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Taking Care of Business
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Old July 10th, 2003, 06:11 PM   #1
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Why are they all such weirdos?

Obviously, I don't mean all of you. In fact, I only mean the people I usually end up working for on a freelance basis.

I recently applied for a camera position on a horror movie. The producers asked to see a reel, and I met them after work one day. They also wanted to scout the location with me, without even having seen the reel, as though the quality of my work and my competence as a camera person was really more of an afterthought.

Later I learned of how they planned to do all their lighting IN POST-PRODUCTION! They (claim, at least) have 3 million dollars worth of high end studio equipment that will allow them to do this. Also, they said, they wanted to shoot the movie on DV and then blow it up to 35mm. They were shocked and amazed when I informed them of the significant qualitative difference they would encounter between DV blown up to 35mm and footage that originated on 35mm. They asked me not to inform their investors of this significant difference. They then asked if, were they able to procure a 35mm motion picture camera, would I be able to operate it? I had to then politely inform them of the significant differences in shooting miniDV vs. film, and that I had no knowledge of film shooting. Could I learn? Probably not in a month or two.

They also talked of camping out, or staying over at the location for several days, even though the actors are non-paid and probably all have day jobs.

They have a DP (I would simply be a camera op) but, would I be cool with acting as a director of photography? Well, sure, why not? Why not have two, especially when one's only been doing this stuff for a year and a half, and money's at stake?

Oh, and of course, I would not be getting any money up front, though rest assured it would roll in once the first of three feature length movies they planned to shoot sequentially was finished. And of course, they request the full use of all my gear, including lights, monitor, etc.

And they recently asked me to bring my steadycam to the casting call. I don't own one, and never said I did.

That's my freak of the week. I'll have another one soon, I'm sure.
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Old July 10th, 2003, 06:17 PM   #2
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Geezum Josh, why did you stay with them so long? It sure sounds like no one is every going to get paid for that gig except the ones closest to the cash...
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Old July 10th, 2003, 06:17 PM   #3
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You have to look at each and every freelance job as a blind date. You never know what you'll end up with :)
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Old July 10th, 2003, 06:23 PM   #4
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I agree, but it looks like it was going to take a lot of beer from the getgo to get that date lookin good ;-)
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Old July 10th, 2003, 06:26 PM   #5
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In cases like that, just stick with the beer ;)
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Old July 10th, 2003, 06:48 PM   #6
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I haven't stayed with them so long--we've only met once and haven't shot or planned anything yet. I'm not entirely sure that I won't blow them off. I've already got my steady gig that takes up plenty of time and pays nothing, and is done solely "for experience." I don't need another one. And I've heard this no money up front crap almost every time I work for someone. This of course excludes the almost divine Paul Sedillo (except he hasn't thrown anything my way since that one gig) and a few other people.
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Old July 10th, 2003, 08:05 PM   #7
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Hey Josh, If you go for that gig, I've got some beach front property in Florida I can sell you real cheap. Chris
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Old July 10th, 2003, 09:16 PM   #8
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Not before I sell you this magic Hi Def Cam that shoots 24p for $1.
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Old July 11th, 2003, 09:28 AM   #9
 
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Of course you can light it in post. Everyone knows that. One time I forgot to take the lens cap off of the camera for the whole day of shooting. Easy to fix in post and no one noticed! Another time when I was supposed to be shooting a complex action scene with only one available take due to the props/location I had the camera pointed at two very fine women taping them instead. Once again it was very easy to fix in post with my $3 million worth of equipment. I was just able to take the image and pan it around in the computer 180 degrees until I had the complex action scene in the frame again.

=P
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Old July 11th, 2003, 10:31 AM   #10
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Lighting in post is very easy. Anyone can do it. Just put your video on the timeline, click it and pick the "flashlight tool".

The most difficult thing to do in post is to screw up your video. And I consistently do that very well!

:D
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Old July 11th, 2003, 02:56 PM   #11
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Josh, I'd stick it out with these guys, just for all the painfull stories you'll be able to tell for our amusement! :)

Otherwise, I'd run the hell away from that inevtible train wreck!
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Old July 11th, 2003, 05:12 PM   #12
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The sad thing is, me boyos, is that I really have nothing more pressing--not like people are knocking down my door. It's possible these people really are rich and everything, and just don't know a damn thing about filmmaking. After all, this guy I did some work for told me that a producer, unless it's a producer/something, is by far the stupidest person on the set.
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Old July 11th, 2003, 05:34 PM   #13
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Just reduce your risk and have a parachute handy.
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Old July 12th, 2003, 09:15 AM   #14
 
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Actually, if a wedding is shot sufficiently underexposed that you can't tell who the bride and groom are, you'l find that the same wedding video can be used for all your customers, thereby eliminating the need to even be at the wedding in the first place. EZ MOney.
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Old July 12th, 2003, 04:34 PM   #15
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Josh ol'boy, you meet the most interesting people! :)

We will be holding a production meeting sometime in early August for the next gig. Was in California all week. Will drop you a line and we can hook up.

Hey - how come you never told me you had a Steadycam!
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