Friday, February 21, 2014

Film Schools Part 2

Last blog I talked about how Ed Burns made a very nice little movie. All for $9000.

And why you should go out and make a movie.

Because you can do it for even less.

Burns gave his actors what probably was low budget scale for the Screen Actors Guild. SAG doesn't want to have actors unemployed and the union would rather have actors get paid even a little.

Even if it's less than $100 day.

And for $75 day.

The question is why choose SAG actors, you can put an ad in Craig's list for actors and get a few dozen the same day. But I'd rather go with SAG if simply they have done movies or TV or commercials and are better trained than non-SAG. You might find a good cast that aren't union, but since you're a first-timer, why not use actors who've already done something, it's enough that you don't know what you're doing, why have to work with actors who've never done anything.

If you go with Sag's "Limited Exhibition Agreement"Naturally you have to get contracts and will be limited in where it's sold, which probably would be maybe your parent's home. Truth is that most of these low, low budget films never go anywhere.

But it's a major accomplishment to do it. Most people "want" to make a movie, but few rarely do. I know it seems like there's hundreds of movies being made every day, especially now with cheap cameras that give a reasonable quality.

But making a movie is like writing a screenplay. Very few do it. I've told you before how often I get someone who wants me to write their "personal screenplay", and then when we sell it, we'll all be rich.

That's not gonna happen.

So what about those people who make short films?

I have a friend who has made a handful of short films and some have even won awards. A few were recognized at the festival by being a selection. Kind of like going to someone's home for dinner and they give you a credit for showing up.

When asked I always say "I don't have short ideas".

Okay, I'm a little harsh. But really, it takes a little more effort to do 75 minutes rather than 10 or 15 minutes. You got the camera, shoot a little more. The standard for a feature-length movie is deemed to be 75 minutes, anything less is not a feature. It's a short.

The average movie now and even in the past 80 years is around 100 minutes. But like I said, you can make one at 75 minutes. And if you're reading this blog, you already know more than the average person.

You probably know the rules, small cast, schedule of maybe 7 -12 days, small crew (look at Burn's crew, 3 people. Of course he had 5 more people for post-production but still, the goal is to finish shooting. It's much easier to find finishing money than filming money. At least there's something that an investor (dad or Uncle Harry) can see. 

Going back to film school, like I said if you have the money to go, go but you'll know more than enough by two years to make a movie. And if you aren't going to film school what I said is the same for you. 

Go out and make one.

It could be the worst movie ever made but it was made.

And you've already got a head start on those USC boys and girls.

Well, almost. Most of the UCLA/USC/AFI folks will have contacts by year 2 with agents and managers and all that stuff. 

But most of them will have left the business after a few years of looking for jobs.

But that's another story... 

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