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alex whitmer
10-26-2008, 03:28 PM
What I learned this fest.

The writer has the easiest job in the process of filmmaking - and the cheapest. We get up in the morning - if we feel like it - look for something to plagiarize, and call it a day. Meanwhile, the rest of the process (humans with a particular specialty -or several in many a case) go into overdrive to film, direct, light, sound, score, act, costume and makeup, last-second store runs, edit, upload, download, reload then find somewhere to unload, take a bike ride, a drive, a narcotic, order take-out, teach the dog to walk itself, examine three hours of footage for a six minute film, and so on. Now pan back to the writer where burp, fart and scratch are the order of the day.

Feeling guilty is out of the question.

The other thing I learned and can actually apply, is that the old adage of one page of script equals one minute of film is bull, at least when it comes to short films. And, this is especially true for dialogue-heavy stories. How many 'Oh crap, I have 8 minutes of film to pare down to 6' have I heard? What this tells me is going forward, anyone writing for these fests needs to keep it to five pages max. Editing out some action is fairly easy, albeit painful, but chopping too much dialogue can really do some serious damage to the whole.

My new adage is 3-forths page to one minute of film. I think everyone should stick to that, and arrive at 5 or less pages to do a 6 min film. The pain up front for the writer is only fair.

a

Robbie Comeau
10-26-2008, 03:38 PM
What I learned this fest.

-Don't count on ADR as your final audio output :).
-Make up designer, it helps sell the short.

Robbie

ConspiracyPenguin
10-26-2008, 03:43 PM
I learned NOT to take on 7 scripts at one time - no, Nick, you're not the ubermensch.

Next time I am going to have a list. If you are on the list I will get to you IN that order. This whole trying to juggle everyone at once only causes more problems for everyone.

jasonthewho
10-26-2008, 04:03 PM
Yes, Alex, in a way a writer's job seems easy, sitting at home on the computer with a Coke and Chinese take-out, but let's face it, it's the most important job in film.

Without a good story, all the greatest directors, DPs, make-up artists, actors, etc. are up a creek without a paddle.

Not that you don't know that. But, it's good to remember that being a writer is nothing to be ashamed of.

ConspiracyPenguin
10-26-2008, 04:13 PM
Jason, you are absolutely right. Writing is not ALWAYS easy. Sometimes the director is hard to work with or they change their mind about the story ten times. Sometimes you have too many to write and you can't work fast enough for everyone. The script is the base of any film, writing it is a big task, because it HAS to be good. It's not all Coke and words!

alex whitmer
10-26-2008, 04:33 PM
Yes, Alex, in a way a writer's job seems easy, sitting at home on the computer with a Coke and Chinese take-out, but let's face it, it's the most important job in film.

Without a good story, all the greatest directors, DPs, make-up artists, actors, etc. are up a creek without a paddle.

Not that you don't know that. But, it's good to remember that being a writer is nothing to be ashamed of.

Shame never, but certainly feeling helpless when everyone else is scrambling through bramble and bush trying to pull it all together. Some I gather live for that very thing.

My whole point, joking aside, is that it is a writer's responsibility to not only deliver a solid story and framework for the whole, but also one that is reasonable to film - and reasonable edit. That whole editing thing is my big learned lesson this time around. Six pages with lots of dialogue is a nightmare for others down the road. Going forward (if anyone will have me ever again) will be to keep all that in mind, and even walk it through before I call it ready.

I agree the writer is important, but without the others, from the director to the on-set burger flipper, a scrpit would just be words on paper.

a

Gord.T
10-26-2008, 05:09 PM
I learned NOT to take on 7 scripts at one time - no, Nick, you're not the ubermensch.

Next time I am going to have a list. If you are on the list I will get to you IN that order. This whole trying to juggle everyone at once only causes more problems for everyone.


True. You have to pick the ones with the most likelyhood of getting completed and or have the best chance at making the national fest circuit or for personal reasons.

I had reserved VFX scenes in 5 shorts for this fest. That I could promise getting done. Taking on more might mean those guys missing the deadline which is not good.

None of those 5 made it to deadline for varuious reason but were projects I wanted to be a part of. That's indie. But how do you alot your time? You can't. That's the nature of indie. You roll the dice I guess.

ConspiracyPenguin
10-26-2008, 05:10 PM
But even words on paper is art! :) It takes those people to turn THAT art into a DIFFERENT art. The way I see it is this: they have their crunch time now, we have ours in the beginning when we are trying to whip out our best work.

EDIT: Raptor, that's very true. I can't help EVERYONE. Next fest will be much different...

jpsheets
10-26-2008, 05:49 PM
Have a continuity person, pay them if necessary!

Michael Anthony Horrigan
10-26-2008, 05:56 PM
The other thing I learned and can actually apply, is that the old adage of one page of script equals one minute of film is bull, at least when it comes to short films. And, this is especially true for dialogue-heavy stories. How many 'Oh crap, I have 8 minutes of film to pare down to 6' have I heard? What this tells me is going forward, anyone writing for these fests needs to keep it to five pages max. Editing out some action is fairly easy, albeit painful, but chopping too much dialogue can really do some serious damage to the whole.
I don't know. I wrote a script that ran into the seventh page. Plenty of dialogue as well, especially in the early and latter parts of it.

Yes, some of it hit the floor but I think editing and directing can help with the pace of any script. I'm under six minutes.
So... I took a script that ran over to the seventh page and delivered a movie that is under six minutes.

In the end I could add another minute to the movie and fit the rest in quite easily at this point.
Which would jive with the one page/minute rule fairly accurately.

Of course, it depends on how much dialogue, the way it's shot, and the way it's edited.

Just my 2 cents.

Mike

alex whitmer
10-26-2008, 06:05 PM
By dialogue-heavy I mean those Chatty Cathy dolls that never shut up for six pages. I need to work on that and find the balance for actual film length, so very little if any needs to hits the cutting room floor.

a

Michael Anthony Horrigan
10-26-2008, 06:09 PM
By dialogue-heavy I mean those Chatty Cathy dolls that never shut up for six pages. I need to work on that and find the balance for actual film length, so very little if any needs to hits the cutting room floor.

aToo true! A six page Tarantino script would probably run you 12 minutes easy! :grin:

ConspiracyPenguin
10-26-2008, 06:43 PM
Yeah, it all depends on the writer and his/her style. Alex, I think you know full well that some of my 6 pagers would never inch any further than 5 minutes what with my heavy description I fall into sometimes. :grin:

alex whitmer
10-26-2008, 07:08 PM
Yeah.

I have a habit - good or bad - of writing lots of dialogue. I like dialogue. I just need to learn to manage it in regards to film length.

A real eye-opener for me.

More action. less talk. Shoot something!

a

ConspiracyPenguin
10-26-2008, 07:21 PM
I like dialogue too, GOOD dialogue. If I read the line and think "Damn, that's good" I know it is because I don't compliment myself too often.

I actually have an ongoing list of lines I have come up with that I want to use at some point. :)

Robbie Comeau
10-26-2008, 07:29 PM
The one thing most in my Twilight fest film that stood out was the dialog. I thought it was really well done, and I'll thank John LaBonney for that!

Robbie

alex whitmer
10-26-2008, 07:38 PM
Too true! A six page Tarantino script would probably run you 12 minutes easy! :grin:

That's funny because I studied his work a lot and thought if he can do it, and (arguably) do it well, then lots of (good) dialogue can be a good thing. I guess if you have the resources he has now, you can make it as chatty and long as you want.

a

alex whitmer
10-26-2008, 07:40 PM
I actually have an ongoing list of lines I have come up with that I want to use at some point. :)

Are we talking about film, or picking up chicks?



.

ConspiracyPenguin
10-26-2008, 07:58 PM
Are we talking about film, or picking up chicks?

:grin: The former. Although I do have a list for the latter, would any ladies like to see it? It's in my pants...

(Yes, that was one of them :D).

jasonthewho
10-26-2008, 08:23 PM
By the way, I in no way meant to suggest that writing was easy. For me, it is probably the hardest part. But I do think it is the least stressful (I'm sure if I was ever getting paid, and had a deadline, that would change).

As far as the whole page to minutes ratio, I think it's almost impossible to predict. Sometimes dialogue takes longer that you expect. But sometimes action does as well. "He thinks," could be a ten second sequence.

ZazaCast
10-26-2008, 09:04 PM
1. Really, REALLY try to find a few people to help out on the next fest
2. Stay off the power line roads
3. Stand clear of the running Llama

sfoster
10-26-2008, 09:16 PM
1. I don't function as well on 1 hour of sleep as I do on 3 hours.
2. I don't function as well on 3 hours of sleep as I do on 4 hours.
3. I like having an experienced crew who is passionate about making films even when it requires not sleeping!!!!!!!

armisiano
10-26-2008, 10:27 PM
Don't put your faith in a crew member whose flaked out on you in the past because he seems to have, "CHANGED".

Captain Pierce
10-27-2008, 06:36 PM
I learned that nobody wants my script(s)... ;)

gabrielflorit
10-27-2008, 06:57 PM
What I learned this fest:

1) The boom operator should always listen on the headphones. The boom should always be placed as close as possible. This means telling him what to do. I shouldn't be nice - I should just tell people what they need to do.

2) Pickup shots, pickup shots, pickup shots. Can never shoot enough "stuff" in a location.

3) Really cold conditions can have adverse effects on the acting.

4) You really don't have to edit to match actions. If we did, 2 hour movies would only be 2 hours long.

5) ADR can be your friend.

6) Don't shoot a dialogue scene because "I might need it". Trust your instincts. If it doesn't push the story, cut it.

7) Sound is 70% of what you see. Do it right.

8) If you're shooting outside, be quick, and white balance every shot.

9) A location may LOOK quiet, but you don't really know until you test it with your supersensitive microphone that shows you how you can hear the interstate from that supposedly peaceful setting.

10) Food has a glorious effect on everyone - cast, crew, even the director. Tasty food makes everyone very happy.

armisiano
10-28-2008, 01:56 AM
1) The boom operator should always listen on the headphones. The boom should always be placed as close as possible. This means telling him what to do. I shouldn't be nice - I should just tell people what they need to do.

True dat.

Mile Bozicevic
10-28-2008, 03:49 AM
I learned that lighting is NOT such an easy thing to accomplish as I thought before. Good lighting+a guy who knows to use it properly is neccesary.

Planning in advance, doing test shots so actors can see themselves also helps. (it IS my first film so...)

AND, the most important is the directing itself-tell them what you want, do not 'let it go' just because they're tired and all. It solves the whola lotta problems while editing.

That's the magic of filmmaking; as much all individuals are creative and briliant, team work is neccesary to accomplish the final product in it's best form. I always try to imagine how it would be to put Lav Nikolajevich Tolstoj, Edgar Allan Poe and James Joyce so they can together write a book.

It would be a creative mess and mess itself, and though writing is a lot different than filmmaking, it's not even exaggerating, it's realistic comparison.

Simon Höfer
10-28-2008, 04:27 AM
More action. less talk. Shoot something!

a
I'm all in for that :D

Edgen
10-28-2008, 07:27 AM
for me.. next time:

- have more than a crew of 2. (+ watching two kids. 5 and 11 months)
- have a sound guy full time with cans monitoring at all times. (post work & ADR sux)
- don't start a film a week before the deadline. :)

/j

gabrielflorit
10-28-2008, 07:38 AM
for me.. next time:

- don't start a film a week before the deadline. :)

/j

Whoa! Insane.

alex whitmer
10-28-2008, 08:06 AM
Stand clear of Running Llama


Wasn't she in 'Little Big Man'? I didn't know she was still hanging around movie sets.

ZazaCast
10-28-2008, 08:18 AM
Wasn't she in 'Little Big Man'? I didn't know she was still hanging around movie sets.

No, that was Sitting Bull!

Side note: I just heard that the owners of said Llama got rid of the beast! It kept escaping (smart bugger) and the Sheriffs had been called one too many times. So, please...a moment of silence for the Llama.:(

ZazaCast
10-28-2008, 08:18 AM
...and don't you dare....

Silence of the Llama!

Mattykins
10-28-2008, 08:21 AM
1) Sound operators must know what they are doing. And proper levels must be insured. If not - sound needs to tell us to take it again.

2) Camera operators need to call cut or take the shot again when a boom or other equipment enter the shot. And not say, we are good. Let's move on.

3) 35mm adapters need to be powered on in order to work correctly.

4) 35mm adapters should never be brought on set without proper training by camera department despite the DoP wanting one.

5) If using a jib, be sure all bolts are included.

6) Rented cameras can and will go down on set.

7) 25 sandbags will not hold down a tent build on Cstands in high wind.

8) HMIs throw a great deal of light, and heat.

9) Permits will take weeks to go through proper channels and will inevitably be turned down.

10) Even a great visual effects team is powerless working with subpar footage.

11) 35mm adapters are more hassle then they are worth, IMHO.

12) Sound files can only be fixed so much in post. Even on a ProTools system.

13) Without sound, ADR is impossible.

14) This project was destined to fail.

15) If you are going to do something, do it right - or don't do it at all.

gabrielflorit
10-28-2008, 08:35 AM
1) Sound operators must know what they are doing. And proper levels must be insured. If not - sound needs to tell us to take it again.

12) Sound files can only be fixed so much in post. Even on a ProTools system.

15) If you are going to do something, do it right - or don't do it at all.

Amen to that! I'd like to add another one:

- Watch "Sound for Film and Television". Worth every penny.

Mattykins
10-28-2008, 08:46 AM
Eh, I would - what I should have done was gotten a better sound operator. I am trained in sound recording and mixing. Granted I hate doing it, but I am good at it. The final mix I don't mind as much. It's the location sound I dislike. But I failed in getting a capable sound recordist. Another inherent issue with working with students. It's hit or miss. And despite the fact they say they know what to do, getting levels back at -96dB means they don't know what they were doing. And every sound file from the first day was about 5 seconds long.

And another one I can add.

16) Everything that can go wrong will go wrong on set. MAKE CONTINGENCY PLANS

17) Despite what the people at the catering department say in Wegmans, you cannot order a pizza in the seafood department, nor at the salad bar, nor the bakery.

18) Hiring a driver is one of the best allocations of funds that is overlooked.

19) Talent should never touch tripod plates wondering what they do. The camera then becomes a disaster waiting to happen.

20) One should never produce and direct at the same time.

21) Pre-production should occur several weeks in advanced. Not even stripboards can keep a film on schedule when equipment failures plague the set.

22) Don't be hesitant to 'fire' a crew member for talking back, wasting time, being overly aggressive, or complaining openly about the set to talent bring set moral down.

23) Learn from every mistake you make and don't repeat them.

mobiledeli
10-28-2008, 08:48 AM
1) if someone says you shouldn't do that - say who should?
2) for short films with no dialogue - a "beat sheet" is all you need
3) think about what the character is FEELING at every moment and adapt your shot/lighting scheme accordingly
4) you have to love movies to make movies
5) starting a week and a half before the deadline can only lead to complications - but ultimately a more memorable experience
6) going to film school is the life - shoot your buddy's movie in brooklyn from 5am to 2pm, plan your movie until 9pm, shoot till 3am, edit till 5am. ... repeat.... hahga

Dick Campbell
10-28-2008, 08:53 AM
1. boom shadow, boom shadow, boom shadow.
2. get some producer help.

Inexistence
10-28-2008, 09:07 AM
I could care less for storyboards, but I should have made a shot list of some kind. Scribbles on a
piece of paper would have sufficed. Either way next time I'm making a SHOT LIST.

Tim Joy
10-28-2008, 09:25 AM
Second time I learned this lesson-

Buy, rent, steal, build? an OVERSCAN PRODUCTION MONITOR, especially when using a 35mm adapter.

Mike Insane
10-28-2008, 10:25 AM
This is what I learned this fest and with SPYFEST.

1. Limit your after effects work unless you have a dedicated AE artist... comping can be very time consuming.

2. Building a set costs twice what you estimate. Buget for it. You will be happier in the end.

3. It is hard to make people passionate about your project. Find out what they are passionate about. If it fits your needs then approach them with that. Make it important to them. If it doesn' fit completly, then look for someone else to help. People loosing steam, in the end when it gets tough, really puts the pressure on you, and that is rough.

4. Casting a top notch actor that you can trust to deliver a great peformance is priceless.

5. When you do pre-production and set your schedule of events... stick to it or complete tasks earlier than planned. Stuff always comes up so being ahead really means that you will make it on-time.

6. Seak out crew... go out there and hunt them like a big game hunter. If they turn out to be good then make them like family and keep them around. You're only as good as your team and if you feel like asking for help is imposing on them, then your work suffers.

With all of this said, my crew this time was great!

Mike Insane
10-28-2008, 10:26 AM
Someone should compile all of these little life lessons for new filmmakers.

AJ Brooks
10-28-2008, 10:28 AM
Someone should compile all of these little life lessons for new filmmakers.

lol, memoirs of dvxuser. I like it.

ZazaCast
10-28-2008, 10:36 AM
20) One should never produce and direct at the same time.



If that's the case, I'd never be able to make a movie again!:beer:
These are all great, but chin-up & lessons learned...you'll get the film made.

As a one-man show, all I can say is the more time you can spend planning and getting things organized, the better. I create a binder for every production that contains the script, storyboards, lists of required props and most important...the SHOT LIST. This was the only way I could have gotten 2 films finished for this fest.

Dustin R. Rogan
10-28-2008, 12:11 PM
* Putting too much on your plate can back fire...and leave you broke and playing catch up...

* Having someone else edit your movie was an exercise of trust, but it turned out great! (thanks Jason)

* Steel Reserve is death in a can...it makes you hate your momma!!!

* Chicks dig it when you have goals in the movie biz... hehe

* Old ladies are creepy when they *not saying cuz its in jpsheets movie and don't wanna ruin it* but it scared me i'll say that

I learned other stuff...but yeah...pretty much what everyone else has said before

Rogan

John LaBonney
10-28-2008, 01:17 PM
From the Barn Dance thread, here's my list:



The Top Ten Things I Learned So Far About Directing While Working on Barn Dance



10. Those 5-in-1 reflector things are super-cool and I have to get one of my own.
We used one during the filming of Gun for Hire but I didn't really understand how useful it could be or get the hang of using it properly at the time. Now I've got a better grip on it and I'm getting one, like it or not. I might even get two.

9. You can't make a film without gaffers tape and spring clamps.
Simply can't do it.

8. DIY stuff is fun to make and a cool way to save money, but the pro version of equipment is probably worth the rental cost when it's important. I built a DIY dolly which we used on this movie which works pretty well, but it isn't user friendly. Denis and I discussed this on the way home and he said he thinks that even though it costs some money, renting a solid professional dolly for the day is worth it, for the sake of time, ease of use, and quality of the shot. After all is said and done, I agree.

7. You have to take command, even if you don't feel right doing it.
There were times that important, but totally unglamorous jobs needed to be done. I would certainly be willing to do any of them myself, but it meant that I would have had less time to concentrate on directing the talent and communicating what I wanted to the DP. During the day I asked Denis to set up the crew services canopy, John to police up empty water bottles and soda cans, Paul to take command of doing BTS interviews and entertaining the parents that visited the set, and our production assistant Nick to make sure the cooler was loaded with bottled water (by the way, they were all very gracious and willing, and I appreciated that very much). Everyone was there to help make a film, and I didn't want them to think that I was asking them to be the maid or servant or mover of heavy objects. But I had to have the resolve in me to say, "Hey, can you do [whatever menial/unpleasant/yukky task needed to be done]?" even though it made me a little uncomfortable to do so.

6. An impression of making progress is important.
There's a lot of hurry up and wait on a film set, and often it seems like there's not much progress being made, which can be discouraging. It took us two hours from arrival until we managed to get the first shot. That's just the way it goes. I found myself trying to find ways to keep people busy with tasks and jobs just to keep them from feeling like they were doing nothing. At some points I set an arbitrary deadline to keep us on schedule: "Okay, five more minutes to set this up, then we're rolling!" That did seem to help in some cases, but I haven't figured out how to create this feeling of "yes, we're making progress here" just yet. Or at least how to spread that feeling to the cast and crew. But I do think that creating an impression of making progress is important and gives everyone on set a feeling of confidence.

5. Directing is in many cases gathering talented people in different areas with skills and experience far greater than your own.
There's simply no way I could get some of the incredible images that we got if I was handling the camera. No freaking way. I just don't have the experience or knowledge that Jeremiah and Kevin have. I learned a tremendous amount from watching them, and I expect that my own shooting with the HVX will be much improved from this. But the fact is that they're much better at it then me. I've received a huge amount of compliments on the poster for Barn Dance (and I think it's a great poster), which was created by the very talented Mike Manning. I can hardly get around Photoshop, but by getting Mike to do the poster, I've got one that is much better than anything I could create. There were about a hundred and six questions I asked of Mark Johnson and Carleton Torpin when planning this shoot, and they knew all the answers. By getting them to contribute their knowledge to me, we were able to keep things on set much smoother and the movie that much better than it would have been had I tried to answer all these questions myself. Point is that the movie, however it turns out in the end, will be far better than I could have made it had I tried to do and know everything myself (and my sincere respect and compliments to all you filmmakers out there that are a one-man band).

4. Location, location, location.
Location can add production value and really make the visuals that sell the story of the film. We had a really hard time with getting a location for Barn Dance. The first barn we found was awesome, and we were really excited about shooting there. But regardless of what we said or offered, we couldn't get permission to shoot there. "We'll pay a location fee." No. "We'll have insurance." No. "We'll bring in our own porta-potty." No. "I'll give you credit in the movie." No. "I'll give your second cousin credit in the movie." No. We thought the situation was hopeless. So I went on a search of Southern Nevada for barns. And I became the barnmaster: I now know where each of the hay barns within an hour of Las Vegas are (there are five). We managed to find the incredible five-story barn at Eldorado Canyon and strike a deal with the owners. It cost us a location fee, and we were required to have insurance (which was ridiculously expensive), and the remoteness of the location forced us to shell out considerable funds for a charter bus, but considering the uniqueness of this location and the images we were able to get there, it was totally worth it. While it may be much cheaper, easier, and simpler to shoot a movie that's set in the living room, a cool-looking location is worth it.

3. Food is hyper-critical.
We took this often suggested piece of advice very seriously and feeding everyone was our number one expense. We didn't skimp. I wanted people to know that we cared enough to get the good stuff. We got name-brand drinks and snacks and restaurant prepared food. I got individual bottles of water instead of big gallon jugs. You could have invaded a small country for what it cost us but was totally worth it. I felt good about having decent food for people to eat, and had we tried to cut corners here I think that it would have haunted me through the whole day of production.

2. Casting is really important.
I can't remember where I heard it said, but I remember the phrase, "Ninety-percent of directing is casting." I'm not sure I agree with this, but I can tell you that I went to what a lot of short filmmakers might consider ridiculous lengths to cast Barn Dance. We had three separate casting sessions. I looked at untold numbers of headshots. We struggled on the final decision for each part. I didn't settle on actors for the lead roles just because I had to have somebody. I didn't rely on friends or relatives to star in the film. I made a serious effort to get people that had decent acting ability and really fit the part. None of this work we did trying to cast the right people guarantees that Barn Dance won't suck. But I think it gives us a leg up.



and number one thing I learned so far....




1. Family support is essential.
Even if my wife wasn't a participant in this project, it couldn't have happend without her support. I couldn't have spent the time, the money, the effort, and suffered the heartache if she wasn't 100% in agreement with me doing it.





and REALLY the number one thing I learned so far.............





1. Fear must be conquered.
I had to conquer all the fears that I had about taking on this project. And there were plenty. Fear that it wouldn't come out right. Fear that I would look inexperienced. Fear that I would look like a dork. Fear I would piss somebody off. Fear that I would spend too much money. Fear that I didn't have enough equipment. Fear that the story wasn't good enough. Fear that there would be dissension on the set. Fear that people wouldn't show up. Fear that I would forget something critical. Fear that my movie will finish dead last in the fest. Fear that I would appear fearful to others. Fear of the unknown.

:Drogar-Mark-04(DBG)

Mile Bozicevic
10-28-2008, 01:55 PM
Fear is the mind killer....

I cannot agree more with your No 1.1. rule. : )

L

Captain Pierce
10-28-2008, 03:03 PM
6. An impression of making progress is important.

So true in so many areas. :)


Fear is the mind killer....

And thus Mile's secret identity as a Bene Gesserit is revealed... :D

Jason Sanders
10-28-2008, 03:14 PM
I learned that I actually need to make one. :)

ZazaCast
10-28-2008, 03:40 PM
Still my favorite:

-If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's an electrical problem!

alex whitmer
10-29-2008, 02:10 AM
If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's an electrical problem!

If all traditional fix-it methods fail, you may have a hammer problem.

Trade up.

Dick Campbell
10-29-2008, 05:29 AM
Rogan - you forgot: only make motel arrangements with the owner:Drogar-BigGrin(DBG)

krestofre
10-29-2008, 07:16 AM
What I learned:

1. Faith manages.

Every single production I've ever done, both professional and passion projects, at some point comes within one second of completely imploding. Press forward always knowing in your mind and your heart that you will get it done. Faith manages.

2. We have the best job in the world.

No matter if you're writing, directing, producing, holding the boom, or just delivering food to the set, there's nothing better than making a film.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
10-29-2008, 07:30 AM
What I learned this Fest....

I learned that communication is key when locking down a location or set. If they don't get back to you go down there and make it happen. I have Mark Johnson to thank for that advice.

Don't be afraid to reach out for help. Yes, mine is basically a one man show on the shooting side but I managed to get a great PA this time around and plenty of help from the German community here at DVXuser.

Don't give up!
When you are lighting a scene and trying to check the sound while running back and forth to look at the cameras little LCD display and things are not going well because the wireless mic is acting up... don't give up. Even though you might feel like saying.... F*ck it! I'll fix it in post. Take your time, get it working, and get it right the first time.

Patience is key. Even when time is running out.

And yes, there's no better feeling than seeing your work come to life after the hardship is over.

Cheers,

Mike

AmyO
10-29-2008, 09:05 AM
I learned "How to be a Director". Before I did EVERYTHING but act and so it was really more like painting a picture with moving images rather than filmmaking. Making movies with others is a whole other experience.

I learned that getting others involved doesn't mean "giving up control." That was a big one for me.

I learned that when it comes to your crew, it's quality over quantity. We got more done on the day when we had 4 people than the day we had 8.

I learned that the Oregon Film and Video Office rocks the Casbah!

I learned that working with "grown up" actors isn't so scary.

I learned that I have kick ass filmmaking friends.

Mike Manning
10-29-2008, 09:28 AM
I learned that you should find financing elsewhere...

..my wallet hurts...

Richard J. Johnson
10-29-2008, 09:31 AM
I can't answer this until I see the other films.

Jim Montgomery
10-29-2008, 12:06 PM
Don't give up your day job.

Dustin R. Rogan
10-29-2008, 12:09 PM
Rogan - you forgot: only make motel arrangements with the owner:Drogar-BigGrin(DBG)

Or just say "I would like a room for the night" and not say anything about filming a movie

I still wish I'd peed on the toilet seat or something, might have done that hotel some good.

oh well live and learn, there was a reason I picked that motel...and it wasn't for the view. Guess they thought too good for my movie...pssh...

Rogan

*ps I showed the bar owner the final version of the movie and she was blown away. That means either I done good...or she's easily impressed lol *

Dustin R. Rogan
10-29-2008, 12:10 PM
I learned that you should find financing elsewhere...

..my wallet hurts...


you too?

Rogan

Zim
10-29-2008, 12:33 PM
I've learned if I have problems or some issue I can send 20 emails to Mike Horrigan about it and the problem will get solved.

galbach
10-29-2008, 06:25 PM
for me.. next time:

- have more than a crew of 2. (+ watching two kids. 5 and 11 months)
- have a sound guy full time with cans monitoring at all times. (post work & ADR sux)
- don't start a film a week before the deadline. :)

/j
Ditto

MrKilloran
10-30-2008, 12:19 AM
I learned that coming up with an idea as I went along four days before it was due is not the best route for a festival like this and that working simultaneously at a day job and not getting enough sleep makes people start to hallucinate after a while.

Adam J McKay
10-30-2008, 12:38 AM
What I learned this fest.

You can't take yourself to seriously.
You cant rely on other people
I can rely on myself
Shooting a movie with your crew as the cast is a bad idea, as you end up with no crew for the movie...including the director, camera operator etc.
I need to move away from Northern, Ontario.


That is all.

Tim Joy
10-30-2008, 08:20 AM
Also, I learned not to dismiss the usefulness of a Single. Not every shot has to be an over-the-shoulder, or have both characters in it.

gabrielflorit
10-30-2008, 08:28 AM
Also, I learned not to dismiss the usefulness of a Single. Not every shot has to be an over-the-shoulder, or have both characters in it.

Very true.

mjjason
10-30-2008, 08:29 AM
Several things I learned:

I really need to create a storyboard and shot list
I need to delegate some work to other people
I need to get an editor (I am just not that thrilled with doing it)
I need to get a lighting expert/DP
The HVX LCD sucks - I need an external monitor for accurate color and sharpness.

alex whitmer
10-30-2008, 06:55 PM
I learned that being in film is a real chick magnet - until they find out your just the writer.

It's a lonely job.


ADORABLE CHICK
Movies! Wow! So, do you like know Brad Pitt?

She scoots closer. Her dew-filled eyes are heavy with lust. Pheronomes pump from her pores.

CHICK MAGNET
Brad? No, I'm just the writer. But I know Joe Saba! He's cool.

Adorable Chick heads for the door.

CHICK MAGNET
How about Mike Horrigan? Or Drew Ott?!

Adorable chick exits.

CHICK MAGNET
(yells)
The Neal guy with the last name too hard to pronounce!

The door slams. Chick Magnet dashes for the door and yanks it open.

CHICK MAGNET
Chris Johnson! The one with the beard?

Silence.

A cold wind blows. Chick Magnet struggles to close the door. Thud. He turnes to see FORKLIFT WOMAN, large even by loading dock standards.

FORKLIFT WOMAN
Writer huh?

Mike Manning
10-30-2008, 07:07 PM
Does being a filmmaker in places that are not LA really make you a chick magnet?

Cuz here, everyone and their mother are filmmakers and it impresses no one.

------
FILMMAKER
I just made a short film for a festival. It's almost done, I'm really happy with how it turned out.

HOT CHICK
Really? That's cool. I just acted in a USC Thesis film. The budget was $320,000 and George Lucas was the executive producer. He came on set one day and brought donuts for everyone.

FILMMAKER
Oh...

Rodney V. Smith
10-30-2008, 07:07 PM
**snicker** Forklift woman likes the intellectual types.

alex whitmer
10-30-2008, 07:18 PM
FILMMAKER
I just made a short film for a festival. It's almost done, I'm really happy with how it turned out.

HOT CHICK
Really? That's cool. I just acted in a USC Thesis film. The budget was $320,000 and George Lucas was the executive producer. He came on set one day and brought donuts for everyone.

FILMMAKER
Oh...



That's damn funny.

ConspiracyPenguin
10-30-2008, 07:52 PM
Alex, I found your problem. You should have said "No, but I know the Penguin." She would have been in bed with you in a second! :grin:

Jeff Anderson
10-30-2008, 07:56 PM
Alex, I found your problem. You should have said "No, but I know the Penguin." She would have been in bed with you in a second! :grin:


Actually you should've said, "Sleep with my and I'll keep that weird little flightless bird away from you." Works every time :)

ZazaCast
10-30-2008, 07:58 PM
CHICK MAGNET
Brad? No, I'm just the writer. But I know Joe Saba! He's cool.



LMAO! :beer:

...and don't worry, Penguin can only think in 'seconds' when he's around anything female.:huh:

Michelle J. LaBonney
10-30-2008, 09:50 PM
I learned to never give up, because it just feels too good when it is done.

ConspiracyPenguin
10-30-2008, 10:24 PM
Actually you should've said, "Sleep with my and I'll keep that weird little flightless bird away from you." Works every time :)

You've actually had to stoop that low? :huh:


...and don't worry, Penguin can only think in 'seconds' when he's around anything female.:huh:

I wish I knew if that were true...

(self-zing!) :grin:

Dustin R. Rogan
10-30-2008, 10:58 PM
:wags finger:

boys boys boys, just drop my name and everyone wins. Oh the things I do for you poor saps.

:/wag finger:

Rogan

alex whitmer
10-30-2008, 11:35 PM
:wags finger:

boys boys boys, just drop my name and everyone wins. Oh the things I do for you poor saps.

:/wag finger:

Rogan

How did I overlook that?


BACK TO SCENE

Chick Magnet turns to see FORKLIFT WOMAN, large even by loading dock standards.

FORKLIFT WOMAN
Writer huh?

With her plunging neckline, Chick Magnet can't help notice an abundance of hair.

CHICK MAGNET
Um, I was kidding. But I do know a guy that waxes chests. Member of the Web Bottom Boys.

FORKLIFT WOMAN
You don't mean ...

Just then a pterodactyl swoops down through the dive.

CHICK MAGNET
Rogan!

FORKLIFT WOMAN
It's Rogan. Like the song. Rogan, Rogan, Rogan - rawhide!

CHICK MAGNET
I see where you're coming from.

HOT CHICK enters. Chick Magnet makes his move.

CHICK MAGNET
Rogan.

HOT CHICK
No, French.

Chick Magnet scratches his head, tries to remember other bad advice.

CHICK MAGNET
Penguin.

HOT CHICK
Versace. What's with all the lame questions?

Chick Magnet turns to Forklift Woman.

CHICK MAGNET
What do you say we go to my place and move some furniture.

FADE WAY OUT

Dustin R. Rogan
10-30-2008, 11:47 PM
Haha thats great!

Rogan

Jason Miller
10-31-2008, 12:50 AM
I learned, well I'm shooting in the next two weeks, I'll let you know what i learned after I shoot. lol

darkrequiem1134
11-01-2008, 02:41 AM
what i learned this fest was.......never use a mac again.....unless you want to fail.

Mac - IT'S A TRAP!!!!

leteeci
11-02-2008, 03:14 AM
Among other things, I learned that in all the entries that I saw till now, nobody used The Ball Element in a creative way, but mostly because it have to be done..

Children playing with it, baseball balls on locker without any so inportant need to be there..

Who knows, maybe on the other half of movies, I have to watch, I will be plesent surprised..

:beer:

Simon Höfer
11-02-2008, 03:41 AM
What? You didn't see my film yet? :D

KOHR
11-02-2008, 09:03 AM
Among other things, I learned that in all the entries that I saw till now, nobody used The Ball Element in a creative way, but mostly because it have to be done..

:beer:

Shameless plug- the ball in my film is actually used as a motivator and is in both the opening / closing because of its "importance." I actually reworked the entire first scene of the script to make sure it was there for some purpose. So if you're looking for balls with a purpose...go check out paired. Thanks! :thumbup:

Mike Manning
11-02-2008, 09:09 AM
I disagree! I find that the ball was used VERY creatively in a lot of entries.

See "My Name is Harold Allan," "Calls from the Furherbunker," "Cold Calls," etc..

How much more creatively can a ball be used? It still has to work within context of your film. Otherwise it could be TOO esoteric and take you out of the film... you know?

alex whitmer
11-02-2008, 09:37 AM
I learned that the English language is dying.

alex whitmer
11-02-2008, 10:04 PM
Totally off topic ...

Actress from my gaggle did an 'under a minute' film about her greatest fear.

Watch and vote!!

http://blogs.amctv.com/fear-video-contest/2008/10/fear-geeta-malik.php

aw

Michael Anthony Horrigan
11-02-2008, 10:49 PM
I disagree! I find that the ball was used VERY creatively in a lot of entries.

See "My Name is Harold Allan," "Calls from the Furherbunker," "Cold Calls," etc..

How much more creatively can a ball be used? It still has to work within context of your film. Otherwise it could be TOO esoteric and take you out of the film... you know?Thanks, man.

I had a previous shot of the ball in place. The jib shot of Chris Flegel in his apartment starts under the coffee table. Guess what else is there? Yup... a ball.

When I saw it I deemed it unworthy and cut it out. I knew I still needed a location shot of the apartment building he was in so I packed up my dolly, a ball, and my daughter. Found a building that was made before the sixties and shot it.

Worked out MUCH better.

Mike

hoz
11-02-2008, 11:01 PM
What? You didn't see my film yet? :D

the tennis ball of the head was awesome! meant to ask you about that, how many times did you have to try that to get it right?


i thought i was clever with the use of a ball in "the devil inside" too! :laugh:



should've filmed my other idea, " ball buster " :D

Simon Höfer
11-03-2008, 03:45 AM
Haha, yeah my actress hates me for that scene :D Had to throw the ball into her face like a million times! And we even had to shoot that scene twice, because the first time it was too dark.

I have yet to see your film. Was quite busy in the last days. Have to catch up watching, rating and commenting the films.

Darkline
11-03-2008, 06:09 AM
we had 2 balls. One was shamelessly thrown into the shot, quite literally. but the other ball hopefully showed the lonely nature of the character and was worked in as a game he ritually plays.

But I have to say Im not looking for creative use of the ball, it's just an element for the 'rules' - outside of this fest it means nothing. Whether you tie it in or not would have no bearing on another film festival or their appreciation of your film.

what did I learn? If shooting Red, double your production time. I learnt I prefer premiere over FCP and to get some stops on the end of your tracks (almost cost me a Red camera!). I also realised that there's no point in me storyboarding because I cannot make head nor tail of what I have drawn a day later.

Oh and I learnt that working with real actors is generally a good thing!

MrFluffy
11-03-2008, 08:36 AM
Ok I didnt submit anything but I did watch every one, with headphones.
What I learnt is that when I make a movie I'll set the audio level so that it matches intro logo all the way through so that the viewer doesnt have to keep adjustingf their headphones to avoid total silance or ear rupturing loudness.

:)

Mattykins
11-03-2008, 11:14 AM
From watching everything. I learned that people overlook sound design more than anything else. Audio levels all over the charts. Poorly synced sound effects. Poorly mixed tracks. There are exceptions. But sound design overall seems to be overlooked.

Erez Henya
11-07-2008, 05:00 PM
What I learned from this fest? well...


*** ERROR: THE TEXT THAT YOU HAVE ENTERED IS TOO LONG (37154 CHARACTERS). PLEASE SHORTEN IT TO 15000 CHARACTERS LONG ***

I guess that says enough.

MrFluffy
11-08-2008, 04:25 AM
Interlaced video doesnt look so good on a computer monitor.

Gord.T
11-09-2008, 02:55 PM
//edited.

I've learned that I still get a little too pasionate about things at times.
And that maybe I need to get out of the house a little more than I do.

:beer:

Note to self: Go fishing. Now.

punkkid
11-09-2008, 08:49 PM
I learned was that if I can't get the proper sound equipment and people, go MOS.

Darkline
11-10-2008, 02:21 AM
//edited.

I've learned that I still get a little too pasionate about things at times.
And that maybe I need to get out of the house a little more than I do.

:beer:

Note to self: Go fishing. Now.

Awww. I prefered your original post raptor :-) Sometimes it's refreshing to have someone be totally blunt about film (I'll look back when I'm over the trauma and find it funny).

Tim Joy
11-10-2008, 07:08 AM
Among other things, I learned that in all the entries that I saw till now, nobody used The Ball Element in a creative way, but mostly because it have to be done..

Children playing with it, baseball balls on locker without any so inportant need to be there..

Who knows, maybe on the other half of movies, I have to watch, I will be plesent surprised..

:beer:

Hey... I think I have the only "crystal ball" of the fest, which was discovered to be a marble in "the other world". Seems you have pretty high standards for creative use.