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steene

A Radical Proposal

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I don't know if I can say the following, but here it is anyway. I have begun to consider the challenges of getting a film made, especially a film with a Christian message. Number one: there is a glut of material floating around out there. We aspiring film people are like graphic artists these days - a dime a dozen. Number two: As for the Christian portion, either you do something with the 'Armageddon' cliche storyline to appeal to a mainstream Christian audience, or include a lot of straight up in your face evangelism, or you completely hide any direct references to anything Christian, or you don't bother at all. So here is my solution. A group of us with similar visions get together, each with a special talent -like forming a band, and we make a film exactly how we want to make it, doing everything ourselves. Then we market it in some radical new way (think Blair Witch Project), and hope to earn enough for the next project. We put artistic excellence and innovation at the forefront, and ride the wave. We quit our day jobs, and with the proceeds from our first film form a production company making the most artistic and beautiful (we must dream big) films ever. And finally, we actually look forward to coming to work on Mondays. Any takers?

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hey steene,

good idea, ambitious, but how would this work practically?

for one, i noticed you're in germany, and i'm in philadelphia.

i have a short film i'm working on now and i've put an add online searching for a co director and actors. it's worked, so far. they are people in my area who i can get together with.

can you see your idea working just thru onine communication?

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Spoon,

Yes, that is the part of the plan I must ponder deeper. Perhaps in the beginning going back and forth on a script and planning a project through email and on the phone. Then, once the plan is solid, we meet in the middle - on the east coast somewhere for example - and we begin filming/videotaping - with minimal equipment the first time around. We could perhaps use whatever we create to secure a deal with a production company - since if we are doing it on DV (and it's likely we would be to keep costs down) the quality won't be high enough to release as is. Hopefully that would net us some bucks to do our own work the next time around - and we grow from there. I envision something with the energy, excitement, and international character of an art movement - like DADA or Surrealism without the left-wing politics - in film. Really experimental, working in an original way with Christian themes perhaps. It's all really far out, but it could work.

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I belong to 'unica', a community of spiritual filmmakers that have done just what you're speaking of. our first feature, Blue in Green, was completed early July 2004 and we are in the process of holding Los Angeles screenings and applying to festivals. the real challenge is letting a film with a spiritual dimension find its audience.

http://artsandfaith.com//index.php?showtopic=3543

Edited by cygnet74

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Spoon:

i have a short film i'm working on now and i've put an add online searching for a co director and actors. it's worked, so far. they are people in my area who i can get together with.

Where's your add? I'd be more than willing to give any assistance I can if you need any more help...

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or is all that something that's taken care of by the director?

Actually, that's a Producer thing...

Here's a skeleton crew breakdown that I've found are the absolute minimum requirements for putting together a film--bear in mind, some of these 'roles' can be doubled up. For instance, my director of photography also edits and does post-production foleying. Also, a composer is only necessary if you plan to use original music. Otherwise, your producer should go about looking to secure rights to any songs you use. Finally, it helps to have a producer who understands permits and insurance...and knows a good lawyer. biggrin.gif

Producer. Director. Actors. AND:

Director of Photography (camera man). Sound engineers (catchall term--a guy with the microphone on set and a guy who can do the post-production foleying/mixing of the audio). Grips (guys who have/set up lights, run cable, throw sandbags around, make life possible). Craft services (someone providing some sort of food). Composer (music guy). Editor (preferably someone who knows how to dump the media into the computer, edit it, and burn output media (DVDs/dvs).

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Good summation there Mr. Bortz -- and to think, Hitchcock called actors cattle... tongue.gif

Spoon, I have some experience acting and directing, more experience in editing and sound. Also, I have a Sony TRV-900 DV camera, (high-end consumer model, but hey, if it's good enough for American Idol, it's good enough for me) if that could be of any use, editing equipment and software (Adobe Premiere).

I'd be interested in reading your script/idea. E-mail or PM me here.

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I'm not sure if this should be in the 'Meeting Other Filmmakers' thread but I'll try it here - on behalf of myself and perhaps steene and a few others - does anyone here from, um, Europe have a website like Jason Bortz's or something? One where someone making films which get seen has a site open to ideas, input and discussion? At least us on the outside might get some more tips! I thought your first opening post was a wicked parody of 'aspiring artists', steene, but seeing as it seems you're serious I thought I'd post. It does seem to me that the key is not making a film - or digital video - which nowadays is relatively easy, but making sure it doesn't then just sit on a shelf. It's also easier to get something off the ground if you have proper backing in the form of distribution to support and 'convince' people with. I did think of contacting a money-less but professional religious channel based in London (yes that one) but decided to go down another route/to another channel as I mentioned in another post (lots of practical considerations - travelling, 'not sure' of channel etc - which is what I was thinking about your post, steene, before Spoon answered - 'on the east coast somehere'!? like the quitting jobs bit though). I wondered if they were interested in buying in or at least showing say, short films or even was thinking of something else. Whaddya think? Shall I steer clear or is this a good route to try?

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I've had good success co-producing with people. The trick is finding two people willing and able to spend money together and agreeing on a script, preferably completed. The harsh reality is that most all Christian films are independant and to get one made you have to produce it yourself or collaberate to pool funds. I think for the most part if you delegate clear cut responsibilities you can work over the internet up until time to shoot.

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