good friends, don't be polite and say "okay good take" if it wasn't really to your liking.

That was my mistake.
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Link

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« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2004, 01:35:54 PM »
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Tru dat.

kotte

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« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2004, 10:32:15 PM »
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I shot a 35mm short in February. Not bragging, just hightening the fact that it was a pretty big short film production.

Here's 2 minute crappy behind-the-scenes footage i've posted before.
Behind the scenes
Right-click. Save as...

Here's the shot we're talking about in the behind-footage.
Trailer
Right-click. Save as...


I'm not gonna give you advice but tell you what I did. First of all everyone worked for free. So what did I do?
I got on the set 45 minutes before everyone else. The day before we dropped of the equiment at the location. Fucking $150000 worth of equipment. I brought the prime lenses home. Couldn't leave those spite the security.
As said, I got on the set 45 minutes before everyone else. I carried the lenses inside the house. I was alone. I made breakfast. As people dropped in between 7 am and 9 am they had as much food and coffee they wanted. Everyone was happy.
I had my Co-producer be in charge of the 15+ extras we had on set. He took care of them. They all felt well-treated. Important.
Lunch-break. As much chicken, sandwiches, pancakes and muffins the 30+ team wanted. Everyone was happy.
I had one actor be on set 8:30 am. She shot her first scene 4 pm. Had to keep her busy and happy. Important.
Make every single person on set matter. If they don't (why are they even there?) make them believe they are.
Be open to suggestions from everyone. Care about everyone. Care about what extra no. 7 did yesterday and what her plans are for the future.

Sounds like you should care about anything but the film? Absolutely not! I'm telling you: Preproduction! Know exactly what you want. Know every beat of the script and performances. Know where to put the camera. If you feel secure in these areas when you get on set you can put more energy in keeping your UNPAID crew happy (and not leaving).


Talk to everyone!

cine

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« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2004, 03:12:14 AM »
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Yeah, you're quite welcome, Walrus.

Recce

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« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2004, 06:13:39 PM »
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Well, you guys have covered pretty much everything, but I will go back and point out how important the sound is, as Ghostboy pointed out. I had a short doc I shot in March and I had a lot of trouble with the sound. Not so much because it was a difficult situation, but because my sound recordist jsut did not give a shit. It was me and her, we were the crew, and the guy we were doing the doc about. I drove out to the middle of nowhere to pick her up at 5 am and bought her breakfast (even though this was an assignment she was handing in for school as well, so she wasn't really doing me a favor). All she did was bitch and complain about how I made her get up so early. She only had to shoot on two seperate days, and then transfer the audio from DAT to CD so I could do the editing and maybe I would have needed her help to clean it up a bit later on. Well, she did a half assed job recording the sound, then ran out of DAT tapes cause she only bought one after I specifically said we'd need at least 4 or 5, what with the interview footage. Then, I went into post  production for a month while she was supposed to be transfering the audio to CD. But she didn't do it. So finally, when I did ask her for the audio, she said she couldn't get any time in the audio lab because it was all booked solid, since she had not reserved any time. By the time we did get in, the machine used to transfer DAT tapes was broken, so she couldn't do it. She ended up throwing together this horrible sound with the audio from the built in mike that sounded like we sat the guy in a giant can and said her job was done. I ended up redoing it from home and did a way better job, despite my limited knowledge and experience with sound, and she got a better grade for the assignment in her sound class then I did in my TV prod. class. I guess this isn't really advice as it is me just venting out my frustration. And today, she asked what our next project was going to be, because she has more assignments to hand in. If I wasn't such an idiot I would tell her where to shove it.
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matt35mm

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« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2004, 08:06:28 PM »
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Oh man, working with people who don't care or want to work (who are just taken in by the glamour of moviemaking) is Bad News.

mutinyco

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« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2004, 11:14:36 PM »
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You've all missed the most important thing. You need to make everybody believe in you and the project. If you have that, people will go out of their way for you.
"I believe in this, and it's been tested by research: he who fucks nuns will later join the church."

-St. Joe

meatball

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« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2004, 01:35:08 AM »
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Quote from: mutinyco
You've all missed the most important thing. You need to make everybody believe in you and the project. If you have that, people will go out of their way for you.


Exactly. I just got off a shoot where the director was aimless. The actors knew it, the crew knew it -- and without that strong vision and just knowing what the hell you want, nobody is going to want to stay around, especially if it's no pay.

Just to add to that, you earn somebody's belief in you and your project because you know what you want -- not because your set is nice and friendly and relaxing. I've been on plenty of relaxing sets where little work was done. The worst thing you can do on the set is keep people waiting around doing nothing at all.

Pubrick

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« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2004, 07:06:31 AM »
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Quote from: meatballing
The worst thing you can do on the set is keep people waiting around doing nothing at all.

dude, that's basically all a set is.
under the paving stones.

metroshane

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« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2004, 07:38:22 AM »
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We didn't do much dallying.  When anyone was feeling like we weren't moving on, they'd yell (in a thick German accent) "Shoooot!"

It's a reference to Texas Chainsaw Massacre and it was our friendly little way of saying "all right I'm ready to go home so let's get this done." It's a little comic relief and gets the message across.  Of course we did quite a bit of making up our own lingo to confuse the cast.  Our favorite was the T&A shot.  You know "tight and angular".
We live in an age that reads too much to be intelligent and thinks too much to be beautiful.

meatball

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« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2004, 03:09:55 PM »
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Quote from: Pubrick
Quote from: meatballing
The worst thing you can do on the set is keep people waiting around doing nothing at all.

dude, that's basically all a set is.


Not my sets.  :P

ono

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« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2004, 05:51:03 PM »
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Quote from: metroshane
Our favorite was the T&A shot.  You know "tight and angular".

lolz.  Remind me to steal borrow that for my next shoot.

I like it when the director is organized and self-sacrificing.  On small shoots, it's really the director's film, so he should be depended on for organization.  No one else can do it for him.  This is from experience.  So know what you want, be organized, (i.e. move your own damn equipment, have scenes set up ahead of time, etc.), and be nice to those who are helping you.  This is probably just a rehash of what everyone else is saying, but it's worth repeating.

Recce

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« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2004, 09:33:29 PM »
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So far, all the projects I direct I work on as videographer, too. I guess I'll have to let that go at some point, but it's so damn fun. Anyways, it gets a bit hard to motivate the rest of my crew, since I always want to do everything myself. It's not that I don't trust anyone else to do it right (well, yes it is) but I just love doing it.
"The idea had been growing in my brain for some time: TRUE force. All the king's men
                         cannot put it back together again." (Travis Bickle, "Taxi Driver")

Reinhold

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Re: About to make a movie...
« Reply #28 on: April 11, 2006, 10:02:59 PM »
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pre-production whine-venting:

i'm shooting this week on 16mm. i'm nervous. i'm the DP. i have no experience on film, even stills.

i know enough to remove the lens cap, set the focus, and check the gate. i've never used a light meter before, but i'll read up thoroughly on how to do it and i won't shoot until i'm sure about something. i know i won't do anything half-assed. i'm just worried about trying my hardest and still fucking up out of sheer ignorance resulting from being new to this whole thing.

using a filter improperly, not knowing how dark a shadow will have to be to show up, how to correctly frame the close-ups he wants with my lens (minimal focal distance of 6ft... i've got a filter that's supposed to help if i set it up correctly). there's no sound, but he does want a fair number of tight shots that will be hard for somebody with no acting experience to pull off with confidence.

i've told this all to the writer/director that i'm working with, but i don't think he gets it-- he says things like "it'll be great. but if it's totally over/underexposed we'll start from scratch." there doesn't seem to be any middle ground in the way he's thinking about it, so if we do it and it's only mediocre (and i think it will be), but not totally over/under exposed, i think it'll fall into the total disappointment category.

he says he knows where he wants to shoot, but doesn't have a clear idea of where exactly or when in the day. he didn't write the parts specifically for these actors, they're just who's around. the director of this project is a good friend and i don't mean to sound i think like he's an idiot. i think he just doesn't realize how much planning necessarily has to go into this type of thing.

keeping actors happy is no problem. they're his mom and brother. sigh. i'm the crew. it's only a 3-minute project. perhaps i'm worrying too much about what will probably just amount to an amateur project shot on 16mm b/w reversal as opposed to mini DV.

we only spent $60 on film, and it'll be another $60 to get it processed... then we'll look at it to see if it's worth transferring to digital. so it's not a huge deal financially, i just really don't want to fuck this up. whine whine whine.

the good news is that we're going to shoot it on friday unless rain is forecast. we're going up to his house tomorrow morning, so there'll be plenty of time to get locations solidified (nowhere public) and get specific shots mapped out. i'll also read up on some of the questions i have about the nuts and bolts of cinematography. i didn't expect to be doing this thing for another month at least.

i kind of wish there was a holiday inn express around.

Obviously what you are doing right now is called (in my upcoming book of psychology at least) validation. I think it's a normal thing to do. People will reply, say anything, and then you're gonna do what you were subconsciently thinking of doing all along.

ono

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Re: About to make a movie...
« Reply #29 on: April 11, 2006, 11:55:02 PM »
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How did you get roped into being DP on a film when you've never done it before?  You need that experience.  I'm telling you nothing you don't know.  Have you even touched a film camera before?  If not, you're sorta-kinda fucked.

I don't mean to be foreboding or anything, but I was DP on a shoot a while back, and it takes a while to warm up to your camera, especially depending on how old it is.  That you've never used a light meter is kinda scary.  Be sure you set it properly to the speed of your film before you shoot a single frame.  You'll need a tape measurer and depth of field chart to set focus too.  Those were just crutches we used on our shoot 'cause we were beginners at the time, and from what I've read, you are too.  Our professor also told us to adjust the light meter one way or another to account for the type of film we were using, but it was a year ago, so I don't remember which way we adjusted the dial.  I bring this up not to confuse you, but it's just something else to be aware of.  The way he put it, manufacturers "lie" about the actual speed of film and an adjustment to the light meter can help matters in certain cases.  You're shooting outside, which definitely makes things easier 'cause there's more light.  I hope what I've said helps you a bit.  Don't let the technical bits about the light meter confuse you too much.  Maybe someone else with a little more working knowledge can illuminate it more.

I wish there was something else we could say to help.  I realize you're just venting and that should be help enough.  But if I were you, I'd read all you can in these last minutes, just so you can do your part to make things go better.

 

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