A few tips for aspiring filmmakers :) - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Techniques for Independent Production

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 21st, 2007, 09:55 AM   #16
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Tyler, Tx
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by PJ Gallagher View Post
if you want to check our progress, or watch some of my shorts, you can see it all here:http://www.caliburnproductions.com
Wow! You've got some great stuff! The stills from you current project "Dark Souls" illustrates beautiful DOF! I liked "Secret Society" too. Secret Society looks like it was filmed at a higher fps; was it filmed at 60fps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PJ Gallagher View Post
if you're going to ADR all the dialogue, you need to pay more attention to the soundscape.
Well, your right. I shot, edited, scored, and completed all ADR in one weekend on "Chasing Ghosts". Production time: 7 hours \ Post-Production: 12 hours. I realize that half the stuff that's wrong with my film could have EASLY been avoided had I spent the time to polish it.

Here are a few things that bother me about my short film:

1. That venetian blind effect I get when there's allot of movement. I originally thought it was because of dirty heads, but, I was corrected... the footage needs to be deinterlaced.

2. The clips could be trimmed a bit. Too much time between character reactions, and dialogue.

3. The folly, and overall soundscape has slight gaps.

4. Some of the mindless profanity in the dialogue could have been reduced. (Itís hard to brag and gloat to family members when your face is red. Grandmas don't appreciate that kind of language :)

I could go for miles........ The point is, I'm thrilled to make all these mistakes! I shot this film a breakneck speed because I was excited about the finished product. I've learned.
Justin Mosley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 21st, 2007, 02:43 PM   #17
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Warwick, Rhode Island
Posts: 740
i feel like we`re the seedy underbelly of film haha, all biting and scratching to do what we love. Fun no? Yea it took alot for me to finally take the plunge, it was with the momentum of myself and 2 others who agreed to get in this together... one dropped out shortly after I spent all the money :\ Fool. So its me and my friend david who has the passion i do, just not the technical know how, so i do about everything with editing, planning shot, etc. I`m still learning the basics of framing and such but hey, we all start somewhere. I never learned much in school, self taught in most stuff so its an uphill battle that i`m willing to wage. The Hollywood Camerawork DVD set was a good starting point, though I keep dialogue to a minimum right now...it taught me the basics of angles etc, combine with just seeing when things look bad, i think i`ll do ok for the time being. You can see a little of what i`m working on here
www.myspace.com/naqproductions
Yea, I`m not even cool enough to have a webpage yet.

and yea man, I feel your pain, everyone thought I was crazy buying equipment....same as when I first flew across the world over 3 and a half years ago to visit my now girlfriend...everyone thought i was a moron, idiot, foolish, etc....they don`t know me or my dedication :P Don`t ever let others embed their doubts in you....if you want it....go for it!
__________________
Cinematography Site

Last edited by Nathan Quattrini; November 21st, 2007 at 03:56 PM.
Nathan Quattrini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 22nd, 2007, 09:57 PM   #18
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Mosley View Post
Well, everything I've done is DIY! I haven't got any financial backers or a wealthy family. Hiring anyone is pretty much out of the question at this point. However, if I did have a little money to spend I would definitely hire real actors :)
I understand what you are saying Justin, but what do you mean by "real" actors? You don't need financial backers or a wealthy family to get "real" actors in a short film. You just need a job. If you can save $200 over the period of a month, you can get real actors.

I helped a friend on a shoot a few weeks ago and he had one "real" actor on set. This guy isn't a big star like George Clooney but he had some real acting experience with around 10+ film credits including some in television. The guy shined through and he carried the entire scene. I think in the end he was paid less than $200.

I've seen other actors on set who are also excellent, getting paid around $50 for the day. I'm not talking big name actors, I'm talking your standard theatre background, love to act and want to do it for a living local wannabe actors who have been in more than 10+ local productions, have been through some acting training, have read up on it, have a film presence, and are trying to make a name for themselves. I'm talking actors who take a script and make it really shine with their deliveries that I would jump at paying $50 or even $100 to just to have work on a project of mine. And a lot of them are willing to do it because there just aren't any paying gigs going on locally.

My point is if you are willing to pay a little money, you can get good actors and build your reel from no experience.

And I think spending $4k-$5k on an editing machine is not a good idea if you are just starting out. You can get a good machine for $500 or even $1000 that will work fine.

People are always saying put your money in front of the camera where it counts, where you can improve your overall film. I think getting better actors is a part of that. I say by all means try to find actors who will do it for free. It's done all the time. But if you have the money, if you have $200, try out some more experienced actors mixed in with some free actors. You'll have a much better production. They make you look better as a director and in the end it's an investment well worth it, at least from what I've seen.

Adding IMDB listed actors also improves your chances of getting your film added to the IMDB, even if it's a short film with no distribution deal, I've seen it done. Overall this is smart because whenever you try to recruit actors, talk to distributors, talk to investors or rep your filmco in the future, they will ask what you've done and you can tell them to checkout your IMDB page and they trust that site. They then click on the actors you've worked with and see they've been in 10+ films and suddenly they trust you more, knowing you've worked with some better known actors and you build a good reputation.

Like the guy above who said he got that one IMDB actor. I bet everyone in the thread rushed to click to see who he was, then he mentioned he got him for free. Imagine 20+ actors like that in your city, fairly good who would do it for $100 because they are free that weekend. Are you telling me you wouldn't pay $100 for better acting?

Big Hollywood productions pay MILLIONS for great actors. Like in "Training Day", I honestly don't recall who directed that film. I could care less who directed it because it was an excellent film and Denzel carried it. Hell I could have directed that film and people would have still said it was great.

Now put some free actor in that role and hand me the camera and suddenly you have a film that nobody cares about. My point being, in many cases the actors are what make the directors famous. Not the directing. In many cases it is also the great script, I won't deny that, but it's the acting!

The way actors see it in my opinion is it's all about breaking even. If they have nothing planned that weekend and you are willing to cover the cost of gas and maybe a night out that night, roughly $50, and they can get some practice with their acting and add to their reel, why not?

But when you say $0 pay, suddenly they are having to cover gas out and their is no added incentive besides adding to their reel. And since most actors also work during the week at a regular job, spending their weekend on set with a unknown director is questionable.

If you are just starting out, you may have to even pay more. $300 for that same actor that did it for $200 elsewhere. Is it worth it? It depends on how good your free actor is.
Anthony Vincent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 23rd, 2007, 12:17 AM   #19
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,675
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vincent View Post
I understand what you are saying Justin, but what do you mean by "real" actors? You don't need financial backers or a wealthy family to get "real" actors in a short film. You just need a job. If you can save $200 over the period of a month, you can get real actors.

I helped a friend on a shoot a few weeks ago and he had one "real" actor on set. This guy isn't a big star like George Clooney but he had some real acting experience with around 10+ film credits including some in television. The guy shined through and he carried the entire scene. I think in the end he was paid less than $200.

I've seen other actors on set who are also excellent, getting paid around $50 for the day. I'm not talking big name actors, I'm talking your standard theatre background, love to act and want to do it for a living local wannabe actors who have been in more than 10+ local productions, have been through some acting training, have read up on it, have a film presence, and are trying to make a name for themselves. I'm talking actors who take a script and make it really shine with their deliveries that I would jump at paying $50 or even $100 to just to have work on a project of mine. And a lot of them are willing to do it because there just aren't any paying gigs going on locally.

My point is if you are willing to pay a little money, you can get good actors and build your reel from no experience.
Any good actor, especially an actor with TV/film experience, is a member of SAG. SAG carries with it strict requirements for pay. It even stipulates how far an actor/actress is allowed to drive to the gig. If an actor is caught violating these terms there can be severe penalties. So when you hire any "good" actor that is supposedly a member of SAG you are bringing with him/her a whole set of guidelines and rules you must follow. $50 for a day is not a SAG actor. A good actor that is not a SAG actor is a diamond-in-the-rough.

And IMHO theater actors are worse than non-actors in terms of acting for film. Aside from already conquering the fear of acting most people have, they carry no advantage. They constantly overact; don't blame them, it's theater training. Teaching them to downsize their actions for the camera means telling them to forget everything they ever learned about acting for stage. They are two completely different beasts.

Watch "The Lifeguard" on my website and you may see what I mean. How did we get the main character, who is theater-trained, to play for the camera? Simple: we gave him only two lines in the whole 16-minute shindig.

I guess the moral is, somewhat like Anthony is saying, you want enthusiastic actors that trust your understanding of the script material and are willing to trust you 100%; otherwise, they start monitoring their own performance, and that's when you can see an actor acting; never a good thing.
__________________
BenWinter.com
Ben Winter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 23rd, 2007, 10:11 AM   #20
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Plano, Texas
Posts: 44
Quote:
Imagine 20+ actors like that in your city, fairly good who would do it for $100 because they are free that weekend.
Some of that is a matter of location, though. Where we live, there really are a lot of talented people with some local credits/television commercials/extra parts, etc. that are willing to work for very little money (and I've had several very talented local people work with me for no upfront money).

I would assume the number of such people is significantly lower in a much smaller city like Tyler, though.

Quote:
$50 for a day is not a SAG actor.
But $100 a day is under the lowest budget contract.

It's a pain to become a SAG signatory, though.

I don't know about other cities, but here in Dallas there really are a good many people with low-budget experience who really can act who haven't yet had the opportunity to join SAG (even much of the TV commercial work here is non-union, so they can't even qualify for membership through their commercial work).

And there are SAG actors I know who couldn't act their way out of a paper bag (since one can get a SAG card through extra work or having a single line in a SAG production, it's no guarantee that a person with a SAG card is a talented, quality actor).

There's also the fact that bad scripts can make the best actor seem like a poor one, and bad or no direction can hamper a performance.
Ryan Paige is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 23rd, 2007, 10:52 AM   #21
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Warwick, Rhode Island
Posts: 740
"Any good actor, especially an actor with TV/film experience, is a member of SAG."

Not true at all. There are plenty out there that don`t like the confinements and control SAG has over them. There are those that love local art/film more than the "SAG" name. There are those who can`t afford to pay for the SAG membership. Nothing in this world is absolute. And as stated above, holding a SAG card doesn`t make you a skilled actor.

There are some good points in here to be had, yea if you can afford to pay even a little your bound to get more interested people, but again, doesn`t guarantee good actors. Its really all a matter of finding the right person for a role. Sometimes you have to settle if your broke, other times it pays to hold out even if you can`t afford to pay. I also had one IMDB person on my first short

http://imdb.com/name/nm2440492/

She did it because we met on another film (I was doing featured extra work). Later on a friend referred her to me for a role we were trying to film. She does all horror, and the role I had was more drama based. She saw it as a chance to do something outside her norm. So its all about networking, finding people that fit the role, and finding ones intrested. It doesn`t always work out like that either...same film smaller role I thought I casted the right guy for it because he looked the part and said he had acted before, but when he showed (it was a last minute casting with no audition) it was like pulling teeth trying to get simple actions out of him. So you win some, lose some. But to say you need to pay is only a half truth as it can go either way.

I just realized the friend who referred Sarah is also now listed on IMDB and was the main actor of my first short. We were friends for a few months and wrote the short together.
http://imdb.com/name/nm2753495/
__________________
Cinematography Site
Nathan Quattrini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 23rd, 2007, 03:24 PM   #22
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Tyler, Tx
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Quattrini View Post
its all about networking, finding people that fit the role, and finding ones intrested.[/url]
Well put Nathan! I see these forums as a way to network with other filmmakers. I've learned so much from the great people on this forum and I hope that a few can learn from me :) However, Like Ryan said..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Paige View Post
the number of such people is significantly lower in a much smaller city like Tyler, though.
It's VERY VERY true! Tyler, TX is not a place were actors like to hang out! lol But, I don't mind a bit... It just makes my job that much more challenging and exciting!

Maybe someone will put a comment saying "Hey Justin! I live like 20 minutes from Tyler! lets work together!" ... until that day comes, I'll keep my eyes open for rare oppritunitunities!
Justin Mosley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 27th, 2007, 09:48 AM   #23
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Houston, Tx
Posts: 47
can I interject

You are relatively close to Houston and Dallas/Ft. Worth, and there are acting schools in those cities filled with talented people who are hungry and will work for nothing. My first short film, I had a casting call and about 30 people showed up, and I am a complete nobody. I ended up with a wonderful cast and a solid script that I completely misdirected and ended up with a crappy film that could have been good. Suprisingly enough, when I had my second casting call, those same actors auditioned again. The world is filled with hungry people...
Melvin Harris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 28th, 2007, 05:30 AM   #24
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Wurzburg, Germany
Posts: 316
There are hundreds of good, professional shorts made every year where nobody gets paid - except for free catering. The point is you need to give the actors a perspective. If they think they will be able to add your short to their portfolio, they will gladly work for free.
For example a guy I know made a short and he was able to pull some strings (he was working at Arri at the time...guess that helped...but it was his first film never the less). He got some super16 film stock for free, got a good price on the camera rental (almost for free, as he rented from his employer...). As soon as he had a good story and the super16 camera, people were lining up to work for him. He got a good cameraman, who brought an assistant, they knew some gaffer, and so on. When he started to audition actors, they were also lining up - he even got one professional tv actor who is a regular (small role, but regular) on very popular German tv show.
Heiko Saele is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Techniques for Independent Production

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:55 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network