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success in film?

Posted: Wed, 17th May 2006, 9:51pm

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ProFilms17

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who in here has made the most accomplishments with their films. ie prize money/jobs/awards
Posted: Wed, 17th May 2006, 10:26pm

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Sollthar

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This seems like a pretty awkward question really. Why do you care, if you don't mind me asking?
Posted: Wed, 17th May 2006, 10:46pm

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SlothPaladin

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I would call 'sucsess in film' making a living out of it. I'm finishing up a freelance animation job right now, and I am getting payed, but I am by no means making a living.
Posted: Wed, 17th May 2006, 10:47pm

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Sollthar

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I would call "success" in film when you've made something your audience likes.

Of course, being able to make a living out of it is also nice. wink
Posted: Wed, 17th May 2006, 11:01pm

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Sollthar

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Ahh! I understand. That makes sense. Thanks for the clarification Profilms!
I'd advise to ask specifically in that matter then, otherwise it could be a bit confusing and you might not find the people you're looking for. My initial thought was "wtf?" instead of "Oh, there's someone looking for an experienced crew."

Same goes for your other thread, as malone mentioned. Giving a bit more detailed information about your project would certainly help attract potential filmmakers. Also, what exact jobs are you looking for?

Last edited Wed, 17th May 2006, 11:24pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 17th May 2006, 11:08pm

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NickD

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Well, I won the 2004 Prix D'Ore at the Cheese-Danish Film Festival in Copenhagendas, Denmark for my movie Goin' Fishin 2.

I also won for "Best Epic Comedy Under Eight Minutes in Length." Also with Goin' Fishin 2 at the Cheese Danish Film Festival, though I don't know if that's what your looking for wink

Then for my movie Caked, I won the Little Toaster Award at the Appliance Awareness Festival.

NickD
Posted: Wed, 17th May 2006, 11:23pm

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the new godfather

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u jsut deleated it caus u new u were wrong and that was a terrible thing to say,,,
Posted: Wed, 17th May 2006, 11:26pm

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Sollthar

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Rating: +2

Your posts got deleted because you kep acting like a fool and insulted everyone. I have sent you a warning, I will not tolerate such behavior in these forums.

I hope we understand each other.


If my joke insulted you I sincerely apologize, it wasn't my intention.
Posted: Wed, 17th May 2006, 11:27pm

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the new godfather

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thank u and i forgive you
Posted: Thu, 18th May 2006, 2:31am

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iggy88

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I would call "success" in film when you've made something your audience likes.
Hmm.. I disagree on that one. I would call a success in film when you've made something you like.

Really, I'm not joking; A lot of us get little film bits here and there, be it in front or behind the cam, pre or post production, whatever...

Of course, "success" is completely subjective. Do you want money? Do you make money? Do you care?

Honestly, I like working on my film bit by bit, as I see fit. Success is a totally benign subject to me. We should focus more on making something before thinking of something too much. Does that make sense?
Posted: Thu, 18th May 2006, 2:38am

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Serpent

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For me, success is having fun and improving. Pleasing your audience is good too, and if your audience is your heart's content, then go for it.
Posted: Thu, 18th May 2006, 5:15am

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BackOfTheHearse

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iggy88 wrote:

I would call "success" in film when you've made something your audience likes.
Hmm.. I disagree on that one. I would call a success in film when you've made something you like.

Really, I'm not joking; A lot of us get little film bits here and there, be it in front or behind the cam, pre or post production, whatever...

Of course, "success" is completely subjective. Do you want money? Do you make money? Do you care?

Honestly, I like working on my film bit by bit, as I see fit. Success is a totally benign subject to me. We should focus more on making something before thinking of something too much. Does that make sense?
Exactly. I mean, regardless if the art piece called "Piss Christ" was liked or hated by the people who saw it, the artist made an accomplishment because he produced his piece of art to his specifications. Theoretically, that's all that matters.
Posted: Thu, 18th May 2006, 8:09am

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SlothPaladin

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I would say that saying success is making something you like is (for the most part) wrong. A view like that says that Edward D. Wood Jr. was a success, but I bet if you went back in time and ask him if he felt successful he would tell you he did not. It's just to subjective. I would say success might be that you and a audience enjoys for the same or similar reasons. Having people love my films because they are unspeakably bad is not my vision of success. My vision of success is making a living doing what I love.

If your goal is to have fun with your friends and you enjoy shooting simple little films on miniDV and you have fun while you do this then you are successful. If your goal is to make a powerful thought provoking film and you end up making something like Plan 9 From Outer Space or Robot Monster, then you are a sad sorry failure. Despite the fact that Ed Wood liked Plan 9, he still missed the mark as he did want to create a meaningful piece of cinema.

I've rambled a bit but I guess what I'm trying to say is, is that the philosaphy that makes everything subject the opinions of the artist is a bunch of politically correct bull shit.
Posted: Thu, 18th May 2006, 8:38am

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Jazzmanian

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I think that film is very much like every other form of media, both old and new. I come to filmmaking from a very long background in writing and I believe they have a lot in common. James Kilpatrick is probably one of the greatest masters of the English language of our times and he has often written on the subject of "Why do we write?" From the highest level, he states that we write to get a message across to a target audience in the clearest, most effective manner possible. But he also famously notes that "... there is more than a small bit of ego involved in the creative writing process."

You don't want to simply get a clear message across or tell a story effectively so that the audience understands it. You want to do so in a fashion that will leave the reader saying, "Wow. That author really knows how to turn a phrase and paint a mental picture. I'm impressed."

I'm very, very new to the whole filmmaking thing, but I see a parallel there. Yes, I think anyone would want to make a film which they themselves would enjoy. But you can only watch your own film so many times. I think the "ego factor" (as it's called) would compel you to try to make a film that will have people leaving the screening saying, "Wow. I get it. I was moved."

If you were tasked with, for example, making a commercial about the dangers of smoking, you *could* just get a guy who looks like a doctor, wearing a lab coat, standing behind a podium saying, "Smoking is bad. If you smoke you will get horrible diseases and die." And you would, in fact, have succeeded in getting the message across. But if you came up with a concept... be it a graphic representation of sick dying people, or the children left without their parents because of lung disease, etc. etc. etc. and the audience not only got the information, but got the *image* and were truly moved to immediately go tell their children about the dangers of smoking, then you've succeeded far more than in the first case.

I think that there's "more than a small bit of ego" involved in filmmaking too. You want to have an impact on the viewers and you want them to go away knowing that *you* were the one who impacted them in that fashion. In the highly underrated movie "Leap of Faith", Steve Martin's character delivers a line to a local sherriff who is trying to shut down his traveling ministry show...

"In New York we've got Broadway shows that cost you sixty bucks a pop just to walk in the door. Sometimes you like the show and you leave whistling a tune. Sometimes you wind up kicking yourself. I give my people a good show... plenty of music and meaningful sentiment and values. And for some of them, maybe they leave with a little hope in their hearts that wasn't there before."

I think that's success in filmmaking. If the audience leaves with that imprint on them.

Oh, and millions of dollars and invitations to dozens of A list parties in Hollywood wouldn't hurt either. biggrin
Posted: Thu, 18th May 2006, 9:59am

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SlothPaladin

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Your post was everything I wanted to say only much better, good thing I don't write my own scripts.
Posted: Sun, 21st May 2006, 12:28pm

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CurtinParloe

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Jazzmanian wrote:

I think that film is very much like every other form of media, both old and new. I come to filmmaking from a very long background in writing and I believe they have a lot in common. James Kilpatrick is probably one of the greatest masters of the English language of our times and he has often written on the subject of "Why do we write?" From the highest level, he states that we write to get a message across to a target audience in the clearest, most effective manner possible. But he also famously notes that "... there is more than a small bit of ego involved in the creative writing process."

You don't want to simply get a clear message across or tell a story effectively so that the audience understands it. You want to do so in a fashion that will leave the reader saying, "Wow. That author really knows how to turn a phrase and paint a mental picture. I'm impressed."

I'm very, very new to the whole filmmaking thing, but I see a parallel there. Yes, I think anyone would want to make a film which they themselves would enjoy. But you can only watch your own film so many times. I think the "ego factor" (as it's called) would compel you to try to make a film that will have people leaving the screening saying, "Wow. I get it. I was moved."

If you were tasked with, for example, making a commercial about the dangers of smoking, you *could* just get a guy who looks like a doctor, wearing a lab coat, standing behind a podium saying, "Smoking is bad. If you smoke you will get horrible diseases and die." And you would, in fact, have succeeded in getting the message across. But if you came up with a concept... be it a graphic representation of sick dying people, or the children left without their parents because of lung disease, etc. etc. etc. and the audience not only got the information, but got the *image* and were truly moved to immediately go tell their children about the dangers of smoking, then you've succeeded far more than in the first case.

I think that there's "more than a small bit of ego" involved in filmmaking too. You want to have an impact on the viewers and you want them to go away knowing that *you* were the one who impacted them in that fashion. In the highly underrated movie "Leap of Faith", Steve Martin's character delivers a line to a local sherriff who is trying to shut down his traveling ministry show...

"In New York we've got Broadway shows that cost you sixty bucks a pop just to walk in the door. Sometimes you like the show and you leave whistling a tune. Sometimes you wind up kicking yourself. I give my people a good show... plenty of music and meaningful sentiment and values. And for some of them, maybe they leave with a little hope in their hearts that wasn't there before."

I think that's success in filmmaking. If the audience leaves with that imprint on them.

Oh, and millions of dollars and invitations to dozens of A list parties in Hollywood wouldn't hurt either. biggrin
I agree with some of what you've said, Jazzmanian, but I have a few alternative opinions I'd like to share (This oar laying about needs something doing with it...)

I disagree that film is like other media. It's simultaneously more and less than any other art form (with the caveat that television is similarly placed). By that I mean you have the detail of an image (such as painting or photography and you have the structure of a narrative (like prose, or poetry), but on the other hand, what you see is not there. The image you see is projected onto a screen, which runs on celluloid (or MiniDV), which has been processed from the original stock, which has been imprinted with an image of the actual object by mechanical means. In no other medium is the audience so distanced from reality. I am generalising a little, but a writer has chosen his words and typed them out, an artist has placed the paint on the canvas, and a film-maker has turned on a little machine. This is a fundamental distinction. In film a chair is not a chair, it's the illusion of a chair that may not even exist any more - "the camera never lies" is simply not true. It is this illusory nature that makes film (and TV to some extent, and photography to a much lesser extent) unique amongst other media. So what is it most like? I read somewhere that the hybrid that is film is most closely associated with the short story, but I think of it as halfway between a photograph and a poem; a "visual poem", if you will, the temporal rhythms of poetry merged with the framing and image capture of photography. It is this individuality that gives the filmmaker so much freedom.

As for imparting the message or story, I'm not a big fan of writers who write to show off their penmanship; for me it's about the final result - it's not usually about demonstrating skill, it's about concealing it. You don't want the viewer of a film saying, "oh, I loved that camera movement," or "the editing on that bit was marvellous." If the (lay) viewer is distanced from the film enough to notice excellent techniques, it could be argued that the film is merely a showcase of those techniques and a failure as a story. For example, I didn't enjoy Jackson's King Kong, because I couldn't get immersed in the story - amongst other things, although the music was nicely written and performed, it was overbearing and distracting. Also, at the time Serenity came out, I mentioned (somewhere around here) that there was a camera movement which was really pretty, but because I noticed it, it took me out of the story, and lessened my enjoyment.

I wouldn't particularly call it "ego factor". I take satisfaction from a job well done, and if one person appreciates my work, then it has been worth it, whether they know I was responsible or not. Of course the ego increases in size the more praise one receives, until one becomes a megalomaniac and refers to oneself as "one" - Muahahaha!!! I shall hold dominion over you puny mortals with my iron fist! biggrin

So, what's "success in filmmaking" to me? If I can make one film that someone loves (except family, they're usually biased wink), then I'd consider that a success. Furthermore, I'll be a success as long as I'm allowed to live my dream; living sleeping and breathing films.

Oh, and the sex. That's important, too. eek


PS, like the quote from James Kilpatrick, but I prefer the Douglas Adams one "If I'd wanted to write a message, I'd write a message. I wrote a book." cool

PPS I'll shut up now...
Posted: Sun, 21st May 2006, 1:34pm

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Jazzmanian

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CurtinParole, excellent post. While you imply that you are primarily a film aficionado, your writing skills are none too shabby either. I will agree that writing (and in a similar vein, the spoken voice, as I will cover shortly) are very different from the entire range of visual media, and we should all be thankful for that. Why limit yourself to one form of entertainment? The key difference is in the artistic license, not of the creator, but of the consumer.

No matter how many words I use in either writing or, to a slightly lesser degree, spoken voice mediums such as radio or plays for voice, (for an *excellent example of this, by the way, may I most heartily recommend Neil Gaiman's "Two Plays for Voices"... The piece, "Snow Glass Apples, while strictly for an adult audience, is an experience not to be missed) there will always be a wide open, free range of interpretation on the part of the reader or listener. They will paint the image in their minds and we, as writers, have a pitiful amount of control over what palette choices they make in the process. I'm reminded of an assignment in college, so many years ago, where two professors, one of literature and one in creative arts, tasked their classes with a combined project. The lit students had read Tolkien's "The Hobbit" and had to work with a team member art student who had *not* read the book to create two sketches: one depicting exactly what Bilbo Baggins looked like and the other a depiction of the Misty Mountain pass which the group traveled through on the way to the lonely mountain. The sketch artist would keep at it, based on the reader's description, with as many attempts as needed, until the reader was satisfied that it was the "real" depiction. The range of images, as you would probably imagine, was staggering. Everyone paints their own picture from the words they take in. In film, television, and even theater, we have the artist's desired visual image thrust in our faces with no room to argue what a scene looks like. That, as I see it, is the key difference.

CurtinParole wrote:

As for imparting the message or story, I'm not a big fan of writers who write to show off their penmanship; for me it's about the final result - it's not usually about demonstrating skill, it's about concealing it. You don't want the viewer of a film saying, "oh, I loved that camera movement," or "the editing on that bit was marvellous." If the (lay) viewer is distanced from the film enough to notice excellent techniques, it could be argued that the film is merely a showcase of those techniques and a failure as a story.
Allow me to disagree, at least under ideal circumstances. Yes, I will agree that there are certain writers who stake their claim by doing nothing more than flaunting their sesquipedalian "skills" (realizing full well the irony in using that word in this post) but lacking the art to assemble a compelling narrative. I think the real mastery comes when a writer has all those tools in their box and uses them fully while still telling a compelling, engaging story. I could write a line that says, "The homeless man ate the burger I gave him hungrily" and it gets the message across. But if I wrote, "The homeless man devoured the burger I game him ravenously" doesn't it paint a better picture and imply something more? And can't there be a parallel example in filmmaking?

As far as the "ego factor" goes, you may be the exception to the rule, but I still think it's valid in all forms of art. Anyone can sing in the shower for their own amusement. However, to go and step up on the stage and belt out a tune for the (hopeful) enjoyment of strangers and, worse, face the prospect of rejection if your performance doesn't satisfy takes a fair bit of ego. Nobody would take that sort of risk without there being a substantial payoff possible in return. And that payoff is the admiration and accolades of the audience. (Leaving aside the money, parties, and sex as you and I have already pointed out.)

So I believe that I'm still pretty much on the same page as far as a definition of success in film goes. If you're just creating video footage of your home movies to burn onto a DVD and enjoy with your family during your golden years, then sure... there's probably little to no ego involved. If you're going to put this much of your life's blood into a project which you plan to share with the world, whether it be at Sundance or just an upload to YouTube, you're doing it (at least to some degree) to see if you can move the intended audience and receive their applause.

All, of course, only in my never very humble opinion. biggrin
Posted: Mon, 22nd May 2006, 10:01am

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CurtinParloe

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Jazzmanian wrote:

I think the real mastery comes when a writer has all those tools in their box and uses them fully while still telling a compelling, engaging story. I could write a line that says, "The homeless man ate the burger I gave him hungrily" and it gets the message across. But if I wrote, "The homeless man devoured the burger I game him ravenously" doesn't it paint a better picture and imply something more? And can't there be a parallel example in filmmaking?
You're quite right there, it is in the deft use of writing/filmmaking skills where the story is enhanced. My point is merely that if these tools are used expertly in support of the story (rather than at its expense), then the ordinary reader won't even realise, but someone who has studied literature/film can see and admire the techniques used, the skillful use of vocabulary.
As far as the "ego factor" goes, you may be the exception to the rule, but I still think it's valid in all forms of art. Anyone can sing in the shower for their own amusement. However, to go and step up on the stage and belt out a tune for the (hopeful) enjoyment of strangers and, worse, face the prospect of rejection if your performance doesn't satisfy takes a fair bit of ego. Nobody would take that sort of risk without there being a substantial payoff possible in return. And that payoff is the admiration and accolades of the audience.
Yes, I'll concede that one. You do need cochones(?) to put yourself out there. And your ego needs to be robust enough to weather any criticism.

Incidentally, great posts. It's nice to chew the fat with someone who feels like an intellectual equal smile
Posted: Wed, 24th May 2006, 12:21am

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johnny resch

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totally unrelated to the topic, but who is sollthar and malone, and how did they get their lighsabers to be purple? and can they delete posts? also, i think success is when someone thinks that they created a work of art true to their original vision.
Posted: Wed, 24th May 2006, 12:25am

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SlothPaladin

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johnny resch wrote:

also, i think success is when someone thinks that they created a work of art true to their original vision.
Ed Wood created works of art true to his original vision, does that make him a success?
Posted: Wed, 24th May 2006, 12:25am

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NickD

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Well, malone is one of the FXHome team, so he does have the power to delete posts, or anything he feels like biggrin

Sollthar is one of FXHome's "SuperUsers." He's not on the FxHome team really, but does things like beta testing and such. By being a super user he has the power to delete posts.

Oh and the lightsabers are relative to how much force you have. I think it goes something like this:

Blue: 0 - 999
Yellow: 1000 - 1999
Green: 2000 - 2999
Red: 3000 - 3999
Purple: 4000 - upwards

Again, I'm not sure if that is entirely correct, but I hope it helped.
NickD
Posted: Wed, 24th May 2006, 1:00am

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johnny resch

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Yes, thank you. That helped alot.

Also, about the guy who made pictures true to his original vision, yes i believe his movies are a success. not neccessarily successful, but his movies are a success, at least in his own mind. which is really more important than many people realize because there are many things that only exist in someones mind, but that makes them no less real. for example, while george lucas was making a new hope, mustafar, a planet crucial to the overall storyline, existed in his mind, although it would not be created as something accessible to others until years later.
Posted: Wed, 24th May 2006, 1:16am

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SlothPaladin

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I'm going to have to disagree, I would say that if your films are true to your creative vision and other people can see that vision come to life as well then it is successful, but when someone like [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Wood_Jr"]Ed Wood[/url] starts is career making the films he wants to but ends up dieing as an alcoholic who paid the bills by shooting nudie monster films I would have a hard time calling that success.
Posted: Wed, 24th May 2006, 3:33am

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johnny resch

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good point, i think. maybe what i mean is if the original vision was truly great, and what the artist creates is a piece of art true to his vision, then he has succeeded
Posted: Wed, 24th May 2006, 3:36am

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johnny resch

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johnny resch wrote:

good point, i think. maybe what i mean is if the original vision was truly great, and what the artist creates is a piece of art true to his vision, then he has succeeded
i just wanted to clarify that when i said "i think" after good point was not intended to convey any skepticism whatsoever. personally i believe that you and i likely have simmilar views of success.
Posted: Wed, 24th May 2006, 8:37am

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Sollthar

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I won the Little Toaster Award
I think this is going to be my favorite post of the week... The little Toaster award... hehehehe.

Did you get a little Toaster as a prize? smile