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Old March 24th, 2005, 07:24 PM   #1
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How many newbies does it take to make chocolate chip cookies ?

I am the ultimate newbie so the joke is self-deprecatory ,not meant to be condescending.Firstly, thx to all who contribute to this invaluable resource.Here's my narrative filmmaker-in-training kit so far;the what & why, briefly.Ask me a specific q & I'll gladly explain in more depth on the thread or by e-mail(dgprods2002@yahoo.com).Options in each category were bewildering.Often the deciding factor was a good price opportunity.You may disagree but there's a reason for all below.I just don't want to bore w/ minutiae or shill for/disparage brands.
One general point:Kit not meant to produce pro level work,only to give me a chance to scrape the surface of the many skills needed & still have the satisfaction of making a movie ,however crude & short," from soup to nuts".Eventually I aspire to Art house,dialogue-driven stuff. Think Woody Allen,Cassavetes,Sayles et al.
I'm dirt poor and the jump to pro gear in any category would not permit me to do this.Those Jordans ain't gonna teach you to walk,Grasshopper,& I've never seen anyone dunk from all fours.

CAM:Pan DV-GS200 3chip for decent color,enough manual control to learn some photog. skills.
CAM EXTRAS:, 0.5 wide angle adaptor, filter kit(ND,UV,Pol),shoulder rest cam mount.I have a cheap tripod which is adequate for the moment & not much run n' gun outdoors planned so I kept these bits to a minimum.

AUDIO:AT897 w/cam shockmount & homemade boom & shockmount.Beachtek DXA-S XLR adaptor.25' AT XLR cable.Tough call.Mics are so use-specific.I sacrificed some indoor perf. for the chance to learn in/out boom skills which may help me crew on more indie shoots where I can learn so much.

POST PROD: HP laptop P4,3 Ghz,60Gb HDD 5400 rpm,1gig RAM,1680x1050 res screen,firewire port,Radeon 9600 graphics card w/128MbRAM,,Windows XP Home,Vegas Movie Studio,DVRack. Sony MDR 7506 headphones.Iomega 40Gb fire/usb portable HDD.Too many things to discuss here in brief except to say that I LOVE DVRack.It is invaluable for testing/improving empirically both my gear and my capabilities.

LIGHTING: TBA Because I have access to theater spaces & equipment,this is not as pressing a need but I'll use the same basic method to acquire a kit.Walk before run.Provisionally,some good c-stands,reflectors,diffusion;what good is a gazillion dollar pro light instrument if I can't mount it safely where I need it & sculpt the light it produces?Anyhoo,A good soft box will eventually replace the chinese lantern I made w/homemade PVC stand/boom & a couple of good fresnels w doors and scrims,etc will allow me to drop kick those damned hot-spottin' finger-burnin' Home Depot yellow bastards off a roof. See Scott Spears' thread &you'll know what I have,more or less.

ONGOING EDUMAKATION: Videomaker,Dv mag,Shot By Shot by Stephen Katz.Any book by Walter Murch.I'm dying for DSE's new Vegas MS book.I crew/extra for anyone who will have me & scour the Net for anything of use.I won't add a bunch of links but www. cybercollege.com/tv helped me with the ABCs.
This shouldn't have to be said but I watch movies constantly on DVD.Not just for fun.I dissect,I slo-mo,I freeze frame.I watch the making-of featurettes,the commentaries.A goldmine.Watch Wilder,Godard,Hitchcock,etal .Watch films you wouldn't watch for content just to rip 'em apart.Hours of fun for the frustrated Fellini wannabe.
The single most important piece of advice I would offer my fellow newbies comes from my experience in the theater but I think it applies equally to film;filmmaking is a team sport.Think of the gear you buy as team members just like the cast and crew-no, weak links aren't good but you can't field a team shorthanded & there's no substitute for game experience.What I'm saying,less metaphorically,is don't spend all your money on an XL2 or a G5 then expect award-winning movies to come pouring out at the touch of a button without lights ,audio& the skills to operate them.Never mind script,actors,business skills,and a good caterer .Conversely ,if you have an XL2 or a G5,don't take the oh-I'll-just-rent-that-when-I'm ready -to-shoot approach for the rest of your set up..Take the time to learn each aspect of the craft.Nobody knows it all but I've seen plenty trying to hide their total ignorance behind attitude/expensive gear..Not fun for anyone involved.Disrespectful and frustrating,in fact.I won't ask my actor/tech friends/colleagues to help me on a project until I have a good idea of how to get the job done in all it's complexity.I'll shut up now and go back to doing what I do best;keep my eyes,ears,and mind open and my mouth shut.Ha..sez anyone who knows me.Graceless bastards.

Oh,the punchline to the joke? The answer is ten; one to stir the batter,nine to peel the M&Ms.Thx for your time.See you at The Oscars.
Richard
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Old March 24th, 2005, 09:36 PM   #2
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Wow, you really are a newbie. Everyone soaks their M&M's for a couple of days. It's waaaay easier!

Oh, and just stir them around every now and then.
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Old March 24th, 2005, 10:02 PM   #3
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Soaked M&Ms ?!Not in a Pro kitchen

Mr Sasahara;
As I'm sure Wayne Orr would be quick to point out,soaking M&Ms only happens when people are trying to cut corners.....um,fudge things,as it were..Forgive me,but it smacks of the amateur.All you're left with is multicolored sticky fingers and chocolate goo.Take the time to do the job right,with the right tools.
R.
PS Forgive me Mr Orr.I jest at your expense only with the greatest respect.I've learned a lot from your input here. Ditto for you ,Mr Sasahara.
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Old March 24th, 2005, 10:20 PM   #4
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Well, that's the starter way.

What is this pro way you speak of?
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Old March 24th, 2005, 11:01 PM   #5
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What's a chocolate chip cookie?
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Old March 25th, 2005, 07:46 AM   #6
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Do a search on the website and you'll find much information about chocolate chip cookies. A lot of people prefer the Sony cookies, but Panasonic's 24chiP cookies have become very popular.

Apologies to Richard for veering completely off, off topic into the ditch.
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Old March 25th, 2005, 01:22 PM   #7
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tHE FINAL WORD ON COOKIES...WE HOPE..

Mr Sasahara;
Sorry to leave you waiting for a response.All this cookie chatter made me hungry.Not easy to find a 24hr bakery in SF.
As I understand it,the old school method is to place M&M on base of palm,raise palm quickly & smack forehead.With a little practice,you should be able to cleave candy coating neatly in twain.Some traditionalists say you should use the nearest grip's forehead but the unions have put a stop to that.
Alternatively,B&H sells a chip-splitter for $99.95 +shipping.Man,those guys have everything...
R.
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