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Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Final copy of After Effects of Paranormal Activity

Dear friends,
 Here is the final copy of the MM “After Effects of Paranormal Activity”. I would like to thank my family, my crew, my friends and god for all support and motivation I have got to complete this MM. Though the shooting was completed almost a year back it took me almost a year to complete the post production work. I will share the reason in my next set of blogs but as of now please enjoy the MM J
Here is the link for the MM. I had to split the video so that I can upload them faster. You can watch the movie from my youtube Playlist “After Effects of Paranormal Activity”

Click here to view the Playlist

Here is the link for all the 6 parts I have split the MM into:
Try watching the MM at 1080p resolution for best video quality. For those who don’t have the internet bandwidth to watch the MM on youtube I am planning to upload the videos and share it via torrent. I will let you all know when the torrent seeds are up.

AEPA Part 1:
AEPA Part 2:

AEPA Part 3:

AEPA Part 4:


AEPA Part 5:

AEPA Part 6:

Please don’t forget to provide your feedback and comments:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Screening AEPA using a projector

With almost a year after completing the shooting for AEPA I finally managed to show the preview of AEPA to my friends. My friends and I watched AEPA using a projector and it was a wonderful experience watching once creation on a big screen. Here are few pictures which were taken while we were watching AEPA.

I am hoping to upload the complete MM by this weekend in Youtube and share the links with you all.I will also share the torrent links so that everyone can download and watch it.

PS: Don't forget to watch the completed MM posted in the following blog.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Creating a flash based website

Almost all movies which are released these days have a flash based gaudy website created though I have a website/blog where I have been sharing my learning I always wanted to create a flash based website by myself for this MM. I didn't want to buy another domain and publish this flash based website so I was hunting for an appropriate website . Luckily I found which allows one to create flash based website. User can either create a domain for themselves by paying some money or use it for free with their logo and url having their website link. I have created a free website just to learn and share it with you all. Independent film makers can always promote/share their work in a visually attractive way by using this website.
Here is the link for the website:

Free website - Powered By

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Direction Part 1

One of my friends asked me whether reading blogs, books would help him to make a low budget digital movie. I responded affirmatively and also cautioned him that if he is only reading and thinking about movie making and not doing anything then nothing will help him to make a movie.
“The toughest thing for a beginner is to begin”, and to begin only resource a person needs is confidence!!
Confidence to believe that one can independently make a movie with whatever resource one has.
Confidence to believe that would one can be passionate enough to persist through all ordeals while making a movie.
Confidence to believe in one’s work and be ready to move forward without worrying about criticism, failure, rejection and many other things which our mind has the ability to construe.
Before I start sharing my experience about direction I will make a list of directors whom I personally admire for their CONFIDENCE.
Christopher Nolan started film-making at the age of seven using his father's Super 8 camera and his toy action figures. His first feature film Following was filmed in on black-and-white 16mm film stock. Following was made with little money, limited equipment, and a cast and crew who were all in full-time employment on weekdays, the shoot took a full year to complete. He had the confidence that he will become a film maker and he persisted to prove it.
Robert Rodriguez, American Film Directory, earned a spot in the university's film program from his award-winning 16 mm short film "Bedhead" . He made first independent feature film El Mariachi in Spanish with $7,000 raised by his friend. El Mariachi gave him the start and he has never looked back. Rodríguez has described his experiences making the film in his book "Rebel Without a Crew" . I personally recommend this book to any independent filmmaker as this book is widely considered important touchstones of the independent film movement of the 1990s.

Robert’s confidence about becoming a film maker is so much that he never worked on his term papers in his school instead work on making short films. His books give very interesting and captivating details about life of an independent filmmaker.

Satyajit Ray, Indian Bengali Filmmaker, has directed 37 films including documentaries and shorts. Satyajit Ray entered theater determined to be a film maker though he had many fields to prosper. Pather Panchali(Song of
the Little Road) which won many national and international awards was shot over a unusually long period of three years. Ray gathered an inexperienced crew and amateur artists for making this movie. Ray, hoping that if he could complete his initial shots he could obtain financial support for the movie, used his personal savings to make the movie but he didn’t get any such funds. Ray persisted for three years to complete his movie and he didn’t accept funding from sources who demanded a change the script.  Pather Panchali was first part of Apu’s trilogy, here is what Martin Scorsese had to say about Apu’s trilogy: “Ray’s magic, the simple poetry of his images and their emotional impact will always stay with me”.

Peter Jackson:

Sir Peter Robert Jackson,is a New Zealand film director, producer, actor, and screenwriter, known for his Lord of the Rings film trilogy. He was a keen film fan from his young age and started shooting short films using a super 8 cine-camera and made his first feature film Bad Taste using a 16mm camera. Peter Jackson started from making a low budget splatter comedy like Bad Taste and Brain dead and got into mainstream prominence with Heavenly Creatures. He has never looked back and has created memorable master pieces like Lord of the rings film trilogy, King Kong.
I can list on more such directors/film makers who have carved their niche for themselves by being confident in all circumstances.
Every directory has to develop own style of making a film. Direction, though requires everyone to follow certain rules, not everyone follows such rules always. Every successful Directory has tried and tested his/her own style and has succeeded in this highly competitive field of film making.

When a director embarks on a new project he starts with 3Cs(this is just a simple mnemonic I created to remember) or 3 Connects and they are:
  1. Connect to the Script
  2. Connect the cast to the Script
  3. Connect the script and actors to the schedule
Connect to the Script: Acquainted with confidence and persistence the very first thing a director needs to understand is the script. If the story/screenplay is written by the directory himself/herself then the director will have a clear understanding on what the script is trying to express whereas if the script is written by someone else then the director needs to work with the script writer to understand the core of the script. There have always been many complaints that the directory couldn’t connect to the script or didn’t visualize the script as the writer, such difference can spoil the film even if the script is very good. The Director needs to first connect to the script, visualize it (if required have a story board) and digest every bit of information in the script.

As I had written the script(refer to my article on script) I didn’t have to spend much time on grasping the story but I spent most of time arranging the shooting location to meet the needs of the script and to get the proper camera angles for all kinds of shot I had planned.
Connect the cast to the Script: Once the crux of the story is digested and the director has visualized the script in his mind the very next thing to do is to connect the cast to the script. This brings us very interesting part of movie making, Casting. Casting is a very exciting (if you are casting for first time) and very boring process (when you have been conducting audition for a long time). Casting the right actors for the movie is like giving life to the script in the real world. As soon as director assigns the artists to respective cast in the script his visualization of the script becomes more vivid.
There are many ways to call for artists for a movie. I used the free online entertainment classified website to select the cast. I was lucky to get good cast who were ready to work free/less remuneration, they were very helpful in me completing this MM. My Actors took care of the costume; make up etc thus saving me a good amount of money.
Since every actor in this MM was an amateur we needed some amount of practice before the actual shooting so every actor was trained and guided before they started the shooting.
The Film Director's Intuition: Script Analysis and Rehearsal Techniques by Judith Weston is yet another book I recommend for detailed study of how a director analyses the script and takes the core of the scrip to the actors.
Here is a sample from google books:

Connect the script and actors to the schedule: Plan!! Plan!! And Plan!! A practical achievable schedule is very essential for successfully completing the shooting of the movie. An independent film maker generally dons too many roles so the schedule has to be prepared taking all work items into account. Getting the actors/crew on time and completing the shooting as planned is very challenging phase for any film maker.
Time is money so your schedule decides your budget to a very significant extent so any change in the schedule will impact your budget.
Before preparing the schedule one needs to lock the script with the script broken down into scene number, location, character, props etc.
Scheduling the shooting for a film is an art in fact most of the production house hire professional shooting schedule planner to make sure they don’t face any problem while shooting. Too much can be written about scheduling the shooting but I will cut short and give some tips to remember while shooting/directing and write how I shot the MM AEPA.

PS: Don't forget to watch the completed MM posted in the following blog.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Don't forget to watch the completed MM posted in the following blog

In my previous blog “SCRIPT & SCREEN WRITING:I mentioned that technology has been a prime motivator to make this MM independently. The freedom and simplicity involved in capturing a video at high definition (1080p) with its sound synchronized using a simple digital camcorder gives me the motivation to make a movie independently. Check out this short film which was a test for Edison's "Kinetophone" project, the first attempt in history to record sound and moving image in synchronization. This was an experiment by William Dickson to put sound and film together either in 1894 or 1895.
Comparing the video with the ones we record just by a click(camera, camcorder, mic etc), we can see how far we have evolved in the technology. The very idea of having these devices within everybody’s reach is a great deal for me.
Similarly for recording the sound, editing the raw images etc we have evolved to a state where you don’t need any expensive devices or pro’s services. Just by knowing some basic fundamentals with respect to the technology and devices anyone can start experimenting by making a movie.
For making a digital movie I feel that following are the basic and essential items required:
  1. Video Camera
  2. Mic
  3. Video and Audio Editors
The list can go on with other items but I feel that these are very basic and important things. The above listed items can range from cheap, moderate to highly expensive products but for the purpose of making a low budget digital movie I will mention what I used to stay within my budget.

Video Camera: When using a video camera which captures the image on film(Kodak/fuji refer to this link to know the evolution of film) we think of whether the camera is a 8mm, 16mm, 35mm, 65mm(and many more technical aspects which I am avoiding to discuss furhter) where as for a digital camera we worry about data compression used the video resolution. Compression algorithms and codecs eventually boils down the format(MPEG,AVI,MPEG-4 etc) in which you video gets stored in the flash drive or the SD card.
You might have noticed that a cameras define their resolution in terms like 720p,1080i,1080p. Here 720p is the shorthand name for a category of HDTV video modes having a resolution of 1280×720 (for a total of 0.92 megapixels or 921,600 pixels) and “p” for progressive scan. Whereas 1080i  has a resolution of 1920×1080 (2.07 megapixels) and “I” means interlacing.  If you want to debunk what p/I mean check out this video:

Apart from the video camera one needs to worry about the lens required for their shooting. Again this depends on one’s requirements and most of the time lens which is present in the camera should be sufficient for shooting.
Considering the above points I bought a sony HDR-CX150 and a wide angle lens. 

This camera gave me exceptional picture quality even at less light. Please note I had to rely on the built in zoom microphone and didn’t have an option to connect an external mic(basically a mic input was missing), this was a blunder as I had to totally rely on the internal microphone or use a separate mic & recording system. Using a separate mic is a common thing for filmmakers but for a DIY(Do It Yourself) filmmaker this would add on more challenges. Please make sure that the camera you rent or buy has a mic jack to connect an external mic.

Sound: Though I could have used the sound recorded from the camcorder I wanted to try using an external condenser mic to get better results. I used the pro tools vocal studio which had the mic and pro tool software as well. Check out this link for info on the specification. This mic is a USB Mic which can be connected to your laptop/pc instantly.

Lights:Regarding the lighting system, since most of the shots were shot indoor I had to take care of lighting in the house. Basically for a regular movie the lighting is based on the idea of key-back-fill (check this link for more info) but for the MM i had to get rid of the grains because of indoor shooting so I used the lights. I used halogen lights(500W, 1000W) and some soft papers to get the desired lighting effects. (find more info at lighting for movies)

Editors: Until the advent of computer based non-linear editing film makers had to use linear editing method to edit film. Linear editing is an arduous process which involves playing back the source tape (or "raw footage") from one machine and copying just the portions desired on to a second tape (the "edit master").  Film makers had to use the service of skilled people to get their film cut, spliced etc. To summarize the overall process of editing a film was time consuming, expensive and defect prone.
The arrival of computer based non-linear editing technique has been a boon for film makers and especially independent film makers. Movie can now be editing by anyone who knows how to use a editor software available in the market. There are many editors available in the market.
I made use of Sony Vegas Pro 10 to edit the video for this MM. Incidentally Paranormal Activity was also editing using this software.
An audio editor is very essential and I made use of sony Sound Forge for taking care of audio. 

If you notice all equipments discussed above are in reach of almost every person who wants to make a movie. If equipments have been stopping you from making a movie then understand that technology has evolved to such a state where you have options for almost everything.

Friday, April 29, 2011


Don't forget to watch the completed MM posted in following blog:

After having discussed about the budget let’s get to the crucial part of a movie, the script.
Writing the script for the MM has been very interesting part of making the MM. Before I discuss the details of writing a script for a movie I want to highlight the reason for selecting and writing the AEPA script.
Script is the soul of a movie without which no matter how grandeur the movie looks the movie wouldn’t appease the audience.  I started writing small stories which eventually lead me to write movie scripts. I have written some stories(specs) which I feel can be made as a commercial movie but the problem is I couldn’t get these scripts to the people who could take this forward. I tried taking my scripts to a few film makers but even before I could narrate the story I was asked about my experience in movie making or was asked to come back again only because the person I wanted to meet was busy or not in. This hunt for someone who could read my script and give me their feedback or select/reject went on. Finally I couldn’t pursue this hunt  because I was so busy with my work(software) that I couldn’t knock every producer/directors door to read my script and I couldn’t take it anymore(the waiting and being sent back). The funniest and frustrating part is that not even a single film maker bothered to read my scripts only because I don’t have any experience in filmmaking.(Anyone out there who has tried to get their script into a movie will very much understand what I am writing here)
Being in such a situation and not wanting to give up I thought of converting the script to movie by myself but the script I had written needed a seasoned director/producer/financier/cinematographer to execute it and I knew that I will not be able to do it. But I didn’t want to stop, so I thought of writing a story which I can make into a movie. I wanted to learn from something which has already been done so of all choices I had the AEPA was the right one for me. This is how it all started for me.
A script is written by following kinds of people:
  1. A well known writer (or a professional) writes the script for a production house based on the business need or for many other reasons.
  2. A novel/real life event converted into a screenplay by a production house (a professional writer is hired).
  3. An enthusiastic writer who feels that he/she has the inclination for writing (most of the script writer fall in this list. If possible watch the documentary “Dream of the spec”  which shows the desire of writers to convert their script into a movie and the effort they have to go through).
  4. An independent film maker who knows his budget and limitations and writes a scripts which suits his needs (here is where I am now).

    An indie film maker or writer can decide from the above list where they can fit into. I realized that I fall in the fourth category and so started my journey to write the script for my experimental movie and the outcome is AEPA.
    Please note a movie maker need not have to write a script by himself we can always hire a writer or select a script which has already been written and is waiting to be converted into a movie.
    Now that I have spoken about why I selected this script let me give a little information on the software I used to write the script.
    For writing scripts initially people used the typewriter or write them manually which was a laborious process but wow we have the technology advanced to a stage where we can get this done easier and faster. (Technology is the major factor which motivated me to try this movie, right from camera, mic, softwares which are so handy these days anyone who is serious about making a movie can make it.).
    I used the software celtx to write the story/script/screenplay. Here is an introduction which I have taken from Celtx , An introduction.
    “Celtx is the world's first fully integrated software for Pre-Production and collaboration of film, theatre, radio, AV and comics. It has all the tools media creators need to bring their stories to life while combining intelligent writing and planning tools, storyboarding, and scheduling with internet-friendly technologies. Celtx is available as a free download from our website. This open source client software is augmented by Celtx Studios, a set of integrated web services delivered by the Celtx server. Together they make Celtx the most complete media pre-production software program.”
    Using Celtx you can create a storyboard, write a story/script, you can schedule your project and many more things. You will have to try it; it’s amazing software available for free in the internet.
    I will briefly discuss few points which I felt are very important for a script writer(Please NOTE I will be covering major points only which I feel are important and provide pointers to rest which are already available on the internet.)
    Before starting to write a script read scripts which have already been made into movies. You can find them in the internet and here are a few websites:
    Reading scripts which have already been made into a movie helps you to visualize the scenes given in the script, this is a very good place to start your interest in direction/writing. Here is a simple snapshot of how a script generally looks:

    Here are few points/terminologies you need to keep in mind while writing/reading a script (Please note that the rules given below though is followed by most of them might not necessarily be followed everywhere). For people who want to submit their script to production house they need to make sure that the script is submitted in the correct format, else the people in film industry will SIMPLY ignore it because they are so institutionalized that they don’t care about the content until it follows the standard.
    Please Note: some information given below is picked from Elliot Grove’s “Script Format and Style Guide”.
      This is very important as this gives details about the location, timing etc.
      For eg: whether the location is interior (INT.) or exterior (EXT.) etc.
      For eg: Shawshank Redemption, by Frank Darabont
      INT -- ANDY'S CELL -- NIGHT (1949)
      Andy lies in his bunk after lights out,

      This is placed below the scene heading and is always double spaced from the scene heading. The scene description gives the details about important things in the scene. Any Extras which needs should be noticed by the script reader is highlighted here.
      For eg: Shawshank Redemption, by Frank Darabont
      Brooks leads Andy into the bleakest back room of all. Rough plank shelves are lined with books. Brooks' private domain.

      Scene endings are given at far right tab with a colon. Fade out is used to end the act or the entire script.

    4. CUT TO:
      After a scene description use “CUT TO” to show the transition from one scene to another.

    5. FADE OUT:
      Used to end all scripts.
      For eg: Shawshank Redemption, by Frank Darabont
                      I'm known to locate certain things from time to time.
      Red shrugs off his jacket and picks up a sander. Together,they start sanding the hull as we
                                                                                                                                           FADE OUT

    6. Please don’t include camera direction in the script. If your script needs to describe something which is very specific to the angle of camera then give a visual description of the scene rather than camera placement.
      For eg: Shawshank Redemption, by Frank Darabont
      He opens the glove compartment, pulls out an object wrapped in a rag. He lays it in his lap and unwraps it carefully --
      -- revealing a .38 revolver. Oily, black, evil.
      He grabs a box of bullets. Spills them everywhere, all over the seats and floor. Clumsy. He picks bullets off his lap, loading them into the gun, one by one, methodical and grim.
      Six in the chamber. His gaze goes back to the bungalow.

    7. Don’t break scenes into shots and don’t number your scenes.
    8. If you are planning to submit your script to any production house then make sure that you have used an A4 white sheet with 3 holes to fix it to the file.
      When characters are first introduced in the script their names needs to be in capital and further description of the character is followed.
      When sound cues are used the first word in the cue needs to be capitalized so that the sound technician can be prepared for his/her action.
      Character cues discussed below are also capitalized.
      this is the name given to the character who speaks the line of dialogue that follows.
      VOICE OVER(V.O) and OFF SCREEN(O.S) are used with character cues to denote two different things:
      V.O:  is used when dialogue is put over screen when the actor is narrating, thinking etc.
      O.S : is used when the character is heard but not seen, for eg: when the character is in different room.
    11. Celtx formats the script into the desired industry format. For a sample reference to the format please refer to this sample script.
    Conclusion: The above points apparently do not cover everything about script writing; I have listed points which I feel are important to be known since they are often neglected.

    Finally Remember that script is never written, it is always rewritten so if you are worried that the script you write will look bad then stop worrying and start writing because it will definitely look bad. Only after you reread and rewrite the script, it will look good.

    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    More Mockumentaries and digital cinema in Indian Film industry:

    I am taking a little detour from the topics I am currently discussing, reason being I’m very excited to see that Indian cinema(Bollywood, Tollywood) are espousing to Digital and Mockumentary based Film making more keenly.
    LSD(Love Sex aur Dhoka) was the first Indian path-breaking Mockumentary(MM) directed by Dibakar Banerjee and has created a sensation in the film industry. This MM was shot digitally at a relatively less budget and was a profitable venture.

    Kudos to producer Ekta Kapoor for believing and venturing into such a project and to add on she has made another MM titled Ragini MMS . Ragini MMS uses the concept of cameras being fit at many places in a house and what happens next is the content of movie.
    Ram Gopal Varma the revolutionary filmmaker has made a Digital commercial Telugu film,Dhongala Mutha,  with a meager budget(6 Lakhs) and 5 crew members in 5 days . I would like to thank RGV for taking up this challenge and proving that it is possible to make a low budget movie if desired. His action is a motivation for independent film makers like us. You can find more details about this movie here.

    Looking at the growth in Digital film making and the growth of concepts like MM instills more confidence in independent film makers who are trying to challenge the conventions adopted in the movie making industry.
    Don’t be shocked if you see more such movies coming to theatres very soon.
     If someone out there still feels that a movie can’t be made by independent film makers then stop dreaming about being a film maker.
    Whereas if you believe that we can make a movie then join me in the wonderful journey ahead.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Budget Part 2

    Every film maker should first decide the purpose of making movie. Though movies are made for entertainment and profit the Indie film makers make movie for learning and kick starting their career as a film maker. An indie film maker expecting to make a blockbuster in the initial stage by spending huge amount of money will land in deep trouble (99% probability).
    I made this mockumentary for learning purpose only (you will get more clarity on this when you see the budget for my movie below). Since I wanted to learn different facets of movie making I selected the concept of mockumentary which doesn’t necessitate budget/time/expertise which a regular commercial movie requires.
    After understanding that starting from bottom is the right thing an independent film maker should do, let’s concentrate on the budget for making a low budget digital feature.
    Budgeting in film industry can become as complicated as it can get with respect to the magnitude of the movie being made. Here is a sample budget form for a regular commercial movie. Try going through all rows and comprehend it. If you finished going through the list and assimilating it in one glance then please accept my appreciation.

    If you felt that the contents were huge and scary then continue reading since I will make it simple for you.
    The budget for any movie can be divided into following parts:
    1. Above the line: Basically an imaginary line separates those who have influence in the creative direction of a film from others who perform duties related to the movie’s physical production. People like Producer, director, Actors, writers who are involved in the creative process of the movie are listed in the top portion of the budget list and an imaginary line is drawn under them, the money spent for these people is termed as above the line budget. For more info check this link
    2. Below the line: For People/equipments who are involved in executing the physical production of the film the money spent is termed as below the line budget. For eg: All Technicians, Equipments, Wardrobe, publicity, food and so on. Refer to following link for more information.
    3. Editing: The money spent after the production for editing/processing in lab is considered as editing cost.
    Different film industries use different format to list the budget and there is no hard and fast rule to follow. As long as the producer/financier/you have a clear idea about where his/her money is going there is no problem. Be very careful while planning your budget, trust me if you make any serious mistakes here you might end up not making your movie at all.

    Here is the breakdown for the money I spent on making the movie.
    1. Producer: 0 Rs(I paid myself nothing)
    2. Writer: 0 Rs (I paid myself nothing)
    3. Director: 0 Rs(I paid myself nothing)
    4. Actors: 10,000 Rs(Thanks to my Actors because this amount was very negligible when compared to their efforts)
      Above the Line -----------------------------------------------------
    5. Film stock: 0 (Benefit of going Digital)
    6. Camera: 30,000 Rs (Bought a HDR camera, more on this later)
    7. Cinematographer: 0 Rs (Definitely not required for this project so I was the one)
    8. Lens: 5000 Rs (Needed wide angle lens for the kind of shot)
    9. Lights/Grip: 2000 Rs(I purchased Halogen Lights)
    10. Dolly:0 Rs
    11. Sound Equipment:8000 Rs( I bought a condenser mic with sound editing software)
    12. Sound Technician: 0 Rs(I took care of the sound)
    13. Crew: 0 Rs(My Friends, Family members and I)
    14. Art: 0 Rs(No room for Art in this movie)
    15. Wardrobe: 4000 Rs(Actors go their costumes. I had buy/rent some which weren’t available with them)
    16. Expendables: 3000 Rs
    17. Extras: 3000 Rs
    18. Locations: 0 Rs (Everything was shot at my home)
    19. Office: 0 Rs(I used a extra room in my house as office)
    20. Food: 5000 Rs(Most of the time food cooked at home was consumed)
    21. Publicity: 0 Rs(This movie not intended for commercial release or for any profit)
    22. Festival: 0 Rs(Didn’t plan or thought of going here, I need to make a better movie to take it here.)
    23. Insurance: 0 Rs(didn’t need one)
    24. Film Lab: 0 Rs (I edited from my PC instead)
    25. Sound Edit:0 Rs (I edited from my PC instead)
    26. Video Edit: 0 Rs (I edited from my PC instead)
    27. Music/Score:0 Rs (I didn’t need any because of the subject chosen)
    28. Mix/Re-recording:0 Rs

      Total= 66,000 Rs( approx. 1500 dollars)
    This budget might not fit every indie film maker’s requirement; one might want to shoot at external location or one might need very good sound tracks or CGI etc which might increase the budget. But the idea here is to get the budget framework simplified and gain confidence to go ahead with what ever money you are ready to spend.
    As I am writing this blog, one of the revolutionary filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma has made a commercial Telugu film with a meager budget(6 Lakhs) Dongala Murtha . Kudos to RGV.

    You can find more tips in following links which I found in my IR.
    Tips for indie film makers : 10 Tips

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    Budget Part 1

    Before I start writing anything I would like to thank Dov S-S Simens for the DVD course, his blogs and other people who have shared invaluable information on the internet, these things helped me to learn a lot and do whatever I have done. If I am using any information from any author I shall give reference to them and in case I have missed any please let me know so that I can update them.

    Also I write things here not because I’m an expert in the field but I want to share my experience and my blunders so that anyone starting fresh doesn’t do the same. “They say failure is stepping stone to success but we don’t have all time in life to fail and succeed, it is wise to learn from others mistake”

    Budget PART 1:
    “Presence of money might not help you make a movie but its absence will definitely hold you from making movies”

    Most of us who have the interest, passion to do a film are knocked down even before we start thinking about making a movie because we don’t have money to make a movie. We just can’t think of making movie because it takes a huge amount to make movie, Yes!! Really huge!! We see that most of the movie which are released states their budget and it hits millions..yeah!! 150 millions, 100, 90, 60, 50, 30, 10 and it goes on. “Oh!! My god I can’t even think of a million now how can even think of making a movie”, this very thought stops us from daring to make a movie.

    But let me tell you all one very important thing I learned, most of us go watch a big budget movie just to see what have they spent the money on and often we come back frustrated and shocked thinking where the hell did they spent that much money. We all know that most of the movies advertise to be big budget film only to lure us(now the latest gimmick 3D). How do you actually know the amount spent? Well here is the formula Dov has for it:

    Let’s say a movie X claims it’s a 30 to 40 millions. Take the lower number, half it, and subtract a million ie. (30 x 50%)-1 million=14 millions.
    Now you can calculate similarly for a 20 Million movie and so on. You will find that most of the movies are grossly inflated and this inflated value discourages independent film makers.

    The Bengali film director Satyajit Ray, the first film in the trilogy (Apu Trilogy), Pather Panchali (1955), was produced on a shoestring budgetof Rs. 1.5 lakh ($3000)
    In the UK, the 2006 film The Zombie Diaries was written, produced and directed by filmmakers Kevin Gates and Michael Bartlett. The film cost was £8,100.
    In Russia, the 1997 crime film Brother was made on around $10,000.
    The most successful low-budget film was 1999's The Blair Witch Project. It had a budget of around $60,000.
    Rodríguez made his first independent film El Mariachi for $7000.
    Paranormal Activity is a 2007 horror film written and directed by Oren Peli, was made for $15,000.(Personally one of my favorite directors and I would like to thanks Oren for being my inspiration for making After Effects Of Paranormal Activity. After watching his movie I was so freaked that I wanted to make the After effects of watching PA and I kind of did it).
    And the list goes on…

    The reason I mentioned movies which are grossly inflated and lack the quality and movies which are made with low budget yet becomes successful is to highlight the fact that money is not the sole factor which decides whether we(Independent film makers) can make a movie or not. If you are really passionate and have ideas and desire to make a movie then with proper planning and some money you can make a movie.

    “If you are thinking about making a movie, then stop thinking and start making one”.

    There are few who want to find a producer who can finance their movies so that you need not have to worry about the budget. If you are ready to spend your time knocking their door and hoping that one day the door will open then time only can answer your hopes. I too did knock too many doors and most of them were not ready to help me, I was dejected, I was shouting within “Give me a chance, let me learn ,I have ideas, I can do better……” but no one cared!!. Well now I understand why no one cared. I know what mess a first timer can make and why they don’t want to waste their money to teach you. I feel good that no one cared because I made the mistake at my cost and I’m not answerable to anyone or I have not wasted others money and time.

    So what should we do so that producers care about us? Producers let us direct there 20 million budget movie. Remember if you want to make a 20 million movie then make a 2 million movie first. If you want to make a 2 million movies then make a 20,000 movie first. If you want to make a 20,000 million movies then make a 5,000 movie first. Courtesy Dov S-S Simens .

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    Working from Ohio

    Hurdles!! Hurdles!! And Hurdles!! for independent movie makers, After I managed to cross all hurdles and complete the shooting and was almost on the verge of completing the post production process I was asked to pack my bags and go to Miamisburg,Ohio for my project work(another hurdle). Yes!! Being a software engineer and the mundane thirst for onsite has been accumulating in my mind for last 5 years and I finally get it when I am about to complete the movie. Well!! I packed my bags and flew straight here(well this is the birthplace of Aviation!!, remember Wright Brothers? Yes !! they are from here) on 19th December 2010. From the day I landed I have been busy trying to acclimatize to the place, people and practices. I haven't been able to overcome this hurdle yet.
    Well if you ask me why I am writing all these things in my blog where as I had promised that I will share my experience about film making in the blog, I wanted to give reasons for not updating my blog for last 3 months and not sharing the Mockumentary with you all.
    In this time frame I had posted about the Mockumentary in and got mixed responses(well we all know what mixed responses mean!). People praised, criticized, supported, advised and the list goes on…..
    Luckily my bro has taken up the responsibility of completing the final cut after which I shall share the Mockumentary with all.
    My First topic to begin with is Budget:
    Presence of money might not help you make a movie but its absence will definitely hold you from making movies”..