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Old May 27th, 2003, 02:25 PM   #1
Capt. Quirk
 
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Proper procedures for filming?

Hello all- This is a hypothetical situation to find out exactly what it would take to produce a film/video the proper legal way, as opposed to the Guerilla tactics we have learned to survive cheaply. Things like:

Permits- to film on location, aren't you supposed to have a permit?
What if I need an intersection for some shots? How can I keep people from running over crew and actors? And the ever famous, What to do if the cops show up?

Insurance- What if someone gets hurt, or a location accidently burns down?

Catering- Feeding the crew keeps them happy... and from eating each other.

Parody- What can I get away with before someone sues me?

Likeness usage/ unfair light? Can I openly mention people like Kevin Smith or Keenan Ivory Wayans and their films? How to get their consent? I still don't want to get sued...

Finances-What will all of this cost me?
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Old May 27th, 2003, 06:37 PM   #2
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Keith,
I'm sure that several folks here can provide much information on this topic.

You might also want to get a copy of "Digital Filmmaking 101; An Essential Guide to Producing Low-Budget Movies" by Dale Newton and John Gaspard. It's a good book that covers all of these topics any many more.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 07:51 AM   #3
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The book Ken mentioned is great. So is the Independent Filmmakers Guidebook they sell on the IFP website (www.ifp.org)

Not sure what it's like in your area, but there should be some type of local film commission which will hell walk you through the process of locations and securing traffic cops or whatever. Don't sweat the cops showing up if you've got a permit. Odds are if you're filming a street, you may have one there working for you.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 08:16 AM   #4
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Lots of good books cover what you need. The ones mentioned above, and I would like to add;
Contracts for fFilm and Television by Mark Litwak
and
Film Business A handbook for Producers edited by Tom Jeffrey

Definately contact your local Film Commission. Laws regarding location shooting vary from city to city.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 09:32 AM   #5
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What I was hoping for, were real life example and costs. You know, "I worked on this project, did this and this, it cost about this much." This way, I can hear different approaches, any cost advantages (If any), but mostly experience and ball-park figures.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 11:22 AM   #6
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Ball park figures will vary wildly (Widely too) depending on numerous things. Location/crew/cast/effects/shooting ratio/expenses for craft services/legal... You get the idea.

I know someone who shot a "feature' and spent 300 dollars total for tape stock.

It sucked... nobody liked it, and it's going nowhere.

I recently spent four days working on a fundraising video, shot digitally with a "skeleton" six man crew... all pros. The budget was 16 thousand for a five to seven minute film. It looks great, the client is happy and everyone got paid.

You are just going to have to do your homework. Start by getting a rate card from local production companies. Look at what it costs to shoot things on a professional level. Get the rate cards for the unions... find out what a crew would cost. Go to the local production houses, find out who will work for free/deferred payment.

It really is all covered in these books we've mentioned. They are worth every dime spent on them, and you can carry them with you on the set.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 11:42 AM   #7
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Richard- Your fundraiser is the kind of thing I am looking for you guys to share. Your budget was $16,000. Where did the money go? What were the locations, and what permits were needed, cost of permits, insurance, etc.

A few weeks ago, there was a post about a Dodge commercial shot by one of the board members here. Some people argued it could be shot for much less, and it could have- guerilla style. But, I want to know about the costs and methods used in real world situations, as well as procedures. Or, even horror stories, because that stuff happens... all too frequently at times :)
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Old May 28th, 2003, 01:43 PM   #8
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Keith,

I hate to keep harping on this... but what you want to know is found in these books. Especially if you are looking at producing a low budget feature.

The video I just worked on was produced by a local production company. I was brought on board as scriptwriter, and assistant director. I was paid to meet with the people, scout the locations, write the first two drafts, meet with the people, be present at the shoots where I acted as interviewer to get the comments we needed from the right people on camera. I will sit with the Director starting next week to rough cut the ten hours of footage down to about ten minutes of video. Preview that for the client to get feedback. Re-work the script and edit to five-to-seven minute length. Preview that. Finish tape. Deliver to client.

That's just MY part of the job. I get paid for it. The crew included the Director who was also DP and will act as editor.... a PA, (Invaluable for running back to the vehicle to get something, checking on the next location, getting releases signed.) A sound operator. He ran a boom and a lav... mixed it into the camera feed through his deck. A Grip who trucked the dolly, helped schlep the gear (A LOT of schlepping) and a Gaffer with his own light truck. Everyone was paid a day rate, and rental on their gear. We also got paid mileage, and meals and were put up in a hotel for two nights.

This was a pretty "small" production, but we worked HARD for two -twelve hour days... with an enormous ammount of set-ups and interviews.

That's just a typical budget and schedule for a small "industrial" type of project.

Obviously, with a feature, you can go gueriila or pro.

If you are looking for a "Number" I'll give you one.

$300,000

That's the budget to shoot my feature script in DV. That's what I think I can do it for, and make a project that will have legs, be marketable and make a small return.

For only a little more, I can shoot on 16mm, which is what I will probably do.

People will tell you"I can shoot a feature film for five grand".

To which I reply "I can shoot one for the cost of a two hour tape."


But that's another thread... Really, just buy the books and read up on it. That's a great place to start.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 01:59 PM   #9
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I will get the books, but that will be a little ways off. I just like to hear what you, and other pros have gone through. Not just for myself, but others like me, thinking about doing a feature project.

I mean, it's part of why we keep coming back... to learn from the experiences of others, and to share what we know, and what we've done. War stories, horror stories, fish tales... :)
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Old May 28th, 2003, 04:42 PM   #10
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This link might be of some help as well.

http://www.raindance.co.uk/indietips/index.html
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Old May 28th, 2003, 05:15 PM   #11
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Very cool site, Dylan!
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Old June 6th, 2003, 01:18 PM   #12
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"Permits- to film on location, aren't you supposed to have a permit?

YES you are suppose to get permits ..

"What if I need an intersection for some shots? How can I keep people from running over crew and actors? And the ever famous, What to do if the cops show up?"

when you get your permits .. you will tell them you need intersection .. they will provide you with police to control intersection (at your cost) ...

"Insurance- What if someone gets hurt, or a location accidently burns down?"

that is why you take out insurance ..

"Catering- Feeding the crew keeps them happy... and from eating each other"

if you are paying low wages ( or no wages) you will have to keep your crew HAPPY by providing GOOD hot lunches/dinner and good snack table through out the day/night .. un happy crews do not eat each other they eat the producer and director ...

full production insurance on a under 500K could run around 5K a year - more $$ if stunts and you are using cars ... police control for intersection ? 300-500 per police officer... to close intersection you'll need 3 police officers ...
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Old June 6th, 2003, 01:22 PM   #13
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Much of what Don says is true, and applicable especially to California.

Other locations have different requirements for location shooting. Again, check with your local Film Commission.

And FEED THE CREW WELL

Unless you are shooting a remake of MUTINY on the BOUNTY
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