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Old December 7th, 2001, 04:18 PM   #1
Ken Richlin
 
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Aspiring Filmmaker in NJ

Hi all.

With the recent advent of digital video, I have decided to jump headfirst into the realm of amateur filmmaking.

I have a great many questions for you all, most notably about digital video equipment, PC cards, software I can use to edit and assemble my work, techniques for burning video cd's or dvd's, and the like.

I also have a lot to learn about scriptwriting and general production stuff, but most of that I can learn from reading a few books at barnes & noble. What I need from you guys is advice on the technical side of this wonderful new world I am embarking upon!

I live at the Jersey Shore and I'm a computer engineer doing telecom work for an area startup firm.

- Ken
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Old December 7th, 2001, 08:45 PM   #2
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Location: Frisco, Tx
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Ken,

Not to burst your bubble but...
>I also have a lot to learn about scriptwriting and general production stuff, but most of that I can learn from reading a few books at barnes & noble<

I've been writing feature scripts for over 6 years now, just sold my first script and still have a lot to learn. You might learn some basics about style and structure but you learn how to write by writing and writing and writing.... and writing some more.

Here's a **few** books to start with:
Hero with a thousand faces - Joseph Campbell
Power of Myth - Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers (PBS Special)
Screenplay - Syd Field
Story - Robert McKee

Read each one at least twice.

Then... scripts and a wide variety. My favorites.
Dogma - Kevin Smith is a nut
Good Will Hunting - outstanding dialog
Star Wars - Classic Hero's Journey
Raging Bull
Breakdown - So-so flick but you can count the story beats blindfolded

I could go on.

Lastly, read Rebel without a crew - Robert Rodriguez
That's my .02 on the writing aspect. Video expertise? Although my degree is in R-TV production, I've had to restart and am a humble rookie as well.

Best of luck.
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Old December 8th, 2001, 06:01 PM   #3
Ken Richlin
 
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Thanks.

Thanks, I'll check out those titles. I actually looked over Rebel Without a Crew today at Barnes & Noble, it looked really interesting and cool, but I didn't buy it, since it really wasn't geared to my goals as a filmmaker.

I'm trying to take the perspective of a hobbyist. I already have a career, a good one that I like, in telecom. I'm not trying to "break in" to anything or get my script sold... and while I would love a little acclaim and recognition for my remarkable skill and talents (wouldn't we all), at this point, I'm just looking for a way to kill off every other saturday rounding up a bunch of my friends, giving them a script and character writups, and running with it, and just see what I can do. I'm flexing my muscles, not building siege towers!

But I think I will take your advice and chew my way through a few screenplays, it would be really bad if I started doing things my own way and developed bad writing habits.

- Ken
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Old December 30th, 2001, 12:42 PM   #4
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Ken,

Iím echoing some of the good advice you already got. You seem to be interested, as I was years ago (and still am), in the hands-on, technical side of ďfilmmaking.Ē Thatís a lot of fun and can be learned through experimentation and lots of practice. What canít be easily learned through practice alone is writing. Oh sure, there are certain basic rules of writing but they donít amount to anything unless you have the story in you to begin with.

My advice is to begin with non-fiction material. Real stories are ready-made and you can gradually add a little bit of drama to make the ďrealĒ more of a story. Re-enactments are a good place to start. Youíll end up with the hybrid ďdocudramaĒ style that can provide you with the practice and material to hone your skills as you begin to delve deeper into pure story-telling.

All the best.
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Old March 19th, 2002, 11:31 PM   #5
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Location: Sicklerville, NJ
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Greetings from South Jersey

Hello neighbors,

I figured that after lurking about the community for a few months
I should take the time to introduce myself before someone decides to call the police.

First and foremost, a BIG thanks to Chris and to all of you who
have contributed to this forum. It was with much trepidation that
I decided to dive into the world of Mini DV. I purchased the XL1s
just after Thanksgiving and have been having a blast with it ever
since. A big part of my final decision to buy the camera was based
on what the members of this forum thought about the camera.

Weíve had an unusually warm winter here in the Southern New
Jersey, so Iíve had the chance to get out and play with the
camera a lot. Iíve shot everything from nature scenes Ė my wife is
getting tired of seeing ducks, geese and squirrels Ė, the family
Christmas gathering, a local train museum having some antique
cars delivered, to a several multi-alarm fires. (Iím a volunteer
fireman in town, so donít be too alarmed by that part.) I am
thrilled with the possibilities that this camera presents, and from
what Iíve read in this forum, many people share my feelings.

A bit about me: Iím entering my 17th year of directing live
television. I am currently directing sports TV in Philadelphia. Iím
doing highlight shows and the post-game shows for the Flyers,
Sixers, Eagles, and Phillies. In my semi-illustrious career Iíve
directed everything from talk shows, concerts, sporting events,
variety shows, childrenís programming, telethons, commercials,
parades (yuk) and yesónews. I put news last because that was
absolute total hell. (Insert sound of Sam Kinison screaming here!!)

Iíve been involved in broadcasting in some form or another since
childhood. My father was in radio as an announcer and engineer.
We even built a pirate radio station that was quite popular
among my peers. I got involved with my high school TV station in
my sophomore year and that pretty much confirmed what I had
known since I was about 6 years old. Being a camera operator
was my first love. At the ripe old age of 20 I landed my first job as
a director at a television station in Harrisburg, PA. I was juiced
knowing that I started my career as a director in the 44th TV
market. But, there were many times that I wished I would have
pursued my childhood dream of being a sports or entertainment
cameraman. Early in my career, however, I realized that the
climate-controlled confines of the production truck were much
better than ďschleppingĒ cables and dealing with Mother Nature,
cheerleaders or no cheerleaders.

Anyway, enough of that stuff. Iíve been itching to get back to my
roots and finally took the plunge with this camera. Iím just
refreshing my camera skills for now but I have every intention of
making this investment pay off.

I might have an interesting project in the works. My brother is a
Chief at a fire company in the Jersey Pine Barrens and his
station needs members in a big way. I am working out the details
for shooting a recruitment video for his station. I had some really
great ideas, but due to the drought emergency that has just
been placed in effect, Iíve gone back to the drawing board to
figure out a way to make this video appealing without flowing a
lot of water.

Even though we're a dual platform household, I don't have any
editing capabilities yet. All signs are pointing to us purchasing a
new Mac G4 dual processor with FCP 3 in a few weeks. (And I
just got us out of debt!) If we do buy this computer and I can get
my brother's video produced, Iíd be happy to post our results.

I canít tell you how impressed I am with the members of this
community. I learn something new every day, whether it is from
someone who purchased the camera yesterday, or from the
people who have been ďin the businessĒ even longer than I have.

Thanks to everyone and happy shooting.

Warmest Regards,


Bill Markel
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Old March 20th, 2002, 02:08 AM   #6
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A Hearty Welcome, Bill!

Thanks very much for providing everyone with such an introduction. Yours is an extremely interesting background. As you probably already know we have several other folks here who are, or have been, involved in broadcast production work so you're in good company.

It sounds like you're having more than your fair share of fun with your XL1s. There're plenty of folks to ask for help or share your experiences with here. We soak up war stories here like drunken fishermen so bring 'em on!

Also, Chris is opening a Mac/FCP forum here shortly (as well as a PC platform forum). I, too, am a Mac/FCP3 user and have just updated my bay to the dual G4-1GHz. I thought I was in hog-heaven with my dual G4-500MHz; now I -know- I'm in hog heaven and my hair's on fire, too.

Great to have you aboard, Bill!

p.s. You might be interested in attending one of Apple's free FCP demo seminars if you're considering FCP3 and have never seen it in action. I don't know how close you are to Mahwah (not familliar with NJ) but there's one coming up on the 21st of this month. Go to this (rediculously long) link for more info and to register.

http://db1.seminars.apple.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/ASPRegistration.woa/7/wa/eventDetails?eventId=16978&wosid=JRIxNjPU5fgnhPWRFBbwRw
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Old March 20th, 2002, 04:33 AM   #7
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Ken said it all. It is great to have you aboard! There are a lot
of other "professionals" and other people around. I do think
it is a great (warm, fuzzy and cuddly) board, have learned a
lot myself too. Great to hear you like the camera too, she truly
is a beauty, isn't she?

Just one more thing to say: welcome aboard!
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Old March 20th, 2002, 10:43 AM   #8
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Seminar Info

Ken,

Thanks for the FCP info. Mahwah is a bit too far but I did find out that there is a seminar in Philly next Wednesday morning. I'll be going.

Thanks again,

Bill

p.s. I'm sure I'll have a bazillion questions for the Mac/FCP forum.
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Old February 13th, 2003, 05:20 AM   #9
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Location: Plainfield, New Jersey
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Indie in New Jersey

Iím a 28 year old writer, producer, director, and editor (with no money, of course ;) ) I graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology 5 years ago with a BFA in Film/Video. Currently I am trying to learn as much as I can about DV & HD so that I can get the highest production value out of the cheapest dollar, and better understand the tools of my craft. My goal is to shoot a feature film (comedy) in 2004, but not as a DP, just as a director. I am looking to build a relationship with a knowledgeable DP, and a knowledgeable Sound Person (both for recording dialogue, and for doing a mix down.)
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Old February 13th, 2003, 06:57 AM   #10
Capt. Quirk
 
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Location: Middle of the woods in Georgia
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It sounds like the Kevin Smith story... Almost :) He sold his car just to be able to film Clerks. He also had most of his friends and their families in the picture.

There is a person on these boards, in N.Y. as a matter of fact, that is doing a project now. He is looking for help, in exchange for help. Hands on is the best way to learn.
Best wishes on your project,
Keith
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Old February 13th, 2003, 08:48 AM   #11
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* * NYC * *

Glenn,

Excellent! I think I'm the one Capt Quirk is referring to. I currently own my own equipment, live in NYC, and I am completing my first legit SAG project. As a director of photography/producer/director/actor and everything that needs to be done. I am very interested in D.P./Cinematography.

Lets get in touch, network, and make some work happen. I am also looking to build quality team of working relationships, and partners.

Send over an email and let me know.

Cheers!

Derrick Begin
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Old February 13th, 2003, 11:00 AM   #12
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Hey Glen. Where in New Jersey are you? I shoot primarily with a PD150, have a decent set of lights, mics and equipment. Just beginning to work on shorts with a friend. Be fun to get together.

Rick Spilman
Meridian Multimedia
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Old February 14th, 2003, 03:58 AM   #13
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Welcome aboard Glenn and good luck with your projects!
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Old February 14th, 2003, 08:42 AM   #14
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>>Welcome aboard Glenn and good luck with your projects!<<

Thanks.
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Old February 14th, 2003, 04:50 PM   #15
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I'm in NYC- if you need another camera angle- count me in- Canon GL2
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