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Indie Film - Making an Indie Movie
Different Steps in the Process
It's No Secret, Just Not Talked About.
I make Independent Movies. (I use the term 'movies' because there are people out there that get really, REALLY offended when you say 'film' and you are not using actual film; to them I say, "Pththththththththt!")
There are few people (about 1.8 quadrillion) that would love to make movies, but they don't have any idea on how to get started. Well, I'm going to tell you. Eventually. First listen to some pointless ramblings which I have carefully (carelessly) slapped together about the subject.
To the right, you will see a few photos (thank goodness I was able to make the last minute edit and remove the vacation photos wherein I have a hideous sunburn and actually burst into flames right there on the beach). Notice the captions under each. They are all valid, vital steps in the movie making process. Do you know which one should be done last?
A lot of you are probably saying to yourselves that the One Sheet is the last thing you do since it deals with advertising. To you I say, "Neener, neener neener!" Of course it's not the last thing. Seriously, though, you are absolutely not alone. It actually may be the first or second thing you do. YES, the FIRST!
The idea of the One Sheet is to generate interest in the movie and gain backing for production. But it's not always what you will use with an Indie film.
So what is the first thing you usually have to have in order to begin a movie? An idea.
Anyone remember "Speed 2: Cruise Control"? Well, that whole movie was written because Jan de Bont (I believe it was) had a vision of a ship crashing into a crowded dock. (That kind of explains the story.) But he had a vision (probably induced by massive amounts of beer or tequila) and he sold the idea to a producer who green-lighted the movie.
When YOU are working with an Indie movie however, you are probably not working with a budget, so the next thing you want to have is a complete script. I say complete, because if you begin shooting a film with only a partial script, it can lead to the movie not being made and any actors and crew you have will NOT be happy with you and you'll be burning bridges you can't afford to burn.
Have that script done before you look for cast and crew. You can always rewrite as you go along. It's done in the industry all the time. Seriously, all the time! Some scenes are even re-written as the scene is being shot or afterward, making it necessary to RE-shoot.
I've had to do this time and time again due to location, actor, and effects limitation. And this brings me to another point which I need to make very sharp: "Kill your darlings."
I don't recall who said this, but it means that you do the movie by whatever means you have. If you love a scene or a character, but there is a production or timing problem due to the darling in question, you need to change or "kill" them. You can always make the movie again when you are famous our you can simply include the shot or character in the bonus materials of your home video release or make a "director's cut" of the movie.
But back to the process: You will have a great deal more to do before you can even hold auditions for the characters. I made the mistake of not doing some of these things on my first large scale movie. I made some actors angry and had to recast several timed because locations and such were not ready when the actors were available.
You must find the locations where you will shoot. You must make sure that all release forms are signed for your actors, locations and anyone whom gives you a service during the movie. This is partially for legal reasons during the release of your movie AND to make sure that credit is given where credit is due. Since many actors and crew members give their services in return for a credit and, usually, a copy of the movie, you want to make sure that you get their personal and business names CORRECT! Wouldn't you? Once I was credited as Ray Neshe. Maybe that would be a good stage name, but it's a far cry from Roy Nestle (pronounced Nés-ul, like 'a bird will nestle in a tree to lay its eggs). I am a distant relative of the chocolate company, but don't have the accent on the final 'e' nor do I have all the chocolate. Sigh.
You have all sorts of other things to do which you will probably want to get help with. The current film I'm working on, "Akumu", is a good example. I have advertising, editing, audio, effects (written from here on out as fx) and other considerations to juggle which are just WAY too involved for one person to handle. Believe me, I've tried. And found myself under my desk, sucking my thumb, and asking for my mommy. Only after an hour of my wife trying to coax me out of my hidie-hole with fresh coffee did I reluctantly come back to join the human race.
I want to clarify something; this particular entry is not an 'in depth' discussion of the movie making process. That will come in later entries (if I get around to it - or a square one for that matter). This is just an introduction to the topic which will be discussed in future entries.
I hope that I can be of some little help to anyone wishing to make Indie movies. It's so much fun and is so fulfilling.
Look for my next entry which will cover the first things you need to do when embarking on the movie making journey (Coffee, check. Nap, check. Sing karaoke, well, maybe if no one is looking). Best wishes to all who take on this exciting challenge! See you next time!
Take a look at these links.
- Performers Callboard |
PerformersCALLBOARD is a FREE service that announces casting calls and performance opportunities in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Use it if you are a casting director or artist. There are many wonderful opportunities presented here daily.
- Akumu Ichi
Translated, Bad Dream One, Akumu Ichi is the first installment of the movie released on Youtube.com. I will include the episodic version on the DVD as bonus material since it is slightly different than the final cut.
- Teaser for Akumu
Here you will see the Teaser (or Trailer) I put together for my movie, Akumu.