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Old September 4th, 2002, 11:08 PM   #31
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Best quote on DV I've seen

<<<-- Originally posted by JustinMorgan : I read something which

Here's something quite inspirational for us DV bunch that he wrote on the film's website (

This is the heart of the digital revolution. Most
people are not constantly back-lit in real life._ At
night the 'moonlight' does not come from a high crane
with powerful arc lights that cast a blue glare as
bright as any baseball stadium._ Women do not wake up
in bed with perfect hair and make-up. Industrial
Cinema is a legitimate form - but it is stuck in rigid
conventions, hamstrung by money, and like traditional
oil painting, has entered its decadent phase.

In digital cinema your girl friend is the star. Your
back yard is the set. Your life is the script._ -->>>

This is the best quote on DV I've seen yet, if not the best, then in the top 3. hHis is the look I want for some projects. I recently came to the realization that when done "appropriately" DV may be the best look for many dramas, in that you will get the, for lack of a better term, "verismilitude" of real life, yet also just enough of the "film quality fantasy" that allows viewers to suspend disbelief enough to get drawn in to the story.

It may also become a movement: Personal films, done with no/low budgets, that if done somewhat professionally enough/appropriately so that people will want to see them-
they will get theatrical/video/TV distribution and get people talking.

Thanks again for posting a great quote Justin. I will be printing it out and taping it up nearby.
Bob Andren
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Old September 5th, 2002, 12:27 PM   #32
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from a article in wall st jr...
at sundance
sony bid 250K bidding came down to Fox seachlight, Fine Line & Miramax. Miramax paid 5 million for it

Tadpole has taken in $2 million at box office ..... Tadpole cost 150K to make and was made for a TV release on Cablevisions Independent Film Channel.

...stars were paid SAG scale $248 day PLUS piece of profits. even the location manager received 1 point in the picture -which turned out to be worth 50K .

it cost more then the original budget to transfer to 35mm and add sound track. add in $1 million plus marketing campaign.

according to miramax: they expect tadpole to make at least 3 million ( profit) after figuring in Video sales .... "given that Tadpole was made for the small screen, that may turn out to be exactly where it belongs"
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Old February 1st, 2003, 07:13 PM   #33
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I found Tadpole today at a local dvd/video rental place. Got it on VHS as DVD wasn't available at least not there.

The story of the making of Tadpole is fantastic. Indepent Digital Entertainment (InDigEnt) made it for $200,000 then sold it to Miramar for $5 Million or there abouts. Stars Sigourney Weaver, Bebe Nuewirth, John Ritter, and Robert Iler. They have an innovative profit sharing agreement whereby everyone gets paid from any cash the movie generates. The movie was shot in three weeks with three PD150s.

Unfortunately the story of making Tadpole is better than the movie. I have watched about half and the image quality is not great. The whole movie also seems to be shot hand held which I find simply annoying.

The good news is that the story is engaging, the acting good and the movie seems reasonably well edited.

I also couldn't help thinking OK this is about a 15 year old who just happens to end up in bed with his gorgeous step-mom's best friend BeBe Nieuwirth. Yah, sure that could happen. It sure never happened to me.

So perhaps one day in a better world may we all have beautiful women (or the gender appropriate equivalent) pulling us into bed while movie studios pay us millions for our independent movies that we shot for little money. I could live with that.

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Old February 2nd, 2003, 02:25 PM   #34
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I thought "Tadpole" had a pretty decent look (except for the nightime long shots, which were a bit soft due to the small chip camcorders used); I saw it from a 35mm print in a theater.

The reason it was so successful is because Sigourney Weaver jumped in, and I read that the reason she committed to it was because it was being shot in such a short time period. I also thought it was a really nice coming of age story and quite well done. Good script, good acting, excellent dialog. But without the name actors and connections, it most likely never would have got any attention at all.
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Old February 4th, 2003, 06:14 PM   #35
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I just saw it on DVD, and found maybe only 15-20% of the scenes had a noticeably video-ish look. Otherwise it didn't look bad on a 32" TV.
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Old February 4th, 2003, 06:44 PM   #36
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The quality of the VHS tape I had was not good. Then again VHS in general is not great. A lot of it screamed video. Of course I was primed to look at it closely. I found some of the restaurant scenes a bit claustrophobic because the depth of field was so deep that the diners behind the actors were also in sharp focus so it seemed to foreshorten the distance.

I agree, Bill, the real reason that Tadpole was a success was that the producer had good connections and wrangeld name actors. That and the good script & strong acting as you suggested.

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Old February 7th, 2003, 11:33 PM   #37
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the actors were paid SAG min ( $248 day low budget contract). PLUS they got profit sharing ...

selling for 5 million could be a bargain ? as Sigourney Weaver makes that much by herself - so a finished movie for 5 million perhaps miramax was betting on Weavers box office appeal.

Indepent Digital Entertainment had a contract to make 10 of these movies at 150K each ... all have name actors/actresses in them .... they have a guarantee play on the IFC channel PLUS most have played in theaters ... IMO they are getting released because of the star power.

the list includes

Directed by:Gary Winick
Produced by: Gary Winick, Alexis Alexanian, and Dolly Hall
Starring:Sigourney Weaver, Bebe Neuwirth, John Ritter,
and introducing Aaron Stanford

Directed by: Campbell Scott
Produced by: Mary Frances Budig, Steve Dunn, Campbell Scott
Starring: Denis Leary, Hope Davis

Directed by: Ethan Hawke
Produced by: Christine Vachon, Pam Koffler
Starring: Kevin Corrigan, Vincent D'Onofrio, Kris Kristofferson, Robert Sean Leonard, Natasha Richardson, Uma Thurman, Tuesday Weld, Frank Whaley and Steve Zahn

Directed by: Richard Linklater
Produced by: Anne Walker, Detour Filmproduction
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard, Uma Thurman

Directed by:Rebecca Miller
Produced by: Lemore Syvan, Gary Winick, Alexis Alexanian
Starring: Kyra Sedgwick, Parker Posey, Fairuza Balk
Written by: Rebecca Miller based on her book

Directed by: Peter Hedges
Produced by: John Lyns, Gary Winick, Alexis Alexanian
Written by:Peter Hedges
Starring:Katie Holmes, Oliver Platt and Patricia Clarkson

Directed by: Bruce Wagner
Produced by: Christing Vachon, Pam Koffler
Starring: Beverly D'Angelo, Portia De Rossi and Marianne Jean-Baptiste

Directed by: Alan Taylor
Produced by: Ruth Charny, Lianne Halfon, Gary Winick, Alexis Alexanian
Co-producer: Jonathan Shoemaker

Directed by: Rodrigo Garcia
Produced by: Dan Hassid
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Old February 8th, 2003, 12:54 PM   #38
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Is 'Women in Films' out on DVD yet?

I'm gonna watch TadPole tonight. When they sold it for 5 million, I don't think any one really expected it to make alot at the box office. But if you want to get consideration for the various awards out there, you have to have a theatrical release.
DVD sales and rental, plus broadcast royalties are about the only way movies make money now days. Even big budget ones. 5 million? almost garaunteed to make money at that price.
Lets not forget the Non USA markets. theaters, rentals, cable tv, all bigger outside the USA than in. Miramax is going to whine all the way to the bank.

How about Blair Witch 2? 26 million to make and tanked everywhere.
Had great production values too. Great cinematography.
Bad Karma.
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Old February 14th, 2003, 11:18 PM   #39
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Agree with a prior comment on the commentary on the DVD. Great insight on shots, location, lighting equipment etc. Stuff like 'we shot this at my mom's apartment . . .' etc. were great to hear. Even if you are so so on the movie, the commentary is worth the rent.

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Old February 24th, 2003, 10:25 AM   #40
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I saw it in a theater myself, and here are my abbreviated thoughts:

1. The colors looked horrible, they were extremely “washed out.” Maybe this was the look the Director was going for, I don’t know.
2. The motion in the film had a very “ghostly aura” about it as the xters moved. Movements in the film didn’t look smooth.
3. Every single shot seemed like it was hand held, even on Close Ups! The result, I almost got motion sickness in the theater.
4. The night shots looked like video, I really don’t know why this is.
5. The wide exterior shots ALWAYS looked like video, probably due to the limited resolution of DV.
6. The Close up and Medium shots looked fine, they looked like 16mm without the grain.

I should NOTE that I have scene other DV to 35mm transfers before, and they looked WAY better then Tadpole did. The washed out colors and the Hand Held shots could have been avoided in Tadpole, but maybe this is what the filmmaker wanted. Overall, my friend (a non-movie maker) liked the film, and didn't complain about the image. She felt it was what it was, a low budget feature, sort of its own genre
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