Author Topic: making your film  (Read 1880 times)

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A Matter Of Chance

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making your film
« on: July 26, 2006, 03:04:25 PM »
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I was thinking about ways to actually make whatever film you might want to - I'm a bit clueless in thios area. Does anybody here know how to put together a production schedule, manage a shoot, get your hands on a 35mm film camers?

These are aspects that seem daunting to me.

Reinhold

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Re: making your film
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2006, 02:06:09 AM »
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since it's been a while and your "just kidding" hasn't come yet, this may be helpful.

firstly, if you're totally unfamiliar with the basic aspects of planning and executing a shoot, do not start with 35mm.

***all of what's below is in regard to "how to manage a shoot." in my opinion, it's all closely related.

before production:

visit a book store, your local library, a telephone directory, google, and the search function on xixax for the type of guides and information that you want. that will give you a good idea of techniques and tips.

once you feel ready to start, what's most important in pre-production is your attitude.

commit fully to planning. if you're like most beginning filmmakers, you're the all-in-one writer/director/producer/dp. that means that you should plan each job like you would expect individual people to plan them. that means asking yourself questions. aloud, if you have to. whether in the technical, logistical, creative and financial aspects. don't slack in any of these areas. you will pay dearly for laziness. (mini dv grain because you couldn't rent a good camera or sophomoric free actors are one thing, but laziness is another thing entirely.)

 even with my limited experience, i can't stress the importance of planning enough. there'll be enough to think about on set without having to solve problems that should have been taken care of in pre-production. that's what pre-production is for. (watch Day for Night if you haven't already seen it)

plan meticulously. check your plans. get advice on your plans from fresh eyes. then do some more planning. stay extremely organized. take good notes.

 if you're new to shooting, then follow the advice in the books this time out. it will seem like there's a lot of steps that you can skip. try them anyway. don't assume that an organizational tip (unless it's really, really, really ridiculous) is useless unless you have first-hand experience with it. the reason for that is so you can see what works for you first-hand.

eg: i used to think that storyboarding was a waste of time because i can't draw for shit. i thought i'd be covered if i had a solid screenplay and shot list. i tried it with stick figures , shading, and arrows because i had to turn some story boards in for a video class before i could shoot. i used them while shooting because i already had them made. i was surprised to the point of embarassment at how much they helped things move along.

you can be unsure about some things if you compensate accordingly with planning. if you think you might like one prop or light setting as much as the other, plan out both, shoot both, and decide in post if it's not immediately apparent while shooting.

involve your cast and crew in your planning stages. if you're the only one who knows what's going on, then you simply will not be able to manage your set.

it doesn't matter how low your budget is. planning is free, and it's a time saver when it counts. it WILL show up in your finished product.


sets/shooting:

have as good of a technical understanding of your equipment as possible. know how to adjust your lights, your camera settings, and your sound levels personally, even if you have a crew. you should be able to answer questions that actors will ask. don't treat either one of these things like an afterthought. it will be obvious that you did.

everything you do on a set should have a purpose. if it doesn't, i promise that you will piss off everybody around you.

if you planned accordingly, shooting is infinitely more efficient. that will keep the cast and crew happy, it keeps stress and costs down, surprises will be more manageable, and most importantly you'll be able to focus clearly on what's in front of the camera. plus, the less time you have to spend between shots, the more clear your memory of shooting will be. that helps immensely in post.

like i said, my experience is still limited. take or leave what you want, i guess. others will likely jump in if i seem to be really wrong about anything.

i highly recommend that you purchase a copy of Sidney Lumet's "Making Movies" it's not all gospel, and you won't find answers to your "how to" or "where to" questions, but it's a really good place to start in terms of forming an effective attitude. i wish i had read it sooner.
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.

 

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