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#1 Dominic Ross Wilcher

Dominic Ross Wilcher

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 01:39 AM

I just recently got home from Iraq ( I was a combat medic in the army ) and I am ready to get my own production/film company started. Im pretty much just posting this to hopefully get some replies from all the members here who are more knowledgeable than I am when it comes to cinematography. I have a pretty good movie I would like to film that me and two other people have come up with. We worked on while we were in iraq together and spent oh I'd say fifteen months coming up with it. I just need the "How to" to get it done now. Any topics that could help me get started, like where to get any and every item I will need to film a good movie (best cameras, lenses, lighting, props, permits to film, and blank firing weapons of all types) and most of all, how to get your movie heard about and seen. I thank anyone in advance who takes the time to respond to this, it is greatly appreciated!
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#2 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 04:45 AM

Dominic, welcome to the forum. First of all, you have to post your full name-rules. I'm here in El Paso and we got a LOTTA soldiers and ex-soldiers, many of whom served in Iraq. Welcome Home.

Now it may sound flip but the FIRST thing you're gonna need is money and lots of it. Sorry, those are the realities. Second, you're gonna need a script put into proper script form. There are programs that will do that for you, Final Draft is the most common, but there are others.

Cameras, well your best chance to sell the film is shooting on 35mm but that's very expensive. If you go that route, I have Soviet equipment Kinor and Konvas camera packages with the Lomo lenses. These are with all due modesty, probably the best bang for the buck, A Kinor 35C or H package will run about 6 to 10K, they are sound sync and can be used for sound recording. A Konvas package 1m or 2m will run you about 15 hundred to 2 grand BUT they are loud likr a cinematic Quezenard, 55 dbs so they're pretty much an MOS (non sound) camera although the more modern motors for them are crystal sync. (the Russians pretty much looped that is recorded they sound and dialog tracks in post production on all their films) These cameras are somewhat common in Europe and Australia and gaining popularity more and more here.

More common in the US are Arri s. The BL1 and BL2 models are sound sync and quiet enough to record sound while filming. A small Arri camera package, say 2 to 4 mags, 3 to 5 lenses, will run you about 10 to 15K. The other common Arri for Indy films are the arri II A, B and C s. These are generally considered MOS cameras but can be fitted with sync motors and set inside a camera sound blimp for sound recording, though this tends to be a pain in the ass when operating the camera and especially when changing film. The Arri II camera packages will run you about 1 to 3 grand. The Arris tend to use Ziess and Cooke lenses

Other low budget packages include Aaton, Ecliar, Bell and Howell Eyemo and of course the old school Hollywood standard, the Mitchells. Mitchells are great cameras but old and heavy. The BNC (parallax) and the BNCR (reflex) are sound sync, the GC and NC are MOS. The BNC and BNCR packages will run you about 6 grand. The GC and NC will run you about 3 grand. The Mitchells generally use Baltars for lenses. Moviecam is another less seen but still used low budget package. The SuperAmerica is the most common. Good package but expensive 12 to 20K. There is also the Ultracam but those are very rare, only 15 were ever made. I have the number of a guy who has 2 if you are interested AND if he still has them. Then there is rental, Panavision is STRICTLY rental BUT it is the industry standard. Call them to find out.

Lighting packages, Mole-Richardson and Arri are most common. Some people own small lighting packages but if the film is anything more than just very basic, most people hire a lighting and grip truck to handle that. The key grip will use his experience and expertise to handle your lighting and grip needs. I have a small lighting package and have worked as a grip but still plan on hiring a grip truck and crew.

Props, props are where you find them. You search the most likely places you might find what you need and keep searching until you get what you need. There are prop rental houses in major movie cities, New York, LA ect but rental canbe expensive so unless you have something very specific in mind or are doing a piriod piece, I'd recommend thrift shops, Salvation Army ect.

Permits, you get from the city. Thy the film commission. most big cities have them.

Blank firing weapons, The Japanese can't have guns so they have these "model guns" MGC and Hudson are the most know. They're not as loud as actual weapons but they do eject shells and make lots of smoke so they look pretty good. M16s, shotguns, 1911s, pretty much anything you want and is fairly common you can find, BUT they are expensive about what you'll pay for an simi automatic version of the real thing. There is, of course also the Air Soft, paintball guns that look real but of course no smoke, They are however relitively cheap AND can be used with red paintballs in stead of squibs for bullet hit FXs.

All of this stuff, with the exception of permits can be found on Ebay. just look anf ye shall find!

As for getting you picture seen, get through the Herculean process of making the picture, then submit it to film festivals, shop it around to distributors, they and sell it at AFM OR rent a theater and have a screening.

You've got a LOT to learn my friend so I would suggest reading, researching, asking questions and generally DEDICATING myself to learning every aspect of the film industry from every source you can find. If you have the GI Bill, see if you can apply to film school in LA or New York, why not? It's free and you earned the right to take advantage of that benefit. If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask. If I know the answer, I'll let you know, if I don't, more than likely, someone else here will. Again, welcome home-The Captain B)
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