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Looks like things are shaping up


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#1 Nate Downes

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 11:37 PM

A few years ago, I ran across a fledgeling writer working on a horror script, wanting feedback. I offered to help, and somehow got onto another script of his, a police action movie that intreagued me. I saw potential, but as/is, it was unsellable. I offered him suggestions, and promptly forgot about it. Well, 2 years later, he messages me out of the blue with the news that his revised police movie, using the changes I'd suggested, had gotten a production company interested. I was glad to hear, but he then asked if I'd DP it. Well, I figured it was still a long shot, but the new script really shined, so I agreed. Then, he asked if I knew of any producers. I hooked him up with one I knew, as well as a line producer. Suddenly, his script began taking form, the producer got a better investment option, boosting the budget and getting distribution interested. So now, the investors are finishing up the contracts, and we're looking at starting production this June. Until the contracts are signed, still could fall apart, but things seem to be falling into shape. If nothing else, I've learned a lot from this process, most of all never write off anyone. Todays flake could be tomorrows Spielburg.
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#2 Nate Downes

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 11:38 PM

And now, within this week we're "supposed" to have the movie listed in Variety, so keep an eye out for the title "Irish Italian Blood" if you will.

Right now, just dealing with investors, investors, and distributors. The investors had us halve our budget, which was ok as we'd tripled it anyways for safety. But, things are rolling, even iff on a wobble.
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#3 Nate Downes

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 09:04 AM

And now, somehow, I'm in the budget-area! Facinating to actually see how much pork there is in here. **gets out the chainsaw**
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#4 David Sweetman

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 11:00 PM

Awesome to hear a story of a DP being above-the-line! That's how it should always be.
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#5 Walter Graff

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 11:18 PM

All the best Nate, I hope it works out!!!
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#6 Gary McClurg

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 11:26 PM

Good luck...
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#7 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 12:49 AM

Congratulations Nate.

How familar are you with the bonding process and will that apply to your project?
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#8 Nate Downes

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 05:57 AM

Congratulations Nate.

How familar are you with the bonding process and will that apply to your project?

afraid not at all. Not sure what you mean by the bonding process, honestly.
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#9 Michael Collier

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 08:49 PM

bonding is the insurance that guarantees production will finish. It also stipulates consiquences for going over time or over budget, and the way I understand it, the more you fall behind, the more control they will take to minimize their loss.

Thats the way I understand it anyway. Never had a bond on any of my projects, making this post one step below a wikipedia entry. I am sure someone can fill in details. Its possible you don't have a bond on the film, I understand they are very expensive, and moreso the greener the director is.
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#10 Nate Downes

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 06:52 AM

bonding is the insurance that guarantees production will finish. It also stipulates consiquences for going over time or over budget, and the way I understand it, the more you fall behind, the more control they will take to minimize their loss.

Thats the way I understand it anyway. Never had a bond on any of my projects, making this post one step below a wikipedia entry. I am sure someone can fill in details. Its possible you don't have a bond on the film, I understand they are very expensive, and moreso the greener the director is.

I doubt we'll be going over budget, as I helped make the budget, and I know how to pinch pennies. 8)
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#11 Michael Collier

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 01:36 PM

Yeah, as I understand it bonds are usually requested only by the investors, or the bank if the deal is done on contract loans. Contract loans seem to be more important to bond, since a failure to complete the film means there are loans out there the investors will not pay, and likely the producers cannot cover. Banks like interest on loans, but certainly don't like financing a film without ways to mitigate their risk.

For small indie films it really shouldn't matter since saving money is number one. Its likely that your actors and crew rates aren't that high and an extra day or two would be cheap (relative to a studio feature) to budget in for some headroom. Smaller films can also move more quickly. I havn't been on a large shoot, but I know on my small shoots its very easy to make up time when one part goes longer than expected. It also sounds like you got a handle on the production and shouldn't be going over.

I forgot to say congrats and good luck in my last post. It sounds like one hell of an opportunity.
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#12 Nate Downes

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 03:07 PM

Providing we can get the investors nailed down. We're part of some large investment pool.... ever want to be bored try and discuss the merits of an investment pool.
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#13 Matthew Buick

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 04:56 PM

This is brilliant news, Nate. Look forward to seeing it when it's done :)

This could be your big break!!!


By thw way, before I forget, what format will you be using?
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#14 Nate Downes

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 09:49 AM

This is brilliant news, Nate. Look forward to seeing it when it's done :)

This could be your big break!!!


By thw way, before I forget, what format will you be using?


IIB will be on 35mm anamorphic. It's looking to be a year out tho, so in the meantime the producers decided on padding my resume by having me shoot 1-2 smaller budget features.
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#15 Matthew Buick

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 05:46 PM

Wow! It must be big! :blink:

What will these smaller features be shot in?

If you don't mind me asking, what is the general region of this film's budget. I'm just interested, that's all.

Kind Regards. :)

Edited by Matthew Buick, 02 May 2007 - 05:47 PM.

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#16 Nate Downes

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 09:22 PM

Wow! It must be big! :blink:

What will these smaller features be shot in?

If you don't mind me asking, what is the general region of this film's budget. I'm just interested, that's all.

Kind Regards. :)


One on HD, trying to convince producer to let me shoot one in S8, the other is not far enough along in development to know yet.

Budget on the big one is in the very low 7-figures.
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#17 Michael Collier

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 09:23 PM

**edit**

Edited by Michael Collier, 02 May 2007 - 09:24 PM.

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#18 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 11:27 PM

The little I know about the "bonding" or "bonded" process is, as the total budget of the production rises, someone amongst the director, producer, DP or composer has to have a decent resume already or else the production or certain key production personnel have to be bonded as a form of "insurance".

The reason the producers may want you to build up to the bigger budget is specifically for you to be bond worthy or to avoid having to be bonded at all. I think one way around this issue involves mixing in veteran talent with younger talent, the veteran talent become the yoda of the production and satisfy the bonding requirement.

I think bonding issues come up when bank money is involved. Once a known financial entity is investing, the bonding issue probably comes up, if it's all private investors, if they bring attorneys in, the attorneys may suggest some kind of a bonding process.

It definitely would be wonderful if someone who has gone through this process would explain it in better detail as it may help those who want a career as a DP can plan accordingly how they can better their credentials before a big opportunity arises.
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#19 Michael Collier

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 03:22 AM

hmmm, build their credentials to be bondable? Maybe buy a Red? Oh sorry that was a low blow....last I will say.
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#20 Nate Downes

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 06:05 AM

Well, they selected the second piece, and they chose a script I wrote almost 5 years ago... Something I wrote as a study lesson to better understand the whole process so that I could become a better DP. Guess I truely will be seeing the whole process from beginning to end now.
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