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What would you say to the newbie who is probably going to shoot most of his films digitally?


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#1 Benson Marks

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 12:15 PM

I am planning to be a writer and director and will probably shoot most of my films digitally. The main reason for digital is because most of my films are probably going to be independent or low-budget films. What advice would you give to this kind of person?

Oh, and yes, I do want my movies to make it to the big screen.

Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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#2 Andrew McCarrick

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 01:29 PM

I am planning to be a writer and director and will probably shoot most of my films digitally. The main reason for digital is because most of my films are probably going to be independent or low-budget films. What advice would you give to this kind of person?

Oh, and yes, I do want my movies to make it to the big screen.

Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!


Start Saving now! lol. You're going to need CASH, and lots of it. At first rent everything you need, so long as there is a budget for that project; And slowly build up a cache of equipment. Soon enough, you'll be able to produce an entire film on only having to pay for Actors, Crew, Sets, Food and Accomadations. Saves you alot if you don't need to rent or purchase equipment per particular project. First project rent (or if you own) a MiniDV camera (unless the rental price is more expensive then the purchase price; Long enough project it could happen.). And remeber it's a business, so if you want investors you'll need a track record so they know you'll get them their money (and some).

Personally, I'd have to say the Digital Cinema Training DVD series is a great buy.
http://digitalcinematraining.com/
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#3 Benson Marks

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 03:24 PM

Start Saving now! lol. You're going to need CASH, and lots of it. At first rent everything you need, so long as there is a budget for that project; And slowly build up a cache of equipment. Soon enough, you'll be able to produce an entire film on only having to pay for Actors, Crew, Sets, Food and Accomadations. Saves you alot if you don't need to rent or purchase equipment per particular project. First project rent (or if you own) a MiniDV camera (unless the rental price is more expensive then the purchase price; Long enough project it could happen.). And remeber it's a business, so if you want investors you'll need a track record so they know you'll get them their money (and some).

Personally, I'd have to say the Digital Cinema Training DVD series is a great buy.
http://digitalcinematraining.com/


I'm not saying you're wrong, but that sounds more reasonable if you're a film producer. I said I was going for a career in writing and directing. Then again, maybe I'm interpreting your post incorrectly.
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#4 Benson Marks

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 06:32 PM

As for the rest of your post, I agree. Filmmaking is definitely a business, you need money, and yes, you should (at least) rent stuff for your first feature.

By the way, how much do those training DVDs cost? I couldn't find the price for any of them.

Edited by Benson Marks, 16 November 2008 - 06:33 PM.

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#5 Andrew McCarrick

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 10:02 PM

I'm not saying you're wrong, but that sounds more reasonable if you're a film producer. I said I was going for a career in writing and directing. Then again, maybe I'm interpreting your post incorrectly.


Producer love to keep there costs down, the more you're able to do that for them... The more they'll be interested in the project. If you say "by the way I have about 90% of the equipment we need." That knocks off (depending on the budget) thousands, if not millions, of dollars. Less money the producer needs to find.

As for the rest of your post, I agree. Filmmaking is definitely a business, you need money, and yes, you should (at least) rent stuff for your first feature.

By the way, how much do those training DVDs cost? I couldn't find the price for any of them.


The DVDs when I purchased them were $550 (for the basic course and the Intermediate Audio and Compositing Discs), looks like its $530 now. The Basic Course is $440. For 20 discs though, that comes out at about $20-something a disc, and they're diffenately worth it.

Click on the products page and you'll see the two packages.

Edited by Andrew McCarrick, 16 November 2008 - 10:05 PM.

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#6 Benson Marks

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 11:43 AM

Thanks, Andrew! I'll keep this stuff in mind when I get working in the business.

Anybody else have some advice for me too?
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#7 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 01:24 PM

I am planning to be a writer and director and will probably shoot most of my films digitally. The main reason for digital is because most of my films are probably going to be independent or low-budget films. What advice would you give to this kind of person?

Oh, and yes, I do want my movies to make it to the big screen.

Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!



If your concentration will be as a Writer/Director and not Producer, I'd suggest that you don't worry too much about the media that will be used to acquire the images. As a Writer, your goal is to create the best story possible. As a Director, it's your job to bring that story to life by "directing" the talents and skills of those around you. And that includes the Cameraman who will be the one, along with his Operators and Assistants, who will have to deal with all of that on set... and the Editors and others in Post-Production who will be handling the shot footage.

So, with that in mind, it sounds like you're already selling yourself short before you get started by assuming that the movies you make will not be worthy or good enough to attract a higher budget that can pay for a film-acquisition shoot. Particularly if you want your movies to make it to the "big screen," which I assume you to mean you want as wide of distribution as possible. Who wouldn't want that! :) So, go write the best stories you possibly can that will attract the money and the talent that will propel the project from being a "low budget indie" that just a few people see to becoming a full-scale feature that everyone will be talking about afterwards.

Sounds lofty? Sure, but if you aim for the middle, you'll likely always hit it. But if you never aim for the top, you'll never get there.
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#8 Benson Marks

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 03:06 PM

If your concentration will be as a Writer/Director and not Producer, I'd suggest that you don't worry too much about the media that will be used to acquire the images. As a Writer, your goal is to create the best story possible. As a Director, it's your job to bring that story to life by "directing" the talents and skills of those around you. And that includes the Cameraman who will be the one, along with his Operators and Assistants, who will have to deal with all of that on set... and the Editors and others in Post-Production who will be handling the shot footage.

So, with that in mind, it sounds like you're already selling yourself short before you get started by assuming that the movies you make will not be worthy or good enough to attract a higher budget that can pay for a film-acquisition shoot. Particularly if you want your movies to make it to the "big screen," which I assume you to mean you want as wide of distribution as possible. Who wouldn't want that! :) So, go write the best stories you possibly can that will attract the money and the talent that will propel the project from being a "low budget indie" that just a few people see to becoming a full-scale feature that everyone will be talking about afterwards.

Sounds lofty? Sure, but if you aim for the middle, you'll likely always hit it. But if you never aim for the top, you'll never get there.


I couldn't agree more with all this. I once heard that Akira Kurosawa said "a first-rate script can be great even in the hands of a third-rate director, but a third-rate script can never be great even in the hands of a first-rate director." But, in my opinion, having both a first-rate script and a first-rate director can produce wonders! Indeed, putting your best foot forward is very important and crucial to whether you'll make it into this business or not.
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#9 Benson Marks

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 09:29 PM

So, anybody else have something to say?
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#10 Rob Vogt

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 05:31 AM

Write a great script. Submit it to festivals and hope it wins. If it does and you get attention and maybe even green lit then you got your foot in the door. Let them mangle your script and do whatever they want with it. Once you're recognized as a writer you can get a crew and support for your other projects.
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Wooden Camera

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