Your own movie? Has anyone made one?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Chris PC, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. Eric-S

    Eric-S Stunt Coordinator

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    I made a movie in the 6th grade called "Attack of the Foobian Death Monsters" featuring my dog.


    Does that count?
     
  2. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    The rental for the HD, 24fps Sony & Panasonic is actually more than for a 16mm camera. Lens rental is about the same for either.

    Of course 16mm eats into film stock at a rapid rate—plus you have the processing costs.

    In some ways shooting on film is easier than video, as most film stock has a far greater latitude than most video chips. The Sony and Panasonic are actually pretty good in terms of latitude, but if you watch anything shot on mini-DV (or professional Beta) you can instantly see the difference.

    Not at all a slam at 28 Days Later, but if you watch that with an eye to the cinematography, you will notice that it looks far more like TV than film. A lot of this is due to the lighting, which is quite flat and ordinary, with not much contrast (between the light and dark portions) in any one shot. And where there is, you get the typical loss of detail in the dark portions and/or overexposure in the lighter parts.

    I don't really think that you need fewer people in a crew for 16mm than for quality, HD video. Not a challange Seth, but why do think that 16mm takes more people? I'm curious.
     
  3. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    If you're doing sync sound, then you're always going to need someone to be operating the DAT recorder. So no matter what, you can never be a crew of 1. And for consistency, you always want the same person doing sound. With DV, the person operating the camera can manage sound through the camera at the same time. Film requires lots of lights and long amounts of setup time where you want someone's help. You often need people to hold reflector boards. While lighting is still crucial with digital, you can get away with using fewer lights than are needed for film, sometimes none at all. Because of light issues and lenses, sometimes you need a person to pull focus, where as with digital, because of its huge depth of field you have larger comfort zone for keeping your subject in focus.
     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    This is only true if you plan to have film look like a movie and to not care how the video looks.

    What you suggest is necessary for film, is only necessary if the filmmaker is concerned about lighting—how an individual actors face stands out and how the background looks in comparison—what is in shadows and what is not—or how the shadows fall. If you are willing to accept the same look in 16mm as you outline for your video concept, you load up with a high speed film and use available light—just as you do in video—or use a simple light bar on the camera—just as many do with video.

    It is true that video gives you greater depth of field than 35mm—but 16mm has about the same depth of field as the Sony & Panasonic HD, 24fps cameras. This is because the chips in those cameras are about the same size as a 16mm film frame. So using the same f stop on the same focal length lens for 16mm and HD video results in the same depth of field.

    Of course a great depth of field does not necessarily make things easier—should the filmmaker want to throw the background out of focus (for example), shooting either 16mm or HD video makes that task much more difficult than with 35mm film.

    Bottom line, if you want to make a movie with HD video and expect to have the same look as with 16mm, you need to take the same care and have the same size crew.

    You can cheapen up with either format and use less crew.

    You pays your money and takes your choice with both formats.

    The real cost difference is the film stock and processing.
     
  5. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    Seth, Lew, this is great, some real great info coming from you guys! (and all others!)

    We were going to atempt to do sync sound using a boom directional mike recorded directly on the computer. Unfortunately there was a ton of hiss on play bakc, so we are going to have to use the camera sound instead (or ADR it after we have a final cut locked.) We were learly of pluging a mike directly into the camera, as there didn't realy seem to be any controls over the levels. How do you guys monitor sound in the camera? (we are using a Sony Digital 8, model number unknown)

    (The reason I ask is because I am currently head deep into a production that a group of friends and myself are doing, and your suggestions / dialogs have been very interesting!)
     
  6. Blu

    Blu Screenwriter

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    A filmmaking group I'm involved with just had our first premiere. It wasn't quite finished and ready to be shown yet (long story dealing with the local cable access channel which forced the date) but it was a great time and we do plan on putting it out to the film fests and on DVD.

    We intentionally filmed lots of behind the scenes stuff just for that reason!
    In fact we have a production meeting tonight to approach our next project!

    I have a XL1s, Magiqcam vest, and a Alienware laptop with Avid Xpress DV! I'm saving up for a Panasonic DVX100A so we will have a 2 cam setup. We are looking for a staff of writers to keep us in enough material to do at least 8 more shorts this year and 2 features.

    But back on topic, yeah, we want to do DVD releases of our stuff. They are cheap and easy to produce and a convient way to promote!
     
  7. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    Yeah, I did when I was about 25, back in 1991. I heard about a video contest and made a 20-minute film on Hi8. It would have been better, but it was conceived, written, shot, edited, and scored (my brother is a musician) in about 10 days. I pulled a 36-hour session (at least) editing it in time for the deadline, 36 hours straight, literally taking making one or two 15-minute breaks in that time, just to nibble on some food. I remember my roommate saying goodnight, then getting up in the morning, and I'm still sitting there editing, and he says, "What time did you get up?" I said, "I haven't been to bed yet."

    Even though I'm not happy with the result, I still have a real feeling of accomplishment that I finished that damn film.

    Part of the reason it took so long to edit is that I spent 8 hours editing the first scene, which involved the most shots. This was years before digital editing workstations on your computer -- I was simply dubbing from one VCR onto another VCR with flying erase heads (for glitch-free edits).

    So I spent 8 hours editing this four or five minute scene. I finished, went to bed, got up in the morning and watched it -- and found the tape I'd edited it on was RIDDLED with dropouts. I had a looming deadline, and I thought and thought, then took a deep breath and did the first scene over on a different tape. It only took me 4 hours the second time, because I remembered all the shots I'd used.

    I made the mistake of starring myself in it, mainly 'cause I really couldn't find anybody else on such short notice, and my performance was laughably bad in parts. It's pretty hard to direct yourself, I found out. I couldn't find a friend to run the camera most of the time, so most shots I had to just set the camera up on a tripod, start it running, and go do my stuff. So it's surprising that my videography was the only really good thing about the film -- I definitely have an eye for that aspect of it.

    I might try making another one someday. My old camcorder is broken, but they're so cheap now I should just get a digital one. It'd sure be a hell of a lot easier editing with our modern PC equipment.

    Oh... and I didn't win a damn thing in the contest. :b
     
  8. Blu

    Blu Screenwriter

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    Yes, a real sense of accomplishment! You finish and then after a while it sinks in that "HEY! We have a feature film under our belts now!"
     
  9. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Any advice for what video camera's might be worthy of buying to use for a filming project?
     
  10. Drew Mertz

    Drew Mertz Stunt Coordinator

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    What is your price range? I use a Sony VX2000, it retails for $3000
     
  11. Clay-F

    Clay-F Stunt Coordinator

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    http://www.geocities.com/clayfulks/A...edomForce.html


    Theres a link to my webpage with some pics from my little movie....

    Its sort of a mix of GI-Joe type characters. I started this thing up well before I had ever heard about LXG, but now they seem to be somewhat similar in design.

    My movie is mainly about taking stereotypes (The Spy, The Ninja, Computer guy, Mysterious villian, stupid expendable henchman...etc) and pitting them against each other....
     
  12. James David Walley

    James David Walley Stunt Coordinator

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    I've made several short motion pictures, using either film (Super-8) or video (everything from 1/2" reel-to-reel to miniDV) over the past thirty (that's right, I said "thirty") years.

    My first feature, Messages, a psychological thriller, is currently in post-production. I hope to have it finished by the middle of this month.

    Here's the poster design.

    James David Walley
    Northern Lights Motion Picture Company
     
  13. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    I made an old super-8 silent short for a college film class about 15 years ago.

    The story went like this: A businessman is walking through the wilderness in a 3 piece suit and carrying a briefcase. When suddenly he spots a barbarian-type man lurking in the woods. Frightened, the businessman turns and runs. There's a few minutes of a chase scene through the woods (filmed rather well, I might add). When suddenly the businessman is trapped at the edge of a cliff. Cornered, he turns to fight the barbarian, there's a struggle and the businessman is knocked over the cliff to his death. The barbarian peers over the edge to make sure he's dead, then, pulls out a clipboard and makes a check mark on a list. Then, the barbarian spots another businessman wandering through the wilderness, puts his clipboard away and proceeds to chase the second businessman. The end.

    I remember everyone in my film class critiquing what they thought the film was about. Truthfully, there's no "message" behind it... I just kind of made it up. But, it was fun to hear all the theories.

    I think of this old film everytime I see one of those "convert your home movies to DVD" ads. I should really dig it out and do this to preserve it. Maybe I'll send it off to Sundance. [​IMG]
     
  14. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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  15. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    It depends on your budget and your expectations. If you can outline those, it would be helpful in making recommendations.
     
  16. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Yeah, I figured as much. I was expecting to hear about a couple of ranges. Lets go with the cheapest first. Say $500.00 to $1500.00 (CDN) for a camera. Not sure at this point if I'm going ahead with a project right now, so I'm just researching. Mini-DV seems a logical choice. Mini-HD DV would be cool, but likely much more expensive.
     

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