How can you shoot a short on racism with possibly zero money and a mini video cam? Do you think it's possible? Any suggestions?
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Where there's a will there's a way, and add to that a solid preparation time in preproduction, then yes, you can definitely shoot a short in this fashion. Focus first on your story and how the heart of it--not the mechanics--can be shot with what is available to you...make sure the script fits the tools and budget. I made this in Paris, no budget, all guerrilla style: "Last Day of Paris is about a young spirit journeying through Paris. As she travels in the City of Light, from the Parc des Buttes Chaumont to Montmartre and the Eiffel Tower, she reflects on the beauty that passes in each moment while touching on themes like death, creation, time, memory, and life." https://vimeo.com/50028182
Hi Edwin and thanks for the advice! Your video is really good indeed, I really like the mix B/W, the choice of places and the add of long shots which give the idea of tought and relfection. Also the music is very well chosen, it accompanies the audience as a silent narrator. The story focus is strong. I know you told me not to pay to much attention to the tool, but I got to ask you what kind of device you used for the image is really clear and the B/W is amazing!
I shot a 70 min. feature for 2 grand - and half of that was because I had to buy a new rim for BMW I borrowed - it got trashed in the very first movie shot I ever made!
If you can borrow some of your equipment (or already own it) then you can make it for gas and food costs. I shot a 30 minute short for $748. I know I can shoot features for less than $10K no problem. Keep it simple. Learn every aspect of the shoot and handle the camera yourself. Go for it!
Yes it is possible - the idea and script are the key. You need to "write to scale", in other words make it small, strong and without any large budget requirements.
It's very possible. I just finished my feature and spent less than 2K.
Dominic is the man! $2K...amazing! It amazes me that a producer could spend $30 - $40 million on a comedy. We can compete in making small films and there is no reason for anyone to wait to try and find financing...unless you are trying to hook a top 10 lead to star. Forget about it! Shoot your films people!
We filmed a short independent film for $167. Florida Independent Filmmakers. The making of "Lean Times". =0)
Completely possible, though I suggest getting your hands on a good microphone if at all possible. Sound can make or break a film, weak camera or no. In other words, learn from my mistakes. If the script is not set in stone, do yourself a favor and limit location, actors, effects,etc The simpler a shoot is, the easier it will be to complete for a low dollar amount in a short time frame, and time is money. A good script can bring in good actors, but getting them back on set over time can prove tricky. If you want to improve quality, I'd scan youtube, indiemogul, etc. for various tips and tricks to make things look better. El cheapo and free sliders, glide cams, etc. can be assembled if the equipment isn't there allowing for some improved cinematography.
of course its possible. film is not about the equipment but the content. take all the elements those are in your full control means the easily accessible location, friend artists, technicians etc. so that you will be in comfortable position to complete the film. wish you all the best!
Weigh the tripod, strap it down too, to reduce jiggle, use a small monitor as a viewfinder the way tv stations do it with the studio cameras, and make a skateboard dolley. You should be able to find plans on the internet. You can contact me if you need more tips, but the answer is yes, it's possible, (I would rather rent a big camera than use a little one personally, however.)
Thanks for the awesome comment, Irina. It put a smile on my face while I read it. The camera I used was the Canon Rebel t2i, which in all honesty is usually passed by for Canon's other (more expensive) dslr's like the 5d. Again, it's all about knowing your tool, and in the case of the images from the Rebel t2i, as an editor (and colorist) I know how to work with it and get it where I need.
What is your angle on the subject?
Hi Jade, what do you mean? technically or from the point of view of the script? :) Thanks a lot to Edwind, Shane, Pete and to everybody for the advice. we don't have much money, and the actor will 'volunteer' the project. If I make it to write down a good script we have have access to some regional funds. I'm writing the story and will direct it togethere with a friend. We'll eventually shoot in Sicily for there, the issue of racism is felt stongly, some of you may be familiar with Lampedusa's Island. We want it to be a story that depicts a 'virtually racist' situation that will turn to be only a prejudice in the end, in the eye of the watcher.
The three F words for low budget filmmaking; Friends, Family, and Fun!
Absolutely! There are plenty of shorts, documentaries, you tube, that use different cameras. Even cell phone cameras can work. It does not matter what the subject is. Good luck!
Irina...how much filmmaking experience do you have? I'll send you my filmmaking book if you like.
Hi Curt, this will be my first time... I ususally write. Kenneth thanks for the encouragement, that's really what I needed! :)
I'm not sure what angle you will be adopting for your short, but I'd have thought there was a lot you could do if you used Black and White film creatively, since most racists see the world in only black or white. Perhaps you could show them all the wonderful things they're missing out on by not seeing the richness of so many colours?
I'd like to create a misundestandable situation, a stereotype story in the beginning, that would lead the watcher to believe that what he sees is what it is. For instance: a white hooligan or an African man who look very menacing heading towards a nice old lady like they want to steal their purse, and then smiling an hugging, something misleading and revealing at the same time. Your idea of B/W is really cool, 'cause I could start with it and turn it to color as soon as the revelation is made. Thanks Tim!
I'm glad it helped. If you haven't already seen it, I'd suggest watching an old TV commercial for the Guardian newspaper. Here it is on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3h-T3KQNxU
Wow! That's exactly the kind of thing I was talking 'bout. Thanks a lot Tim!
Good. I'm glad it helped. Good luck with your project
Tim, Thank you for that video. 30 seconds of concise and solid advice! And great post Irina, these tips have really helped me too.
just be still and no that he is //////////GOD, and it will work out dear.
Ana gets lost. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=543155232439540&set=a.5431553457... …
it is not just possible, it happens all the time. the quality of the film depends greatly on your vision and how well you can communicate that vision to your cast and crew. if you haven't done it before, find some people who have. you can check around for local film students. check craig's list for 48 hour film challenges. this is a great way to network and learn about the film business. once you've worked on a couple films, you should have the people you need to make your film a reality. if you want to go beyond that, you can look for funding. crowdfunding works well for films and social causes. your film is about a social cause so, it should work. but, make sure you have a campaign. don't just put up a site and expect to make a million. you'll need weekly updates and videos to get people interested and keep them interested. you might even check with a local production company to see if they'll join your cause. if the company can't, maybe a couple employees will help you in their spare time. there are articles about acting and filmmaking in my magazine. click on a cover to see that issue. http://arizonafilmmakermagazine.com/
Yes, it's possible, it takes vision and zeal to pull it through. The mini cam needs to be utilised to the fullest; handled like a professional (which includes setting positions and angles). If it's a movie, your crew needs the assurance they are not simply wasting their time; they need to know- with hard work, creativity and consistency- efforts will be rewarded by interested sponsors etc. Also, you and the crew can decide to execute the short prudently, it's advisable to make use of whatever gets into your pockets by individual means- however little; collectively. You'll be surprised how much can be accomplished with prayer. And if the racism short is a documentary, laying out strategy along with prudence is still key.
You don't need a crew. Do it all yourself and save yourself the scheduling headaches.
that depends on how you want to do your film. a small crew doesn't hurt. I did a film with two "actors" (they were friends of the director), one writer/director, and myself. so, it can be done. but, you'll have to know sound, lighting, and camera and run all three. and then edit the film. a small crew can help a lot. how long is the film? if you're shooting a 10 minute film, it can be shot in one day. if you're going to a longer film, it may take a few days. the fewer locations, the easier it is to accomplish. you gauge the length of your film by the length of your script. if it's in standard script format, it's about a minute a page edited. but, it's about an hour a page to shoot. plan accordingly. who's going to edit the film? can you do that? do you have the software? consider each step and what's involved to accomplish that task. then ask yourself if you can do it yourself in a professional manner. it may be better to have someone who's experienced in lighting handle that aspect. try to find people who are good at what they do to pitch in and help you complete your film
Sounds like good solid advice to me. Good luck
Yes you have to learn the disciplines - there's nothing wrong with learning them. If you know how they all work you'll be wiser in your shot set-ups and location picks.
I guess what James is saying is, go to film school, and when you graduate, you can make your film. if you don't know how to make a film, it sure wouldn't hurt to find someone who does, and enlist their help.
That's not what I'm saying - you don't need a film school to learn how to use a camera, lights or sound. There are plenty of free resources.
Your question is how to make a short with no money and minimal equipment. I own a company called Seriously Low Budget Productions and we make short films right now. My last film was made for under $200 - for us; a $1,000 film is big ticket item. First you need a good and compelling story reduced to script format Then you need dedicated people (filmmaking is a team sport) who all play well together. From there, you learn to excel using whatever equipment you have (a lot of stuff you can make.) Then just go do it! Your first films are going to be pretty bad – that’s okay (you don’t have to show ‘em to anybody.) Then make another one, then another and another… Your learning curve will go way up and your confidence will follow. The short answer is to just go do it!
she has one film. one story. she wants to make it AND show it to people. so, although those are good ways to learn how to make a film, getting someone who already knows how, to help you make the film now, makes more sense to me. if the film can wait. get together with people who know how to make a film and make a couple with them. if not, ask the college who their best students are and see if you can get them to work on your film. if you wan't this to have a larger impact, maybe you don't want to make it yourself but, find someone who makes good films and see if they're interested in your script.
it sounds like Doug might be your go to guy if you have a small budget. $200 is less than you might pay for food for your cast and crew. I'd talk to him about what he can do.
Shoot it, make mistakes. If you don't like it, shoot it again. I can tell you from experience that the more people involved that you're not paying, and therefore have no control over their time, the more headaches associated with getting it shot. And those headaches are best spent on good actors. You can listen to those putting forth negatives OR you can just shoot it. Which do you think will get you further?
Jacqueline - when shooting a no/low budget project - everything is the single biggest issue. Just shoot it and learn.
IMO, Story, delivery of story (acting), sound - everything else is lower on the totem pole.
that means you need GOOD actors, and a sound person, with equipment. but, you'll also need a camera person who understands film. if you shoot a home movie with good sound, it's still just a home movie. that may be all you need for production, but at least have that. you may also need someone for lighting, depending on what you're shooting. and you'll need a good editor who understands editing for film. anyone can make a movie, but it takes skill to make a good movie. are you making a movie to learn how to make a movie? or are you trying to get this story told and heard and seen by as many people as possible. if your premier is 12 people in your living room, and it's never seen again, what good is that? other than for your own education. I have worked on many free projects. if you are having trouble with people, that's your problem. you need to get good people who love what they do. don't let whiners and complainers on your set. you need to work with people who are passionate about film, passionate story tellers who will work their hardest to make sure everything is done right. real movie people work 16-18 hour days in the heat, cold, rain, whatever. and they do it with a smile. delivery of story includes editing, music, foley, sfx, vfx... you don't just shoot it, post it on youtube, and now you're rich and famous and Tom Hanks is calling begging to star in your next movie. there are things that go into making a movie right. "just shoot it" doesn't cut it.
we have enough crap movies that no one wants to watch. wouldn't it be nice if we produced more movies worth watching?
I agree 100% about the sound. I helped shoot a very low budget movie and was then elected to edit it. That in itself was on the job training and I then found out how important the sound was as the crew seemed to get lacadasical about the sound toward the end and they weren't checking for interference or any extraneous noise and eventually they also quit using the boom mic. Gak!! It was a fun film to do until I began the editing and even Sound Forge couldn't help with a lot of the bad sound. Very frustrating for sure. Take it from experience that sound is so important. Good luck on your project. :^)
Joe, did you ever watch Easy Rider? Total crap production values. Isn't it sort of a classic now?
I definitely understand run and gun guerrilla filmmaking. but, just shoot doesn't cut it. I love Robert Rodriguez. but, I don't think Irina is trying to be Robert Rodriguez. she doesn't have to spend $40 billion to make the film, but it might be a good idea to understand how to operate a camera before she "just shoots". getting information, and getting people who understand the basics can make a big difference. the makers of Easy Rider didn't "just shoot"
most "just shoot" productions lack cutaways, several angles of each scene, and a whole lot more. Easy Rider was shot with a budget by Columbia pictures, with a full crew
if you want to convince someone to "just shoot" you shouldn't pick a studio picture as your example
I guess we'll never agree. Personally, I write, shoot, edit and I learned it all from scratch over an approx. 1 year period. I had zero experience with any aspect of filmmaking going in - I didn't know what I couldn't do. Two years and two features later, with only myself as the "crew" (literally, I did every single thing except the acting), my second feature got 4 nominations and one award. It can be done - I know it because I've done it. Making money, that's a different story. IMO, if you're a new indie filmmaker your chances of making money are virtually zero so you should try to keep the budget as small as possible. Focus on the story, acting and sound. Or you could do it your way and never get it done.
Anything is possible. Organize well in preproduction and make choices that minimize environmental disturbances.
do it my way and never get it done? I think there is something wrong with you. maybe you work alone because you don't like people and you rub them the wrong way. she asks, how can I make a film with no money and a video cam. that doesn't sound like a filmmaker. she can go shoot it herself and learn from that experience. but, she'll learn a whole lot more if she WORKS WITH PEOPLE WHO ALREADY KNOW. and she'll have a better product in the end. according to you, I can never get anything done because I work with people. that's insane. no studio film would ever get done if that were true. crews work all the time. paid and unpaid. and accomplish a lot. I have shot (2nd cam), and starred in, and edited a film made for free. I am the crew for a TV show that I shoot and edit that actually airs on TV. I'm the camera man, the audio guy, the lighting guy, and the editor. I have worked with many crews and learned much from them. indie filmmakers make money all the time. as a first time indie filmmaker, it's better to work with someone who's not a first time indie filmmaker, because that increases your chance of making money. Irina, whether you shoot alone, or with a crew, depends on your confidence. if you think you can do it alone, go for it. if not, you don't need a huge crew. a few people who know what they're doing can make a great film, if their hearts are in it. sell them on your idea. get them excited about your project, and they'll jump thru hoops for you.
If my statements have rubbed you the wrong way, that's your problem not mine. Joe, I'm a "doer", you're a "talker" - and I'm too busy to deal with talkers. Bye now.
they rub me the wrong way because what you say is abrasive. I am a talker, not a doer? where do you get that? I have an office in a 175000 sq ft movie studio. I make a magazine, shoot and edit a TV show by myself, make music videos, TV shows, commercials, movies... I've been a driver, a PA, a boom operator, best boy electric, producer, director, DP, actor and more. you don't get that by sitting around and talking.
Please direct me to your productions
no thanks. I don't have to prove myself to you. you are manipulating and abrasive. I don't need to play the one-upsmanship game with you. you can think whatever you want. I don't care.
Thank you so much for your permission to think whatever I want...
Okay James and Joe, I'm going to make you two go to dinner and kiss and make up! Come on let's play nice. Who will be the first to apologize? Come on! You two might end up being best friends.
Hi Irina. We made a film on a shoestring budget if that. All of the crew were volunteers and the only 'pay' they received were Chips Ahoy cookies, fruit cups and drinking water. None complained though and we had a lot of fun. We shot every Sunday over a period of 8 weeks and used available light. I think you could do the same if your budget is low. I'm sure you can also scrape up an extra camera or two along with a boom mic. We improvised with PVC tubing, duct tape and a small stereo mic with extension cord. You can do it.
Open nick ....Its all in the eye ...M25
No, Joe I definitely ain't even dreaming of being Robert Rodriguez even if I wish I could! I want to thank once again everybody for thei precious hel and advice. What I get from reading all the posts (yes, I read them all!) is that one can shoot low budget, but you gotta have a decent mike, a tripod, a patient, nice, small crew helps, a precies story in your mind is the key to success and don't go to 'cheap' or we'll get another crap movie going around on YouTube! I also read 'bout fundings and I shere the feeling that being the subject a social issue we may be able to get some money to make the short. I finally wish to thanks Tim John, Bhaavnisha Parmar (hope I got the right spelling), Waybne Dayne, Thomas Needell, Joe Backer, and James Durward for their illuminating post! :) I'm glad to see that the subject started up a lively, intense and very useful conversation.
PS Curtis Kessinger you're a great peacemaker! Thanks for your intervention! :)
James and Joe are both very passionate about their craft, like most of us, and sometimes the discussion can move in a different direction than we wish...but that's what great about this whole business. It is very subjective and interesting. That is why billions of people are attracted to it.
true, and there are many different styles of writing, shooting, acting and editing... make your film your way. James Cameron is very different from Robert Rodriguez, but they are both very good at what they do. Woody Allen always has a $17 million dollar budget. he always uses the budget, and the time given. Clint Eastwood always shoots under budget and gets done early. no two directors are alike. find your own style and make a movie you like. and most of all, have fun!
Irina, We are also working on the subject of a pretty unknown form of racism that really occurred back in the 50's and 60's. We're sending lots of query letters out but so far only a few replies in the negative. We will keep plugging. :^)
Joe my writing style at the moment is gonna be that of someone who wants to shoot no more than 20 min and during those 20 min is trying to express the essence of the whole story. :) Hopefully I'm not gonna make my "jump of the shark"! ;)
the general rule of thumb is, one page of a script takes an hour to shoot, but ends up being 1 minute on screen. so, figure 20 hours to shoot a 20 minute script, approximately. give yourself some extra time, just in case. if you're lucky, you'll shoot it quicker and end early. if you stay true to yourself and your message, you'll do fine.
I'm in the same boat. I really need a microphone, I have the camera. I think those are the bare minimum.
I'm in the same situation as well. Have you put together a film budget for equipment, wardrobe, props, catering, location, etc.? If you are lucky you can get cast and crew to collaborate with you and work for no pay. I suggest you put together a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter or Indiegogo to raise some funds to shoot your short. I wish you all the best.
Thanks Stacy, I'll keep that in mind! We don't have a real budget at the moment, hopefully we will after, if not anyone would contribute in their own way. If we shoot guerrilla style, we'll provide the props and stuff ourselves or we may even ask shop keepers around the set area to borrow some stuff, Italians are usually very helpful and giving. We're planning to shoot in Palermo, my working partner's hometown. Wim Wenders was able to shoot in the region near Sicily, that is Calabria, and got a lot of help and the funding to do that not only because he was Wim Wenders, but also for the fact he shoot a film on immigrants and the issues concerning their unlucky trips to Italian shores, their sufferings, the trouble of being homeless in an unknows land. The movie is called "Il volo" (The Flight), I dunno if that's available overseas. The idea is that of trying the same way to get some regional fundings in Sicily, for they face the same kind of issues every year. We'll see what happens.
Joe thanks for support! I'll let you know how we manage!
Irina, your film sounds great and I wish you all the best! I wish I was in the position to contribute to your project but like I said I'm having financial issues with my short film as well. I believe that if we both do not give up, we will accomplish our every God given dream with His help. I pray all goes well and you have favor with people willing to help you with your film. Keep in touch!
Irina just be still and no that he IS my friend//////GOD//////////// the best is yet to come ,all in due time my sister so just keep on doing what u are doing and he will make a way
Stacy it's the thought that counts, and the fact that you and everybody else has given me so much with advice is the best contribution I could ever wish for!Break a leg with your film as well, hopefully we'll all meet at a big Film Fest one day! Thanks Wayne, may God listen to that and give us a lil' help. Thanks everyone.
you can invite us all to your premier, we'll meet then.
OK, I will Joe. :)
Hi Irina! This is actually easier than you think. ALL of my short films are done this way. First of all, simply ask. You'd be surprised at how far asking nicely and giving credit will go. Use friends and family to assist you. Check out student media clubs/programs. Many are looking for roles for credit and experience. You have an edge because you're making a film about a serious topic. Check out local anti-racism resources. They might be willing to help. Shoot me a message if you want to talk more. Jason