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Techniques for Independent Production
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 12:32 AM   #31
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For sure, thanks a ton!
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 01:43 AM   #32
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I've done it, twice

Hi,

So I can give you some pointers and stuff. I have shot two feature films for less than $6,000. However, you would have to ask some key questions, as i would for me to be able to really give you any info that would be right for you and the film. One thing is this, either you own a camera and boom or you must be able to get one for cheap or free. remember, with out a camera, one light, a mic (boom) and actors, you can't do anything. so this stuff is the key, this also tells you were you may need to place your concerns and money. you must have actors on board and willing to work for cheap ( they should do it for free, but be their on time and work hard), you must have camera and film (or DV tapes), you must have at least 2 people helping you on your crew. hey making films is not easy, if it was everyone would be doing it, oh yeah, these days many are tring and finding out how hard it can be at times. well write me back if you wqant, anytime.
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 09:02 AM   #33
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My advice is to shoot consecutively (like two weeks with 2 days off--6-day weeks). I think, to do it right, you need at least $12,000 to $15,000 to get a crew (don't pay the cast), food, lights, gear, camera, etc.

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Old October 3rd, 2007, 09:39 PM   #34
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Christopher, earlier in the thread it meantions what i have avalible. Were going to try and get a grant (or a couple) to get to $10,000. Thats if we are lucky, and the script is safe and solid. I think we will be able to find two dedicatid crew members (4 total crew members) without having to pay them. The three main things we have to worry about are 1.) Getting good actors, willing to trust students. 2.) Food $ 3.) Travel $. we are thinking 3 main actors, and either we/ the crew will covor all of the extras. Givin our budget and time constraints (school, darn it) we will probebly be shooting 10 days over the summer, with one day off. Our cast and crew will definitely have to be dadicated. Thanks for the replies--

Corwin
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 09:58 PM   #35
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Hmm... I'm about an hour and a half away (when I'm home for the summer, anyway). Where will you be shooting?
Way too far off to promise anything.
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 11:20 PM   #36
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We will probably be shooting in the mountians (to be made to look like salt lake city), near stanford univercity, in reno (hopefully) and somewhere more southern in ca... not positive yet. there are a couple gas stations, and a pawn shop which can be shot anywhere. there is also a scene in an apartment in salt lake city, which will most likely be shot in SF, since we know someone who lives there. none of this is solid yet, but thanks for the intrest--

Corwin
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Old October 4th, 2007, 12:18 AM   #37
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Just thought I would throw this in there. On our upcoming short we are scraping all problems with audio and dubbing in post (pseudo-horror movie, the dialog doesn't have to synch perfectly). You can save some $ on your boom equipment and some battery power on your car shots this way, major Rodriguez indi technique. I do agree with everyone above, go for the DV.

(Fun fact: I was born at Stanford, can't wait to see the finished piece.)
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Old October 4th, 2007, 06:15 PM   #38
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nice idea with the audio- ittle save you major shooting time. The only problem (for us anyway) would be getting the acters back to us for post. Born in Stanford-- nice. Good hospital. i was born in Chicago- at rush, but moved to california. thanks for writing--

corwin.,
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Old October 4th, 2007, 06:16 PM   #39
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(Rush Hospital, not in a rush.)
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Old October 4th, 2007, 06:46 PM   #40
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That not getting your actors back for post dubbing could be interesting, give them diffrent voices or something like that. I think I may try that sometime soon. It doesnt sound too fun to be born in a rush, haha.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 08:24 PM   #41
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You guys are talking $5000 for a feature? Jeez, I'm spending that on a short (and nobody's getting paid)! methinks someone has to have a serious conversation about my budgeting...
... seriously, willing to discuss specifics in email.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 08:47 PM   #42
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Private email me, if you'd like. I can say one thing...you can go a long way with discounts and free gear, plus affordable or free labor. Besides, I'm going from $15,000 to $150,000 on my next feature, mostly because of what's in the script (comic book adaptation vs. indie comedy/drama).

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Old October 25th, 2007, 04:14 PM   #43
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The number 1 rule of any kind of filmmaking is that the costs will expand to fully eat whatever budget you come up with.

If you have $150,000 to shoot a three minute short, you'll somehow find a way to spend the whole $150,000.

It's all relative, too. If I had $250,000 to put into a feature, for example, I would make a feature. Some people I know would use that $250K to make actor offers and the like on the hopes of raising $5 million or so, largely because they don't believe a true film can be made for under $5 million.

It also depends on how you budget and what equipment you have available. I shot a 85-minute feature where the only out-of-pocket costs were a few DV tapes and a couple of lunches. Because I already owned all the equipment I used, it was cheap, but only because I had made some large investments in equipment earlier.

So depending on what you had to work with (and all sorts of other factors), $5,000 may or may not be the "right" amount for a short.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 12:43 AM   #44
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those that have produced 5-10k features ...
where are they now ...
what kind of milage did you get out of them ( as in help you as film maker , or you got work out of it, got a agent etc
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Old October 26th, 2007, 03:27 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Donatello View Post
those that have produced 5-10k features ...
where are they now ...
what kind of milage did you get out of them ( as in help you as film maker , or you got work out of it, got a agent etc

We've produced two 5-10k features, the way i see it there are so many other aspects to making a film other than the creative ones, essentially a cheap feature needs the same things as a big feature ie actors ,locations ,props ,transport ,food ,crew and time to shoot etc and with both there will be unexpected things that happen that you need to fix.

In my opinion The benefit of making a low budget feature is learning how to manage all aspects of a production that way if someone ever throws you money you have the knowlege and skills you learned on your little feature, the skills are the same except on a bigger scale. That doesnt mean to say that nothing unexpected and scary will happen but it does give you a much more informed idea of what you need to do and allow you to anticipate problems.

So where are we now you ask....we are no further forward in becoming rich or famous other than the fact we have a MUCH better idea of how to make a feature film. We are writing a new script and have shot a 4 min scene from the script in order to try and attract a real budget this time.

Its small steps but you have to make them if you want any kind of a chance in real indie filmmaking, hey we're still young so who knows.

Andy.
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