Inexperienced Independent Documentary-Maker In Over His Head From Michigan at DVinfo.net

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Old December 1st, 2005, 11:43 AM   #1
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Inexperienced Independent Documentary-Maker In Over His Head From Michigan

Hello all,

Just thought I'd introduce myself. I'm Justin. I'm independently making a documentary using a Canon XL1s. I have no real technical background, so I've been learning a lot lately thanks to the generosity of many people and to places like this forum.

The tale of my movie has been an interesting one. First my partner (the guy with the film and tech background and expertise) dropped out and then my funding dropped out. But I'm still making a go of the thing. I recently invested in the Canon XL1s and a computer set-up for editing, so there's no turning back now.

I'm going to have many many questions, more than even I realize, which is good. I think if I knew how many questions I'll have, I'd be running for the hills.

You guys have been a great source of info so far. Thanks. And hello to my fellow Michiganders!
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 04:17 PM   #2
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Hey man!

I'm sort of inexperienced as well, but I'm not in it as deep as you! Joking...but if you need any help with filming or anything give me a holler on here and I'd love to help you out and gain any experience I can. Also, I have been using FCP now, so I'm getting better at that, if that's what you're using.

E-mail me if you need some help!

wasteddevelopment@yahoo.com
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Old December 5th, 2005, 07:38 AM   #3
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Hey Derek,

Thanks for the offer. I'm getting by on this thing by the help and generosity of other people.

My needs right now are mostly informational. I'm basically on my own for shooting, as anyone present would beed to be set-up with the class I'm documenting and it's too late for that. But I definitely will have plenty of questions, so I'll keep you in mind. I'll be getting a new computer in this week along with Final Cut Studio. This will be my first Mac and I'm sure I'll have questions on the editing and such.

Thank you so much.
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Old December 6th, 2005, 10:17 AM   #4
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UPDATE- Project End

I just wanted to let anyone who may have read this thread know that my movie project will not be going forward. The program I was planning to document has been cut by the board at the school it's based out of. It has a lot to do with politics and funding cuts from the government. In the end, the story I wanted to tell is no longer there to be told.

I've still got other movies in me and, once I get myself in a better place financially (I sunk myself into a bit of debt on this one), I will make another one. And I'm still going to be studying and experimenting and reading here to gain the knowledge I need. This was my first movie and I'm a newbie after all.

Thanks for the offers of help from those who gave them. I'm sure I'll still be taking you up on them sometime in the future.
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Old December 6th, 2005, 07:53 PM   #5
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Justin, i don't mean to tell you what to do, but if you already have some footage shot, the cutting of the funding for political reasons could prove to make it a much more marketable and interesting piece. People love intrigue and they especially love seeing how the little guy is getting screwed by politics who knows maybe this documentary could be the very thing to get the program back.
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Old December 6th, 2005, 10:39 PM   #6
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Hey. I appreciate the input.

Shooting hadn't started yet and nothing substantial was going to be shot for another few months, so, sadly, that's not a possibility.

However, the program will be resurrected. I can nearly guarantee it. It probably will not be for a number of years and may have to happen outside of the school that originally ran the program, but the man who coached the program is an amazing individual. I cannot imagine that he'll let his dream die. Until then, I guess I can get in plenty of practice on other projects so I'm prepared when the chance comes around again.

Thanks!
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Old December 8th, 2005, 11:56 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear it Justin but at least you weren't in post when they cut the program. ;)

Welcome to the boards bud. Feel free to call on me too.
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Old December 9th, 2005, 10:27 AM   #8
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Thanks for that.
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 08:38 AM   #9
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Use That equipment!

Justin:

Make a whole bunch of narrative shorties to become intimately acquainted with your toys. In the immortal words of Robert Rodriguez:

(paraphrase) "Being creative is not enough. Gain technical skills AND creativity and you will soar to the top of your game."

Be like Josh Bass - Dive in with a vengeance. (I wonder what he's doing these days? He is DV Info alumni and boy did he have some HILARIOUS stuff! Check out his claymation short NINJEWS. I laughed so hard I almost passed out).
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 08:41 AM   #10
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Sounds like a good plan. That's the road I'm looking to head down.

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh DiMauro
Justin:

Make a whole bunch of narrative shorties to become intimately acquainted with your toys. In the immortal words of Robert Rodriguez:

(paraphrase) "Being creative is not enough. Gain technical skills AND creativity and you will soar to the top of your game."

Be like Josh Bass - Dive in with a vengeance. (I wonder what he's doing these days? He is DV Info alumni and boy did he have some HILARIOUS stuff! Check out his claymation short NINJEWS. I laughed so hard I almost passed out).
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Old January 1st, 2006, 04:54 AM   #11
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Hello Justin

I too am a newbie at this forum! My name is Carl Hataway and I am co-owner of a Videography company in San Antonio, Texas. We do documentaries as well and if I may ask what is your documentary about?

I posted my first post at the "Introduce Yourself" page, if you care to please read about us. If I can shed any light from our documentary experiance don't hesitate to give me a shout.

Respectfully,
Carl
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Old January 1st, 2006, 04:27 PM   #12
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Hey Carl,

Thanks for the offer of info. I read over your introduction. It sounds like you have a pretty good set-up. How did the two of you end up going for videography? What kind of experience did you have going in?

My documentary was on a very unique sports program at a local school. Sadly, the documentary won't be made at this time as budget cuts have forced the school to cut the program. I'm quite positive that the movie will be made one day, though, as the coach (a friend and hero of mine) has a great desire to see his goals succeed and will bring the program back to the school or will od it outside of the school one day.

My goal is to still make a movie, preferably a documentary. I need to pay for the equipment I've purchased and I need to come up with a good topic. I will go forward from there.

Thanks for the offer of help. I'll take you up on it, I'm sure.

Justin
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 12:15 AM   #13
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How we started our Videography business

Hey Justin, that's too bad about your documentary however here is something that you might check into as it has become our "Bread and Butter" Advanced Depositions for your court system. Your XL1 will display Time and Date on film and that is about all you need other than a wireless mic setup. No certification is needed and you pursue the prospect through the Court Reporters Association for you city or state. My partner and I do anywhere from six to fifteen a week. We work for the Federal, State and Municipal courts and some insurance companies too, we get from $55-$75.00 per depo depending on hours spent. The court reporters will pretty much let you know what they normally pay. If you should get a depo gig let me know and I'll tell you about some extra props you'll need.

The way we got started in our videography business goes like this; my partners daughter is married to my son (keeping it in the family) and we filmed their wedding for our own keeping when we looked at each others film we thought why not do this for extra income? My partner owned a lighting company so we were able to buy some lighting equipment at wholesale and we went from there. We both had Sony BetaCams and eventually sold the Sony's and bought XL1's when we started making money we bought more equipment and we said let's retire from our REAL JOBS, my partner had a buyer for his company and I had 32 years in as a Police Officer, was in Homicide for 19 years and had filmed crime scenes. I had made Captain seven years before, so he sold and I retired. We both had substantial 401K's plus I have my city retirement and having 32 years in I get 80% of my base salary with COL's raises, so we invested what we needed to buy the equipment we wanted and as it was an investment in a business we were not penalized for the withdrawal. We incorporated our company when we registered our company name that gives us personal protection against legal matters, only the company can be sued not our personal holdings outside the company. We are an S-Corp and tax exempt for anything used for our company; DVD's, PC's, lighting equipment, any equipment we buy for the company, film, labels and jacket covers for the DVD's, etc... speaking of jacket covers for the DVD's we buy them from a company called "TapeStockOnline.com" we buy white DVD cases 200 for $40.00 and they are top quality and 200 High Gloss DVD labels for $48.00.

My partner is Director of Sales for our company and I am the Executive Producer and Editor. We employee an Associate Producer and two other Editors and three staff digital still photograpers who use Canon EOS 10D's, we have four sales reps that drum up business for us and work as film crew members when we have a big corporate event like a team building seminar the salesmen will use the XL1's with Sennheiser wireless and on the XL2's we use Shure UHF wireless mics. When we do Training Films for companies, using three or four cameras really makes a difference in the quality of the production. We have khaiki and denim shirts with a picture of the Canon XL2 and our company name embroidered over one pocket and black windbreakers with the same thing on the front and PRODUCTION CREW embroidered across the back in white 3" letters all the personnel have four shirts and a windbreaker each. One of our corporate clients suggested the shirts because they said we were an impressive crew and they wanted to be able to point us out in a crowd, like it's hard to spot us when we have four to six 54"X72" lightbanks running and a 12 foot Jib Arm and a 10 foot Sky Pod over the crowd.

Let's stay in touch,
your partner in film
Carl
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 01:53 PM   #14
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Thanks for the info, Carl. What exactly is Advanced Depositions? What do you guys do for the courts?
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 08:49 PM   #15
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Advanced Depositions

Justin, let's say a person gets arrested, he wants to make a statement or confess, we record that statement or confession; that is a deposition. Let's say you are witness to an incident that could become a criminal or legal issue; what you observed is told to the police the filming of that statement is a deposition. The deposition while being filmed is marked on tape with a time and date stamp directly burnt onto the film. The time and date lets the judiciary body or jury know that the film has not been altered or edited. The Advanced Deposition is taken before the actual hearing; you are going out of town and the judge says that what you witnessed can be recorded before you leave because while you are gone the hearing is going to take place and you don't have to be there at the hearing date.

Filming a confession or statement lets the prosecutor and or jury watch the subjects body language, breathing, eye movement, etc. which is vital to a defence or prosecution.

Justin if I may ask, are you at least 21 years old? That is a factor in getting on with the courts.

Stay in touch,
Carl
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