Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A field Trip

                A Field Trip

         The size of your crew will be more important than the size of your cast. Look at it this way a small staff of coaches can manage a massive team of players. A staff of six or seven can deal with a team of seventy or eighty players This is perfectly normal in the game of football and will have to become more and more the norm in the world of low budget digital filmmaking.

    You are going to have to wear more than one hat on your set and so will almost everyone else. You will be the director, the producer, the casting director, the entire legal staff and your own PA. You may be the writer as well. Your gaffer will be in charge of both light and sound on most no budget shoots. One person may be in charge of wardrobe and makeup and script editing. You assistant camera person may have to do art direction and set design and location management. You DP may do lighting and in post may become your editor. There are director/producers who are getting by with a four man crew.
    You will figure it out as you go. Just remember there are always unpaid volunteers who can help a great deal if you do not over work them or demand too much from them.

           Right now we are going to visit a short film set. This little field trip will be worth it. This video tutorial is fantastic and will give you a glimpse at all the little jobs that exist behind the scenes.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

In The Red Epic?

                LET’S TALK RED

    So many questions about the Red have come my way that I thought that I needed to touch upon them. First things first for those of your who do not know what I am referring to. It is the Red  Epic camera.
    The bad news about this monster is that to buy one with all the little extras you better be prepared to drop around ten thousand dollars. The good news is that you do not have to do this. If you live in or near a large metropolitan area you will be able to rent one for a few hundred dollars per week. Do not let the prices quoted in the following video fool you. It can be rented for less than their quote.
    Let’s begin with the basics. I have never used one or even allowed my self to touch one. I have been in the same room with one, but I was terrified of her. If I got my hands on the Epic I would have to have one and well I did not feel like saving up all my extra cash from now until the end of time to buy one.
    Next and finally on this subject I will be showing you a video on the basics of this camera followed by a behind the scenes look at a Red shoot. 

If you like the making of this short film you can find the entire short on Youtube.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I am a Movie Fan

 This is not a Canon or Digital filmmaking post. This is just the film fan in me posting a trailer that I thought that you would all like. When Ridley Scott is bad he is Robin Hood and Kingdom of Heaven kind of bad, but when he is good he is amazing and I get the feeling from this trailer he is about to show us how amazing he really is with he does what he does best and that is sci-fi.

Lesson is that if you find what you do best why not go back to it again and again. John Ford and Alfred Hitchcock did it. The need to prove that you can do everything well sometimes keep many film makers from doing anyone thing great. Except for Robert Wise (visit Imdb and check out what he directed and be amazed) no one has every mastered all Genres of film making.

Okay enjoy the trailer and turn the volume up to max.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dslr Vs. Camcorders

DSLR Vs. Camcorders

    And the winner is?
    There is no winner.  Sounds like I am being a coward?
    What I am saying is that the winner depends upon the person and his or her needs. Some of you will love Dslr cameras and some of you will love to make your low budget film on a camcorder. I am going to show you both sides of the argument and perhaps you will say screw that and decide to go old school and get a film camera. To each his own.
    The great thing about being a digital feature film maker is that you are going to be doing things your way. That this movie is your child and you can bring that child into the world any way that you wish.

    What about you? What team do you play for?
    Really?  I have to answer this? Okay I will commit to not commit. If I am shooting something that has to be visually stunning and I have time to invest in every shot then I would go Dslr.  If it is going to go theatrical at some point I would lean Dslr.
    If my feature film is going to be online or on demand I would go camcorder. If I only have a limited number of days to shoot and I have to do a ton of set ups quickly then I am going to go camcorder.
    If the budget is razor tight. Meaning I have only 500 dollars and I have to cover my camera and my sound for this price then it is going to be a camcorder. Meaning a Canon hv 20 or 30 and a mic that tops out in the fifty dollar range.
    If I have a grand to spend then it is going to be the Canon t2i or t3i with a Zoom audio recorder.
    Twelve hundred to two thousand dollars and the same Zoom recorder with a the Canon d7.  And if you are going to drop 2500  or more on equipment then it is the Canon 5 markII. Your sound could be the Zoom recorders or you could go for it and use a juicelink audio mixer and a mid range microphone.     I know that I did not
mention camcorders the higher price ranges. I am going to leave you with a video about one such camera and we are going to have to do an entire post on those camcorders.
    Okay the winner of the Dslr vs. Camcorder is to be determined by you guys. Hey post a comment if you have an opinion. If you have a really long opinion drop me an email and I will invite you to offer a guest post.
    That is it for now. Please take a moment to drop by my Trailer park, I added a new trailer that looks interesting and if any of you have trailers let me know. I am about to add a subscribers trailer park.  Also I will be adding a willing to work for food page where any of you can offer your services to other film makers for food and credit and or what ever deals you can work out.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Find A Good Book

                                               Read any Good Book?

    I am going to talk to you about books today.  I know that we have videos tutorials and blog post and articles to aid us, but books are where most film makers get their start. I have read dozens and there are 5 or 6 that I really love and have learned a great deal from.
Let’s begin at the heart and soul of any film. Your movie will begin with a script.The first book is titled The Complete Book of Scriptwriting by J. Michael Straczynski.This is a fantastic book, it has been updated a few times, but any edition will do just fine. He is the creator of the series Babylon 5 and has written many motion pictures. With this one book you will learn all that you need to know about the basics of both television and screenwriting. Second is the Stephen King book titled On Writing, this is a short book that writers of all types swear by. The great lesson of this book is read a lot write a lot.
So do not forget to read a bunch of screenplays. Last note on writing for now, I have a
second blog visit here  that will teach all the basics of micro budget and no budget screenwriting.
    Next book is the gold standard of film making books.  Rebel Without a Crew by Robert Rodriguez. He is the one who started all of this. He is the one who has made it popular for guys and gals to go out with just a camera and a dream and make their own movies.  Next is Paint with Light by. John Alton.  This is a professional’s book on lighting. Read it and you will learn more about lighting than you will ever be able to use.
    Next is, Practical DV Filmmaking by. Russell Evans. This book will start you off from the point where you pick up a camera for the first time and goes from there.  It is a few years old, but is still very useful.
    Last is a book about the most overlooked part of film making.  The business side.  The book is titled Think Outside the Box Office: The Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution and Marketing for the Digital Era by. John Reiss. If your goal is to make money someday then you better pick up this book and studied it as if your life depends upon it and perhaps your film making life does. You should always keep in the back of your mind the business side of film making. There is so much more to it now that we have to personally deal with VOD and pay per view and digital downloads and countless other ways of monetizing your film. If you plan on making a living with your film then you better get this book.
    Good luck and if you have any suggestions please post them.

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