Thursday, August 16, 2007

Film Making 201-Thursday Thirteen

1) I am beginning a new idea for a documetary. No I can't tell you online what that secret, the keyboards have ears. What I can tell you is that it involves a fair bit of road trip and a lot of interviews. My first official interview is next week. I have two interviews lined up for next Tuesday. I'm pretty excited. But I realized a lot of my Thursday Thirteen pals may not know I make short films. The purpose of Thursday Thirteen is to share stuff about ourselves with opther bloggers so I am going to take up a terrible amount of time and space with online information about "film making". Sorry I tried to make this post short...but it just keeps on growing! The most important "message" of this post is that I believe everyone is an artist, storyteller whether it's with recalling memories, painting or film making. We all have stories that we want to tell.
2) A lot of my experience with film making has been built up around...well winging it. Okay lying. Okay, bullshitting my way into a film set. I have taken lots of film workshops...but nothing beats getting out there and jumping in , in my opinion. Film making is so much easier these days because there are entire computer programs available for everybody. But...nothing beats the library or google...or just starting to write some stuff and showing your friends. Once I had an interview, sheesh, a long time ago...on a independant film production and I was asked if I could schedule a film. I said YES of course. I had no idea what scheduling a film shoot entailed. I went to the library. Found a book by Ralph Singleton (if you click on that can look inside and see the breakdown of The Conversation and get a good idea of what I'm trying to describe) which saved my ass and taught me so much!and followed the directions.
It was an amazing learning experience. I doubt film schools even teach this anymore because like I say there is a computer program. But kicking it old school entails going through a script with several colored fpens...and breaking the script down into cast, extras, props, wardrobe, locations etc. A different colored pen for each category. I photocopied the graph images provided in the library book...and proceeded to schedule a feature length film in two coffee filled days and nights. Old school style meant cutting thin strips of paper representing the broken down categories of actors and extras and manually piecing them together ona board...actually a little like what you see on crime dramas when they post photos of suspects and locations on huge bulletin boards.
3) The Plank Cam...excellent idea which I've used myself here and there in the past...

4) Home made steady Cam-25 bucks!

5) cheesy commercial, out of sunc, but nice camera....but a big mistake people who want to make films make is they spend a lot of energy buying a huge camera. Film makers don't buy camera's...directors of photography/cameraoperators buy cameras.
6) I think this link is an advert, but it's a stepping stone at least mini-glossary.
7) Ths one is the BEST: Robert Rodriguez 10 Minute Film School it fits very much with I feel about the organic natural aspects of film making/story telling...for example....What you need to learn is that being creative is not enough in this business. You have to become techinical. Creative people are born creative - you're lucky. Technical people however can never be creative. Its something they'll never get. You can't buy it, find it, study it - you're born with it. Too many creative people don't want to learn how to be technical, so what happens? they become dependent on technical people. Become technical, you can learn that. If you're creative and technical, you're unstoppable.
8) A very interesting "10 things not to do" list.
9) There seem to be a fair bit of online film schools...I wonder what they are like, here is one "film making in two days" like, who has 2 days?
10) The following are the basic guidelines for making a script look professional.

The very first page of your script should be the cover page. The title is typed in underlined upper-case twenty-two spaces from the top (and that’s the top of the page, not the top of the upper margin). At twenty-six lines appear the words An Original Screenplay followed two lines later by the words By [Name]. In the lower right-hand corner of the page should appear your name and address (unless you have an agent in which case their name and address appears instead, preceded by the note Literary Representation: ), singled spaced in upper- and lower-case. In the lower left hand corner of the draft number (first, second, ect.) should be noted in all in all capital letters and underlined. On the line below this should be the date upon which that draft was completed.

On the first page of the screen play itself should be the title in underlined bold type seven spaces from the top. Five spaces below that should be the words "FADE IN:" and two lines below that should be your first scene.

All dialogue, description, and narrative is single-spaced and written in upper- and lower-case letters.

Double space between two pieces of dialogue, narrative, description, or any combination of the previously mentioned elements.

When used in with dialogue character names are typed in capital letters at 40 picas.

Film Festivals

12) 1920-1930 was the decade between the end of the Great War and the Depression following the Stock Market Crash. Film theaters and studios were not initially affected in this decade by the Crash in late 1929. The basic patterns and foundations of the film industry (and its economic organization) were established in the 1920s. The studio system was essentially born with long-term contracts for stars, lavish production values, and increasingly rigid control of directors and stars by the studio's production chief and in-house publicity departments. After World War I and into the early 1920s, America was the leading producer of films in the world - using Thomas Ince's "factory system" of production, although the system did limit the creativity of many directors. Production was in the hands of the major studios (that really flourished after 1927 for almost 20 years), and the star system was burgeoning. from here...
13) Glossary of Film Terms


Nancy J. Bond said...

This is quite a list. You're living my dream, by the way. ;)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I didn't know you made short films! How exciting! And I wish you luck on your project -- you really seem to know your stuff, and with your brilliant mind and your talent I'm sure you'll create something very special.

Happy T13, and thanks for visiting mine -- and I so appreciate your encouraging words on my writing challenges. :)

Darla said...

Oh, this is fascinating! Good luck with the new documentary.

Amy Ruttan said...

Oh yes looking forward to next Tuesday. Great list!!

Happy TT!

Cinnamon Girl said...

Good luck on the documentary, it looks like a ton of fun =)

Unknown said...

interesting TT. Go for it. Let us know when we can see it.


Unknown said...

I had no idea you did these! I wanted to be a movie director when I was a kid. Making movies was something I dreamed about. Now I write books instead. I get to still tell my stories that way. :)

I hope everything goes well with your interviews.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating post....good luck with your interviews. I loved the 10 minute film school link; I'm going to forward it to a friend who talks a lot about film-making.

Julia Phillips Smith said...

I'm a film school grad who now writes novels because it's cheaper and it doesn't matter what the weather is like. But once a filmmaker, always a filmmaker - I've always got scenes going through my head which are in fact film scenes, not scenes for my books. I've got a project or two on the burner, as well...

Wylie Kinson said...

I knew you wrote scripts/screenplays (is there a difference?) but had no idea you made films. Yet another side to your creativity!!
I'm going to make sure my husband checks this out. His little hidden dream is to someday direct a movie :) (or quarterback for the Eagles, but I think that particular fantasy is past its expiration date!)

Red said...

Hey, Miss Candy, good luck with those interviews next week! I think it's an awesome idea and I look forward to seeing your doc develop and grow. See you at Sundance, baby!

* (asterisk) said...

Candy, re #9: I've actually done Dov S-S Simens's two day film course, several years ago in London, and I have the diploma to prove it. I loved it, but I wasn't much of a networker back then. I feel perhaps I could have benefited more from it if I had been, y'know when you all hit the pub afterwards. Did you know that Dov taught Tarantino (apparently) and it is he who gave rise to use of the name Dov in a piece of Nice Guy Eddie dialogue is Res Dogs?

* (asterisk) said...

Great post, by the way.

Gardenia said...

Fascinating. Now film making! I think I should like to interview you - I have always wanted to write a book with a chapter for each woman I admire for different reasons.

I took a course in TV production, complete with cameras, etc. It was a hoot, but counting seconds stressed me! And those huge mixers with all those buttons! You are right - artists don't seem to be techies and techies don't seem to be artists as a rule - I have had many of a heated discussion as sometimes it almost becomes a war between the two when working on projects. But it is a wise artist who acquaints himself/herself with techie aspects of what they become involved in.

Anonymous said...

Here's another link for building your own steady cam. I always meant to try it out, but instead I'm building a career based on excessively jittery camera movement. (It's going very well.)

Tink said...

Wow, that's fascinating! Good luck on the docu.
Thanks for visiting my BED T13.

Candy Minx said...

Nancy, well, part of the ideas of this that anyone can make a film, especially when you read the ten minute film school by Robert Rodriguez. I bet you take pictures in your life...even putting them to a storyline is something everyone can do...pretty much on their home computers now!

Thomma Lyn, wow, what a boost to my ego...thanks! I love working on this stuff...sometimes I get worked into a frenzy but I love making up stuff.

Darla, thanks and glad to see you're back online and visiting ,issed you!

Amy...see ya soon!

Starlight thanks for the good wishes. Istart colelcting the first interviews on Tuesday...I am excited!

Ed, I will let you know...I hope to be able to move this idea into a distribution...maybe even tv. I think it might make a great tv show. Cross your fingers.

Christine, I think writing stories, making paintings and films...are all related, just different formats.

Damozel, the 10 minute film link is brilliant. I think all students or aspiring storytellers should read it, and get going. So inspiring and pretty funny.

Julia, absolutely...there are many novels that you can tell the person has a sensibility for film writing like William Gibson, Don Delillo and Cormac McCarthy. Best of luck on all your writing endeavors!

Wylie...well I like the idea of quarterback for the Eagles, they are my favourite NFL team. I hope your husband does read this post...and then looks around the house...picks up a great deal on a camera...and makes a story from it. I bet there are all inds of things going a story about a wife who writes and a husband who dreams of making films, right there is a plot beginning to hatch!

Red, thanks...I am getting great feedback on the concept...which has been a good surprise. I ams o stoked about getting going. We picked up a camera!!! It's very cute...and I intend to combine guerilla footage over the next few months...with also finding a crew...very small crew for some other interviews starting in the winter! Just to mix it up and get more "texture" in the film...more later...because this will likely involve you and * too!

* how interesting that you actually took a course with the 2 daylink!!! Cool. Well, I think it is a good idea to try to socialize with at least a few others taking workshops...I can also understand how you might not feel like being social too though. I have found that meeting other indie film makers has been very helpful for finding resources and help...but also sometimes ...we just want to gather info which sounds like what you were upt o. All is not lost, both ways are good. Especially if we are busy..we sacrifice social for gathering the technical and research right? Onward and upward!

Gardenia...well, I guess it sounds liek I'm a jack of all trades huh? What it is that I always had an interest in writing poetry, making art work and film as a kid...and into college and young adult life. I look back and now i see...if I had become finacially sucessful at anyone of those projects...something else would have fallen away. I embrace the fact that I didn't "get famous" for painting because what happened was that I kept exploring and "do-it-yourself" all these years. It kept me learnign several skills that all feed each other. My passion is film making...but I also like the solitude of thinking and painting. But I love being ona film set and collaborating with make-up and wardrobe etc!

L.M. well shaky is good too, you gave me a terrific laugh...actually...I have used the board and it is really good for walking and moving...and having a camera be a low center of gravity. But last summer I filmed a lot of circus performers and I used a fancysmancy "monopod" and I LOVED IT!!! I borrowed it froma friend and it was wonderful. You can hold the camera up real high, it's lightweight and you can walk through crowds stealth.

Hi Tink , thanks for the good wishes...and you know I love visiting your blog, you are fascinating!

Thanks for all the comments folks...and I am going to add yourl;inks into my next upcoming post okay?

Gardenia said...

Well, I will be looking forward to following this next adventure of yours!

Candy Minx said...

Gardenia...I'm going to try to figure out how to post some footage on's scaring me a bit looks tricky...once I figure out how to load some film archives and odds and ends I'll try and post some silly stuff I have kicking around ok?

* (asterisk) said...

Candy, it is soooo easy to put stuff on YouTube as long as you have a digital camcorder and a Firewire/iLink/IEEE 1394 cable. Or if you already have the clips on your Mac. It can take a wee while, though, if the clips are more than a couple of minutes long.

Candy Minx said...

Oh thanks * for that cable hmmm...I am sure I must have the "clips" somewhere...

Joy Renee said...

as always your post electrifies me with its ideas and sense of energy.

which is exactly why this made me think of you:

note that Joystory has moved

i agree with your thoughts re film equals story. my stories always have played out in my head like a movie.

and the stuff about creative people needing to learn tech stuff hits home with me. i've always had a love/hate relationship with the tools of my trade from pencils to computer software. if only i could think my stories straight into someones head. :)