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Your own movie? Has anyone made one?

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#1 of 56 OFFLINE   Chris PC

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Posted February 10 2004 - 10:47 AM

Has anyone made their own movie? Film or video? I'm curious to know if anyone has ever hacked around and made something of their own creation and then watched it on their home theatre. I've seen video camera's for less than $2K CDN that have 24 fps modes. DVD burners are easy to buy and use. Editing software is out there. Its not a huge leap for people to get together with friends and write, direct and produce their own movies. For fun if not for anything else. An easy thing to do would be a documentary. Anybody?
Going from projector to flatscreen for a while.... :P

#2 of 56 OFFLINE   Seth--L



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Posted February 10 2004 - 10:58 AM

Having made films, documentaries are more difficult than narratives. Key people that you want to interview can decided at the last minute they don't want to participate, interviewees could freeze up in front of the camera, your subject could prove to be far less interesting than you thought, there are no reshoots or relooping, and editing takes far longer and is much more difficult because you don't have a script that you can follow. Even shooting a documentary with DV can be more expensive than a narrative since you're going to need a lot more tape and hard drive space. That being said, for under $10K you could probably buy all the equipment to put together something with high production values (your list left out things like lights, audio equipment, and a computer.)
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#3 of 56 OFFLINE   Kenny Goldin

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Posted February 10 2004 - 10:59 AM

I tried to make my own version of Dracula, about 10 years ago, got about 2 minutes into it and saw how bad I looked and what a hassle it was and said screw it.Posted Image However with a real "crew" and a few "actors" I would love to try again.
"We make it hard...the easy way."

Funniest line I have ever read in DVD a review: "'The Simple Life' stars rich, spoiled friends Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie as two rich, spoiled friends who are taken out of their posh Los Angeles lifestyle and deposited in a small town in Arkansas..."

#4 of 56 OFFLINE   ChrisBEA



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Posted February 10 2004 - 02:15 PM

I made a short video (~7.5 minutes) in college. Turned out pretty good, low production value of course..... I am currently trying to come up with a story to tell with stills (Wanna put my new digicam to use!).

#5 of 56 OFFLINE   Chris PC

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Posted February 10 2004 - 02:38 PM

Yeah, I guess I didn't give documentary much thought. I also left out that it would be cool to have a 16:9 video camera. I think the one with 24 fps mode was 16:9. Can't remember the resolution, but it was a digital video camera and the quality must be pretty good compared to previous technology. I mean, a 16:9 video camera with 24 fps mode for $1500.00 CDN? Thats a good start. Lights and all too. The reason I am starting this is I've thought of this before and I just finished watching "Goin Down the Road" and also "Easy Rider". Similar movies in terms of the time they were made and even though Easy Rider was a big commercial hit with well known actors, Goin Down the Road was a critical success also. Anyways, I'd love to see peoples own creations. It'd be interesting. Wondering how many of those here who watch so much actually tried anything themselves.
Going from projector to flatscreen for a while.... :P

#6 of 56 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted February 10 2004 - 03:28 PM

I've made a few home "productions."

Last year, I filmed "The Tromboninator" on MiniDV. It had some dissolve effects and rotoscoping. Plus, it was a big experiment in using camera movement and smooth editing... I think the final edit had around 100 shots in its 12 min. runtime (although, the credits take about a minute and a cheesy intro is about 2 min. long) [Email or PM me if you'd like a WMV version of the movie]

I'm doing script and storyboard work on a feature-length "homage" to pre-1960's sci-fi and serials. It'll be entirely shot in Georgia (hopefully) and with virtually no budget. I'll be using my Canon ZR-50MC MiniDV camera with a wide-angle lens, 16x9 mode, B&W, and with a "card mix overlay" matte so it'll be 2.35:1 in-camera. PM or email me if you want to know more of this project.


For editing...

I use MGI's VideoWave4 and Windows Movie Maker depending on what is needed. I tend to use VW4 for effects, most editing, capturing, and output. I like using WMM for less complex sound editing, simple editing, and transitions.

I'll work in AVI-DV for the most part... but I've used MPEG-II for some projects where it's not too important to have a perfect broadcast quality image. I used it for a home-made reconstruction of "Phantom of the Opera" using the two versions put on DVD by Milestone. I also used it for a documentary that required about an hour of recorded material to be stored.

If you have creativity and imagination, you can make masterpieces even on a camcorder.

#7 of 56 OFFLINE   James Sarno

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Posted February 10 2004 - 03:33 PM

Well...I don't know if this really counts but...about 10 years ago my friends and I made a home movie on a $0 budget (mom's camcorder and pizza & beer not withstanding) about a killer who was unstoppable(dressed in a all white Haz Mat suit with ski goggles) chasing after innocent victims until he met one he could not kill(the title was "The Day The Victim wouldn't Die") the killer who's name was "Its Him"(get it) would go around and kill people for no good reason (original huh?) The death scenes were done with what I called "stunt doubles" (drawn characterizations of the victims and filmed for the scenes) e.g...a decapation scene would call for a bloody headless drawing.

Anyway it was about 45 minutes long...we showed it to all our family and friends. We got such a good response that we ended up making two sequels that everyone loved...

I had so much fun doing them and it brings back good memories...I still have all three on vhs.

Once in a blue moon,when some of my wife's friends come over and the drinks are flowing I break out a clip or two...
just to embarrass my wifePosted Image

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#8 of 56 OFFLINE   Seth--L



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Posted February 10 2004 - 03:48 PM

You have to be careful about this. DV cameras achieve the 16:9 ratio in a variety of ways, some of them causes a loss of resolution. If you want your film to be in widescreen, the best thing to do is shoot it in full, and matte it in post. There are actually a lot of advantages to this. There are actually a lot of advantages to this. You can essential reframe each shot in post.
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#9 of 56 OFFLINE   Drew Mertz

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Posted February 10 2004 - 03:50 PM

Though I haven`t made a movie yet, I have shot alot of concert videos. I`m a videographer in the music scene. So some stuff gets used for commercial release while tons doesn`t. Either way its always fun to get back home sit down and watch a concert that I filmed. Infact one of my upcomming releases is available for pre-order here http://www.dreadzeppelin.com/dvd.html I believe it becomes available next week. It was a fun outdoor show in Milwaukee last summer.

#10 of 56 OFFLINE   Jonathan Dagmar

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Posted February 10 2004 - 07:32 PM

I haven't made a movie yet, however I do have two screenplays in the works, one novel, and many more ideas...

#11 of 56 OFFLINE   Chris PC

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Posted February 11 2004 - 01:56 AM

Wicked. Hey this is really cool. Its funny I've never thought to post about this before. I'm glad people are tooling around and experimenting. Its fun to watch movies, but sometimes after watching DVD's for a while, I feel like a zombie. I want to use my own creativity. Perhaps I'll convince a friend to go out and make something fun.
Going from projector to flatscreen for a while.... :P

#12 of 56 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted February 11 2004 - 02:37 AM

We are currently shooting a movie on Digital 8. Basically a spoof on buffy the vampire slayer. We have about a scene left to shoot and then it's off to the editing. We are doing it as a no bugget thing using friends and cheap equipment we have put to our own uses, with the hopes that it looks good enough to maybe get soem music video/ more ambitious work in the future. My advice is don't be turned off by how cheap video looks compared to film. If you rent "Bamboozeled" by spike lee, and then watch the deleted scenes, you would be surprised to find that the footage looks exactly like what you are shooting, and the pro actors don't look much better than your friends. (Bamboozled was shot on digital video, than tranfered to film, the feature is transferd from film to DVD. the deleted scenes are straight form digital tape to DVD.)

#13 of 56 OFFLINE   Bill Williams

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Posted February 11 2004 - 03:12 AM

I did a couple of "Real World"-style documentary videos 10 years ago just for fun. Don't worry, no sex or foul language was present in either video. I just used my camcorder to videotape myself in and around town and on vacation going through different things and phases in my life at that time. Then I remixed it with different music from U2, Bruce Springsteen, Harry Connick Jr., Sly and the Family Stone, INXS, Wham!, John Cougar Mellencamp, even some soundtrack music from "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" and one of the "Star Trek" movies. They came out fairly well - not too bad for a camcorder budget. I thought about doing a third video, but it never materialized. Still, the experience was a lot of fun and a real learning process for me.
"I have in my heart what it takes to run with the big dogs in this life, and nobody can say otherwise."

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#14 of 56 OFFLINE   Erik.Ha


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Posted February 11 2004 - 03:36 AM


I have other credits as well, but for some reason that's the only one IMDB has listed right now...
"I'm not an actor, but I play one on TV..."

#15 of 56 OFFLINE   Adrian Correia

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Posted February 11 2004 - 03:58 AM

I recently finished shooting a feature film in Connecticut titled, "Save The Forest". We are currently in post. I am waiting for a locked print from the director that I can time and color for output. We'll see. I think it is funny kind of life. I've worked on films and nothing ever goes smoothly, ever, no matter how much or little money, time and people you have. It is a trying and arduous experience. Then again, working on film sets is the best time I have ever had in my life.

#16 of 56 OFFLINE   Matt_P


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Posted February 11 2004 - 07:22 AM

I've written/shot/directed 2 short films, just wrapped as DP on a third, and have done 2 commercials. All of these were for college projects. I'm in my last filmmaking class right now, and am working on a documentary short and a narrative short. I've transferred one of my films to DVD. It was pretty sweet. I used iDVD, had some snazzy menus, and whipped up some cover art. The audio came through the HT nicely via prologic decoding. BTW, matting in post is the best way to shoot wide, unless your camera can matte the image in camera (some Panasonic MiniDVs can do this). I've shot all my stuff to date in approx 1.85:1, matting in post. I'd love to do 2.35:1, but matting that far really reduces your screen area/resolution, which is not great for video. While shooting, I just mask off the unused area on the LCD screen to create the proper ratio for framing. It works like a charm.

#17 of 56 OFFLINE   Ron Reda

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Posted February 11 2004 - 10:25 AM

Does porn count?! Posted Image
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#18 of 56 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted February 11 2004 - 11:40 AM

A question who have used digital editing. What resolution are you uploading your tapes at for doing the editing? My friend has started uploading the tapes we shot (Digital 8). The total amount is 4Hr 30mins. He tells me that 30 minutes at the highest resolution is taking up 7 gigs of space. He is using Pinnacle Video Studio 8 on a windows based pc. Our plan was to upload the footage we shot and burn it to CD-Rom. The only reason we are doing this is because we have to return the camera we used to shoot it (we are too poor to buy a camera at this time.), and buy having it all on CD allows us to load what we need to edit when we need it, otherwise we have to wait a month to get the camera back. I'm curious to see how others have done this. Do you need the very highest resolution for editing? We were planning on broadcast quality, with the hopes being that if we were really pleased with how it looks, we could try to have it shown at our local art house theater. Has anyone seen the new Hi-Def camera in action? It's my understanding that these new cameras aren't much different than the ones Robert Rodriguize used in "Once Upon A Time In Mexico", which means that anything shot on them would look decent blown up to film, which means BOOYAA Holywood, here we come!!

#19 of 56 OFFLINE   Francois Caron

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Posted February 11 2004 - 01:40 PM

I've shot and spliced a couple of vacation films on 8mm and Super 8 about ten years ago. I even used my Super 8's single frame option to create a "Koyaanisqatsi" style road piece.

#20 of 56 OFFLINE   Seth--L



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Posted February 11 2004 - 02:04 PM

Russell, Forget putting media on CDs. Buy an external hard drive. Captured DV at 4:1:1 takes up about 3.5 megabytes per second, 216 megabytes per minute, and 13 GB per hour. These values are approximate. If space is still an issue, you can always edit offline. What you do is capture all your footage at a compressed resolution like 15:1, edit with that, and when you're ready to output your final cut, you recapture just the footage you used in your cut at the loss-less resolution. To do this though, you will need a DV camera or deck again (but you're going to need the deck anyone to output your final cut). Lastly, don't capture all 4.5 hours. Only take the footage that you're going to need.
Well - There it is.
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