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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    General Boards    Questions or Comments  ›  Making Foray into Filmmaking
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  Author    Making Foray into Filmmaking  (currently 396 views)
hawkeye
Posted: August 10th, 2019, 11:16am Report to Moderator
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I'm thinking (no, seriously, I am) about going out and shooting a short film.  Might be my own script, might be someone else's.  I wanted to hear the experiences of others who maybe have attempted it or were dissuaded from doing it for one reason or another.  I suspect cost might be one of those factors, but those who have approached it, what thoughts do you have one the following:

1.  Buying a camera for shooting purposes versus hiring a cinematographer with their own equipment.

2.  Hiring other crew like sound, lighting, editing, etc.

3.  Just doing it all yourself with an iPhone and a boom mike to start learning the ropes with a very simple script (one location, one or two actors, etc.).

4.  Finding talent like actors (or other crew) and what is considered the going rate for talent (and other crew).

5.  Location, location, location. How do you find free spots to film?

I know there's a dozen more questions I could be asking, and you can throw out anything you want.  Just want to get the ball rolling and see what develops and so want to hear from others who have been there and done that.

Thanks! Gary


My web site and scripts can be found here:

Gary's web site
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Dustin
Posted: August 10th, 2019, 12:09pm Report to Moderator
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I had a little go at this and didn't do very well, although I did learn a lot from it. With that in mind, you should avoid investing too much cash.

1. You can buy a decent enough camera to shoot a film for a few hundred dollars.

2. Expensive. Try to find like-minded souls prepared to work for a meal and travel expenses.

3. Good idea.

4. Expensive again. Try to find people that are desperate. Don't forget that with a short film the likelihood is you will never see a profit and it will only ever be a hole in your wallet.

5. Businesses may offer free premises for an advert. In the film I shot we got a nightclub for free... and everybody you see in there too. Friends houses. Try to write location-friendly scripts.

6. An expense often forgotten is post production. The costs here can double the budget.


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hawkeye
Posted: August 10th, 2019, 12:56pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks Dustin!


My web site and scripts can be found here:

Gary's web site
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Angry Bear
Posted: August 10th, 2019, 9:28pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from hawkeye


1.  Buying a camera for shooting purposes versus hiring a cinematographer with their own equipment.

2.  Hiring other crew like sound, lighting, editing, etc.

3.  Just doing it all yourself with an iPhone and a boom mike to start learning the ropes with a very simple script (one location, one or two actors, etc.).

4.  Finding talent like actors (or other crew) and what is considered the going rate for talent (and other crew).

5.  Location, location, location. How do you find free spots to film?

I know there's a dozen more questions I could be asking, and you can throw out anything you want.  Just want to get the ball rolling and see what develops and so want to hear from others who have been there and done that.


Hi Gary. As you probably know, I´ve made a few shorts now. I´m still an extreme amateur, but these are my thoughts.

1. When I first attempted to make my own films in 2006, I bought the hottest camera out there. I quickly learned that the technology is always changing and changing fast. There was no way I could keep up with the changes, so after just a couple of years, my equipment was becoming old and in a few more obsolete. Nowadays, I hire professional DPs. It can seem expensive, but I don´t have to worry about details and such. I tell them what I´m looking for and they do their best to deliver. I know they can shoot in 4k, 8k or whatever the latest thing is. I know they will have the right lenses and I know they will know how to light the scene. Peace of mind!

2. That should come with the DP.

3.  We´ve all seen stuff shot on an iPhone. Just know that in order for that to look like the pros, you need to buy a lot of extra stuff in order to shoot like a pro on an iPhone. Good practice for writers though, just not good enough to make you look like a serious filmmaker...

4. I live in a town where there´s NO film community whatsoever. I can barely find a cast even when paying. I work a lot with Dena though who lives in Jax which has a big film community. She can easily find crew and cast for free. That´s why we shoot all our projects there. However, free sometimes look free in the finished film too.

I refuse to ask anyone to work for free because as a writer I know we are always asked to do just that. I usually pay $100 per day minimum. Sometimes though, the whole project requires volunteers only, but that´s different.





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hawkeye
Posted: August 11th, 2019, 7:33am Report to Moderator
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Pia, thanks for the advice! It seems all a bit daunting, but I feel like I want to take this next step. Just curious what I should budget overall for cast and crew for say a five page script with only a couple of locations and 2-3 actors?  $2000? $5,000?  I just don’t have a feel for the overall cost point.

Thanks!


My web site and scripts can be found here:

Gary's web site
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GM
Posted: August 11th, 2019, 10:00am Report to Moderator
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Before you get into the budget, figure out what resources your need. This will help you in determining what the budget will be. Equipment? People? Location? Etc.

Gabe
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hawkeye
Posted: August 11th, 2019, 10:52am Report to Moderator
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Gabe, my thought is a one location (inside and outside of same location), 2-3 actors, with the following crew: camera, lighting, sound, and an editor.  Five to seven pages, mostly dialogue, so shoot in half a day.  I may be way off on this, but I was thinking $100 for each of the actors, $50-$75/hour for crew (so $300 x 3 = $900 to $1000), $250 for miscellaneous stuff on filming day, and another $250 or $350 for the editor (maybe more).  So I'm thinking about $2,000 to $2,500 for the whole kit and kaboodle.   Like I said, probably WAY off on this.


My web site and scripts can be found here:

Gary's web site
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Dustin
Posted: August 11th, 2019, 11:37am Report to Moderator
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How much are you prepared to lose? I'd work with that and make everything else fit.

2.5K seems good for a short to me.

I've had shorts shot from 1K to 17K.

You have to be tough though. Remember that everybody will be getting a credit on this. If they look at it as just 'work' then they're not right for your project. They have to love it like you do and want to be a part of it - even if that means taking paycut.

Don't forget post. You may get a great editor, but can he also colour grade and mix sound?


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Dustin
Posted: August 11th, 2019, 11:39am Report to Moderator
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Action speaks louder...

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Don't forget the score too.


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hawkeye
Posted: August 11th, 2019, 12:06pm Report to Moderator
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Dustin, all good points.  Forgot about colourizing.  Score fortunately will be handled by my daughter, who's quite the musician can do the score.

I'm good with spending the $2,500.  I know I'll never see that money again.  This is more for the experience and the fun of it all.  And if I don't do it while I'm bent on doing it, don't know if I'll ever get it done.


My web site and scripts can be found here:

Gary's web site
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Angry Bear
Posted: August 11th, 2019, 12:14pm Report to Moderator
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Unless you go the free route, I think around $2000 is a good amount. Low end for a short, but you should be able to get something decent from it.

Do not underestimate the time it takes to shoot. Half a day seems a bit optimistic IMO.

Your estimated costs are not bad, but if you use a pro DP, I think you´ll have to figure at least 1k per day. Often, they do editing too since most of them are in video production for their day jobs. You might be able to get a deal on DP and editing if you have that person do both.

One thing most people overlook but might be the most important thing, at least in the US is INSURANCE!!! There are companies out there that insure film productions and they are very reasonably priced unless you have pyrotechnics or stunts.


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eldave1
Posted: August 11th, 2019, 12:29pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from hawkeye
I'm thinking (no, seriously, I am) about going out and shooting a short film.  Might be my own script, might be someone else's.  I wanted to hear the experiences of others who maybe have attempted it or were dissuaded from doing it for one reason or another.  I suspect cost might be one of those factors, but those who have approached it, what thoughts do you have one the following:

1.  Buying a camera for shooting purposes versus hiring a cinematographer with their own equipment.

2.  Hiring other crew like sound, lighting, editing, etc.

3.  Just doing it all yourself with an iPhone and a boom mike to start learning the ropes with a very simple script (one location, one or two actors, etc.).

4.  Finding talent like actors (or other crew) and what is considered the going rate for talent (and other crew).

5.  Location, location, location. How do you find free spots to film?

I know there's a dozen more questions I could be asking, and you can throw out anything you want.  Just want to get the ball rolling and see what develops and so want to hear from others who have been there and done that.

Thanks! Gary


Just my opinion.

Not something I would do UNLESS - I was going to (a) go into the business of shooting films or (b) start the on the road of being a devout hobbyist.

There are places on the internet where you can hire free-lancers to shoot for you. Here's a good blog post:

https://vimeo.com/blog/post/how-to-find-and-hire-a-film-crew-when-you-re-on-a/

Just seems to be that there is a particular expertise in producing/shooting films that is expensive to acquire from an equipment and training perspective. Why not act as the producer and hire the talent you need for filming, editing, etc.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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GM
Posted: August 11th, 2019, 1:30pm Report to Moderator
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Alright. Now like a screenplay, time for revisions lol. Find out if you can shorten it. Can 1 person do 2 positions or can you do it like Robert Rodriguez�s ? Can you shorten the script and have it make sense?  Etc.

Gabe
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Dustin
Posted: August 11th, 2019, 1:42pm Report to Moderator
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Action speaks louder...

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I've heard a general rule in film is that 3 minutes of film equals a day's work... but it depends how complicated the script is. Even in a house, you have to account for set-up times in each individual room.

For the film we shot, it took us one and a half days because we had two separate locations. The nightclub scene doesn't really last that long, but we had a separate day for it. But even on the first day, we were filming at the house for twelve hours.


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hawkeye
Posted: August 11th, 2019, 2:39pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks guys -- really appreciate the input.

Pia, I forgot about insurance, but like you said, will be pretty inexpensive given what we're wanting to do.  No explosions (unless it's my head with how things are going)!  And good point about finding a dual DP/editor.

Dave -- so to clarify: I really want to get into directing some short films and ultimately with making my own scripts (which means I better start writing scripts worth filming).  So while I'm also acting as the exec producer, the real push on this is to direct and put my vision on film.

Gabe -- I agree, should try to get page count down, because as Dustin pointed out, if it's working out to 3 pages a day, then I really can't afford a nine page short.  Need it to be 3-5 pages at most.

With my short film "Skip", it was two locations (and the first location was only 1 minute on the screen) and only 4 pages.  With some rewrites, it went to five pages and it took two full pages of shooting, so that's a bit daunting.


My web site and scripts can be found here:

Gary's web site
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