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Old October 12th, 2005, 08:17 AM   #1
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Discussion about the process of making an indie film - are you an "auteur" too?

Hello all, I consider myself an "auteur"...well, at least I'm trying to be one.

Currently, I'm in full-time development of a film called "Santa and the Little Kid". My plan is to spend the entire fall and winter developing the screenplay...storyboards, production schedules etc etc. In the spring of 2006 I plan to go into pre-production - getting other people involved. If all goes well I'll start shooting in late 2006 and edit and exhibit it in 2007.

I'm curious to know if anyone else out there is currently working on developing a film by themselves? If so, what is your process? I've been doing this a long time in various forms, but this is my first feature I plan to do myself without any other people...except for the production itself.

Here is my process:

Screenplay:
- I use Final Draft to write the screenplay on a Mac. However, about 50% of the time I scribble notes to myself on napkins and scraps of paper. This part of my process is a time-waster because I have to transfer it into the computer. But, I sometimes get ideas in the strangest places...like while driving!

- I've got a large 3 ring binder that keep printed version of the latest script in. Inside this binder I try to manage the scraps of paper that I generate. My goal is to be as "digital" as possbile when I write.

Storyboards:
- My girlfriend luckily draws a bit, so I have her storyboard basic shots that I come up with. Also, I actually go on weekend drives all around New England looking for locations. I take pictures and write down the address. In the future, I know where the shot was and I also make notes on time of day etc in regards to lighting placement.

- I've also used FrameForge quite a bit and that's very helpful...and Photoshop is useful for tweaking scanned in drawings.

Music
- I'm writing the soundtrack to my movie myself. I have a back catalog of 100's tunes I've written and plan to re-write them as Christmas songs. My plan is to incorporate all the sights and sounds of the movie into the songs...make them organic to each other. Like a song in the movie will be a "needle drop" - a person will play a CD and the tune will be played through the scene. That song will be on the soundtrack.

Production issues:
- Right now, I own the Z1U and it's pretty good. But, I have a feeling that by the time I want shoot this film I'll want a native progressive solution. It might be worth my while to sell my gear and plan to rent. This has never been my way of doing things, but I'm considering it. I tend to rend or borrow equipment for paying video gigs anyway. Believe it or not, HD (HDV) still isn't being requested nearly as much as DV. I shoot in HDV sometimes just to show the client how much better it is...they usually want it afterwards.

- I've got a nice studio to work in already, but I also have a huge barn 10 feet away from it that could be converted into a soundstage. I've been going back and forth about wanting to get in there and take on the challenge of it. It would be a major time and money investment. But, it would be a real studio with tons of space to shoot...it's large enough for 2 studios really.

Ok, so that was just a ramble of what's on my mind. I'm very interested in knowing how others do what they do in regards to developing an indie film.

Please let me in on your process!
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Old October 12th, 2005, 05:36 PM   #2
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I guess I am an "auteur" to. Though I don't know what that word means.. I am currently working on a fairytale. Something like the "Neverending Story" and the new movie about "Narnia" (don't know the title). I am currently finishing the story (in Sophocles). In january I am going to send some letters to try to get some funding from our governments moviefund. I doubt I'll get them though. If I get money, that would be cool. My realistic approach is that I don't so I won't pay any salaries. But I will cough up as much as I can to spend on travels, food and props. I will borrow cameras from people I know or buy them from a different budget. I might go for a $6999 budget to compete with the "El Mariachi" production budget... :)

My target is to shoot in late june and early july. Probably I would start certain scenes as early as may. I will also do casting in march-april and rehearsal from then.

During august and september I will edit. I will use my own music, some old pieces that has lost its copyright that I or a friend will re-arrange.

In october the distributors will fight over the rights to the movie and pushing hard to get it out to the christmas season. Of course they will make it and it will be the success of the year. In 2007 it will be nominated to oscars and awards across the world.. I will be living on a cloud... *bubble burst*

Well... I am writing a movie about a fairytale... I guess I can live my own to.. ;)
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Old October 12th, 2005, 06:48 PM   #3
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Chris,

I think you might be a bit confused on the classic definitio of the "Autuere" theory.

First suggested in France in 1948 by Alexandre Astruc in his essay "Le Camera Stylo" - It suggested that the directors was the controlling force in film, as an artist who infuses the entire work with his or her personality and point of view and all of whose MULTIPLE FILMS can be related in terms of similar techniques, style and themes. (Reference The Complete Film Dictionary)

The notion that these directors DID everything themselves is not part of the original theory. The fact that through digital technology, it is now possible for a director to very nearly create his own production from beginning to end single handedly, does not directly make him an 'auteur' in the classic sense of the word. While a one man band will certainly have, by DEFAULT a single creative point of view, it is much EASIER to infuse that view on your creations as a sole operator, than to infuse your vision on a series of expensive projects funded by companies and employing armies of creative individuals.
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Old October 14th, 2005, 11:52 PM   #4
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I'm going to be spending time working on my film and discussing it on an indie film site. Thanks for replying..
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Old October 17th, 2005, 11:15 AM   #5
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Chris,

What indie site are you going to discuss your movie? I'm interested in following the movie-making process.

donald
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Old October 17th, 2005, 11:52 AM   #6
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It's geared towards all aspects of indie film specifically and the people are really cool.

http://www.indietalk.com
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Old October 19th, 2005, 11:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fredrik-Larsson
I guess I am an "auteur" to. Though I don't know what that word means..
It's a French word that simply means "author" in English, Don't know what the Swedish word is. I've always disliked the use of the word in the context of filmmaking, but I guess for us Indies, it's probably pretty close to correct, since we're invloved in and have the final say over all aspects of the work. We're bound to leave our personal imprint on the final product, for good or bad.
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Old October 22nd, 2005, 04:15 PM   #8
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Folks use to write novels, today they make digital films....way cool.
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Old October 22nd, 2005, 07:30 PM   #9
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The basic idea was that certain directors exhibit a tangable style to their films while others do not. Hitchcock was one of the prime examples of an auteur that the French film critics were labeling as an auteur.
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