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ELIA KAZAN’S ‘EAST OF EDEN’

I grew up at the movies. I lived in a neighborhood where most of the children were younger than I was, and therefore I had few friends my own age. I spent my time reading and going to the movies. These pursuits were my companions. At that time, admission for a kid was 25 to 60 cents. And we had double and sometimes even triple features. One week, I saw u films. Movies were my life.

I came from a broken home, raised by my mother— who work very hard to put food on the table— and my grandmother. I have no concept of what a father is. Because my mother was always working, I felt alienated from her and unloved.

It never occurred to me to be in the filmmaking business until I saw Elia Kazan’s East of Eden. As a 16-year-old boy who himself felt unloved, I was transformed by the film. I took a girl with me in hopes of “making out”. Once the film started, I totally forgot about her.

As James Dean wandered the streets of 1917 Monterey following the mother he has never known, I was mesmerized. When Dean climbed up on the boxcar (in that magnificent Cinemascope photography) to hitch a ride from Monterey to Salinas, and sat shivering on it, he touched me to my very soul. His alienation was complete. This was the epiphany that set me on the course of making films. He was my mentor.

I tracked down everything, I could find on Dean, Including Rebel without a Cause (1955) and Giant (1956), the film he had finished just before he was killed while driving his sports car to a race in Salinas. There would be no more of his films, but I was inspired.

I worked at odd jobs and earned enough money to buy a cheap 8mm projector and, eventually, an 8mm camera. I began making little silent films, usually monster movies. I managed to buy an old Bell & Howell 6mm projector and rented feature films that I ran in my basement, Which I converted into a theatre for the neighborhood kids.

In college, I was an English major and made money working as a projectionist in the audio-visual department. In my work, I was exposed to such films as Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves and Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet (both 1948). The drama of these films touched me deeply. I spent more time with these films than with my studies and eventually flunked out.

To avoid being drafted, I joined the Air Force. I was originally in intelligence and was sent to the spy school in Monterey. Once again, I sacrificed study for movies. Richard Burton was my downfall when he did Hamlet on Broadway, and it was filmed and shown for one night only across the country.

I was read the “riot act” for not siding, but the Air Force liaison asked me what I wanted to do. I told him film, and handed me a book listing all Air Force jobs and their descriptions. I was amazed to find several film jobs. It was between cameraman and film editor, But though the former seemed exciting, editing seemed to be the heart of the process.

I was fortunate to get into the filmmaking unit hidden in Laurel Canyon in the Hollywood Hills.

There were many old-time retired industry editors working for the Air Force through civil service, and they taught me the essentials of the craft. These men had 450 years’ experience amongst them and said, “We may not know everything about editing, but we did invent it.”

Nearly 50 years after Dean died, I got the chance to reunite with him. My Friend, Michael Sheridan, ACE, was producing and directing a documentary called James Dean: Forever Young (2005) and asked me to join him as co-supervising editor on the project. I wound up going to Dean’s home in Indiana, meeting his family and learning much more about my mentor.

Over the years, i have met many people who were inspired by East of Eden and James Dean.

Martin Sheen was eager to narrate Sheridan’s films and we knew the Beatles were fans. We wanted to use Paul McCartney’s “Mull of Kintyre”. I sent him a clip of how we wanted to use it in the film and he replied, “What can you pay?” We got the song.

The real benefit of the craft we serve is when someone we’ve never met sits in a theatre and is touched by something we’ve put on film. We either make them laugh or cry or just be inspired. East of Eden did that to me long after Dean’s death. That gives us a kind of immortality, and that’s why we do what we do.

By Jack Tucker, ACE

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Continuity For Actors

An actor in the talking films is obliged to be incomparably more skillful and technically expert than an actor on the stage, if the requirements of true art rather than routine accomplishment are to be applied to him … Film actors need real theatre training. They should be bred on repertory of the world geniuses like Shakespeare, Griboyedov, Gogol, Chekhov and not on ordinary movie scripts. Film actors are often called upon to play the last sequences in a picture and then the first; they have to die and be born later on. And all this is usually improvised; they rehearse death and then birth.

—Konstantin Stanislavski, Collected Works, vol. VI

Continuity means “an uninterrupted flow.” We want to keep each piece of film from the close-ups to the faraway shots looking the same. We want them to look smooth, not choppy and different, when they are added together. Anything you can do to help will make you look and feel like a star. That might mean using the same hand for certain tasks in each scene. These things aren’t practiced in acting class and probably should not be. Your performance is always more important than details. But when you are good enough to manage both, you can up your game. That might involve remembering in what order you left the room or who was in front of whom when you traveled in the shot last. Knowing this stuff will put you years ahead of your peers and get you work that will reinforce your confidence and help your career.

Think of how much stronger you will feel on sets when you work with your crew to make yourself look better. Is continuity important? Yes. Is it everyone’s job? Yes. But why not learn this stuff and make everybody look good? Many actors take years to figure out these things. But if you follow my advice, you will get this stuff more quickly than other actors, and you will see your work increase. As you make an effort to improve your product, you will get more work. I now understand why a majority of good actors sit in classes and don’t get work. They have no idea how a set works, and it is safer and easier to be in class. I was that way for a long time. Because I was such a good actor, my instructors gave me an assignment to be on sets. But my fear of being on sets stopped me from getting work, and that is when I started script supervising.

I love class. It is fun to learn for a year or two and not get work, but there comes a time to start practicing what will make you better at the job. You will make mistakes, but that is why you practice on student work and on short films. The people making these films are practicing too. But I encourage you to learn on sets because these films may not have good script supervisors or any script supervisor at all. I have talked to several actors about where they got their skills, and they have all said the script supervisors on sets taught them to keep good matching notes on their movements. Not all actors are great at this, and I admire the ones who are.

It is important to know the difference between matching and doing something different in every take. You should match your movements and do something different emotionally in every take if that is what the director is looking for. Editors can still cut the film together, and if they are looking for different emotions they can find them and use them. A director may want you to keep the same performance throughout every take, especially if he likes the way you are saying your lines. Being able to match your performance in every take and to change it at will requires great skills. This is definitely something to practice at home or on low-budget sets.

Charese Mongiello

An editorial by Jack Tucker A.C.E.

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Indie Film – From Concept to Completion (Part 3)

EDITING SOFTWARE:

So now you’ve got a bunch of shots, and it’s time to turn it into a cohesive film. It’s been said that directors should never edit their own films, as they’re too “close” their creation, and might not make the best choices. Baloney. If you’re going to learn about what works and doesn’t in filmmaking, you have to understand the editing process, and you can’t do that by looking over someone else’s shoulder.  Once you get a decent understanding about what works with pacing, etc., your editing experience will make you a better director next time out, if only for the reason that you’ll realize you really should have shot more B-roll or establishing shots to cover up possible mistakes.

There are quite a few types of editing software out there: Apple’s Final Cut Pro X (FCP), Filmora Video Editor, Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, Lightworks, Sony Vegas Pro and Avid Media Composer. Or, you could make simpler editing choices on iMove which comes with most Apple computers.

Editing packages can be daunting, and it’s recommended that supplemental books such as Final Cut Pro X Advanced Editing be purchased.

When you’ve got your first rough cut, get back to that person you know who’s done it all before you. Ask him/her about pacing (crucial, especially in a short film), or anything s/he sees as questionable (shots too dark, sound muffled, etc.), Then, as with the screenplay, get in there and create another rough cut, And another, and another. Until you, and those wise heads around you truly think you’ve got the best possible cut you can have.

GETTING IT OUT THERE:

Now that you’re done, it’s time to ask: How are you going to market your film? There are about 300 film festivals yearly (check out “Withoutabox” or “Filmfreeway.com” online), and then there are a myriad of websites where you can upload your movie for others to see (such as You Tube). And then it’s time to consider who you know in Hollywood who’ll take a look at your work. Perhaps your Uncle Frank knows a guy who knew a fellow whose late brother’s fishing buddy’s plumber used to service a guy who worked at Universal. Send him a copy. Can’t hurt. Knowing people is what it’s all about in an industry that’s not that big, really.

Consider: Your film is really your calling card, so make sure you have a bunch ready to hand out. And don’t skimp on things like cover design: make it as good as you can with what you have to work with—they’ll see the cover before they see the film, so try to impress, and don’t forget to put your contact info on each copy. Remember, if your work’s that good, you only need to connect with one person who may know someone who….

And Finally…The most Important Things I learned first time out…

1) Wear as many hats as possible – too many cooks spoil the broth, and waste your time.

2) Get good committed actors.

3) Spend as much time as possible with your actors before shooting to

establish character.

4) Consider what film is really all about to you. For me, film (indeed, art) is

the exploration of humanity. Who cares about this? Well, if your characters

aren’t engaging/interesting, it doesn’t really matter how many dazzling long

shots of beautiful vistas you have; sooner or later the audience will fall

asleep. Take “Lawrence of Arabia,” for example. Wide 70mm shots of the

open desert were captivating because they reflected the inner turmoil of a

flawed protagonist. Take Lawrence out of the movie, and you have National

Geographic.

5) Remember most to have belief in yourself: you can do this; it’s a long road, but to coin a recent mantra: “Yes, you can.”

An editorial by Stephen Sloane

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Indie Film – From Concept to Completion (Part 2)

Once your screenplay is the best you think it can be, it’s time to consider turning that story into a film….

Phase 2: Grab Your Tools and Shoot…

WHAT DO YOU NEED?

ACTORS:

You’ve got your characters fleshed out, all with brilliant pithy dialogue, so now you’ll need actors to play the parts. Know any? Know anyone who knows any? You may move into the “what’s available to me right now” scenario, but it pays to make the effort to find the right person to fit the right character.

Spend good time establishing the character with each actor, allowing them to add their creative juices to the role, giving perimeters for them to work with, such as “being off book” by a certain date, what kind of wardrobe they’ll have (having them  responsible for their own wardrobe, hair and make-up will give them greater artistic freedom and less headaches for you).  Consider: Make sure each actor has the character well defined, and have that definition fall within your vision for the project. If actors show up offering a different characterization at the time of shooting, it may distort the theme(s), message or atmosphere you’re trying to convey to the viewer.

CAMERA:

Got a camera? Know some Joe who can lend you one? Chances are you’ll be shooting on an HD (High Definition) video camera that offers 1080p resolution—a higher number of pixels that creates a superior clarity over SD (Standard Definition).  If money is much less of a burden than most would-be filmmakers, you can go for higher resolution cameras than HD like RED digital cameras that offer 4K, 5K, 6K, and 8K cameras. But those are for the guys with deep pockets. Of course there’s still celluloid film on 16mm and 35mm, but it has to be processed and then like RED you’re venturing into the “big bucks” arena.  Ultimately, your camera choice will probably be made under the confines of “what’s available at the time” or “will my Best Buy credit card max out if I buy a cheap HD camera?” Many HD cameras use flash memory card slots so there’s no need to purchase video tape and the footage is easily transferred to your computer. All good news for the novice filmmaker as this has brought the cost of capturing footage way down!

When you’ve got your camera, turn it on, play around with it, get out the brochure and read every page, so that when you get to that first day of shooting, you won’t have to figure out where the zoom button is, or where the auto-focus switch is.

TRIPOD:

Yes, we all want to be the next Stanley Kubrick or David Fincher and go “hand-held” as much as possible for that “truly artsy look,” but static shots very much have their place, so get a good tripod and just like the camera, know how it works (how high it goes, and also how low).

LIGHTS:

For interior shooting, some decent light packages really help, You can purchase three-point packages and also rent them. However, to cut down on costs, try if you can to rely on natural light that’s already there at each location: you won’t have to spend time setting up lights, and will then have more time to shoot). Just make sure that in medium/close-up facial shots,  you don’t have unwanted shadows.

MICROPHONE:

Check out the quality of the mic on the camera and see how far back you can get from the actor before the sound quality diminishes. Consider getting an external mic, but as ever, check the quality/how it works prior to the shoot.

MISC:

It’s always good to have an array of things like duct tape, pens, note pads, make-up, slate board, etc. with you so you don’t get held back by not having something you need. Consider: If you use a clapper board, you’ll need an extra body on set to hold it in front of the camera. Personally, it’s a lot easier to roll the film/tape and then merely speak the information (Scene_ Take_) before you say “action!”

LOCATION(S):

From the very conception of your project, keep your eyes peeled for possible locations to shoot. In your mind you’ll have a vision of what you want each location to look like, but unless you shoot on a sound stage with set designers/dressers, you’ll have to compromise somewhere. Look for locations that may be interesting visually. Don’t be afraid to knock on doors and simply ask if you can shoot there. Be courteous and respectful, and you may be surprised how willing people are to help.

Once you have your location, figure out how much time you’ll need to shoot there (always overestimate), start deciding on a shooting date, and call the local film commission to see what permits you may need.

MONEY:

You, the director/producer/filmmaker en general, have to make decisions based solely on how much money you have for the entire project. Do you need special effects/expensive makeup for your film? If actors can’t supply them, will items for wardrobe set you back a little (or a lot)? Write down a list of what you’ll need, how much it will cost, and then look at how much money you have. If you don’t have enough, you’ll need to prioritize: will you pay your actors for their time, or will you just pay them gas money and feed them, and offer them a copy of the movie when it’s finished? Keep all receipts, and a notation of all costs, from burger buns to fake blood to DVD covers. One thing to remember: it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Chances are, the less money you have, the more creative you’ll have to be to overcome obstacles, and that’s the place where you’re going to learn the most about Indy filmmaking. Needs must, as they say.

SHOOTING SCRIPT:

So where are you gonna put the camera for that truly important shot? Usually you’ll have a choice of where to place it, but some choices will be better than others. Think about each particular shot, and what feeling/plot point are you trying to convey at that point in time. Remember that film is a visual medium (with the help of dialogue). Alfred Hitchcock learned his trade in the silent era, relying only a little on music. Therefore, the camera had to tell the story, and if you look at his later work (and I strongly suggest you watch as many good films as possible to see how other filmmakers use the camera) you’ll see long sequences where Hitch dispensed with dialogue and only used the camera (and sometimes music) to get the mood/story across (case in point: the crop spraying scene in “North By Northwest,” where Cary grant is attacked by a plane). You may want to study this sequence, or in “Vertigo” where James Stewart drives around San Francisco following Kim Novak, and see how the camera can “show the viewer the way….”  Make a note of all shots you want, even sketching them if necessary (many professional filmmakers make sketches to ensure on the day they shoot exactly what they want).

Once you have your shooting script, your locations, dates to shoot, permits, etc., you’re ready to shoot.  NB: Try to make every decision you can PRIOR TO THE DAY’S SHOOT. This way, you’ll have less to think about on the shoot, and as there’ll always be a fire to put out somewhere, the less decisions that have to be made on the shooting day, the better.

An editorial by Stephen Sloane

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Indie Film – From Concept to Completion (Part 1)

You’re thinking of making a film? Congratulations! The road to a well-executed film is one of good intentions and many possible pitfalls. You’ll learn a lot, and take that knowledge/experience forward to other future films. Be excited by the journey, and don’t be afraid of failure. First of all, it’s time to first consider…

THE CONCEPT PHASE.

This is where you give birth to all your ideas and then formulate them into a workable, exciting script. Please remember: THIS IS PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE WHOLE CREATIVE FILMMAKING PROCESS. Also recall that this should be a hive of creativity where you bounce ideas around, and see what sticks. Don’t be afraid to go off at tangents, or consider anything too “off the wall” or just plain silly.

  1. Brainstorm ideas – what is interesting to you? Try to see all thoughts/ideas (settings, dialogue, plot twists, character type, etc.) visually, as if looking at them through a camera lens.
  2. Don’t be afraid to be inspired by others’ suggestions (take a look at Stephen King’s website). However, don’t plagiarize or steal people’s works. Remember: there are still plenty of good ideas yet to be thought up, in fact, the “idea pool” is infinite, and that’s exciting to know. Also know that in general, your first thought/idea is generally not your best—as in any other venture in life, you’ll get out of this what you put into it.
  3. Expand your idea(s) by writing down how you see your characters, who they are, how old, their life experience, what they look like, etc. Remember the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell (very under-rated) & taste. For example, does your character have a certain smell? Why? What does that tell you about him/her? Feel excited by this part of the process: there are no limits, think about a “stream of consciousness” approach and see what you can compile.
  4. Don’t use everything you come up with (not all ideas will be fruitful), only that which fits your character/concept.
  5. Think about what medium you’ll use to flesh out these characters/ideas; i.e., will you go straight to screenplay, or perhaps write a fictional story first before adapting it to screenplay? Consider: This part of the whole creative journey perhaps being the most important—don’t jump straight to screenplay form because it feels like it will be less work. Be willing to take time and effort in adding flesh to the bones of your initial ideas.
  6. Don’t think you’re finished once you’ve created a first draft of the script (read other scripts to study script structure): you’ve really just begun. Read ALOUD what you have (or even better, have someone else read it so you can hear what the words sound like). If you think it’s good, it’s okay to be excited by what you see/hear, but now invest more time into a second, third draft, adding ideas, taking away what doesn’t work anymore. Important: be open to killing the thing you love: you may have initially come up with a plot twist or interesting character that just doesn’t work for you in a later draft of your work. If so, tear it out and place to one side for possible future projects.
  7. Now’s the time to be bold: let your work be critiqued by someone else whose opinion you trust. This can be painful, and it helps if you have a “thick skin” and not get offended. Other people’s valid opinions can enlighten your work, offer fresh ideas and take you in directions you never initially considered. Better still, offer your work to at least a handful of people—if, for example, seven out of eight people have a problem with something you’ve written, the chances are they’re on to something. If only one person in eight has an issue, maybe it isn’t so important to correct. However, YOU be the final judge.

Finally, take into account that no matter how great the direction, acting or cinematography, if the script is merely mediocre then the film will end up being mediocre at best. Do yourself a favor and make that script the very best it can be before proceeding forward to the next phase.

An editorial by Stephen Sloane

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Twilight for the Gods

            It is twilight for The Gods of Time and Space.  They are fading away with the century.  Their ability to take two unrelated shots and edit them together creating a new relationship earned Editors that name and it is the basis of their art.  Now electronic editing has erased the mysticism that long protected them and their craft.  The Editor’s power over time and space is being usurped by the committee that sits behind him. 

            Electronics has opened the door to micro-management.  The editor is no longer alone with the film.  Sitting behind him are the director, the producer, the executive producer, and actor Edward Norton; all eagerly helping him or her to edit and covetous of the power of the Gods.  Collaborative art has gotten confused with mob rule.  

            When I interviewed Steve Cohen four years ago, he predicted that everyone would be an editor in the new world of electronics.  It is happening sooner than perhaps even he imagined.  The mysteries of the Kem and Moviola that baffled directors, producers and teen-age executives no longer guard the gate.  Everyone is now computer literate and the Avid is only a computer so it naturally follows that everyone can edit.  The Noble Six Hundred Editors of Hollywood in 1950 have been overwhelmed by the Six Million Barbarians at the Gate.

            The ability to change images easily on a computer belies the art of editing.  It is too easy.  The mystery of the process of constructing scenes is gone and there is no longer a need to think things out.  Just try it.  Like the infinite number of monkeys on the infinite number of typewriters creating the great novel, you’ll hit the right arrangement of shots eventually.  Editing by attrition.  The committee will sort it out and vote on the result.

            Gone is all thought of the years talented Editors spent learning and then honing their craft.  The years of apprenticeship that nurtured a Michael Kahn, a Dede Allen and a Tom Rolf are unnecessary.  Since the Avid does all the work there is no need to get the best, most experienced person.  Hire the cheapest.  After all, how bad can it be?

            Working on film, I had to make a commitment to my cuts.  It was time and splicing tape to change them.  I pre-edited my scenes in my mind while watching the dailies.  Later, in the editing room I honed at the bench the vision I had thought out.  Sure I reworked material, but there was thought behind it.  Electronics requires no such commitment.  It is “no fault” editing.

            Electronic editing is in many ways a godsend for Film Editing, but the downside is incompetence and indecision.  Why is a system that claims to save time and money causing so much stress and overtime?  Do we really need five versions of a scene?  Must everything be rushed out without time for thought?  Is not the time an artist spends alone with his soul what begets his best work?

            I refuse to go quietly into the night.  I did not spend thirty-five years at the bench to be a button-pusher.  I will not be a party to committee editing.  I love to collaborate with the director and even the producer at the proper time, but I do not need a dozen micro-managers sitting behind me while I edit.  What I do need is respect for my craft and my skill and the time to make my magic.

            We have to get beyond “committee editing” and go for the benefits of the electronic systems.  The “liquid editing” that Orson Welles spoke of is here.  But it needs to be in the hands of an experienced and talented Film Editor working alone with his material.  The collaboration should not consist of orders fired over the Editor’s shoulder, but in discussions involving story, insight, vision and inspiration from the filmmaker.  This melding of talent produces brilliance.

            Remember, the pendulum swings both ways.  The Art of Editing will come again.  We can bring it back with our personal commitment to it.  The confusion and indecision that arrived with electronics will sort itself out.  The Gods of Time and Space aren’t dead.  They’re only sleeping.  A new dawn awaits.

Keep the Faith

An editorial by Jack Tucker A.C.E.

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MOS in Film

Where did the term MOS come from and what does it mean? The term MOS is used when a scene is filmed without sound. Some people on movie sets define MOS as “Mit Out Sound” while some people refer to it as Motor Only Sync. It is a standard film jargon on a movie set. It is used during film production to indicate filming that has no audio track. The audio track is usually recorded on a separate audio divice from the camera. When the sound recorder is not rolling with the camera then that is MOS.

When sound is omitted while recording a shot, it saves a lot of time and allows the crew to do other work and keep moving as well as not having to take multiple takes because of exterior noise like planes and gardeners. This is what makes MOS more and more common during film shoots when the subjects of the take don’t need to speak.

An MOS takes can be fun as the can be used with miscellaneous sounds recorded on location, the musical sound track, voiceovers or sound effects that are created by a Foley artist. All of this is added in post production (editing).

Origin of the term

There are different sources that have explanations for the abbreviation of MOS. It could be “Mit Out Sound” some say a German director came up with the term and Mit is German for with. And according to Google translate this is true.

“When sound recording reached the point where the sound was recorded on a synchronized but separate piece of media (such as 35mm film, audio tape, or other media) a method of keeping the recording media and camera film “in sync” was needed. The solution was to use a special form of motor which has multiple “windings” in it, and which can be connected to another identical motor in such a way that turning one motor a certain distance will turn the other motor exactly the same distance. The motors did not have to be close together, and, with appropriate circuitry, did not have to be of the same size or power. These motors were called selsyn (self synchronous) motors. A system was created where a single sound recording room could be connected to any of the stages on a studio lot (you can still see the connection points on some of the oldest stages.) The sound mixer (sound man) on stage connected the control panel to the recording room and the camera. There was a selsyn motor on the camera and it was linked to a matching selsyn motor on the sound recording equipment at another point on the studio lot.
In order to use this system, the sound mixer used an intercom to the sound recordist to tell him to “roll”, or start the system. Since this was a very mechanical system, it took some time to start and get up to proper speed. When proper speed and synchronization was reached, the recordist would use the intercom to announce, “Speed” and the sound mixer would relay that to the director and crew on the stage. The expression is still used, but now simply means, “Sound is recording”.
It was the recordist who actually started and stopped the camera motor (the camera operator had a switch to ensure that the camera didn’t roll at an inopportune time such as loading, replacing lenses, etc., and to stop it if something went amiss). The actual power source for the camera motor was in the sound booth.[2][3]
When a shot was planned that did not require sound, the sound mixer would ask the recordist to “roll the motor only”. The recordist would start the camera motor without starting the matching “sound” motor and electronics. The procedure, allegedly, acquired the name “motor only shot”, thus MOS.”
From Wikipedia on MOS more info here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOS_(filmmaking)

Which ever you think is true the important part is to know what MOS means so you look competent on a set. The clearer you are on a movie set about what people are saying and doing the easier and more comfortable you will be. 

For more definitions of words in filmmaking see other posts. SYNC IN FILMSOUND IN FILM,Camera History

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How I ended up Being Script supervisor

Just like many other young girls, I had set out to become an actress when I came to Hollywood. It is usually the dream of many girls to become actresses in Hollywood. The nationwide popularity that actresses get is what pushes many young girls to this profession. But even so, there are other jobs in Hollywood that are actually more interesting than acting. Of course, you will never get to know about this until you get there.

How was the Script supervisor Idea Developed?

Given the number of many applicants in an acting career, it was clear that I had to wait for quite some time before I could get my first acting role. Luckily, for me, I had some experience stage managing and running a theater in a college. This is how the idea of getting a job in script writing developed. I had to look for a job as a crew member and realized that my experience in theater will help me secure a role as script supervisor. I secured that job and started off an exciting career in the film industry.

My Experience in Script supervision

Though I had not come to Hollywood seeking a career in scriptwriting, I found myself glued to this interesting role in the film industry. I think it is fate that directed me here for things are now working better than I had initially thought. I am having quite a nice experience in this role.

What are the Benefits of Scriptsupervisor in the Film Industry?

As an aspiring actress who found herself locked in script writing. I have realized that scriptwriting is very beneficial in advancing my quest to become whatever I want in this lucrative film industry. Here are some of the benefits I get as a script supervisor.

  • Direct Contact with Great Directors and Producers 

In this role, I get direct contact with Hollywood great producers and directors. This helps me to learn from them how to make great films. 

  • Practical Experience

As a script supervisor, I get practical experience in filmmaking. The kind of experience that I get here cannot be gotten in school. This is what players in the film industry need in order to sharpen their skills. It is like am getting paid to be trained since I get experience in acting while I work as a script supervisor.

  • Vast Knowledge of the Film Industry

While working here, I get vast knowledge of the American film industry, Hollywood. This kind of knowledge will be useful later on if I want to seek another job, probably in acting.

It is very clear that all these benefits gotten from my role can help me shape my career in the films in whichever direction I choose. Furthermore, it is a well paying career that one would find it hard to quit.

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Lawrence Chick

As a production sound mixer residing in Malaysia, Lawrence Chick has traveled the world to be part of the film industry. Various projects have taken him to the Middle Eastern countries of Dubai and Yemen; South Asia to Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia and Brunei; Australia and London England. A few examples of shows he’s worked on include the reality series Survivor South Africa and Blackhat, a feature film by Michael Mann.

What exactly does Lawrence do? The best description is that, for a film and television production, while the camera department films the visuals, he records the sound portion of the visual. It may be dialogue, sound effects or ambiance. This way, the viewer gets to experience both the audio and the visual. In the film industry this is called location sound recording.

While sound mixing wasn’t his first choice for a career, it became his passion. At first an unknown field to him, studio work was something Lawrence wanted to try after graduating with an Engineering degree. He built a small recording studio in his spare time, attempting to create his own music; this lead to sound editing and sound effect work. He landed a gig recording for a corporate video and knew then that this is what he wanted to do. That first gig was also his biggest challenge as he realized he didn’t fully understand all that was involved.

Lawrence found that by being able to work in the area of his passion was a blessing as well. Every project is different, unique, in its own way. He considers meeting, and talking to, new people a bonus as it broadens his knowledge of how diverse many of them are. He can’t see himself doing anything else with his life these days.

Being one step ahead of the game has helped Lawrence in so many ways. Improvising and quick thinking through problems has saved him and films he has worked on.

Lawrence gets inspiration from big budget Hollywood movies in cinemas because sound is a part of the cinematic experience. He listens to the varied ways directors evoke the audience sound experience.

As for books and music – in general Lawrence doesn’t have a single favorite book or genre. He reads many books and magazines related to sound and music technology; often finding more information within the vast range of the internet. Jazz is a love of his mainly due to the song and it’s sound.

You can check out his Facebook page for more information at www.facebook.com/LawrenceChickSound

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How to Stay on Top of Competition in the Film Industry

One of the most competitive industries in the world is the film industry. It is a competitive industry owing to the huge number of entrants into this market. In Hollywood alone, hundreds of thousands of people come to this most popular film industry in search of employment every year. This kind of competition calls for a change of tactic while seeking a job in this industry. Here are some of the most important tips of beating competition in the film industry.

Tips to Beat Competition in the Film Industry

  • Educate Yourself

The film industry is fast evolving and thus the need to educate yourself on all the changes that are taking place in this industry. You will need into get to a film college if need be just to sharpen your knowledge of the emerging issues surrounding the film industry and how to approach them professionally. If you exhibit your earned knowledge for a potential employer, you will definitely beat your competition.

  • Find a Mentor

Another way of staying on top of your competition is finding a good and reliable mentor who will guide you on how to become a better artist in the film industry. It is important to find mentors who are already experienced in the industry to guide you with knowledge of industry’s expectations.

  • Deliver more than Expected

If you get a chance in the film industry, you should be willing to deliver more than it is expected of you. Key industry players such as top directors and producers will always notice such active work and thus work to lift you above your competition.

  • Go the Extra Mile

You should be willing to work the extra hours to keep up with the demand in the industry. The extra hours might seem to be tiring but will go a long way into making you a competitive artist in the film industry.

  • Accept Low Pay

Many people do not want to hear anything about low pay in the film industry. Yes, it may not sound as a true reflection of what is expected in the film industry but definitely a perfect way to start off a career in the industry. Just accept the low pay at least while you are still gaining experience to bargain for a better pay in the future.

The moment you feel you have enough experience, feel free to demand for a better pay. However, this should only happen when you are sure that you have relevant skills.

Strict adherence to the above mentioned tips will ensure that you rise against your competition in the film industry and make a good name out of your career!

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Thy Nguyen

Thy Nguyen has been working in the film industry for more than a decade. Thy produces motion pictures, television shows, live events and various entertainment programs in Vietnam. Currently she is the director of VNCAST, a very well-known Vietnamese casting and production company.

For Thy this is is passion and life. Something she has always wanted to do.

She got her start as a stylist for a magazine seeking talent and celebrities within the film industry. This attracted her to that environment, which in turn led her to immerse herself more and more into the industry.

Thy loves a challenge. One of the most challenging aspects of her job is finding the right actor or actress for a current project. Thy tells of a time when she and her staff searched all of Vietnam for a single little girl specifically for a project. They found her and the movie was a success because of their efforts. Thy enjoys the search for new and young talent, bringing them to their fullest potential in film. To her, this allows the delivery of the most beautiful gift to audiences. Nguyen explains that her passion is to make people laugh, cry, be happy and live their emotions through her projects.

One of his biggest success stories is her company VNCAST. Over only a decade she has produced many films, television shows and commercials that are well-known in Vietnam; having cast many famous celebrities from her country for many productions and projects is another success Thy Nguyen points to. A favorite story of hers is the chance to work on an international commercial created by Apple and filmed in Vietnam. She had the chance to work with their professional crew and learn from them. Her next project she worked on with a professional crew was “Kong Skull Island”

Inspiration comes from the limitless creativity of humans. The industry has given her and others the chance to “break through the roof of the sky” and live their dream in true life. While Thy doesn’t have any one person as inspiration, she does note that she puts herself into the mindset of making something new and better than anyone else has because it brings a smile to the audience.

This same passion to see, to make, to feel the joy of the audience after one of her projects is completed is what keeps this woman going.

As for books, she loves 50 Shades of Gray claiming it to be better than the movie even though both book and movie were successful. She says it contains all of the movement and corner of sexual life of humans that you can imagine. It reflects all of the emotional changes for both characters of the story.

https://www.facebook.com/ngthy82 https://www.facebook.com/vncasting/?timeline_context_item_type=intro_card_work&timeline_context_item_source=1545138372&pnref=lhc

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FILM MAKING – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW MAKING YOU FIRST MOVIE

World over, watching movies is the most preferred form of entertainment. When you go to a theater to watch a very awaited flick you have lot of hopes form the same. The films’ characters and story takes you to a whole new world where you live their emotions, excitement, trauma, drama and action.

There are four main categories in film making and they are:

  • Development
  • Preproduction
  • Principal Photography (shooting)
  • Post Production

DEVELOPMENT

Development is where the innovative outlook start flowing, the story will take form and starts to mold with each other. A Producer may use every useful resource they could get onto until they come across a story truly worth chasing. A lot of fantastic sources for optioning materials include local and national newspapers, blogs, books and plays. Obviously you can always option an original screenplay or implement a screen writer to generate a script from the book or print media you will have achieved the rights to. After the producer has a script, the next step is to get script coverage or notes.

Some scripts will require numerous coverages until the producers are pleased and willing to send Letters of Purpose to agencies and managers. Determining the best movie director for your project is crucial, and it might even be you. We suggest bringing in a line producer to breakdown your script and generate an estimated spending budget before speaking with investors.

PREPRODUCTION

In the course of Preproduction vital people are introduced onto your team=, most important is the Director (if you have not done so already), the Cinematographer, and the Line Producer.

The Director will definitely produce his/her own imaginative and prescient vision for the script and every sector brought on after this will center around the director’s ideas.

The line producer is mainly responsible for all the physical nuts and bolts of the filmmaking, working out deals for all crew and to be sure the film is not going to exceed the budget. Based on the size of your production a Unit Production Manager (UPM) might be introduced or the Line Producer might work as UPM throughout the shoot which is not unusual.

Next up is introducing on a Director of Photography (DP) which is going to work with your director and accomplish their vision for the film. The director may have a DP at heart that they wish to work with on the film. The DP will definitely stylize the film depending on the shot list and storyboard they have created with the director in the course of preproduction. For a movie director, it is of the greatest significance to create and master the shot list, so the filming procedure will be as smooth as possible.

PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY (SHOOTING)

Once you have completed your script, fully casted your film, arranged all of your equipment, locked all your locations, employed the remaining crew, finished you story board and perfected your shot list, you should now be feeling very good because you are ready for Principle Photography.

During Preproduction you will also bring on your First Assistant Director or 1st AD, who will work with the Director and Line Producer and generate a shooting routine. Ensuring each department has sufficient prep time is the best approach to ensure that your set will run effortlessly and you won’t find yourself running around panicking.

The 2nd Assistant Director works directly with the 1st AD and is liable for preparing the daily call sheets and making sure the talent reports to set. What this means is making sure the talent has been through wardrobe and makeup and is camera ready.

The Script supervisor sits right in front of the monitor next to the director and is liable for tracking the films continuity. The scripty follows the script and keeps track of any changes that are made while filming. They also pay close attention to details and monitor the axis and eye lines for each take. Additionally, the Script Supervisor will interact with the Camera and sound department to make sure the slate is correct. At the end of each day production reports and notes for the editor are prepared.

The Gaffer, Grip & Electric, 1st assistant camera, 2nd assistant Camera, and Sound Mixer are all necessary members of the team.

POST PRODUCTION

After you have completed principal photography you are now in Post Production. Time to bring in your editor, composer, sound designer, music supervisor, VFX artist, and colorist.

Post production can be a long and tedious process.

The director will work closely with the editor to choose the takes they like best. A post supervisor may be hired to oversee the post process and make sure everything is happening on time.

The editor will use the notes from the script supervisor to help them navigate through the sea of footage. Hopefully you will not need to schedule re-shoots or replace dialogue. This could potentially become pricey.

After you put together a rough cut, added original score or have attained the rights to use your favorite music, it is time color correct the film. It’s a good idea to test out the film before the picture is locked.

After you (producer) and the director are satisfied, you can promote your movie like hell and submit it to festivals, or if you already have a distribution deal this puts you a step ahead to recouping your finances.

There are many different distribution methods for movies now. An important thing to remember about the production process is that the film is what you set out to make, but the movie is what you produced. Hopefully the project comes out the way you intended, but it most likely will be slightly different either for better or for worse.

 

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