Sunday, January 29, 2006
Thinking about writing seems to have served me well this week..
I managed to write about 14 pages today! So I'm getting close to a finished draft. There's just a couple of problems. I'm questioning some of the placement of some of the scenes and I'm not sure that I've varied my locations enough. All are solvable problems, but there are times when I feel it getting bland because of that..
On the positive side, I've come up with some plot devices that I think are working pretty well, and I'm building up to what I think is a good ending.
However... That said, so few people have seen the script, Its not clear to me if it's really any good.. This is where the writers doubt starts to creep in from behind. There are moments when I think about how it will look and play out on screen and go "damn that's cool".. But it's still just a first draft, and my guess is that it'll need lots of tweaking and a couple more drafts before its anything close to being perfect. I feel right now as though I'm still in the process of fleshing out the story. Once its complete, I'll find all the fat, have a chance to think about my characters, plot devices, pacing, all that and really rework it where it needs it. I'm just on a mad rush to "FADE OUT" because I can see the rest of the story playing out in my head - even though some of the particulars are still a little on the hazy side.
I'm anxious to get the draft completed so that I can send it out for coverage as well. I won't do that until I've had James give me his notes.
I managed to find time to watch the DVX DVD that accompanied the DVX 100 book. Even though I know its replacement has already hit the street (the HVX 200) I'm still impressed by how much you can do with the DVX 100A/B cameras. Some of the examples they had on the dvd were pretty impressive. The thing that I really like about it is that the explanations are very clear and have really helped expand my understanding of digital cinematography. The explanations of the different settings relating to things like color temperature, depth of field, chroma level settings and gamma were all very educational and applicable to more than just the DVX cameras; and (once again) I highly recommend it for any aspiring digital DP.
So it looks as though I'll miss my first major deadline; getting the script done by the end of January. However, I think I may only be late by a week. I feel like I'll have time to write this week, but not enough to finish by Tuesday.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
I realize that thinking about writing is not actually the same is writing, but for me sometimes, its pretty close..
As I'd mentioned in my previous post, I made excellent progress over last weekend on the script for Heist. Unfortuantely this week, I haven't had the opportunity to build on that success by getting actual physical pages written. I have however, been thinking about writing quite a bit. The little movie projector in my head lets me play and replay new scenes over and over again in my mind until I have them worked out to the point where they'll go quickly when I write them. In fact, many of the new pages that I added over the weekend were "pre-written" in my head so when I went to write them, it was almost no work at all.
Its always tough to say how many pages the scenes in my head will translate to when I go to write them, but I think I've got at least another 5 pages worked out. We'll see.
Amazon is telling me that the book that I orderd "Killer Camera Rigs.. " was unsourcable by them. Bummer. Wish they could have let me know sooner, it's going on two weeks since I put the order in through them. I'll have to try buying it directly from the site that I originally found it on.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Great weekend writing!
While I fell slightly short of my goal, I feel as though things are flowing really well. I also had some moments where new twists and things came into play.. I'm up to about 48 pages, but I did about 3 pages worth of re-writes on top of the new pages that I'd written..
Also, I managed to find some time to read "The DVX Book". If you're even thinking about using this camera, this book is a great investment because it not only explains the DVX, but how things work in the camera, standards, and just a bunch of good stuff any digital cinematographer would want to know. Lots of really useful information, pretty techie, but not so bad that it's incomprehensible.
In looking at the latest cut of my new reality concept again and again and again, I have to say how grateful I am to the editor I worked with last week who truly pulled it all together, Ryan Little. While he used we used my original trailer as a guide, Ryan pulled out some footage from the shoot that really made the trailer more compelling and enhanced it quite a bit beyond what it had been. His addition of the cool graphics at the start and finish of the piece were a great touch as well. Lots of nice touches, as well as great value additions to the narrative. He's very pro to work with and I hope to work with him again on something soon. He's done a really kick ass job on two of my concept trailers.. I'm hoping that I can say more about them soon, but for now, I have to reveal as little as possible. :)
Saturday, January 21, 2006
One of the books that I ordered last week, "The DVX Book" by Barry W. Green came in. I've been wanting pretty badly to dig into it. I just haven't had the time.. I really need to devote more time to writing.. I was flipping through it though, and it looks pretty detailed. It also comes with a DVD with lots of examples and tutorials for the camera.
James Tauber turned me on to John August's blog which contains "tons of useful information on screenwriting". I've been going through it, and it does have a lot decent information and advice. I'd recommend it. It was interesting that in one section he talked about how early in his career, he'd try to save scenes that he liked at all cost and was reluctant to cut them. I pointed out in an earlier post that I'd learned from Mitch that you need to be able to toss stuff it doesn't work no matter how great you thought it was. There was a time when I'd cling to scenes, pages or dialog, but now I just toss it if its not working.
I went to see Steven Spielberg's "Munich" last night and was once again reminded why he's such a genius and will always be one of my favorite all time directors. There was a time that I recall that he seemed to be in a rut with his films in that that (to me at least) they all had a very familiar "feel" to them. His capacity to break from his style and re-invent himself is something that to me underscores his brilliance. I felt that with Munich, he once again excelled at not only telling an incredible story, but making it visually intense and convincing where it needed to be. He also did what he seems to have an innate ability to do which is put you in the head of the characters and establish that emotional connection to them. His ability to extract an absolutely convincing and compelling performance from even the smallest supporting members of the cast never ceases to amaze me.
That said.. I can't say that I've been that blown away by every single one of his efforts. War of the Worlds had its moments, and was visually amazing, action packed and well acted and produced as all his films are. Overall, I guess I was expecting a more interesting treatment of the story. I found some of the plot devices unconvincing. I still like the original better.
Enough of the critics corner.. :)
Working on Heist tonight... I have lots of stuff I've been wanting to incorporate. I'm trying to top 50 pages by the end of the weekend.
Completed another edit of my new reality concept trailer, which I think came out pretty good. This new cut was done on Final Cut Pro. I exported the edit decision list (known as an EDL) from Vegas, and that served as a guide for the new cut. We kept the basic flow, beginning and ending points, but extended it to about 1:44. It was previously about 1:10. The new footage that we worked in really helped to demonstrate what the episodes might look like. I hope that it can be sold soon, it would be a nice way to finance some of Heist. :)
Thursday, January 19, 2006
1/18 was my anniversary, so I didn't get much done with anything relating to Heist.
James and I had a great talk the other night about the film. He's fully on board, which I'd hoped for.
He's recommended that rather than shooting on the DVX 100A, we shoot on the Panasonic HVX200. Based on what I've read thus far, it sounds like a great idea. I do have that book on the DVX coming in, but I'm guessing that there'll be a decent percentage of the information that will hold true for the HVX - we'll see. I'll also very likely use the DVX on other projects, so its not like ordering the book was a total waste of money.
The only thing that's unclear at this point is what the rental rates will be. If you were to extrapolate based on the cost of the camera, it seems as though it may (at least initially) end up in the 250-300/day range, nearly twice that of the DVX, but it may be worth it.
I've had a couple of people read my draft in progress of Heist so that I could get some early impressions. The general comment is that it's good, and leaves people wanting more. Great, I'm on a good track, maybe. The ultimate test (the Mitch test) will be the real wake up call.
One comment that I heard today was that it was good, they were left wanting more, but there wasn't anyone that was "likeable" yet. I can remember having felt the same way about Vincent Vega and his cohort Jules in the first 30 or so minutes of Pulp Fiction. I thought they were funny interesting characters and I liked them for that reason, but they didn't really have me cheering for them. It was more like I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I was disappointed when Vincent was shot by Butch only because I thought that was the last we'd see of him and his antics with Jules. It was great when he was brought back for "The Bonnie Situation"...
I was talking with someone regarding script review and they were saying that they had someone locally that would read for them. I asked if the reviewer had ever sold anything or had any of their work produced, to which they replied no.. I was later thinking that while its good that they're at least having the script read by someone else, I still think its better if you can find a writer that's either sold something or had something produced by a real studio to do your final reviews. Not that they're always going to have the best (or even the right) advice, but I think they may be more likely to have a better sense of what's a good idea or not than someone that's never sold anything... I mean, would you have someone that's only practiced doing brain surgery on cadavers remove your tumor? Perhaps that's an extreme example, but you get the idea.. :)
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself in doing this, but I've started researching some of the things that I think will cost a lot in the production of Heist.
I've found some very convincing semi-automatic weapons (8mm) that are blank firing. At $89 each I think that I could buy a few and not break the bank. The only thing that concerns me is safety. Even though I can get away with never having a shot in the film that shows a wide of someone getting shot, firearms of any classification are a safety issue. Since they're 8mm and not 9mm, they can (according to the manufacturer) never be made to fire a real round, but they're purported to have the same look and heft of the real thing, so at least it won't look as though anyone is wielding a toy.. Still, I plan to talk with a friend of mine who is an NRA gun safety instructor, and the local police in the town where I plan to shoot (the movie and the guns.. :) ) so that we're not descended upon by a swat team by mistake..
The stock on this particular model is wood, but that can easily be sprayed black to give it the appearance of a glock or something more modern. I think that they were saying that this model was meant to look more like an older military side arm, but I'm pretty confident no one will know the difference.
As I've said before, the armored car is the trickiest of all the set pieces, but I'm pretty confident there has to be someone out there that owns one that they'd be willing to rent for a weekend. I'm confident that we could get everything we need in terms of coverage in a day, day and a half tops.
Almost at 40 pages, so I'm just about half way there with the script. Thought of some good twists that were inspired by a film that James Tauber turned me on to called "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels". While Heist will not have the comedic tone of the LSTSB, I think that the twists may be as effective.
I reviewed my edits tonight from a couple days ago on my reality concept. I like them, but I don't think they're all that well suited for the pitch reel. There is one segment that I will put in which in essence is where this guy had come in, gotten all pissed off at the star of the show, yelled at him a bit, then left. I was off shooting B roll when he was actually doing all the yelling, but I did get a parting shot of him and enough of the star's immediate reaction following the altercation to make a quickie segment work for the pitch reel. I interviewed the star of the show afterwards, and got some great sound bytes about the argument. So while I missed the actual altercation, I think I got enough to give a good indication that this guy has to put up with a lot of crap from the people that he deals with every day. Sorry to sound so mysterious and evasive about the actual events, but I can't give away one of my best ideas!
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Good progress on the screenplay today. I made the progress that I was hoping to. Mostly continuing to work in the Gail character. The original Heist script started out as an idea for a short, but it kept getting longer and longer.
As I've added things, I think its become more interesting. I still have 50 pages to go before it can really be considered "feature length". Rule of thumb is that one page of screenplay equates to roughly one minute of scrren time. I have 35 pages now, so I'll need roughly 85 pages before I can call it done. I think I have enough story to make that happen now.
I think that from a production standpoint, the trickiest thing will be the armored car, but I'm sure that if we get creative, that can be solved.
My goal is to have the screenplay done by the end of January.
I did some more editing on my new reality concept reel last night. What I need to do now is let it sit for a day or so to see if I still like what I did. I think that I like the way the segments are coming together and most of it flows nicely together. A couple of the new segments sort of feel out of place, but I like what's in them. I just have to either work on some sort of bridge to get to them in the piece, or lose them altogether.. We'll see.
I'm working on Heist today, I'm hoping to get 5 or more pages done.
I was watching AMC's Sunday Morning Shootout this morning. They had Matt Dillon and writer/director Paul Haggis from the movie Crash which is up for a Golden Globe. It was interesting because Crash was made with a pretty low budget by Hollywood standards (around 6 million) and was shut down a number of times due to lack of funding. I was struck by this because Paul Haggis is working with the likes of Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg on various projects - very much a player.
Paul was talking about how they had to get creative due to their financial constraints. He talked about how they used the same bedroom for two different locations in the film. They shot it in one direction for a bedroom scene for the Matt Dillion character, then painted the opposite walls red, dressed it differently, then used it for a different character's bedroom scene. So there was a fair bit of discussion on how the pressure to work with a small budget brings a creative energy to the shoot. I found it helpful. Its a pretty good show, and I try to catch it every Sunday.
Friday, January 13, 2006
Was re-reading my post from last night - a bit long winded, but I wanted to share my thoughts on the importance of trying to get people other than your friends and family to look at your script. I also wanted to share my process for getting my work reviewed. Not that its the best one or the right one or that it will always produce stellar results. At the very least what it does is get you out of the vacuum.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to work on Heist tonight.
I had to spend some time editing something that I shot with a crew from Nashua back in December. Its a documentary style reality show concept that I developed, directed and produced.
This is the second documentary style reality show that I've developed and produced a concept reel for. The idea behind these little concept reels is that you're trying to capture the characters in a way that might convince network execs that there's enough to build a show on. You're also trying to capture elements of what they do and show how that might form the basis for stories that the episodes would be based on.
I've had a great time working on my concept reels and I've had some excellent crews and a lot of fun along the way. I've learned a lot about shooting and producing on the fly - real challenging.
After playing around with editing for the past month or so (I use Vegas 6.0 for the PC) its easy to understand what an important role editing plays in this medium. With a film, you at least have the screenplay to serve as a guide. With documentary style unscripted stuff, you have to take this mass of footage, rough out a story line and just keep working it until you have something that flows.. It's pretty challenging, but it really helps you develop the skills to build good narrative flow with the footage. I love it...
I plan on spending some serious time on Heist this weekend. I'm hoping my other books come in as well..
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Confession: The first screenplay that I ever wrote sucked. Period.
I think that for most first time writers, unless you're a genius, this is pretty much status quo. Now of course, I didn't think it sucked. While I didn't know or think that it sucked, I did know enough to hire someone that could tell me if it sucked or not.
I can't remember his name, but the first guy (it just happened to be a guy in this case, I've had plenty of coverage from women readers as well) that I hired to read one of my scripts was one of these people that reads (and/or suffers) stacks and stacks of scripts that come into the big studios in LA. These readers then write what's called a coverage report which essentially is the cliff notes version of the script. From these coverage reports, the development execs will decide which scripts from the stack they'll take home for their weekend reads.
The reader that I hired read for some big studios, Paramount among them. I was struck by the fact that despite his connections and working with development execs, he had still never sold one of his own scripts - shows you how tough it is to break into this business..
He basically ripped my script to shreds - and rightfully so, I might add - but the feedback was incredibly useful and from that I basically threw out everything but the concept and started from scratch.
The next guy that I hired was an actual produced Hollywood writer and his name was Mitch Klebanoff. Hiring Mitch was one of the smartest things I ever did because Mitch taught me more than any screenwriting book or class. He completely kicked my literary ass and really got me thinking about story, structure, character development and how never to justify the time that you put into something. If it doesn't fit, throw it out and don't look back - regardless of how cool you think it will look on screen, or how much you love the line that closes the scene. If it doesn't tell you something about a character or doesn't move the story forward, it's filler and basically a waste of screen time.
The other thing that Mitch did was to assure me that every meeting with him would be like any meeting I could expect to have with a producer trying to understand why I put something in the script and what it all meant... I have to admit that there are few things that I've paid for in my life that included someone yelling at me most of the time, but it worked. The fear of fucking up and facing his wrath each week kept me on my toes. The cool thing about Mitch is that if you did a great job, he'd really let you know, but you knew that you earned it.. He didn't give you anything. For that reason, I think he's one of the best writing coaches/mentors out there.
Another thing that I learned was that until you've written at least 5 or 10 drafts of something, it's never done. Someone (could have been Mitch) once told me writing is re-writing, especially in Hollywood.
I have a great relationship with Mitch, and he's done a lot to help me as a writer and producer. One of the things that surprised me early in our discussions was him mentioning that he hires people to read and critique his work (or gets other writers to look it over and offer notes). Why? Because it makes sense. You can't do this in a vacuum. So the other thing that became abundantly clear was that if you can't take someone telling you that you've got a shitty script or just a bad idea, you're in the wrong game.. :)
So, regardless of how much I think I may have learned in my five short years as a writer, I'll always hire someone to do coverage on the script and/or hire someone like Mitch to critique it.
While I have a small group of friends who I know will give me honest feedback, I'd never rely on that entirely before turning something in to either a contest or sending it out to a producer.
I typically start the search for suckiness and the cheese extraction (process by which all the cheesy scenes and dialog are purged) by taking my finished drafts to an English major neighbor of mine who lives up the street and she'll find all the grammatical type stuff and give me a pure review of the story, its good points and bad. I'll then revise and send it out to at least two coverage sites. However, before I do that, I'll typically register with the writers guild (WGAE) - which is as good a method of protection as a copyright, and you get the registration number back a lot quicker.
The two sites that I've found to give decent coverage are www.scriptshark.com and www.soyouwannasellascript.com. You end up paying about $150 a reading, but you'll get back pretty comprehensive notes on problems with story, character development, dialog and an overall rating of the script in a bunch of categories.
If the coverage is generally favorable from the two sites, I'll send it to Mitch to see if it passes his hard ass Hollywood writer test. If he thinks its good, then I'll copyright. While copyrighting isn't a huge pain in the ass, I just can't get myself to spend the money for the certificate if people think the script is shit. Why bother?
I plan on following this same process with this script. So by the time I'm done getting the script in shape, I'll end up spending $800 - $900 just to get enough sample opinions from people in the business to ensure that it doesn't suck and also to help me get the script in shape.
The thing I always keep in my head is that just because I think something is cool doesn't mean it will resonate with enough people to justify me making it or that a studio might want to buy it.
So this ends up being a decision point.
If after getting Heist in shape and the coverage and the Mitch critique aren't favorable enough, I may end pulling the plug on Heist and look for something else to produce.
While I'm on a mission to do this, I have no desire to add my name to the growing list of indie filmmakers that have a great looking movie with a story that sucks or an idea that no one cares about.
Last night, I worked on cleaning the pages up that I wrote on Tuesday night and cleaned up some inconsistencies that cropped up as a result of adding in Gail. This is the infamous ripple effect.. This was a big change, but fortunately, the ripples were small (mainly because the script is still relatively small), but sometimes small changes can have the inverse effect, so whenever you change something, however small, you invariably end up having to read and re-read to catch all the stuff that may have been affected by the change.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
As I was expecting, I've found dozens of references on various discussion boards to Robert Rodriguez's success with his $7,000 movie, "El Mariachi".
However, in reading a lot of the posts, I think a lot of people miss a few things...
People talk about the fact that the look of the film "really isn't that great" and wouldn't pass muster at a lot of festivals today. I beg to differ. While it had much better production values than the stuff he was gunning for at the time (the hordes of cheaply produced movies in the Latino market in the late 80's/early 90's) it also had an excellent story and was much better acted and directed than a lot of what you see in festivals today.
I think that what agents and studio execs saw in Robert was that while his film may not have been letter perfect - he simply got it. "It" being good filmmaking. Telling a story with the camera, the "hero" formula, good structure, and adding production value not simply for the sake of it, but because it supported the story. The other thing that I think bowled people over is that he did it in spite of the fact that he didn't have a huge budget. That was his genius. That's what it's about.
Keep in mind that this is not at all a generalization, because I think there are a lot of talented people that frequent the discussion boards I've been checking out (www.dvinfo.net and www.dvxuser.com), but it seems that a lot of these techies spend way too much time debating things like the difference between 16mm and mini DV, which carries more clout at festivals (film or digital), DV vs. HDV vs HD, this cam vs. that cam, why editing on a Mac is so much better than on a PC yada, yada, yada.. They focus so much on how the thing will look.. I will concede that many of these people are amazing - they know the equipment and the technical aspects of filmmaking backwards and forwards and they can shoot something that's technically stunning - I mean some of this stuff out there *really* is first rate...
But what the hell good is any of it if your story and performances suck? To me, this is the true challenge in filmmaking. While look is very important to me, it's still not as important as these two aspects - in other words, you shouldn't focus on it to the point where story and performance are ignored. This is the principal challenge that I intend to focus on with Heist.
If someone were to ask me what makes a great movie, I'd have to respond that for the time that I was there watching it, I was suckered into thinking that what I was watching was real - I believed it.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
I ordered yet another book..
While I want very badly to have James be the DP (director of photography) on Heist, I'm not sure if the schedules will work out, so I've gone out and purchased a book and DVD with tutorials on how to operate the Panasonic DVX100A which is the camera that we shot our short film "Alibi Phone Network" on. Anyway, the book is supposed to be the definitive guide on the camera. I need to learn how to operate it. I'm not worried about composition. I think I've always had a decent eye for that, but I need to become an expert on that camera so that I can ensure a decent look on the film if I don't have James with me.
I spent a lot of time on various DV boards and while they're very helpful, they can also drive you nuts as well. So many opinions and it's all sometimes tough to sort through and figure out what might be best for you or your project.
I pulled up the script for Heist which I hadn't looked at in a while. It's quite a bit shorter than I remember (by almost half, so I must have been thinking of another script that I've been working on). Not a problem. It's in pretty damn good shape (what's there is anyway). I did some work on the opening scene and started working a new character into the first act. It felt good because it flowed really well and the two scenes that I added (about three pages) took almost no time to write. That felt good - back in the grove. The new character, Gail, will be a challenge to play - she's sort of complex. Lots of issues, lost soul, but I like her. She could have turned out much differently if it weren't for her childhood. I was once told that when you bring a character into a story, you need to understand everything there is to know about them, even though we're seeing just a small slice of them in the film. You need to know what makes them tick, their history, etc. So it helps for me to think of them as people in my life that I know. Odd I know, but it helps make them more real for me.
I talked to my friend Todd Poudrier tonight, an actor from Boston who was one of the male leads in Alibi. He's moving to LA, but it sounds as if he'd be back to shoot Heist which was a relief because I'd always pictured him in the role of Eddie. I started writing Heist after Alibi and always had Todd in mind when I wrote the part of Eddie. He even came over one night to read one of the scenes that I'd written to see how it sounded. He's Eddie.. It's great.
I've revealed my plan to a few friends now who I think may secretly consider me nuts for taking this on, but what the hell.. I'm convinced that while shorts are great learning tools, there's not much point in doing another one. We made it into a bunch of decent festivals with Alibi. For this next project, I'd rather spend the time and money on something that could teach me more about features which is what I wanted to do in the first place.
Last night I finished the Robert Rodriguez book "Rebel Without A Crew: or How A 23-Year-Old Filmmaker With $7,000 Became A Hollywood Player".
It came in the mail from Amazon on Saturday, but I couldn't dig into it until I got back from snowboarding on Sunday evening.
It's basically a diary that tells the story of the making of his breakout film "El Mariachi" and how he did it on an ultra low ($7,000) budget and hit it big. My friend James Tauber told me that there was a more recent example of a high tech guy who shot a film for 7k and won the grand jury prize at Sundance, but I can never remember the name of it. I'll have to ask him (again).
I could not put the book down. To say that I was inspired by it is an understatement. He shot "El Mariachi" hoping to sell it on the Latino direct to video market, but on his way to doing that, he managed to get connected with an agent at ICM who within a matter of weeks had the entire town buzzing about this kid and his $7,000 movie. Then a bidding war basically broke out over Robert and his movie.
I suppose that you could say that he got the deal of the century, and that what happened to him is rare, but he produced a great film with a cool story. It struck me that these big agents can create a buzz about anyone and have it consume Hollywood overnight, but after watching "El Mariachi" I can see why they were so excited. The kid had talent. The chances are pretty low that what happened to him would happen to me, but they're even lower if I don't produce a feature at all, right?
Robert Rodriguez accomplished this amazing feat back in 1991/92. The technology and some of the techniques that he used in producing "El Mariachi" were the functional equivalent of stone knives when compared to today's technology.. But that didn't stop him which was what was so cool about it.
Still, a lot of things that he did and the advice that he had that are relevant to indie filmmaking regardless of the technology involved. Much of it really came down to planning. Knowing what he wanted ahead of time so he'd know where to put the camera when he shot, and also making editing decisions on the fly while he was shooting.
I was astounded by how he shot the film silent, then used a radio shack microphone and a cheapy Merantz cassette tape recorder to record the sound (dialog and effects) to the scene which he would later sync up in post. The fact that the audio went out of sync in several places was solved by simply cutting away before the actors lips went out of sync with the audio.
This was also done in the days before low cost computer based editing, so all 2000 cuts in the movie were done by hand on video tape (not the actual 16 mm film that was used).
While I won't have the technological limitations that he had, I'll have similar budget constraints, so the challenges will be rather significant. But he pointed out in his book, problems and challenges test creativity, the more creative you are, the easier it is to find solutions to your problems... We'll see..
I've ordered another book, "Killer Camera Rigs That You Can Build: How to Build Your Own Camera Cranes, Car Mounts, Stabilizers, Dollies, and More". The thought is that if I'm going to cram a ton of production value into this thing, I'll need to build some of my own rigs to keep the costs down. That will be fun, so I'm looking forward to it.
I've got a half finished script called "Heist" that I'll be going over for the next few days to see what can be done to complete it. I sort of have the story arc of the main characters completed in my head, but I think that I'll need at least one more minor subplot to fill it out. More to come... Stay tuned.
Monday, January 09, 2006
At long last, I enter the blogosphere..
Yesterday while snowboarding in New Hampshire, a couple of things occurred to me:
- At 40, time is getting short if I'm to make it in the film industry, so my next project has to be something rather special - probably a feature.
- If I'm going to do a feature, why not blog it and share what I learn, the good bad and ugly with others? Besides that, making my goal public may serve to keep the fire under my ass well stoked.
So here I am...
As I go through this, I'll talk more about myself, what I've done, what got me here, etc. etc.
Basically, after one short film and a couple smallish documentary style projects, the bottom line is that I'm pretty convinced that my next project needs to be a feature length film - not something mediocre, but something that looks like I spent way more than I did.
Anyone that knows anything about filmmaking knows that this is a non-trivial undertaking. Producing a feature even with the advent of all the new and powerful technology available to small indie filmmakers is very difficult.
I know it's a very tough, somewhat audacious goal, but I love filmmaking and I'm willing to accept the risk. I guess what's always bothered me more than risk is not trying something at all.