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Vinicius Marconcin

First steps a student should take to become a serious filmmaker

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Posted (edited)

I read your very negative view of what I said. I still stand by it. Encouragement and insights are the way to help Students. Telling someone they can do it and it will require hard work is going to have a much better chance of success. And, as far as attacking I think you are attacking me. I was simply making a statement that I felt is important to state. It's like when I go to church and the preacher is yelling fire and brimstone and you will burn in hell at the depth of Dante' Inferno. (You have to read this book to get the full impact of what I am saying) At any rate all the damnation the preacher goes on about and there is nothing about the greatest universal love and forgiveness! So, with all the hell fire flying around I say unto you most solemnly, Praise and encouragement goes a long way in developing new talent. 🙂

Edited by Kim Edward Welch
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by my limited experience, working in the film industry is much more about "puzzle solving" than just chilling out and creating art like indie filmmaking may ideally be. Everyone who manages to get though MUST BE talented and knowledgeable of course but one needs lots of trust from other people as well and they need to know you in some way to hire you for anything. That's why there is lots of friends and friends of the friends and family members and ex classmates etc. hired... even if they are not the best possible choice it is at least known HOW GOOD they are in what they do and if it's possible to work with them without much of a conflict on not. 

I think that doing films in general as a independent filmmaker is so completely different than doing it for living that it is challenging to even compare them. when doing it for work the talent and passion is not enough anymore and contacts and resume and awards and even pure luck will matter much more. everyone who wants to do any movies tends to be passionate and somewhat talented but it can be overwhelmingly tough to be crushed down and stepped on day after day. 

It has been tough for me as well to see dozens of talented fellow students, filmmakers etc. to never get to do anything serious even when I know how good they are and how much they could contribute if they would get financing and distribution for their projects. It's like hearing bones crushing all the time when someone walks over their bodies.

 Not wanting to be discouraging or anything but I am sure most of the new persons who want to do movies for living would much rather do some other stuff if they would know how cruel and difficult it actually is to get in and how crushing it can be to ones dreams even if they get in because they see how they can't actually do the films they want anymore and have to compromise everything.

I think it is indeed a dream factory... a dream CRUSHING factory to be more precise. one need to be tough and unbreakable or just incredibly lucky to get through. in worst case it will cost you everything you got including your health and still not getting much anywhere if not lucky enough

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On 9/25/2018 at 12:10 AM, Vinicius Marconcin said:

Hi, Im a new member to this site and the world of filmmaking so I would like some experienced individuals teach me what a good first step would be to take

as for encouragement, try to get mentors you can learn from a lot and try to get in other filmmakers/students projects to learn how they do things and how many different ways there is to cleverly solve on-set problems in time when they arise. Of course do everything included in your school program but you need to do lots of extra as well to have better chances to get forward. maybe 3 or 4 times more than the school requires. Always try to get on set of higher end productions than your current level to continuously learn from people who are much more experienced than you. You will also get more important contacts that way.

sometimes you need to do very tough decisions. like sometimes needing to decide do you want to graduate in time or at all or do you want to do movies for living and will need to give up the school degree temporarily or permanently to be able to make a living in the film industry if your best change to get there arises. I personally had to do that decision years ago and had very little time to choose. would work in some other industry by now if have chosen to finish the school like everyone else did. 

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The film and TV industry isn't like going to college, you will find all sorts of negative forces going on, as well as positive ones. Phil points out the downsides, which is only fair, you will find praise, but don't always expect it to be genuine. There can be all sorts of politics going on that you're not aware of.

All you can do is be upbeat and positive, regardless of what's going on, even on a cold wet day, with the rain running down your neck.

     

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On 9/24/2018 at 2:37 PM, Max Field said:

A huge first step is the willingness to make the hobby your life. Millions of others are in the same place you are. Maybe only a few thousand of those millions are willing to go all in.

Yes, good advice.

Kerouac may have said it best.."you've got to stick to it with the energy of a benny addict.”

Expose yourself to as many areas of inspiration as possible. You never know where success may sprout from. 

Good luck!

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, aapo lettinen said:

by my limited experience, working in the film industry is much more about "puzzle solving" than just chilling out and creating art like indie filmmaking may ideally be. Everyone who manages to get though MUST BE talented and knowledgeable of course but one needs lots of trust from other people as well and they need to know you in some way to hire you for anything. That's why there is lots of friends and friends of the friends and family members and ex classmates etc. hired... even if they are not the best possible choice it is at least known HOW GOOD they are in what they do and if it's possible to work with them without much of a conflict on not. 

I think that doing films in general as a independent filmmaker is so completely different than doing it for living that it is challenging to even compare them. when doing it for work the talent and passion is not enough anymore and contacts and resume and awards and even pure luck will matter much more. everyone who wants to do any movies tends to be passionate and somewhat talented but it can be overwhelmingly tough to be crushed down and stepped on day after day. 

It has been tough for me as well to see dozens of talented fellow students, filmmakers etc. to never get to do anything serious even when I know how good they are and how much they could contribute if they would get financing and distribution for their projects. It's like hearing bones crushing all the time when someone walks over their bodies.

 Not wanting to be discouraging or anything but I am sure most of the new persons who want to do movies for living would much rather do some other stuff if they would know how cruel and difficult it actually is to get in and how crushing it can be to ones dreams even if they get in because they see how they can't actually do the films they want anymore and have to compromise everything.

I think it is indeed a dream factory... a dream CRUSHING factory to be more precise. one need to be tough and unbreakable or just incredibly lucky to get through. in worst case it will cost you everything you got including your health and still not getting much anywhere if not lucky enough

Yes, concur. I can only be an experimental filmmaker. Producing on schedule and $$ demands ruins it for me...that is WORK!

Agree on health. Gained 60 pounds working on computer PP. Sleep goes too! 

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Kim Edward Welch said:

I read your very negative view of what I said. I still stand by it. Encouragement and insights are the way to help Students. Telling someone they can do it and it will require hard work is going to have a much better chance of success. And, as far as attacking I think you are attacking me. I was simply making a statement that I felt is important to state. It's like when I go to church and the preacher is yelling fire and brimstone and you will burn in hell at the depth of Dante' Inferno. (You have to read this book to get the full impact of what I am saying) At any rate all the damnation the preacher goes on about and there is nothing about the greatest universal love and forgiveness! So, with all the hell fire flying around I say unto you most solemnly, Praise and encouragement goes a long way in developing new talent. 🙂

I haven't read the post that caused the hubbub as I like to read threads backwards sometimes. Maybe it is an ADD thing. So, I hope to eventually get to it...if I don't get bored!

They got all types in the world...+ and - , we just got to make do best we can dealing with the + and -.

On a photo forum that banned me, and just a short time after joining, someone PM'd me. He/they said they worked at an art school that had some of my hand-printed artist's books and photos in their collection and he/they thought my books didn't really mean much since they were self-published, donated and not critically reviewed. He/they were a proff at the school. He/they said only purchased photos and commercially published books 'counts.'

And while he/they is generally right, Twentysix Gasoline Stations was in a similar boat and sells for...

 https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=30035858856&searchurl=an%3DEd%2BRuscha%26sortby%3D1&cm_sp=snippet-_-srp1-_-title4

I can only hope the proff was more encouraging with their students. Luckily there are no photo police to demand an accounting...we only have to please ourselves.

If you approach art as a job, then $$ is everything. If you approach art as your life, then $$ is a side issue. A true artist uses their art to make sense of the world and must do it irrespective of $$, fame, success or notoriety.

 

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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"Faith, hope ... and a little bit of luck" - Alfred P. Doolittle, My Fair Lady

Stay on course. Learn about that most amazing and sometimes difficult-to-find thing, faith. And above all be patient.

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Marry a lawyer or dentist .. problem solved.. you are the struggling creative to be admired for your grit and tenacity  .. they pay the bills.. and can feel they are supporting the arts .. also get them to buy you an E type Jag as that will inspire you.. 

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Thus, the large number of women in orchestras today (to take an example in the arts). They marry men who can support them. They wait until they find a good doctor, solicitor, mining engineer,or tenured academic to marry - someone who just doesn't play at all (may be talented and interested but hasn't got the time). And it works out well. For men who are creative it can be a bit more difficult, but with patience things can work out. Or is my thinking wrong on this? It's just I've noticed a thing or two, in the arts.

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Here it is almost impossible to get mortgage if only working short freelance gigs like most of the film workers tend to do. It will help a lot if your wife or husband has a stable job like being a doctor or a nurse etc and the bank can count on that when discussing about the loans. Especially difficult if one has his own company or self employed...they treat you like your being a pennyless hobo even if you make couple of Ks a week on your own business all the time and can prove it too. They may not even give you a credit card here if you are self employed, that is how hard it may be.

The whole society is built around stable "normal" jobs and can be very tough for a freelancer. It is much easier for a rich person to get through to the film industry...

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Kim Edward Welch said:

I read your very negative view of what I said. I still stand by it. 

Yes, but I don't care and nor will any other sensible person. We'd care if you gave an intelligent reasoned response. Just repeating that you haven't changed your mind without that intelligent response just reinforces the negative impression you've already made.

Quote

I think you are attacking me. I was simply making a statement that I felt is important to state.

 

So was Phil. (Only his was based in facts rather than fantasy.) Stop being hypocritical.

Quote

Praise and encouragement goes a long way in developing new talent. 🙂

 

I think the problem here is that you haven't managed to understand what you are reading, despite it's extreme simplicity and the number of chances you'e had. No one is talking about how to "develop talent." The issue here is the risk of investing years of your time and ruining your life. People need a fair warning of this risk. And people who give that warning shouldn't have to put up with abuse from the We Can All Be Special Snowflakes If We Wish Hard Enough Brigade. Yes, that warning might discourage people. But keeping people away from the truth because it might discourage them is a form of lying - it's shameful and, really, you should know better.

Talent is something else altogether. (And I doubt you know anything about it, but that's another subject.)

Edited by David Mawson

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14 hours ago, Robin R Probyn said:

Marry a lawyer or dentist .. problem solved.. you are the struggling creative to be admired for your grit and tenacity  .. they pay the bills.

Then they have an affair with a colleague at the office and think how much easier life would be if their income doubled. You get home and find the locks have been changed and your joint bank account has been emptied...

 

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Anyway, my suggestion is that the first thing that the OP should do is to read Mackendrick's On Film. The book was written by a superb practising director who became probably the most loved and influential person ever to teach at a film school. 

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3 hours ago, David Mawson said:

Anyway, my suggestion is that the first thing that the OP should do....

... is probably come back to the thread, as it's way over a year old. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, David Mawson said:

Anyway, my suggestion is that the first thing that the OP should do is to read Mackendrick's On Film. The book was written by a superb practising director who became probably the most loved and influential person ever to teach at a film school. 

I ordered a used copy of the paperback on Amazon, then I found this 45 minute Youtube of Mackendrick's planning a scene.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oo_P727IeZo

The strange thing for me is that after going through his thought process we see the scene played out by the actors at the end of the video and it comes off a bit like a cheesy soap opera. Even Mackendrick's most famous American movie, The Sweet Smell of Success was a bit of a cheesy soap opera, but praised as his masterpiece. There have been many film masterpieces, but Mackendrick didn't write or direct any of them. 

I guess it's true that those who can, do, and those who can't, teach. I know it's true thst for most students,  school has almost nothing to do with the world of work. One is a place of ideas. The other is a place of results.

Edited by Bob Speziale

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On 2/8/2019 at 11:50 AM, Kim Edward Welch said:

Watch movies, look at the works of great painters and develop artistic vision. Don't worry so much about what camera or what lens or the other technical stuff, it will come if the passion is there and vision is clear. 

I wholeheartedly agree. If you have the passion, you can figure out how to make it reality, even if it's just an iPhone video. 

On 6/14/2019 at 8:15 AM, Kim Edward Welch said:

Encouragement and insights are the way to help Students. Telling someone they can do it and it will require hard work is going to have a much better chance of success.

Having been a teacher for the last few years at a very successful local arts high school, I would say this statement is accurate. You can always tell the students who want it and those who don't want it. The ones who don't really want it, they go to some far away fancy university, far away from a media city. The ones who want it, they stay at home with cheap/free rent, get part time jobs and spend the rest of the time making content. I always told my students, the younger you start building a portfolio, the better off you'll be in the long run. Where getting a degree is good as a backup plan, if you really want to be a filmmaker, going to college is 4 years of wasted time. The best course of action is to milk the free room and board, create content and if things don't go well, hit up a community college and get a degree in something to help pay the bills. Once you lose the ability to stay at home, life becomes super expensive very fast, especially if you live in a media city like New York, Atlanta or Los Angeles. 

4 hours ago, David Mawson said:

No one is talking about how to "develop talent." The issue here is the risk of investing years of your time and ruining your life. People need a fair warning of this risk. And people who give that warning shouldn't have to put up with abuse from the We Can All Be Special Snowflakes If We Wish Hard Enough Brigade. Yes, that warning might discourage people. But keeping people away from the truth because it might discourage them is a form of lying - it's shameful and, really, you should know better.

I don't believe practicing your passion is a waste of time. I don't believe in discouraging people for selfish and jealousy reasons. I do warn my students that the road is challenging, but I explain how things are done and clear the debris so there is a clearer path to eyes on your content. 

People forget, the whole purpose of this industry is to tell stories and if people see your stories, then you are successful in my book. Maybe it doesn't garnish you wealth, but it does fulfill the desire to share your ideas with the world. Today, we're so lucky to have amazing outreach and with a modicum advertising, you can get hundreds of thousands of views or more. The formula is easy to read online, it's easy to find other people who follow the same practices and learn from them as well. 

The truth is, nothing holds you back from making content but yourself with the help of discouragement from others. This is not 1995, this is 2019, this is an era where the phone in your pocket, creates higher quality media than most digital cameras from 10 years ago. Where software companies are giving away super high end software for free. Where an iPad is more powerful than most laptops. If you aren't making content on a regular basis, if you aren't practicing and getting better, that's down to your own passion, not the industry. There are no excuses anymore, get your telephone out, get an app that allows you to control the camera and go tell your story. 

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6 minutes ago, Bob Speziale said:

There have been many film masterpieces, but Mackendrick didn't write or direct any of them. 

I also don't understand how someone who retired in the late 50's from filmmaking and wrote a book about his experience in that era, could shed much light on today's filmmaking, especially when it comes to equipment, financing and distribution, which are THE HARDEST PARTS! Honestly, if you wish to be "successful" in classical filmmaking, the first steps are to learn about fundraising and producing. The act of making your product, that's the easy part. You hire people do help you with that. 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I also don't understand how someone who retired in the late 50's from filmmaking and wrote a book about his experience in that era, could shed much light on today's filmmaking, especially when it comes to equipment, financing and distribution, which are THE HARDEST PARTS! Honestly, if you wish to be "successful" in classical filmmaking, the first steps are to learn about fundraising and producing. The act of making your product, that's the easy part. You hire people do help you with that. 

For about ten years I had a sideline working on my own with small business, installing accounting systems and databases and desktop publishing. Doing the job was the easiest part, selling the job, and collecting the money was the hardest. At the same time my day job was working for a corporation where they took care of all the business end and left me alone to do the part of the work I enjoyed. Maybe that's why the studio system did such great films, and almost everything I've seen out of Hollywood the last few years, including award winning movies, just seems sub-standard. The studio took care of the business side, letting the directors concentrate on the art. 

Edited by Bob Speziale
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2 hours ago, Bob Speziale said:

Even Mackendrick's most famous American movie, The Sweet Smell of Success was a bit of a cheesy soap opera, but praised as his masterpiece. There have been many film masterpieces, but Mackendrick didn't write or direct any of them. 

I'm not sure who gave you the exclusive right to decide what a masterpiece is, but I'd say that The Lady Killers and TSOS certainly are, and a fair weight of opinion agrees with me.

The comment about "cheesy soap opera" is possibly a symptom of your not very open-minded. Styles change: imaginative people look past that.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I also don't understand how someone who retired in the late 50's from filmmaking and wrote a book about his experience in that era, could shed much light on today's filmmaking

Possibly because you haven't realised that films are about story? The book is about the director's role as the intermediary between the writer and the actors, not as a camera operator. (Which in fact is a job of its own - in other news, the director doesn't manage catering or hold a mic boom either..)

Anyhoo. Obviously you've been mystified all these years why people study Godard and Hitchcock and Kurosawa, so it's just as well we've cleared that up...

Obviously you must even more confused by the fact that screenwriters and directors study Aristotle's Poetics, Shakespeare's act structure and Lajos Egri's texts about play writing - I mean, Aristotle never owned a digital camera! (That's assuming you know who those people are, of course.)

 

Edited by David Mawson

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I highly recommend Mackendrick’s book — his analysis of storytelling goes back to Ancient Greek drama so the intent is to look at what could be considered classical notions of story structure. And a lot of his basic rules don’t really date, things like “end a scene on a question, not an answer” to drive the narrative forward, catering to human nature to find out “what happens next?” What difference does it make if he directed a movie in the 1950’s? A photographer can’t be inspired by Robert Frank’s “The Americans” because that’s from the 1950’s? A painter can’t learn anything from Van Gogh? A writer shouldn’t know anything about Dickens or Joyce?

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Right now, I’m on a shoot where the director wants me to explain how some shots in “I Am Cuba” were done...

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4 minutes ago, David Mullen ASC said:

 A writer shouldn’t know anything about Dickens or Joyce?

...Because neither of them used a word processor, presumably.

I think that there is a terrific amount to be learned from watching silent film. As Hitchcock said, if a director needs to rely what's said to carry the story then he's not really making a film at all - he's illustrating a radio play. The director's and writers of the silent era were forced to know their craft in this regard by the need to keep captions to a minimum.

Some of the silents were among the most sophisticated and knowing films ever made. I the only films you saw in your life were The Battleship Potemkin, Intolerance, and The General, you'd still know everything you needed to make a film. In fact the only thing I can think of that you'd really be missing from the modern film maker's arsenal would be the jump cut. (Perhaps I'm missing something?)

 

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16 minutes ago, David Mullen ASC said:

Right now, I’m on a shoot where the director wants me to explain how some shots in “I Am Cuba” were done...

Well, at least it wasn't Triumph Of The Will...

(Which is, of course, one of the most skilled pieces in film making history - it certainly has to take the prize as the best advert. But still.)

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