Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Film Budgeting Software

Like scheduling software, budgeting software can take a lot of the hard work out
of creating a budget for a film. The following are some of the programs available:

1, Filmmaker Software, mentioned earlier in this chapter, has a budgeting
template included in its production software. A steal at only $15! Go to
2. Microsoft Excel enables you to create your own budget template.

3.BBP Software makes a film/TV budgeting template that runs on
Microsoft Excel, for the Macintosh and for Windows. It has additional
templates for crew and actor contact lists and sells for $99. You can
download it from the Web at www.boilerplate.net.

4 Easy Budget, which retails for $189.95 at www.easy-budget.com,
really is easy to use. Refer to Figure 4-3 to see a budget top sheet created
in Easy Budget.

5.Gorilla has a budgeting template included in its complete production
software package and is available at www.junglesoftware.com for
$199 (Student Edition).

6. EP Budgeting by Entertainment Partners is the budget software of choice in
Hollywood. At $499 , it can be expensive for a low-budget filmmaker, but it’s
the top of the line if you can afford it. Check it out at www.entertain
mentpartners.com. If you’re a student (and can prove it) you can get the
software for $195 at the Writer’s Store (www.writersstore.com).

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Important Weblinks For A Film Maker

http://www.rocliffe.com/ Agency bringing together writers with industry.
http://www.firstfilm.co.uk/sfeedsvc.asp Script evaluation for low fee.
http://www.moonstone.org.uk/intro.html Highly regarded European-based agency aimed at helping writers.
http://www.awesomefilm.com/ Downloadable film scripts.
http://www.scriptfactory.co.uk/ News and advice for scriptwriters.
http://www.wcauk.com/ Protect your work by understanding copyright law.
http://screenwritersguild.org/storystructure.asp Screenwriters’ resource on structure.
www.sag.org US actors’ guild advice on scheduling and working with actors.
http://crew-net.com/ Hire crew in US-based site.
http://www.screenhub.com.au/ Australian site for jobs and hiring.
http://www.indiewire.com/ Hire and get hired in US-based site.
http://www.ukscreen.com/dir/crew/Crew Hire UK-based crew hire site.
http://www.mandy.com/ International and comprehensive crew hire site.
http://www.film-tv.co.uk/ Directory of broadcast and film crew and professionals.

How Films Work

The shortcut to making a film that lasts
in people’s minds lies in understanding
the nuts and bolts of movies – not just
the technical side but the mechanics of
how you make viewers see and feel
what  you want. The tools you have
learnt and the conventions and rules
you have picked up now need to
come together to add  up to
more than just technology and skills.
In a sense, learning about continuity,
lighting or composition is like
learning about the  anatomy of filmmaking. This section takes  us into what we could call
the soul of filmmaking – the meanings that lie within. Understanding how this inner life
works means that you stand to make your next movie an experience viewers won’t forget.

The tools

The basic building blocks in a film are:
1.Image – what we see
2. Sound – what we hear
3. Space – what we think we see (perception)
4. Time – when we think it happened.

Everything else in the movie is subservient to these basic elements. Story, plot and
character are visible elements in the film, but are simply the result of the way the
above are manipulated. If we look at how each of these elements are represented
in your skills, we could identify them as:

1. Image – camera framing, lighting, movement, colour
2. Sound – diagetic sound (within the scene), non-diagetic sound (subjective, off camera), music
3. Space – depth, focus, composition and sound
4. Time – editing.

In different ways, each of the tools above are a way of expressing meaning in your film.
Story and character are much less able to express meaning than they appear.
An interesting way of throwing light on this is by looking at remakes, two films
with identical stories but which have very different meanings through use of the camera,
colour, symbolism and so on. The original Cape Fear (J. Lee Thompson, 1961)
set up a moral narrative of how a decent family are targeted by a released convict,
yet in Scorsese’s 1991 remake, certain changes are made that radically alter the meaning.
The convict is given a semi-religious motivation, while the family are deceitful and
self-destructive. The first movie places the sinner as the convict, while the second
places the family – and crucially, the lawyer at the head of it – as the sinner while
the convict is the sinned against.

So what exactly carries out the meaning side of the film? The answer is in the fact
that every element carries it – it is not separate from the film but is integral to every
part of it. Confused movies are ones where no thought has been given to what they
actually mean, while resonant movies are the ones where there is very clear meaning.
But this has nothing to do with what kind of meaning you opt for. Successful films
don’t have to shout out an important message nor do they have to make the audience

think something – they are not propaganda. In fact, many films today prefer to avoid
sermons in favour of raising questions and ideas for us to take home and reflect on.
Films such as Sideways (Alexander Payne, 2005), Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly, 2001),
Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002) and In The Cut (Jane Campion, 2003) tend to
nudge us towards outcomes rather than hand them to us on a plate.

We could refer to any emergence of the core themes and ideas of a film as signs.
The devices that deliver these signs exist in layers surrounding the film. Some are
easy to spot, others need a little work to uncover. Like forensic work at a crime scene,
some signs are for rookies (the gun on the floor, the pool of blood) and others are
for those who know how to look (the mismatched fingerprints on the trigger,
the photos smashed on the mantelpiece). Like detectives, we try to uncover
what happened and we look for a motive too – why it happened. Then we
see how this makes us feel, what it tells us about people, life and the world today.

This hierarchy of signs is placed by the director so that we can experience the
movie on different levels – it can be entertainment or it can be philosophy,
depending on your choice. Sometimes, the philosophy side gets to be bigger
than intended – for instance, in Hitchcock’s films, where we get to know as much
about the psyche of the director as we do the plot. Elsewhere, a film can become
more meaningful through its relation to the zeitgeist – for instance, with Terminator
I and II, where we can track the changes in masculinity in society as Arnie is all
Rambo-style machismo in the first movie but by the end of the decade is able to
look after children and even weep with emotion. It’s easy to see why
Kindergarten Cop was such an obvious next step. So, when watching a film,
we need to look for signs at varying levels and look for others that may be
attached later to the film.

What Is Narrative Film Definition?

Narrative film

A narrative movie uses a story as its main motivation. Since the birth of cinema, narrative has been the
driving force of the film industry, to the extent that other forms are described by how much or how
little they address narrative. It evolved largely from the dominance of literary media in culture and
borrows hugely from literature in the way stories are told, even down to the use of cutaways in editing.
But as a primarily visual medium, film has other possibilities and many filmmakers have tempered the
dominance of plot and increased the use of visual signs and symbols to develop the themes and meanings
of a film, such as Stanley Kubrick and Andrei Tarkovsky.

Within narrative film there have arisen many conventions about how you tell a story. Largely due to the
need to agree a common code with the viewing public which can be applied to each and every film, there
are certain ways of shooting and editing that will disguise the actual process of filmmaking and draw
attention only to the plot and the characters within it. Thus, film becomes a true escapist experience.
If you work with stories today, however, you need to possess some detailed knowledge of these
conventions as if they are a set of signs that an increasingly knowing audience is going to decipher.
This means that you can subvert conventions and can mix signs from different formsbut all the
time you have to be aware of where you stand within the wider framework of narrative film. Audiences develop their awareness of these signs in narrative film simply by seeing lots of films, so as a
filmmaker you are equally able to read the signs and then perhaps make up your own.

Narrative film may be the established dominant mode, but entering this area doesn’t mean you have to
follow film trends, making cliché-ridden films that only emulate other directors. Certainly this may be
true within the profit-driven industry of Hollywood, but there are numerous directors who follow their
own path by turning narrative into something that is their own.

The short movie

In the last chapter we heard about how short movies (average 10 minutes in length or less) have had
something of a comeback as the new filmmaker’s school. Almost all filmmakers have made several
before going on to make successful features, the shorts serving as a place to try out ideas, road-test
stories, and develop style and exercise conventions. The quick pace of short movie production also
helps build confidence, as you can make one with very few resources or little time.

The micro-short

This development of the narrative movie is relatively new, resulting from the need for shorter-than-short
movies that download fast over the Internet or to phones. The particular constraints of movies lasting less
than a minute are invigorating, helping you to develop faster as a filmmaker. Straight narrative sits as easily
as abstract movies in this form, although many narrative versions tend to be more successful because
of the startling way they compress conventional storytelling into small spaces – temporally and spatially.

My kind of people?

The narrative filmmaker obsesses about films to the degree that relationships end (and start) over top
ten lists of movies. For their own work, they ride a wave of adrenaline, enjoy stress (‘I actually feel
stressed now if I am not stressed, without anything to do.’ James Sharpe, filmmaker) and stop at nothing
to get a film made. Theirs is a guerrilla world where night-time raids are made to scale the walls of
mainstream cinema, funded by credit card. Organized and skilled, they survive on little sleep but are
sustained through their strong – and deserved – sense of their own talent
http://www.nokiashorts.co.uk/ Annual competition for micro-shorts.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

What Is Digital Technology In Media

To some people the so-called DV 
revolution spells the end of a certain 
kind of movie: the end of celluloid 
and all the associations that we have 
with it – projectors, rolls of film and
the romance of Hollywood. To others, 
though, it is more than a revolution or 
a change in the industry – it’s year zero.
To filmmakers who could only dream 
of committing their ideas to moving images,

the DV age is the start of a career, not just a change in one, as the affordability of cameras and editing equipment makes it possible to get involved.

DV is here to stay, is reaching far wider into the mainstream of filmmaking than people thought
possible and, in a few years, has affected every part of the video and film industries from 
Hollywood down to indie features, and finally – and most dramatically – the low-budget 
emerging filmmaker. In most revolutions of the technological sort (and maybe the political)
it is those at the top that seem to benefit most financially, but the DV revolution is one that 
bucks the trend; big money producers agree DV makes a difference to the costs of a film,
but to the filmmaker at the bottom it is the deciding factor in being able to make one at all. 
But before we run off with our winnings, it is worth looking more closely
at this gift horse and trying to understand why it works so well and how it 
offers us what it does.

Digital video

Digital is called digital because it records information by the use of numbers: ones and zeros, 
which correspond to ‘on’ or ‘off’ commands. It has no variables as does the wave of analog; 
a signal is either one or the other, black or white, yes or no. This means that when the tape 
signal degrades after copying or playing – which happens however hard you try to avoid it – it 
alters only the strength of the yes or no, the on or off, the one or zero. It still gets read as 
one or the other, regardless of the strength of the signal. This is why digital is a better 
method of storing and reproducing information. It is the reproduction of it that is crucial, 
since the ability to edit and distribute without loss of quality
is to remain true to a director’s original intentions.

Filmmakers used to rely on 16 mm film for their first forays into movies, and VHS 
tape never really caught on as an acceptable replacement. Filmmakers care about 
the way a picture looks and digital offers what many are looking for at the price they 
can afford, while VHS was neither quality nor did it have a specific ‘look’ as did 
16 mm film. Why was VHS analog so bad? If you take a picture and photocopy
it you produce a version of the original. But if you want to re-copy it you lose some
information and the resulting copy is less clear than the original. Repeat this
process several times and you end up with a muddy, unclear image. With digital, 
you are approaching the picture wholly differently: imagine breaking the tonal 
values and colours of that photo down into numerical values, in turn represented
by ones and zeros. You have then got a set of instructions for the make-up of 
that picture and can send these instructions anywhere. All that it requires is that 
the receiver has the same information as the sender in order to be able to 
reassemble the image from the numbers it is given. With the right decoding
knowledge it will reconstruct the image. Furthermore, because it exists in terms
of numbers, it can be manipulated more easily, so that a picture can be turned 
black and white by exchanging one set of numbers for another, while keeping 
the rest unchanged.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Who Is Film Director?

Everyone wants to direct, don’t they? Even my dog has a T-shirt that says, “What I really want to do is direct.” A director has to be a multitalented multitasker. The director is captain of the ship,
the leader of the pack, and is responsible for 
making all the creative elements come together
(see Chapters 13 and 14 for more on what a 
director does). Many first-time filmmakers can 
take on the job of directing, and if you do your 
homework (like reading this book) and are passionate about making your film, you’ll find it a rewarding experience. If you’d rather hire someone else to direct, start collecting demo
reels — whether they’re short films, features, or commercials — from prospective

When searching for a director, ask these questions:
1. Does he or she tell a story well? Is the film logical in its sequence of
events? Did the director tell an intriguing story?

2. Are the actors’ performances believable? Do they come across as sincere?
Do you care about the characters in the film?

3 Are camera shots and movement effective? Does the director use effective
angles? Are the shots interesting but not distracting to the story?
Does the camera movement enhance the shots?

4. If the film’s a comedy, is it funny? Does the director have a good sense
of comedic timing? Is the comedy funny or too silly?

5. Is the direction consistent? Do the shots have a certain style? Do all the
elements, shots, dialogue, setting, and so on have consistency, or does
the work seem all over the place?

Assistant director

Many people have a misconception of what an assistant director does. He or
she does not assist in directing the film. An assistant director (also known as
the A.D.) is more of an assistant to the director. The assistant director keeps
the set moving and the film on schedule. The assistant director’s duties

1. Breaking down the script with the director (to schedule the shoot days).

2. Relaying the director’s technical instructions to the cast and crew.

3. Getting the shots ready by making sure that all production personnel
and actors are in place and ready when the director needs them.

4. Working with the extras on a small budget, and relaying instructions for
the extras to the second assistant director on a bigger production.

5.Making up the call sheets (lists of which cast members work the next day
and any special equipment or elements needed for the shooting). On
bigger productions this is usually handed off by the first assistant director
to the unit production manager.

6. Calling the actors who need to work the next day (on larger productions,
this task is performed by the unit production manager).

7.  Getting the set settled to start filming (asking if sound and camera are
ready and then calling to the mixer to roll sound and the camera operator
to roll camera—things that must be done before the director cues
the actors or action begins).

The director — never the assistant director — calls “action” and “cut.” The
assistant director’s authority ends when the director calls for Action

Second assistant director

The second assistant director (the second A.D.) is an assistant to the assistant
director and is also responsible for a fair amount of paperwork — especially
if it’s a union shoot, because there are strict rules and regulations, and everything
has to be documented properly. I liken a second A.D. to an executive
assistant — this person does paperwork, works on the computer, and helps
to make the boss’s job easier.

Some of the second A.D.’s paperwork includes handling call sheets, collecting
from the camera department the camera reports (shots and footage for
the day’s shoot), collecting talent releases for background players, and so
on. The second assistant checks everyone in at the beginning of each day’s
shoot, calls the actors for camera when they’re needed on the set, and then
checks everyone out at the end of the shoot.

My sister Nancy was the second A.D for my film Undercover Angel, and
her job was crowd control. For the final dramatic scene in the film, Nancy
rounded up almost 1,000 extras, which was no small task.

tag:Who Is Film Director

Who Is Film Producer

A producer is responsible for putting the project together and sometimes
finding the financing. Without the right producer, the film may never come to
fruition. A producer, who is often the filmmaker (the person responsible for the project being produced in the first place), is the first one on the project and the last one to leave. The producer is responsible for hiring the crew and
working with the director to hire the actors. The producer helps “produce” all the elements required to put the production together.

Some projects have an executive producer. This person earns the title by
either handling the business of the production, being the actual financier of
the project, or being someone without whom the film would never have come
to fruition. In television and studio features, the executive producer is often a
representative of the studio or network who carries a lot of authority.

An associate producer is usually a glorified title reserved for someone who
contributes an important element to the production — such as finding the
financing or the name stars. Agents and managers often get an associate producer
credit for bringing a star or major element to a project.

Tag:Who Is Film Producer

Starting A Production Company Film

When you find an investor who believes in you and your film project, you need to set up a production company through which to run the financing.
You often need your investors to help finance the startup of the company as well, so it’s best to wait to form the company until you find an investor.

If you don’t set up some form of a production company, you’re what’s called a sole proprietorship, and don’t have the protection that a production company
may provide. Setting up a corporation or limited liability company gives you
have a little more protection from lawsuits and other headaches. The company
can act as a shield so that, in the event you’re sued, only the assets of
the company — and not your personal assets — are vulnerable. Each situation
is different, so always consult a lawyer about your options and risks.

Being in the right company

You have lots of choices when it comes to the type of company you want to
form, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages:
1. General partnership
2. Limited partnership
3. Corporation
4. Limited liability company (LLC)
5. Joint venture

As you choose the company that best suits your situation, consider these
three main factors:

1. Liability: Who will be responsible in case of a lawsuit or bad debts? You
and the company partners, or just the company?

2. Taxes: What kind of tax structure does the company have? Does the
company pay tax or do the taxes flow through to you and your partner’s
personal taxes?

3. Ownership: Who owns the film and any other assets of the company?

How To Get Money To Make A Movie

Meeting an investor is like going out on a first date — you have to impress on the first date, or you don’t get a second one. Your first meeting with a potential investor will probably be over the phone. You need to sell him on getting involved with you and your film so that you can move to the next step and have a face-to-face meeting. The potential investor may request a copy of your prospectus or business plan before wanting to meet in person. This is why your presentation package is so important: If it intrigues the investor, you’ll get that in-person meeting and have a chance to close the deal.

Keep in mind the following when approaching investors:

1, Be enthusiastic about your project, but don’t be phony.

2, Be honest and don’t guarantee that they’ll get rich from investing in
your film. If you prove that you can be trusted, they may invest in you —
and fund your future projects.

Don’t ever guarantee investors that they’ll recoup their investment and
make a profit. Nothing in life is guaranteed, especially getting rich off
making a movie. You don’t want to mislead them. If you guarantee they’ll
make money and they don’t, they could legally come after you stating
you made false promises to them.

3.Be prepared. Before calling, be ready to answer any questions the
investor may ask. This can include what your film’s about (be ready to
pitch your story), budget amount, shooting schedule, post-production
to release schedule, and how long it will take for them to see a return (if
any) on their investment. Before your face-to-face meeting, review all the
material in your package so that the investor will know that you know
what you’re talking about.

4 Be respectful. Assure the investor that you will treat his or her money
as if it were your own.

5 Follow up with a thank-you note to the investor for taking the time to
meet with you and for considering your proposal.

You have to look at it as a win-win situation. People get excited about the idea
of getting involved in financing a film. It’s a lot more exciting (and definitely
more glamorous) than buying $5,000 in toilet paper stock. You could be doing
the investor a favor. The investor has the potential of making money with your
film (also the potential to lose his pants — but you probably don’t want to say
that). But again, be honest, and let them know investing in a film is a risk —
there’s no guarantee they’ll get their money back or make a profit — but that
it’s your honest intention to make money for them with your film.

You can also entice your investors by offering to give them an Executive
Producer credit in your film’s opening credits. If so, be sure to mutually agree
in writing the appropriate credit that your investor will receive on the film. You
can have as many Executive Producer credits as fits the number of investors.

After you’ve found investors, a company agreement between you and your
investors must be drafted before anyone is going to hand over cash for you
to make your film. When the investor agrees to participate in the financing
of your film, it’s time to move on to forming a company and ironing out the
details of putting your project together.