Jump to content


Photo

Film Funding


  • Please log in to reply
99 replies to this topic

#41 Nate Downes

Nate Downes
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1638 posts
  • Florida, USA

Posted 02 June 2008 - 04:19 PM

I'm in Pre-pre-production lol. Mainly I'm trying to figure out what to do about my camera situation. I am more than willing to shoot on 16mm or Super 8 but I HAVE to have sync since the script is dialog heavy. It's a very cheap script otherwise, no hotel rooms or explosions. Just need a synced camera and the rest is fine. I have a location already and it's a single day shoot. I had a DP lined up but he informs me that he can't bring his camera with him so I think I want to go with someone else. If you have a sync camera, I would love to have you DP. As far as the dates, that is based off of who DPs. That is why I'm frustrated...I can't do ANYTHING until I have this DP/camera issue solved. Therefore, if you can do it, name your dates and I'll work around you.

I have a Chinon 200/12XL. It's capable of being crystal'd by The Film Group for $500, but I haven't gotten around to doing it. I also own a NAGRA III w/ crystal unit. In addition I use a Chinon 1206SM as a secondary camera, same grade lens but is not sync'able. But it also has a remote control capability, so I've used it for setting up for trick shots.
  • 0

#42 Jake Christner

Jake Christner

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
  • Producer

Posted 02 June 2008 - 05:25 PM

Andrew, I just got on here a few minutes ago. I've been reading this, and figured I'd try to see if I can bang something into your skull.

Nate Downes is one of my very good friends. He's been a friend of mine for the last 4-5 years now. We've even worked on a trailer together, with me as a producer and he as the DP. He's also working on my short film that I am shooting in a couple weeks. Trust me when I say he knows what he is talking about when he gives you advice. This guy could make Titanic with $50, three paperclips, playdoh, and papier mache'. I truly call him the MacGyver of filmmaking.

Though I've only seen Matthew Phillips for about four seconds, I can already tell he knows what he's talking about. He's got experience in this business that you can't dream of having right now. Plus he's in the process of making a movie right now, which is closer than you are at this point, with or without the business plan.

So now that we've gotten that out of the way, let me tell you about me.

I started in this business at 22-23 years old, which is absolutely ancient for most people. Got started on accident, and ended up making an 85 minute documentary on my school's basketball team. Total budget was $5500, and $5000 of that was editing costs. I had a $500 JVC camera and got to use the equipment from our school for the rest. I got to pilfer the game tapes for the game footage, so that helped too. In all, the movie took 11 months to make, and a lot of my patience. To this day, it's a labor of love that I'd do all over again if I could.

I've been an actor, a director, a producer, a script supervisor, a writer, and an editor. I've also had the unfortunate task of chasing down casting directors, agents, and lots of money. I've been successful in some of those things, not so successful in others. Nate's been in this whole thing with me also, along with others, so he knows what I'm talking about. We're like brothers from other mothers.

So I'm going to tell you these things right now. In some parts, I'm going to be nice, in other parts, I won't be.

1. I am as business minded as anyone around, but I can tell you right now that you do not need that kind of cash. The way you described your movie, it's aesthetically simple to shoot, even with 90 zillion cameras in all seven continents. You can shoot in one or two states and find different sceneries to emulate said location. MASH was on TV for 11 years, yet they stretched 11 years out of a 4 year war in Korea, and "Korea" was shot inside of a soundstage in California, and all of the outside scenery was the same. It was there all the way till the last show, when a forest fire destroyed the "4077". If they shot that in Korea for real, they'd have to deal with so many issues, and that's not including the embassy.

2. I'm glad you want to stay away from studio funding because they wouldn't touch you anyway. You have to remember that studios view your project as nothing more than business, and they want their money back. In all honesty, I'm proud that you've put all your time and energy into this project, but people like you are a dime a dozen to them. Studios receive thousands and thousands of scripts a day. They are probably used as doorstops("epic" scripts), or extra toilet paper. If you had $20 million, wouldn't you want it back also?

3. Oh, and to add to Nate's point about "don't worry about being a player, just get a track record". Sounds like you want to be a player. That's a good thing, it means you raise your bar high. The thing is, if you want to TRY to be a player, go outside the box a bit. Don't use this board to ask for how to get cash, or connections. If you use this board whatsoever, use it to trade ideas and talk with some friends(and even getting jobs on here isn't a bad thing). Players call casting directors and agents and figure out how to get through the gatekeepers. Players get business cards and find whatever party or event they can to get their name out there. Players generate some public interest in their film and get money that way. Asking or begging for money is like going up to a hot chick and saying "you are gorgeous". Everyone does this.

4. If you are a quitter by nature, get out of this business now. This business is hell on earth, and we've all had heartbreak at one time or another. Plus I hate quitters, so you won't get any of my sympathies.

5. You don't want to "waste energy" by writing a script? Write a five page script and shoot it. Buy a camera off of ebay and shoot like you've never shot before(AND TRUST ME, THEY ARE THERE!). You will learn just as much shooting with your friends and a few helpers every weekend as you will at film school. After the five page movie is done and edited, send it to film festivals and get yourself out there. Just keep going. Might take a couple more years, but it is worth it.

6. Oh yeah, those scripts that Nate mentioned? There was a $12 million, a $1 million, and a 250k. I stayed up many a night editing those suckers. The guy has improved by leaps and bounds, and has never ever quit. I remember when I was up for a couple weeks straight, well into the night, editing every comma and storyline hole. He took all that advice and improved his writing. He's now close to getting some good cash for his film, and I couldn't be prouder of him.

7. Wimps use excuses for bad equipment. Nate could light a scene using a maglight flashlight and a PA holding it in position for a long time. If you have a big budget on one of his movies, most of it will be used for post production and payroll. More money DOES make someone lazy in figuring things out. Just throw more money out there and that's it. Mike Tyson thought of that also. He'd get a flat on one of his luxury cars, leave it on the side of the road, and buy another one the next day. He went broke.

8. You want $20 million, but you can't find 5k?! You need to set priorities straight!

9. Matthew, he has no experience(high school doesn't count). He does not need to hire a DP at all, he needs to shoot this himself....the short idea you had that is.

10. Shoot a trailer if you can't shoot the short. Sell it that way(got that idea from a certain friend of mine *wink*)

11. A 3 hour epic is HORRIBLE to get $500 for, much less 20 million. You forget that people's attention spans are about the size of a junebug's anymore, so unless you have 2 1/2 hours of explosions, or Leo drowning, you'll have trouble here. Usually, you'll get money for shorter films, ones that attention spans can sit through. Your movie is NOT a three hour movie. Oh, and I could make your synopsis into a 15 minute film.

12. Matthew, he's not a pipe dreamer, he's an inner tube dreamer. Much bigger holes in that dreaming.

13. Word of advice Andrew. You want a big enough star? Get Bruce Campbell and work with that. He's got more name recognition than you think, and he'll work with a newbie like you....even help you too. Oh, and take this advice from someone who tried to get to a certain A-List star's agent. They won't even BREATHE in your direction unless you have at least 70% of your cash up front.

14. Don't want to work with SAG, AFTRA, OR WGA?! You won't even get $50 without any of them. EVERYONE with any pull is union based.

15. Nate, you just shaved 100% from his budget if he wants to be that stubborn, and you know that.


I don't know if this works or not, but it's time this kid got a reality check. If he doesn't quit, he'll get many more before he's successful, if he does get there.

I wish him luck though.
  • 0

#43 Andrew McCarrick

Andrew McCarrick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 196 posts
  • Other
  • Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA

Posted 02 June 2008 - 05:45 PM

Buy a camera off of ebay and shoot like you've never shot before(AND TRUST ME, THEY ARE THERE!).


I only have 200 dollars to my name...... What am I going to get for that? A consumer camera (and not even a decent one).
Nothing with manual control to do focus pulls, hardly any exposure control, let alone framerate would be stuck at 60i.

Edited by Andrew McCarrick, 02 June 2008 - 05:49 PM.

  • 0

#44 Nate Downes

Nate Downes
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1638 posts
  • Florida, USA

Posted 02 June 2008 - 05:49 PM

I only have 200 dollars to my name...... What am I going to get for that? A consumer camera...
Nothing with manual control to do focus pulls, hardly any exposure control, let alone framerate would be stuck at 60i.


Really? I bought my main camera for $100. Shoots 8, 16, 24, 36, and 64fps, and is fully at home on a professional movie set. Fully manual exposure, hell, fully manual everything. There is no automatic controls, not even an electric motor. You see it in my icon picture, a Filmo.

Quit being defeatist and go out there and shoot!
  • 0

#45 Andrew McCarrick

Andrew McCarrick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 196 posts
  • Other
  • Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA

Posted 02 June 2008 - 05:54 PM

Really? I bought my main camera for $100. Shoots 8, 16, 24, 36, and 64fps, and is fully at home on a professional movie set. Fully manual exposure, hell, fully manual everything. There is no automatic controls, not even an electric motor. You see it in my icon picture, a Filmo.

Quit being defeatist and go out there and shoot!


Ahh.... film. Never going to shot film in my life... I hate film. Not to mention at that point I couldn't afford stock or a lab.

Edited by Andrew McCarrick, 02 June 2008 - 05:54 PM.

  • 0

#46 Nate Downes

Nate Downes
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1638 posts
  • Florida, USA

Posted 02 June 2008 - 06:05 PM

Ahh.... film. Never going to shot film in my life... I hate film. Not to mention at that point I couldn't afford stock or a lab.

Might I suggest re-evaluating your filmmaking desire?

Edited by Nate Downes, 02 June 2008 - 06:09 PM.

  • 0

#47 Jake Christner

Jake Christner

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
  • Producer

Posted 02 June 2008 - 08:40 PM

Might I suggest he gets into janitorial services? Universal studios has a high turnover rate, I heard :)
  • 0

#48 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5517 posts
  • Director

Posted 02 June 2008 - 11:41 PM

Guys what are you doing????? We have Niki Mundo Part II here.

He doesn't have $200.00 to his name, hates film, and is trying to raise 20 million?

Why waste your time?

R,
  • 0

#49 James Steven Beverly

James Steven Beverly
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4199 posts
  • Director
  • El Paso, Texas

Posted 03 June 2008 - 03:47 AM

:lol: :lol: :lol: This is one of the funniest threads I've ever read. A guy with an ego the size of Nebraska wants a bunch of struggle film makers to tell him how to raise 20 million dollars to make his 3 hour block-buster epic shot in 6 states with "A"-list non-union movie-stars and an un-registered script on video......AND he's already turned down funding because HE wants to produce :lol: :lol: :lol: GOOD ONE Andrew!!!!! ..........you are pulling everyone's leg, right..........'course if you are serious about all this, seek counseling immediately because, son, you got a screw loose. B)
  • 0

#50 Andrew McCarrick

Andrew McCarrick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 196 posts
  • Other
  • Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA

Posted 03 June 2008 - 05:44 AM

AND he's already turned down funding because HE wants to produce


No, I've turned people down because I want to direct and edit. What the people who said they'd fund/produce wanted me to do was take an associate producer credit, and then NOT direct, edit, or do anything at all.
  • 0

#51 Andrew McCarrick

Andrew McCarrick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 196 posts
  • Other
  • Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA

Posted 03 June 2008 - 05:45 AM

Guys what are you doing????? We have Niki Mundo Part II here.

He doesn't have $200.00 to his name, hates film, and is trying to raise 20 million?

Why waste your time?

R,


Actually, I have to agree, why is everybody wasting their time?
  • 0

#52 Andrew McCarrick

Andrew McCarrick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 196 posts
  • Other
  • Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA

Posted 03 June 2008 - 05:59 AM

AND he's already turned down funding because HE wants to produce


And I already have a three producers, a line producer, and a UPM.
  • 0

#53 Nate Downes

Nate Downes
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1638 posts
  • Florida, USA

Posted 03 June 2008 - 06:32 AM

No, I've turned people down because I want to direct and edit. What the people who said they'd fund/produce wanted me to do was take an associate producer credit, and then NOT direct, edit, or do anything at all.

Now this is the best response I've seen so far. bravo to you for taking the harder road here. While some here might ridicule you for the lack of couth or experience, you do have some moxie. Pity you lack the experience to back it up.

I am serious, get onto a movie set, get onto it immediately. You need to see how things run on a real set. If you need one, I'll talk to my friends up in the city to see about getting you a PA position.
  • 0

#54 Ollie Bartlett

Ollie Bartlett
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 88 posts
  • Other
  • Bristol, UK

Posted 03 June 2008 - 08:17 AM

... if i fly over from the UK can you ask if i can get a PA spot aswell. Would gladly cut off my left arm in payment for a possible 'in', if only i didnt need it for the occasional ACing i get.

... did i say fly over? Im broke... i'll swim.
  • 0

#55 Andrew McCarrick

Andrew McCarrick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 196 posts
  • Other
  • Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA

Posted 03 June 2008 - 10:17 AM

I am serious, get onto a movie set, get onto it immediately. You need to see how things run on a real set. If you need one, I'll talk to my friends up in the city to see about getting you a PA position.


I might take you up on this offer, but first I want to talk to a few people that I know and see if they'd want to come to (If that wouldn't be a problem.); seeing as how all of the producers are under 20, as well as our A.D and UPM. Would we be able to get some of them as Office PAs and some as Set PAs?
  • 0

#56 Nate Downes

Nate Downes
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1638 posts
  • Florida, USA

Posted 03 June 2008 - 10:26 AM

I might take you up on this offer, but first I want to talk to a few people that I know and see if they'd want to come to (If that wouldn't be a problem.); seeing as how all of the producers are under 20, as well as our A.D and UPM. Would we be able to get some of them as Office PAs and some as Set PAs?

I'll check with my friend in NY. Can't hurt to find out.
  • 0

#57 Andrew McCarrick

Andrew McCarrick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 196 posts
  • Other
  • Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA

Posted 03 June 2008 - 12:00 PM

6. Oh yeah, those scripts that Nate mentioned? There was a $12 million, a $1 million, and a 250k. I stayed up many a night editing those suckers. The guy has improved by leaps and bounds, and has never ever quit. I remember when I was up for a couple weeks straight, well into the night, editing every comma and storyline hole. He took all that advice and improved his writing. He's now close to getting some good cash for his film, and I couldn't be prouder of him.


Actually, that's the same exact thing I did for this script, between the ages of 16-18 I worked upto 2-3 in the morning, starting from 6-7 at night everyday. I've probably been through 15-20 (I've honestly lost count) re-writes over the past 5 years... not including the first draft, which I just tossed in the trash as soon as I wrote the last page.
  • 0

#58 Ralph Tabith

Ralph Tabith
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 136 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • UK

Posted 04 June 2008 - 09:52 AM

and offered you $200,000 to do your feature,


200 K? Where do i sign....
  • 0

#59 Nate Downes

Nate Downes
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1638 posts
  • Florida, USA

Posted 04 June 2008 - 11:51 AM

200 K? Where do i sign....

I know! Heck, for $200k I'll shoot 3 features, on film! (already have the scripts to boot)
  • 0

#60 Ralph Tabith

Ralph Tabith
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 136 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • UK

Posted 04 June 2008 - 03:34 PM

I know! Heck, for $200k I'll shoot 3 features, on film! (already have the scripts to boot)


Surely its about using what you've got and making it the best you can, $200K is alot of bucks to me, i am sure its alot of bucks for anyone, my budget = shoe string. ! the day i get that kind of budget i would be a happy chap
  • 0


Visual Products

CineTape

Tai Audio

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

rebotnix Technologies

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

Abel Cine

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

Technodolly

Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

Aerial Filmworks

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Metropolis Post

Paralinx LLC

Wooden Camera

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

FJS International, LLC

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

The Slider

Paralinx LLC

Technodolly

Abel Cine

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Tai Audio

Glidecam

Rig Wheels Passport