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Two Minute Trailer on Super 35


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#1 elvworks

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 11:47 AM

First of all, I gotta say, this forum rocks!!!

I want to make a trailer in hopes of securing funding to make the feature and I would most welcome your generous insight (as I always do). (Note: I am totally aware that securing funds with use of a trailer is rare, but possible)

From a Director?s standpoint (although I also have the heart of a cinematographer), I?m under the belief of focusing and immersing yourself on one really good project as opposed to five projects that people will never hear about.

Okay, here we go, I want to make a two minute trailer on Super 35 film as it will not need to be projected, but shown to producers (via video/DVD) of the style and quality of how the movie will look.

As far as costs are concerned for making a Super 35mm trailer, I estimated the costs anywhere from 2,500.00 to 4,000.00 for the cost of film, processing, hiring a dp, sound, camera rental. Maybe for one long weekend, two tops. Is this right? (Note: This does not include the costs of the sets and food etc.)

Pluses:
1. I won?t need anamorphic lenses as this will not need to be projected, but just stay on ?video,? and it could be cropped to 2.35. (The actual feature will have to be anamorphic)

2. I?ll be able to give investors a really good taste of the movie and perhaps wow them.

3. They can see that I?m capable of giving them a great movie with a great story, or at least convince them more.

4. It won't be video (SD/HD) looking.

I originally thought of making this movie on HD for costs sake, but it?s intended release is theatrical (not video). So then that?s when I started to see this movie needs to be done on film as well as have the look and texture of film. I think this way it will be much easier to get theatre distribution as opposed to an HD/SD conversion to film (which is rare).

I have also thought of making a digital trailer as well, and hope that they (investors) will see through the video to the incredible story but if your springing for all the video equipment already, why not spend that money, add a little more and put it on film.

I think if the seed is better, the harvest will yield much greater.


You?re thoughts to my dilemma is sincerly appreciated, as I will read every word of your post.

All the best, :D
Rick

Edited by elvworks, 06 February 2006 - 11:54 AM.

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#2 Matt Frank

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 12:33 PM

First of all, I gotta say, this forum rocks!!!

I want to make a trailer in hopes of securing funding to make the feature and I would most welcome your generous insight (as I always do). (Note: I am totally aware that securing funds with use of a trailer is rare, but possible)

From a Director?s standpoint (although I also have the heart of a cinematographer), I?m under the belief of focusing and immersing yourself on one really good project as opposed to five projects that people will never hear about.

Okay, here we go, I want to make a two minute trailer on Super 35 film as it will not need to be projected, but shown to producers (via video/DVD) of the style and quality of how the movie will look.

As far as costs are concerned for making a Super 35mm trailer, I estimated the costs anywhere from 2,500.00 to 4,000.00 for the cost of film, processing, hiring a dp, sound, camera rental. Maybe for one long weekend, two tops. Is this right? (Note: This does not include the costs of the sets and food etc.)

Pluses:
1. I won?t need anamorphic lenses as this will not need to be projected, but just stay on ?video,? and it could be cropped to 2.35. (The actual feature will have to be anamorphic)

2. I?ll be able to give investors a really good taste of the movie and perhaps wow them.

3. They can see that I?m capable of giving them a great movie with a great story, or at least convince them more.

4. It won't be video (SD/HD) looking.

I originally thought of making this movie on HD for costs sake, but it?s intended release is theatrical (not video). So then that?s when I started to see this movie needs to be done on film as well as have the look and texture of film. I think this way it will be much easier to get theatre distribution as opposed to an HD/SD conversion to film (which is rare).

I have also thought of making a digital trailer as well, and hope that they (investors) will see through the video to the incredible story but if your springing for all the video equipment already, why not spend that money, add a little more and put it on film.

I think if the seed is better, the harvest will yield much greater.
You?re thoughts to my dilemma is sincerly appreciated, as I will read every word of your post.

All the best, :D
Rick



I think your production costs are low. Say you were able to get away with shooting 800ft (which is very unlikely since that will only get you about 8 minutes of shooting with slating) you would be looking at about 500 for film stock (with shipping or tax) then probably another 800 or more for processings and a single light telecine to whatever you are going to edit on. Plus camera/lens/light/follow focus/ dolly/sound recorder/cables/ anything else needed to get cool looking shots rental and I think you would be looking at about 1200 a day minimum for equipment rental. So you would probably be looking at 2500 just to rent the equipment for one day and shoot 8 minutes of footage. Plus paying whoever you hire as your DP and any assistants.

Do you own your edit equipment or are you going to rent that? If you are renting that is going to be another cost.

I am not trying to rain on your parade, but i just don't want you get half way through it and realize you dont have enough to finish. Since you would be renting the equipment for such a short period of time you are not going to be able to get much of a discount on that. I think it would be very tough to get something good enough to impress investors on a 4,000 budget. I hope I am wrong about that though and good luck.
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#3 elvworks

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 01:53 PM

Hi Matt,

No, I do not have my own editing equipment. I was thinking of hiring an editor for that part.

And yes, please rain on my parade if it should be rained on. I would rather have it rained on here than out there in the field. There's wisdom in counsel.

My thinking for all this is, competition is fierce in this business, you really have to put out something that will stand out and I wanted to know if this is a practical and effective move.

All the best,
Rick

Edited by elvworks, 06 February 2006 - 01:53 PM.

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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 01:58 PM

Hi,

I really don't think there's a lot of point in going for 35 on this unless you have a very specific need for a 35mm print. If it's to hawk around looking for money, most people will be watching it off a DVD. Shoot it on 16, nobody's going to notice.
Phil
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#5 Matt Frank

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 02:07 PM

Hi,

I really don't think there's a lot of point in going for 35 on this unless you have a very specific need for a 35mm print. If it's to hawk around looking for money, most people will be watching it off a DVD. Shoot it on 16, nobody's going to notice.
Phil



You would definately save lot of money by shooting 16 on both the film stock and the equipment rental costs. It would look pretty close to 35 when transfered to DVD. If someone is going to invest in you they are going to do it based on your talent, not the equipment you happened to be able to afford at the time.
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#6 elvworks

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 02:13 PM

Great input Matt Frank & Phil Rhodes!!! Thanks!!!!! :D
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#7 Oliver Ojeil

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 02:20 PM

Speaking from my own experience, a friend of mine, director of course, was adopting the same strategy you're doing. He did a 5 min clip speaking about the movie, kind of an explanatory thing along with showing some aesthetic abilities, but not to be the bearer of bad news, that got him nowhere meeting with producers, and he did meet a whole bunch of them.
It looks to me like this is the first thing you'll be shooting on film that you're looking to shoot something beforehand, which "shows" your aesthetic ability? otherwise you can just show them past stuff you've done.
I do agree that cutting an informative trailer about a certain project is an interesting thing to have once seeking producers, but I def. don't put high on the priority list with the "must have" stuff. I'd say don't just bank on it too much.
best of luck!
Oliver S

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#8 elvworks

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 02:35 PM

Thanks Oliver S.






After thinking about it, yeah, 16mm is starting to look really good since it just will be viewed on DVD. It being far less in cost is very attractive as well. And true, they will be looking at your talent.




I love this forum.

Rick

Edited by elvworks, 06 February 2006 - 02:35 PM.

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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 03:30 PM

Another option is 24P/480 on the SDX900 (2/3" CCD camera) or a pro 24P HD camera. For a trailer, the quality would be fine and look film-ish enough for that purpose.
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#10 J. Anthony Gonzales

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 07:05 PM

...not to be the bearer of bad news, that got him nowhere meeting with producers, and he did meet a whole bunch of them.


I don't know your friend, nor am I passing any judgement, but heck, if he got a bunch of meetings with producers, sounds like he did okay to me. =)


Rick:

It sounds like you had shooting 35mm in mind when trying to figure this out. What I'd say is take your four grand and make a kick ass 5-10 minute short film on 16. Just limit your crew to the essentials/friends/etc. to keep within budget. That way you can demonstrate you can hold a story together in the medium rather than pieces of a story in a trailer. Then, when you get all those "you-da-man!" calls from all those producers, you can whip out your feature script to wow them with. ;)

John
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#11 elvworks

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 07:41 PM

hmmm....yes. Being able to keep their attention for a short. That sounds like it's hot off the press. Thanks for your enthusiasm.

I really, really, really want to film with film, so much so that it hurts. I was just watching Star Wars I and Star Wars II and really comparing the two, and I really don't want video, or a soap opera look which is what Star Wars II looks like.

I've written alot of screenplays already, never sold any, almost sold one to Artisan before they were bought out (or whatever happened to them). The contracts were going back and forth, I was real excited, then BAM, they were bought out. Bottom fell through, but I recovered though.

But this screenplay I have now blows all the others away ten times over. I've been waiting for the right movie to direct as that is what I wanted to move into. I finally found it.

I even thought of filming it with 16mm or super 16mm and doing alot of the dialogue in ADR. Whatever it takes. And worst case scenerio, for whatever reason, if I can't transfer to 35mm ($$$) or can't distribution, then I know it will look awesome on DVD.

Thanks Jag,


All the best,
Rick
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#12 elvworks

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 09:13 PM

------------------------------------------------------------------------

But just so you know I haven't lost total grips on reality, if I have to shoot the movie on HD, I'll be thankful for it and do my best with it.

Rick

Edited by elvworks, 06 February 2006 - 09:16 PM.

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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 09:46 PM

You just have to decide what the purpose of the trailer is. Is it a stand-alone work of art, or it just a way of generating interest in investors. And if the second, you have to ask yourself if whether the image is Super-16 or HD is really going to have an impact on a potential investor, versus the story, dialogue, acting, or action of the trailer. I don't know the answer to that -- it sort of depends on the project.
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#14 elvworks

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 11:40 PM

....And if the second, you have to ask yourself if whether the image is Super-16 or HD is really going to have an impact on a potential investor, versus the story, dialogue, acting, or action of the trailer. I don't know the answer to that -- it sort of depends on the project.


Ah Mr. Mullen, that's a good point.

Just for the record, I am not against digital. In certain respects, I like it and feel it has definite practical use. I'm more after creating a mood which I feel digital can't do (not for what I'm trying to do anyway). It's almost like you're watching Jerry Seinfeld or the late news and you see a commercial for a movie that's coming out that you would like to see (shot with film). Even if it's the first time you've even heard about it, it creates a mood. And visually, it stands out so much from the usual stuff on tv. So I would like this trailer.

Also, a trailer for investors is different than those you see before your main feature. They want to know the beginning, middle and ending.

The purposes of the trailer is as follows:
1. To generate funding from investors, along with the script, storyboarding, locations already scouted, etc.
2. To give an idea of how the movie will look and style of shooting.
3. To show them I can do it (more of a director's hat here).
4. To stand out from the rest. I'm sure producers see everything under the sun. You really have to have something different.
5. The movie will be filmed in AZ and the scenery will be incredible. HD may not do it justice. It doesn't have the color latitude.


But I am open, if the trailer is not an effective idea, I'll scrap it. If it is not cost effective with film and it is with HD, then I'll do it in HD. If I have to shoot the whole movie digitally, I'll do it. I realized the main thing is shooting the movie, getting your stuff out there. Maybe on the second movie it won't be such a battle. And I certainly don't want to waste time.


Thanks for your posts, :D
Rick
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#15 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 06:40 AM

Hi,

If you're that wedded to the idea, then it may be a good idea to do it on 16 just to get it out of your system, but you should be very clear about your reasons for doing so as it's such an expensive operation. If you're doing it because you want to sell something, that's one thing; if you're doing it because you like the idea, that's another. Both may be valid, but financially you should be clear on why you're doing what.

Phil
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#16 elvworks

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 09:45 AM

Hi Phil,

I'm wedded to the movie, not the idea of making a pre-trailer. I would rather get out of that if I can.

As far as the trailer, sometimes things sound good in my mind so that's why I started this thread, to see if it really is a viable move. So now I have alot more options, this thread has been indispensable.

Thanks,
Rick
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