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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Fandom > Fan Productions

Fan Productions Creating our own Trek canon!

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Old November 20 2013, 04:45 AM   #301
MikeH92467
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Yep, until someone has actually seen it and felt how jarring it is, there's really no way to explain it.
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Old November 20 2013, 05:00 AM   #302
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

So, a question for any fan filmmakers who DO read this:

What books or periodicals or websites have you read to help you in your filmmaking? I'm curious what references people use, or if they're mostly winging it.
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Old November 20 2013, 05:14 AM   #303
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Andrew Kramer's vids are terrific. www.videocopilot.net
Many are free, and so are a lot of the plugins.
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Old November 20 2013, 05:27 AM   #304
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

For very basic, beginner purposes, I found Robert Rodriguez book, Rebel without a Crew, (which details the entire process he went through making his first feature film, El Mariachi enormously helpful when I first read it 12 years ago.

Like I said, that's more for beginners though. It's not altogether sophisticated or advocating any elegant way of filmmaking but if you're running and gunning it, it gives you enough to go on to do your own projects. Worth a read at the very least.

Other helpful books I've read over the years:

What They Don't Teach You at Film School by Camille Landau and Tiare White.

The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap by Stu Maschwitz. Full of practical ways to achieve believeable effects, and other tidbits to make your low-budget film look a lot more expensive and professional.

The Director's Journey: The Creative Collaboration Between Directors, Writers & Actors by Mark W. Travis. This one covers everything from scripts, actors, character arcs, production, and dealing with the myriad of personalities on a crew you will encounter whilst directing your picture. Read this in college during a production course and found it invaluable.

Film History: An Introduction by Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell. This one is more long in tooth for most of you but I find that reconnecting with the history of cinema and of various films over the year specifically and how they affected/changed/improved the art/process of the business of filmmaking can be incredibly insightful and inspiring.

Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles & Ted Orland. Required reading for me in a college screenwriting course, it stands today as one of the best books (if not my favorite) I've ever read on the process of not simply of filmmaking or writing but of creating art. I can't recommend this one enough.

The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers. Really, this is just a transcript of Moyers' Power of Myth interviews with Campbell but as a writer is likewise an invaluable reference tool, equally informative and inspirational.

I'll have to dig through my library later to find the others I use the most but this is a good start, I think.
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Old November 21 2013, 12:05 AM   #305
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Another great title (and which I am reading right now) is The Big Picture: Money and Power in Hollywood by Edward Jay Epstein.

It's an excellent look at Hollywood today (or, fairly recently) and everything that goes on in filmmaking, from marketing, scripting, selling, actors, the history of WHY everything is done the way it's done, and includes some interesting tidbits about movies along the way.
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Old November 21 2013, 12:12 AM   #306
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Here's a fun little film about making films, using cooking as a visual metaphor.
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Old November 22 2013, 03:18 AM   #307
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Thanks for the information in this thread. I'm working on my own fan production, which is BSG inspired with a heavy dose of MST3K. So far I've only written the scripts and started the design and prop work. But I hope to get some filming started soon since some of it doesn't require a set and my lead is a Cylon puppet.
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Old December 14 2013, 01:35 AM   #308
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Cross posting this here as well.

An article by Timothy Cooper about making short films and how to make them amazing:

7 Simple Secrets for Making an Outstanding Short Film
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Old January 13 2014, 01:15 AM   #309
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

This and the writers thread are great. I want to make films but feel I am too old at 35/36.
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Old January 13 2014, 01:17 AM   #310
Sir Rhosis
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

WTF? I'll be 50 in 13 days. My "boss" at Potemkin is something like 52/3. You're a youngster!



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Old January 13 2014, 01:46 AM   #311
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

I don't know how long you have been doing it but it seems like a huge struggle for someone who isn't like 20 to just jump into? This is my own personal fear and doubt I know and people do amazing things that are new to them at older ages. I just wish it didn't feel impossible for me.

ETA: I have a handful of stories I would love to tell via film but it just seems like a fantasy at this point.
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Old January 13 2014, 03:47 AM   #312
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Well, the fact that I can't remember my own birthday (it's actually 16 days from now, not 13!) may go to show that I'm too old to be doing much of anything!

Honestly, if any of the filmmakers (and I only write, I don't do any of the "heavy lifting" of producing) who participate on here check in, I would wager they're your age or older, for the most part.

I'm not one to spout too many clichés, and I do believe that there are things in life that one simply is too old for, but this is not one of them.

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Old January 13 2014, 04:01 AM   #313
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

I made little crap films in high school and then didn't try to make a "real" film against until I was 39-40, and I botched that up but good, but I hope I've become a passable filmmaker in the intervening decade.

I wrote this in another thread a while back, to a wanna-be filmmaker:

Maurice wrote: View Post
Here's what I recommend to wanna be filmmakers.
  1. Look to see if there's a 48 Hour Film Project or similar contest in your area, and then either join a team or form a team and go out there and make a movie in two days or whatnot. The actual experience of making a film, even a 4 minute short, will give you a much better sense of what it takes to mount an actual production than just about anything. You get to see all aspects of how a film gets made (write, shoot, edit, deliver) which is invaluable experience.
  2. Read some actual teleplays and screenplays but NOT Star Trek or science fiction ones. You'll learn more about screenwriting when you're not looking at something familiar.
  3. If you write a Trek Fanfilm, try to do one with next to ZERO visual effects. The effects frequently become a bottleneck that keeps films in post for lengthy periods or forever. If you can get it all in camera (except maybe some ship flybys) then you actually have a film even if your effects pipeline falls apart.
  4. Partner with someone who has the skills you don't.

Below are some blog entries from 2008 in which I documented the process of making my first completed live action short subject for a 48 Hour Film Project. Maybe you'll find it instructive or terrifying or something.
Part 1: GO! And overnight screenwriting
Part 2: The shooting day
Part 3: Post & Across the Finish Line
Part 4: On the big screen (the screening)
Maurice wrote: View Post
I'm certainly not trying to scare you off filmmaking. Rather, I'm trying to give you a sense that it's probably not at all what you're thinking it really is. Fan filmmakers typically aim too high from the get go, and their plans are frequently impractical.

This is one reason I recommend things like 48HFP, as they are great opportunities to get experience.

If you have a script, I have a crazy no-budget idea for you: learn by doing. In short get a camera...and it can be ANY camera—even an iPhone or whatnot—get some friends or any actors you can find and actually go shoot the script...without makeup, props, lights, sets, anything. Then just edit it together (there're a fair number of free editing software packages). Sure, it won't look or sound pretty, but what you'll have done is create the equivalent of pre-vis for the whole film. Think of it as a rehearsal. You'll learn tons just from doing that, and it will cost you not much more than time.

That experience will change the way you think about writing and making movies, period. You'll change the way you write scripts. And if you don't love the process, you might realize it's not for you.

Now, on the positive side, you can sorta go from 0 to competence in short order. I'll use myself as an example. Although I made goofy little 8mm films in high school and did computer animation in the 80s and 90s, my practical experience with making movies was really nada. In 2003 I wrote and directed a sci-fi short subject, since abandoned, where my reach exceeded my grasp. In 2007 I helped make a 48HFP film (as writer), and in 2008 directed my own 48HFP film...the first film I completed. The next year for the 48HFP I made this short subject (link), which tied for Runner Up for Best Film and won for Best Costumes and Best Sound Design, which just goes to show it's possible to learn to make something passable in a fairly short time if you're serious about doing good work.
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Last edited by Maurice; January 14 2014 at 12:18 AM.
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Old January 13 2014, 09:09 AM   #314
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

I'm 44 in a matter of days. I started dabbling 10 years ago. I'm still mediocre as hell, but getting better.
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Old January 13 2014, 09:55 AM   #315
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

USS Intrepid wrote: View Post
I'm 44 in a matter of days. I started dabbling 10 years ago. I'm still mediocre as hell, but getting better.
Mediocre is absolutely NOT the word I would use to describe your efforts, Nick. You've done some outstanding stuff over the years!
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