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Vinicius Marconcin

First steps a student should take to become a serious filmmaker

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52 minutes ago, David Mawson said:

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.

It's just my opinion and many see him as a genius, but maybe the emperor really has no clothes. To me Bustop was a masterpiece, and so was Moonlighting, and so was It happened One Night, and so was 2001, and so was One Eyed Jacks, and dozens more I could name, so maybe our tastes are different.

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1 hour ago, David Mawson said:

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..)

Obviously you didn’t read the other part of my post which stated that in the end, the most important part is story. This isn’t a forum for writers, so I wouldn’t expect anyone here to need advice on writing. There are some phenomenal books on story structure and most importantly how to spice your story up to keep the attention of a modern audience. Oh and yes watching/studying the classics is very important 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:
1 hour ago, David Mawson said:

 

Obviously you didn’t read the other part of my post which stated that in the end, the most important part is story.

Yes, I did. I just felt you'd embarrassed yourself enough without my pointing that your logic was inconsistent as well as just plain bad.

Quote

 This isn’t a forum for writers, so I wouldn’t expect anyone here to need advice on writing. 

Which is another example of bad logic. Having already made one jaw dropping silly statement, you've now made another. Story telling in film is NOT just - or even mainly - about what people say. The camera department's task is not to get the prettiest images possible but those that best convey the story. Good dop's are collaborative storytellers, working with the director and the script to do this - this is one of the major points the book makes. The main responsibility for this is the director's - but a competent dop needs to understand the director's aims and needs to work with him.

In general, Tyler, it helps to know what a book says before declaring that it isn't relevant. Oh - and double score for ignoring the title of the book, which is "On Film Making" and not "On Film Writing"...

But, of course, if you were more cautious then we'd not had the special joy of having you lecture us on why Potemkin, Caine and Bout De Souffle aren't worth studying.

Have you thought of starting a kickstarter so you can lecture at film schools? I'd contribute if I got to watch the streaming video of your debut. Do you fancy starting with UCS or the AFI?

Edited by David Mawson

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9 hours ago, David Mawson said:

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...

 

No Dave, doesn't work like that .. they have the affair and realize that the boring colleague ,who has been after them for years.. is in fact ,a boring colleague after all.. who talks about their BMW in bed.. and leaves their black credit card on the table in restaurants on purpose for all to see  ..  the better half realize their massive mistake and love your selfish arty mood swings all the more .. and buy you an Austin Healey 3000... 

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5 hours ago, David Mawson said:

Yes, I did. I just felt you'd embarrassed yourself enough without my pointing that your logic was inconsistent as well as just plain bad.

What is this grade school? The only embarrassing thing here is how you handle yourself on an internet forum. 

For the record, the other thread I posted about getting a proper cinema camera, was in direct response to someone wanting to be a cinematographer (this is a cinematography forum). The replies I made on here to your comments, have nothing to do with cinematography, they have to do with being successful in the film industry, which has nothing to do with a single job like cinematography. 

Quote

The main responsibility for this is the director's - but a competent dop needs to understand the director's aims and needs to work with him.

.... assuming we're discussing director of photography. The OP wants to know the steps to becoming a filmmaker. As you probably know, the role of a filmmaker is actually producer more than anything else. Truth is, if you have a story you wish to tell, the filmmakers job is to find the people capable of helping bring it to fruition.  

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In general, Tyler, it helps to know what a book says before declaring that it isn't relevant. Oh - and double score for ignoring the title of the book, which is "On Film Making" and not "On Film Writing"...

Does it talk about what sells content wise 2019/2020? Does it talk about crowdfunding? Does it talk about grants? Does it talk about modern budgeting? Does it talk about contract negotiations? Does it talk about insurance? Does it talk about casting non-professional actors? Does it talk about advertising/marketing the jobs on set? Does it discuss festivals, sales agents, lawyers and E&O? Does it talk about getting screwed by people and how to make sure your asset isn't toxic when it's all over? 

To me, those are probably the most important things a "filmmaker" needs to know. The vast majority of filmmakers will work with someone who has experience in the writing department. Most filmmakers will bring in an experienced crew of some kind; cinematographer, gaffer and sound at the bare minimal. Most filmmakers will get pointers on post production, even if they edit it themselves. 

In the world of production and post-production, it's very easy to get a small crew together with experience to help get your project done. So I don't see the purpose of someone reading a book about the way things worked during the studio system unless they're interested in history. It's far better to pay for a masterclass on being a producer in 2019 than it is to read a book that you're probably going to forget about the moment after you read it. The masterclasses have visual cues which help long term retention and the higher entertainment value plus current knowledge, will truly help younger would-be filmmakers. 

I will also say for the record, if you watch movies -especially the classics- read scripts written by masters and practice shooting scenes with friends, you have some idea of how a scene comes together. Add a few masterclasses in there about producing, funding and writing, you're in pretty good shape to make a product in 2019. 

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But, of course, if you were more cautious then we'd not had the special joy of having you lecture us on why Potemkin, Caine and Bout De Souffle aren't worth studying.

Who said they weren't? Citizen Kane is the first film I show in my cinematography class. Followed by Paths of Glory and The Third Man. I could go on all day about  Kane as I've studied Toland's work quite a bit. I part that knowledge onto my students through lecture and in-class projects where we recreate some of the unique camera and lighting techniques used in some of these early classics. 

Just because I don't think a book written in the late 50's has much play in the world of 2019, doesn't mean technically brilliant films are thrown away because they're "old". 

Quote

Have you thought of starting a kickstarter so you can lecture at film schools? I'd contribute if I got to watch the streaming video of your debut. Do you fancy starting with UCS or the AFI?

Well if you bothered to research me, I have an educational foundation and I teach filmmaking as a part time job. I have lectured at USC, Cal State and UCLA in a room full of adults, many of whom are professional filmmakers. Only thing I get are standing ovations. 

It's funny, I google your name and see nothing. :shrug: 

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On 2/8/2019 at 9:15 PM, Phil Rhodes said:

I've said everything I could possibly say before, but if you do nothing else, do this.

 

Consider what the maximum possible level of success is.

 

Consider what the likely level of success is. The film industry is extremely competitive, and most entrants fail to make a living. Any kind of living.

 

The modern world is extremely hard on people without lots of money.

 

Passion fades. Financial needs don't. Really, consider whether you want to do this. I would recommend you didn't, as your chances of success are microscopic.

Phil is correct. But, someone is going to make the movies. Why not you? The odds are always against you in any popular profession. If that worries you, find another career.  If not, stop posting these questions and get to work! 🙂

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7 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

What is this grade school? 

From the way you behave, very possibly.

Quote

.... assuming we're discussing director of photography. The OP wants to know the steps to becoming a filmmaker. As you probably know, the role of a filmmaker is actually producer more than anything else.

No, I don't know that. That's your own invented fact. Certainly Martin Scorsese would disagree, judging from his introduction to Mackendrick's book. 

And more importantly and appositely, I'm very sure that the OP wasn't asking how to become a producer when he started this thread, yes? Common sense, Tyler, common sense. (And checking facts, and not carrying resentment between threads...)

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Bruce Greene said:

 someone is going to make the movies. Why not you? 

Someone is going to win the Lottery and the World Poker Championship too. But before investing time and your life's savings, you should examine the odds. What are the base odds? What's the potential rate of return? What assets do you have that will move the odds in your favour?

People who don't this tend to end up working in telesales, wishing they'd studied accounting. 

Edited by David Mawson

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4 hours ago, David Mawson said:

No, I don't know that. That's your own invented fact. Certainly Martin Scorsese would disagree

Richard Boddington (one of the few here with feature-length director credits) said something very similar to Tyler. If you wanna be a filmmaker/director then look into being a producer. If you control the budget no one can tell you that you can't be the director.

Most of the auteur type guys started off as producers in one way or another for their own projects. Then said self-produced work was seen, opening more opportunities.

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We're getting into left-brain/right-brain sort of territory here, the difference between becoming a successful independent filmmaker in terms of career versus becoming a good director artistically.  I have no advice on the former, I can only give advice on the later.

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16 hours ago, David Mawson said:

No, I don't know that. That's your own invented fact. Certainly Martin Scorsese would disagree, judging from his introduction to Mackendrick's book. 

Again proof you know nothing about this subject.

Many top filmmakers on here with multiple feature credits in theaters around the world, have agreed with my statement that modern filmmaking is a job of producing, more than anything else. 

16 hours ago, David Mawson said:

And more importantly and appositely, I'm very sure that the OP wasn't asking how to become a producer when he started this thread, yes? Common sense, Tyler, common sense. (And checking facts, and not carrying resentment between threads...)

 
film·mak·er
/ˈfilmˌmākər/
noun
 
  1. a person who directs or produces movies for the theater or television.
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The real problem that has led this thread, although interesting, down the rabbit hole ,is their is no answer to the OP,s question.. everyone in this industry has a different story how they got there.. sometimes its totally by accident ..or in my case a young offenders prison program..  just go out and shoot something.. knock on doors .. the usual stuff.. there is no magic first step.. 

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The OP might like to learn about drones. Was talking to a pro video-maker yesterday and he does just about all his shooting with them. He showed me a film he made, and all the shots, interior or exterior, even with anything like an 'old-fashioned' dolly shot, was done with a camera on a tiny drone. He mentioned the Red cameras and described them as being too heavy. His video looked slick and professional but I found it uninteresting ... to me it looked, well, too slick and professional. I much prefer the wobbly dolly shots in the old black & white film camera images one sees in, for instance, Random Harvest (1942). Of course, to each his own.

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On 6/16/2019 at 8:35 AM, David Mawson said:

Someone is going to win the Lottery and the World Poker Championship too. But before investing time and your life's savings, you should examine the odds. What are the base odds? What's the potential rate of return? What assets do you have that will move the odds in your favour?

People who don't this tend to end up working in telesales, wishing they'd studied accounting. 

If you look at the odds, you’ll never be a filmmaker!

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2 minutes ago, Bruce Greene said:

If you look at the odds, you’ll never be a filmmaker!

Anyone can be a film maker, a dancer, a singer, an actor, etc. Making a living at it is what is hard. Being a famous success is nearly impossible.

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The bigger question to ask yourself is "Am I actually interesting?" "Are the things in my brain legitimately divergent?"

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24 minutes ago, Max Field said:

The bigger question to ask yourself is "Am I actually interesting?" "Are the things in my brain legitimately divergent?"

I don't know if you need to be interesting. I know a few filmmakers who are complete duds personality wise, but have made some amazing movies. 

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16 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I don't know if you need to be interesting. I know a few filmmakers who are complete duds personality wise, but have made some amazing movies. 

Some mask their insanity better than others 😉

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20 hours ago, Max Field said:

The bigger question to ask yourself is "Am I actually interesting?" "Are the things in my brain legitimately divergent?"

Those are two separate questions. Any self-obsessed freak can be odd. There's nothing more common than an odd bore -

 Interesting is another matter. You can even be fascinatingly ordinary, like Jimmy Stewart. 

 

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21 hours ago, Bruce Greene said:

If you look at the odds, you’ll never be a filmmaker!

I think you've reached that conclusion because you don't understand how to look at odds.

Frank wants to be a director because he loves watching movies and wants to write and make an epic about a superhero character he's invented. He's of average intelligence. He learns to work a camera and shoot stills and video, but no one shows any interest in the results. He writes a kindle novel and it sells 10 copies and gets a 2 star rating. He gets accepted into Fullsail's film program. He'll graduate $120K in debt.

Jane has the same desire. She's has excellent grades, and a few months into shootings stills she is able to shoot trade for local model agencies. Her kindle novel sells several thousand copies - she can write. She has a choice between studying film at the AFI or her state university, which is top 25 rated for film and will cost her only $5K a year in fees, in which case she'll probably end up debt free at the end of her degree. She'd like to be a director but she'd settle editor or cinematographer or writer .

...Frank's chances are less than average. Which start out at about 1/10,000 for becoming a director. So pulling them down for someone in the bottom of the talent pool... 1/100,000? 1/1,000,000? 

Jane's are waaay better than average. Which start out at about 1/1000 for the roles she willing to consider, and probably jump up 1/10 or better for someone with her demonstrated talent and the degree she'll receive. 

Frank's cost for a 1/100,000 shot will be about $200K - combining debt and lost income. Which means, crudely, he'd have to expect cash and intangibles to be greater than $20,000,000,000 from becoming a director for the risk to be worth taking. 

Jane's risking maybe $75,000 in lost income. Modify for a 1/10 chance and that comes out as a $750,000 risk. Which is inside her tolerance level because the cash and fun she'd get from her chosen career easily add up to the equivalent of several million.

..Taking long odds is fine. But you have to calculate HOW long they are, what the cost will be, and what the reward. Most people don't, and they get badly burned.

 

 

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On 6/15/2019 at 11:02 PM, Bob Speziale said:
On 6/15/2019 at 10:02 PM, David Mawson said:

 

It's just my opinion and many see him as a genius, but maybe the emperor really has no clothes. To me Bustop was a masterpiece, and so was Moonlighting, and so was It happened One Night, and so was 2001, and so was One Eyed Jacks, and dozens more I could name, so maybe our tastes are different.

Actually, I'd say that one of the first things you should do to become good at any art is to sop confusing "What I like" with "What is good". You have to accept that people are different and that you can learn as much - or more - from excellent films that you don't like. I generally don't resonate with Orson Welles' work but I can separate that from my evaluation of its quality.

That's not to say that you should accept anything popular or critically adored as genius. But you should evaluate and critique your own reaction. Eg you called SSOS "melodramatic." But i. is this fair at all? a lot of the film is in subtle details. And ii. do you know anything about the milieu and real personalities the film was based on? Compared to Winchell's broadcasting style, Lancaster's character is almost softly spoken - the film would have lost all meaning and relevance without the element that you didn't react well to. "A good film" does not equal one that appeals to the tastes of a random viewer decades later.

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On 6/16/2019 at 6:22 PM, Max Field said:

Richard Boddington (one of the few here with feature-length director credits) said something very similar to Tyler. If you wanna be a filmmaker/director then look into being a producer. If you control the budget no one can tell you that you can't be the director.

That has nothing to do with what Tyler said. Which is that "film maker" is used as a synonym for "producer".  You're confusing "Becoming a doctor is a great career" with "Medical career always means doctor (and never eg nurse)." Very different.

(Another example of how wrong Tyler's usage is: Robert Latham Brown uses it in exactly the sense that Tyler says is incorrect in "Planning The Low Budget Film" - and RLB is a producer!)

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2 hours ago, David Mawson said:

I think you've reached that conclusion because you don't understand how to look at odds.

Frank wants to be a director because he loves watching movies and wants to write and make an epic about a superhero character he's invented. He's of average intelligence. He learns to work a camera and shoot stills and video, but no one shows any interest in the results. He writes a kindle novel and it sells 10 copies and gets a 2 star rating. He gets accepted into Fullsail's film program. He'll graduate $120K in debt.

Jane has the same desire. She's has excellent grades, and a few months into shootings stills she is able to shoot trade for local model agencies. Her kindle novel sells several thousand copies - she can write. She has a choice between studying film at the AFI or her state university, which is top 25 rated for film and will cost her only $5K a year in fees, in which case she'll probably end up debt free at the end of her degree. She'd like to be a director but she'd settle editor or cinematographer or writer .

...Frank's chances are less than average. Which start out at about 1/10,000 for becoming a director. So pulling them down for someone in the bottom of the talent pool... 1/100,000? 1/1,000,000? 

Jane's are waaay better than average. Which start out at about 1/1000 for the roles she willing to consider, and probably jump up 1/10 or better for someone with her demonstrated talent and the degree she'll receive. 

Frank's cost for a 1/100,000 shot will be about $200K - combining debt and lost income. Which means, crudely, he'd have to expect cash and intangibles to be greater than $20,000,000,000 from becoming a director for the risk to be worth taking. 

Jane's risking maybe $75,000 in lost income. Modify for a 1/10 chance and that comes out as a $750,000 risk. Which is inside her tolerance level because the cash and fun she'd get from her chosen career easily add up to the equivalent of several million.

..Taking long odds is fine. But you have to calculate HOW long they are, what the cost will be, and what the reward. Most people don't, and they get badly burned.

 

 

both of those sound like pretty unrealistic to me both as starting points and motives to want a film career. 

and the odds may be off too... I don't believe one could really calculate ones chances to become a film director that way. It is lots about the right timing and contacts and what you have previously done with whom. talent is less important (everyone is talented some way or another, that seems to be the reason they start to dream about a film career in the first place. They have some talent and they want to put that in the use and will thus start to learn the craft on their own. They also have some stories in their head wanting to come out which drives them nuts if they don't have some way to tell them to the outside world. ) and the small choices you do on your way will matter much more than anything else. Right timing +contacts + pure luck + resume . everyone is talented who even wants to try film career 

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2 hours ago, David Mawson said:

I think you've reached that conclusion because you don't understand how to look at odds.

Frank wants to be a director because he loves watching movies and wants to write and make an epic about a superhero character he's invented. He's of average intelligence. He learns to work a camera and shoot stills and video, but no one shows any interest in the results. He writes a kindle novel and it sells 10 copies and gets a 2 star rating. He gets accepted into Fullsail's film program. He'll graduate $120K in debt.

Jane has the same desire. She's has excellent grades, and a few months into shootings stills she is able to shoot trade for local model agencies. Her kindle novel sells several thousand copies - she can write. She has a choice between studying film at the AFI or her state university, which is top 25 rated for film and will cost her only $5K a year in fees, in which case she'll probably end up debt free at the end of her degree. She'd like to be a director but she'd settle editor or cinematographer or writer .

...Frank's chances are less than average. Which start out at about 1/10,000 for becoming a director. So pulling them down for someone in the bottom of the talent pool... 1/100,000? 1/1,000,000? 

Jane's are waaay better than average. Which start out at about 1/1000 for the roles she willing to consider, and probably jump up 1/10 or better for someone with her demonstrated talent and the degree she'll receive. 

Frank's cost for a 1/100,000 shot will be about $200K - combining debt and lost income. Which means, crudely, he'd have to expect cash and intangibles to be greater than $20,000,000,000 from becoming a director for the risk to be worth taking. 

Jane's risking maybe $75,000 in lost income. Modify for a 1/10 chance and that comes out as a $750,000 risk. Which is inside her tolerance level because the cash and fun she'd get from her chosen career easily add up to the equivalent of several million.

..Taking long odds is fine. But you have to calculate HOW long they are, what the cost will be, and what the reward. Most people don't, and they get badly burned.

 

 

David I will stipulate that your math is correct.

But, the odds of becoming a professional filmmaker if you don’t try are zero. If you give it everything you’ve got, maybe 5 - 25%.

And when you’re young, there is always time to reconsider and choose another path.

So I’ll go further. If you need to study the odds, your odds are about zero.

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Bruce Greene said:

David I will stipulate that your math is correct.

But, the odds of becoming a professional filmmaker if you don’t try are zero. If you give it everything you’ve got, maybe 5 - 25%.

And when you’re young, there is always time to reconsider and choose another path.

But my point is that for some people the odds are much less than 5%. In fact, they're less than that on average for film school graduates - the schools graduate as many people each year as work in the industry already.

And your generation could afford the "there is always time to reconsider" attitude, but you weren't being burdened by life ruining and inescapable debt. If someone is thinking about going to film school today - which is the default course of action for "give it everything you've got" - then they have to think very seriously. Because "Give it all you got" equals years in film school,  a mountain of debt, relocating to LA and working unpaid and low paid industry jobs for years to make contacts - probably while working a second job to keep up with student loan payments.

And if things don't work out, you still have the debt and you have one of the least useful and respected degrees to look for work with.

...Millennial have it very, very tough. They need to think much harder about what risks they take than their parents did. There is a good chance that loading yourself with this type of debt could ruin your life.

Edited by David Mawson

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