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


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Old January 31st, 2005, 08:49 AM   #1
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Do you agree with the assessment that ANYONE can make a film from this article:

http://www.boston.com/business/artic...nymore?pg=full

imho, even with the tools of moviemaking coming down, it doesn't mean everyone is all of a sudden orson welles...
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Old January 31st, 2005, 09:22 AM   #2
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Anyone witha typewriter can write a book.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 09:30 AM   #3
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I think the most important part of the article is the part about the schlock being created, and how much more of it there is to wade through.

Bottom line, easier to make a 'movie' (whatver that is) more competition for distribution , so STORY is more important than ever before.

The pen is mightier than the lens.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 09:34 AM   #4
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Yi, nice article you found!

it means you are scare? (iīm joking, me too).

The good thing is that people can get, if they really are willing to, this technology and with little investment and lot of imagination make a featured film.

Ok, they wont be Welles, but if they find a helping hand on the photography and camera, another friend who likes to manage things to happend, an skilled neighbour using his computer with one of the million NLE, AND a good brother who helps him write better stories...

Well, you donīt need to be Orson with such talented an working people. And maybe the first film is not so good. But what about the next one. I mean; with the kind of budget these films have, you sure can make three or four and by the end of these for five years be a master indie director who can have wachable films.

Of course just IMO...

The problem really comes when i know i have all this things by hand but im scare to use it because of failing (not mine sure, but lot of people). And if there is the problem with the budget(like i have) its the moment to try and make some DIY, DYI... you know, handcrafted things like rig, jib, dolly, mini35īs... To make your film look as great as possible.

By the way, a friend called me and i got enough students to start teaching scriptwriting workshop! Just a little step. I love this world!
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Old January 31st, 2005, 09:35 AM   #5
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Agreed, Barry. A 'movie' or a 'film' is just a technical undertaking. What's the old saying of putting monkeys in front of a typewriter and eventually something coherent will come out?

Making a 'good' movie or film, however, is the art.

Anyone can do the former, but only some can do the latter. And even then it's subjective!

It's all voodoo. We should all quit right now.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 10:09 AM   #6
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Hey look,
you've been seeing this sort of thing in the recording industry for some time now. Musicians have been able to record their own CD's at home in their bedrooms for little investment. That doesnt make them recording engineers, and you get a lot of crap out there. But there is also new and interesting ideas and innovations happening.
The cream will rise...

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Old January 31st, 2005, 10:21 AM   #7
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I think the whole digital = availability thing is overblown. The only thing digital has done is made more people think that THEY can jump on the bandwagon, because they think its something easier to do than film. In turn, this often creates the "weed" that everyone has to sift through.

What availability really means is cost, and even that isn't really much of a factor. If you had a brilliant idea 10 years ago you could easily shoot it on 16mm for a couple thousand dollars if you watched your budget. And getting a good film shot on video will cost the same if you want similar quality. DV cameras and post production equipment (NLEs), is available to anyone, but most of making a film comes from the expertise and creativity of the cast and crew, and other equipment that makes the film look good, not merely exist.

The bottom line is, if you have the passion and a good enough idea to want a film made, you're going to do it. I don't think that anyone could say that if they had those ingredients 10 years ago they would have not chosen to make a film but would now because it's "easier".
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Old January 31st, 2005, 02:10 PM   #8
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ivan,

the biggest problem to overcome is procrastination. how do you know if you've never done it? if you study up on the various filmmakers across the span of time, almost all of them have made many a failures before they made their first successful (artistically, critically or financially). even orson welles directed a couple of experiemental films before citizen kane.

the key to moviemaking is simply do it and welcome failure. because, as those old proverbs from any culture teaches, failure breeds knowledge and you learn from your mistakes. by the time of your 10th mistake (just an estimate, your mileage may vary) you will know several things:

1. i suck and moviemaking ain't for me. i should move on with my life with other career choices.

2. i'm really good, i'd like to do this for the rest of my life.

3. i can go into a project and take it from the start to finish.

so the key is, as nike says, just do it. and expect to fail.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 02:16 PM   #9
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Or as Ben Stiller says, Dhoo it. Dhoo it - Dhoo it. Dhoo it.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 05:18 PM   #10
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It is said there is an unwriten law wich explains that your first good script will be the 13... so better get rid of the others sooner than later... Its a good law.

Unfortunately Spain is the contact country and the ones who get "big" (means 2m €) budgets usually are not the best for nothing. Difficult private investments here, so we must go for the indie method and break some doors. I suppose itīs the same everywere, but here is more evident for me.

And i know perfectly well the procrastination word... It followed me for many years, and usually i have it around me. The best way for me to get rid of it is to have lot of work an donīt have time to think about it. And if you know this word, Yi, maybe you try to fight it too. Its an everyday battle. One of the worst things may i say.

Anyway, thing are looking good this year for a big break here. Not as big to being hear outside, but everything will come.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 05:32 PM   #11
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There are many, many examples of this same thing with technology becoming available to more people.

Having a computer and an accounting program doesn't make you an accountant.

Having a drum machine doesn't make you a drummer.

Having an NLE doesn't make you an editor.

Having a brand new $400 driver doesn't mean you will play better golf.

The moral of the story here is.....It's not the 'arrow', it's the 'shooter'.

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Old February 6th, 2005, 03:59 PM   #12
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I agree with Greg. It's possession of the skills and knowledge to use the tools, not just the tools. As Richard pointed out, a good story is more important than ever. Unfortunately, beautuful photography cannot ultimately rescue a bad story. A sad side effect of DV is that people are willing to settle for less, so it seems the bar has been lowered on quality.

The article is a lot of hype and b.s. about digital technology. I do not dispute that digital is here. Indeed, I've shot a bunch of it, but it's still in it's infancy and far from "the single-most perfect projection of a digital film ever". "EVER"?? A lot of the commercial aspects including distribution and money have to be ironed out. It's called "show business", not "show art" to borrow a really awful cliché.

The article cites desktop publishing in the '80's as a similar paradigm shift, but leaves out some things. A lot of friends who were professional graphic designers back then were out of work because companies suddenly had a "publishing program" and suddenly thought that they were publishers. The companies didn't know anything about publishing, printing, graphics, or computers, so they ended up having to re-hire most of their graphics people who, in the mean time, became freelancers. There was a lot of fighting for fair rates.

The people who were firing, undervalued the graphic artists and failed to understand that they still needed trained professionals who were connected, who knew how to operate in that world and knew how to use the tools both old and new.

The same is now happening for DP's, editors, photographers and filmmakers. This is a very odd time for the film and photo industry, the whole "Digital Revolution" is shaking things up. 9/11 didn't help much either. Buyers are not sure what to do and are more willing than ever to undervalue quality, people and products. We creators are still collectively waiting for something to happen but no one seems to know what that something is. We want to lead the charge, but we don't know where to go.
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Old February 6th, 2005, 05:00 PM   #13
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Jean Cocteau said until filmaking is as cheap as a pencil and paper , it will never be an art. How much hollywood cxxp where hundreds of millions are spent to lulify our brains, are we willing to take , unless that is a goal - to shoot big boring , expensive trash. If the image is strong it won't matter if it was captured with pixelvision or super 8. The democratization of these tools . even if only used to learn the craft of imagemaking , is the revolution. The history will provide the quality filter.
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Old February 6th, 2005, 07:44 PM   #14
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i wonder if a lot of people here know who Cocteau or Orphic trilogy is... anyway that's another topic for another time.

moviemaking is almost as cheap as pencil and paper (or as close as it ever will be)... i wonder how jean Cocteau would react to modern times if they were alive today...
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Old February 7th, 2005, 11:04 AM   #15
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He'd be making digital films , just to escape the economics of real film. If people here don't know Cocteau , then I'd recommend taking a film appreciation course in your local university. I'll throw out another example of art surviving economics- Bill Violas' The Passing - made with any kind of low budget video or s8 equipment he could put his hands on. The Passing is one of the most beautiful examples of the moving image in the 20th century. Of course there will always be people who want to make Top Gun and want dv to mimic hollywood. What can you do do ??
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