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Joe Tweaky Rickards

Fifteen years old and interested in a carreer in film.... Any advice?

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Hey, my name Is Joe I'm fifteen years old and interested in a carreer in film. I really love film and want to learn to make,edit,direct films. Im currently taking GCSE's but would like to know what is the best route to become a cinematographer/directer? Any advice would be really appreciated. Oh and I've never worked with actualy film before only digital so if someone could give me an insight to the different formats and why we still need them if we have digital (Silly question but I don't know. Also, the benefits of different formats.

 

Thank you for your time

 

Joe

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Hey, my name Is Joe I'm fifteen years old and interested in a carreer in film. I really love film and want to learn to make,edit,direct films. Im currently taking GCSE's but would like to know what is the best route to become a cinematographer/directer? Any advice would be really appreciated. Oh and I've never worked with actualy film before only digital so if someone could give me an insight to the different formats and why we still need them if we have digital (Silly question but I don't know. Also, the benefits of different formats.

 

Thank you for your time

 

Joe

 

 

Hi Joe!

 

The first thing to figure out is which job you want to do professionally for a living: cinematography or directing? Those are two distinctly different jobs with VERY different paths and requirements so the sooner you figure out which one you want to pursue, the better off you'll be.

 

Technology-wise, volumes have been written about "film" and "digital" and it would be nearly impossible to impart everything you need to know in this forum thread. In general, though, the basics of photography don't really change whether you're using a camera that uses film or a "digital" camera. You still need to understand basics of lenses, shutter, aperture, ASA/ISO.... and LIGHTING!

 

In any case, you'll find a treasure trove of information scattered throughout the archives of this forum. I also HIGHLY recommend that you read the following resources as soon as possible as they will provide you a picture of how this all works. Using THAT information, you'll be able to make wiser choices about what you really want to do and will know what it is you need to learn more about to get there:

 

www.wordplayer.com : an EXCELLENT source for aspiring Writers and Directors. I HIGHLY recommend that you read EVERY PAGE. There is a lot, but it is free and invaluable.

 

http://www.randomhouse.com/book/44440/what-i-really-want-to-do-on-set-in-hollywood-by-brian-dzyak/9780823099535/ - Disclaimer that I wrote this book, but I wrote it precisely for aspiring "filmmakers" like you. Of course I recommend it! It WILL give you the information you're looking for as to what your life will be like working in the professional film industry and how to get there. The first five chapters are critical and then read as much of the rest of it as you can to get the fullest picture of what you're getting yourself into.

 

Also, go to www.realfilmcareer.com and in the FORUMS section, you'll find countless additional resources and articles and editorials that have been meticulously consolidated for your convenience.

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If you're doing GCSEs you're in the UK.

 

If you're in the UK you probably can't have a career in film.

 

If you don't have any route to work in the US, you are stuffed.

 

Sorry.

 

P

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If you're doing GCSEs you're in the UK.

 

If you're in the UK you probably can't have a career in film.

 

If you don't have any route to work in the US, you are stuffed.

 

Sorry.

 

P

 

as someone who also wants to work in the UK, this is worrying to hear.

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There is NO WAY I'm calling you Joe when you have "Tweaky" in your name!!! So Tweaky, there is an old Hollywood adage that goes if you want to be a director, write a GREAT commercial feature script and hold it hostage until they let you direct it after all it worked for Stallone. Another way is to make some small film that is TOTALLY original which worked great for Lynch who had Mel Brooks, after seeing a screening of Eraserhead was convinced to have him direct The Elephant Man.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2008/jul/27/42

 

Now IF you want to be a "cinematographer/directer" (BTW, you may want to change that to Director for the credits) Like say Robert Rodriguez, You could always just take credit for someone else's work :rolleyes: (I actually like a lot of Rodriguez's movies but HE'S the cinematographer? Come on). IF I were you, I'd get an S8mm or 16mm movie camera, some film, do some research and shoot some footage, maybe do a short. it's not that expensive, especially S8mm. A camera can be had for 10 to at the very high end 400 bucks, cassettes say 5 to 10 bucks, processing like 12 bucks for a 50ft cassette. A 16mm can be had for as little as 50 bucks all the way up to 40K but a good, inexpensive and widely used little camera is the Krasnogorsk-3 which can be had for under 150 bucks, film 100 ft roll plus x Black and white maybe 30 bucks on ebay, processing 12, 14 cents a foot at Movelab

 

http://www.movielab.com/

 

Do some research on this forum.....Wonder what ever happened to Matthew Buick? :D

Edited by James Steven Beverly

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If you're doing GCSEs you're in the UK.

 

If you're in the UK you probably can't have a career in film.

 

If you don't have any route to work in the US, you are stuffed.

 

Sorry.

 

P

 

 

What upbeat and positive advice for a 15 year old to hear.

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What upbeat and positive advice for a 15 year old to hear.

 

It's sad but true. And even if you make it to Hollywood, it doesn't mean you're going to make it. Working in Hollywood and film is one of the most competitive things you will ever encounter. There is no guarantee to success.

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The kid's got a WHOLE LIFETIME to become jaded. You'd be amazed what power there is in youthful enthusiasm and cock-eyed optimism. ANYONE can tell one they can't do something but if you're being TRULY honest, that is your opinion and the truth is you don't know. People make it against the odds every day of the week. He'll have plenty of time for disappointment, set backs and disillusionment, BUT he may have the talent and luck to beat the odds. The fact of the matter is he has a long hard road to walk down and he'll find out all on his own. B)

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While it IS difficult, it is not impossible. My own story is semi-proof of it. I say "semi" because I didn't know anyone in the professional film industry, yet I managed to build a career anyway, first as a Camera Assistant and now as a Cameraman shooting behind-the-scenes (mostly). The "semi" part comes in because while this is fun and all, I've not yet achieved what I set out to achieve. But, despite the odds, I didn't have to turn my car around and go back home in disgrace because I couldn't hack it.

 

Difficult? Yes. Impossible? Not even close. If you really want it, that is.

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Yes Brian.

 

But you are in the US.

 

It is not the same in the UK.

 

I can't in good conscience recommend anyone pursue film and TV work in the UK. There simply isn't a living in it for more than a very, very few people.

 

P

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I never truly understood things like proper exposure, ISO, f-stop, shutter angle, etc. until I started shooting film. Even if you plan to work in video for the rest of your life, it's a base that you really should start with.

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I never truly understood things like proper exposure, ISO, f-stop, shutter angle, etc. until I started shooting film. Even if you plan to work in video for the rest of your life, it's a base that you really should start with.

 

That's an interesting point. I'm not sure if I agree or disagree. Digital is a completely different beast and at some point, I don't know when, film may just disappear and digital will be the taught standard. I worked with a few DPs who lit by eye. They had learned the basics of course. But, with a monitor right in front of you can simply say, "Put some fill from here, take that down a little, clean that up" and get a perfectly acceptable image just from viewing a monitor.

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I Would argue, that while you can do that on the day, it doesn't much help you to visualize how a location looks when you're scouting in order to know what you'll need for that day. I certainly hope against hope that DP work does not degrade to such a state that we need monitors in order to do our jobs-- a crutch which we must lean on instead of inherently knowing how to get it where it needs to be. And, of course, this is all assuming you can really trust the monitor, which honestly, I'm never really convinced we can/should in the middle of god knows where under all the pressures of making the day.

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I Would argue, that while you can do that on the day, it doesn't much help you to visualize how a location looks when you're scouting in order to know what you'll need for that day. I certainly hope against hope that DP work does not degrade to such a state that we need monitors in order to do our jobs-- a crutch which we must lean on instead of inherently knowing how to get it where it needs to be. And, of course, this is all assuming you can really trust the monitor, which honestly, I'm never really convinced we can/should in the middle of god knows where under all the pressures of making the day.

 

The monitor has evolved to some extent as a tool and not a crutch. Hey, telecine operators use them all the time. There are some great monitors out there. I get the feeling that what we learned in film may end up slowing us down in the digital realm. I did see something yesterday that Steven Poster had posted. It was an article in which he was quoted as well as John Baily, Read what it says about the "democratization" of filmmaking. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118035664

 

Hey, I started from the bottom, learned exposure through stills. There other day I was at a Thrift store and say a printer and thought, "wow, those days are over." Who here has made a print lately. Now, all that manipulation is done on a computer. Is it more advantageous to learn to develop and print film or can you learn all you need to know with a digital camera and a computer with some very simple software? I'm beginning to wonder.

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I Would argue, that while you can do that on the day, it doesn't much help you to visualize how a location looks when you're scouting in order to know what you'll need for that day. I certainly hope against hope that DP work does not degrade to such a state that we need monitors in order to do our jobs-- a crutch which we must lean on instead of inherently knowing how to get it where it needs to be. And, of course, this is all assuming you can really trust the monitor, which honestly, I'm never really convinced we can/should in the middle of god knows where under all the pressures of making the day.

 

 

I think both are right, but if I relied on the monitor then I wouldn't be working as much as I do. I have to walk onto a location and KNOW without a lens or monitor what I need, where to put it, and what it'll likely look like BEFORE anything comes out of case. Of course the viewfinder (and monitor) are necessary once the setup is being built, but in most cases, if I waited for a lens to be up to look through before I decided how to light, I could never set up in time. The viewfinder and/or monitor are wonderful tools, but they really should just be there to confirm and fine-tune. The broad strokes of lighting and lensing really have to be known by the Cameraman sooner.

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I was more or less responding to what Jonathan said about exposure, ISO, f-stop, shutter angle, etc.As far as lighting goes, it's pretty much the same. You block, you light, you rehearse and then you shoot. I don't think I'd want to light a set or a scene without having done that and for me it requires a lens. But I agree that the monitor can used for fine tuning. You can really finesse it with a monitor rather quickly. My point is, or at least the one I was trying to make is the way we will learn in the future isn't going to be the way were taught. And we were taught film photography and the future will be digital photography. There may come a day when the motion picture film camera is just as obsolete as the still camera.

Edited by Tom Jensen

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Ok, I'm going to ask one more question. If no one ever wanted to try and succeed in the film industry, would we even have a film industry?

 

Anyway thanks for all the advice.

 

There was a time when Hollywood was cranking out movies so fast it would make your head spin. There was a labor shortage and it was easy to get a ob on a set doing something. Today there aren't as many films being made, there is runaway production and the price has skyrocketed. There are film schools that crank out DPs at an alarming rate. The competition today is fierce. All you can do is give it your best shot.

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There was a time when Hollywood was cranking out movies so fast it would make your head spin. There was a labor shortage and it was easy to get a ob on a set doing something. Today there aren't as many films being made, there is runaway production and the price has skyrocketed. There are film schools that crank out DPs at an alarming rate. The competition today is fierce. All you can do is give it your best shot.

 

Thanks, what I'm saying is if you have a passion for something surely you should pursue it. Here in the UK theres thousands of graphic designers yet 95% of them are crap. My dads advertising company are having a hard job finding a good freelance graphic designer at the moment.

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would we even have a film industry?

 

Yes. Exactly. Here's the thing.

 

We don't have a film industry

 

I'm going to say that again, using slightly bigger type, just so it's completely clear:

 

We don't have a film industry

 

The idea that the UK has a worthwhile operating film industry is a fashionable fiction generated by people desperate to seem important. We don't have an industry because we don't have people going to see films where the profits are ploughed back into production. Look up what's on at your local cinema. If there's more than one film on at the moment which is not American, I will be very surprised. I wouldn't be that shocked to find that every single film being shown there, and every film that has been shown in the previous few weeks, was American.

 

We do not have a film industry. We have a few music videos and we very occaisonally service productions for the Americans.

 

I've mentioned this before, but the story goes thus: When J.K. Rowling was being chased for the movie options to Harry Potter, she looked around the UK for an indigenous production company that was capable of doing the show justice. Clearly it's an effects-heavy film, clearly it's a big deal, clearly it needed a decent budget. So, they looked around for a production company capable of doing it, and there wasn't one.

 

I should emphasise that this doesn't mean there wasn't one that could pay J. K. the money she was after, or there wasn't one willing to do it in a certain way: there just quite simply wasn't a UK production company capable of making Harry Potter in the way Warner eventually made it. The London industry was so parochial, so utterly pathetic and hopeless, so dependent on government handouts and self-congratulation, that it simply was not capable of putting up a decent showing when it came time to negotiate. This is one reason why many crew members hate producers, especially in the UK: they're often barely capable of doing their own jobs unless (what was) the UK Film Council is holding their hands.

 

The result is that we have a British author writing a series of fantastically successful novels, which are made into fantastically successful films by largely British crews in British sound stages, with British actors and British effects and postproduction people, and all the money goes straight to LA.

This is one really rather minor example of why we don't have a film industry. One James Bond film every few years and the occasional scraps the Americans throw us does not equal an industry. Sorry. It sucks. But, and this is important, it's the truth.

 

P

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