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decision making process to do or not do a job.


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#1 timHealy

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 10:46 AM

Since there are many folks here who are on different levels of their DP careers, from students to full time, to experienced technicians aspiring to be full time shooters, I was wondering how some make their decisions to do or not do a film. The obvious answers are easy in the sense the director may have talent, the script may be a good one, the actors are great, and so on and so forth.

It is when those elements are not so clear.

I have been offered a film, but really don't care for the script and the filmmakers are young. They may be talented but I have not seen any of their earlier work to make that assumption. I know some may say shoot everything you can, and at least get something on your reel. Perhaps someone on the shoot will have work for you in the future. And others who may say if your not into it don't do it, thereby remaining available for something better to come along. And I certainly would not want to put myself in a position where I may not want to be there. so that may be my answer right there.

Much of this business can be a matter of taste, so perhaps everyone has a their own litmus test.

Thanks for the time,

Best,

Tim
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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 12:03 PM

Usually, my response in these situations goes like this:

What do I hope to get out of it? Is it the money, or is it experience? Is it working with up and coming talent or the opportunity to do something I've never done before? If I'm not getting paid then is it something for my reel?

If you can't answer yes to one or more of these questions then pass on the project. If there is something that you stand to gain from doing it, and that something is worth however many days of your time, then perhaps it is worth doing.

It's Sods' law that a great job always comes along when you've just committed to something else, but if you're always holding out for the perfect shoot, then you'll end up shooting nothing.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 12:36 PM

Yes, it usually comes down to what will you get out of this. Contacts, experience, credit, money, potential to do good work, etc. If you don't think these contacts will be worth anything because these guys are going nowhere, and if the project isn't visual, and it looks like it will be a disaster shoot that pays poorly to boot, then I'd probably avoid it. There has to be some sort of carrot to entice you. It won't help your career to be on a disaster shoot that falls apart due to incompetence on the director's and producer's end. Usually you can sort of smell those and avoid them, mainly when no one involved has any track record and the script is too ambitious for the budget.
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#4 Arnaud M. St Martin de Veyran

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 01:02 PM

Hi Guys !

What about the fact that you're gonna work with a new camera that you don't know ? I mean, the script isn't good, the director is lost and the budget isn't enough to achieve the look that the script diserve but you're gonna use a new tool that you don't know...is this a good point to go and shoot it ?

That's reason why i'm doing a project right now.
I know that i'm putting myself in trouble with doing shitty budget, shitty script, shitty produce film but it's been 6months that i didn't shoot and i really need it to fell alive, to feel back my sensations.

While i started, 2 years ago, i was accepting everything and i did plenty of bad movies(i didn't do a great job on lighting too). Right now, i'm looking more seriously every offer but you never know...i mean you know but you hope that it's not gonna happen ;-)

Also, how can i do if i have to say no to every bad movie. I'm young and it's the only way for me to get experience and footage for my reel...

Anyway, take care all of you
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#5 Lars.Erik

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 05:52 PM

Good points have already been made. So I'll try and make this short.

One thing you can do is kind of "challenge" the director. Ask him about the script, what certain scenes mean. Does he have a visual thought about it? What's the motivation of the different characters etc. You see where I'm going.

If the director can't answer, or he/she has obviously no good points...well I'd stay clear of it. But if he/she has some good points and have a intersting way of visualizing it, then I'd probably do it.

Also get your eyes on the production plans. Are the days way to unrealistic?

And by God, get your hands on some of the things the director has done before!

Because in the end, it's YOUR name that says DoP on the film you'll be making. And you will have to stand up for those shots you've done...

What's your format by the way? Film, HD, DV?
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#6 Rik Andino

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 10:32 PM

I know that i'm putting myself in trouble
with doing shitty budget, shitty script, shitty produce film
but it's been 6 months that i didn't shoot
and i really need it to fell alive, to feel back my sensations.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


You should be really careful...
because alot can go wrong working on a shitty production as you put it.

After doing a couple of these
I've realize it's just best to aviod these and not shoot...
because it can really be damaging to your reputation and your enthusiasm.

Being desperate or anxious to shoot can put you in situations you don't want to be
Remember if something goes wrong it's your reputation...

A Bad Director or Producer will never say:
"...The production went wrong because I had no clue what I was doing..."

Usually they'll say something like
"....The DP didn't know what he was doing..."
Or maybe they'll blame the AD, sound mixer, or actors or SOMEONE ELSE...
And they try and trash your reputation.

Besides many of the stuff shoot in bad productions is usually bad...
Or never gets finished.

If you have to shoot in bad productions
Work on bad productions with your friends (people you went to filmschool...)
At least you know them and you know what can happen...
And usually your friends will not try an ruin your reputation afterwards.

And aviod people you don't feel you vibe with or can get along...
(you should trust your first instinct on this)
Because you'll regret it later when you're working for 23 hr.---everybody is tired
And the Director starts shouting "You don't understand his vison!
And that you're ruining his film!"

Anyways just try to aviod those particular situations...they're very bad.

Eitherways
Good Luck :)
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#7 Arnaud M. St Martin de Veyran

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 05:31 AM

Thanks guys for what you all said !

I already consider all of that when i'm getting a job but still is that i need to shoot to improve my skill and to get footage.
I know that sometimes i'm putting myself and my reputation in troubles but what can i do ?

Take care all of you.
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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 05:57 AM

Hi,

> these guys are going nowhere, and if the project isn't visual, and it looks like it will be
> a disaster shoot that pays poorly to boot

If I took these criteria, I'd never shoot anything!

Phil
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#9 timHealy

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 08:10 AM

Thanks for all the input and dialogue.

I passed the script along to a friend to read to get her impression to see if I may be misjudging or missing something completely.

I also put in a request to see some of the directors previous work.

Then I will approach the director with what I liked about the script and what I have reservations about to see if there is a plan to make this into something the script doesn't suggest. Something that will bring it up to a higher level.

I guess one has to remember the interview process is not just one way. We as DP's are interviewing them as well.

At this time I can't make a judgement about the schedual as I haven't seen anything on paper, but it would be typical that there will never be enough time and everything will be rushed. We'll see though.

for Lars: it is S16.

For Stuart: Is Sod a relative to Murphy?

Best

Tim
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#10 oscar jimenez

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 05:01 PM

About 2 weeks ago I was offered a job as DP for a TV feature shot locally,
Money was not a big deal, but it seemed fun to do ( considering that I make a living out of shooting Advertising ) So I agreed to a meeting with a producer, we started talking about locs and tech spechs about available gear to shoot ( Most important, light units available on budget ). and after Figuring out the time that I will usually spend with a "reasonable" quantity of lightning units that I usually have on a regular shoot, and getting to know that I will have about 30% of that ( usually the lights that I use to shot regular and small table tops ) I thought about the time that takes me to light one scene, and be happy with results, and VS. the time that I will have to invest daily for something that might not look as good as a wish, and not be happy with, I discarded the job, my name and reputation will be at the end the most affected part, even If I got that cash, I was not going to be satisfactory for me, no pleasant results, no fun, not a good job done, then is not worth.
Cheers
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