Film Tips #3

Tip #3

Beware of Hustlers!

This is something I have recently ran into. So, no names are being used to protect the guilty.

A few months back, I was contacted by a friend who is an actor. He said that there was someone new to Denver who hired him for a leading role, and he was looking for someone to provide equipment, and act as assistant producer. Seemed like a good deal.

So, I had a meeting with my friend and this hustler. He went on to say that he’s just come from New York, worked on huge-budget films with special effects, and wanted to revitalize the industry here in Denver. And, if I would provide him a camera, I would get at least associate producer credit. Seemed like a good deal.

So, naively, I loaned him a camera for a weekend, it came back with no problems. I had also signed a contract with him that said that with giving him the camera he would A: credit me with at least an associate producer, and B: introduce me to executive producers, clients, people who do fundraising, and studio owners. And then I never heard from the guy. A few months went past, and I heard from my friend. He called me and said that this hustler had given him some bad information. Apparently, this guy had worked with a big-name producer, and had used his accolades as his own. Mr. Hustler had not worked on all of these film sets. He had no access to be able to provide what was in the contract that I signed.

So, now I’m a bit wiser. I’m a little more cautious when helping someone out that may not seem like they can fulfill their end of their deal. But something good came of it. The executive producer with stolen accolades was contacted, knows about Mr. Hustler, and did see my film.

In short, be cautious when talking to someone that you don’t exactly know. Do some research and ask cohorts that may have worked with them.

Film Tips #2

Tip #2

Use Sunglasses!

When on and around the set, make sure you have sunglasses nearby. Especially if you’re working indoors. Especially if you’re working with exceptionally bright 2500 Watt HMI lights for hours at a time. A light like that is powerful enough to give you retina damage. Or in the best case scenario, give you a monstrous migraine that would slay the gods. That will take you out of commission fast.

What am I doing here?

Well, if you are an indie filmmaker, a film student, or just someone who bought a fancy camera and wants to know what to do with it, you are in the right place.

If you’re an established filmmaker or someone else in the industry, you’re also in the right place.

If you’re looking for Pokemon fan fiction you aren’t in the right place. How did you get in here anyway?

Essentially, the purpose of my blog here is to document my experiences at a filmmaker, in hopes that others can learn from some of them.

Do browse around. And check back often! I’ll be making posts quite often. Some helpful, some hilarious.


Film Tips #1

I’m starting something new here. Someone in a random forum I frequent was asking for tips for his short film. So, I instantly gave him a ten-point list and invited him for more discussion. Then it dawned on me. This is what I need to share with the world. So here’s installment one of Film Tips.

Tip #1

Story is key. If you go out to shoot, have a plan of what you want to shoot. Make sure your shots line up with the story. In fact, carefully craft the story over time and make sure it is a good story. Read it and objectively ask yourself, “Is this crap?” Make someone else read it and ask them the same question.

Above all, make your story concise. I have seen too many student films that take 15 minutes to tell a story that could be summed up in 3. The longer the story drags on, the more your audience will wander.