Where do i even start? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Open DV Discussion
For topics which don't fit into any of the other categories.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 13th, 2005, 10:54 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 97
Where do i even start?

Hi everyone,

I have about 2.7 billion questions, so i'll narrow them down to the ones i feel are the most important. It's gonna be long so feel free to answer generally or specifically if you prefer. I'm just saying i don't expect an answer to everything given the length of the post.

A tiny bit about me. I currently live in Utah and it doesn't look like i'll be able to move out of state anytime soon. I'm 26 and haven't had ANY experience in film-making other than a wonderful experience i had years ago with some friends in Belgium (where i lived for 14 years) before i came to the States. The movie was about 15 minutes long and looked like crap but was tremendous fun to make. I want to find that energy again. I pursued a career in 3D art instead (ended up specializing in Character Animation) and even started my own studio a few months ago. Just before i quit my job to start my studio, i developped an interest in film making in general. Not knowing where to start i picked up a few script-writing books and learned to write (still love it), but i soon realized it wasn't the career i wanted, just something i wanted to learn about. Now i've become specifically interested in making films of my own.

This brings me to my greatest problem. Where in the HELL do i find any actors? Nobody i know is truly willing to commit to any kind of acting, let alone that most of them wouldn't like my film ideas enough to act in them (remember, i'm in a primarily ultra-red state). I'm sure i could accomodate this by coming up with more reasonable ideas, but still, where do i find these actors? Oh and the few good friends i have are all on different continents... :/

Also, i have a measly little Elura 50 with crappy video and sound quality... i'm not sure that i can go scouting at the local colleges with that! Do i have to invest in a more expensive camera or can i start with what i have? If i do start with what i have, again, how can i peak anybody's interest in helping me out?

If i need a prosumer camcorder, which one should i go for and what extra equipment should i consider? What kind of initial cost am i looking at?

Assuming i eventually invest in decent equipment, how do i find work? In the CG industry, i make a short reel of my specialty (character animation) and then send it around. Is it the same for film? What kind of work should be on there if that's how you do it?

I hope this made sense and thanks for your time.

Raji
Raji Barbir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 13th, 2005, 11:14 PM   #2
Slash Rules!
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,723
Dude, trust me, post enough ads on different sites, and someone will respond. Even if it's amateurish, even if it's unpaid. Offer to feed 'em, though.
Josh Bass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2005, 12:09 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 230
University might be a good place to scout and you can hire good quality cameras for not much money.
Matt Brabender is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2005, 01:16 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Venice, FL
Posts: 850
If I had any real artistic talent in 3D animation, I would never worry about finding actors. I would just create them. You are in the forefront of filmmaking, don't go backwards. And finding people with good voices who can read a script well in a studio is easier than finding people to commit to production schedules. They are even affordable if you have to pay them. Tell your stories with the tools you have.
__________________
You are either growing or dying.
Bob Costa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2005, 01:47 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 97
Josh, cool ok. One more question then, what sites? hehe. This is the only site where i've found a lot of activity. If you know of other good sites like this one, please go ahead and paste some links and i'd really appreciate it. Maybe the key words i used in my google searches were just wrong but yeah i couldn't find much. I only found this site while looking for reviews about the XL H1.

Matt, thanks, i'll have to find out if i can rent cameras from the university if i'm not a student. I can't imagine they will... but i'll just check :) I didn't think to rent so thanks for that suggestion! Oh and, how much is not much for a rental?

Bob, the reason i don't do that is because 3D animation is only one aspect of a 3D production... maybe i'm underestimating how much you know about 3D, but it seems to me that most people think computers do all the work... the reality is that a 2-minute short film is an unbelieveably complicated process for any single person to accomplish. In fact, if created from scratch with no more than the help of voice actors, it would easily take me about 2-3 months of full-time work... designing the characters, modeling them, texturing them, designing the sets, lighting them, texturing them, animating the characters, then finally getting the renders to look good. Every step is a career in and of itself... That's just 2 minutes. I've never finished a single 2-minute short. I've done a crapload of professional work that probably amounts to about 30-40 minutes in my career. The only concern i have is that maybe i'll fail to take a film project from start to finish, in which case i'd have to start some soul-searching or something.

Thanks for the replies. Keep 'em comin', any other suggestions, comments, tips, etc are very very welcome and appreciated.
Raji Barbir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2005, 02:28 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Venice, FL
Posts: 850
Well, it would be impossible to underestimate how little I know about 3D, so no worries there. I was worried that maybe you are underestimating how much there is to learn about shooting and editing regular stuff... :)

Once you start building a library of character motions and stuff, doesn't it build on itself? The first one take 100 hours, the second one 50, the third one 20 (or something like that??) I saw a great little short a few weeks back called "Gopher Broke" (I think). It had one character (gopher), a couple of birds for a few seconds, and one truck. Not every animation has to be Star Wars.

Good luck. Equipment rentals usually are about 5% of the purchase price for one day (plus shipping), and 10-15% for a week. Extra days are much cheaper than the first day. DOn't forget about tripods, sound equipment, and maybe lighting. It might be cheaper and smarter to just hire a DP and sound guy and a grip truck if you are talking about a 1-3 day shoot..
__________________
You are either growing or dying.
Bob Costa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2005, 02:38 AM   #7
Slash Rules!
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,723
I meant posting ads for actors, since that was the initial question you asked.

www.craigslist.org (there's one specific to every city - example: www.houston.craigslist.org) has a place where you can post ads.

If your city or state has a film commission, with a web site, they should have a place to post ads.

www.mandy.com ---this is more for crew people, but maybe you can post actor ads on there as well.

If it were me (I'm in Houston), I'd do craiglist and the Houston film commission. Be up front about everything. Be explicit in your ad so as to discourage assclowns. Tell 'em it's no pay (unless you're payin' 'em); tell 'em what kinda hours to expect (full production day, or in and out in 15 minutes); definitely offer a meal or two--an entire craft services area would not be a bad idea (a selection of snacks, drinks, etc.--this'd be in addition to a "real" meal), since you're not offering much else. And of course, a copy of the finished product, and credit.

You may get some hate mail for posting a "work for free" ad, but you may not. I haven't actually done this--I tend to come across actors and utilize them, never posted an ad for that.


oooh, sexy--I don't even have to do the URL tag anymore for weblinks. If DVinfo were a woman, she'd be Charlize Theron or something.
Josh Bass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 15th, 2005, 11:20 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 97
Quote:
I was worried that maybe you are underestimating how much there is to learn about shooting and editing regular stuff... :)
I most likely am underestimating how much there is to learn about shooting stuff. Editing i'm pretty familiar with because it's often necessary in fully CG stuff as well. I use Premiere Pro 1.5 myself. It's the shooting part of things that has me completely lost... Mostly what equipment to use, why and what each does. I'm fairly familiar with the terminology associated with still photography and i just bought a Canon Rebel XT (a nice upgrade from my old Canon G3), but moving pictures feels like a completely different world with entirely new terms, techniques and equipment to learn about... i'm picking up what i can from the net but it's fairly slow since all the information is so spread out and in small pieces.

By the way, Gopher Broke was produced by Blur Studios and took about 60 people a few months to complete. It may not look complex, but it is, and i could explain why, but it'd take too long :) Unless of course you're interested, in which case i'd be happy to go into it.

Thanks for the information about renting though, that was some very useful stuff. After what you said i figured maybe buying the equipment would be easier than having to rent it. Cheaper in the long run too... right?... again, i don't know what i'm talking about so i could be way off.

Josh, thanks a lot for all that info! I saw craigslist once a long time ago but thought it was a San Francisco thing because my friend was studying there at the time. I obviously missed everything on the right side of the screen... lol. I also found Salt Lake City's film commission (which i simply didn't know existed). Thanks for the other stuff too.

I really appreciate everyone's help! Thanks guys
Raji Barbir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 15th, 2005, 11:42 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Venice, FL
Posts: 850
Buying is cheaper in the long run if:

a) you use it on multiple projects. Take a look at all the "low hours" cameras on eBay. Lots of people lose interest.
b) you buy the right one to begin with. Renting some to try out first makes sense if you can do so easily. Every camera has its good and bad points, and not everyone agrees on what they are.
c) you have the money to do so, and still have money for all the other gadgets.
d) You think you will get your value out of it in a year. A year from now, High Def will be a realistic choice as the bleeding edge people recover and teach the rest of us what not to do.

Your biggest learning curve might be audio, since you already have some lighting knowledge from still photos. In addition to my camera, I probably have another $4k invested in various things. $500 tripod, $600 wireless kit, $800 other mics, extra batteries, on-camera light, monopod, glidecam, cables, boom pole, headphones, etc... Don't underestimate the need for most of this stuff. And given a choice and a $4k budget, I would buy the odds and ends and rent the camera. Renting all the other stuff is difficult in most cities.
__________________
You are either growing or dying.
Bob Costa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 15th, 2005, 11:43 AM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Venice, FL
Posts: 850
Just want to add the bioggest downside of renting is you don't have a camera to learn and practice with.
__________________
You are either growing or dying.
Bob Costa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 15th, 2005, 01:38 PM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
You're in a very good place to get started in the film industry. There's a huge amount of talent in the area with a lot of production going on. Salt Lake is only a skip and jump away from Sundance and all the activity surrounding Redford's own activity there. The Sundance film festival is in Park City, just a short drive up over Parley's Summit. Rental houses like Redmond Movies and Stories are there and there's a lot of location work (used to live on 2nd avenue and one of the Friday the 13th movies was shot in the house next door.) Not sure if they're still on air or not but cut my teeth as on-air talent on KTKK talk radio there back in the late 80's.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 15th, 2005, 03:40 PM   #12
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Hilliard, Ohio
Posts: 1,193
Raji,
I know in my case those burning artistic desires tend to lead me to catalogs of really cool, expensive, toys. I think this might not be what you want to hear but, my best advice is use what you have at hand to learn everything you can.

You will want to learn all about how video cameras handle the process of converting light to 1s and 0s, frame composition, tape and format types, widescreen vs letterbox, vs 2.35:1 vs 4:3, lighting, direction, producing, managing the finances and so very much more.

Initially, use the camera you have and shoot lots of footage of the family dog, kids, family members, etc. You have likely used your camera with them before so they will be used to you "playing" with your camera. This time, put a theme in your head and shoot as if you were directing a short film. Shoot it as a professional would, not as if you are simply recording events for the sake of it. Professional photographer rather than snapshots type of thing.

Read lots of books, including Robert Rodriguez book and get a copy of "El Mariachi" on DVD. In the extras is a 10 minute piece Robert did on the making of "El". You will find ways to learn on what you have. If this turns out to be something you will want to do more of, you can move up then.

Best educational experience here on these boards is our forum on the DVChallenge. Read those threads and join us in the next one.

Sean McHenry
__________________
ĎI donít know what Iím doing, and Iím shooting on D.V.í
- my hero - David Lynch

http://www.DeepBlueEdit.com
Sean McHenry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 15th, 2005, 06:33 PM   #13
Hawaiian Shirt Mogul
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: northern cailfornia
Posts: 1,261
" i have a measly little Elura 50 with crappy video and sound quality"

HEY !! i shoot with the orginal elura all the time !!!
i sometimes connect wireless or shotguns mic to it ( use xlr box to elura optional base) ... never mind the size of the camera - shoot with confidence .. if you tell actors your camera does crappy video etc ?? would you work for free for a crappy video ??

hang casting calls at local colleges and contact drama dept.. if you need younger actors contract drama dept at high schools (go thru principal 1st) ..

you live in Utah .. there is much more to Sundance then just the festival .. during the summer they do workshops (w/ directors with actors and crews - equipment usually provided by sony ) volunteer to help at their workshops ..there are others types of workshops thru-out the year
Don Donatello is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 15th, 2005, 10:43 PM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 83
Raji--you might want to check out http://www.actorsandcrew.com/ A lot of the profiles are incomplete unfortunately, but it will allow you to seach by zip code.
Michael Rowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 16th, 2005, 12:12 PM   #15
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Carlsbad CA
Posts: 1,132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raji Barbir
Not knowing where to start i picked up a few script-writing books and learned to write (still love it), but i soon realized it wasn't the career i wanted, just something i wanted to learn about. Now i've become specifically interested in making films of my own.
that's very good, because everything revolves around the script, not the technology.

do you have a good script, something that actors will want to be a part of?
Dan Euritt is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:50 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network