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I stepped up to the next level. usefull info here.

Posted: Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 10:10am

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b4uask30male

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Thought this might help some of you that are thinking about going a bit bigger than you are at the moment.

I had to shoot a short 20 minute horror film (not by choice but in the next few months I'll be able to tell you why)
Inside Report were there filming us so that should be online soon.
Anyway here are the problems I came up against.

1. Lighting, I tried everywhere to get a gaffer with proper lighting to work for next to nothing, In the end I had to use a company called Nimbus lighting, they supplied the gaffer and huge lighting generator truck, for the 4 night shoot it cost just under £3,000

2. Going over the limit!! the gaffer was allowed 10 hours due to a tacho in the truck, we went over his hours and was charged over £900, we didn't go over again!

3. Feed me, the actors and most crew worked for expenses and the deal on our next film, we filmed in Blackpark (Behind Pinewood) and people were taking more food than they needed, taking food home with them, again raising the budget.

4. Black Park was £200 per day.

5. Insurance, we had to have this as we was using a £50,00 worth of camera gear, proper stunt co-ordinators and black park wanted insurance.
this was just under £1000

6. Filming from 7pm to 5am killed everyone, I don't recommend it.

7. Make up, I found a great make up artist, £300 for materials.

8. Prop guy, I was lucky to have found a prop guy that has worked on huge films, he brought along his props and smoke machines

9. Production manager and First AD, I found two people to fill these jobs, both are pro's and have worked on some bigger films, I know they added to the budget but the pressure they took off me worth it, the AD showed me a few things I didn't know.

10. We had 25 crew at any one time, which is a lot for a small 4 night shoot.

11. We had a D.O.P shooting on the EX3 with a letus lens box and prime lenses, this is where the problems started, filming took way longer than we thought and our crew and myself seemed to clash with the D.O.P.
If you hire a D.O.P please do some tests with them first, you may end up running behind if they are not as fast as you wanted.

12. Here's a group photo, not everyone was there and not all the make up was applied at this point.
http://img268.imageshack.us/i/dscf0004a.jpg/


I'll put the film online when it's done.

Hope this helps.
Posted: Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 10:18am

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Atom

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This is a great post for complimenting yourself that's trying to make it look like you're not actually complimenting yourself. Congrats, your mishmash of grammar and baseless self-promoting quips makes it impossible for me to ever really take you seriously.

Sorry to be an ass, but really, what was this post actually about? Common sense? Saying stuff like "we had a prop guy" and "we had a crew of 25 which is large" is not just pointless, it's directionless and obvious.
Posted: Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 10:21am

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Xcession

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I'm afraid I couldn't find any information of worth in this hugely boastful post. No one cares about the exact figures of your expenditure. Knowing that things are more expensive in practice is however worth bearing in mind, but i'm unclear why it needed a 12-point ego trip to point that out.

Last edited Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 10:23am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 10:23am

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Atom

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Exactly. I mean
6. Filming from 7pm to 5am killed everyone, I don't recommend it.
Yeah, no sh!t. I could tell you that.

Last edited Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 10:24am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 10:24am

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Simon K Jones

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Cool that you helmed a bigger project like that, b4. Reminds me of the FXhome film we shot last summer - things certainly get a lot more challenging and interesting when you've got a big crew. Having good ADs and producers is essential if you're to avoid stressful meltdown. smile

Any tips for people who might be attempting something similar?

Looking forward to seeing the finished film. When do you think it'll be ready?

£50,00 worth of camera gear
That's a pretty damn good deal. wink

Last edited Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 10:26am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 10:24am

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Xcession

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This just in:

1. People get tired
2. Things cost money
3. I rule!
Posted: Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 10:26am

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Joshua Davies

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We also went rather over budget with our small film last year. I expect this is probably the most common problem with amateur filmmaking (if not all filmmaking).

The professional members of our crew were key to making sure we met our deadlines, the amateur members were critical because of their enthusiasm and hard work.

Hope the filming went well. Maybe some more information on how you managed to get round the issues you had, a couple of examples, would be helpful to the other indie filmmakers here who are about to work with a team for the first time.

Thanks b4. Look forward to seeing the film.
Posted: Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 10:34am

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pdrg

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I think this was a really useful post, +1

You see, it's real-world war-stories like this that contain the nuggets of information that may just save your arse one day - and it's bloody hard to get a rough idea for costs, so something like this should be a good guide for anyone else considering the same kind of thing!

I'd say your gaffer wasn't the cheapest around - no, you can't get free gaffers, but that's still a lot. It'd be interesting to see how that breaks down as genny, lamps and gaffer. £900 for gaffer overage - ouch! Again, that's a lot. My hunch is that he got about £250/day and the lighting company marked him up. Probably a bunch for fuel and genny transport too.

Crew and cast are hungry buggers, but it helps keep them awake. I don't know how you organised the catering, but if you do it again with a commercial company, use a meal-ticket system - issued every morning for a breakfast/lunch/dinner then just put out urns for hot water and coffee powder, teabags and biscuits and fruit for snacking.

7pm-5am - well done for managing 4 nights of that with a big crew - often the media studies degree lightweights cry off after a night or two, so if you managed to keep everyone, well done and well managed.

A PM and a 1st AD - absolutely ESSENTIAL, so you chose well. Once you work with a good career 1st, you'll never go solo again. Your 1st AD was probably barking orders loudly all the time to keep a tired crew on schedule, but when everyone is tired you have to accept things will move more slowly if they're to remain safe.

Working with a DoP is a balancing act - they have to be 'sturdy' enough to hold the respect of the crew (who largely report up through him), yet be understanding enough to work with you. A younger DoP with more to prove can sometimes want a good-looking showreel more than they will want a finished film, so be inclined to be detail-focussed but without the experience to wing it as quickly. Some young turks fail to remember the pecking order too - they work for you. But every shoot is a balancing act, and once you find a DoP who understands you, and you them, and you get a synergy going, you'll be grateful you spent the time developing the relationship.

So I think it was a helpful post, there are nuggets we can all take away from it.
Posted: Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 10:37am

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nitrox

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b4uask30male wrote:

12. Here's a group photo, not everyone was there and not all the make up was applied at this point.
Whats with the homo-erotic knee holding? lol
Posted: Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 10:38am

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Joshua Davies

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Strange things happen when you work side-by-side with people for long hours over several days...
Posted: Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 10:50am

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Atom

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Hahahaha, Xcession you're killing me here. Some of your best posts in a while.

Although I'm frustrated by pdrg's championing of b4's post. Come on, now. Having come off of a 48 hour video race two weeks ago, into working 9-5am graveyard shift all last week, then driving to Austin Friday for 3 hours both ways for our movie screening, only to go straight into doing another 48 hour the weekend that just past, and going back to work all day after that- I've really no sympathy or over-congratulations for 'yay me!' posts like this.

Embarrassingly obvious, ego-tripping information.
Posted: Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 11:11am

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pdrg

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You see, I don't think that all of that info *was* obvious, not to every reader of this forum, anyway. Gaffer on a tacho leading to an overspend? Well, yes, it *should* have been considered, but would everyone here know to consider it when prepping and planning up-front? Probably not, so this is a lesson we can learn from somebody else's mistake that they're not too proud to share. I don't think most people here have worked with a 25-strong unit, with a professional gaffer, a DoP and a 1st.

I'm taking nothing away from your 2x48hr extraveganzas, well done indeed, but I don't see why we're throwing the baby out with the bathwater here. Yes Ian is proud of his shoot, and created a thread, just as many other people here do.
Posted: Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 11:46am

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b4uask30male

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Thanks guys, sorry if it came across big headed, If I wanted to sound big headed I would have told you the reason we shot that film!

I forget to say I also had a steadicam guy, normaly charges £600 but I got him for £175 for the day, so worked him really hard on that day.

I've got the invoice for the nimbus pdrg I'll email it to you for the breakdown.
We have spent the same amount of money on this as a feature I've shot, so i'm not trying to sound big headed, what I was trying to do is let people like myself who hasn't worked like this before to see what happened in my case.

We had to sack the D.O.P after the 2nd, we was 3 scenes behind with no chance of him catching up.
Sky's inside report will show the full story.
£50,000 camera gear sorry.

Something else worth noting is the make up lady left early but the actress had contact lenes in, we couldn't get them out, so as "simple" as this sounds to you pro's ben, make sure everyone stays on set until the end, it's not worth letting them go early.

Sorry guys, I re-read my first post, your right, but I have to leave the bits where I said "I'm good", "I done excellent", "I'm better than you" "stroke my ego" sad

Oh, the stunt people worked on "the hunt for gollam"
Posted: Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 12:08pm

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pdrg

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b4uask30male wrote:

I forget to say I also had a steadicam guy, normaly charges £600 but I got him for £175 for the day, so worked him really hard on that day.
Very good price - they can cost as much as £900/day :-$ A top-notch steadicam op has to be a dancer - they have to hit every mark fluidly at the exact moment, whilst still facing the right direction - with a 20lb camera crushing his ribcage :-$
Posted: Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 12:23pm

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Simon K Jones

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b4uask30male wrote:

Something else worth noting is the make up lady left early but the actress had contact lenes in, we couldn't get them out, so as "simple" as this sounds to you pro's ben, make sure everyone stays on set until the end, it's not worth letting them go early.
Ouch, that's quite scary, especially if you're not familiar with wearing contact lenses.

Reminds me of when I was wearing my normal contact lenses during a shoot that required lots of fake blood all over my face. Got to the end of the shoot, went to remove my lenses...and discovered that one was literally glued to my eye with the fake blood.

Moral of the story: don't mix fake blood and contact lenses unless you know what you're doing.
Posted: Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 12:46pm

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pdrg

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Tarn wrote:

Reminds me of when I was wearing my normal contact lenses during a shoot that required lots of fake blood all over my face. Got to the end of the shoot, went to remove my lenses...and discovered that one was literally glued to my eye with the fake blood.

Moral of the story: don't mix fake blood and contact lenses unless you know what you're doing.
Eek! That's scary stuff - I'd have been terrified. This is another reason why people should consider only using "proper" fake blood - insurance would never cover home made "blood" causing somebody a serious injury, whereas the cosmetics companies won't leave you blinded (without massive compensation, at least!).

I know it's not in the spirit of 'indie' to take health and safety seriously, but how do you price injuring somebody!?!?
Posted: Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 12:50pm

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah exactly, no amount of money can make right a serious injury that occurs through negligence or stupidity. At the end of the day you're still injured, possibly in a life-changing way.

Thankfully in my case I didn't do any damage to the eye and managed to get the lens out by myself with some careful fiddling. That was only because I'm a regular contact lens wearer and am fairly comfortable with rummaging about in my eyes, though - if it had been an actor that doesn't normally wear lenses then I wouldn't have been surprised if it had induced some kind of panic attack.

On the plus side, in the short film itself you could actually see blood in my eye, which was a pretty good effect. razz The film was rubbish, though, so certainly not worth it!

Either way it was a very stupid mistake - all too easy on student/amateur/indie films, as you say, due to the inevitable shortage of experienced cast/crew. No decent make-up artist would have got me in that situation! smile
Posted: Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 5:12pm

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Tim L

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I found Ian's original post to be quite interesting, then I was stunned at the unwarranted bashing of the next few posts.

I re-read the first post, checked to confirm that it hadn't been edited after it was first posted, and still don't see an ego trip. It was just as interesting and genuine to me as anything pdrg might post of a similar experience. Keep sharing, Ian, and I'll keep reading.

Tim L


Atom wrote:

Sorry to be an ass
.....well stated

Atom wrote:

Having come off of a 48 hour video race two weeks ago, into working 9-5am graveyard shift all last week, then driving to Austin Friday for 3 hours both ways for our movie screening, only to go straight into doing another 48 hour the weekend that just past, and going back to work all day after that...

Embarrassingly obvious, ego-tripping information.
.....Hmmmm
Posted: Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 5:31pm

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rogolo

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I think some of the backlash is simply because he because he didn't say how to do some things. It's not helpful to anyone to know that he got a steadicam op for hundreds of pounds less than his usual charge. What would be helpful is to say how he did it. Did the op know some of your crew already? Was he just excited about the project? Did you wine-and-dine him? Cut him in on a small percentage of profits?

When he bills his thread as 'usefull info here', one would expect to find information that can be applied to themselves, otherwise its not very useful(l wink ). Saying 'Black Park is £200 a day' means nothing to me, because I have never heard of this location and it is very doubtful I will ever shoot there. However, explaining the process to secure the location and how you may have haggled it down or paid unexpected insurance would truly help other filmmakers looking to take their productions to a next level, as they would have a blueprint to follow.
Posted: Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 6:33pm

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b4uask30male

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Sorry if I didn't go into full detail, not sure if people should give -1's for someone trying? look back at my old messages atom seems to disagree with everything I do sad

If you want to know more then ask, I don't bite.

All the people I got I simply looked on the net, a few phone calls and they all agreed, But I had to offer them a role in my next budgeted feature film.

Having made films of various quality I think helped the above people believe we would finish this project, if I hadn't made any films I think it would have been harder to get them onboard.

Another reason (but I know i'll get flammed for telling the truth) is that we are based at Pinewood studios, the difference it makes when talking to people, they return calls, they listen, they want to come over to meet, it's worth every penny to have the office there. (not being big headed, anyone can get an office there, god this makes me so worried about saying anything incase of a backlash from my old nemisis)

Insurance, we had a meeting with the insurance company and they asked who the main people were that needed the most insurance, eg: without these people would the film stop.
So the producer, make up, gaffer, myself and two main actors were covered fully, this means if one of the lesser actors couldn't film then I could replace them very easy.

If you want to know more please do ask.
Posted: Wed, 1st Jul 2009, 9:19pm

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DVStudio

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Atom wrote:

is not just pointless, it's directionless and obvious.
Like some of your posts? ZING! The hype about the hype for a new Atomic film? JK

I don't think his post was useless, like others thought. There was some good information in there- including cost (estimates for others in the future maybe) and may help people who have never filmed on such a large scale before. You know, give them something to get started off of. Help them to know what they can do with a budget, what they will need, etc.

Also, I think there are some interesting lessons to learn from this including how he kept the crew together, despite long, exhausting filming hours. Hell, people get tired after just a few on a Sunday afternoon... Good leadership and directing/ organization skills man. A lot to be learned from that.

I am definately looking forward to your film, I think you must have put a lot of time in, and judging from the costs there- a fair bit of dough too. Best of luck to you! It is interesting to see what he put into this film and could help others in the future (decide what to spend $$ on, what to spend less on, etc).

It is very interseting and very helpful to see how others spent their money, what they can accomplish with it, and to see their leadership skills. Congrats on the project B4. Best of luck!
Posted: Thu, 2nd Jul 2009, 4:48am

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Bryce007

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I'd say I'm most curious about how you managed to entice people to give you funding for your films.

I'm not going to press into this direction too much, but I've seen everything you've shown online from way back in the day, all the way through till recently and simply cannot figure out what someone saw and said "You know what? I'm giving this guy my money to make a film".

Unless they're considering it an investment in your film making education and are requiring copious percentages of the possible, yet improbable returns on future projects.
Posted: Thu, 2nd Jul 2009, 7:00am

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b4uask30male

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Thanks, I'd love to answer your question about about why people bother to fund my films, I guess I could say to you "Why don't you get people funding your films"?
Going along the lines of your post i'll reply in the same tone, I bet they think your films are crap and wouldn't fund you?

What I can tell you is, some people that watch my no budget films enjoy them, they can see they were made with little or no money but they still see something there, don't moan at me for this, don't hate me that this has happened if you can't get people to help you, don't turn someone's happiness into an envy post.

Bottom line for this short film I had willing investors ready to do what it takes because this short film had to be made to secure a much larger project.
Posted: Thu, 2nd Jul 2009, 7:41am

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Bryce007

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Well, I can clearly see you're capable of making a film.


But what I'm curious about is this:

Let's take FXhome user "FCrabbath" for example. Comparatively speaking, if one were to put one of his films side-by-side with yours, Budget-wise and quality-wise, I think almost anyone could agree his are more impressive.

Then, experience-wise: He also has a LOT of films, a majority of which are abnormally high quality.

Then, skill-wise. He can handle almost every part of the film making job with finesse. (writing, directing, editing etc.) Which means he doesn't have to hire it out necessarily.

Then factor in other things like age and production speed, and you can see why I was asking about how the people with money see your film and hand you the money. I'm not insulting your films, I'm merely intrigued as to how you went about convincing them of your capabilities despite the lack of beneficial evidence.

I can likely answer my own question with this: Connections.
Posted: Thu, 2nd Jul 2009, 8:06am

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Simon K Jones

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It probably comes down to producer skills. Regardless of what you or I think of b4's movies, there's no doubting his producing skills when it comes to convincing people to get involved, whether money is involved or not. It's a hugely useful skill to have.

You can be the most artistic, talented filmmaker on the planet, but unless you've got the patience and skill for producing (or know people that can do it for you) you're not going to get very far (professionally, that is).

b4 - have you ever produced or considered producing other people's work? I'd be interested to see what resources you could pull together while supporting another director at the helm.
Posted: Thu, 2nd Jul 2009, 9:33am

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pdrg

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B4's films are not to everyones taste, but they're clearly to enough peoples taste to make it cost-effective to invest in them. And Ian has an absolutely essential quality of 'getting it done' - he has a couple of feature director credits now, not in blockbusters, but films planned, made and delivered. Having done it before, being ab le to say to your potential investor "yes, I can make a feature, there's no risk of me not finishing it, look, I've done a couple already" goes a zillion miles, no matter how many shorts you've made.
Posted: Thu, 2nd Jul 2009, 11:47am

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b4uask30male

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Thanks guys,
To answer the question about my films compared to the other guys, I agree my films lack polish and production values, but something you didn't mention, are the films enjoyable? I believe mine are, the emails I get suggest that although low in production quality they are fun to watch, take transformers 2... big budget crap film.
Not sure if I've mentioned this before but the Weinstien company watched a film I shot on DV called 2 EPIC, the lighting was crap (none) sound could have been better etc, but they watched it for what it was, a damm good film, they want us to remake it for cinema and they will distribute (before people say why haven't I done this, something much bigger has came up and is more important than 2 EPIC, so that's been pushed back)

I guess then people can see that I can make films and are willing to invest to help me and them get to the next level.

Tarn, I've had some bad experiences working along side other people with their scripts etc, so I try to avoid it, the new large project I'm doing will be co-written by me and the book author so I class that as something i've had imput into from the start.

I'm editing this on FCP which is new to me, the colourist and sound dept in Pinewood use fcp otherwise i'd have used my sony vegas.
We have to buy them drinks and the option to work on the bigger film but it's a small price to pay to get something i've not had in my films before, good sound and good grading. (the grading guy normaly charges £400 an hour) I'm in the wrong job!
Posted: Thu, 2nd Jul 2009, 5:36pm

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Atom

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I've seen '2 Epic' and seriously doubt the Weinstein Co. loved it- just as I know from watching it that it most- assuredly is not a 'damn good film'. I've no doubt in your ability to market yourself- it must be an overwhelmingly strong talentof yours as I've seen your work and find most of it utterly terrible; but I'll give it to you you've got a knack for getting out there, and there's no reason to hate on that.

However, having seen your films, I personally know they lack (for me at least) entertainment value, usually have poor technical values, and often zero-to-no production values- which to me signals two things that don't make your statement work for me:

-They look no budget, so the whole 'impressed that they're low budget and still good' doesn't work for me. You yourself sad there was no lighting in the movie. This is a critical aspect of filmmaking!

-They don't have the story power or entertainment value to carry the other poor aspects, and therefore just don't work at all as movies with appeal.

Look, I'll gladly give you that you have a talent for networking and getting things out there, but that does t substantiate the work I've seen from you as being 'good' just because you've got it out there. When you slub monumental aspects of filmmaking off, like lighting, there's only so far the rest can get you before you have to realize it's your ability to market that's getting your work in the right hands, not your talent at filmmaking.

Only because you're an adult and do have a strength I want you to see, I've no problem being brutally honest- the movies I've seen from you have all been laughably bad in almost every aspect, and your delusions of grandeur surrounding how 'great' they are always comes off very 'me when I was 14 years old'.

Cut that out! You've got something going for you- take hold of that and accept the rest probably isn't for you, please. You could be putting that networking talent to work for the likes of filmmakers like myself and FCRabbath and be not only benfitting yourself, but us all!

I don't mean to be an ass, really, but you always frustrate me with how obtuse you always seem to the most obvious of things.
Posted: Thu, 2nd Jul 2009, 6:16pm

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b4uask30male

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Thanks for calling me a liar regarding the Weinstiens, may I call you pratt?

Oh I do wish this large project comes through, to take your money at the cinema and to see your face when you see i've directed it.

I'm not going to defend myself to you, those that know me know I tell the truth, those that know you, know that you always knock my posts.

If my first post helps just one person then it' done it' job, anyone who want any more info about this short film please ask via pm as it's not much fun trying to be nice and fighting for the right to help.
Posted: Thu, 2nd Jul 2009, 7:33pm

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Pooky

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This thread is weird.
Posted: Thu, 2nd Jul 2009, 7:36pm

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Coureur de Bois

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Pooky wrote:

This thread is weird.
Yeah man. Exactly what I was thinking.
Posted: Thu, 2nd Jul 2009, 8:24pm

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Atom

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Hey, I tried. I think you have a talent at something and should focus your attention towards it more with other people, that's all.

And just to clarify: having doubt something happened and saying you're lying are two very, very different things.
Posted: Thu, 2nd Jul 2009, 9:43pm

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swintonmaximilian

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Indeed, a strange thread strolling into nasty territory.

You could be putting that networking talent to work for the likes of filmmakers like myself and FCRabbath and be not only benfitting yourself, but us all!

This is perhaps the most irritating comment I have ever read.
Posted: Thu, 2nd Jul 2009, 10:17pm

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Avenging Eagle

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I gotta be honest, I've not seen B4's films. Atom, you're a good filmmaker, though I feel your reputation may get somewhat tarnished if you bash another forum users. At the end of the day, we're here to be civilised to each other and to help each other out. B4 made this thread to help people and, regardless of how effective it was, it certainly informed me more than your posts, Atom.

AE
Posted: Fri, 3rd Jul 2009, 8:16am

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Simon K Jones

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Atom wrote:

I don't mean to be an ass, really
Really? Because on the scale of ass-ness, you're currently ranking way higher than anything b4's posted in this topic.

While I'd have liked to see b4 go into some more detail, at least he was generally polite and pleasant. You're just being plain unpleasant, which is uncalled for.

but you always frustrate me with how obtuse you always seem to the most obvious of things.
You always frustrate me with your inability to just let topics enjoy themselves without turning it into An Atomic Rant. Do you really have to wade into every topic? You accuse b4 of delusions of grandeur, yet your apparent need to turn every topic into being about you is rapidly approaching the ridiculous.

I think you should really start living by the "if you don't have anything nice to say, it's probably best to not say anything at all" mantra.