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    What I learned this fest
    #1
    Senior Member alex whitmer's Avatar
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    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
    Last edited by alex whitmer; 10-26-2008 at 03:50 PM.


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    #2
    Como's back. back again Robbie Comeau's Avatar
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    What I learned this fest.

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

    Robbie
    Rob Comeau - Film Director
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    Message me to check out my films!


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    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.


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    Senior Member jasonthewho's Avatar
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    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.


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    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!


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    Senior Member alex whitmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonthewho View Post
    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


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    Still "Senior Member" Gord.T's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConspiracyPenguin View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Gord.T; 10-26-2008 at 05:14 PM.
    "Remember To Dip the Right End of the Cigar in your $250.00 dollar glass of Brandy." -Doc Bernard.


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    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...


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    Senior Member jpsheets's Avatar
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    Have a continuity person, pay them if necessary!


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    #10
    More Cowbell Pictures Michael Anthony Horrigan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alex whitmer View Post

    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


    MONSTERFEST : 4th Place - Sustained Excellence Award - WESTFEST: 3rd Place - THRILLFEST: 3rd Place


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