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Getting a feature off the ground.


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#1 Ashley Wing

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 07:43 AM

Hey guys,

We're planning to go to Cannes next year with a short film that can be expanded upon as a feature. If I'm being honest I'm not sure what to expect or if we're going the right way about it?
I know there's no chance of getting any financial backing from a studio, not without a feature already under our belt, so we're going to look for investors.

First we're getting a portfolio of work with a selection of short films to shoot this year, we need to win some awards as this will no doubt help our cause and show we're capable of pulling a film together. I have already won one award but I don't think it'll help unless we win more.

We're also trying to drum up support, get out there and let people know what we're doing. We're currently working on a website and have already put the word out on social networks like, facebook and myspace.

We feel this is the place where people will be able to follow our progress as well as network with other filmmakers.

If you like, you can find us here:
http://www.facebook.....id=68556411831
http://www.myspace.com/466270456

Unfortunately the YouTube HD videos stutter a little, a problem with YouTube I've been told. But they view fine from the facebook group. Anyway...

We have made short films on a variety of formats already but now, basically, just trying to pull a feature off the ground. I was wondering if anyone else has gone through the same experiences or could advise on a route to take?

Ash.
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#2 Vedran Rapo

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 07:54 AM

Hey guys,

We're planning to go to Cannes next year with a short film that can be expanded upon as a feature. If I'm being honest I'm not sure what to expect or if we're going the right way about it?
I know there's no chance of getting any financial backing from a studio, not without a feature already under our belt, so we're going to look for investors.

First we're getting a portfolio of work with a selection of short films to shoot this year, we need to win some awards as this will no doubt help our cause and show we're capable of pulling a film together. I have already won one award but I don't think it'll help unless we win more.

We're also trying to drum up support, get out there and let people know what we're doing. We're currently working on a website and have already put the word out on social networks like, facebook and myspace.

We feel this is the place where people will be able to follow our progress as well as network with other filmmakers.

If you like, you can find us here:
http://www.facebook.....id=68556411831
http://www.myspace.com/466270456

Unfortunately the YouTube HD videos stutter a little, a problem with YouTube I've been told. But they view fine from the facebook group. Anyway...

We have made short films on a variety of formats already but now, basically, just trying to pull a feature off the ground. I was wondering if anyone else has gone through the same experiences or could advise on a route to take?

Ash.


you have set a good way, just keep on going with your plans. do what you love to do, and all will be as good as it gets :)

if you need a help from a DP, i would be glad to help :)
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#3 Jean Dodge

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 04:38 PM

My advice to anyone: Make it personal, a story no one else but you can tell, and it can only be told with film, and make it something you feel intense passion about so that no one can stop you no matter what. Then, don't take no for an answer, use your friends and family to help but rely on professionals and seek professional advice whenever possible. And lastly , trust your instincts because if you succeed without them you are a copycat or a phony and if you fail you will learn from your mistakes.

As far as low budget, make sure your limitations and liabilities are somehow turned around into being your assets. If you have no money, that means you have no boss, no censor and no genre limitations. If you have no camera, that means you can animate. If you have no locations, write a story that takes place in one room but holds interest like MY DINNER WITH ANDRE. In other words, use artistic judo to figure out how to do the impossible by using imagination. Never give up, never surrender. If you are a good film maker the money won't matter, it just won't.

Read everything you can get your hands on, but also educate your support group too. THINKING IN PICTURES by John Sayles is a book I gave my family to explain what it was that I did, it details the making of a (good) indie feature in layman's terms.

I hate to seem downbeat, but you probably already know who is going to finance your picture. You are not going to meet them online, or thru a limited partnership offering or a tupperware party. Go with that. Department stores with a 30 day return policy is you camera dept, and credit cards are your corporate sponsorship. Seriously. Just don;t take no for an answer. Use everything it took to make your short and apply it to a better, longer script. See you on the beach in south france!

(Or, write a great script that a bankable actor falls in love with, and is able to do in a short time slot between other projects and is willing to let you direct. Then raise money based on that by getting and agent and submitting to studios or raising private capital yourself.)

Now you know. The rest should be easy huh?
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#4 Ashley Wing

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 05:56 AM

Thanks for your suggestions! I'm all too aware of never taking 'No' for an answer, every short film I made I was told by people it couldn't be done. I guess you just have to find a way. We are extremely passionate about the story we want to tell, it's very relevant to us in particular because it's a true story and somewhat personal. I feel the story will also connect to quite a wide target audience and would be of interest. It's more than just about that though, I've been working on this idea for around two years but I felt I wasn't ready. After two years of pulling shorts together I feel it's time to take the plunge, or at least give it my best shot.

The most important thing I've learned technically is fine tuning the way we tell the story through our shots. As I've progressed I notice that my early shorts just show the story, whereas now every shot conveys an emotion, it translates in a much better way as a final piece regardless if the audience knows it or not. It also felt like we were making three films, one for us, one for the audience and then one for critics. It's been a strange journey but a wonderful one too. Every project is an eye opener and no matter what anyone says you always take something new away from the experience. It's quite addictive in that sense.

Of course having all the technical skills in the world is useless without a great story.

Again, thanks for your replies. I'm taking it on board!

Best,
Ash.
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Glidecam

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

rebotnix Technologies

Tai Audio

Technodolly

Willys Widgets

Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera

CineLab

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

The Slider

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

Opal

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post