Discussion I hate when people just turn up the vibrance nob and make the image look like as it would’ve looked before grading. Thoughts?
Discussion Apparently in Canada PAs, Production, and Art are all flatted at 16s. Anyone who actually hires another human being at 16s should be publicly humiliated and never allowed to work in film again. How the hell is this allowed?
I apologize in advance for the length of this, it’s gonna be a long one. TLDR; if you make a movie and you’re disappointed with how it turned out, do you release it anyways, or just take it as a lesson and throw it in the trash?
I will start this off by saying, I am just a baby director. As of today, I’ve got 5 short films that I directed, but two of them were co-directed so technically have only directed by myself 3 times. I’m still learning and I’ve realized a lot of my mistakes, especially through filming this particular short film I’m about to talk about two different times. I think at very least, this helped me as a learning experience, but I am veryyy hesitant to release it.
I’m curious to know what other filmmakers do when you make something and it just did not turn out like you had pictured in your head.
Story: I wrote a short film during 2020, and then ended up filming it for zero budget with a skeleton crew of three people including myself. They were all people I found on a Facebook group who were willing to do it for no budget because we all just really missed filmmaking. The actress and sound guy were awesome, but the DP totally ruined the shoot. In hindsight, a lot of that was my own fault for not vetting her better.
She had some nice stuff on her reel so I thought it would be fine, but she was near impossible to work with and the film turned out looking atrocious. She filmed with a Canon C100 which I’ve used myself a few times for interviews, but interviews are lit very well, and my movie was a horror movie and that means low lighting. She wanted to keep the crew as small as possible because of covid so insisted I did not hire a gaffer because she would do the lighting herself. I don’t really know anything about lighting but whatever she did….the movie grainy as hell. It’s 1080p and poorly lit and it honestly looks like it was filmed on a potato. On top of that, she refused to do shots how I wanted them because “that would take too much time to change the lighting” (even tho she insisted on no gaffer). As a director I should have stood up for myself and my movie more, but I also felt guilty because I wasn’t paying her and told her I wanted it to be a collaborative effort since we were all doing it as a passion project. Since these shoots I’ve decided I’m only working with budgets from now on, which I just did on my latest film, but I digress.
She also wouldn’t re-do shots for me when I didn’t like them - for example, there’s a shot of the character cracking an egg and after that I wanted one more but framed a little differently and she said because she’s vegan she didn’t feel comfortable with wasting eggs…..at this point I basically just internally rolled my eyes and was like okay whatever, I just wanted the shoot to be done. My sound guy also agreed later she was very hard to work with.
So after editing the movie together, and actually completing it, color grading and music and all…..I just couldn’t release it. I felt horrible because the actress was amazing, the music was great, everything else was good, but there was so much digital noise, the shots were super flat, there really wasn’t any camera movement, and the angles were all wrong because she refused to shoot how I wanted. So after a lot of debate in my own head, and after showing it to some friends who told me not to release it if I wasn’t proud of it, I decided to just let it go and call it a loss.
Then this past year, I decided I wanted to just film it again. The actress moved away, so I hired someone I’ve been talking about working with for a while now, and went back on Facebook to shoot this again. At this point I had still never crowdfunded in my life and didn’t think it would work, and I barely had any money of my own to put into it so once again I just did it “no” budget. I already knew the actress, the sound guy came back again, so all I had to do was find the DP. Again, I now realize passion projects only have so much potential to look great unless you’re really lucky and just know all the right people. But at the same, since everything I had made was no budget, I thought it would be fine and that was my only option (hindsight is 20/20 🥲).
I found someone who worked at a camera rental house, so she told me she could get equipment for free so I was like okay perfect. Turns out, I still had to pay insurance so I ended up paying $375 for insurance. Now I realize I could have rented a RED or an Alexa for that price since it was only a one day shoot on share grid which is still making me scream internally but anyways…..That was the first mistake I made in this shoot. The second was that this DP also said she wanted to keep the crew small and not have a gaffer, and she told me she was extremely comfortable with only using practical lighting. I thought that was a little weird, but she was so confident that I just agreed. Side note: I also have a friend who is really great and has showed me a movie he made with only practicals and it looked amazing so….I guess I thought it was a possibility but now I realize I guess IF you’re going to do that, you’d need to be wildly talented like this guy and he probably had a camera that does fantastically in low light.
So once this shoot was all done, I took it to three different colorists all of which told me, “I can’t do much with this because it’s severely underexposed”. It looked fine to me in LOG on my tiny monitor and honesty still looks fine in LOG on the computer but when they took it into resolve and looked at the levels they were basically on the floor. So I was about to give this up again and just say screw it, but then I found a really really good colorist and who said it’ll be moody looking still but I can do it. So I put $350 in again which is basically all the money I had at the time other than rent money to give him and he salvaged what I’ve got. The guy is talented and very nice for doing it for me for cheaper than normal. Now the movie is basically almost done, I’ve got sound design and two VFX shots left to do, but since I don’t have any money for those guys either, they’ve been working for like three months now. Starting to worry those may not get done now either so it may just be easier to call it quits.
Again, I know I need money to do this stuff next time so please don’t comment on that part. I’m only ever going to work on stuff that I’ve crowdfunded from now on and hopefully will be able to save more and put it in myself (I’m a waitress so money is so tight, I don’t understand how people self-fund). The last one I did I crowdfunded and it looks WORLDS better than this one. But that still brings me to the question….
Should I release this even though I’m still not proud of it? I will say, the second attempt definitely looks better than the first. But, I still don’t really like it. The camera is still very grainy in certain shots, some are very very dark and you can barely see what’s happening, etc. Now I’ve spend over $700 on this despite not really HAVING that money to spend and if I don’t release it I’ve just flushed $700 down the drain. And I’m definitely not going to try to make this particular movie again, it wasn’t worth it. I also, again, feel bad for the actress and crew if I do not release.
Also when I compare this with my latest one (not quite finished yet either), the latest one looks SO much better quality wise. Filmed on an Alexa, beautiful quality, great lighting, etc. We really had a crew for that one. I’m afraid that releasing the one in question will just look really silly when compared to the newest one.
Apologies again for the length of that, I just wanted to describe exactly why I hate it so that I can get opinions or advice from people who have gone through similar experiences.
Discussion *AMA* Hi, we’re Chinedum and Fatimah, two directors whose documentaries, ‘Business as Usual’ and ‘Fati’s Choice’ are currently showing on ARTE.tv, as part of ‘Generation Africa’. The series brings together documentaries made by filmmakers across Africa: https://www.arte.tv/en/videos/RC-022559 ..AMA!
*AMA* Hi, we’re Chinedum and Fatimah, two directors whose documentaries, ‘Business as Usual’ and ‘Fati’s Choice’ are currently showing on ARTE.tv, as part of ‘Generation Africa’. The series brings together documentaries made by filmmakers across Africa and tells stories of the hopes and dreams of young Africans up against near-unbeatable odds. Send us your filmmaking questions!
‘Fati’s Choice’ follows Fati, a young Ghanan woman who didn’t want to go to Europe but ended up following her husband to Tripoli, where she fell pregnant. It was after an experience in a migrant camp in Italy that Fati decided to be repatriated. But her decision came at a heavy price: she lost her husband and the respect of her community back home in Ghana.
ARTE.tv Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emAS7Z1NpSo
‘Business As Usual’ follows the dealings of Mauritanian fixers ferrying migrants by sea and aims to show the human cost of irregular migration in West Africa. Interrogating the role of fixers as facilitators of the voyage across the sea as well as the casualties that occur, the documentary asks if, in fact, they are any different from 16th century slave catchers.
ARTE.tv Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnPbjeXyOcs
For over a decade, Fatimah has used her expertise and skills in film production to help capture and tell compelling stories of how the lives of ordinary people and communities have been transformed through development intervention. Her journey started as a Copywriter and a Graphic Designer at Akroma Advertising and TBWAMarkcom respectively. She steadily rose through the ranks to become an On-Air Producer at Viasat Broadcasting Ghana Ltd and subsequently MNet West Africa as a Content and Marketing Executive and then to Iflix PTY as a Content Acquisition Manager respectively. She has worked as a producer/director on high-level non-governmental organization projects, which include the development and execution of Success stories for the Palladium Group International on Adolescent reproductive health, and the UNSECO-HNA Partnership for Girls' and Women's Education.
In ‘Fati’s Choice,’ her first feature directorial debut, she continues to hone her interest in telling stories about women and children, while also drawing attention to a neglected area of study: the fate of African migrants who chose to return home after finding disappointment in Europe.
She holds a BFA in Film and TV Production from the National Film and Television Institute, Ghana, and a Masters's Degree in Communication, Media, and Public Relations from the University of Leicester UK.
Chinedum Iregbu is a Nigerian filmmaker (director, producer, editor with vast experience in cinematography) and an alumnus of the Berlinale Talent Campus. He holds a certificate in Film Production from Gaston Kabore’s Imagine Film Institute in Burkina Faso, a diploma in Mass Communication from University of Jos and a Bachelor’s Degree in Film Arts from the National Film Institute in Nigeria. Before his foray into content production for TV, he directed a couple of shorts which include the award winning political piece In Dele Giwa’s Shoes, Question Mark, Dud’s Culture and Anfara which got multiple awards including Best Director, Best Videography, Best Edit and Best Score at the Nigerian Television Authority TVC Legacy Awards 2011, and also won the 2012 Emerging Filmmaker Award at the Silicon Valley African Film Festival USA. He has worked in different capacities such as Directing, Cinematography, Editing, Post Production Supervising, Quality Control Manager for notable organizations such as Soundcity TV, VillageSquare TV, Aljazeera, Goethe Institute, EbonyLife TV, M-Net, John Hopkins University, USAID, Rok TV/Iroko TV.
I ask this in search of answers about how this aspect of filmmaking has come to be, and not as a frustrated projection of what I wish it was. Why don't more directors use a pseudonym? And by pseudonym, I don't just mean a different name other from their own, like the way Norma Jeane Mortenson becomes Marilyn Monroe. I mean a purposeful stylization.
I admit I'm using the music world as a vital point of cross-reference. There, almost everybody is using some invented artist name, band name, or DJ name. I mean, there's people called Aphex Twin, Ringo Deathstarr, and Black Moth Super Rainbow, you know? I find it terribly cool. I think it also lends something useful and interesting to the way their work is created and absorbed: a layer of semi-anonymity separates one's identity from their art, at least partially. There is a new entity created that can be in itself conceptual, a pivot away from nomenclature acting as merely a document of authorship and instead an idea in itself.
Part of this extension might lend itself to the recognition and necessity of collaboration in making films. Teams commonly work together on subsequent projects. Why not come up with a group name, much like a band, to represent the different forces at play other than director? I think it would be a nice shift away from the frustrations that come with worshipping auteurs.
How might the general aversion to stylized pseudonyms be related to marketing? I guess perhaps it wouldn't inspire confidence in a financier to see that the director of the project they're bankrolling is named Captain ZigZag or something. But this doesn't seem to phase concert promoters or gallery curators, and consumers of media are certainly used to it elsewhere. Is precedent that powerful of an inhibitor? I do recognize some simple issues with doing this, like what do I call you on set if your director name is Lightning Ghost? But at least that's a hurdle that need only be jumped once.
What do you think? Although this kind of nomenclature is equally uncommon in other art forms, why specifically in filmmaking? I'd love your thoughts.
I originally came across a post in the subreddit from an Indie Filmmaker who made his short film, but didn't know where to go from there. Everyone was commenting and telling him that it was just a calling card, and to throw it on YouTube and use it as an example of what he can do.
I figured maybe other indie filmmakers can get some tid bits out of this as well.
This is how I keep making money with short films, even the old ones.
Most people are going to say that's it, put it on YouTube and use it as an example of what you can do. Don't listen to them, all the way.
For my Horror short film "Cult Affairs", we released it on YouTube in February of 2021. But not only did I just release the film, I also released multiple T-Shirts, Posters, Skate Decks, and more branded with our short film, "Cult Affairs". Then we gained public attention by making it to the front page of the newspaper in our hometown, and the surrounding towns.
In that article, one of the things they talked about was our marketing push behind this 6 minute short film, and our effort into making shirts and other merch.
I posted updates about this, and even made posts on Reddit that you can still find, and told people I was making shirts and posters, but they said that this was "doing too much".
I thought that was crazy, like why do all the hard work in making the film, only to become lazy once you release it. It made no sense to me.
But what did make sense to me, was the sales coming in. And yes, all for a 6 minute short film. So no they're not buying the film, but you're creating a universe and immersion for your consumer, so they want to buy those shirts, posters, etc.
Fast forward a year, February 2022 I realized it was time to finally stop pushing a year old short film, and start pushing a brand new project. So on the 1 Year Anniversary of "Cult Affairs", we filmed a new Horror short called, "The Dead Record".
This is where I decided to take it up a notch. I wanted to Premiere this in my hometown theatre, and sell tickets to the event! The papers and local news stations helped with the publicity.
I reached out to the theater and asked what the rental fee would be. They said $600, which worked great. Knowing they had 700 seats in the place, I was going to offer two different tickets for people to buy, a General Admission ticket for $10, and then a Limited Edition Ticket /100 (signed by the cast) for $15.
I had the Posters, Shirts, and 8x10's made for "The Dead Record", and then stocked at our merch table.
I hired a magician for $300 to perform an hour of material, and then I showed my first 3 short films, before finally premiering our newest, "The Dead Record".
All in all we packed the entire place, and hade a line running around the venue outside. We made $4,000 that one night alone. This was for a 16-minute short film.
In conclusion, what I'm trying to say, is if I never put in that extra effort, or that marketing push, it would have just been a 16-minute calling card.
Nothing wrong with that, but there's definitely ways to make money in short films.
Link to "Cult Affairs" : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBYJDWOKHxA
Link to "The Dead Record" : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11mYEpm9GFY&t=3s
So I had this idea a few days ago and I want to share it. So let’s just say a main character dies around the middle of the movie/book/tv show and now the main focus is the secondary character. Is this a good idea?
I’ve been in the film industry for over 20 years in various roles, and constantly get asked what advice I would give to someone looking to get started in film. So I figured I’d create this post where my advice can be critiqued and improved on by people smarter than me. I copy and pasted a lot of this advice from other Redditors but don’t feel like doing a damn bibliography, am shooting two tv shows on opposite sides of the country, and just am trying to help all the extras who keep asking me for help. Also, I’m very dyslexic, please understand I only know screenwriting grammar.
I'm genuinely curious to hear which filmmakers are inspiring you all. Whether it's what they say in interviews or the movies they make being inspirational to you, which filmmakers inspire you right now.
For me it's
- Martin Scorsese
- Paul Thomas Anderson
- Damien Chazelle
- Shane Black
Now I really wanna hear your answers
Discussion The film industry is entirely built off connections and networking, especially in college, and yet none of my “friends” recruit me to work on their projects
How am I supposed to gain experience if I’m always the last person on anyone’s mind? There’s always a roommate, significant other, friend from high school, or “other friend” who gets first seat above me, and I’ve been shafted from God knows how many school projects. The one project I directed through school had me recruit my own cast and crew, and it was honestly the same problem but the other way around. I kept asking people if they’re free to work on my project, but just about everyone said no, and I ended up acting in my own short among a crew of like 3 people. This is of course part of a greater problem in my life and relationships, but it’s seeping through into my filmmaking dreams. It’s really hard for me especially to make a good film with a solidly sized cast/crew without waving money in anyone’s faces, and yet there are others who don’t really have this problem
Convince me why I should, or why I shouldn’t upgrade to a Red Komodo from an A7iii. I’m open to both sides. Budget isn’t an issue, just uncertainty is. I like the Komodo - a lot. The cinematic look w/ It’s color science, global shutter, 6K footage (yes I have a computer that can handle it), 15 dynamic stops when grading compared to my 8 stop right now, etc. The number one problem i will run into is buying new lenses. I have about 9K saved but this is a HUGE investment compared to anything I’ve ever bought, It’s more then my car lol. I need opinions
Discussion What produces a better image for the price, the RED Komodo or Blackmagic 6K Pro? Now that they've both been out for a while and I feel like most of us have had the opportunity to work with these cameras it'd be great to have a thread of thoughts to point to for people who ask this in the future.
EDIT: I forgot to mention, a large reason this feels so bad is because the prize included access to industry connections and things that feel really valuable for boosting my chances at a future in film. And now it feels like I really gave up a golden opportunity.
I knew beforehand that I'd probably be unhappy with the final result, but wow, what a disaster. I know the point of entering these things is never to win, but to force yourself to be productive creatively and learn while having fun, but man, I'm so ashamed of the final submission and cringe/almost cry in embarrassment at the thought of it being screened/watched by anyone else.
As much as I appreciate my teammates, neither of them are as emotionally invested in filmmaking as me and have zero experience/ambitions in it, both mostly tagging along because they believed in me and my passion. And even though they're happy we made anything at all, I feel lower than ever (and that's even after considering I've been struggling with chronic depression for a while).
I guess I don't have any real questions, but I just needed to vent to people who might be able to relate and maybe even share their own experiences. I know this sounds overly dramatic, but this experience has been so disheartening that it's made me realize that I'm probably not cut out to be a filmmaker. Sure this is just a 48 hour project, but if I can't get over something this small, what happens when I tackle something larger...
Over the past few days I've barely been able to get out of bed, oversleeping and calling sick for work, and just rethinking my life and dreams in a state of shellshock over this. I just feel so lost and pathetic, like the one thing I thought I'd be good at has bulldozed me and exposed how delusional I was. Going in I really thought I would be able to make being "good enough" to submit, whether we won or not. I really thought I was better than this and don't know what to do with my life anymore.
Last few days I’ve been looking into AI and it keeps amazing me with al the great application. But seeing things as Dall-e and other AI generators makes me wonder for the future of film making
Is anyone scared that one day you can just put in an idea for a film and the computer wil make a film better than a human could?
This is something that keeps me up at night and scares me that soon we’ll all be out of a job. What are your thoughts on the subject?
Shot an ultra low budget mv (that I even contributed my own money into… not getting paid a cent) for this local artist for my portfolio. Artist originally wanted mv to be shot in black and white but then we completely switched directions for the vid and she was fine with colour. Then, after shooting (and me spending days of my life colouring this) she decides she wants it back in b&w. The problem is b&w just isn’t the style that I shot for and or want in my portfolio.
It’s just frustrating because this is only the second music video I’ve ever done… and I did this for free for my portfolio in hopes that I would get a piece that I actually want in my portfolio. But I also want the artist to be happy. Am I just being a brat?
So, this video was posted a few hours ago and I thought it was interesting because Matt Damon, while having totally valid points, presents a viewpoint about the Industry that totally misses the bigger picture.
The real reason why Hollywood movies are worse is that innovative technology is being developed faster than huge studios are able to modify their business models accordingly.
They could turn the industry into a multi-trillion dollar one, but they're too big to see the picture clearly enough to change how they make and distribute films.
So most of their actions are reactionary and based on a misunderstanding of the disruption they're experiencing. That's why we get cheesy tentpole reboots. It's not technology. It's the misunderstanding of the opportunities that technology presents to the industry.
This leads many to believe that technology will be the death of filmmaking and stories, but that's actually the opposite of what's about to happen. Filmmaking will explode with these new innovations. There is a fundamental silent revolution happening right now and it's truly going to change everything.
It'll be the biggest disruption Hollywood has ever faced, but fortunately, they have a ton of money and resources, so I'm sure they'll figure out a new business model. But it won't be the big studio model that we see, today.
Be interested in hearing your thoughts.
It was advice he gave to young Quentin Tarantino:
"Quentin, maybe because you’ve never been on a film set before maybe you don’t understand how it works so let me explain this to you a little bit. It’s not your job to create your vision. It’s your job to have a vision. And it’s your job to hire talented individuals, to hire talent artists who understand your vision. And you articulate it to them and then they take vision and they create it. . . . Your vision is still a two-dimensional vision. They will take the different elements of your vision and make it three-dimensional. And then you’ll get back more than you gave them. And then you’ll know more about what you’re talking about. And then the vision will get filled in. You think you have to do everything and you don’t. You don’t need to know anything about sewing to have wonderful costumes in your film, you just need to express what you want to the costume designers. You don’t need a degree in engineering to have wonderful sets in your pieces. You need to be able to describe what you want. You don’t need to know how to take a bunch of different light stands to create a different effect. That’s not your job! You don’t need to know any of that. You need to have a vision, and you need to know how to express it.
In the 90s, there was a much more carefree, colourful positive atmosphere from actors, singers, TV presenters and the press. It felt like everyone was working to "entertain" (and maybe horrible events were covered up). It wasn't so bad in the 2000s. But I think from the 2010s, I detected a real change in the Hollywood industry and entertainment like a Black cloud over the industry. A lot of young and mature actors and singers putting their whole life out there on social media, revealing everything going on with their mental health and sex life, yet behaving like we should be grateful that they're acting at all. I've never seen so many miserable, stressed out and fed up entertainers. Why do they bother?
Discussion just graduated, applied for around 200 jobs, the first to invite me to interview was the one where I put 'I do not wish to say' on all the demographic questions
... I feel sick.
I have heard from two top filmmakers that making a short film is harder than making a feature film. First time I heard it was from Christopher Nolan in an interview. Now I while I was reading Sculpting In Time by Andrey Tarkosvky I found the same statement.
I know they are not referring to amateur short films, but professional short films done right. This makes me more confident while I am working on my next short film, but at the same time leaves me wondering if they are just saying that because they could not handle to make, let's say, an Oscar worthy short film or they do really mean it.
What do you think?
Discussion Guys please! Don't post 5-10 minute short where nothing happens for 1 or 2 minutes. If I have to fast forward a short, somethings wrong
Ok I just got a chance to view another short posted a while back call CITIZEN. Its 5 minutes long but nothing happens the first full minute except watching a guy workout and drive a car . After a full minute I fast forward to around a minute and 30 seconds to see some action. And for a supposed action flick, there was only 2 action parts that lasted 30 seconds a piece, leaving 4 minutes of boredom.
Hi fellow filmmakers,
How familiar are you with the image processing AI tool DALLE-2? Please get familiar because I am absolutely hooked on what it can do for pre-production.
I have been using it to storyboard my latest screenplay. Here are some example images that I created:
A film still of a small boat travels along the glittering water in the brilliant sunshine towards a small island in the distance. A man and a woman sit together on the boat, the womans head is turned away from the man. f/2.8
I think this is only going to become even more useful to the artistically visually minded.
What do you all think about it? I work in AI, im a producer/director for a synthetic media company so i'm constantly surrounded by this stuff but what does everyone else think?
I just watched End Of The Road and Day Shift and these movies are like cartoons. I couldn't recognise if they were in real-life as the colour scheme is SO orange and teal. In End Of The Road, everything was in day-glo and neon colours. Any orange clothing was near identical to Queen Latifah's and Ludacris's skin tones. Then at night, they used purples and pinks all the time. It was like a sci-fi movie...
In the Sandman, they have this fisheye lens, which I'm sure was intentional but should have been used sparingly.
I didn't understand why until I found out that Netflix give a specific list of cameras and colour schemes that directors and crews must use to satisfy their 4K standards.
But what is wrong with letting filmmakers shot with what they want and film while converting in to 4K?