r/Filmmakers 7d ago

Discussion I will become a mainstream Hollywood director by any means necessary

305 Upvotes

It's an extremely ambitious goal I know.

A lot of people will tell me it's not possible unless you have lots of money, or family members already working in the film business. It's true that without those things it's ridiculously difficult, which is not how it should be, but that's just how it is.

That being said, there's plenty of people who broke in without those things, both in the past and present. Some of them were even strippers before breaking in to the business. It's possible, it's just not easy nor simple.

I'm gonna break in to Hollywood the unconventional way. And I'm gonna do whatever I have to, to succeed. I will build an audience online, and make a name for myself. I'm gonna do whatever I have to, to reach as large of an audience as possible.

If I learn of a fault in my plan, I'll correct it, and adapt to anything that comes my way.

I wish everyone here the best of luck. We're all here because we love filmmaking. I hope you reach your dreams.

r/Filmmakers 6d ago

Discussion From crew stories on Insta: watch the credits!

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816 Upvotes

r/Filmmakers 12d ago

Discussion PSA: please give your editors a way to SYNC YOUR SOUND

524 Upvotes

I’ve seen several threads over on r/editors that make me want to scream.

Please: take the time during pre-production to plan your POST workflow. Are you recording sync sound separately from picture? Figure out how you’re going to SYNC those together.

Does your audio person have a timecode slate and a sync box for the camera? RENT IT.

No timecode option? Get a cheap on-camera mic and record scratch sound. Your DP hates that? Too bad. RECORD SOUND ON THE CAMERA.

Neither option works? Use a slate. ALWAYS USE A SLATE. That “clap” makes all the difference when it comes time to sync. Make sure it’s in the frame when you start recording. At the very least, hold up a whiteboard or a piece of paper with the take number on it and then have talent CLAP to set a marker.

I realize not everyone is an editor, but this isn’t rocket science. If you give your editor no way to sync your footage — no timecode, no scratch audio, no slate — then you’ve handed them a huge mess to sort through by hand. There’s no magic button to sync your footage without any of these aids; they’ll have to find some loud sound or match lip flap — hours and hours of extra work.

And they should CHARGE YOU EXTRA for this. Like a lot.

So decide before you press “Record” on day 1: do you want to be hit with a huge post bill from your editor/AE that you didn’t budget for, or do you want to spend a fraction of that money to rent the proper gear?

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

r/Filmmakers Jan 04 '23 Wholesome

Discussion Dear filmmakers, please stop submitting 30-minute "short films" to festivals. Thanks, -exasperated festival programmer

664 Upvotes

When we have hundreds of shorts and features to screen, long short films (20-30+ minutes), they get watched LAST. Seriously, we use FilmFreeway (obviously) and long "shorts" are a massive pain in the ass for screeners, let alone programmers with limited slots (or blocks) to fill. Long shorts have to be unbelievably good to justify playing that instead of a handful of shorter films, and they rarely justify the long runtime.

Edit: I apologize if the tone seems overly negative, as that's not the goal. This comment thread has become a goldmine of knowledge, with many far more experienced festival directors and programmers adding invaluable insight for anyone not having success with their festival submissions.

r/Filmmakers 9d ago

Discussion Too many shots in a single dialogue scene?

109 Upvotes

I am not a filmmaker, just someone who really enjoys to watch films and wants to learn more about them.

My question is, why do so many directors nowadays prefer to have 40 back and forth shots of two people having a converstation instead of having a fixed angle and just let it happen? I feel like doing this really diminishes the acting talent, plus it becomes extremely dull and repetitive to have a different shot for the exact same frame every 5-10 seconds.

Tried to investigate more of this topic, but can't even find that about it. Hoping you guys here could help me out with your opinions and info about this.

Thank you!

r/Filmmakers Dec 13 '22

Discussion I think this might be one of the worst snake oil salesmen’s techniques I’ve ever seen. Dude is trying to sell pure fear. What are your thoughts on AI wiping the film industry out?

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425 Upvotes

r/Filmmakers 15d ago

Discussion PSA: Before buying ANY other gear, invest in a solid and sturdy tripod.

225 Upvotes

The damage is done. Tears may have been shed. It’s really worth it, and don’t skimp on it.

I am serious

Before buying anything

Buy a damn tripod.

r/Filmmakers 17d ago Gold Narwhal Salute

Discussion A transparent look into my experience in distribution with my debut feature film (and what I learned).

92 Upvotes

I’ve posted here before about making my first movie, and some of the takeaways I had from the producing and filmmaking process.

After the release of our debut feature, I wanted to reflect on and share some of what I learned and experienced in the lesser talked about realm of distribution.

First and foremost, some info about the movie:

It’s called The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord. It’s a dialogue driven, mind-bendy sort of thought experiment of a movie with a coat of horror paint. It doesn’t offer too much in the way of blood and scares. We were calling it an existential horror. Some comps we’ve gotten and were aiming for/inspired by include: Man From Earth, Faults, Sound of my Voice, K-Pax, Resolution, & Spring. Some specific twilight zone episodes snuck in there, too.

Synopsis: For their first romantic get-away as a couple, Gabby and Michael take a trip to a remote, upscale cabin in the mountains. The first night takes a terrifying turn when Michael slips into an alternate persona that claims to be God, speaking through Michael's body. He delivers the message that Gabby will die before the end of the trip and is destined for Hell--unless she will believe what Michael says is true, repent, and worship him. Is Michael a manipulative psychopath, intent on gas-lighting her? Is he mentally ill? Or could the impossible really be happening-a direct experience with her creator, offering one last life-line out of an unthinkable eternity?

It’s a two-hander, single location movie (although it’s an expansive and luxurious location). Completely independent, non-union, and self funded. The in-kind budget is somewhere around $250,000 or so if we were following no budget union minimums.

In actuality, we spent around $45,000 from start to finish between myself (writer/co-director/co-producer), my co-director/co-producer, and our girlfriends (at the time) who also served as everything from producers, script supervisors, production/line managers, props/wardrobe, among other things. We all pulled quadruple duty and then some.

We shot 123 pages (I know, I know) in 8 days with just the four of us, the two actors, and a small hired (and paid) crew consisting of a DP, 1st AC, gaffer, key grip, sound recordist, and three caterers.

In post we briefly hired an editor before deciding to edit the movie ourselves and a composer. My co-director and I did everything else.

We had no real distribution strategy. We submitted to probably more than a hundred festivals and got into about 25. None of top tier ones. We collected some best picture, best horror, best actor/actress, best screenplay, best directing, best cinematography, and other miscellaneous awards. Probably something like 60 laurels in total, which turned out to be fairly meaningless for everything but social media validation.

We sent a screener to a sort of self-distribution company called IndieRights, who charges nothing to get your movie on all the PVOD & AVOD platforms they can (if they accept you) and split revenue with you from first dollar GROSS 80/20 in the filmmakers favor. We were offered distribution there.

However, at the Prison City Film Festival, a sales agent had missed our movie but heard of its multiple awards and found my contact info. He reached out and asked for a screener, which I provided. A few days later he offered to represent our movie for $3,500 and 5% of net profits. After some deliberation, we decided that we thought we had something special, and a bigger distributor might be on the table to help us make more of a splash. The sales agent had repped movies and filmmakers we were familiar with and even admired. We decided to take the gamble with the sales agent.

It took a few months, and a TON of rejection, but we got one offer after about 25 no’s. This was with Random Media—the company who did Escape from Tomorrow—who would be working with (uncredited) 1091. We were impressed with the top brass at Random’s credentials and the partnership at 1091. We had a zoom with them that showed us they had really “gotten” and enjoyed our movie.

They warned us the movie wasn’t going to make us rich, but they’d get it out there to an audience, and it might get us the start of our careers. They estimated our ceiling was around $100,000. We were thrilled. Our sales agent negotiated better terms to ultimately pay for himself.

No minimum guarantee, of course, but no out of pocket expenses. We would owe about $14,500 to Random to recoup expenses (now regardless of what they actually spend, they get 1st dollar until that amount is recovered), then we would split 70/30 in our favor, minus an additional 5% to the sales agent. They had initially asked for the first $30,000 and a 60/40 split.

Keep in mind that the distributor takes their 30% first, and pays themselves back their $14,500 exclusively from our 70%. So we don’t start seeing any money at $14,501. We get the rights back in 7 years.

Next were all the deliverables. It took us about a month and a half to compile and deliver them, as well as go back and forth on things like the poster and trailer. My partner created the poster with tons of feedback from Random. We cut the trailer.

It took about 6 months from then to get our release date—approximately 9 months from the time we signed our contract. At our level, the distributor doesn’t do much in the way of marketing. What they did exceptionally well was get us some decent placement, even for pre-ordering and submitting our movie to be reviewed.

We were banking on our star’s somewhat famous father, with millions of followers on social media, pushing us out to his fans. And he did. We trended on iTunes preorders for a couple of days.

Additionally, the last money we personally spent was towards some advertising. We cut together 5-30 second trailers and did a few modest campaigns on Facebook, Reddit, twitter, Google, TikTok, and YouTube. About $500 or so in total. We reached a few hundred thousand. We set up a website where we collected emails from people who wanted to be notified when the movie was available. We got a little over 200 in total.

We released on December 28th 2021, and every day of December we made a different social media post. Trailers, profiles, trivia, behind the scenes, stills, etc.

I also personally submitted our movie to 50 or so reviewers for consideration. Between Random and myself, 10 reviews came in. 9 positive, one abysmal. We shared the good ones. Here are some examples:

And here’s the bad one from All Horror for fairness

We encouraged people who had reached out after seeing us at festivals to review us on IMDb. We held a private vanity screening for the cast and crew, all of our friends and family, and the local community who were curious. We rented a theater for $600 and had about 250 people there. We encouraged the audience to also review us. We debuted with a 9 point something on IMDb.

Random got us on iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, Microsoft, VUDU, and hooked up with Made to Order DVDs. We charted in the top 100 horror dvd sales on Amazon during preorder and hovered in the top thousand for a few weeks.

Two days before we released, our movie showed up multiple pirating sites. Nothing to be done about that. We had tens of thousands of views and downloads there in those days. Hundreds of thousands in the first month of release. We hoped that was indicative of some buzz and incoming success. We were getting some engagement, curiosity, and excitement on social media.

Between our ads and post, we had nearly half a million eyes, and maybe 30,000 click throughs to the various places to preorder, rent, and buy. We had about 35k views on our main trailer on YouTube. Another combined 15k on other platforms.

The day after we released the general public started reviewing us. We got about 200 IMDb reviews in a week. There were a lot of people who absolutely loved it, understood it, called it one of their all time favorites or among their favorites of the year. But we got at least an equal share of 1 star reviews. Horror fans were disappointed with the horror-baiting and lack of scares and blood. Atheists thought we were secretly an evangelical movie with an agenda. Religious people thought we were secretly atheists mocking them.

Now, it was our intentional to just deliver something engaging and thought provoking like Man from Earth. Since I have a background in theology from childhood exposure and then later as an anthropological course of study, I felt equipped to use religion as our window dressing to do this. It was my aim to treat the subject on its own level, and I went through great lengths to research and engage with the worldview seriously and thoughtfully.

Because of this, a great portion of our audience seemed to think the only people who would either be able to or interested in doing so are satanic corrupters or Jesus freak proselytizers. And unfortunately, none of the people sympathetic to either camp thought we were on their side, and vocalized as much.

We watched our IMDb rating plummet from an unsustainable 9 point something to a 1 point something, until it evened out at what I do feel is an unrepresentative 2.9, where it stands currently.

Now, we did get some fair criticism. The movie has about 10-15 minutes of fat on it, which we were aware of in editing. Our hubris and shooting schedule caused us to shoot a loooooot of oners without coverage or alternates, and that left us with a few areas we felt were repetitive or badly paced and no options to trim or cut. We learned to ALWAYS GET COVERAGE, even if just insert shots. We shot in 8K and delivered in 4K, so we were able to cheat wides for close ups here and there and cut around ourselves, but not enough to tighten up the pacing to where we wanted it.

Nevertheless, I was still happy because anyone who seemed to be on the wavelength we were on as creatives emphatically adored the movie. That was enough validation for me that we had made something of value, even for a niche audience. And we hoped we still made some money off of those who hate watched us.

I had a Google alert set up for us and the movie. In the first few weeks a handful of low engagement but positive posts popped up on Reddit and twitter. We got invited and appeared on a handful of podcasts.

We were nominated for Film Threat’s annual indie awards, AwardThis!, and we ended up winning best indie horror, beating out Psycho Goreman and Agnes. We were feeling extremely hopeful and positive.

After that award, discussion of the movie dropped off.

It took us eight months to get numbers from our distributor. Despite all the engagement and reach and click throughs, I don’t think we broke a thousand rentals/sales. Our trending on iTunes amounted to 200 or so sales. Our trending dvd amounted to about 350 sales. Only about 25% of our mailing list clicked through to the link to rent/buy/pre-order.

The total profit gross after the various platforms’ cuts was less than $1,500. A far cry from the $14,500 we owed random and the nearly $20,000 we’d need to see any money to start recouping our life savings.

It occurred to us that if we’d gone with IndieRights at the beginning, we’d have seen at least a few thousand dollars. But at the same time, without Random’s help getting reviews and decent placement, the number of views might have been reduced enough to make for a negligible profit.

Despite our hundreds of thousands of pirated views and downloads, translated and subtitled into something like a dozen languages (which we were actually quite happy about just having that many eyes on our project) our movie quickly faded into zero discussion across the internet.

A few months after our release we were available for free on the ad-supported platform Tubi.

Our second statement from our distributor showed another $300-$400 gain, and the third was under $100. Almost entirely from Tubi.

I hope one day the movie will be discovered by an audience who connects with it, but for now we are comfortable with the idea that this may have just been a very expensive calling card for future work and, essentially, our film school.

Our phone never rang with offers or interest in our next project, but we are now about to enter the phase of attempting to use our movie to try and set up our next project. Something we are new to, so if anyone has any advice here, it’s much appreciated.

We were limited by ignorance and budget, but here are some things we learned for the future:

  • Depending on the size and scale of your movie, a distributor may not be able to realistically offer much advantage over self-distribution. At least financially.

  • Distribution ≠ marketing. This falls on the filmmaker at this level. We must absolutely have a plan and budget for marketing from the beginning. Honestly, we should have started marketing from the beginning. Before pre-production.

  • While some indie movies get to be in the right place at the right time and break out, the vast majority of us will not be as lucky. The amount of paying eyes on a project you need to break even, even at our budget, is so much higher than you’d anticipate. It’s very hard for unknown individuals without significant money spent in advertising to make enough noise to attract those eyes. If at all possible, it is critical to try and secure any level of known talent—even for just a scene or two with a one day shoot—if you want your movie to gain notoriety, turn a profit, and get the attention of selection committees at important festivals.

  • It’s important, even when you’re a one or two man band making a movie, to keep a paper trail organized and an organized digital archive of everything relevant. Our distributors wanted chain of title for everything, establishing and proving ownership of all copyrights. They wanted all our agreements/contracts. We even had to write something up after the fact with our donated location.

  • Even though it’s very hard to finish a feature on your own dime, even harder to secure distribution, and harder still to be positively reviewed and generate social media engagement—none of that is the finish line or indicative of success. Marketing can absolutely not be overlooked, sidelined, half assed, or assumed to happen from another party or organically. We spent all our money on what’s on screen, and after bleeding ourselves dry, everything else we could spare on opportunities such as festivals and our sales agent. We had nothing left when it came time to advertise, and we suffered in obscurity for that.

  • Although I’m not sure we could have made this movie as true to our vision otherwise, it may have been wiser not to come onto the scene with such divisive subject matter that most people have deeply held emotions about and responses to. Without having a body of work to contextualize us and our film, a lot of people seem to have misunderstood where we were coming from and felt alienated by the movie as a result.

  • It also might have benefitted us to make use of more traditional aspects of the horror genre to avoid disappointing and being rejected by a large part of the horror community.

I hope this helps other first time filmmakers avoid that particular pitfall, and that some of the transparency helps prepare and educate people even further removed from this stage of the process than we are/were to the realities of it.

Our movie is still on Tubi for free if anyone would like to check it out, support us, or hate watch! And we’re still on all the PVOD platforms & DVD if anyone is so inclined.

Keep making stuff, and good luck out there!

r/Filmmakers Nov 27 '22 Wholesome Timeless Beauty

Discussion I made a movie about a serial killer and the actor is wanted for murder

1.5k Upvotes

The title says it all, and honestly I don’t know what to do about it. I just directed a slasher film, and the actor who plays the killer is currently wanted for disposing a dead body. Several festivals who were going to screen the film have pulled it completely, and I really don’t want all of the money and hard work of the other cast and crew to be flushed down the drain.

I don’t blame the festivals for pulling the film either. I understand where they’re coming from, and it would be totally insensitive of me to take advantage of a shitty situation like this for publicity. And as of now, I have no plans to release the movie anytime soon.

A lot of cast members are traumatized from this situation because they had to rehearse with this dude, where he’d act out scenes stabbing them and trying to kill them.

As the director I feel an obligation to make sure everyone is doing alright, but I can’t help feeling guilty for casting someone that’s capable of hurting people like this. And as more information is released to the public, we’re expecting press to start reaching out soon.

I’ve reached out to my attorney and others who have more experience in the film industry for advice, because honestly I have no idea what the next step is. And I’m worried that not only will I never get hired again, but the suspect’s co-stars will be affected by this negative press and resulting in hurting their careers.

Does anyone have any advice? Thanks.

Edit: I probably should have mentioned this, but the actor is literally the main character of the movie and his face is in over an hour of footage, out of the hour and a half runtime. Simply re-filming his scenes is basically impossible.

UPDATE: Since it’s public information now, and I’ve been getting an influx of messages from a bunch of people asking for details. So here’s an article about the case: https://www.kvue.com/amp/article/news/crime/justin-haden-missing-gavin-roberts-arrest/269-3ce73754-1c64-450a-8f8b-c8bd58d43cbe

UPDATE 2: He recently confessed to the murder in an affidavit. Here's another article about it: https://www.statesman.com/story/news/local/2022/12/15/justin-haden-murder-gavin-roberts-charged-after-confessing-to-killing/69729919007/

r/Filmmakers Dec 14 '22

Discussion On the subject of snake oil salesmen, this guy is right up there as well. I truly feel for beginner filmmakers that get stitched up by these guys.

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655 Upvotes

r/Filmmakers Dec 25 '22 Duck Dance

Discussion I made a terrible $20,000 short for national TV...

343 Upvotes

Some background on me: I'm 24, didn't go to film school, and found my way into the industry through music videos and no-budget shorts (under $1000). I got this opportunity because an exec at the TV studio had seen a handful of my short films on the festival circuit (one did very well and somehow found its way into some big-name international festivals) and asked if I would like to join a cohort of other young filmmakers to make a series of 15-minute films for national broadcast.

This is where things begin to go wrong, I already had a pretty solid but simple script ready to go - it could've probably been made on a budget of $5000 but I figured doing it with $20K would make it look so much better and would also make my first shoot with a professional tv crew go pretty smoothly. The exec wasn't too happy with this, he kept saying words like 'genre' and 'ambition' in the script review, so, I went away and turned this pretty domestic idea into a hyper-stylised high-concept genre film. Looking back, it probably would never have been possible to make that script on anything less than $100K but I wanted to impress the exec with my 'ambitious vision' more than listen to my common sense.

Once a production company was hired to produce these for TV, they totally panicked when they saw my script and asked if they could 'budget assess' the script - saying yes to this was the second mistake I made. They pretty much took out all of the expositional scenes as they were the most expensive and I was left with a script that was filled with a lot of crazy but no context as to why the crazy was happening. I didn't push back as the exec had already signed off on the producer's edits and I had it in my head that, if I just behaved, I'd be able to do more things with this TV studio. I even agreed to a two-day shoot despite knowing, because of location changes, this could only really be done in three at the very least.

The actual shoot was a nightmare, I was way, way, way out of my depth trying to figure my way around shooting stunts, special effects, and even how to talk to actors about more abstract things within the script. I can hold my hands up and say that I totally lost control, we ran into so many major, major problems; we had to cut around 30% of the shot list, our lead kept forgetting her lines, lights exploded it was total madness. In the end, we came away with an unfinished film that has no real plot or character arcs anymore - the rushes were, to put it lightly, embarrassing.

We tried to salvage what we could in post but the damage was already done, it made no sense and adr couldn't save us; the only half–good thing about it was that it doesn't look terrible. I tried to get it pulled from broadcast but was essentially told to stfu and get on with it by the exec I was trying too hard to please. Which, to be honest, is fair enough.

The online just wrapped yesterday and I've been sitting and reflecting on my experience. Overall, I feel pretty stupid - I had a good simple script and a clear plan but let my ego take over and got lost in the slippery world of impressing executives and TV studios instead of doing something I know I can do. I know there's a lesson in here somewhere and I know my best work isn't going to be created in my early 20s but this was still the biggest opportunity of my life and I blew it.

When it screens next year, I'll be a bit of a laughingstock but, weirdly, I feel so much more prepared for the next one. I'm terrified I've destroyed my career this early on but, as it is only a short film, I doubt anybody would truly care. I'm not quite sure what I do now, my career seemed to be going from strength to strength but this is certainly going to bring it to a bit of a grinding halt when it comes to getting funding again for another short. Is there a way to convince people I'm not that terrible?

Anyway, Merry Christmas! haha

TL;DR: Gave in to exec peer pressure and was way too ambitious with my short film which pretty much led to me tanking the biggest opportunity of my life.

r/Filmmakers Dec 31 '22

Discussion To or not to micromanage on set?

139 Upvotes

Directed a short film recently and had a bad experience of some of the shots from my DoP being out of focus. I felt it was pretty unprofessional of someone I paid quite a bit of money for as his portfolio was really good. Before this I’d never worked with him, literally just found him online. I’m editing the whole thing, and the shots I want are so out of focus. On set I would want to look at the shots, and he’d often just “tut” when he had to play back. This then got me a bit insecure/uncomfortable and I just stopped asking. I wish I now was a bit more ruthless and micromanaged the hell out of him. How do fellow directors manage their set?

Edit: Wow, I’m very appreciative of all the feedback and discussion the post has created. So much feedback to take on board, from how to pick the correct crew to confidence levels as a director. Thank you!

r/Filmmakers 10d ago

Discussion Why do producers or studios reveal budgets of blockbusters, but conceal genre movie/foreign movie budgets?

34 Upvotes

Studios and producers are happy to allow trade and consumer media to state the budgets of films that cost $50m, $100m, $150m, $200m, $250+m all the way to $350m like with Avatar 2 and The Avengers 2, but when it comes to productions under $10m it's very hard to find out online. It's almost like they're embarrassed. And then sometimes if you do, there's a discrepancy between figures. When you see a film you suspect is under $10m, only the box office is published. Why is this? I'm looking for budgets of british independent films in the last decade which are always hard to find. So far I'm guessing the average cost of £5m.

r/Filmmakers Jan 01 '23

Discussion Film Production Slang From Different Regions & Eras

78 Upvotes

A few months ago, I was the DP on a low-budget horror film and, being 55, I was like some weird alien creature running the camera dept. I think my 1st AC was 32 and she was "old." I admit, I kinda leaned into it, like when someone mentioned Billie Eilish I said, "Who's he?"

But none of them had ever worked with film at all, and I found it interesting the things they had genuinely never heard. At one point, the 2nd came to swap a card. He dropped a card as he was walking away, and without thinking, I said, "Careful. You'll fog it," which is one of my favorite camera dept. dad jokes.

Flatline. Nothing. No clue what I was talking about. I asked my team if they had any idea what bags and cores were, and none of them knew. It got me thinking about terminology that's fallen out of use that was once ubiquitous, or is only used in certain parts of the country.

So terms like flashing, fogging, thin neg, dense neg... those are gone. I think soon very few people in electric will know what it means to drop a single or a double. Us old farts still call an electrician a juicer. People started calling an eye light a catch light about three years ago, and here I am still calling it an Obie.

Inkies, minis, tweenies, in-betweenines, babies, juniors, deuces, brutes, blondes, jokers, all that is going away soon. I worked with a very young gaffer on a project just before Christmas and asked him what kind of shmutz he had for the SkyPanel. Had to explain, lost a little faith in humanity.

There are a whole slew of things we're no longer allowed to say like mother/daughter, or calling a shorty stand a Gary.

Then there are a ton of curious regionalisms. Everyone knows C-47 (I prefer the Darryl Zanuck version of the origin story myself), but apparently, we only call them bullets west of the Rockies. In New York they say gobo arm, and hardly anyone in L.A. bothers with anything more complicated than "C-stand arm." Our European cousins insist a DP is a DoP. A 2nd AC is a clapper/loader. An electrician is a spark.

What else? Call 'em out.

r/Filmmakers 11d ago

Discussion I feel more technically skilled than creatively skilled

19 Upvotes

So for the past year or so, I've been working nonstop on the technical aspects of filmmaking as the information is entertaining to me. The way camera sensors work and different color spaces always get me to go out and film. But when it comes to actually telling stories and creating creative content, Im just stumped. Only a few of my work is creative(working with others, never by myself), and most of the things I make just lack soul and are more focused on informing rather then telling an entertaining story (I make news segments for my High school video announcements). Granted I'm only 18, but I feel like I'm missing a core part of filmmaking that could push my work to the next level if I had it.

Does anyone else just get sucked into the thstorytellinge camera gear world and forget about the story telling part?

TLDR: I feel I'm more technically skilled then creatively skilled and have trouble telling a story

r/Filmmakers 28d ago

Discussion What is your greatest filmmaking failure?

25 Upvotes

What is your lowest point as a filmmaker?

Mine is the from first movie I ever made. During the premiere I remember hearing a girl in the lobby tell her friend “this is the worst movie I’ve seen in my life”. Ever since then I’ve used it as a motivator to never make something people feel that way about again.

What’s your biggest filmmaking failure?

r/Filmmakers 1d ago

Discussion What kind of films do you like to make?

10 Upvotes

Funny films, dark films, emotional films, scary films, etc?

I'm curious.

r/Filmmakers 1d ago

Discussion Artgrid rejected my application to become one of their filmmakers but it seems they haven't viewed my videos?

15 Upvotes

Hi,

So I recently applied to become an Artgrid Filmmaker and I wanted to start uploading footage that was just collecting dust on my HDD and SSDs.

I rounded up 6 videos and uploaded them to YouTube. I used YouTube, because Google Drive player doesn't seem to display 4K footage and it's capped at 720p unless you download the file and Vimeo has a limit of 500 mb/ per week (my footage is 1.5 GB).

Anyway, I just received a letter (canned-response) from them informing me that I've been rejected. That's fine, I'm a big boy, I can take it but what I find odd is that I can see the traffic on the videos and it hasn't moved since I last opened them. I don't think that there's any way to get around the view counter on the videos, even if you use some sort of an AI...automatic...server side...thingamajig.

Anyway, any chance anyone on here is an Artgrid filmmaker and do you have any tips on how to rock the submission? Also any additional information on what I've mentioned would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

r/Filmmakers Jan 04 '23

Discussion Is it okay to make movies while still being not that film literate?

62 Upvotes

Hi guys! I'm a young aspiring filmmaker in the middle of pre-production for a short film. It's a CG+ live-action movie intended to be a pilot for a bigger feature. It is an action comedy that parodies treasure hunting genre.

Since I'm making 80% of it myself, I'm making everything - from the screenplay, storyboards, and music to all the CG locations (i came from a VFX background), concept arts and set dressing used.

It's a dream project I've been working on for a couple of years. I attached a couple of work-in-progress stuff if someone's interested.

https://preview.redd.it/s1e4ypz9b2aa1.png?width=1007&format=png&auto=webp&v=enabled&s=aed0231530cdc07b87f8e276e4c5c018366a802c

But lately, I've had this obsessive thought living in my head - is it artistically acceptable to make movies when you yourself are not that film literate?

By "film literate" I mean having a mental visual library from experiencing a lot of movies from varied genres/ages. To be able to recognize what each movie is influenced by.

I've seen a lot of movies, sure, but most of them lately have been the popular ones - the ones that are usually on the bigger side of box office and budgets.

That's actually the stuff I'm genuinely most inspired by and the one I want to be making myself, but I sometimes feel like that because I made most of the work without being film literate, it will suffer artistically.

Did someone experience that thought when they started to make something on their own? Is it even okay to develop your taste WHILE you're on your lifetime journey?

I searched through the popular director's biographies and I may be mistaken but I noticed that most of them were pretty film literate by their 20s. After all, your taste is most influenced by the stuff you enjoy before that age.

My main territory of inspiration was always big-budget spectacles/videogames/animation (since I'm a VFX guy, it's even more obvious ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) )

I may also add the fact that I'm really into film literature and essays, it's not like I'm a blank slate. I know how to use visual storytelling language. It's just that I missed on a lot of golden age/movie brats stuff - and I feel like it's too late for the movie I'm making, considering that the screenplay is finished and I feel satisfied with it (i gave it to 3 of my friends who's into filmmaking and they had fun while reading it).

CG storyboards for live action stuff

r/Filmmakers 26d ago

Discussion I don’t even begin to know where to look for help

49 Upvotes

I’m 24f and have been writing scripts for the past 5-6 years. Within the last year I’ve decided to peruse directing and so far I’ve got three credits as a PA under my belt. I’ve got a Bmpcc 4K, a lumix g7, a couple of good key lights, and I just want to start filming! The only problem is I just don’t know where to start, most of my script would require a larger budget than what I currently have access to. I found a script on simply scripts. 8 pages (thriller) It’s simple enough for me to shoot it with just two actors and one location but I’m still waiting back to get permission from the writer.

I never like to complain because I quite literally chose this for myself but I feel like I need help and I don’t know where to start looking for it, there is just so much information online that just being told to look it up online, does nothing but causes analysis paralysis. What I need is maybe a mentor. And a community of other filmmakers/creatives. I’m in the Houston area and it just seems like those who I could benefit to learn from are so busy, they wouldn’t have the bandwidth to be able to guide me.

Edit* I have also signed up for classes at the local community college this semester. I’m taking 1. Screenwriting for features,shorts, and documentaries 2. Directing for film and video 3. Script analysis

r/Filmmakers Dec 03 '22

Discussion I’ve been watching some Hallmark-type Christmas movies this year and my main takeaway so far is that by “lighting” they mean “just turn on all the lights.”

400 Upvotes

I assume this is because they are churned out so quickly they can’t be arsed to waste time on any “artistic” lighting, yes?

r/Filmmakers 11d ago

Discussion can lighting of a film be done in post

0 Upvotes

Shooting my first short film on a shoe budget with minimal equipment can color grading and lighting be fix in post edits ???

r/Filmmakers 16d ago

Discussion Hollywood Vs. Underground Filmmakers

0 Upvotes

The demand for small underground films is rising and Hollywood should be worried.

I think the days of Hollywood domination are numbered, as audiences are waking up to the limitations of mainstream cinema and seeking out alternative forms of storytelling. Independent and underground films offer a bold and authentic voice that Hollywood can't match. I'm sick of seeing the same actors play the same roles. I'm sick of seeing the same thing regurgitated over and over just to satisfy the money making machine. I'm sick of walking out a movie theater and thinking "Did I just pay for that?"

The rise of streaming platforms has also made it easier for audiences to discover and watch underground films, and it's giving filmmakers the freedom to tell stories that Hollywood studios would never touch. Visually speaking I think we are going to see big things happening in the Underground world. Crowds are sick of seeing polished films with endless CGI and obvious green screen use. People want something real.

soon we are going to see some changes come about that will disrupt the current narrative on how we watch and what we watch.

Does anyone else feel like this?

r/Filmmakers Jan 03 '23

Discussion What’s something that you can do everyday to improve your filmmaking skills?

29 Upvotes

Trying to start the new year off right and create some good habits while learning and increasing my skill set. Any suggestions?

r/Filmmakers Dec 26 '22

Discussion Reality check on making a self-financed feature in 2023

45 Upvotes

I am a commercial director/DP with about 8 years in the biz and a few short films under the belt. I have about 25K (after many years of sacrifice and saving), and a ready-to-shoot script that will be quite challenging re: some stunt requirements but still modest re: characters, crew size, and locations. I am eager to film in 2023, but about once a week I think about how else I could more “wisely” spend my time and money (adding to investments, writing more scripts, pitching to investors instead of eating up my own cash, etc.). But I am not getting any younger and I know every filmmaker must pay their dues.

Still, at this budget level, I am concerned the feature will just be another addition to the pile of “no budget” features that no one cares about. My hope with the film would be to get into a decent festival and attract financing/support for Feature 2 at a slightly higher budget level (like six figures perhaps). Worst case scenario I will attempt to self-distribute.

Any insights from folks who have already gone the self-financed feature route?