Tuesday, September 25, 2007

No, Seriocity...

Kay Reindl posts some answers to a comment I made on her blog. Truth is, I pretty much knew what her answers were going to be (hence my rhetorical comment) since I've bumped up against people from the studio system when they get frustrated and set about making their first indie film.

As indie guys, we have a lot stacked up against us - no money, no time, severe lack of resources. These are problems that the studio guys (and gals) have no concept of, as they simple make a phone call and someone from a certain department drives over with requested cash, overtime expenditures, or lamps/props/costuming to order. There have been some people I have met from the studios who overthink the littlest thing and have no drive nor momentum whatsoever. To be fair, there are those who say that about me - I like to have my paperwork in order before I jump into a job.

(And yes, these are gross generalizations. Your mileage may vary)

What the indie guys (and gals) combat these problems with are decisiveness, a sense of urgency and a broad-base of knowledge with which to work. When you work an indie show, you are a better memeber of the team, because for the most part you've had to do just about everyone else's job at one time or another. You've had to adjust wardrobe, check makeup, drive a truck, get the port-o-lets dumped, strike a set or ignite a lamp.

(Again, gross generalizations and mileage variance)

And as the executives fight back against rising budgets and make new ways to squeeze money out of a media property (the internet and DVD) they are going to have to look at the indie guys. Actually, they already are - the D2DVD sequels being made at the studios are many times "farm out" jobs to indie producers like Mike Elliot or Ashok Armritraj. (Hi fellas!) These are guys who have made feature films for $2M or less and know how to get the bang for the buck. They've also made larger budgeted features that look like blockbusters.

Now they are making these D2DVD sequels for the studios - because nobody at the studio level knows how to shoot on a low budget. The studio guys just don't get it.

So the whole point of this is to marry the creativity you have within to experience and knowledge. Get your hands dirty and let the callouses you build up inform your creative bent. Need to blow up a truck but have no money? How about a foreground miniature?

That's how you get it done (cheap).

(Thanks to Kay for taking the time to include me in her post)

2 comments:

Emily Blake said...

Just filmed my first short this weekend. I was holding the remote for the air conditioner, turning it on and off between takes, and the DP said, "The director really shouldn't be in charge of the air conditioning. Let the PA do that."

And I said, "It's my apartment."

I loved that the only people responsible for this film were all right there in the room. Yay for indie.

Chaco Daniel said...

Funny story Emily.

* * *

You know what's wild about those posters for me is the B-level talent in them. And no disrespect to anyone involved it's kind of like a segment of "where are they now." It seemed to me that at one point, Gina Gershon was almost a star. And not that there's anything wrong with taking a job that pays the rent but it somehow seems like a cautionary tale for Hollywood. Like you make one or two iffy movie choices and your career goes in a completely different direction.

Just interesting that's all...