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Film V tape for first feature film


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#1 Robert G Andrews

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 03:29 PM

I will finish writing my first feature in about a year and I am having a dilemma as to which format it should be shot on.

It's based on a true story which was filmed on miniDV around the world. Video grabs from the DV may be used as the story board and the story itself, whilst amazing, will be hammed up a bit.

When I finish writing, the story should be filmed in several countries and I don't want to draw too much attention to myself in certain parts of the world sometimes. At other times it wouldn't mater. I would like to keep equipment down to a minimum and don't want hassles with customs over big 'professional-looking' cameras, as well as local authorities.

The previously shot DV will be cut in although I am unsure at this point as to how it will be edited.

Should I go DV or HDV? Progressive? Uninterlaced? Which camera? any idea? DVcam or HDV or Film or DV?

I had begun to think about film and reel-to-reel audio recorders because they're smooth, but they do seem to be long-winded process.

I saw an international feature film last night and they used DVcam. Looked good to me. Mind you it was on a small screen...

Does anyone here actually hold the right answer..? unbiased? It's obviously a big decision and I am losing sleep over it.

I just can't decide.

If I go the film route I would have to;-
- sign up small film companies in the countries I want t film in as it saves me carrying film cameras through borders and paying for carnet documents, which means giving percentage away straight off the bat.
- need more and bigger quantities of equipment
- attract crowds and red tape
- have a harder time in transferring that to my Apple for editing

If I go the tape route I;-
- can take all equipment in a suitcase and only sign up who I really want to
- can use more than one camera at once making continuity easier to achive
- can transfer directly to computer without cost
- will have to blow up to 35mm...how does that come out?

If you know the answer to my dilemma can you please specify why and which camera and why.

At least I already have a fantastic classical music composer and an symphony orchestra on board this project.
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#2 Kevin Masuda

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 07:00 PM

I will finish writing my first feature in about a year and I am having a dilemma as to which format it should be shot on.

It's based on a true story which was filmed on miniDV around the world. Video grabs from the DV may be used as the story board and the story itself, whilst amazing, will be hammed up a bit.

When I finish writing, the story should be filmed in several countries and I don't want to draw too much attention to myself in certain parts of the world sometimes. At other times it wouldn't mater. I would like to keep equipment down to a minimum and don't want hassles with customs over big 'professional-looking' cameras, as well as local authorities.

The previously shot DV will be cut in although I am unsure at this point as to how it will be edited.

Should I go DV or HDV? Progressive? Uninterlaced? Which camera? any idea? DVcam or HDV or Film or DV?

I had begun to think about film and reel-to-reel audio recorders because they're smooth, but they do seem to be long-winded process.

I saw an international feature film last night and they used DVcam. Looked good to me. Mind you it was on a small screen...

Does anyone here actually hold the right answer..? unbiased? It's obviously a big decision and I am losing sleep over it.

I just can't decide.

If I go the film route I would have to;-
- sign up small film companies in the countries I want t film in as it saves me carrying film cameras through borders and paying for carnet documents, which means giving percentage away straight off the bat.
- need more and bigger quantities of equipment
- attract crowds and red tape
- have a harder time in transferring that to my Apple for editing

If I go the tape route I;-
- can take all equipment in a suitcase and only sign up who I really want to
- can use more than one camera at once making continuity easier to achive
- can transfer directly to computer without cost
- will have to blow up to 35mm...how does that come out?

If you know the answer to my dilemma can you please specify why and which camera and why.

At least I already have a fantastic classical music composer and an symphony orchestra on board this project.



Not to mention that going the film route would be expensive. It sounds like you've already made your decision but what you should really ask yourself is what is your ultimate goal for this feature of yours? Do you intend for this to be distributed? Or do you simply just want to show this at festivals?

Kev
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#3 Robert G Andrews

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 11:43 AM

Kevin, I'm going all the way on this one! I already turned down a $500K budget from a certain NY motion picture for this story....no, I'm not mad...but I am mad enough about this project to make the film, take it to festivals and get a distribution deal. The story is very strong and it will be so much fun and headache to make, but worth it.

I will also looking for a creative partner later, when I finish the script to talk and develop the story and script as much as possible - to talk about how this is going to look on the screen, what to do with the real DV that was shot over 6 years and whether or not to tie it in and whether or not to represent the story on film or tape. I am an ideas machine....but I will listen...so, yes, I am seeking a creative partner and no, I have not made up my mind on anything as yet.
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#4 Robert Hughes

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 11:55 AM

Let me get this straight... you've never written a feature film script, yet you walked away from a 1/2 million dollar contract. You must move in some pretty refined circles. Or are you like the former gov't official in Nigeria that keeps emailing me for my bank information so that he can deposit my 50% of some inheritance?
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#5 Robert G Andrews

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Posted 30 November 2006 - 04:29 PM

...very funny Robert. I think its was because the story was so unique actually...
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#6 Michael Collier

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Posted 30 November 2006 - 04:46 PM

If you get a budget then shoot 35mm with an experienced DoP. It will make distrabution much easier, since P&A costs will be much reduced for any company that wants to sign a distro deal (I assume that if its a digital movie, the distrabution company picks up the film-out costs, along with print costs)

If you got no budget for a DoP I would recomend video. If your trying to single handedly direct, shoot and write (and produce?) then you got a lot on your plate, and dealing with film for the first time takes all your attention, and experience in other formats. Since this is your first film, I would take the safe route every time. But for your first film, 500K could make the film (including a young DoP and 35mm...it would be tight but possible) If the story is so unique, I would approach the people who offered 500K for the rights and tell them you have a production company lined up to shoot it allready, but they can executive produce the film if they'd like for 500K. Might work, if they were so desperate for a first-time film makers script that they offer 1/2 mil.

It sounds like you want a formula to make your movie, you need a DoP who can answer a lot of these questions based on the budget you have and the look and feel your after.
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#7 Stephen Williams

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Posted 30 November 2006 - 04:50 PM

Kevin, I'm going all the way on this one! I already turned down a $500K budget from a certain NY motion picture for this story....no, I'm not mad


Hi,

35mm if this is a serious project. I have yet to meet anybody who ever shot on 35mm who wished they had shot on video!

Stephen
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#8 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 11:15 PM

Hi,

35mm if this is a serious project. I have yet to meet anybody who ever shot on 35mm who wished they had shot on video!

Stephen


One area that is still mysterious to me is (besides what the heck the story is about), why are you going back to all of these places for a second time?

Are thne actual original locales completely germain to the story you are telling, or is it the people that live in the locations that make the story work, or is it both?

If, for some reason, your story is character driven moreso than location driven, might another option be to fly certain people here rather than go to them?
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