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studiocenter-film-productionNo matter where you are or what type of shoot that you are working on, whether it is a video, music project, audio work, movie, or commercial production, you need to find a studio space that you can trust and  that will work for you. You shouldn’t have to struggle and work for the space. You need to find a company with people you are comfortable with and can offer/recommend production services; like voice talent, script translation, crew, and equipment.

Studio Center Total Production is an all purpose video and audio production company with offices in New York, Las Vegas, Richmond, Memphis, Virgina Beach, and Los Angeles. They can help media production all the way from the east coast to the west coast. Their website has an online database of actors and voiceover talent, to assist you in putting together the prefect cast for whatever kind of project you are working on.  They also have inhouse writers and crew members.

If you are putting together your first movie or video production and you didn’t go to film school or you don’t have a pre-built crew, than a group like Studio Center is perfect for getting the project off the group.  They allow you to surround yourself with talented people that know what they are doing, which can allow you to concentrate on what is really important, the creative part of your project.

Posted on November 3rd, 2010 by admin | Leave a Comment
Filed Under Filmmaking Resources

daily filmmaking tips

When it comes to filmmaking, it is very easy to take the easy way out, to not go the extra mile and just to accept what you have and work with said restraints. But that is no way to be a filmmaker! You have to be willing to takes chances and work your butt off bringing your vision to life, as your vision.

For example, say that you are making a short film about a spy who rides around in a stylish BMW 3 Series. Okay, you don’t own a BMW, nor do your parents or best friends. You can give up and shoot the scenes with your used Toyota, or you can go the extra mile and find a BMW and shoot with that! Ask your family and extended family if anyone knows someone with a BMW, post the message to your 400 friends on Facebook, add a wanted ad on Craig’s List, and if those fail. Go to a used car dealership! Offer them a logo in the credits, or if you have to pull out the big guns, offer to make them a low budget commercial for their dealership in exchange for using one of their BMWs for a day of filming. If you are a student filmmaker, it is still like this that will separate you from your classmates.

Do your script justice and keep it real. Don’t settle for anything less than your vision.

Posted on September 25th, 2010 by ThePit | Leave a Comment
Filed Under Filmmaking Resources

daily filmmaking tips

Okay, this goes for those independent filmmakers that are shooting shorts (and features) with a complete lack of insurance. We’ve all done it, but there is something to keep in mind when doing it… Don’t be stupid!

If you can’t protect your actors and your own future, than you really need to avoid doing certain things:

  • Car Chases; you’d have to be nuts to think you can go on open streets and choreograph your own epic car chase scene. Not only is this dangerous for your cast and crew, but you also put everyone on the road in danger.
  • Stunt Fights; sure, you can do a few little things, a punch or a kick. Keep it grounded and use camera tricks. Don’t have two ninjas doing real flips on the roof of a house or sky scrapper.
  • Hanging off Buildings; you can’t risk you actors on the real ledges of buildings. I know it is dramatic and you really want to get that cool shot of your actor hanging for his life. This is film, you have to fake reality, not actually put them in danger.

The biggest thing that should stop you from doing anything really stupid is your common sense. If it seems dangerous, don’t do it! Crew members and actors have to be willing to speak up also. Never do something that makes you uncomfortable. As a producer, remember, if you don’t have an entertainment package, or truck hauling HVG insurance, or any type of cast coverage, than you better be careful. Otherwise if anything happens, you can lose your house, be in debt for the rest of your life and have something you’ll likely never get off your conscious.

A week ago we talked about affordable printing ideas in our first part of Filmmaking 101. One of the most important things for every filmmaker to get is a professional business card. I’d like to take a moment to talk more about business cards and their importance.

First, lets talk about what your business card needs. Your name (of course), your professional title (be honest, more on this later), cell phone (no one cares about your home phone), e-mail address (very very important, this is how must people will stay in touch with you, fax (if you have one, if not it is no biggie), and a URL (if and only if it is related to your position; a website with a reel for a DP or actor, etc).

Now, what you should not include! Do not include your resume on your business card, if people want more information about you, they will look it up. If you are an actor, do not have an extremely close picture of yourself on your business card, not only is it tacky, but is also sometimes scary! If you are a crew member, don’t have any picture of yourself on the card (I’ve seen this, I don’t get it, but I’ve seen it). If your website has nothing to do with your production position, don’t include it on the card. If you are a make-up artist, having a website with a silent film you did in college is not going to help you get jobs. If you are a grip, your blog about cheese should not be on your business card. Nothing personal and unproduction related should be on it. Also, while talking about positions, don’t lie on your business card. If you are a set production assistant, and you write that your a writer/producer on your business card, people will lose any respect for you when they look you up on IMDB and discover that you’ve never produced a feature and you haven’t sold any scripts. Be honest. If you are a PA, you can put them on a business card. It could help you get more PA jobs. If you are embarrassed about your position in life, than just write filmmaker. No matter what position you are in the business, you’re a filmmaker. Is it vague? Yeah, but it is still honest.

I prefer simple business cards, but design wise you should have something that reflects you. Can be a certain font or design. And there are a ton of places that handle business card printing, and you can get 1000 business cards for as cheap at 10 bucks. Business cards are one of the most affordable and effective tools in your filmmaker kit. They will go a long way!

Inside Report

Our friends over at Inside Report sent us this press release about the relaunch of their site and webseries. The show focuses on indie filmmakers and helps promote shorts and features from unknowns. We highly recommend checking out the show.

Inside Report, the ‘net’s #1 indie film show is back and better than ever!

Featuring a new, refined format and more in depth interviews – Inside Report is back in action over at www.insidereport.co.uk

The first edition of the new series features an exclusive interview with filmmaker Howard Warmsley. Host/Producer Sky Wilson will be chatting to him about his latest film, The Visitors – about his history with filmmaking and about the benefit the internet can play for the indie filmmaker.

With the new format comes a new website too. It’s more feature rich than ever before with more of a focus towards letting people know what’s out there and where they can see it. We’ve also added a new section listing upcoming festivals and events so that you can keep your film calendar up to date! We’ve even added an archive of previous shows too!

DON’T FORGET – WE NEED YOU

If you want to promote your film or appear on the show (or if you know anyone who might), get in touch with us info@insidereport.co.uk

For all these features and more, head over to www.insidereport.co.uk

Created way back in 2004 by producer Sky Wilson and director Vin Kelly, Inside Report has always focused on giving the talent behind the best short films the recognition they deserve. Every edition has featured interviews with some of the best up and coming talent from around the world.

Filmmakers such as Sandy Collora (Batman: Dead End), Marty Martin (Got Milk?: The Movie, Dance With The Devil), and Shane Felux (Revelations, Trenches) have all appeared in previous shows, and we are aiming to find the next generation of talent in 2009 and beyond.

Regards
Sky Wilson

Synfig, 2d Animation Program

Synfig is a free open source tool for producing feature-film quality animation with fewer people and resources.  I have been wanting to learn how to do 2D animation, but I didn’t want to spend the money to buy the software.  I am definitely going to give this software a try.

Our friends at Indy Mogul helped us make a $15 boom pole, but how do you make a $14 steadycam? Johnny Chung Lee’s website has a step by step guide to creating “the poor man’s steadicam”. He goes over the tools and supplies that you’ll need. He then goes point by point through the process (with pictures), and includes a few samples at the end of his how to.  Worse comes to worse if you decide that it is too much to handle, Lee also sells the cheap steadycam for $39.95 on the site. Click here to see how to build a steadycam for $14.

Or if you don’t like that design, you can try one of these: Camcorder Stabilizer, Detonation Camera Stabilizer, or the $24 Steadycam. Good luck!

Posted on August 22nd, 2008 by ThePit | Leave a Comment
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