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Short Film Funding?


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#1 Andrew McCarrick

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 02:13 PM

Anybody have any ideas on how to get funding for a short film? I need 10-15k... It be shot on a HVX200 (rental, 2k a week).
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#2 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 02:52 PM

Anybody have any ideas on how to get funding for a short film? I need 10-15k... It be shot on a HVX200 (rental, 2k a week).


Ah, Andrew...why do you break our hearts so? I cannot imagine you need 10-15k to shoot a short film. I have never spent more than $1,500 on a short and I shoot on film!

Serious though, to help you cut WAY down on production costs, I recommend you network on DVXuser.com and hire a DP from there who owns an HVX200 and I guarantee you can hire them along with their camera for far less than $2k/week. I'm curious of how long you plan to take to shoot a short? In August, I'm going to be shooting a 5-7 minute short in a day. Granted, that's a fast pace but you gotta get it done when you're on little money. If your short is a "long" short, like say 20 minutes, you should be able to comfortably shoot it in a week. I have no doubt you can line up a digital DP with an HVX200 for a weekly rate of about $1,400. Hell, if I had an HVX200, I'd shoot it for you for that. One advantage, at least cost wise, that you have shooting digitally is that your post production cost is like almost nothing unless you plan to do a film out which is totally not necessary for the fest circuit anymore. Withouth knowing anything about your script, I can't imagine you would need more than about $2,000 to shoot your short. Nate and I can help you with some budgetting issues and even lining up talent in your area if you want. I've done this before many times on the cheap and so has Nate. If you are open to suggestions, we can seriously help you get this done.
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#3 Andrew McCarrick

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 02:57 PM

I haven't finished the script yet... but I'm shooting for 15-25 pages. It's a music short... Band at Battle of the Bands has an accident with two of the band members on stage... so then have to over come the loss of one of the band members and the recovery of the other, ect. So I need amps (one would be destroyed), drumset (that would be destroyed).

Most of my cost are in equipment and props... plus editing software, I'd need After Effects and either Avid or Premiere. I've found a drumset for $270, and two full stack guitar amps for $750 each (they normally cost over 3k for a full stack)

Edited by Andrew McCarrick, 28 June 2008 - 02:59 PM.

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#4 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 03:17 PM

I haven't finished the script yet... but I'm shooting for 15-25 pages. It's a music short... Band at Battle of the Bands has an accident with two of the band members on stage... so then have to over come the loss of one of the band members and the recovery of the other, ect. So I need amps (one would be destroyed), drumset (that would be destroyed).

Most of my cost are in equipment and props... plus editing software, I'd need After Effects and either Avid or Premiere. I've found a drumset for $270, and two full stack guitar amps for $750 each (they normally cost over 3k for a full stack)


Interesting enough is that you can get stacks even cheaper than that if you don't get ones that work. The problem with people who are new to filmmaking is that they don't use enough savvy for working on a low budget. Remember, audio and visual are independently able to be manipulated. Just because your stack doesn't work doesn't mean you can't overdub music "coming from" it. I would also not think of destroying a working stack amplifier. It would be much better to destroy something that's already junk.

I still fail to understand where you are looking at $10k-15k. You have a 1 week shoot here with a realistic shooting budget of about $4k max.
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#5 Nate Downes

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 03:26 PM

Geesh, for $15k I'd shoot a feature....

but I'm crazy like that.
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#6 Josh Bass

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 03:31 PM

I spent a ridiculous amount of time working on a 33-minute "short" that I chopped down to 23 minutes. Even at that length though, I fear it's going to be very tough to get into fests. I've been sending it out anyway, 'cause it's time to move on and all, and I think it's pretty solid (audience response at the few screenings I've been to indicates the same), but my point is that it's likely anything over 15 minutes (15 pages; 1 page should equal 1 minute) is going to be a tough fest sell, period. Think about it. . .if you're Sundance, how much easier is it to fit a 1 minute short in your schedule vs. a 25 minute short? Not to say that fests don't accept films of this length, because most do, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea to make one. I certainly won't make that mistake again (unfortunately none of this never occurred to me at any point during writing, production, or editing--not until someone made that point to me).
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#7 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 03:36 PM

Think about it. . .if you're Sundance, how much easier is it to fit a 1 minute short in your schedule vs. a 25 minute short?


Josh has a good point here. Ideally, you should keep your shorts under 15 minutes, and under 10 is great if it's tight. People do have short attention spans...especially reps. Besides, why spend more money to make the thing if you don't have to?
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#8 Nate Downes

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 04:34 PM

Josh has a good point here. Ideally, you should keep your shorts under 15 minutes, and under 10 is great if it's tight. People do have short attention spans...especially reps. Besides, why spend more money to make the thing if you don't have to?

Indeed. I aim for 3-5 minutes as a general rule, as it is long enough to tell a story but short enough to, well, "fit".

Have to find a DS8 camera to use the film I have in my freezer and make a short sometime...
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#9 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 05:06 PM

Have to find a DS8 camera to use the film I have in my freezer and make a short sometime...


You have film stock for a format you have no camera for? Nate, you are an interesting fellow. ;)
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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 05:31 PM

You need money if you intend to pay your actors.

I have a policy of absolutely always paying everyone, at least something.

This is why I almost never make films.

P
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#11 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 05:47 PM

You need money if you intend to pay your actors.

I have a policy of absolutely always paying everyone, at least something.

This is why I almost never make films.

P


I don't pay anyone anything. I found I get better performance from paying nothing than paying little. I do realize this is a point of debate though.

An 18th century Jewish businessman discovered the Psychological impact of payment and rewards in people's minds. He was taunted after opening a store by racist locals who did not approve of Jews. He started to pay them 10 cents a day for every day they would do it. Shortly after he lowered it to 5 cents a day and then down to 1 penny a day. At the point of a penny a day they stopped doing it because it was no longer worth it to them. Therefore, they were willing to do something boldly for nothing but they wouldn't do it at all for a penny! Humans are interesting eh?
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#12 Richard Boddington

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 05:58 PM

Anybody have any ideas on how to get funding for a short film? I need 10-15k... It be shot on a HVX200 (rental, 2k a week).


Easy, right here:

http://www.visa.com/...ml?retcountry=1

Problem solved, next.

R,
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#13 Nate Downes

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 07:28 PM

You have film stock for a format you have no camera for? Nate, you are an interesting fellow. ;)

got it for free from Foma as a test, but then never got the camera to test with.
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#14 Andrew McCarrick

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 06:40 PM

I can't seem find production insurance that would allow the use of pyrotechnics... I need pyrotechnics for when the light falls on the amp; so it sparks and smokes.
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#15 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 07:19 PM

I can't seem find production insurance that would allow the use of pyrotechnics... I need pyrotechnics for when the light falls on the amp; so it sparks and smokes.


LOL...why not just ask for Life Insurance that covers suicide?
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#16 Andrew McCarrick

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 08:02 PM

This is basically what I want... just in an amp head instead of cables.
http://www.fotosearc.../ATB443/hvs126/
in combination with this:
http://www.fotosearc.../ATB443/hvs143/

Edited by Andrew McCarrick, 29 June 2008 - 08:03 PM.

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#17 Cory Lonas

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 04:41 PM

buy prop guitar amps for half the price of real ones... or rent from a rehearsal studio... also you can find a drum set cheaper than 270 bucks... you could probably find some empty marshall head cabinets for under 100 bucks each and fabricate a fake faceplate...
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#18 Andrew McCarrick

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 05:25 PM

buy prop guitar amps for half the price of real ones... or rent from a rehearsal studio... also you can find a drum set cheaper than 270 bucks... you could probably find some empty marshall head cabinets for under 100 bucks each and fabricate a fake faceplate...


Actually, I play drums... I have a 12 piece drum-set... so I'm going to put half of my set (mostly duplicate drums. i.e; I have two 12", 16", and 22" drums and then I'd have to add a 13"... which I do play, but it's cheaper than buying another set.) in harms way. It's just they don't make these drums anymore, so if any of them break, I can't get another.
I have a friend that is building Bass/Guitar Amp cabs. (without speakers) and he's looking into dead Amp heads. It's just I need to make this amp head look like it actually short circuits, sparks, and smokes.
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#19 Cory Lonas

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 09:33 AM

Actually, I play drums... I have a 12 piece drum-set... so I'm going to put half of my set (mostly duplicate drums. i.e; I have two 12", 16", and 22" drums and then I'd have to add a 13"... which I do play, but it's cheaper than buying another set.) in harms way. It's just they don't make these drums anymore, so if any of them break, I can't get another.
I have a friend that is building Bass/Guitar Amp cabs. (without speakers) and he's looking into dead Amp heads. It's just I need to make this amp head look like it actually short circuits, sparks, and smokes.

yeah I play drums too ... but I definitely wouldn't want to put my set in the line of fire... but drums are pretty resilient when it comes to abuse.. as for sparking effects.. Im sure you don't need much in terms of "pyrotechnics"... Im sure a couple sparklers, smoke bombs and fireworks would work pretty well...Also the majority of the general public has no idea what a marshall full stack is supposed to look like... if you slap the logo on it most people probably won't know the difference...
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#20 Andrew McCarrick

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 01:10 PM

Im sure a couple sparklers, smoke bombs and fireworks would work pretty well


That's what I had in mind, but all consumer fireworks are illegal in New Jersey, including smoke bombs. So I'm thinking I might be able to get away with a light in the amp head (that does a quick bright flash) and a smoke machine.

Edited by Andrew McCarrick, 01 July 2008 - 01:14 PM.

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