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Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.


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Old November 5th, 2007, 09:28 PM   #16
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Don makes a good point-- shorts don't sell. There's no market, unless it happens to fit a slot on TV.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 05:47 AM   #17
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I agree that shorts don't really make any money but i look at it like this; many people spend thousands on features in the hope they can use that to impress investors so that they can get a budget to shoot another feature at a higher level, where as personally i would rather spend 'hundreds' on a 'short' to impress investors to achieve the same outcome, which i believe is very possible if the same level of care Lori speaks about is put into it, oh and by the way Lori if you do decide to write that book, im buying. I put a link below to a short film called 'spin' which i think shows quality and effort into pre and post production perfectly
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oP59tQf_njc
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Old November 6th, 2007, 11:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Ross View Post
Personally, I'd rather make movies than just have a nice car [or house, probably]. And I'm certainly not worried about sending any kids to college yet-- I'm in college. When the time comes, I'll figure that out, surely.

Then you're not really an artist. You're an employee. Certainly a reasonable way to go.
But the difference is that my films are MY films, not like "yours" which are not only the property of others, but also made through a "creative" process controlled by others.
I am an artist who gets paid. where is it ever said that artist = NO PAY ??? and where is it that you assume that PAY= EMPLOYEE ??? I've been self employed for over 20 years. I've worked on hundreds of projects over the years and people paid me for my artistic contributions. Are monet or picasso not artists ? thats silly to equate money to one's "true artistry"

secondly as far as "my films" vs "creative process controlled by others" nothing could be further from the truth. the process you mock is the process that fixes and solves many problems. a GREAT director or producer will take the input of good creatives around them to polish the original idea to make it better. Only the inexperienced or egomanical don't. I survived one of those directors who project crashed and burned rather then list to myself and another producer as to what needed to be fixed to make it sellable. it was all about HIM, and not the movie, and in the end the results spoke for themselves and I got to say " told you so"... but his ego was just too big to listen.

the "creative process" is a great way to work with other people. I like to see other people edit my shooting sometimes because they will put it together in ways I hadn't thought of, and thats always fun and cool to see that. its a good process if you have good people around you.

AFA my own independent projects, I've been thru several. they have all made money and at least paid back their production costs, sometimes made a small profit. you just keep making more, getting better at __marketing__ them, and move up. its all about the box and marketing. if either of those aren't good, you won't make a penny back no matter how good. of course the terrible truth is, so much stuff is just pure junk out there. only 1 in 20 independent films see ANY distribution. has to be a reason why.... and thats because a lot of it is not even watchable.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 03:54 AM   #19
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Steve, review this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig
In my little world, people pay me to shoot!
That was what I was referring to. In such a situation, it isn't your project-- it's someone else's.

If you can be paid to make your art-- great. That's the goal.

You're overexpanding what I said a bit, I think.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 05:27 AM   #20
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An early economist wrote "A man can be neither a lover, nor a poet, nor a philosopher lest at sometime in the recent past he has had something to eat." Starving artists are usually too hungry and too frustrated to be very creative, while admitting to the fact that there are commercial aspects to one's art gives one the means to actually create instead of squandering one's creativity.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 08:25 AM   #21
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"Steve, review this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig
In my little world, people pay me to shoot!
That was what I was referring to. In such a situation, it isn't your project-- it's someone else's."


Because I'm getting paid it isn't my project?
Using that logic... If Zanuck/Brown Productions hired Steven Spielberg to direct a movie it wouldn't be his project.

Daniel, you remind me of my son.
A brilliant guitarist who would rather work in a liquor store than accept a recording contract, because he thinks that would be selling out.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 01:04 PM   #22
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As for this brouhaha over whether one should finance their own film, I have something to say.

All films deal with the demands put on them by financiers. Kubrick is the only director I know of who has gotten complete creative control from the studios. But it can be especially harsh on small indie features where financiers frequently demand participation of actors who may or may not be appropriate to the role, because they think it makes distribution more likely. Huge numbers of films - including my first film - are utterly and irredeemably sabotaged by these demands.

The reason to finance your first feature is to:
1. protect it from destructive demands.
2. not burn through your money sources before you have made an entire feature.

Not many people get paid to make their first feature, or their second, for that fact. Getting a feature film shot, edited and into film fests or distribution is a huge and complex undertaking. Having a self-financed feature that proves you can get it all done on budget is powerful card to have in hand. Waiting until some pays you to make movies, when you don't have one as a sample, is a very long wait indeed.

The digital revolution is all about artistic control. I say use it for all it's worth.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 01:50 PM   #23
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As I said, you're exaggerating my point.

Quote:
A brilliant guitarist who would rather work in a liquor store than accept a recording contract, because he thinks that would be selling out.
Uh... that's not me. I'm in school, he's not. I'm probably smarter than him [at least in terms of common sense], and I will certainly never work in a liquor store.

At the moment, I don't need to work, and I am lucky enough to be able to spend some money to finance my own productions. I like that, and I like making movies.

Sure, I'd love to have a financial backer, but I need to prove myself first.

I'm a very serious filmmaker-- as a hobby. Soon, I will be working to get into it as a career. Just because I don't make my checkbook the foremost thought in my mind [mostly because I don't need to], that doesn't mean you have some higher status than I do.

I'm happy. If you are as well, that's fine then.

But TO ME, I would like to make the films I want, and I'm happy to pay for that.

As said before, I like making movies; it's how I want to spend my money.

No one has offered to sponsor me going on a vacation, but if I wanted to, I'd pay myself. In the same sense, I pay for my own films.


Once this becomes a career, based on my experience and reel from my work now, things will change and I will be working for a profit-- that's how things work. But I'm also quite sure that I will continue to make my own stuff on the side, unless I end up lucky enough to make what I want for a profit, which may or may not happen. And even if I don't end up working in the film industry, I will continue to make films, on the side. And, yes, I'll probably pay for them. Is it worth it? Definitely. What else would I rather spend the money on?

You can work and pay for food, bills, etc., all your life, then you die. What was the point if you didn't also find a way to do what you like? Pay bills first, sure, but if there isn't a second... why even pay the bills?
And even those who cannot afford more still want more, even if they can't afford it. And they may work out of debt, or another tough situation, to where they can again enjoy life.


Don't expand this to be an argument that anyone who makes money or is financially backed is not an artist or not making the films they want, but the way you phrased that, it sounded very much like you were given money to make a certain film. Perhaps your phrasing was just off, but that was the clear impression I got.
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