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Sunday, December 20, 2009

July 1, 2005

So, you've got yourself a DP, some actors, some grips, some equipment, and some food. You're already over $20,000 on the budget.

Who else you need?

You need a sound guy. This is another place you don't skimp. If your movie sounds like crap, you can have the best picture in the world and your movie will still scream "Amateur".

I'm gonna go low, but let's say you can get a guy for $500/week who's bringing his own equipment. Odds are you're not gonna find one for that, but we're fantasizing here. That's $1500 for the shoot.

You need someone to boom the mic. You could get one of the grips to do this, so let's assume that's what you're going to do. Make sure he knows how to do this--it's not as easy as you may expect, and it can get downright grueling holding that boom pole steady over someone's head for three straight minutes.

There are a ton of other things to consider that will add up, which I'll just touch on.

  • Do you have any FX in your film? Anyone dying or getting limbs cut off?
  • Will you have to rent locations? How much will that cost?
  • How far are these locations? You're going to have to gas up the car, gas up the grip truck--and did you tell any actors/actresses you'd give them a gas allowance?
  • You need to be taking publicity stills with a 35mm camera--these are essential for the press kit, and once you get a deal with a distributor they will be required in the contract. Add in some cash for the film and the developing.
  • You're gonna need props. Whether you buy them or have them made will cost you money.
We haven't even touched post-production.

  • You're gonna need to edit your movie--either buy or rent a system. That's money any way you look at it.
  • You need to hire a composer to score the finished film. And if you're thinking: "I can score it myself" then you need to rethink it. Unless you're a PROFESSIONAL musician then you can't. And if you are a PROFESSIONAL musician then what the hell are you doing trying to make movies?
  • You're going to need to get your film onto digibeta for delivery to the distributor. You'll need to rent a digibeta recorder(about $300/day) and buy some blank digibetas for the transfer(they're about $45 apiece for a 2 hour tape)
  • You'll need to get that digibeta QC'd(Quality Control Check) to make sure it's passable. This is not absolutely necessary, but if you sign the contract and then your master doesn't pass--you are at the mercy of the distributor. They can get it passed to their standard and bill you for it. And who knows how they'll pad that bill?
  • You'll probably need an attorney to look over that contract from the distributor. The only reason you might not need one is if you get a Producer's Rep who IS an attorney who has already looked it over. At some point you NEED a lawyer to look it over or you risk giving your movie away for free.
I know...this is all very long-winded. I'm taking the long way to get to my point. But I'll get there.

In the next entry.

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