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Old October 17th, 2003, 02:34 AM   #1
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High School Senior Project: Independent Films

At my high school in Campbell, CA we have to do a senior project to graduation. This includes a minimum of a 8 page paper and a project in the latter half of the year.

My thesis for my arugementive research paper is:
Compared to the large budget films in Hollywood, independent film makers and amateurs can create professional grade films with the aid of correct lighting techniques, camera coordination, and post production software.

I am writing here to ask for some help on this subject. Is there enough information to write 10 pages on this topic?

Does anyone refer any books or articles on this topic?

If this topic doesn't have enough information, what else should I write about?

If anyone has any input, I would deeply be greatful. I have a good idea what I want my paper to look like, just not enough references and supporting statements.

For the project side, I'm going to write a script, film the movie, and edit it with VV4 (submit it to our school's film fest if possible too). I really excited about this, can't wait to get cracking on the script.

Thanks for your time.


-Kay
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Old October 17th, 2003, 06:03 AM   #2
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Just so you know I moved your question to this forum because
you are basically talking about your paper.

I think you missed out a very important factor. In theory you
could always do at least the lighting techniques and camera
coordination. The truly revolutionairy stuff is happening because
we now have the camera's to shoot at a high quality. Ofcourse
you can make a brilliant movie with the older camera's, but it
just won't look that good. Ofocurse we can now also use NLE
and post software as you mentioned which helps out a lot as
well.

If I was you I would include reference to a couple of movies that
were shot on DV that you really think are great. A lot of people
have posted their movies here in the DV for the masses forum
which are excellent. And ofcourse there are projects like our
Lady X films where there are some very good movies in my
opinion.

You might even include a small interview with some of the people
behind such movies if they are willing to. This might enhance your
paper by not only giving your point of view on things.

The only pointer I can currently think about is the work of
Rodriguez. If you only want to focus on the DV kind of stuff then
his work is of no use to you. But his story of picking up a 16mm
camera and shooting a movie with no crew that turned him into
a hollywood player is a nice one. His double DVD with
El Mariachi and Depesperado on it tells more on this together
with his book "Rebel without a crew". Again, this will not help
you in any way if you focus on DV. Also Rodriguez has been
quoted a lot and is getting a bit standard these days for such
topics. Together with "The Blairwitch Project" and "405".

Again there are a lot of good little movies being made by
people in places like this that might give you all the stuff you
are looking for.

A brother of a good friend of mine made a 2 hour feature movie
as an amateur here in Holland (it is also in dutch). I was pretty
much blown away by it and you can watch some excerpts here
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Old October 18th, 2003, 02:13 PM   #3
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YES!!! I am looking for people to interview! This would help tremendously in a couple weeks.

My direction with my project is still drifting... I'm not exactly sure what I am going to argue and how.

DV is so new that there aren't a lot of books or references on it that I can use. If you know of any, can you refer them to me?

I can't write a "How-to" book, I have to write a "This is better because of this, this and, this" if that gives you a better idea of the project.


thanks again!


-Kay
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Old October 20th, 2003, 03:44 PM   #4
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Anyone have a better arguement that I could write about that involves film? I'm open to all suggestions.


-Kay
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Old October 20th, 2003, 05:01 PM   #5
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Based on what we've seen of the "independent revolution" so far, it feels like your argument should be something like this:

"Through a combination of new technologies, innovative techniques, and audience receptivity, independent filmmaking is destroying the Hollywood myth that a feature film must be an expensive, manpower intensive operation."

New Technologies: DV, "home user" NLEs, etc
Techniques: Robert Rodriguez, Danny Boyle, LadyX
Audiences: Various arguments about cost of moviegoing, internet distribution, "boredom" with mainstream cinema

This sounds like a fun paper, and makes me wish I had been into filmmaking when I was in high school, so I could do this research into it.
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Old October 21st, 2003, 02:44 AM   #6
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WOW thats a really good thesis. You have given me a new way to look at it. thanks!!!

Yeah film in high school is fun. we have a film fest and everything.

After senior year i'm trying to get into brooks institute of photography in Santa Barbara.

check it out. www.brooks.edu


thanks again for your input


-kay
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Old October 21st, 2003, 11:02 AM   #7
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I wouldn't say independant film is less manpower intensive, rather just the opposite. I see the behind the scenes stuff on big projects and think, DANG, they have a guy just to do that?

But more on your topic, I wrote a 44 page thesis on modern film for the University of Oklahoma (Sooners are #1) and it centered on how filmmaking has changed dramatically, and yet remained exactly the same over the past century. My prof passed it on to the Dean of the film school there and somehow, I still got an "A".
So, it can be done.

I am very interested in the project part of the assignment. I have considered doing something with the theatre department of my alma mater as well. I would love to hear how your project progresses and will offer any advice I can. Feel free to post here, or email me directly.
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Old October 23rd, 2003, 05:22 AM   #8
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Wow thanks for your support Alex. The project phase is going to be interesting....

I still need to finish my script
find a cast
save money to buy more equipment (mics, filters, etc)
find locations
film
edit
make a trailer
promote
sell
and make a presentation about it to judges


I'm really excited about it and i will definetly will be posting updates from my project once i start it.


-Kay
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Old October 23rd, 2003, 08:47 AM   #9
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That first one, finishing the script, is the most important. You might want to seek the help of any theatre (wanna-be playwrites) around, and give a copy to your english department and seek their advice. I think this will get you Kudos as well as help develop the script. Good Luck!
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Old November 1st, 2003, 04:26 PM   #10
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Sounds like a plan on the script...


can anyone else give any ideas on the paper... right now i'm having huge writers block with it...


-Kay
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Old November 12th, 2003, 04:22 AM   #11
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Okay, I'm on the divisions of proof now, currently working on dv and the history of it, does anyone have a website with this info?


-Kay
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Old November 24th, 2003, 06:07 AM   #12
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A good place to start might be Adam Wilt's DV FAQ
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