Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by Maurice, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yep, until someone has actually seen it and felt how jarring it is, there's really no way to explain it.
     
  2. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  3. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    Andrew Kramer's vids are terrific. www.videocopilot.net
    Many are free, and so are a lot of the plugins.
     
  4. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    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.
     
  5. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    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.
     
  6. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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  7. Awesome Possum

    Awesome Possum Look up here, I’m in heaven Moderator

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    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.
     
  8. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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  9. Taylirious

    Taylirious Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This and the writers thread are great. :) I want to make films but feel I am too old at 35/36. :(
     
  10. Sir Rhosis

    Sir Rhosis Commodore Commodore

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

    :)

    Sir Rhosis
     
  11. Taylirious

    Taylirious Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  12. Sir Rhosis

    Sir Rhosis Commodore Commodore

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    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.

    Sir Rhosis
     
  13. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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:

     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  14. USS Intrepid

    USS Intrepid Commodore Commodore

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    I'm 44 in a matter of days. I started dabbling 10 years ago. I'm still mediocre as hell, but getting better.
     
  15. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Mediocre is absolutely NOT the word I would use to describe your efforts, Nick. You've done some outstanding stuff over the years!
     
  16. USS Intrepid

    USS Intrepid Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks, but I really wasn't fishing for compliments. I just like to be honest, and I'm fairly self-aware of my abilities (both my strengths and weaknesses). Or at least I think I am. :)
     
  17. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    I know. More than most (if not all) of the continuing fan film writer/producers, you have (at least from my own observation) been the most receptive to feedback, considerate of your growing pains as a writer/performer, and have always struck me as being genuinely looking for ways to grow and improve. These are great, great qualities to have. I for one find it refreshing and quite nice to find that kind of perspective and I do appreciate it.
     
  18. USS Intrepid

    USS Intrepid Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks. I really wish I had more time to work at it. :)
     
  19. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    It's always the case with our productions. The more VFX, the longer it takes to complete. :(
     
  20. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maurice has it right. Put the story first. If it's a good story it will work in any genre. The special fx and setting will simply provide the framework. I would say get your story first. After that you can make decisions on what kind of sets to build, or whether to rent some of the facilities that are available. But without a script in hand, you could find yourself in a very bad situation if you start shooting and realize you don't have the right sets or location, things could go south in a hurry.
     

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