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Old 03-18-2015, 08:59 PM   #31
Aspiring Mogul
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I have three episodes, and I also have outlines and random scenes for several more. The thing is, I don't just want to write; I want to film. So maybe a table read with some rehearsal would be a good idea.

Should I get a DP and a producer to watch and perhaps offer constructive criticism?
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Old 03-18-2015, 11:11 PM   #32
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Look, I know why you're very protective, to the level of perfectionism for this sci-fi show. You've been chasing this holy grail for as long as I've been on this site.

You need to write something else and go out and shoot that. Something you're not going to be as perfectionist on. You need some material where you're going to learn.

I assume you're not loaded. From what I understand, you're a lawyer, but you're not going to have the spare cash day in and day out to hire cast and crews indefinitely. Get in there and learn the craft. Get down in the thick of it. It'll make you a stronger producer in the end. It'll help lift the veil of theory and start making it real. At that point of time, you'll become a film maker instead of a wannabe.
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Old 03-19-2015, 12:53 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Sweetie View Post
Get in there and learn the craft. Get down in the thick of it. It'll make you a stronger producer in the end. It'll help lift the veil of theory and start making it real. At that point of time, you'll become a film maker instead of a wannabe.
Good point. And how do you suggest I "get in there and learn the craft"?
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Old 03-19-2015, 02:01 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Aspiring Mogul View Post
Good point. And how do you suggest I "get in there and learn the craft"?
You stop planning and you do it.

Unlike most beginners who need to practice and practice and practice,
you want to be a mogul a producer. Hire a director. Hire a DP. Allow
them to put together a small crew. Rent a space and some equipment.
And then shoot the two scenes you want to shoot.

Gene Rodenberry didn't direct. He was never a DP. We was a writer and
a producer. You don't need to make a dozen short films as a director
because you are not trying to be a director. You aspire to be a mogul. So
hire the right people.

I've offered. Several times. My offer still stands. I know you no longer
want to work with me but the advice is still good advice. You have a DP.
Now hire a director. Perhaps you could find a producer who would be
willing to do what I was offering sit with you and walk you through the
steps. From budgeting to casting to hiring to shooting through post.

Set a budget. Stick to that budget. Make that first short film. Even if it's
just the dinner scene. Do it. That's how you get in there and learn.

For now forget the table read. For now put aside the bridge set and the
costumes. After you have actually worked with actors, a director, a DP
and crew you will have a stronger understanding of what it takes.
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Old 03-19-2015, 04:13 AM   #35
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Here's a video that someone got me to watch today. It may help you. While I don't agree with some of what he says, a lot of the things that he says makes sense.



Quote:
how do you suggest I "get in there and learn the craft"?
Quote:
You stop planning and you do it.
^^^ This

The thing about film making... there are many paths to entry, each depends on where you want to be, where you are and who you are.

One thing I'm going to say. There are so many people out there making films that have much less of a clue than you, who are as dumb as two rocks and have way less resources than you. You can do it once you choose to take the first step.

Quote:
Make that first short film.
I'd suggest a slight alteration. Change that from a short film to a single scene. Write a 2 page scene, that is in one location, don't worry about acts, don't worry about an introduction, ending etc, just do a single scene. Shoot with a camera phone if you have to. Go to the local hardware and buy those crappy lights (or hell, just use the house lights) and shoot something. Don't have actors? Who cares? Grab some colleagues from work, go into the lunch room and shoot a scene you love from a movie.

The advantage of shooting a scene over an entire short is your learning curve is sped up. While it won't help you learn the craft of writing, it'll help you learn the film making craft.

From that shoot, work out what you can improve and improve one or two aspects. Shoot again... repeat until you're at the point where you're happy with the result where you're ready to shoot your sci-fi production.

Without the experience, I suspect you're having what's called analysis paralysis. You've got all this information and you just simply don't know which conflicting opinion is correct. I hate to be the one to say, most opinions are correct. It sucks I know. You need to work out which works best for you. You might even be at the point where you realize you need to know a lot more but you simply don't know what you don't know, let alone being able to work out what you need to know.

What I suggest above is going to be your cheapest way to learn and get into the process. What I fear may happen if you try the producer only angle is you may end up partnering with the wrong people who are more than happy to take your money, line their own pockets with a paying gig without a care in the world to whether you end up with a quality marketable product in the end. You may burn through all your resources and you may not be in a position to determine whether they're doing a great job or taking you for a ride. It's scary. It happened to a local producer here. He dropped a decent spread of his own cash. I don't remember the number but if memory serves me right, it was about 500k. They got a B name and all and he ended getting stiffed in the end.

If you want to learn low-range producing, I can point you in the way of a course/resource where you'll probably learn better than anywhere else (except by being taught hands-on by a real producer). It'll give you an idea of one possible path to becoming a successful producer. One problem you're going to encounter unless you're willing to drop $250k (or more) of your own personal money is: Chicken or the egg. You'll work our what I mean as time passes but you need to take that first step.

I offered h44 a while back when he was having problems getting experience. He said he had about $20k to $30k to drop on a film. I offered him to come here and I'd put together my crew, find a cast and shoot a no budget film within that budget and he could come here and learn anything he wanted. I even have a script that fits that bill (though the option will expire later this year). It wouldn't be a great film by any standard, but it's be a B feature film and it'd get completed and it'd be a good learning curve. Perhaps you need to find something like that.
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Old 09-13-2015, 09:24 PM   #36
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I've found some gems.

These are auditions of Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher as they tried out for their roles in Episode IV, and they are of course almost acting out their characters, with their facial expressions and mannerisms. And this is what I've been thinking of doing, for my first set of films. My plan for now is to film the reads in this manner, then go back and do the rewrites, because this will allow me to flesh out my scripts and, of course, get filming experience. I've read this thread - and many others - again and again, and I've taken the responses to heart, but, unless there's any serious objection, I 'll take this approach for now.

Any thoughts?






Kurt Russell, by the way, would have made a good Han Solo, but I would still prefer Harrison Ford.


Last edited by Aspiring Mogul; 09-13-2015 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 09-16-2015, 07:39 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Aspiring Mogul View Post
I've found ... auditions of Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher as they tried out for their roles in Episode IV ... My plan for now is to film the reads in this manner, then go back and do the rewrites, because this will allow me to flesh out my scripts and, of course, get filming experience. I've read this thread - and many others - again and again, and I've taken the responses to heart, but, unless there's any serious objection, I 'll take this approach for now.

Any thoughts?
There are no serious objections but I want to point out these are auditions, which can be very different beasts from table reads. Auditions are to find the appropriate actors, while table reads use the selected actors to develop the scene dynamics. There is nothing wrong with your approach but you want to be sure that the actors you use are the ones who embody your preliminary vision of the characters. Each actor will put a different spin on a character. But filming them is still excellent experience. I'm just not confident that what you come up with will necessarily match the final product if you change actors. It may still require tweaking in my experience. However, the approach should work if you keep that caveat in mind.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:51 PM   #38
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There are no serious objections
Then let's go for it.


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... but I want to point out these are auditions, which can be very different beasts from table reads. Auditions are to find the appropriate actors, while table reads use the selected actors to develop the scene dynamics.
Understood, with thanks.


Quote:
There is nothing wrong with your approach but you want to be sure that the actors you use are the ones who embody your preliminary vision of the characters. Each actor will put a different spin on a character. But filming them is still excellent experience. I'm just not confident that what you come up with will necessarily match the final product if you change actors. It may still require tweaking in my experience. However, the approach should work if you keep that caveat in mind.
Agreed, and I see my characters - and plots and even series bible - changing as I write and do research. I think that group dynamics will change my series further.


My plan, then, is to do the table reads, perhaps act them out, to get an idea, then go back and do the re-writes. Then, after enough re-writes, do short scenes and/or short films. Bit by bit, I'm getting there.

Anyone wants to help?
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Old 11-11-2016, 01:30 PM   #39
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Hope you're enjoying your holdiays, everyone.

I just came back from the American Film Market, and I met a line producer who has worked on various projects. I asked him about table reads and rehearsals, and he said that I may be thinking of improvisations. He said that these are more than table reads but are done before the scripts are ready, because the writer and director often want to see how this works out, and the process of many people can add some dynamism to it. He says Martin Scorsese does this, and it can be effective, depending on the individual director or writer.

He then suggested we do an improv, and we went through an eating scene. It was fun, for what that's worth. As he tells me, an improv is without props, without costumes, just actors going through the motions on an empty stage, perhaps with chairs and tables.

I've re-read the posts in this thread, and I'm getting the idea that the process has to fit my style. I am doing treatments, and I will be handing them to a professional screenwriter, so this seems like a good way to get the characters and the scenes right before the actual scripting phase.

Any thoughts? Rik?
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Old 11-15-2016, 02:45 AM   #40
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I have been in communication again with the line producer, and he said that using improv actors was a powerful way to help a writer, and he suggested the following sequence:

1. Write
2. Table read
3. Do the improv
4. Go back to step 1 and repeat as necessary.

As I mentioned, we did an improv on the spot, and I found it to be very powerful.

I did some further digging on the internet, and I got this link, which is a series on using improv, and a further link, though this second one seems more geared towards theatre and writers groups.

I think I have my answer, after a long, long time of asking around, so thanks to everyone for their patience. Any thoughts? Rik? Mara?

Last edited by Aspiring Mogul; 11-15-2016 at 02:48 AM.
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Old 11-15-2016, 08:23 AM   #41
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I think improv can be very valuable, but it does depend on using actors who have been trained to do it. You should also (I think) be careful to stipulate in written agreements in advance that participating in the improv exercise does not give the actor(s) any ownership claim on the writing or the right to necessarily be cast in the final project.
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