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matt35mm

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Simple premise.
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2005, 04:53:29 PM »
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Quote from: M
I found the opposite to be true. People didn't care enough. Either they're flirting with each other, or they're just slackers. I was steering the boat and although I was in command, I was in charge of people who didn't know left from right.

I got along with those filmmakers you mentioned, because they did have a clear idea of what should be done and how to get it done. They had the drive and the respect to do their alotted roles. And we never clashed because everybody knew that on that project, the director was king. They actually provided me with a lot of good suggestions that improved my projects. But this is two people out of twenty.

I should clarify that I meant your most trusted people, who you know will be on task and have the same goals as you do for the movie--really just wanting to make the movie as good as can be.  A lot of people are often excited about movies and filmmaking, but they're really sloppy and half-assed when it comes to doing their job when it comes down to it--this is my experience anyway.  They're way too seduced by the glamour of making a movie, and not really interested in the work, especially pre-production; all that boring stuff that has to be done before you shoot a single frame.

I've just had the best experience with using people that I know and love and who are eager to make this the best movie it can be and aren't afraid of the hard work, with whom I also have a personal shorthand with.  I can communicate with them in a way so that they can absolutely understand what I'm going for.  I find that communication to be more difficult with other filmmakers, but then again, I've never met any other very serious filmmakers--they were all just very amateur people.  THEY thought they were serious, but they really weren't.  They were just easily excitable with regards to the idea of movie making, again, without any real will to work.

So all I can really do is reiterate that it all depends on the people that you surround yourself with.  20 people loafing around is going to hurt the movie.  You frankly probably would've been better off with just those two other people.  Have as many people as you can who share your vision and attitude, and eliminate everybody else.  As a producer, you want to get rid of any fat in your production.

meatball

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« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2005, 06:23:56 PM »
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Quote from: matt35mm
So all I can really do is reiterate that it all depends on the people that you surround yourself with.  20 people loafing around is going to hurt the movie.  You frankly probably would've been better off with just those two other people.  Have as many people as you can who share your vision and attitude, and eliminate everybody else.  As a producer, you want to get rid of any fat in your production.


I agree. I meant two people I could really depend on out of a pool of twenty classmates who I'd regularly be grouped together with. All I've ever experienced was a reliable camera operator, actors, and myself. Everybody else was just fat on the bones.

I also noticed the whole phenomena of just being caught up in the glamour of movie making. It's incredibly annoying, as they don't get any work done and would rather just sit around and talk about nothing related to the actual production.

Pubrick

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« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2005, 03:32:17 AM »
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the glamour of movie making.

i wonder if u've ever made a movie.
endless 'nothing is what it seems'-isms

socketlevel

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« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2005, 09:59:15 AM »
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seriously tho, how awesome was my premise, it works as a play too.


only thing is he should start elbowing himself in the balls instead of a punch to the throat.  and it goes on too long, like uncomfortably too long so it's not just slapstick.  he proceeds to do this until he passes out.

-sl-

M, i think you've met the wrong people, and shit i've been in your situation it's horrible.   however, sometimes all they need is to be inspired.  one of the greatest jobs as a director is to convince other people that they want what you want.  and you'll get all that much farther (and they will be all that more dedicated) if you let them think they thought of the idea you just gave them.  then they'll feel like it's their thing, which is essential.  and that's only speaking of the people that don't seem to have any ideas or their ideas kinda suck shit.  

but... if you ever start to think everyone's ideas suck shit then you might want to look over yourself, because you might be the problem (and i mean the royal you, liket the editorial).  I found i was doing that a bit in the past so i started actually listening to peoples ideas and opinions.  but sometimes the situation just sucks and the people are not dependable so i hear ya.

matt35mm, are you all about the auteur thing?  I don't need people to think i'm the cat's meow or something, and agree with every point i make.  i think it's important to have the ability i mention above and it's kinda manipulative, but sometimes people just have a better idea, or a clearer idea that just brings the scene together.  and shit, whatever makes the film better i'm happy with.  i think a film can be interesting when it's the amalgimation from a group of different creative energies.  it is a collaborative form foremost and directing is about micro managing, not dictating.  is all you want a bunch of pawns and grunts or something? not opinions.
the one last hit that spent you...

kotte

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« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2005, 11:02:18 AM »
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I'm gonna watch The Big Lebowski now...

meatball

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« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2005, 12:29:37 PM »
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Quote from: Pubrick
Quote from: M
the glamour of movie making.

i wonder if u've ever made a movie.


I don't wonder with you.

Julius Orange

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« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2005, 02:20:45 PM »
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Quote from: M
Quote from: Pubrick
Quote from: M
the glamour of movie making.

i wonder if u've ever made a movie.


I don't wonder with you.

Ooh! Have you seen his movies plz msn me to send. my msn is in the sig.  :wink: I'd also like your movies. As many as possible to take up space on my drive. My drive has to look really full or my boss gets angry at mne all the time. u]THIS GOES FOR EVERYONE[/u]

Thanks!
email your opinnumber to NEW EMAIL juliusorange@gmail.com

matt35mm

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Simple premise.
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2005, 04:35:35 PM »
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Quote from: socketlevel
matt35mm, are you all about the auteur thing?  I don't need people to think i'm the cat's meow or something, and agree with every point i make.  i think it's important to have the ability i mention above and it's kinda manipulative, but sometimes people just have a better idea, or a clearer idea that just brings the scene together.  and shit, whatever makes the film better i'm happy with.  i think a film can be interesting when it's the amalgimation from a group of different creative energies.  it is a collaborative form foremost and directing is about micro managing, not dictating.  is all you want a bunch of pawns and grunts or something? not opinions.

I'm not at all about the auteur thing--I disagree with it.  I'm the kind of guy who would never put "A Matt Latham Film" or "A Film By Matt Latham" on the credits.  Filmmaking, for me, is an absolutely collaborative process--which is why it's INSANELY IMPORTANT who is involved in the movie.  It's why I'm extremely selective about who gets involved with the production.  I hire the crew as a Producer, not as a Director.

There needs to be a guide, a focus--and that's the director--but the film is made by everyone on that set.  When I say that I don't like working with other filmmakers, it's because I've only had negative experiences with the ones that I know--they're the ones who think that suicide is deep, man, or just want to make messy silly movies.  When I say that I'm making a movie, my experience is that the people who jump up and go, "Hey can I be in it?" or "Can I do whatever on it?" etc. are not the people I want.  I just never want to work with anyone that I secretly think is an idiot.  I have to respect my collaborators.  And I do, very much so, for our current production, which is making this whole process very comfortable and focused.  And they're not a bunch of Yes-Men, and they constantly challenge what I'm doing and the words that I've written (which is what I want), and they're almost always good challenges, good points.  They often give great ideas as well.  I've got really smart people who I love and trust working with me--and that's the kind of collaboration that I want.

I think films can hold much more weight and depth and ideas than can be given by any one person, definitely.  And I'm eager for and appreciative of all the great ideas that the cast and crew put into the movie.  There's so much great stuff that I just can't think of, and so I'd never get in the way of letting anybody in the movie bring something to the table that will make the movie better.  I try to make it clear to everyone in the production that this isn't just my movie--it really IS our movie.  It's become a very organic process and I rarely have to put my foot down or argue with or yell at anyone; we all just get together and discuss everything as much as possible, and there really will be a bit of all of us in the final movie.

meatball

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« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2005, 04:39:42 PM »
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When I say that I'm making a movie, my experience is that the people who jump up and go, "Hey can I be in it?" or "Can I do whatever on it?" etc. are not the people I want.  I just never want to work with anyone that I secretly think is an idiot.


Enthusiastic people are idiots, or is it because you have no knowledge of the person and what they're capable of? Once you start working on professional sets, you're constantly working with complete strangers. And enthusiasm is often a rare thing, the sense I get is that many of the people are doing it just to add something to their resume or make a few new friends. The only person who really cares is the director because they're putting the fate of their careers into the film.

matt35mm

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Simple premise.
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2005, 04:50:43 PM »
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The only person who really cares is the director because they're putting the fate of their careers into the film.

See, this is the problem.  If they don't care, then they should be off the set.  Simple as that.  This is Our Movie.  This is Our Work of Art.  How can one make art without caring?  This is why you need to be very careful about selecting your cast and crew--you need people that you can feel comfortable with putting the movie in their hands, and then you have to just really put the movie in their hands and trust them, not dictate or micro-manage.  You GUIDE them.  That's direction.

It's just that enthusiam does not equal care.  Enthusiam equals "omigosh, like, movies are so cool and I think it would be, like, interesting to work on one?"

meatball

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« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2005, 05:06:30 PM »
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Quote from: matt35mm
Quote from: M
The only person who really cares is the director because they're putting the fate of their careers into the film.

See, this is the problem.  If they don't care, then they should be off the set.  Simple as that.


Not for a union grip who's making his living. He doesn't need to care about the integrity of the scene where the lead actor experiences an epiphany. He just needs to know how to place the lights and rig shit better than anybody else on the set. Are you going to bump him off the set for the passionate artist?

Quote from: matt35mm
This is Our Movie.  This is Our Work of Art.  How can one make art without caring?  This is why you need to be very careful about selecting your cast and crew--you need people that you can feel comfortable with putting the movie in their hands, and then you have to just really put the movie in their hands and trust them, not dictate or micro-manage.  You GUIDE them.  That's direction.


This is great if you're a student filmmaker. Even if you are a student filmmaker making your first serious short film, you hire the best DP in town or the best Production Designer in town. They don't necessarily need to love your movie, though it helps. From my experience, they mostly just want to work.

Quote from: matt35mm
It's just that enthusiam does not equal care.  Enthusiam equals "omigosh, like, movies are so cool and I think it would be, like, interesting to work on one?"


If you pulled people off Universal City Walk and pointed a camera at them and told them they'd be on American Idol, that's the common response. You need professionals, first and foremost, who will do the job.

A lot of behind the scenes docs (i.e. Lord of the Rings) make it seem like everybody is one big creative happy family. In the end, everybody is doing a job as best as they possibly can. That's caring. Enthusiasm for the movie motivates them to do their job even better.

The only people I can think of who are truly about "This Is Our Movie, This Is Our Work of Art" are Andy Warhol and his crew of merry artists.

jtm

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« Reply #26 on: May 11, 2005, 05:19:33 PM »
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M is right in everything he just said.

meatball

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« Reply #27 on: May 11, 2005, 06:35:22 PM »
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Posted in size 9 because it's a damn long post.

Quote from: socketlevel
M, i think you've met the wrong people, and shit i've been in your situation it's horrible.   however, sometimes all they need is to be inspired.  one of the greatest jobs as a director is to convince other people that they want what you want.  and you'll get all that much farther (and they will be all that more dedicated) if you let them think they thought of the idea you just gave them.  then they'll feel like it's their thing, which is essential.  and that's only speaking of the people that don't seem to have any ideas or their ideas kinda suck shit.


Well, I was forced to work with these people because of the classroom situation. I admit, maybe they lax'd off because I wasn't playing teacher to them. I was their classmate, their peer, and I wasn't yelling at them through a speakerphone. Thus, the flirting and the overall casualness of things. When I needed something of them, I'd just direct: "Hey, Joe.. Put that plant over there would you? And Mary, deflect the light over here a little bit." I'm not going to subtly manipulate Joe into moving the plant by himself. Waste of energy.

Despite their casual attitudes, my crew members did think of a lot of ideas themselves that I hadn't thought of. I'd like to think it was because they saw the director in creative spirits, getting work done. Not because I was trying to consciously guide them. The only guidance I do is with my actors. Everyone else shouldn't need my guidance, they should just do their jobs.

Quote from: socketlevel
but... if you ever start to think everyone's ideas suck shit then you might want to look over yourself, because you might be the problem (and i mean the royal you, liket the editorial).  I found i was doing that a bit in the past so i started actually listening to peoples ideas and opinions.  but sometimes the situation just sucks and the people are not dependable so i hear ya.


All of my classmates were creative, intelligent people, thank god. I never thought their ideas sucked shit at all. They just didn't have a solid work ethic, because it was still a group project to them with a bunch of friends. The results were great, and we all had an enjoyable time doing it.

I wasn't too keen on forming a set heirarchy. I've been on amateur/student sets that had very strict heirarchy and it's just damn oppressive. I don't get off on the power trip of being a director. I get off on what I'm actually capturing with the camera.

It seems like you guys know what works for you when directing a crew. I'm of a totally different mindset. It's not my priority to direct the crew. I care about what's in front of the camera. All I want from the crew is to take my directions and not slack off.

Likewise, when I'm a crewmember -- a good director is one that knows what they want. Period. They tell me what to do, I'll do it. I'll do things for a director who's clueless, but I won't like it. And only because I'm obligated. I'll detect and resent any type of subtle manipulation or power tripping that's directed towards me as a crewmember. It's not necessary at all.

So, yes, I suppose avoid the casual enthusiasts who don't expect making a movie is going to be hard work. But don't allow yourself to believe it's one communical artistic orgy. It's sweat and pain and boredom and long hours.[/size]

matt35mm

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« Reply #28 on: May 11, 2005, 09:17:06 PM »
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Quote from: M
Not for a union grip who's making his living. He doesn't need to care about the integrity of the scene where the lead actor experiences an epiphany. He just needs to know how to place the lights and rig shit better than anybody else on the set. Are you going to bump him off the set for the passionate artist?

I would.  I guess what I said needs to be revised a bit--of course I want somebody who is damn good at their job.  But I do want everyone to care about the integrity of the movie they're working on.  I want everyone involved more creatively.  Yeah, there are the people who just do the job, like any other job, lugging things around with no real care about the specific movie they're working on.  But this is not the set that I want to run.  Not to mention, I will always want to work with a small crew instead of a large crew.  I try to avoid situations where I'd need to hire a guy just to lug things around without thinking about anything.  All I have experience with at this point is independent film, where your sound guy can help you carry this thing and can give his ideas on the scene and can suggest an interesting angle or help out with location scouting, etc.  Now, maybe that doesn't make him an artist, but he's still working on a piece of art, and should care about its artistic integrity.  I don't want the vibe of "I'm the cinematographer, I'm not gonna do this other job, I'm not gonna lug this around, or help with sound..."

Quote from: M
This is great if you're a student filmmaker. Even if you are a student filmmaker making your first serious short film, you hire the best DP in town or the best Production Designer in town. They don't necessarily need to love your movie, though it helps. From my experience, they mostly just want to work.

What's the best DP in town who's not an artist who cares about the artistic integrity of what he or she is working on?  Damn right I want the best, but not in exchange for a cold attitude.  And if they don't love the movie, then I want them involved in making it better.

Quote from: M
Quote from: matt35mm
It's just that enthusiam does not equal care.  Enthusiam equals "omigosh, like, movies are so cool and I think it would be, like, interesting to work on one?"


If you pulled people off Universal City Walk and pointed a camera at them and told them they'd be on American Idol, that's the common response. You need professionals, first and foremost, who will do the job.

A lot of behind the scenes docs (i.e. Lord of the Rings) make it seem like everybody is one big creative happy family. In the end, everybody is doing a job as best as they possibly can. That's caring. Enthusiasm for the movie motivates them to do their job even better.

The only people I can think of who are truly about "This Is Our Movie, This Is Our Work of Art" are Andy Warhol and his crew of merry artists.

I'm not even talking about random people off of Universal City Walk--I'm talking about people who think that they're interested in filmmaking but are really just film fans, who have tons of enthusiam but no will to do all the non-glam things movie-making.  It's hard freakin' work, and a big committment.  That seems to fly by most people's heads, in my experience, which, granted, is not vast with regards to professionals.

I certainly believe that there was that vibe of a big happy creative family on the LOTR set.  That paragraph, as far as I can tell, proves exactly what I'm trying to say, except that to me, "enthusiasm" just has a negative connotation of empty excitement.  "Passion" is what I'm looking for over my idea of "enthusiasm."  So I want a crew who care about the movie, which helps them to do their job better, over "the best DP in town" who doesn't give a shit.  Especially in that case, since the Director/DP relationship is one of the most important on set.

And hey, what's wrong with my wanting to be like Andy Warhol and his merry band of artists?  I might not be as bi-fucking-zarre, but I would like my crew to be just as merry.  I do not in any way mean to imply that I would want my film set to be any less professional than a "real" movie set.  Perhaps my description sounded like it'd make for a sloppy film set, with a bunch of random friends just throwing in ideas.  But really, it's very organized, and at the same time, it's very organic.  It's a small crew, with very good communication.  There are no confusing politics, there are no manipulations of anybody, no behind-their-back stuff.  It's actually a very streamlined, very smooth thing to be involved in.

I take it upon myself to know every job there is on a movie set, and I'm prepping each of my crew members as well as I can, and training them myself, so that they do have knowledge of what they're doing.  With this small of a production, it works, and it works very well, and leads to a purity in the artistic endeavor that I love.  It's just this merry band of people out there making the movie that they want to make, with no one else to answer to.  What helps is having a LOT of pre-production, which we've had, so that when we get on set, we won't be messing around.

But hey, I guess I won't really know until I get there, and maybe I am just be idealistic or nave, but I personally see nothing wrong with this.  Maybe it all depends on the specific people involved, and doesn't work in all cases--but I am so very confident in my crew that I feel very comfortable going into this production and having great vibes and a strong involvement from everyone.  We've all got a responsibility to ourselves to make a movie that we would all be proud to have been a part of, not just to show up and do our job (which most "enthusiastic" people can't even manage to do, it seems).

meatball

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« Reply #29 on: May 11, 2005, 09:28:01 PM »
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Size 9 again, since the post's long.

I'm not saying those who have careers making movies have all become cold automatons who have no passion for films. I'd like to think their love for films brought them to their jobs in the first place. And that's not going to die down just because it's now their work.

And I think the DP should be completely focused on his department. He shouldn't be lugging around equipment with the grips. That's just sloppy and keeps him away from what he should really be thinking about. Let him kick ass at it, and only it.

That's what I like about being involved on any production. It's like a giant machine and everybody acts as a wheel or cog in it. And they nail their alotted role, and that's the harmony I see in it. Not a communal appreciation for the script. I wouldn't want to work with a director who demands that I love his script. Yea, I like it, but first I'll get my job done. Or I don't like it, I'll still get my job done just the same. I'll do a damn good job because I like what I do. I'm not really doing this for the lovely script.

I'm just stressing that it's work, hard work. Not a crew that all adores the script they're working on. Hard, grueling work gets the movie made. So when you're making your short, focus on the work. Not how passionate you're feeling, because I don't know how long you can sustain that wonderful passion when you can't get a sound guy to properly record sound like he should.

You don't get a miracle by getting everyone into the spirit of it all, you make it happen by getting people together who can make it happen.

 

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