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The DV Challenge
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 09:38 AM   #1
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Techs all set, but what else is needed?

okay, I have my camera, Lighting, sound equipment(meager as it may be with only 2 lavs and the on camera mic)

But what about getting locations? Getting actors? Props? writing a script? having time to do all the fancy edits(yet alone the bare minumum edits)

These I feel are the Real challenges of the DV Challenge.


This is going to be my first short film so I have no experience with any of this, all I've done is pre-planned commercials and interviews. And while I have release forms for people, do I need the same forms for locations?

Any and all advice about logistics of filming a video in a few days would be helpful. Should I start securing actors now? with no idea of script?

Any advice would help me avoid submitting something as bad as I fear mine will become.
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 02:09 PM   #2
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hahahaha, welcome to my hell also known as the DVChallenge. Here's what I try to do, granted I've never won one so take it with a grain of salt.

I get my camera all ready to go. batteries are charged, I've got bulbs for lights, bought some tapes, batteries for mics, hard drive space for footage, my dolly is acting funky so I've got some time to suss that out, I've also spent a few days tuning up my mad camera skills.... (what does that this little button do?)

I've got one actor so far. (Robert.... would you like to be actor #2????) I have someone to help write a story when it's time, hopefully it'll work, we'll see. I've been looking around keeping mental notes of some locations but don't want to mentally lock myself into any one incase the theme throws me for a loop, which it probably will.

Basically we all just sit around and wait until a date is announced. Every few days my posse asks me what's going on and all I can do is shrug.

Whatever planning you do, it's not enough. It'll probably be a week, knowing my luck, to get the whole thing done. This time I'm going to try and have 2 full days of shooting. any more than that and I just won't have enough time to edit it. I'm also going to rehearse shots before I shoot to limit the amount of time I have to review my footage. I just try to setup everything for any possibility. I have my voice over station setup just incase, i have every bit of camera junk packed into a bag ready to go.

Depending on where you shoot and how big your kit is, getting okays to shoot in certain spots may or may not be high on your list. release forms for actors are printed. if you are going to use someone else's music, you may want to start the process of getting okays from them. I've done my own in the past but may grab some of my clients music this go round just to save time.

I have no idea how everyone else goes about getting ready. Just let your creative juices flow while they still can, cause when the theme is announced your mind will go blank.
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 06:40 PM   #3
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Would you be referring to me by any chance, Michael? I'd offered my services last time, I'm assuming I'm the Robert in question. If so, I'd be happy to! I've only got one measly bit part on my résumé (you like them Es? Hold Alt and tap 0233 on your numeric keypad, it's pretty sweet), and I'm not about to add movies I've written myself. The more practice I get, the better I look on paper! I'll send along a head shot, have my people call yours, we'll do lunch.

As for your question, Mr. Hoffman, well, Michael's got it pretty much covered. I was overwhelmed the first time--or maybe the first two times, I can't remember--I tried entering, and didn't complete a project. Then, for DVC 5, through a combination of sheer persistence and not-thinking-about-it-too-muchitude, I actually accomplished something. That's what did it for me, in all honesty. If I had taken a step back to look at the big picture, I never would have done the movie.

All you can do at this point is find a few people who are willing to help you out once the contest starts, start thinking about locations, really just make a list of what one might call "assets" that you have access to. People you know with interesting homes or businesses that might serve as locations, basements and attics full of props, cool vehicles, that kind of thing. Flying by the seat of one's pants is the order of the day here, and you just have to sit back and wait for the theme announcement.

From a logistics point of view, I'd say it's best--though I'm no veteran filmmaker--that once the challenge starts, stick to writing compact scenes that won't require multiple shooting days at each location. Seems obvious, I suppose, but good advice nonetheless. I did that during the fifth challenge, when we had an entire month to shoot, and it was hard enough. A week (or ten days, whatever it is) is even worse. I only had one location--on my own driveway, no less--for challenge six, and it still came down to the wire. I had a whopping thirty-three minutes remaining 'til the deadline when I emailed Dylan the links to my files.

Releases continue to baffle me. I've got a set from somewhere that I use, but I don't know how good they are. I've seen a few film competitions online that accept existing work (not just movies you create specifically for that particular contest) but require that you submit their release forms. How I'm going to approach people I asked for help months ago to now sign forms all over again, I don't know. And then what do I do about the guy from Finland who was kind enough to donate music for my last movie? "Hey, would you mind printing out this release, filling it out, and paying to mail it to the US? I'll give you an extra special 'thanks' in the credits!" Seems like a huge imposition to me, I don't know how people handle things like that. In any event, I'll attach a copy of each of my released to an email, if you like. I've got a few different ones that appear to have a bit of overlap, and I'm not sure what the difference is between an "appearance" release and a "talent" release, but you might get some use out of the things. Let me know, I'll be happy to send them along.

Ultimately, I can't speak for anyone else, but without an experienced crew or cast, I'm just making this stuff up as I go. I'm not sure most of us are truly comfortable with this process, to tell you the truth, which is what makes it all so exciting. Necessity is the mother of invention, and when you've only got a few days to do a thing like this, you'll be surprised how creative you get.

Take a leap of faith. You'll probably find there's a painted-like-the-other-side-of-the-crevasse bridge waiting to carry you across.
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 08:14 PM   #4
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Thanks Guys,

Robert, I'd love copies of those forms as they are probably closer to an actual legal document than what I have.

You can e-mail me at Contact@legupmktg.com Thanks!

Guess Ill just start on that Asset list.

And Ill get ready to improvise as needed.
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 08:27 PM   #5
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Sure thing, Steven! The email will be along presently. The same offer goes for anyone else who'd like these things, drop me a line at robert.martens@gmail.com and I'll get them out as soon as possible.
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 12:03 AM   #6
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Robert, yes YOU. You can fill out one of your release forms and bring it with you. hahaha. How do you feel about snow, water, mud? Just going through some of my assets. I've got 4 cabins with my name on them just outside of New Paltz on a river. If nothing else, we can make a fishing video.

I don't know about everyone else, but the temp in New York dropped like a rock. I wonder how well my camera is going to hold up in the freezing cold. I think it's supposed to snow on monday.
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 12:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Hoffman
okay, I have my camera, Lighting, sound equipment(meager as it may be with only 2 lavs and the on camera mic)

But what about getting locations? Getting actors? Props? writing a script? having time to do all the fancy edits(yet alone the bare minumum edits)

These I feel are the Real challenges of the DV Challenge.


This is going to be my first short film so I have no experience with any of this, all I've done is pre-planned commercials and interviews. And while I have release forms for people, do I need the same forms for locations?

Any and all advice about logistics of filming a video in a few days would be helpful. Should I start securing actors now? with no idea of script?

Any advice would help me avoid submitting something as bad as I fear mine will become.

my 4 min dvd idea, came when we had a corp. event. only had a sony trv drv 730, and no sript, no lighting, on board mic, no expirience..simply nothing.

at the event day i just shot everything what was moving, and everything what had something to do with that event. nothing less then 30 sec.
later i selected a song, and edited everything together with pinnacle studio 8.

still lock at this dvd proudly. over exsposed, a little bit shaky, it has a story but in sequence with the music.
my boss liked it, the district manager liked it. my home office liked it, i was ask to redue with our broadcasting departm. but it never happened, because we could not get the right for the music.....

my message is: just do small projects and learn while you go....
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 12:20 AM   #8
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My spirits lift this time of year, I love snow. Water and mud, less so, but I've worked with filthier...let's say "matter" than mud. Doesn't phase me, nor do low temperatures.

In the spirit of charity, I can bring along all of my equipment (easily stored in my production vehicle, featured in my DVC 5 entry) for an extravagant multi-camera production. Never been to New Paltz, but so long as there are restrooms in these cabins and adequate parking nearby, I'm all there.

I'm all excited now, I hope this one starts soon.
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