Hello and Any Suggestions for "CREWLESS IN LOS ANGELES"? at DVinfo.net

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Old May 13th, 2008, 11:43 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 18
Hello and Any Suggestions for "CREWLESS IN LOS ANGELES"?


I’d like to introduce myself and ask a couple questions of those familiar with the (wacky?) world of Indie Filmmaking, especially in the Los Angeles area.

I live in the San Fernando Valley, and would like to begin making some Shorts with an eye toward that Holy Grail of Indie Filmmaking, writing/directing a low (or no) budget Feature. I’ve already spent some time making a number of Shorts on my own (with a nearly indestructible Sony DCR-VX2000!), and I figure it’s time to branch out and start working with a (minimal) crew and (“real”) actors.

Like most Indies, I can’t afford to pay everyone what they deserve. And while I know most of the “how to” books out there recommend “mustering the troops” to work for free (“Copy, Credit, Meals”), I also know this has become a tougher sell in an era where everybody-and-his-cousin is making a no-budget film. In markets like Los Angeles, the pros “looking to move up a notch” have begun to sour on this proposition (witness the backlash on Craigslist). Frankly, I’m not sure I blame them. I have a hard time asking people to work for “free”, and am struggling to find ways to exchange value for value.

[Note: I’m talking mostly about crew. Sorry, actors, but there are still way too many of you trying to break in, especially in L.A., so simple supply-and-demand economics dictate that most of you are sometimes willing to work for free. If it’s any consolation, I’ll still treat you like the important asset you are!]

The solution? In my mind, it’s “I crew for you, you crew for me”. In other words, I was hoping to find a (ostensibly) large pool of indie filmmakers who would be willing to trade services for services. I work on your Short for a day or two, you work on mine. In the interim, maybe we both learn a few useful lessons and meet some other people who could be of help in the future.

However, after searching the internet, I find this type of arrangement (or organization) hard to find. There are a few “film groups” or forums, of course, but they all seem too small, or too self-contained, or too poorly trafficked.

So, here, finally, are my questions:

1. Does anyone know of an Indie Filmmaking group, or website, where something like I’ve described is taking place?

2. Does anyone have any other suggestions, or words of wisdom, on how best to attract participation in Indie Filmmaking projects?

I realize that dvinfo.net concentrates on the camera side of the business (equipment, videographers), but I’ve also come to appreciate this as one of the most extensive and active forums online dealing with filmmaker issues. So I thought I’d throw this one out there and see what comes back.

Thanks for reading,

(aka, "Steve")
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Old May 18th, 2008, 10:07 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,707

Hey, I live in LA now. If you'd be into getting together give me a call sometime..
Christopher C. Murphy
Director, Producer, Writer
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