Anyone Here Make Films?

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I’ve toyed with this idea for awhile, but because I was so sick I was bedridden for several years—I couldn’t do much about it. My personal thoughts about the process, (and I think the draw for most), is the fame/fortune & glory aspect of it which truly never appealed to me. I want to make films for me, or films I’d like to see. Low budget, heavy on the art, maybe some cosmic/spiritualism narratives or something else I’m neglecting to mention. Bingo-bango, upload them to the net. If people like them, great, but what’s more I’d hope to be satisfied with them. That’s all that matters really.

Anyway, I’ll be studying the 000’s Dewey System in the month of December, main objective: Learn Photoshop. I’ve had this idea to make a heavily montaged film using Photoshop, Film, and Animation… we’ll see where it goes… but this is just a “thought baby” right now…

Anyway, anyone make some projects or ever wanted to?
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Imagine an eye unruled by man-made laws of perspective, an eye unprejudiced by compositional logic, an eye which does not respond to the name of everything but which must know each object encountered in life through an adventure of perception. How many colors are there in a field of grass to the crawling baby unaware of 'Green'?

-Stan Brakhage



"How tall is King Kong ?"
Dabbled a bit in animation (both drawing and claymation), ethnographic documentary, and fiction. Short projects, limited audiences such as training sessions, academic events, etc.

Just enough to change the way I perceive movies (more specifically attentive to directorial and editing choices), and to know how intense the pleasure of editing can be.
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Please Quote/Tag Or I'll Miss Your Responses
I wish you the best of luck. I like those who are interested in their own vision, instead of the condescending, "I'll give them what they want" as if anyone knows. The best thing you can do is the best version of yourself, and others will probably like it because of that. I've never sought the typical fame of "red carpet" events.. I've always imagined just reading reviews or YouTube comments of my work, wondering what people would say, what they would like, etc..


I had everything in place - crew, etc., to make a movie based on a few books I published (and re-writing some things to fit the characters' strength) and to leave some room for improvisation. Just like with music, I love to record all I can, hoping to catch some great moments of humanity, humor, etc., and get rid of all the things unnecessary. Unfortunately, the guy doing all the video work flaked out, and ignored me just a few days before shooting, and I had actors coming in from other states, one 800 miles away, so I quickly told them, "I don't want you wasting your time" and put it to rest. Just like with music, I could never rely on those who aren't punctual, or those who stink it up when they play live, tons of personal hang-ups, so I did everything myself.



A few months ago, someone actually contacted me after reading my posts from a message board similar to this, if I was interested in making a documentary on Mort Sahl. I had actually already started to "cut" and had a plan how I wanted to do it. He used a newspaper as a prop, and I thought of using the 800+ newspaper articles I had saved to read back to him, chronologically, but he passed away a month ago. I got one response back from him (condolences) but telling me he could still help, and I came up with a completely different idea, but no response.


I did make a montage of my travels over a 12-yr period, but seems like I lost my 45 minute version (not made for YouTube because of music in the background - licensing, etc.), but have a much condensed version I did put on YouTube.





@ThatDarnMKS has made some short films before...
Indeed! Here's my short 1 min joint that remains my favorite that I've done thus far.



I'm hardly an expert, but I've self produced (as in wrote, directed, edited) several shorts, worked on a local horror host show that has yet to officially premier, and have a script optioned by a pretty significant indie horror studio.

I'm always willing to share any pointers on script writing, software, equipment, etc. I've still got a ton to learn but I look back at my earliest stuff and I'm blown away by how many simple things I didn't know at the time. Saving someone difficult growing pains would make it worth it.



Having seen several of MKS's short films, I can confirm that he's a talented filmmaker
Aw shucks! Thanks, amigo!



Indeed! Here's my short 1 min joint that remains my favorite that I've done thus far.
This is great MKS. Very good photography and exceptional editing, if I may say so. Thanks for sharing.

Re. your offer of advice: May I ask what sort of cameras have you been using for your short film work? I'm very interested in doing similar things and have been looking at purchasing a first camera to get started with. I'm somewhat budget limited and have been looking at the range of SLR type cameras, such as the Panasonic G85 for instance. In your opinion would such a camera be suitable for early film work?

Super quick background on me: I've been studying a university film degree for the past two years, but it's been somewhat disappointing. Nevertheless I know some basics like some lens info, manual white/color balance, focus, recording formats/codecs, editing software, lighting, audio - within reason.

Your advice, just the info on what cameras you've been using, or to get started with, would be really appreciated!



This is great MKS. Very good photography and exceptional editing, if I may say so. Thanks for sharing.

Re. your offer of advice: May I ask what sort of cameras have you been using for your short film work? I'm very interested in doing similar things and have been looking at purchasing a first camera to get started with. I'm somewhat budget limited and have been looking at the range of SLR type cameras, such as the Panasonic G85 for instance. In your opinion would such a camera be suitable for early film work?

Super quick background on me: I've been studying a university film degree for the past two years, but it's been somewhat disappointing. Nevertheless I know some basics like some lens info, manual white/color balance, focus, recording formats/codecs, editing software, lighting, audio - within reason.

Your advice, just the info on what cameras you've been using, or to get started with, would be really appreciated!
Thanks! That short was shot with a Canon 70D and a Sigma ART 18mm-35mm lens.

In my experience, the camera is important but less important than the lens and the lighting. A mediocre camera with a great lens and low f-stop and quality lighting will produce a fantastic image (if you know how to use them). I've had a lot of success and been impressed with the relatively lower cost Sigma ART lenses and Rokinon prime cine lenses.

For a camera body, I've preferred working with Canon over Nikon or Sony. I've also had much more experience with them. The 70D has a fantastic autofocus feature and many professional indies were shot with the 5D. However, these DSLRs are quickly fading due to the rise of ever cheaper cinema cameras. Doing the local TV work, I've gotten to use several different Black Magic Cameras and they've reached a point of professional features that they are within a negligible margin to RED, at a fraction of a cost.

I was so impressed with Black Magic that I had to purchase the BMPCC 6K and it is such a collosal step up from my old Canon that it has given me whiplash. Currently in pre-production on the first short I plan to make using it.

However, I had to get a real job before I was able to afford any of this so if you're super low budget, there's never been a better time to be a filmmaker.

After looking up everything that Soderbergh did for Unsane and more impressively, High Flying Bird, I acquired the FilmicPro app for a whopping $13 and made this short film using my iPhone 8:



It was for the Roger Corman short festival where it had to be 2 mins, shot on a phone, etc. I also borrowed a Zhiyun Crane for some smoother camera work but that can be faked to a degree with practice and post production warp effects.

So my basic advice: Get a solidly rated DSLR or BMCC if you have the budget. Get a Zoom to record audio but don't worry about getting it on the day. Plan to ADR the audio later for greater control with a limited (non-existent crew). And write your shorts in a free program (I prefer Writer Duet).

Black Magic also offers a free version of DaVinci if you don't have access to Premier or Final Cut.

And the main thing, just make stuff. Find out who WANTS to be involved and build shorts around that. You'll learn so much by making that no tutorial or class can truly teach you.

Good luck and you know where to find me if you got any more questions!



I worked with a friend who made an amateur cooking show. the show was amateur the cooking was not. It was called Cooking for the Health of It and played on the local Princeton tv channel which I believe is now defunct. It was fun to get the experience but the work was brutal and non-stop. Of course there were very few of us involved and so no one had only one job. I put the set together and helped to move everything and hang lights and whatnot and when we completed filming for the day (as we only had one day per half hour show to film) I put the set back together which was actually a kitchen in a the local Y. And cart everything back to the station.



Registered User
I'm hardly an expert
Said the expert.



Said the expert.
Heh. I've seen some experts talk about the technical elements and it blows my mind. When I can communicate the perfect lighting temp in Kelvin by sight in order to keep multiple cameras in matching exposures, I'll consider myself close to an expert. Right now, I'm just a passionate, self-taught student.



This is very good.
Thank you! We have the footage for a slightly longer (maybe 3 min cut) but had to truncate it for competition parameters (1 min max). Lost to a glorified Apple commercial so I'm glad people appreciate it.



Thank you! We have the footage for a slightly longer (maybe 3 min cut) but had to truncate it for competition parameters (1 min max).
Oh, nice. That's not available online, is it? If not, wouldn't mind a rough description of what you cut.



Oh, nice. That's not available online, is it? If not, wouldn't mind a rough description of what you cut.
Nope. We've talked about finishing it off and on but haven't gotten around to it.

Essentially...

WARNING: spoilers below
The vampire would prop her up by her neck, mockingly completing her prayer (which alludes to everyone coming together under mocking) and show her all the other glowing eyes in the woods watching them.

Then he would taste her blood and say "Dulce."

We shot the ending as an alternate take in case we ran long and we did.



Cool. Is there something specific you were trying to convey with...

WARNING: "Sangre Dulce" spoilers below
...the gun? Or was it just that it would be surprising/subvert expectations?



Registered User
Heh. I've seen some experts talk about the technical elements and it blows my mind. When I can communicate the perfect lighting temp in Kelvin by sight in order to keep multiple cameras in matching exposures, I'll consider myself close to an expert. Right now, I'm just a passionate, self-taught student.
And when I can fashion a machine with a base plate of prefabulated amulite surmounted by a malleable logarithmic casing in such a way that the two main spurving bearings are in a direct line with the panametric fan, I'll call myself an engineer. Until then, I am calling you an expert.