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Old July 8th, 2012, 11:22 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Reboot

Hello (again) -

I haven't been on this forum in about five years. I also haven't made anything during that time. During my absence, I've been making a go at screenwriting while holding various behind-the-desk posts in the entertainment industry (marketing, new media, and TV development). To make a long story short, despite some interest, I haven't sold a script. And I just got laid off from my day job...

As I reflect on the last five years, I've learned a lot and have had some great experiences; I got literary representation, took meetings with some great production companies, saw the business from an entirely different vantage point, and got a couple of credits under my belt. But I realize that continuing to write scripts and submit them to producers so they can then pitch them to the studios is just me asking for permission to pursue my dream of being a filmmaker. And I don't need to. I can write, direct, and produce my own film with my friends and some of the talented people I've met. Not a novel concept to many on here, I'm sure.

However, now having been around the industry, I know that making a film isn't as simple as everyone makes it sound. I often hear: "Just get a camera and go shoot something. It's easy!" I disagree. Making a feature is tough. Never mind a great story, cast, and production quality...there are funds to raise, legalities to consider, insurance coverage to purchase, guilds and unions to work with, etc. And so now, I'm in the research phase because I want to do this right. If I'm going to call in favors and have people put in hard work, I want something to be in it for them too -- even if that's just a film they can feel good about having been involved with.

I've started my research by meeting with director and DP friends and I've ordered a bunch of books off of Amazon, including "Producer to Producer" by Maureen A. Ryan and "Making Movies" by Sydney Lumet. I'm a slow reader, so these should last me until winter...

But I wanted to check in here with the knowledgeable -- and always very helpful -- community at DVinfo on any advice you might have. I'd like to know if there are any resources you'd recommend, pitfalls I should look out for, experiences you've had with the right/wrong way to things, etc. I know I can just go out and shoot something (and I will likely do some skits/shorts to get my feet wet again), but I also want to start planning a low-budget, independent feature that has a shot at being viable, as well as a positive experience for those involved.

Thanks for reading.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 02:05 AM   #2
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Re: Reboot

Welcome back, Shane!
Good luck with your filmmaking plans. I hope you succeed.
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Old July 13th, 2012, 10:02 AM   #3
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Re: Reboot

Thanks, Trond.
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Old July 19th, 2012, 12:51 AM   #4
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Re: Reboot

Buy a whiteboard. Buy a big whiteboard. And get good at Microsoft Excel.

Being able to layout all of the various facets you need to bring together, clearly and succinctly, is the key to bringing a production together smoothly in my experience. And the key to that is having each stage written down on a nice big flowchart so that you can tick off each aspect as you take care of it.

Without a whiteboard production's a daunting task.

Best of luck!
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Old July 19th, 2012, 11:36 AM   #5
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Re: Reboot

Noted. Thanks, Mark.
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