Here's A Question

Okay, so I have a short film script that I feel is realistic enough in terms of what it needs to seriously make a go at trying to get it off the ground.

The problem is, I don't know where to begin. I mean, I have a rough idea of what needs to be done, but I don't know how to go about some of those things, and again, I don't know what that first step needs to be.

I'm thinking that what I need is a producer...someone with experience who can help figure out what the first step should be and some of the specifics of what needs to be done from step A. to step B.

My question is, where would I find someone like that?
 
Are you the one with the camera? Then you are the producer. :)

Though it is important to know how to go about doing things, don't let it stop you from getting out there and shooting something. You will find as much advice here as you can handle, but also use your common sense and you might get something done anyway...

-- spinner :cool:
 
Okay, so I have a short film script that I feel is realistic enough in terms of what it needs to seriously make a go at trying to get it off the ground.

The problem is, I don't know where to begin. I mean, I have a rough idea of what needs to be done, but I don't know how to go about some of those things, and again, I don't know what that first step needs to be.

I'm thinking that what I need is a producer...someone with experience who can help figure out what the first step should be and some of the specifics of what needs to be done from step A. to step B.

My question is, where would I find someone like that?


I would recommend reading "Rebel Without a Crew" by Robert Rodriquez. There are plenty of people who are in your shoes and have been in your shoes. The most important thing is don't loose site of your vision. You will find a way.

That said:

You have a script. You need:
-a director
-at least one camera and someone to shoot it
-at least one sound person
-someone to do the lighting/hold reflector, etc.
-actor(s)

You're role could be all or some combination depending one what your script calls for and how skilled you are. If you don't have the skill, you will acquire it by learning how to do it. I think one of the values of Indie film making that attracts me is doing the best you can with whatever you got.

Tony, Duluth, MN
 
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You have a script. You need:
-a director
-at least one camera and someone to shoot it
-at least one sound person
-someone to do the lighting/hold reflector, etc.
-actor(s)

Remember that sometimes crew people do double duty. People with cameras are often director/camera/lighting, etc. If you have to be scaled down, you can still do things. But the people you choose to work with have to be as dedicated to the project as you are or you'll find that all you have, once again, is a script.

-- spinner :cool:
 
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Funny because as I was scrolling down this thread I was thinking the same thing then saw your post. I went out yesterday and bought the bok "Rebel Without a Crew" (again, gave away my first copy) and rereading it. Also watched Once Upon a Time in Mexico yesterday; man it is just unholy how many roles Rodriguez does-- for Once Upon... Rodriguez wrote the screenplay, directed it, was 'Camerman A', was the Steadicam operator, was the editor, and he also scored the soundtrack (I forget which one, but he did the same for one of the Final Destination movies--his name is credited with so many roles when the credits role by!). I know I could never do so many roles, but I also have realized that too big a crew would stress me out-- I would rather master several roles and keep a crew size to a miniman rather than stress over people management, paychecks, lawyers, and all that with a big budget big crew production, at least for now (hey I have yet to shoot my first film, but 2008 is the year of short films for me, i have written the scripts and am starting preproductions).

I would recommend reading "Rebel Without a Crew" by Robert Rodriquez. There are plenty of people who are in your shoes and have been in your shoes. The most important thing is don't loose site of your vision. You will find a way.,,,
 
The smaller (and more hats your crew wears) your crew is, the fewer people you have to coordinate to locations, fewer schedules you have to coordinate, if something goes wrong, you have a smaller number of opinions coming at you but you hopefully know and trust those opinions...

-- spinner :cool:
 
Wow.

This is a hell of a good response, guys.

Seriously. Thank you so much for getting back to me on this.

My biggest problem at the moment is a lack of knowledge in the technical aspect of filmmaking, coupled with the fact that I don't have any equipment. I'm not particularly worried about the equipment part though, because I know there's stuff around (I live near Richmond, VA), so it's just a question in that case of going out and getting it.

On the technical side, I dunno. I worry about my ability to understand it, because I'm kind of retarded when it comes to anything dealing with geometry or mathematics in general, and I could be completely off-base on this, but it seems filmmaking requires some form of comprehension for these things. There's certain things I get just from watching as many films as I've watched (which I like to think is a lot). It's not that I think quantity solves everything. I just feel like as someone who wants to be a student of film, it should just go without saying that I should be willing to look and absorb everything from every level of film, from some huge Hollywood piece of crap to something that was obviously shot when the cops weren't looking to a good though overlooked TV movie from the 80's to some deeply personal indie film classic to some B-grade horror movie that's long on breast shots and short on anything even coming close to a point.

And so on, and so on.

So, I do worry about being able to understand all this stuff. To me, that's the biggest obstacle.

Though I think if I can get myself hooked up with someone who knows cameras and knows how to use them, I think I can take it from there and learn enough to maybe be able to move on to another project and carry myself a little better than I did the first time.

What I'd really like to do is get in on someone else's film project, even if I'm just the guy getting coffee for the guy who gets everyone else coffee. I just want to be around the atmosphere, learn what I can by being around it in a more real capacity than anything a book or a DVD could offer me.

The nice thing about this script is that it only uses one interior location and one exterior location. Granted, it needs to be at a bus station or somewhere that could pull off the illusion of being a bus station, which creates problems with getting permission to film there and so on, but that's not a particularly troubling problem to me either.

But yeah, I definitely need to pick up that book.

I've been meaning to scoop it up for the longest time.

Anyway, sorry to ramble.

Thanks again for all the replies.
 
My biggest problem at the moment is a lack of knowledge in the technical aspect of filmmaking, coupled with the fact that I don't have any equipment. I'm not particularly worried about the equipment part though, because I know there's stuff around (I live near Richmond, VA), so it's just a question in that case of going out and getting it.

One of the things I always suggest is public access. If you are in Richmond VA, there must be something you can get in on. Public access is free and you get to learn all the equipment you want.

Also, about equipment:
Prosumer cameras are expensive to buy and rent. However, if you can afford to rent one, you can afford to buy one. That is how I decided to buy my camera. Then I read over the manual. Some stuff I could use a refresher on, but not the important stuff and I get to take all the time I want to learn it.

On the technical side, I dunno. I worry about my ability to understand it, because I'm kind of retarded when it comes to anything dealing with geometry or mathematics in general, and I could be completely off-base on this, but it seems filmmaking requires some form of comprehension for these things.

This sounds just like me. I know my questions are remedial. And I appreciate this site for their patience with them. Everything I ever learned in computers, I have had to teach myself -- with a couple of exceptions -- never had a computer class or requirement in school which is why I have weird gaps in my knowledge. But I am picking things up and so will you :)

There's certain things I get just from watching as many films as I've watched (which I like to think is a lot). It's not that I think quantity solves everything. I just feel like as someone who wants to be a student of film, it should just go without saying that I should be willing to look and absorb everything from every level of film, from some huge Hollywood piece of crap to something that was obviously shot when the cops weren't looking to a good though overlooked TV movie from the 80's to some deeply personal indie film classic to some B-grade horror movie that's long on breast shots and short on anything even coming close to a point.

Watching films does give you an idea of what is possible. What to do, what not to do, what rules you can break or bend. And by the way, the piece of crap shot when the cops weren't looking is a tried and true tactic and is guerrilla filmmaking at its finest. :lol:

I have gotten quite an education from looking at independent films so that I know at least what I should be able to do and what I shouldn't be doing. What I can do and what I can't do yet. You learn more from the mistakes you make anyway. I don't think it would serve me -- or you -- to dwell on things that I don't know yet. I'll get to it, most likely sooner than later now. I have to step up my chances to learn. I still have to figure out how to key things out in Final Cut Pro, but I haven't had to make use of that as yet so I have yet to learn it.


So, I do worry about being able to understand all this stuff. To me, that's the biggest obstacle.

If I can do it, you can do it.

Though I think if I can get myself hooked up with someone who knows cameras and knows how to use them, I think I can take it from there and learn enough to maybe be able to move on to another project and carry myself a little better than I did the first time.

What I'd really like to do is get in on someone else's film project, even if I'm just the guy getting coffee for the guy who gets everyone else coffee. I just want to be around the atmosphere, learn what I can by being around it in a more real capacity than anything a book or a DVD could offer me.

That's what public access is for. They are often affiliated with your local cable company so go look for it. And buy the books anyway.

Don't be chicken!:lol: The only way you will learn is by doing it! One of my first important projects I did was with a 1 chip camera and I still use that project as part of my reel.

You'll figure it out.

-- spinner :cool:
 
Barnaclelapse, you are sort of in my neck of the woods. I'm a good way south of you in Southeastern North Carolina, but maybe we can work something out. I've got lights, cameras, microphones, etc. I'm planning to do some freelance satire with some like-minded people in the area. The big problem is finding a time when 5 professional, family people can all manage to break away from their lives long enough for us to film something.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
On the technical side, I dunno. I worry about my ability to understand it, because I'm kind of retarded when it comes to anything dealing with geometry or mathematics in general, and I could be completely off-base on this, but it seems filmmaking requires some form of comprehension for these things.
The good news is - you're completely off-base on this.

I've been making films as writer, director, producer and crew (DP, camera operator,
make-up efx, special efx) my entire working life and I'm terrible at geometry and
mathematics. I read many of the posts here where the guys talks about the bit rates,
the 1080 vs. 420, the something-or-other per seconds and am amazed and confused.

I vaguely know the difference between interlaced and progressive scan, I know I
don't like working in HDV and that it's different from HD and I know frame rates,
but there my tech knowledge ends.

Yet I can still make movies.

Though I think if I can get myself hooked up with someone who knows cameras and knows how to use them, I think I can take it from there and learn enough to maybe be able to move on to another project and carry myself a little better than I did the first time.
Not a bad idea. The movies I make with a crew are always better than the ones
I make all alone. Having someone who is good with a camera and light, a different
person who is good at audio, a different person who is good at make-up, really
allows the director to concentrate on directing.

And working on other movies is the cornerstone of becoming a good movie maker
yourself. I still work as crew for free on other peoples movies just to keep learning.
You are so right that you will learn more on one movie set than you will watching
200 DVD extras.

The nice thing about this script is that it only uses one interior location and one exterior location. Granted, it needs to be at a bus station or somewhere that could pull off the illusion of being a bus station, which creates problems with getting permission to film there and so on, but that's not a particularly troubling problem to me either.
Not only is that not a problem, it's an excellent challenge. Go to your nearest bus
station and ask. If they say no, or it's too busy to get a shoot done, go a couple of
towns away and ask. One of the great advantages you have being in Virginia is
there isn't much movie making going on there - as least not as much as in Los Angeles,
where I am - and people are more likely to actually like the idea of a movie being
made in their establishment.

Just like everything else in life, the more you do it, the better you will get. After making
10-15 short films your tech knowledge will get better, too. But if you hold off until you
read more, you won't get much better. So do it now!
 
That's a good idea.

Heh.

There's a little bit of filmmaking going on around here, but really, not a whole lot, as you said.

I suppose I should probably start looking at cameras, eh?

Thank god I have this fine forum to help me.

Heh.
 
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