Posts Tagged ‘myhomemadefilmschool’

Painting Project:

This assignment consists of a student receiving an approved painting from their professor, then recreating that exact image inside their school.

The students are asked to recreate the mood and look of the painting using advanced lighting techniques as well as props, costumes and sets. Their goal is to recreate the exact position of it’s subjects – paying close attention to lighting, objects, spatial blocking and shadows.

This project is designed to make the student experience what it is like using a storyboard when creating a film. On an actual film set, instead of a piece of random artwork (most storyboard artwork could easily sell at any art auction) the filmmakers must use a series of drawings (known as storyboards) created beforehand to help them plan out exactly what they need to shoot in order to tell their story.

Filmmaking is an expensive process. If you can work out what you need visually on paper, you’ll save precious time and money. You’ll also be able to show your peers the movie before it is shot. If a certain part doesn’t seem to present your idea correctly, you can figure out a way to adjust the scene by adding, subtracting or altering a shot or two. Also, by having a storyboard on hand, you can easily show your cast and crew what you want to visually achieve in your head. It will help you plan out where the actors will stand and move around (referred to as blocking), where the camera will be, and what demands you will require from your location.

It may seem like a lot of work, but on the day that you are shooting your project, you will be glad that you have something to reference while you are running around trying to guide a group of people through a difficult process while trying to not destroy anything or anger anyone in the surrounding area. Also, most filmmakers make the mistake of staying up crazy hours before the shoot begins in a last minute attempt to finish up any work, forcing them to start their project tired and against the ropes. Those drawings made before hand will fill in any blanks that you may not recall on the day.

I’d say this is a great project. The LA Film School certainly has a good head on it’s shoulders. The only thing I’m not sure about is how the project is marked. If the student’s must make an exact replica, thats alright. If they loose marks for changing the image in any way, that’s where the process gets difficult. The majority of storyboards on professional sets often vary when compared to what is actually shot on film. There is a large difference between the set in one’s imagination and the physical set they must use for the movie.

If you’re up for it – try this out on your own time. Since there are no professors here, choose your own artwork and try to recreate that. When you’re all done, post it HERE for everyone to see.

Happy shooting!

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It’s been a while!  Almost five months actually.

I haven’t been updating this website because I’ve been off learning how to direct.
Now, I’ve directed some short comedy skits in the past (you can check out my YouTUBE page with all those embarrassing videos, and the ones that made it onto the Comedy Network), but this was my first time raising funds for a project, setting up a crew, getting a location and trying to direct something a little more serious.

And so far – I’ve made a tonne of mistakes!  It’s been a fantastic learning experience.  After shooting the film and not being happy with it whatsoever, I decided to learn from this experience instead of getting grumpy and giving up.

The project was an exercise to see if I could put together all the knowledge that I’ve acquired while working on sets and attending college. I wanted to start from scratch, writing a short script, getting funding and all the rest. While the project we shot may not ever see the light of day, I’ve discovered a personal style that I enjoy and learned what not to do in many situations. I haven’t given up. I am currently in the process of changing things up and preparing to re-shoot the majority of the footage. It can become difficult when scheduling your cast & crew, as everyone has their own activities and it’s hard to get all the times to match.

I’ll be posting more about the progress of the short as time goes by.  One benefit of the project is that I now have lots of behind-the-scenes material and stories that I can share. Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and not make them yourself.

I’ll also continue to post about informative books, great online tutorials and general tips, maybe even incorporate a section that documents our short film progress. I’ve been stockpiling a bunch of lessons and notes from the books I’ve been reading as well as more school projects.. There may even be a post regarding crowd funding websites and my experience with them, as I’ve just finished two campaigns.

So check back every once in a while!  I’ll try to develop a schedule for my posts.

Lloyd Kaufman's "Produce Your Own Damn Movie!"
Lloyd Kaufman created Troma Entertainment, Inc. with Michael Herz 35 years ago. They have been
producing their own low-budget films and distributing them on their own without the help of larger
production companies. Troma has created such films as "The Toxic Avenger" and "Poultrygiest, Night of
the Chicken Dead". Trey Stone, Matt Parker, Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Costner and Samuel
L. Jackson have all been involved with Troma Entertainment in the early stages of their careers. 
Produce Your Own Damn Movie! gives new filmmakers practical advice and tips from multiple producers and
directors. 

“PRODUCING LESSON #127: Don’t be afraid to talk to everybody and anybody who will listen about your
idea for the awesome movie you want to make. You never know who’s going to cough up some cash for
your production.”

“Be more honest with yourself. If you want to make a film and you are not currently making a film,
money isn’t the thing holding you back. You say you went to film school. This leads me to believe
that there is money floating around somewhere in your life. One of the following may be true:
1. You don’t really want to make a film, but you don’t want to get a real job either.
2. You do want to make a film, but you haven’t invested the time in coming up with an idea and
   actually writing a script. A script may be your best gateway into producing.
3. You have some good ideas, but you are afraid to begin because you are afraid of failing.
If any of those happen to be true, you need to examine whether filmmaking is truly what you have a
passion for, or whether it was the only major where you didn’t have to take Calculus at 7:00 a.m.
The budget isn’t important. Beg for, or borrow whatever you may need. If you need to work for someone
else for 20 years, do that and make movies in your free time.”

This book is riddled with invaluable information that every independent producer should obtain. If
you can, get ahold of this book and take some notes. You'll come out prepared with knowledge and be
motivated to start or finish your project.  

Pick up your copy here: http://www.amazon.com/Produce-Your-Damn-Movie-School/dp/0240810457

Happy reading!
Time to sink our teeth into our first assigned project.

This one comes from a school called Sheridan College. It’s based in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
This project was taken from the “Media Arts” program. http://www.sheridancollege.ca/

Take a series of photographs (all landscape, not portrait) to create a storyboard. You must set-up
your story using a total of eight or less photos.
Each photo must use different composition (framing and type of shot). The camera must follow the 180°
axis rule. Your goal is to establish a location and set up your story.
*If you do not have access to a camera, you may draw each frame.

Storyboarding is the best way to find out if you are correctly representing your script visually.
You may have heard the expression “Shoot it on paper first.” It is a cheap way to produce a first
draft of your film. After your script is written (or you have received one from your writer) you must
put thought into how you will show the images in your head to your audience. What do you want the
audience to see? How will you make your audience feel emotion by stimulating them visually? What
shots will fit into what you are trying to achieve? Take your time and write down what you see in
your head. Do it two or three times. Make sure you don’t miss anything.

Creating a storyboard will allow you to tweak shots and cut out others that are not needed. A
storyboard will also help you plan out what you need to shoot. Try not to waste your time and all
of your actors/crew’s time on set by walking around trying to figure out how to shoot the project.
Shoot it on paper first!
Grab a camera, get out there and try this out. Follow the rules and see what you can learn from making
your own version of this project. When you are all done, post it online so others can help you figure
out where you succeeded and where you need to work out some ideas. Also, post it HERE! We have an
audience that will watch your work and give you feedback.

-Have fun and good luck! 

*This is an example of a storyboard - for our newcomers.
One of the main goals we have set for this project is to make sure everyone can take part, even those
without proper funding or equipment.

Lots of people set their sights on equipment and programs first. They believe that without the best
programs and equipment they cannot create anything that can compete with everyone else in the market.
This is not true. We know this is not true because we have created content of our own without ANY
equipment whatsoever and put on a television show. You heard us right. No equipment at all. Want to
know how we lit the shot? We flicked the light switch to the ON position. The majority of laptops and
computers now come with a web cam either built-in or attached externally. We literally carried around
an old MacBook and shot whatever it was that we wrote down on scraps of paper. We found an old digital
camera (not HD by a long shot) with no external lenses and used that as well. Those were our “fancy”
shots. This isn’t a grandparent story either. The year was 2009.

 We cannot allow budget restraints to deny everyone a chance at creating something that they care about.
To combat this we have come across a list of FREE ONLINE SOFTWARE. Yes. That last sentence used free,
online and software all together. We will throw a link up to the book we found it in once we get their
blessings.
Pay close attention because this is the first step you will take into joining our project/nation and
participating in a brand-new, exciting and large digital movement.
 *Please note that our production company has purchased all of our own programs and do not personally use 
these listed programs ourselves (Except Celtx. We love that program). We know they have been used on feature 
films and they seem legitimate. If you for any reason encounter any computer issues due to any of these 
programs the issue lies with you and the program creators themselves. *Wipes hands. Now let’s begin.
 
For every piece of mainstream software, there’s a free or open source application that works just as
well, if not better. 

For almost everything pre-production use: 

 -OpenOffice.org  - It’s like Microsoft Word.
 -http://www.celtx.com has a program called Celtx. It’s a full-featured preproduction suite that not
only properly formats script for film, TV, theatre, radio and everything else, but it also has built-in
scheduling and storyboarding tools. 

For almost everything post-production use:

-http://www.blender.org - A program called Blender is a full-featured 3D modeling software. It also
functions as a nonlinear editor. *It was used in SPIDERMAN 2!
-http://www.cinelerra.org – A program called Cinelerra will help you edit your stuff.
-http://www.cinepaint.org – A program called CinePaint allows you to retouch your movie frame by frame
without degrading the quality. *It was used in SPIDERMAN, HARRY POTTER and STUART LITTLE!
-http://www.ardour.org – All about audio here. You can lay down the music and sound for your flick with
this program called Ardour.
-http://audacity.sourceforge.net – another audio program called Audacity.
-http://majorsilence.com/devede – A program called DeVeDe that will burn your movie onto a DVD.
-http://www.gimp.org – A program called GIMP that you can create your movie’s cover art with.
-http://www.inkscape.org – a program called Inkscape that you can create cover art with.
There you go. Our first gift to you. Just look around online for these types of software incase any of
these programs don’t work on your specific platform. 

Do not let not having enough money for a specific application stand between you and 
producing your film. *Once again, we will post a link to the book that we found this information in
once we receive their blessings.

Happy film making!


Let's get down to business.

First off, welcome to the website! We hope you find this project appealing and join the cause. We are 
going to build a large online community. It's very important that people stay in contact and pass this 
around to anyone that has an interest in entertaining with film. All aspects of film making will be 
represented. Everyone will be given a chance to give tips and hints, showcase their work and possibly 
find work through networking with other people in the community.

Since this website will be the main hub for everything posted, you will need a tour of sorts. 
Everything will be posted in the HOME tab up top.

 
This website enables creators to choose different categories for each post, so we will use those to help
sort out the information. These will include: Informative Books, Project Outlines, Vlogs and Tips.

Since we will be providing actual school projects for you to try out on your own time, they will be 
posted under the Project Outline category. Hopefully these will give you content ideas and help you 
build or enhance your demo reel. 

The Vlogs will be a video diary of our attempts at making these school projects and other projects that
our production company will be attached to. Hopefully you will be able to learn from any mistakes we 
make.

Reading is an important part of film making. When we come across a book with great content that you can use
to make better films, we will share it under the Informative Books category. 

The Tips category will be used for any direct tutorials or lessons. We have connected with many 
established online programs that produce "how-to" tips and will post their videos up every once in a 
while in addition to our own. 

Some people have been asking how they can share their work/projects with the community. Our answer to 
that is the SHARE YOUR SCHOOL PROJECTS tab. It will have a little bit of a guideline that you can 
follow, but feel free to add any additional information you may find helpful to other "students". You 
can also post any project descriptions that have not been mentioned on this site that you enjoy and 
would like others to try out.

 
We're going to keep this fresh and fun. We'll introduce you to different things. We hope you visit us
every week. Share it with your friends. The bigger the community the better the experience will be for
everyone involved. Interact with comments and video responses. Vote on the polls! This whole project is
meant to help everyone learn and replicate an environment where you can be surrounded by others that
have similar interests. 

Thanks for checking us out! 
*We had been debating on whether or not to make this a Vlog or a Blog. Since nobody needs to see Matt's
face in order to learn something, we chose this. Do you feel it's important to have a "host" guide you
along? It's up to you really. Vote on the poll below to make the decision. 


Step one on this journey:  Set up a production company.

We present to you – Durable Mutation Productions.

Things are moving along quite well. The YouTUBE page is up and operational so stay tuned for VLOGS. We will try and find a certain time of the week to stay consistent. The blogs will come in whenever something interesting pops up.

To celebrate the launch of the YouTUBE site, we made a little introductory video to the new production company. Let us know what you think by leaving a comment or voting on the poll.  *You’ll be able to tell which category won yesterday’s poll.