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First in a series of articles to guide independent filmmakers without studio backing to a successful completion of their film. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Motivation Budgets & Breakdowns Producer Stuff Editing & Actors Festivals & Distributors Clean Up Dealing With Agents Production Checklist Digital
Why are you doing this? That simple question that I felt I had to answer time and time again after committing all my resources, time, energy and money to a project I didn't feel was 'commercial', and had absolutely no name talent attached was one that kept popping up repeatedly. The answer was very simple; I had to do it. I had a great script, great actors, I happened to have maybe enough money and I thought maybe, if I'm lucky, this has the potential to be a great film. The idea that it would make money never affected my decision to proceed with the film, and once committed finishing was not a question of "if", just "when". I thought it would be a great film. That question still looms in front of every one of my projects; 'Why am I doing this?', and, more frequently these days, 'If this was my money that I'm spending, would I still do this film?' If the answer is no, the answer is no. If you are considering taking your first plunge into no-budget, self-financed filmmaking and believe you have a great script that you have to shoot, do yourself an enormous favor and honestly answer that question before you start. If you are sick of waiting for someone else's money to arrive on your doorstep before you shoot your first film and are financing it from whatever means available to you, it's a question that could mean everything to the bankruptcy judge at your hearing. Filmmaking this way can literally ruin your life if you walk into it believing that you're a great filmmaker and you can make all your money back on 'the other end.'
DILETTANTE'S On the other hand, there are dilettante's bumping into each other all over LA bitching and moaning about a measly "million for my first feature" that will never make a film, and are motivated by money no matter how well they play the part of the auteur. They should be doing music video's, or move back home, or become bitter studio executives that churn out the kind of stuff that, well, studio executives churn out. What should concern you is the amount of filmmakers walking around town with sixty seven 5 year old cans of film in their closet for the film they can't complete because "insert reason/excuse here". If you believe your script is commercial, has the potential to be a big commercial hit, do not spend your own money to do it unless you can afford to lose it. You might be right about it being a hit, but the odds are against you. I suggest asking yourself the same question and if the answer is money, your motivation is a common one, and best of luck. I suggest an action film, or porn, or violence. That 'product' always sells. (see article on the 1998 AFM ) For the rest of us working in film, your medium of choice is a very expensive one, and I believe one of the most powerful mediums available to artist's. But you know that. Or at least you should know that. If you've never made a film before, never been on a set before, never worked with actors or a crew before, never run an inch of film through a film camera before and have never thought of the visual elements of each one of your shots before, or ever made a schedule, budget or broken down a script before, or even if you have, Guerrilla Filmmaking 101 should be able to help you get started in a direction that will allow you to complete your film. Ok, now, you've made the decision, your answer satisfies you that if no one ever sees the film you still know it will be a great film, and you believe your script is ready to shoot, you're probably wrong. FEEDBACK If you are the only person that believes your script is great, you've got a problem. Your next step is to get somebody else on your side, preferably someone that can help you with production, but getting actors involved is a very good thing. Pass your script out to a few people you trust that will give you honest feedback. Not what you want to hear, but a biased/unbiased
opinion. That's usually honest feedback. If you're not making a narrative film, write down your idea for the film in a way that someone else can understand, and get a feel for what you intend the film to be. Listen to what people say, and that's a very hard thing to do. If they don't 'get it,' that's your problem, not theirs. Communication for the filmmaker is everything. Whether it's to the crew, actors or your uncle with the money, a director without communication skills is in a lot of trouble. And at the script level, the start of your film, it's the key to your film being what you want. Have a read-through of your script, get the key characters in whatever scenes you think you would like to hear or you think might have a problem, find some actors or friends or relatives that are interested, get them together in one room and have them read the scenes for you out loud. It's always better to find willing participants that can invest your characters with whatever direction you can give them. The easy stuff. Does the scene work? Do any of the lines you've written sound plausible coming out of the mouth's of real people? Are the parts so idiosyncratic/difficult/impossible that you need Brando/Branagh/Olivier for the part? Those are the easy questions, the one's a first time writer needs to know about what he's done from the perspective of voices outside his own subconscious. The hard questions still come back to haunt you, and still ring back to the first question. What do these characters mean to you? Is there any truth in what they say or do? How do you know? What is this film about and do I have anything to contribute to the lexicon? Why am I doing this? What Is This Film About? Possibly the most important question for a filmmaker is the one that sounds the most mundane: What is this film about? I have a friend that will probably get the money for his first film and when I asked him what the film was about, he started telling me the story. That's not what your film is about, that's the story. What is it you have to say? What is the film about from the filmmakers perspective, not the writers? The story may be about a used car salesman who murders some customers, but the film is about father figures, last chances, extended families and redemption. This is not a slight distinction, if you're just filming the action of the script, then you really have nothing to contribute and should question your reason for doing it. Tough love bubba, the audience for impotent filmmakers doing
what hollywood does every day is thankfully growing smaller very quickly.
Okay. That's lesson one. Cheap, difficult, but absolutely necessary. Finish the script, answer the question, get feedback from people you trust, do a read-through, answer the question. If you're satisfied with your answers, the next step should be easy.
BUDGETING AND BREAKDOWNS or 'CAN I REALLY DO THIS?'
In the 80's I finished a script I thought was really an exciting piece for my first feature, and 20th film. I had been trying for a long time to get name talent involved while constantly looking for the right unknown actors for 2 very tough parts. It wasn't until 1993 I ran into some actors I was convinced would be perfect for the parts, and that wanted dearly to do it. That chance meeting sent me on the trip of completing my first feature film. Now that you have answered your question's of motivation with whatever degree of satisfaction, you must now decide if you can cast the actors in the parts. In all films, casting is everything. For the no-budget guerrilla filmmaker you also have to factor in; 1. The discomfort the actors will have to endure. 2. For how long. 3. And will they be willing to stay with the film until it's finished? What will you do if your lead actors have "had enough" and walk on your film? Although there are things you can do in that case, it is obviously something you want to avoid. Which comes first, casting or budget? A debatable point. If you've got the money do you have the cast? If you've got the cast can you really do this? Casting is an individual problem germane to every film. I can't stress more strongly the need to cast your film with actors you know are perfect for the parts, and do not proceed with the film under any circumstances unless you're thrilled with your cast, you'll only wish you had when you see it in the editing room. Casting. Very hard to do, not so hard to start. In whatever town you are in you must find the local paper for entertainment, contact the local theaters and agents and let them know you are casting a film. With or without pay, what parts, what genders, what ages and most importantly, when will the first day of shooting be. You will be surprised how many responses you get, they may not be what you want, and you may have to cast from LA or NYC, but
.. but make it clear about the money. People. stage or film.call back the actors you would like to read again. Give them any direction they ask for. but pick an appropriate scene so you can see what they've got in terms of the character. Ask your actor if he would like to improvise something about the part and see what they come up with. now it's cast. can you really do this? Your first step in answering that question is "exactly how much money do I have?" Not how much you think will come in. Callbacks . and if Bob comes through with. A stage actor with no camera experience might be tough for a low budget production.. but don't count them out. I've had actors blow my socks off that were just not right for the part. contacting agents and breakdown services by email across the country. 6 .. Read the resume's and see what kind of experience. very often only gave their actors their dialogue. and. So. You might be surprised how differently an actor comes across on screen. and if you are paying or not. You might also want to try the internet. very often it is a natural progression. give them as much direction as they want. and I couldn't wait to get them in my film. I suggest recording the reading on videotape. Give your actors 'sides' to read a day or more ahead of the reading. give them time to prepare and give you the best they've got. or that darn genius grant should come through by. 'Sides' is a theater term from Shakespearean era named because the writers. what you have is your budget and that's it. but don't offer any. Right type and experience: Wrong type but interesting: Hopeless. investors.you will get many earnest actors that will want to work on your film. in order that their plays could not be stolen. don't believe anyone will ever come through with money to help you. so they only had one side of a scene.' Naturally you don't want to do that. the actors your're considering have had. now? Don't ever rely on anyone else to help you with financing. just look for a good actor. 'Sides.. What many filmmakers do is divide the deluge of photo's and resume's into 3 stacks. this gives you a chance to see if they come to a part with what you want. How much money and credit do you have to spend. Don't try to stick to 'type'.
props .friends. and when it has to be where at what time. he turns as suddenly a team of actors from babewatch drive by in a 62 Volkswagen with flat tires. including actors from babewatch. flat tires. Hearing a sound . and life for them changes as rapidly as yours does. or will have to find for free. comes.. The best intentions will not pay the lab that's holding your negative because you can't pay the processing fee because cousin Bob's tractor conked out and he had to buy a new one "sorry I didn't call.. whatever else comes. DESERT . set dressing . make a key on the first page that tells you exactly what each color is for." Even though most reputable labs will work with you if you've established a relationship.DAY Standing in the bleak desert sun . then it's part of your budget. but you won't have to worry about it on the 7 . pulls the trigger and. THE LAB DOES NOT CARE. not before. and the first way to do that is to break down your script. A MAN approaches from behind... A common way to do this for filmmakers without high end scheduling programs is to get a number of colored pencils. but you know what you have. camera equipment everything that you will need to complete the scene must be part of your breakdown. on paper. Your next step is to figure out how much this will cost. you have to assume. Even though you will probably be stealing all your locations. A script breakdown is exactly what it sounds like. and find a desert location that suits your shooting arrangements. you've amassed your fortune. cast members for each scene. and highlight each one of the elements in the appropriate color. You'll be lucky to get vultures circling. you must break down your script in all the elements to find out what you will have to pay for. Bob looks up and sees vultures circling overhead. For example: EXT. When an investors check clears the bank and you've actually spent the money. Locations . With the exception of 'vultures circling' you will need to bring everything to that location. wardrobe . and go through the entire script. crew. pulls an enormous gun from his waistband and just as Bob is about to speak. man. SCRIPT BREAKDOWN Now. stunts . Volkswagen. vehicles. each scene is broken down into all the elements that will go into it. SFX . scene by scene. all the hangers on have nothing invested in your film like you do. and using whatever happens to be on the wall as set decoration.
I recommend planning for at least a 1st answer print (a 1st answer print is the first exposure and color-corrected print back from the cut 8 . plus X per foot for wastage and lab work. that's 12. now. Once you have it pared down as far as you think you possibly can. sound. plus cost of editing. either rental/buy. but you have to plan for the things you can plan for. You have to know this and plan for it. plus X for cutting the negative. from the screen out. prints-the essentials of getting your film finished to where you would like it to be seen. plus X per foot for the work print/transfer to video. gas. your script is 120 pages long and you expect it to be about 2 hours in length finished. Most distributors will not look at unfinished films these days. plus location-wardrobe etc. and the likelihood of getting finishing funds from an organization or a distributor is not good. and what you can get rid of that's extraneous to the script. with all it's elements. plus camera.4. you've got this enormous list of stuff to acquire for your film. story or character. equipment rental. If you intend your film to be seen on the screen.now do you see why a break down is so important? PLAN FOR WHAT YOU CAN PLAN FOR You may be able to eliminate a lot of things as your production moves forward. plus cost of audio tape stock. plus X per foot to buy the film at a shooting ratio of X. plus X per foot for the sound mix. or at least somewhere on the set. Okay. up pops another question. plus whatever transportation costs. it's something that could be a separate shot without sound and no actors. how much will it cost? It's also wise after you've made a complete breakdown to allow a page for each scene.000 feet of film (35mm . Go through it carefully and decide what is absolutely necessary. plus food for actors and crew . You know you want your film to be on the screen. all the way to buying your first roll of film. plus X per foot to process the film. at this stage. not on tape.day of the shoot. an A/B answer print costs X per foot at the lab. bind it and keep it with you. but mostly. nor should you plan on it. FINAL DESTINATION Where do you intend the final destination of your film? It makes an enormous difference in the amount you will need to finish your film. you should now start making your budget. what you can get for free. like processing.000 16mm) at X per foot for the answer print. plus X per foot for the optical track.
. not your Avid output... Being a good producer is not an easy job. DON'T START THIS FILM . scene by scene on rewinds). if your budget is so far away from what you have. not so far off you can't see the end. and have based your budget around them and discovered you don't have the money. unless of course you can or have it for free.. but still too far away to start. Get real. a "timer" does this in the lab. which means budget for it. and travel and "insert reason here" it couldn't possibly be done for the amount of money you have. Now you know the listed prices for everything. and locations. Showing your film in the best light is important. and that complicated.negative. then start from scratch again.etc. if you're a guerrilla filmmaker with next to nothing you have to know that your script can't include travel to Colorado for that shot. now.. So. but you must have to finish your film. Before you do anything else I suggest you evaluate your script and your budget in the harsh light of day. How do I choose a lab? How do I get a crew? How much crew do I need? What about Cameras? Non-linear or flatbed? . Now what? Now you pick up the phone and become a producer: ask for deals. I can't stress that enough. when you get it to the point where you might want people to see it. film festivals and markets are not interested in your good intentions. or even across town. plan for it.. your budget is too big but it's in sight. Maybe you need to write a script with all this in mind that you can shoot.. you must ask business and labor for things they don't want to give you. how's the budget now? Look a lot more bloated than you thought? You've just begun. 9 . It's not impossible to get post production financing. DON'T DO IT. It's that simple. BECOME A PRODUCER Ok. The money you have is your budget for everything. If you've written a script that demands so much production... they need to see reels of film in their projectors. but it is improbable considering the amount of films being produced these days.
trust your instincts and forget destructive comments from small people. but remain open to constructive criticism. I did say thank you for the kind words and wished her luck. negative cutters. A famous screenwriter told me a long time ago. who responded.and all the production personnel associated with your film. Sometimes that's not easy to do. and laid a few cliché's on me." There is a lot of ego tied up in filmmaking. People speak to 'Producers' differently than they do 'Directors. the incentive for labs. 10 . and more power." A bad producer will tell you what's wrong. and all the people concerned with your film is the prospect of you being "the next big thing. but thanks. or filmmaker. to which she responded by saying I couldn't take criticism. maybe just as important.". I don't lie to people I want to work with either as producer. "as Mozart said in Amadeus. You can use this to your advantage. "a good producer will say "not for me. This 1 film producer said to me. I don't tell people I'm also directing unless I will be directly involved with them on the set. how to rewrite it and when to send it back to them. and. Don’t' Lie.PRODUCER STUFF Recently I sent a much less experienced producer than I a very well written and received script of mine. crews." Heh heh. and the rest as director or whatever job you're doing at the moment. As the producer of your film you have to decide that you want to remain doing business with all the people you talk to who have anything to do with your film. If you have to be your own producer you'll be entering a schizophrenic arena in which most of your time will be spent as producer.' I imagine it's because they believe the producer has control of the money. 'too many notes'." or just having a big budget for your next film that you will bring back to the lab/negative cutter/editing house/transfer house . your next film. Just because you don't care if you ever have a big budget. or unless they ask. "There are just as many notes as are needed. While I did not point out to her that was made up by a writer for the character of a dull witted dilettante German prince speaking to Mozart. Don't lie .
or worse. or for very little. no one. Keep in mind. a boom person as your mixer. I've made some terrible mistakes which I'll get into later. I hand everyone the script on all my films and tell them exactly what I have. and let them make the decision based on that. add a director of photo. they will try to do your film. what you've got to do it with (money). It happens. What would you do for no money 10-15 hours a day? Why should they? Well. and who knows how to use it. CASTING THE CREW If you get people to help that know what they are doing. or. count your blessings. they think you have a great script and their work will be seen by a lot of people. but not impossible. absolutely no one will have the same energy for your film that you will . get them for next to. I would count on 11 . and how big of a crew you can have. like being a waiter. Production value is what you can steal in the way of images and locations. When I'm working on someone else's film in a crew capacity it's for money. Some people will feel like that anyway even on the biggest films. let them know the story and try to get them involved in the process.Everybody has heard your bull before. That's not always easy. they will feel like you've cheated them or insulted them and they won't have anything to do with you. no matter what they say. HOW MUCH CREW? Deciding on how much crew you need is a matter of going carefully over your breakdown to see what kind of production equipment you'll need. Would you ask an actor to wait on tables for free? Tell people what you're doing. or your next film some harm. which certainly dictate how fast you'll have to shoot. I suggest keeping your conscience clear. and if they haven't and you "fool" them. maybe the intangible. maybe because they need a credit as (?) on the next rung up whatever ladder they are climbing. and if you don't know how to use the camera. promise or invest. As soon as I hear some lame bull from weenie #16 I either hang up the phone or say no thanks. A 1st assistant camera person as your director of photo. Any of those combinations are incentives for production people to work on your film for nothing. Competent production people move up quickly and have no reason to work on your film if there is no money. or nothing. If you're guerrilla filmmaking you'll need a camera and sound.
but it's the second biggest failure of no-budget films. a 2nd AC to load. finally. This specifically applies to technical expertise. I hired the nicest kid in the world based on his expertise as a mixer and recommendation from another mixer. but it did get finished. if they can't prove themselves. If I would have seen him just once in the year following I would be in jail now. The first is bad sound. they will learn as quickly as you. Or. Believe me. and a Grip or Gaffer if you have lights or C Stands. a poor lab that processes your film in old. You'll have to deal with people in mid-career and they may be glad to be there. LABS How you pick your lab may be the most important aspect of your film. watch the composition and exposure. dirty or hot chemistry will make your negative look poor and change the whole "feel" of your film. you must get rid of them immediately and get someone that can do the job. Even the biggest films have soft focus shots where the operator or 1st AC has screwed up. is this: your crew is very important. and then had to have optical's done to exclude all the production equipment he kept in the frame. LEARN TO SAY NO My point. they may lose footage. talk to the sound house that did this guys last transfer. over-modulating. Any friends or sympathizers you can get to help you are certainly a positive. experience. and if they know nothing about filmmaking.having at least a director of photo if you're not intimate with the camera. This all happened on the same film. and ended up on a "favorite films of the year" critics list. We did not have the luxury of dailies and this nice kid recorded great stretches of dialogue without a limiter. Listen to the sound reel. and sound. but you may not be so glad to have them. talk to the lab and the timer that timed this guys work. it's worth it. The luxuries will be a 1st AC to pull focus. and an exhibited desire to work with the director . and on your set that will mean camera. and a sound man. Personally. 12 . a Boom person. Get references . 300 miles away by not catching an obvious camera problem. even if they are working for free. distorting almost everything he did. I hired a very nice guy with a pretty good reel to shoot and that I finally fired after finding out he ruined 4 days of shooting. I will never give any technical crew personnel a chance without references. worse yet.
scratch it or any number of completion-threatening disasters. Make personal relationships with these guys. is there a charge? 3. their talent is important to your film. GET IT ON PAPER STUPID 13 . I tried this strategy at a transfer house (Video Plant) and it cost me dearly. Do they have a screening room and if they do. but they can. It also means a lot. The sales department. Talk to the lab. What have they done before and have you seen it? 4. Do they replenish or dump chemistry and at what temperature? 2. they have your negative. In my last film the timer got a credit without asking because he did a great job and was extremely helpful to me at the lab. they are more likely to help you when you need it. and in my opinion the most important. but don't lie. if not. and if they like you. Do they do film transfers to tape and if they do both the processing and transfer can you get a better deal? A lot of low end labs will process your film for next to nothing. So was the timer on my first feature but I was too poor to get his name on the credits. the guy who decides how to get your film to look like you want it. The lab can be a good friend or a horrible enemy. Remember. try to make deals with them. be creative. I don't suggest this at a shady lab. Talk to the salesmen at all the labs before you decide the list price at Bottom Bucket Labs is the only thing you can afford. like anybody else. A LOT more grain on your film. and you want everybody on your side that has anything to do with your film. If you happen to be at the head of that schedule. DON'T DO IT. you're probably fine. the color timer . assembly. which simply means that after X amount of footage the chemistry is exhausted and they dump it and put in new. before the processing began to get a better price. but they use dump chemistry system of replenishing. Guess where they'll put your no-profit film? Also find out the optimum temperature for processing (usually 68 degrees) and find out what temperature the lab processes film. you're in terrible shape. How fast do they process and print (if you need it). Will they pick up for free? 5. up front. the projectionist. 6. scheduler. they may not rip you off. One thing I tried was offering to pay cash. hot chemistry means shorter process time and they can process more film in a day. Some of the things to consider when picking the lab are: 1.
I had a transfer house that made a deal with me. Same goes for the sound man. That way you can hold them to their deal if things change or they want to renegotiate. They did a crappy transfer much of which had to be redone.Once you've gotten a deal and lab to process and print or transfer the footage to tape. 14 . Rent your own equipment from a production house. you lose the equipment and your production stops. Think survival. Even if I would of had it on paper what could I have done? Sue them? They've got your negative. it cost me much more money than we agreed to. If you hire people with their own equipment you can pay them the rental you might have to give a production house: they make a little. Hire people with their own equipment. If you're thinking of shooting on weekends to save money it's a grand idea fraught with pitfalls. PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT It's money again. I paid them in advance. or rather it usually won't. It happens. Two trains of thought. The flip side of that is the obvious. and legally you have recourse if something comes up. then after months of delays ran through the money and told me I could not have my negative back unless I paid them more money. If you fire them because they suck at their job. Choose your labs wisely. you don't have to pay production insurance for the equipment. It's safer to rent. 2. They are. can you get your actors back together when you finally get a camera? Will they come back? If he quits and it's your camera you can shoot the scenes until somebody else comes back on. and it took them forever to do it. cheaper to hire someone with equipment. and money. get the figures on paper. how does everything sound and look? Get rid of them pronto if your unhappy. 1. Most reputable labs will never renege on a deal they make whether in writing or not. If the DP quits and takes his camera home to play. This is another reason to pick a reputable lab. it won't get better . You do what you have to do in guerrilla filmmaking. signed. (Video Plant). If you have the luxury of dailies (see lab above). Listen to all his takes at night for at least the first 4 nights.
3. if you plan on blowing up a 16mm film. Equipment houses are in it for the money. you and your film will be taken more seriously by the labs. the sound house. why not? 35 or 16? The decision to shoot 35mm or 16mm is a tough one to make. I had no choice. No one will ever have as much energy and commitment for your film as you. I had two at the time. Better deals on 35mm equipment can be found and you've got a much better looking film. It's stupid unless it's your only viable option. 5. Don't believe what anyone says about saving money by shooting Super 16mm over 35mm. the grainy. shooting pick ups on weekends makes a lot more sense to everyone. That's just the facts. At that point you've a grainy 35mm print of a 16mm film that now cost as much as it would have to shoot 35mm.etc. gritty subliminal feel of the texture of the film added to the story. I'm not a format bigot. he may tell you to do it. and saturate the colors by the time it's blown up to 35mm and 15 . Actors finding paying jobs and leaving the day before shooting. and all the people you deal with including the distributors and buyers if you shoot in 35mm. If you can get everyone to commit to a schedule that consists of a week or two for principal work. only yourself.. rather than detracted from it. This kind of stuff happens all the time. Crew finding paying jobs and leaving the day before shooting. You finding a paying job. Everyone else running out of patience before you complete including the equipment house that has already rented your camera as a 3rd camera for Babewatch exteriors. jack. and if you shoot short ends you will spend not much more than you would on 16mm. Running out of money before the 13 weekends of shooting are complete. Remember. but..1. Lawrence of Arabia in Super 8? I wouldn't suggest that aesthetic decision. 4. 2. My first film was a junkie road film shot in 16mm using my cameras. but more importantly to me. If you present a film in 16mm to a distributor that might have some interest and he throws in the 40k or so cost of enlarging your film to 35mm. your film is not high on their list of priorities and you can't count on people who have to deal with the realities of money and living for your film. The films almost done. you have to light the thing extensively to keep the blacks black.
they may all be. How about giving the restaurant owner a little part in the film while you shoot that all important restaurant scene in his restaurant while he caters the cast and crew? I met a great couple in the desert that just for the hell of it volunteered their huge motor home for the shoot. Or. mostly. be creative. if they want to. considerably. give them a slice of filmmaking for what they can afford to give you. I gave the guy a real nice little part and he did a great job. very expensive. but feed them well and keep them as happy as you can. There may be some die hard film lovers on your set. your format doesn't matter too much. and you never expect it to see the screen. just move on to the next place. Be creative. and it doesn't look like video. In 35mm you can get away with a lot more because the larger negative will handle the nonexistent lighting. IF IT WORKS. PRODUCTION Even if you can't pay your crew you've got to feed them as best as you possibly can. It slows things down. and another for catering for a percentage of the net.LIGHTING TAKES A LOT OF TIME so you can figure to spend more money for the extra days of shooting that you will need. Keep in mind the look of what you're going to end up with. DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED BY A NO. Make a deal with the deli for free whatever for a credit in the film. and it works with the kind of film you're making . The transferred footage can look pretty good. Some strange marriage of the two. if you've got a film that lends itself to the gritty feel you can do what I did. just be sure it works in with the kind of film you're making. I've seen some very good looking things shot in Super 8 transferred to tape. If this is your only option. and still look good by the time it gets to the screen. If your end venue is videotape. Price the cost of the transfers though. make it work for you and not against. that may not necessarily be a bad thing. it doesn't look like film. very little if any lighting. DO IT A lot of films are now being shot in video or digital(MiniDV) handicam format then transferred to 35mm for projection in festivals or distribution. and that's very cheap. it ended up being one of my favorite scenes in the film. It's part of the process.do it. give people what they 16 . really. they can be very.
Play it by ear and don't be disappointed if you can't get it. or do pick ups. and logic of locations. middle and end of your script. and we should each get a release. and have a fall back plan. or sue your production later on. financial realities. Be A Good Scout Scout your locations months in advance and talk to all the people you have to reach to make it a done deal. Let them know how much you appreciate what they are doing to help you. use your fall back location if you have one. don't waste the time worrying about it. OK. If they wanted to they could kick you out. shake everybodies hand and be earnest in thanking them Mr. Lock down the time and the day and if you can. leave the place clean. 17 . it can mean a lot to the next filmmaker that needs that location. throw your plans for sequential shooting out the window. Getting locations to sign a paper for a free days shooting is desirable. but you may not be able to get it. get a contract and you must have a release or don't use the place. I had much better luck out of town than in the big pueblo.want in trade for what you want. people gave me the use of their business free of charge and I gave them credits in my film and undying gratitude. the way you found it. "Would you mind signing an agreement about the day we come in to use your bar? We just want you to feel comfortable about this. Mull that over for awhile."Try that. If you've got a restaurant. an alternate location. Use the location. And don't screw them. make the scenes work in the way you need them to work and shoot the scenes sequentially that will allow themselves to be shot that way. It could hurt you later. Tighten up your schedule to fit your filmmaker desires. club. Producer. bar location for one day that's perfect for 3 scenes which occur at the beginning. or start the next scene. Think survival.
the right kind of encouragement from the director. psychological motivation for their actions. Every director I've ever talked to has a different way of working with his actors and his crew. This is what happens in Hollywood with too much money. What.happy etc. I've known directors who simply hate actors and tolerate them simply to get what they need for the performance they want. and made to feel this is a safe place to work. And that's only the start. you will have to discover what works best for you and your style of filmmaking. Why. Needs. or the crew. I've known directors who love actors and don't know how to direct them or have any idea where to put the camera or why. Who.ACTORS & EDITING ACTORS NO ONE can tell you how to work with your actors. Feelings. tell your actors what they want in the scene or conflict. just like an actor. or walk off sets for almost anything. "Be more mad . DO YOUR HOMEWORK." Give your actors motivation and some meat to work with in the scene. "Make Sheila stop insulting you. I saw one actor stop production because he wanted a bigger trailer. formula scripts. 18 . Where. You've all heard stories about prima donna's that demand great script changes and simply refuse to do scenes they don't like. or even if they don't. take the initiative. and the power commerce brings to "product" no one really cares about. Good actors usually just need good characters to work from.". wouldn't shoot unless they got him what he thought he deserved. Know the point of each scene. When your actor asks. that's where most problems start. Wants. you must be able to tell them about the character. Directors must prepare for a scene. Never direct an actor through what you want in results. the motivation for each action. Don't be a director who does not know what he wants. Process is EVERYTHING. the main emotional moment of each scene and where it leads to the next scene.
No matter what you think about acting and actors. and Where are they now? Wants what from Whom? Needs what from Whom? How do I Feel about Whom? Every direction should be geared toward giving the actor information about the scene so they can attain and experience the emotional moment of the character. those are the actors lines. you're doomed to disappointment and spending more money in footage than you have. the truth is. those are the actors lines. NEVER give an actor a line reading. and give them as much freedom as I possibly can . But that's what I look for. have faith in your actors. allow them what freedom you can. If you expect some anal adherence to each inflection you intended in the script without allowing the personality of the actor you cast in your film to bleed into the character. more interesting for the character. or more importantly. and right person for the roles. Never give an actor a line reading. not yours. they should be able to know what kind of performance you want by your guidance and the character. not yours. That means I try to cast the right actor. it's more fun for you both. good actors (and not so 19 . Almost every direction should be a verb. Let them discover the character on their own. Get the picture? SO SHOULD YOU I have great faith in. Period. It is also very insulting and shows your weakness as a director. Don't take lines away from an actor. the kind of filmmaking that interests me is the kind in which the person I cast in the part can bring both the truth I know about the character on the page. your weakness at casting the right actor in the role. and his own truth about that character to the screen. and loyalty to my actors. never speak their lines because they belong to the actor.Who the character is? What do they want? Why do they want it? Where are they coming from. If you've cast your film exactly the way you want it. and good actors enjoy that discovery as much as you do.
even after he showed up at 11 AM. but they were so good in the parts and dedicated to the roles that we finished and made a very good film. For instance. going someplace they may not like to go over. and your film. Mr. If you're a guerrilla filmmaker and have maybe 3 takes total to get a shot and you know that the actor you want dislikes you. over. it's a collaborative effort. I'm still learning every day. I will always have nothing but good things to say about them. help the other artists get to a place where they can create for you. they willingly go back for a character. or dislikes the script. and the other had severe emotional and psychological problems and both had recently quit drugs which resulted in some testy moments over the course of shooting. if they are delivering. but . or psychological hell. or is a prima donna: by the fifth day of shooting that 20 . in casting one of my films I had an actor that was perfect for a very important role and I wanted to give him the part. Director. One actor whom I did cast in a role called up at 1 AM. call for his big dialogue scene and said he had to visit a friend in jail and would try to make it. but his "I'm doing you such a huge favor by being here" attitude would have been such a detriment on the set I didn't even consider him even though he was probably much better than the person I hired. you better be supporting them in exactly the way they need. and over again. or is only doing this "for my reel". Sometimes that is very hard when you have no money and everything is on your shoulders. The problem family member would have been an enormous liability on a fast moving guerrilla set and who knows what would have happened.good ones too) are involved in bravery. All that said. I could not give that part to that actor. We're all human. and over again. I was learning. or has a reputation for being difficult. but remember. TO GIVE THEM A PLACE TO CREATE. I failed to protect my actors from the enormous pressures put on me in one of my films. that was a terrible mistake and I did not realize I was doing it until the film was over. but YOU HAVE TO PROVIDE A PLACE FOR YOUR ACTORS TO FEEL SECURE AND WANTED. Two young actors in another film were very good. Whether it's emotional turmoil. but one had both hidden legal and ego problems. I cut him out of the scene and shot around him. before his 9 AM. Because one young actor had a family member problem (alcohol). how brave people handle that is sometimes difficult to take.
I took everyone on the road in two vans and we ripped off locations along the way. Keep in mind. does not mean it can work for you. It happens.actor has you by the short and curlies and can demand or do what he likes because you have all this footage with him in the part. to bring your script to the screen. Remember. if not actually used a nonlinear editing system and heard how fast. EDITING You've probably all heard about. Involve them in the process. and it was a road film. and it may not be a viable option for the guerrilla filmmaker. but breaking through all those barriers is part of the process. it's was like some weird virus or the hip thing to do at the time and I could not let that happen to me. Just because it's the latest thing. and how good they can be. there are a lot of hidden costs that no one involved in just one part of the process will tell you about. You may have to find another strategy that will work for you but try to plan for as much as possible. In one road film I knew I a lot of crew members and actors were walking off sets around town. you're trying to complete your film and survive where many. and dissention on the set can creep in and weaken your film. you and your actors are creating together. and include whatever happens as part of the film. It worked for me because I planned it that way. Basically I hijacked everyone to the middle of nowhere so "sleeping in that morning rather than working on this film" was not an option. The nonlinear style means you get your footage back on videotape. then taking that footage to a flatbed to edit both picture and sound 1-2 tracks at a time. how small. but more subtle issues of control like coloration. collaborating.. screen it on a monitor then put it into the computer to edit. I wouldn't be above doing almost anything to get a performance from an actor that might be having a problem. barking commands is never a way to get what you want. The old style of editing usually meant a screening of all the footage printed to film and screened in theater with or without sound. many others have not. intent in the performance etc. this is a collaborative process. 21 . so. That's the nightmare and is probably unlikely. Although much of that is true. or some combination of the above. again. for me.
The draw backs are not so obvious: Looking at your film on a monitor instead of the screen allows flaws (soft focus shots. usually with sound and entered into the computer. and how much disc space you have. High resolution (some systems claim better than broadcast quality) uses a lot of space to store the added information. Added post expenses . Cost of tape stock (usually betacam). the higher the resolution the more storage you will need. rather than it being a simple work-print to negative match up: You're post mixing costs are usually higher. save a number of versions with great ease. The small space in which you need to edit. The advantages of nonlinear are obvious: Speed of editing and amount of variations you can have. dirt or scratches in film) in the "digitized" footage that you would certainly catch in a screened work print to pass unnoticed. For the nonlinear editing process here are some of the post production things to consider when budgeting: 1. titles and various other things not available to the die hard on a flat bed-among a whole host of other things. Cost of disc storage space not included with your system. On most systems you have the ability to see effects. At a very low resolution you can store almost any feature on 18 gigabytes. Cost of transfer to tape (telecine time ). The computer will digitize your footage at different resolutions for different purposes. cost. 3. 2. most people would only use this for the last output to tape. Editing on a monitor inhibits the pacing that will finally get on the screen: Trusting what the computer gives you as a negative cut list. Once in the computer you can move scenes and 4-8-32 tracks of sound instantly. only limited by time. Cost of editing at post house in which you must include the: 4. A low resolution use's less pixels and therefore looks very "pixilated" but uses less disc space. or digitized both for picture and audio. Sound editing capabilities: Instantaneous output to tape to show people dailies.Nonlinear editing is computer editing in which the negative is transferred to tape. After you've edited the: 22 . and what quality of computer you are working (some nonlinear system EDL's (edit decision list) are not easily transferred to a cut list for your negative and could incur an obvious tragedy or tragedies for your film if you rely on them).
that takes time. and final telecine above. Cost of hiring an audio house to re-sync your the second negative cut transfer. The Sleaze Factor Some added things to consider about telecine for nonlinear are: When talking to the transfer house find out what their transfer ratio will be. and if you're using a mono 4. only on a video monitor. but. 4:1 is fine. You might want to consider not transferring sound at the telecine. and be very sure of your final cut. Cost of having your negative cut and another 6. do your footage to Except for the negative cut.5. and doing it in the computer. count on it being the maximum for your budget. or have ever seen it screened. an answer print of your film. Cost of final telecine to tape. you can take as long as you like. That means that for every running hour of footage what will their maximum time be to transfer it to tape. and have added the extra expense of time spent on the computer to input it plus rental of the audio source machine against the time of the telecine operator to do the same thing. 9.2 Nagra. Telecine (could be a very cheap one) so you can post music. If you don't use time code on your set you may have to finally transfer it to a timecoded tape anyway. that you have the time and expertise to do this properly. then add 10% for the sleaze factor. Cost of the audio mix. not 3/4 . 8. used less film because time code should have a 10 second pre-roll. 3/4 is supremely inferior to betacam for sound. and get it in writing. HOWEVER. very good. if you can afford to get one of the new. you will have to use betacam tapes. but you will have to be sure that the nonlinear system you are using will accept time code from your tapes. whatever ratio you get. A telecine operator has to line up time-code numbers from your audio tape to the sync slate on film for each one of your takes. but. you've got superior audio. If you plan on using the audio from the telecine and using the computer output mix. 7. these are all extra costs. 1000$ dollar non-linear systems for your computer and upgrade it enough to cut on. 23 . you've saved the cost of a time code audio machine. and you still do not have an optical track.
But you may never get that far. You can rent a flatbed straight out for about 450 a month these days. doesn't include scenes or cuts them off. Cost of final telecine to tape. you can't edit what you don't have. and that huge worry is out of your hands. Cost of answer print: 8. you must work in the cost of getting an editor that really knows his stuff or major problems can occur. As telecine progresses the operator will store all his information on discs and include them with the tapes. If you can get an editor for freecan you afford all the extra expense's of editing nonlinear? If you can afford all the extra expenses can you handle not seeing your film on the screen and falling into the "TV editing 24 . log it for your as you watch. of course. or want to do it. Cost of work print: 3. if the operator screws up. Even if you can get a nonlinear system for free. You have seen all your footage on the screen.and beta tapes are much more expensive than 3/4. Cost of audio transfer to full coat (35mm audio film): 4. you can usually get a lab to give you a dual screening of WP and Audio track so you can see it with sound. Keep an eye on what's being input. For the latest Avid Film Composer list from post houses is usually 500-2500 a day. brings you back to casting the crew . Cost of renting a flat bed and a space to edit: 2. If you decide that you want to use a flatbed and get a workprint here are some of the post production things to consider when budgeting: 1. you have to be sure to get it. the EDL (Edit Decision List) you put out from the input timecode numbers from video and audio will match the original recorded tapes. Maybe. Once you have edited your film on a nonlinear system. Cost of audio mix : 6. and you can then go back in the sound mix and reenter the original sound from the original tapes instead of using the second generation sound transferred to Beta Cam. and the telecine time costs more. Cost of optical track: 9. these discs will then tell the computer how to input the audio. which. Cost of negative cut: 5. and the negative cutter will surely never have a problem matching the negative to the work-print for accuracy.
how fast. The computer I was editing on crashed a number of times and I had to rebuild my film from scratch 3 times. in and out.000 cuts. that had the effect of burning me out on my own film. A real. (working 20 hours a day). approximately).mode" when editing your film? By that I mean that editing on a small screen is much different than on a 40 ft screen. every cut including 8 tracks of audio (100. front and back. I did get to see how good the film was and where problems were immediately. If I had it to do over again I would have certainly gone for the flatbed. good thing I checked before I cut. many occasions and the negative cutter may or may not be good enough to catch any of that. and checked the number on screen against what the print out from the computer gave as the negative cut list. and how the cost was virtually the same. pacing in your film is very important and if you've been cutting on a small screen do your cuts seem jagged and like a TV sitcom on the big screen? And if it does and you've made a terrible mistake and your negative is cut. I had to go to a number of different houses and move the media around to different versions of the software which meant problems later. Like I said. Then I went through every roll of negative and checked each one head and tails to be sure it was jiving with the computer. two day pain in the ass. or they were on the button clicker band wagon that swept up editors and post people a few years back. and the negative cut list from the 80 thousand dollar Avid was as much as 48 frames off of what it was supposed to be (2 seconds): I couldn't see the soft focus shots that my DP did not tell me about in the digitized footage or on tape and the whole process cost thousands of dollars more than it should have . First time nonlinear. it's not really their job. I was very paranoid about the negative cut and before I delivered the negative I went through every cut. no body bothered to tell me about all the hidden costs because they either didn't know. now what? Are you sure what the computer is giving you is the right numbers for the cuts you want? Here's my experience . However . and the negative cut list. the discs from the transfer lab. it was way off on many. it would have been cheaper by far. everybody told me how great. or less than editing the work print. it's yours. and much more informative about the negative information that actually made it to the screen. I had a rough edit in 1 week. 25 .
Get a guarantee of sync. insecure about negative cut and sound sync and pacing. Get references. and if you finish the film you can enter it in festivals and hope it does well. or deliver anything to them.The intangibles How many variations on a scene can you see before it's counterproductive . 3. if they won't give it to you. it happens. What you can do. more secure about negative cut and sound sync.too many choices? If you've never cut a film and seen your work on screen what will you think when it's on tape and how will it affect your editing style? Looking through 400 trim boxes stacked ceiling to floor searching for 2 frames of the scene you want to change in your apartment in which you haven't seen your dog recently? WARNING! WARNING WILL ROBINSON! 1. see film projected on screen. Nonlinear = More expensive (unless you've got your own system). Question your audio post house extensively about costs. smile. or deliver any of it to them. his quote for nonlinear may be thousands higher. and your luck or skill with these systems may be much different than mine. If you've decided that you can show around the digitized output of your film to companies and that's as far as you can hope to go without finishing funds. 26 . his quote may have been for work print. good luck. Get your deal from the editing house and transfer house on paper. but.I have also heard very positive stories about people succeeding in doing a rough mix in the Avid and out putting it to an optical track. very fast. a rough mix for sure but far better than you think and that's a huge savings in the end. Think survival. 2. You will have to decide on your own what you can afford and what you can't. Flatbed = Cheaper. signed. . and leave as soon as possible. much slower. and get quote in writing before you commit. If it does well the distributors will be talking to you. before you commit any of your negative. never see projected film. Again. finding finishing funds is very difficult. and if it does you at least have something to talk to distributors about. and get a receipt for every roll of film. Think completion. I've only heard this once. Talk to your negative cutter before you decide to edit nonlinear.
Just be sure to figure as many variables as possible before you start. 27 . Your particular situation may be perfect for nonlinear. survival.The audio post house I went to knew from my lips exactly what I had to do. your goal is completion. or perfect for work-print type editing. exactly how much I had to do it and agreed to the deal. They spent all the money on some twerp to re-sync the audio (probably did not need to be done). I had an Avid output to DA88 (8 track audio tape) that I needed to mix. hell simple gunshots were off. GET IT IN WRITING ! All this stuff is variable. and he did a terrible job if he actually did anything and then would not guarantee sync! On top of when it did fall out of sync a number of times and the idiot tried to tell me 4 frames out of sync is acceptable. remember.
Toronto. and the festivals that are out there. you think it's a great film. if you can afford one that helps you get your film started it is well worth the money. At the other end of your film. to hell with what other people think. if a producers rep can get your tape to the right person it may mean the difference between it being in the festival and out. when it's done. FILM FESTIVALS are one of the best ways to get your film seen and reviewed. Getting into festivals. but you can work your own individual deal with them depending on what you think your film can do. Film festivals and programmers are deluged with tapes. your contacts. A producers rep. Cannes and Rotterdam are the big festivals for films and critics these days and getting into the "biggies" is like everything else. and the right festivals for your film is not a trick. and now you'll do your best to get it seen. and to start some kind of buzz about your film. or mountain film festival. Sundance and it's satellite festivals (Slam-Slum-Bum & Whatever's nextdance). They can be beneficial at both the preproduction of your film in finding money. FESTIVALS PRODUCERS REPRESENTATIVES often can have very beneficial results for your film. Their pricing structure changes and some are negotiable and will work a deal with you. Here are some ideas and related experiences. connections help a great deal. buyers. children's. you've made your film because you were motivated by something other than money.FESTIVALS & DISTRIBUTORS Congratulations. The strategies you employ to get your film seen are varied. the same goes true. It's very hard to see your film from outside your own perspective without getting too bitter about the realities of the present day film scene. Right? OBVIOUSLY you don't want to send your junkie road film to a documentary. but will take some clear eyed analysis of your film. The drawbacks are financial. You've got something you can show to people that you're proud of and you want it to be seen by as many people as possible. actors or procuring much needed favors. Most producers reps take about 25% of a sale they make to distributors or buyers. But. is a person supposedly with connections or some weight or pull with film festivals. especially if they like the project. 28 . and distributors. Berlin.
festivals and festival directors love to discover films. but if you've finished your film in February. Try calling the festival director. or enter Cannes. and will sour a distributor for the same reason. but if the person who sees it first is 17. get references from anybody you hire ( casting your crew). It's unfortunate. if they know somebody and if you can afford them. The audiences will come. maybe you can make some personal connection and get him to see it. and audiences like to feel they are seeing something for the first time. Do you wait for a year and take a chance on Sundance. pay for the tickets. your film has an extra barrier that you must avoid if possible. with little publicity. and it has prestige for the festival. and what do you do for a year? You can't really promote your film because it will seem old by the time it premieres at a festival. overworked interns that may or may not of heard of Orson Bean. but you'll have to get past the first wave of screening. much less Orson Welles. so promoting your film for 12 months prior to a festival could be counter productive. against the smaller festival in which your film will the opening night film? 29 . Cousin Ed may have done the seminal performance of the decade. this is also where a producers rep. would be very handy. or Berlin. as they very often do at festivals. if you get in. Again. people will hear of it and word gets around. usually done by young. DO YOUR RESEARCH! Opening at Sundance is great. Berlin will not take your film if it shows in Rotterdam: Cannes will ONLY show premieres and all the other big festivals will want to be the first to show your film. do you wait a year before releasing it? THE WORLD PREMIERE IS VERY IMPORTANT TO A FESTIVAL. or Rotterdam? Do you think your film can compete with the glitz and money at Cannes? Do you know somebody in any of the festivals that you can be sure you will get in for your World Premiere? What if you decide to wait a year and do not get in Sundance? That means your film is now old in festival terms.It is much easier to program a film with Winona Ryder than your cousin Ed (who also happens to be a great actor) in a film festival. but being the "next big thing" is status quo. WHERE WILL A BIG FESTIVAL PUT YOUR FILM? If you get in the big festival are you going to be relegated to a bad theater at 9 AM. Hard fact is that your film about aging may be a great film.
most will be open 30 . Well. some critics only review once and will reprint that review when/if the film is released theatrically. However. If your film is not reviewed well in Cannes. it's up to you to get them in the theater and take whatever comes. you put it out there. but. The smaller festivals are often the best ones. and partially because many critics feel they can't devote a large amount of space to a film that may not be seen by anyone outside the festival. call them. A European and a North American Premiere are independent of each other. This is not ALWAYS the case. embarrassing reviews. you're responsible for what's on that screen. Find out their phone number. you should try to organize them close to each other. you take whatever comes. and for each festival. having shown at the big festival sometimes is enough to get many other festivals in line to show your film next. or bored. REMEMBER . Very often a critic will print only a capsule review of a festival film waiting for a longer appraisal for the theatrical release. and usually will not hinder either Premiere. however. but. but the one national critic who was in the theater when my film was there for press screenings said he did not review films without distribution for fear of ruining their chance. chatty gen-X upbeat film in which everyone lives happily ever after can you expect a festival with a history of programming films with 50 year old difficult characters and without stars that win awards and get 3 picture deals to program your film? And if they do. he has taken a few films under his wing and has really helped that film get around. whatever. This is something you have to decide in your strategy. I don't know what any of that means. maybe the critics here will like it. where will they put it and why should you wait? ONCE YOUR FILM HAS HAD ITS WORLD PREMIERE hopefully you will be approached by a number of programmers who want your film in their festival. at least the ones you may have the most fun attending. it's a crap shoot no matter how you figure it so just make films that you're happy with and leave it at that. it's more likely if it's at a big festival like Cannes ALL THE CRITICS will be there and will have already reviewed your film. kinda'.If your film doesn't hit it big with the big festival you might be much better off with the smaller festival which is thrilled to have you and will treat you and your film like the prize of the festival. If your film is a quirky. Partially because films can be recut and changed before a theatrical release. and it changes with each film. or just saw a bad film. RECENTLY I got phenomenal reviews from a city in which my film opened. talk to them. maybe he was tired that day. you made the film. if possible. and EVERY YEAR.
Not so hot if they don't. But what does that mean for other festivals? Probably a lot. however. with that director. But it is human nature to share opinions with peers. that cliché' said. Crap in this context means fawning butt kissing. but the truth is you will know when someone has a valid review. Simple. remember that a lot of great films have been trashed by the critics. but on your film. IF YOUR FILM IS NOT LOVED BY THE CRITICS you will have to try and get it in as many festivals as possible to generate some positive word of mouth outside the critics circle. and vice versa. I've been pretty lucky so far. It's not a democracy and it's not fair. It's always better to approach a distributor with positive notices and press about your film and just because one critic didn't like your film.to that kind of entreaty depending on their schedule but call EARLY. don't waste your money by entering this festival. Fact is that most festivals try to get the best they can for their festival. good or bad." Well. pettiness on the part of this person does not mean that most festivals will not take a fair look at your film and base it's merits not on some wankers opinion. FORGET THE REVIEWS. forget it. I have it on good information that one festival director said. "I will never put one of Schlattman's films in this festival. Great if they like your film. but this sort of personal attack is not indicative of all festival directors thank God. as long as you know you've made a good film that's all you can hope for. Another sad fact is that festival directors may be in touch with other festivals and share their opinion. and I quote. doesn't mean another one will not. "BEST" is subjective. if they have crap to say about your work and you know it's crap. If you believe the good reviews you have to believe the bad. DON'T TAKE THEM PERSONALLY. and horrible derision's. so that's just how it goes. give them every chance to make it and make it easy for them to come. MANY BAD INDEPENDENT FILMS GET MADE and how many bad films can 1 person see before they start to hate everything? 31 .
but I used the festival as an excuse to blow off some steam after finishing my film. Have fun. that's where all your peers are. Loved it. Couldn't have been a worse place. etiquette means forgetting about trashing the festival that has invited your film to screen. your at the festival. like it. Don't do it no more. but you're not high on the prestige list. and could possibly hurt your film. and want it only as a backup its poor position may hurt your film as much as help. you will know RIGHT AWAY plan b. Can't tell you how many people I pissed off or impressed poorly. If they really want your film. WRONG. and will give it a good screening slot and press. or call the next festival and tell them that they can have the world premiere of your new film if they act NOW. and people that might be able to help you in the future. play safe. very late in the decision process or the deadline. and in a festival in which everyone else was having a great time.SOME FESTIVALS ARE ONLY IN BUSINESS to make money. simple courtesy. 1st impressions last a long. WAKEUP . You'll have to decide that for yourself. I suggest dropping that festival from your list unless they invite you. You'll have to decide what festival. Be very wary of festivals that want exorbitant fees to enter. Drink till you drop? Did it. and remember. These are unscrupulous festivals that would like you to believe that $150 to watch a tape of your film is a fair fee. .FESTIVAL ETIQUETTE Your in. they may take your film. Keep your mouth shut if you're not happy and praise the festival if you are. offer yourself 32 . even if you get in your entry will mean nothing to everyone else that knows what a scam that festival is running. if you have not heard until very. Consequently this person became the festival joke and will never be invited back. You have to take responsibility for the success of your film. I was recently at a festival in which a renown dilettante did nothing but moan and complain and cry in the bathroom because they weren't treating her like the royalty she thought she was. but you can take out ads. AND. Whatever press the festival does is great. FOR FREE. seemed like the perfect place. FINAL FESTIVAL NOTE. long time. DO YOUR OWN PRESS at the festival. act like a child and expect to get treated like one . it's wonderful if Sundance fawns over your film but if they don't. and subsequent festivals will be the best for your film.
simply to try and make his money back. but get as much as you can. It's not impossible. up front. DISTRIBUTORS Preface Keep in mind the state of filmmaking in the new millennium: If you don't have a marquee actor that will sell tickets Nationally. It's BUSINESS. don't sign a deal.. theoretically all your production money. Are you interested in a distributor that just wants your film to expand his library of films so he can look good at the next market? Me either. HAVE A LAWYER LOOK AT YOUR CONTRACT . Tell me about it. but you know what's coming. but keep it in mind. very unlikely. Why choke up your film with a guy that won't sell it? It's better for you to just hold on to your film because you at least have the option to get 33 . it's not a surprise. If he is successful.". but it will not be the first one he tries to sell.for interviews for any magazine/paper/shopping list that will take you in that town. Period. and Internationally. put up posters DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET PEOPLE IN . if you can't afford a lawyer. What he will tack on to your film as "EXPENSES" may in fact be one of the most dishonest practices in all of filmmaking so you will want to put a cap on his expenses in your contract. DISTRIBUTORS ARE IN BUSINESS TO MAKE MONEY . A DISTRIBUTOR THAT HAS 50 FILMS to sell will be trying to sell your film first if he has had to put out money for that film.. as Mamet said in The Spanish Prisoner. "In business you must assume the other guy is ALWAYS out to screw you. A rule of thumb for any deal with a distributor is that you make no deal without advance sales money. I guarantee an unscrupulous distributor will hit that cap. but very. So there. theoretically. He will also have little motivation to sell your film against one he owes money on. Theoretically. the chances of you getting theatrical distribution are virtually zero. so will you be. You can fluctuate in how much you want depending on your film. No news flash. He might be able to sell your film without an advance. very.
very few films make money that way. I know of a case where a guy got $10. Get your priorities straight before you go on the road. OR MORE of a gamble as having a distributor work for you. the energy. THE LENGTH of your contract is important. but don't expect to make a lot of money on the road with one film. if your deal is not favorable. DISTRIBUTORS have contacts you don't have.5 million in advertising that did not make 10. 34 . they can't sell it. bake shops and film organizations that will show your film then go for it. or go to one of the various worldwide markets at the festivals. GET REAL. if you're lucky enough to have booked one. They're not all crooks.it to somebody that will try and sell it in the future. and the desire to call theaters across the country. and be able to pay back all your investors. It may be a great film. it's a tough club to break into and I've heard the derision some distributors spew about filmmakers in private. In other words put a stipulation in your contract that if he does not perform certain functions by a certain date the contract is null and void. but don't expect your film with no stars. So GET REAL BUB . but if they can't sell it. Look at the good films that don't do well. Also consider what you're doing next and how much time do you spend NOT WORKING on the next script. I don't know that it hurts the filmmaker her/his distributor doesn't like them or his/her film. bad reviews and 3 hours in length to sell to a market that wants violence. put a performance term in your contract. ship prints.000 for his film and the next day the distributor sold it for 1. I also know of films with 1. AFTER A THEATRICAL RUN. SELF DISTRIBUTION is just as much. or phone. Twerpism is rampant. You may gain contacts. then wouldn't sign a release. call local papers. you will have to start contacting the buyers in all the markets by mail. why will yours be any different? By the same token don't believe that your film won't sell because somebody says so. I had one wanker that after 6 months didn't perform any of the contractual agreements. That might not mean anything to you and that's great. If you have the time. check advertising in all the towns. stars and sex. or you question the distributors ability. BUT REMEMBER.000 at the box office. you could be investing money and time in a MONETARILY fruit less endeavor. but talking trash can't help. colleges. ship tapes.5 million and the filmmaker never saw a dime. pay for advertising. friends and experiences invaluable to you later on.
DON'T SELL DISTRIBUTORS SHORT. It's like used car salesmen. move on. or sending out tapes to the major distributors that 35 . again. he has not delivered the tape elements and will not contact me. tapes and all the other stuff. but brother. The little guys can be just as good as the big guys. You will have to spend money on advertising. watch out. and have made certainly more than I would have from a very small distributor. and after ruining sales potential of the film started reneging on the contract I informed him he no longer represented the film. in video sales? Does it have any stars? What's the marketability of the film? IN GENERAL JUST GET REAL ABOUT YOUR FILM . but in the meantime you just have to forget it. On another film. Simple as that. When I can afford a lawyer I'll get the materials back. just another bad reputation you want nothing to do with. but you still have a great film. how well will it do in the theaters. an office ($10. Ask yourself a few questions: How well did it do at the festivals? Compared to what's out there.000 at the American Film Market). One film with great reviews was stolen from me through my own fault in placing any trust in this "distributor". DISTRIBUTORS WILL BE COMING TO YOU. There are other. phones. again with great reviews. but I personally have not been very successful doing that. I've made no attempt to try and get it into theaters because I simply don't have the money. but when he did not perform on his contract I did not give him my negative. MY EXPERIENCE has been bipolar. I'm now selling that film worldwide and have had some luck doing it. Fine. Let's say that you think your film has some marketability but you don't want to bother with the expense and time of film festivals. If you're not the "NEXT BIG THING". SKIPPING THE FESTIVAL circuit is another possibility. Obviously if it's done great at the festivals. He then refused to perform. no-budget ways to try and sell at these markets (AFM article) that have been very lucrative for some. how you handle what you do with distributors could mean the life of your film. That's the last I ever heard from him. no one offered any advance money so I took it to the IFFM on my own and got an immediate sale. what do you do? You start setting up screenings. posters. All that stuff is very important when getting a deal.They are very expensive but could be very lucrative if that's what you want to do. there are so many seedy lots out there you have to be careful where you step. Distributors can do everything for your film if they are behind it. but has some major drawbacks.
Now take your film to the festivals and if it does do well then they can say yes and everybody's happy. a great deal and see your film in theaters with a million in advertising. HOWEVER. Your problem is going to be in dealing with the unscrupulous distributor that makes money in a variety of ways off your film and has no intention of doing anything reputable with any film. They may just say not at this time. or we'd like to think about it or some combination. will probably never say yes in October. If they don't like it. but don't bug them.handle the kind of film you've made. That's what you have to watch out for and there are a ton of 36 . Don't push them into saying no if they don't want to. Most of the people working with distributors are there because they love film in one way or another. You might want to call in a couple of weeks. A guy in acquisitions that said no to your film for whatever reason in January. let them tell you what they think. and say no. A SIMPLE POLICY for approaching reputable distributors is to offer them the film and wait for their response. and most reputable distributors want to put out good films that they like and move them in some way. The acquisitions person may love your film. could you watch 40 tapes this week knowing that 39 of them will be God awful tripe and know you've got 40 more to watch next week. and if they have the first crack at it over anyone you may have made a friend. I couldn't possible imagine looking at that many bad films and it having no affect on me. A NO IS A NO FOREVER. but the company he's working for may not be able to pick it up for some reason. especially in the business arena? Nobody. Who wants to admit they were wrong. the man putting up the money for the film nobody goes to has to deal with reality. often they may not say no unless you're a pest. and the week after? Not me. X amount of dollars in advertising equals how much in sales? Do you take a chance on something you like versus something you hate that will make the payroll this month? You also have to remember how many bad. Thousands of films. or may not be able to do anything right now for some reason. really bad films distributors have to look at. these are people just like you. It's not a simple equation. and the week after. USUALLY . but that's what they have to do. They may love your film. Don't alienate them. that's good for both of you. when all the movie going public ignores great films and casts dollar after megadollar down a freezing watery hole for poorly written tripe. no matter what it does after you then take it through the festivals they will more than likely still say no.
where you rent the theater. Use your best judgment. ASK QUESTIONS. but not the financial ability to deliver on his desires and then your film is dead. Q & A. personal appearances and posters and cards and whatever else you can think of. what's the difference? We know that you've both played fair. I get an anonymous list every month. and you are responsible for it's life. your professional relationship will probably suffer. but would like to see the film you just made have a life. usually of the same guys but it shrinks and expands according to which guy has gone under this month and come up under another name next month. 37 . where the author pays for his own printing. Don't discount the small distributor. What the hell do you want to share %50 of the door with a distributor who's doing nothing? Again. It's called "4 walling" in the film world. so none of this will apply. pay for advertising and do all the leg work. but if you're going to four wall your film. but it is simple. GET IT IN WRITING. the demand for your film will suddenly increase. WILL IT? IT HAPPENS. One ploy that seems to work for one guy is getting the filmmaker to pay for advertising. you should do everything possible to help your release including interviews. It's your film. he may have just as much regard for your film as you. DON'T MAKE INSTANT DECISIONS. take a few weeks to sign a deal. But in the end. I realize this sounds simplistic. If you've both lived up to the contract you've signed betrayal by either of you should not be a problem because you not only want to work together again. and that represent films you like. with his name one it.them out there. if you don't have a good personal relationship. At least if you hold on to it the rights are still yours and if you or one of your actors has huge success and you all become heart throbs . prints and screening selling a relationship with theaters. If you turn into a sleaze and figure you can make money off your actors success by shooting scenes around your original short to make it a feature you deserve the lawyers he hires to sue you and your film into submission. you're already off on the right foot. do you really need to share it with a distributor? The answer might be yes for your particular deal. This happens all the time. PLAY FAIR. This is called a VANITY PRESS in the printing world. and film. but it needs a big ? I recommend dealing with the top distributors with names you recognize. and be as intuitive as possible. You like what they've done. think about it if you question it.
what in Kurosawa's name will you do? You've got all this film on her/him.CLEAN-UP ACTORS WALKING This is probably the worst thing that could happen to your film and I hope for your sake it never happens. family crisis. Quit and chalk it up to experience.. What if you go through the scenes and story line you've already shot and decide what you have and can use and either do one of two things 1. OR 2. or quitting production on a film that will probably never be finished. you've got half a film with this now missing character. They'll be calling you 'GENIUS' in the papers. O. what can you do? Make it a positive. hopefully you have supporting characters that you can now build into a different story that will be just as strong. This could be a nightmare if you let it be one. so many things can happen to people while in production that the idea that this could happen is not far fetched. what other character in this film might have just as interesting a story that you haven't revealed yet ? What if you shoot a double for the first lead on the floor that 'just died' from your new leads bullet/heart attack/overdose/boredom/left town? Try something! Maybe take a day off and re-write something that works with the characters you have already introduced in a plot or story twist that can still accomplish what you've set out to do. Continue with what you have and make a different. Seriously. what if your lead actor walks in the middle of production. but you have to do something to help your film. this is a real chance with your money and your film. accidents. However. but for my money. I know this sounds way out in left field. But. it's better than trying to beg an actor that won't come back.K. kind of Plan 9 Ed Woods stuff. 38 . she/he absolutely refuses to continue for whatever reason that you absolutely cannot solve. but improbable. maybe better film.
if you have to. EVERYONE will feel a slight psychological shift between cutting in dialogue recorded in a studio. of course. This is. so avoid it if at all possible. even if uncle Bob doesn't notice. then: (2) Find a room that sounds like the room you originally recorded the sound in. I t's difficult and they just can't find the moment or character again. it may end up being a better film. 39 . one thing you CAN do is what I did. For instance. I had to do this in my last film because the car we were using for the picture vehicle ended up not being the one we were promised (the guy just never showed) so I had to replace the references to that car. ADR What a heartache. However. closets. (1) Make a cassette recording of the scenes for each actor that you have to replace from your edited work print for timing.wherever. what have you got to lose? CREW Be sure to pay all your actors and crew on time. and can't afford ADR sessions in a booth with full playback. I got all my actors into the various rooms one Sunday when I was alone in the editing suite and did all the looping in a couple hours in various rooms. or are unhappy with a performance. On top of that. that's something you should solve in pre-production. especially if you think you might like to change something. why not push on and finish it. the Gaffer should get the same as the Key Grip.You've already taken an enormous chance up to this point. record the new performance with the actor then just (3) lay it in over the dialogue in question with an ambient track and it can work OK. Best Boy Electric and Best Boy Grip should be the same. it's what makes filmmaking fun and that make great stories. and what you did on set even if they can't articulate the perceived change. outside . and be sure to pay them consistently across the various departments. guaranteed. Don't start with bad feelings because of rates. some actors have a very hard time looping. and. besides. You're better off getting wild lines on location when you're shooting. You lose the energy of the scene. pace and performance. Take chances. experiment. All Grips and Electric get paid the same. Before your production begins. everyone will know what everyone else is getting paid. if you have enough money to pay anybody.
Singleton also has a book for budgets and breakdowns.Burbank (Graphics) STAY AWAY .(Lab) Power Post . not as well organized or printed.Burbank (Negative Cutting) Blacbal .Burbank CA.Hollywood Filmworks – Hollywood 40 . "Film & Video Budgets" .However.Hollywood (Union . RECOMMENDED Foto Kem .West Los Angeles (Audio) Todd AO .Xpensive) Chris Weber Post .NOT RECOMMENDED Video Plant . but harder to read. the sound man I had was so incompetent it's lucky for me that I didn't.Michael Wiese Seems to be one of the best resource books for putting together a realistic budget for a number of different film and video projects. He has some sound advice about paying crew and scale rates available for those of you that might be able to pay scale. it all would have been distorted anyway. it's OK.The Valley Amazing Movies .Los Angeles Video Plant Audio .
that's how things work with agents. take heed. HOW do you find out where he is. you are NOBODY. who loses? Not the producer. learn from my mistakes. Don't minimize this attribute. b) Attract a large enough audience so the film gets seen. that's you babe. ("Who produced it?) not the actors ("What could they do with material like that") . and how do you get him a script? Well. Unless of course you can call up the actor and hand him the script because he's your poker buddy. They are not necessarily bad people. You must find a producer that you trust. unless your name is thought of with Miramax or October. you've got to the point where you realize you are going to have to get a marquee actor in your film to. An actor finally proves himself in some arena in which people can see his work and then he's isolated from the good scripts because his agent doesn't see a percentage for himself or the 'commercial potential' of a script. unless of course you have a commercially successful film under your belt. he may have millions at his disposal but could rip you off for your work. I hate the agent system. call the Screen Actors Guild and ask them for contact information for the actor in question.the director. representing yourself as both producer and director is just bad news. doing their job entails all the superficial tripe of Hollywood.DEALING WITH AGENTS or DEVELOPMENT HELL So. a) Get the budget you need to make this film. Yep. it's not about the actors but about the money in which the agents can get for their actors. I don't know how to 41 . their 10% (some of them get 15%). Yep. sell you down the pike for money or just be so greedy that his involvement could ruin your film even if he gets it financed. Recently I've been shopping a project around. First of all. Even if your films have had phenomenal critical success in their limited theatrical release ( 5 million is the bench mark). and of course. If you get 10 mil to make a film and it turns out to be a piece of crap. finding out where is the easy part. Take it or leave it. Now the proverbial ka ka hits the fan. it blows.
but. you already have credibility with whomever they are talking to by proxy. If you have somebody else telling the world how great you are. we wrote a letter of introduction and included some clippings from reviews. when I met him. and I will always be grateful for our relationship. However. SOPHOMORIC BUT NOT SUBTLE OR DISMISSIVE. he got it. bar none. One of my producers is a guy who has just lived through some horrible melodrama in which he lost his business. He has to be one of your fans. I saw through his bad. and production company interest with the letter and just sent it to the people 42 . Now what? Well that's where a little creative publicity comes in. and doesn't know what to do at times. He's a younger man than I. who are absolutely the best actors. It's a collaboration. what next? Call SAG and find out who represents them. Tommy Lee Jones can't do it. Do You? Are You Sure? Is it Perfect? Well? OK then. Casting is the most important part of your film. I knew I had a good script. his girlfriend of 7 years and he owes the IRS some million or so dollars. twerpism. That means that already somebody else believes in you. your Carlo Ponti or whom ever you envision as being a good producer but it's hardly ever the person waving money in your face with a double digit IQ. GET REAL. First of all. someone else is extolling your virtues. but it hardly ever is. The guy was a walking country western song for so long he was beginning to make me puke. would he even consider doing a 22 year olds part? Don't be stupid. how to deal in straight business terms with the people that might be interested in my work. I don't know what you've done. Mel Gibson cannot play a 22 year old junkie on the streets of Moscow. This is what I told him to do. a marriage. that you would like to see in the parts? No. THAT MEANS A LOT. and was smart. and the guy has taken the ball and run with it. 1 sheets. I showed a guy that likes my work. you've narrowed the casting down to 8 people. with ideas of his/her own. he liked the work and we made some connection. or couples that could do the part. Obviously it's somebody you have some connection with. He has the potential to be a great producer. Even if you were to get it to Mel Gibson. he has a tendency towards arrogance. and that reads your work nearly as well as you do. and I do mean times. his house. and he has worked very hard trying to get my film to screen. his money. but I've had some pretty good reviews. who could do this part? OK. But who could? No. Not that it couldn't be.tell you how to find this person. he still thought he was up. YOU are not telling them how great YOU are.
you could be if they want escrow money. not art. want to do something that will stretch them and their abilities . Follow up calls . "If it's not on the page. build up whatever you've done and make it look as good as possible without sounding like you are. don't get too antsy and become a pest. usually. or can't read. 3. If not . Write an introduction letter to the agent representing the actor you want. A 2 line condensation of the film might be better in your intro letter. managers etc. some have triple digit IQ's and have some concern for their clients. Some are stereotypes. it's not on the stage. like someone the actor might like to work with. Accentuate the positive. unintentionally. make an offer." Ain't cliché's great? Truth is most actors.JUST LIKE YOU. Your producer has to make you out to be someone the actor should work with in their career. with a name like mine I've learned to forgive people their poor spelling. you need them on your side. How do they do that? I dunno. Make the agent (and their assistants) as comfortable with you and the work as possible. SPELL THEIR NAME RIGHT. Your problem is writing the 43 . BIDNESS 1. Send them a script only when they request it.It will take weeks to get a response. but agents are not regular people. but don't lie. Don't send them a synopsis. I screw it up all the time. if you can. otherwise it will get sent back or thrown away. 2. My take is always a good script.). Spell their name right. or you are nobody. 5.2 a week . depends on the agent. Simple courtesy. Make you out to be the creative genius we've all heard about? Fun to work with? That's why THEY ARE PRODUCERS AND YOU'RE NOT. This is a business transaction. MOST actors. Offers . Dead in the water . most will not read the script because they are busy and will have it 'covered'.The agent may then ask for an offer to do the part. 4. pay or play money and you don't have it. then they may read and if they like it will call you back. This is straight business. 1st they will have somebody else read it (coverage). They won't read your script if they don't like the synopsis. awful lot of self inflated ego you have to deal with. They probably won't read your script anyway. Agents make money when the actors do.involved (agents.improvise.
you are dead in the water. mainly because he represents a number of actors who may ALL need this casting director in the future. The fact is that their client may love to do your script. They only know how to play by their rules. it has nothing to do with the actor. then the script will get read and the agents will treat your project with a lot more regard.script they want to do. and that is not conducive to a trusting relationship on the set. he/she wants to produce? Produce! You might want to try getting a known casting director on board that has cast the actor you want in another film (IMDB). If your script comes from a casting director an agent will automatically take a much more serious interest. but you now have some clout. Well. I know some actors tell their agents they ONLY want big budget films. Agents are the bane of the independent film community.. understandable from their point of view considering how many bad scripts are floating around. O. or play or pay money. now what? Cruise the places that your actor may haunt . They'll still play the game. If your casting director is any good. I got a prestigious production company with over 2 billion in investment capital that is currently making a film with Jack Nicholson to write a letter of intent to produce my film contingent. CONTINGENT on the cast for X million. Other than that. so they would not even forward a script to the client without an escrow account. but if he doesn't see it or get a chance to read it. usually for actors that are working a lot they will not forward a script without money. PRODUCERS JOB. The agents did not know this production company. but incredibly lazy of them considering this company was financing films for Paramount. Write it.K. That means that they want to see cash they know is there rather than the promise of a good film.bars. or October. it's personal relationships. Find out who some of the casting directors are in town. offer them a producer credit. You've been NON-CONTACTED by the agent. but imagine you're an actor who gets accosted by somebody on the street with a script in his/her hand? It has to feel like getting stalked. many of them want to produce. theaters etc. or a whole host of other obstacles intended to dissuade you from 'bothering' their client. how do you get it past the agent? That's the catch 22 of the film business. Get your producer to do it. OK. OK. so it may not be the agent at all. see if you can get them to read your script and if they like it. usually. who you know that 44 . they weren't Paramount.? Possible.
Jealousy? Selfishness? Maybe. You may be the reason your actor has a whole new agenda with his agent. For instance. you have to play the straight route first. one of my actors has a personal friendship with an actor I had in mind for the lead in my next film. buy a billboard on Sunset Ave. that sounds terrible. It may be the agent sends it on and the actor hates it but won't tell you. but it's the truth. I could not reach the actor. be creative.can help you. He liked the script. probably. and would not give it too him. Blows doesn't it? You have to try the straight route I've outlined above. it may be the actor you want is screaming for good work and he may get a chance to read it. It may be that the agent is playing the hollywood shuffle with your script for reasons of his own. anything. slept at his apartment in New York while working on his film. if none of that works. None of that matters. and it doesn't always help. 45 . advertising your script. cruise the bars-try something. I know. and. but the end result is with one degree of separation.
the director and whomever they deem interesting. titles and inserts. I took what I got. Finishing is everything. even if you're not paying you have to choose wisely when hiring somebody for this job. UNIT PUBLICIST WRAP REPORT & CONTACT LIST 5.Production Checklist Marketing/Advertising/Publicity Materials During production there are a number things you need to keep in mind in order position your film to be as 'distributable' as possible for the worldwide market. COMBINED DIALOGUE AND CONTINUITY LIST 7. for many of you. 46 . you may want to hide from any publicity rather than attract it. It's an important tool for publicity. which turned out to be nothing. or you may not be able to get because of legal reasons. An option for this may be to get one of your friends to shoot video for the whole shoot. which was exactly the amount of footage I got. however. PRODUCTION CONTACT LIST 4. if you are stealing all your locations. FINAL MAIN AND END CREDITS 12. then you have a behind the scenes documentary. SHOOTING SCRIPT 2. TRAILERS AND/OR PROMOS (DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL) Digital Betacam NTSC master & 3/4" cassette with matching visual and address track time code.. and EPK and the possibility for another film. CAST CONTACT LIST 3. I couldn't get the people that I hired to actually shoot anything with a camera that was on the set. Believe it or not. 35mm interpositive including all credits. or even show up. AD/PUB VENDORS & ELEMENTS CONTACT LIST 6. PAID AD CREDIT STATEMENT & NAME AND LIKENESS REQUIREMENTS 11. many of these things will simply be out of financial reach. PHOTO APPROVAL LIST 10. PHOTOGRAPHY CAPTION LIST 9. 1. For instance. word of mouth etc. Audio-DA 88 cassette of Picture and DAT cassette of music only. MUSIC CUE AND LICENSE SHEET 8. Obviously. your sag actors are there with no agreement and the cops are looking for you. the EPK (Electronic Press Kit) is usually done on certain days set aside when a video crew comes to the set and does interviews with actors.
any key props/inserts. any interesting anecdotes. screenwriter. many face only. D-1 PAL letterbox and D-1 PAL full frame video transfer. dialogue and narration tracks. 35mm 4-track magnetic master containing separate full-coated music. D-1 NTSC letterbox and D-1 NTSC full frame video transfer. heads not cut off. 15. Coverage should include leading actors.35mm internegative including all credits. a quotation or two about the film from key personnel including lead actors. Printed table of contents with running times and transcript. WRITTEN PRESS KIT to contain bios (at least on paragraph) of leading actors. ELECTRONIC PRESS KIT "EPK" SP Betacam NTSC & PAL video masters and sample 3/4" VHS cassette. representative number shall bear an explanatory caption. Printed table of contents with running times and transcript. 35mm mono magnetic master with separate track dialogue. 18. etc. All B-roll footage shot in prep of EPK. TV SPOTS/ADVERTISEMENTS (DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL) SP Betacam NTSC & PAL video masters and sample 3/4" VHS cassette. key crew members. COLOR NEGATIVE ORIGINALS (not less than 200) comprising production. publicity and portrait photographs. full body in each significant wardrobe piece. 35mm 4 track magnetic master containing separate full-coated music. narration. publicity and portrait photographs. effects. 35mm optical soundtrack negative. dialogue and narration tracks. one page plot summary. 35mm 4-track magnetic stereo music and effects master. Access 47 . transparencies and contact sheets. music and effects. representative number shall bear an explanatory caption. 35mm 2-track stereo magnetic print master Dolby (or equivalent). B/W STILL PHOTOGRAPH CONTACT PRINTS (not less than 200) comprising production. effects. 16. 14. titles and inserts. 17. etc. dialogue and narration tracks. Access to all original color negatives. Printed table of contents with running times and transcript. 13. 35mm 4-track magnetic master containing separate full-coated music. TV PUBLICITY CLIPS (DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL) SP Betacam NTSC & PAL video masters. producer. director. effects.
B/W TEXTLESS PRINT OF NEWSPAPER ADVERTISING ART INCLUDING: Correct advertising billing plus sample billing blocks which may be applicable to the licensee's use of the film. transparencies and contact sheets. 23.HARD COPY ORIGINAL. 8X10 TEXTLESS B/W KEY ART NEGATIVE ORIGINAL 22.to all original B/W negatives. 19. 48 . PRODUCTION NOTES ON DISK INCLUDING: Synopsis. Contractual bios. etc. Coverage should include leading actors. Interviews and reviews (if applicable). PRODUCTION NOTES . 8X10 TEXTLESS COLOR KEY ART NEGATIVE ORIGINAL 21. heads not cut off. any key props/inserts. 20. many face only. Title Treatment Copylines for use in such advertisements. full body in each significant wardrobe piece.
DIGITAL 425$ PER MINUTE AND NO NEGATIVE ! The upside is the cost of production. The process they use writes on the negative in a "warbling" (sic) format. but good.Had crummy smear lines. 16mm . 49 . Even then you have to understand there is no real focus point in video. 35mm .Grainy. very grainy. High Definition . One of the medium prices quoted at a popular lab is 425$ per minute of running time for projects longer than 60 minutes. edit it and have a finished video for what.Looked the best. it's a nebulous writing code on tape. What they will do is give you answer prints at whatever price they deem apropos for answer prints. some appeal.Very good. for video. unless of course you are using a high end camera and a prime lens.Better. VHS . It looked very good. Be careful. if that's even possible. Beta . digital and beta. which eliminates the scan lines usually associated with video. They keep the negative and the optical track and you have to pay extra to extract it from them. it did not look like video with scan lines and the video particle matter usually associated with same. DV Cam & DVPro) . even transferred from high definition look nearly as good as film and.miniDV. Digital (all formats . Beware. Truth is.About the same as Beta. They will produce a negative and optical track. Also be sure that it's what you want. You could literally shoot the whole thing on a couple hundred bucks of tape. the process looked too good. for my purposes. What you get back is a print and that's it bub. hi 8) and hand it to a lab to turn into a print. for the no budget film there seems to be very little difference once it's transferred to film from a High 8 or a Digital format. none of the formats. Beta. So. I recently screened all formats transferred on this process at a lab and my feelings have not changed in the last 10 years. couple thousand? Then take that finished video in what ever format you finish in (digital. I saw a number of formats transferred both from original.
right./Y Y/Y/Y N/N/Y Y/Y/Y 50 . screw the video bub. You can look here to find out. Believe me. There is word out now that Digital 8 tape is not stable and as prone to degradation as SVHS. then use that as your prime and you will be able to rebuild any kind of original sound track from masters. Even better. Beta's about the best. It's rep is much better at the moment. considering this may be your negative you may want to opt for the camera that uses the digital or MiniDV tape. All Video Tape sound sucks. or use radio mics and dump the whole thing onto a nonlinear system and use what comes out as your track. Yeah. but everything else suffers from the same focus problem.digital or analog. but still sucks in comparison. including a dead sync Optical track for your 35mm prints. or get a boom man. a 16 bit sampling in mono for dialogue is good. to confine your project to film. If you can use a Nagra or buy a DatMan for $700 and slap it on the side of your high 8. I've figured a way to do a transfer to film from video that will cost about 0. go check it out at a lab first. The High Definition stuff is much sharper than anything and may be just as sharp as film. for convenience. you're set.50$ per foot. rent a SMPTE DAT and dump all your sound from the camera tapes onto the SMPTE DAT as a back up. and you can get a good mic and use it with the camera. The big advantage shooting consumer digital cameras over High 8 is the sound. On top of that if you want the scan lines or to degrade the image it will cost you an extra fee at most of the labs. shoot to light your set in the digital cameras. or email me LABS Four Media Company (4MC) Sony High Definition Cinergi Swiss Effects Soho Digital Film Team Film Craft Ringer Video PROCESS Electron Beam " c CRT Film Recorder " " " Teledyne CTR 3 Kinescope 35/16 PRICE $425/180 per min $585 $600 $520/309 $1200 $250/150 $250/105 $185/80 Neg/Snd/Print Extra/"/Y Y/N/Y Y/Y/Y Y/Extra/Extra Y/NEG. The labs will all try to tell you lowest contrast possible even for if you have the time and lighting waiting forever for lights. Do it in editing and only bring what you have to to the lab if that's the route you intend for your video. But.
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