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Old February 21st, 2011, 05:48 AM   #46
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Re: Need Tripod for tomorrow in Teaneck NJ

Cynthia, I just sent you an email.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 09:19 AM   #47
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Looking for videographer who wants to work on his portfolio

I am looking for some one who is available on April 16th for a Pakistani Wedding in Northern Va area. This will be a good gig for some one who wants to get his feet wet and get experience at different cultural traditional wedding plus you can use this to build your portfolio. I want you to just shoot the video and give me the raw footage, also if you like to have the raw footage for your own editing/portfolio purpose you can do so as well. Hours will be from 6pm-10:30pm. You must have HD semi-pro camera. I can provide lighting if needed.
I can pay per hour but not by much.
If you are interested please let me know so we can workout details.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 09:53 AM   #48
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Re: What's the best way to attract a Independent Film Crew?

Awesome! Thank you all for your replies.

I would love to pay the film crew boat loads of cash, however that's not an option at this time. Although I do like the idea of throwing a party and seeing if I can get friends/family to pitch in some cash.

I've been thinking about offering a small percentage in the film to keep people interested in the project. I'm also considering doing some type of "vesting" in that percentage. In other words, you can earn up to x%, but only if you stick with the movie until its made.

I've had a few hits so far and I'm excited about a couple of the prospects.

Thank again and I wish you guys the best on your future projects!
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Old February 21st, 2011, 10:14 AM   #49
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Re: What's the best way to attract a Independent Film Crew?

That's a well-intended idea, however, I think by now crew people have come to recognize "deffered pay" and "points/%" promises at being equal to unpaid. I've also heard locally of cases where the filmmaker DID make decent money on his movie and didn't pay anyone anyway.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 12:00 PM   #50
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Re: What's the best way to attract a Independent Film Crew?

Same thing happens in all industries. Ask any software engineer who worked in a dot com bubble company working for peanuts. Those stock options are toilet paper now. Trust me... I know :-)

It's called risk/reward. Nobody is paying me anything to make the movie. I'm financing it myself. I hope to find others who will share in the risk to get reward. They risk their time.

As far as not getting paid, I'll have contracts written up. I want everyone to understand what happens if/when we make money. I've been in situations before where we had a verbal agreement. Once we got $, everyone turned into jackals. It was not pretty.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 03:34 PM   #51
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Re: What's the best way to attract a Independent Film Crew?

You need to be very careful that you don't start to get a name for yourself for being 'cheap'. As you say it's your 2nd feature length project and you want decent people - so really you do need to pay them.

I don't do movies, but I do do shows - and I always pay. Often people know the money is not going to be the full rate, but if the full rate is impossible, then I'll try to pay as much as I can, plus food and extras. If you pay expenses, then friends might still participate, but you have to put up with losing them if a paying job comes up, so this makes logistics difficult.

If the finances are that shaky - is it fair to ask others to share in your loss? If you suddenly generated lots of funds because somebody picked it up, no doubt you have an agreement to pay them what would have been due - but if the chances of this are remote, then it does burn up friends quickly.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 05:38 PM   #52
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Re: What's the best way to attract a Independent Film Crew?

Getting funding can be an arduous and potentially lengthy process, but if your project isn't good enough to get funded or for you to fund it sufficiently on your own, what vote of confidence is that to the people you're asking to work on the project at the free or reduced rate?

I know a number of pros who have one rate for corporate work and a lower negotiable rate for narrative work simply because they do recognize that it's a challenge to budget indie film, and they like adding to their reels... but the good ones generally still don't work for free.

And, in the situations where you do work people for free, burnout and alienation become real issues.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 09:37 PM   #53
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Re: What's the best way to attract a Independent Film Crew?

Not to keep picking at the same raw wound, but I mean there are situations where people signed deferred contracts, the movie made money, and they STILL got screwed. My point being that most crew people are not impressed by the offer of points/percentages, especially since it's so unlikely that anything anyone does at the low budget/no budget level goes anywhere.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 09:41 PM   #54
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Re: What's the best way to attract a Independent Film Crew?

Obtaining "real" funding for any film project is a very part of doing business as a filmmaker. Learning to write a proper treatment and proposal as well as making a pitch for your movie are skills you will need if you are going to produce your movie. There are a lot of books as well as websites that are dedicated to producing a movie.

I'm a member of a film coop based here in San Francisco so getting experienced crew members is something that can be available when I need it. Here's a link to the organization:

Home Page | Scary Cow - the indie film co-op

I don't know of any other coops like ours but if you could find one in your area it would be more than worth it to join. For Scary Cow we pay $50 a month and that all goes toward operations costs, helping to supplement classes which we can take at a very low cost (like $65 to take a seminar on cinematography taught by Jacques Haitkin), and to provide funding for projects which we as the members decide on. As a collective our members are now onto making their 4th feature and one had actually gotten a national release (it was a documentary). We tend to make shorts that are screened once every 4 months in a theater so I've actually gotten to see my movies played in a theater. Last round one of our members (and his team) made our first 3D movie which turned out great. If you can find something Scary Cow in your area I'd check them out for resources.

Yes, there is a You help me and I'll help you mentality but it is great and keeps all of us busy. Right now I'm producing a feature doco, a short, DP'ing another short, and providing stunt coordination on another film. So I'm really busy but it's a great way to hone your craft as well as get some great material for your reel.

Garrett Low
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Old February 21st, 2011, 09:44 PM   #55
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Re: What's the best way to attract a Independent Film Crew?

All excellent advise. Thank you again for your input!!!

If I don't pay a reasonable rate, it is definitely be harder to find people. I'm experiencing that right now. It's harder, but not impossible. And I am finding good people. I believe I have 2 already. That's a start.

Motivation comes from me. If I can't sell my vision and get people to buy into that vision, then I should quit. Give up. Take the easy road in life. Go to work, come home, eat and sleep. Why even risk my own money doing a movie? Or my time?

I'm not looking for hired guns, which I'm sure most of you fall into this category. I'm trying to build a team that can successfully create a great movie. This isn't the "Sean Cloutier" show, it's a team effort. The people that help make it a success will be part of my future projects. Why would I want to change a winning formula?

Burn out is the extreme lack of motivation. If people start to burn out, they will definitely leave. I don't push people, I inspire people to take a chance. I realize these people are risking their time, and time is the most valuable thing we posses. Burn out is a possibility for anyone, even me. But I don't quit. I finish what I start. I'm looking for like minded individuals.

Worst case scenario... the movie doesn't sell. Guess what? Everyone has the experience of working on a feature length film. They will know much more about their craft. Valuable experience.

I'm not trying to use people for my own gain... I'm trying elevate a team so we can put out an awesome product.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 10:26 PM   #56
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Re: Video job in Northeast China

I have experience in China. Going to Beijing and Shanghai on the first week of April for 10 days. Let me know if it can coincide with my schedule so that I can arrange to spend an extra day in that province.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 10:52 PM   #57
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Re: Need studio interview in NYC

Sorry Cynthia.

I just flew back from NYC after completing the assignment.

Fortunately, a guy I worked with years ago has relocated to Manhattan and he crewed for me.

Perhaps next time. Thanks for your interest.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 12:36 AM   #58
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Re: Video job in Northeast China

We have found a company that can make the job for us.
Case closed.

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Old February 22nd, 2011, 05:56 AM   #59
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Re: What's the best way to attract a Independent Film Crew?

Sean i respect what you're trying to do after all it wont just be handed to you. I've been down the road you're on , a couple of film school friends and I gathered a crew and actors together in 2003 and went straight for the feature length film skipping the "short film" route, in hind sight it was a mistake because i think a few shorts would have prepared us better. As a lot of people have said with unpaid work your crew will be inexperienced and unfortunately it does show in the final film.

My experience with indie films as a DOP has made me very wary of other indie filmmakers, iv worked on quite a few when i was still in my enthusiastic "i'll work on anything" days and with most of them you turn up to a badly orginised shoot with a broomstick for a boom mic and the worst actors you've ever seen. I know that sounds harsh but thats what you're up against when trying to find compitent crew for no pay....they've seen too much!. Now i don't even entertain unpaid work because i know its a waste of my time unless they show me something solid that changes my mind. I've been on both sides of the hiring gun and frankly id be embarassed to ask a pro with all his gear to work for gas money and in turn as a freelance camera operator it annoys me to see adds like "must be diverse experienced, creative and own all his own HD gear" and you look down to where it says "unpaid". I mean why not stop there, we could post adds like "experienced painter with own brushes needed to paint my house ,must be enthusiastic and be willing to work for expenses". I know thats not what you personally are doing im just saying that is what pros think when they read rediculous adds like that (at least i do).

However if i was approached with a well scripted well orginised proposal i would still consider shooting a promo to see how it went which is where my advice comes in...get yourself well prepared and advertise for a promo shoot first, have your shot list and schedule down so your setups are as efficient as possible. That way you may attract more experienced crew members because they'll be thinking "hey i love the script and if it turnes out to be crap i havn't agreed to the feature". Your job then is to run a properly orginised film set and make them believe its not crap so they stick around for the feature.That also swings both ways, you get to see how the crew work and you can replace people who don't pull their weight. And you get a nice promo to show investors so its a win win situation. Then you trot off with your promo, script and business proposal to funding bodies, granted film funding bodies are hard nuts to crack but you have to go to them first to write them off the list if nothing else. Then you hit the rich people, i think Sam Raimi went round dentists houses with a bed sheet and a projector to fund evil dead....of course he didn't have youtube!. Drum up some hits and comments and if its meant to be then someone will show an interest, invest and you can pay your crew. If its not meant to be and nobody shows any interest you'll know if you're flogging a dead horse, and half the battle is knowing when to quit and move on.

We're currently preparing our third feature film to be shot on the RED and this time there's no more messing about, we have Northern Ireland screen who have agreed to put in 15% (£315k) of a £1.8million budget. Of course we still need to raise the other £1.5million from investors (minor technicallity :) but with an orginisation like NI screen on board for 15% it should be more attractive (in theory), another benefit to having a funding body involved is their advice and contacts with accountants, lawyers, distributors etc etc. We're aiming high with this one so if we don't get the funding the film wont get made baecuse not hiring professionals is not an option. To give you some idea as to what professionals cost, my crane operator with his 33ft jimmy jib and 360o pan tilt head costs £25k for a nine week shoot.

I guess its a ladder you need to climb and not many people have the drive or the capitol to sustain the long years it may take to make it....our film may still fall flat but its the closest we've come yet, if you dont give up you just keep getting that little bit closer. You sound like you have the drive so all i can say is stick at it and prepare yourself, you need those first films to hone your skills even if they just end up on your own shelf.

Good luck finding crew.

Actor: "where would that light be coming from?"
DP: "same place as the music" -Andrew Lesnie-

Last edited by Andy Graham; February 22nd, 2011 at 11:58 AM.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 10:28 AM   #60
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Re: WEdding Cinematographer - Atlanta

I need to clarify here, I am looking for shooters who specialize IN WEDDINGS! Please do not contact me and tell me you are interested, but don't work on Saturday.
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