Full Production Movie Shoot–Need any Suggestions

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    • #49518

      Hello All;

      I home I can keep this short, I have noticed that I run long.

      This summer I have on deck to undertake the largest production I have ever attempted. Years ago I came up with a story and have never had the chance to shoot it. The things I was missing, crew, cameras, helicopter, and actors. About a year ago I obtained my Canon HF21, a friend of mine bought the exact same camera, and I have access to at least 3 more cameras of similar quality, I also needed a helicopter, that was made available to me about 2 months ago, but I still needed a crew. I was able to assemble a crew of about 10 here. (All this is 100% free to me and the crew is doing it for fun, apparently it seems that when I put on the directors hat I turn into this super nice agreeable person that everyone wants to be around, even my wife said she was surprised to see this side of me.)

      But I was still short on good actors and crew. I met a friend in a nearby town who shoots as well and has at his ready about 20. All of his crew want to help for free as well. So I now get to do auditions for the parts. What is odd is many knew of the concept because I have talked about it for years, and now people who in the beginning that did not want to help, now are asking what can they do. As I have posted we are moving in a few weeks, and the area behind my house is wooded and my new neighbor is going to let me use it to shoot. Everything just feel into place perfectly.

      So This grew into what is now going to be an actor/crew of about 50, a helicopter, multi location settings and more production equipment then I have seen since Rumble Fish.

      My problem: I am growing fearful that I have taken on more than I wonder if I could handle? I do not know what questions to ask you, or what advice, so if you have any to offer please offer.

      Locations: mostly outside, lots of stunts, even a cliff stunt. An aerial scene of a pull back from the helicopter, (the pilot suggest shooting on approach then playing the film backwards as it will be a smoother shot). Car scene (still working out details) Lots of movement, not down right action, but the stop dialog scenes will be few. No shootouts, but some push/shove.

      I know this is vague, but you can understand why. If anyone has advice please hit me.

    • #202713

      Well – the one thing newcomers seem to overlook are permits and insurance at least on the big projects. For our last shoot we had to obtain permits from three different cities, the Department of Transportation (State level), state film board, had to hire a slew of city workers, plus had to provide proof of insurance that covered all aspect of the shoot including the general public. We also had to notify several of the local police departments – providing the locations and times we would be shooting. Anytime you start talking about what you outlined in your post you need to think permits, insurance, and public notification. There are those that get away without doing it but if somethings does happen happen you stand to lose everything.

      Here in Florida we are fortunate – the state has film industry coordinators that will help you with all of it by providing contact names, whats required etc. however; even with the coordinator it is still a process that is time consuming but in most cases fully and completely required.

      Ensure you have signed actor releases (we have them signed before auditioning), have a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the various crew entities, and ensure you have an agreement as to who is in charge of what, who is providing what and who in the end owns what.

      You stated – “the area behind my house is wooded and my new neighbor is going to let
      me use it to shoot. Everything just feel into place perfectly.” Well not so fast – do you have a written agreement with the neighbor? What happens if you are half way through and he has a change of heart or if something goes wrong and you burn half the woods down or one of the actors is seriously injured? You need an Agreement/Contract in place regardless of how nice a neighbor he might seem to be.

      For what its worth – now you have my two cents.

    • #202714

      Hello Jeff;

      Newcomer I am not, started in 1982 on the movie Rumble Fish. I did not mention the releases in the post due to the fact that I take those for granted, I do not do a single project with a lot of paperwork, and public notice postings. Permission from the city/county at this time is not a concern, so far all locations are on private property. All crew and actors of course will sign a release, as far as those who will do stunts, the stunts will be handled by my sons, so no worry of lawsuits there.

      Fire, we will not be using fire and no one that will be assisting smokes. I and the pilot will be the only ones in the air, and if I should fall I will shoot all the way down and hope it gets posted on youtube, in other words I would not take action against Scott. The cast and crew are not unknown to me, so in the release they will be accountable to themselves, and as is true in all cases all it takes is one, so in preproduction meetings (I do several) I get as much feedback as I can and listen carefully to them. In one meeting one of the crew was suggesting some wild things, his suggestions alone caused me to place him elsewhere. I feel is someone is willing to express a stupid thought they may carry it out.

      So far the script does not call for public locals, but I would need permission from the mayor and he would do it, they already had one major indie film made in town that did well and it made the city look good.

      As for the neighbor, good call I had to not considered that, I had also not considered what would happen if someone did get hurt on his land. And it could create bad vibes between he and I, so that location is now going to be reconsidered, I do not feel the reward/risk factors are equal enough. And your feedback was valuable. Thanks

    • #202715

      Cool – what did you do on Rumble Fish? I didn’t see you listed – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086216/fullcredits#cast

      Good luck with your project.

    • #202716

      My sister and I are not in the credits. OK I’ll relate the story.

      The year was 1982, it was looking to be a hot summer. I had just turned 15, but had always been small for my age and could have passed for 12. My younger sister by about a year had developed quickly, which of course did not set well with me. We had heard earlier that a movie was going to be filmed in town (Saplupa) and of course was curious. On the first day of shooting we went down in stood in the street with everyone else star struck. That evening mom had some news to tell us. The apartment building that was being used for Matt’s home was in fact our cousins building. Mom asked my sister and me if we were interested in meeting Matt Dillion. My sister screamed with glee, and a few hours later we were off with camera in hand. When we arrived on the set at about 1am we were taken into a small room full of monitors, and there we sat till about 4 watching the stabbing scene on the bed over and over and over, I remember thinking if this is movie making I want nothing to do with it. About 4 we were taken to the front area of the furniture store (it was below the apartments) and Matt was behind a roped off area. We were told not to cross the rope. My sister took her photos and got his autograph. That was suppose to be the end of the matter, except Matt took a shine to my sister. As we were leaving Matt invited us back tomorrow (or when the sun came up). We came back were given a tour of the set, and my sister was flashing her camera. Those photos were to forever change our young lives. Matt was a new and upcoming actor and some of his off stage habits were still private, but my sister was allowed to photograph Matt, after all we were not the press. We ate lunch with cast and crew, and spent the day standing around in the hot sun. That evening my sister took the photos to an overnight developer, little did we know what the morning sun would bring.

      My sister went to get the photos and was told the negatives were lost, we did not believe them so we ran back to the set. We ran on the set while a shoot was going on, but we were young and scared because of the photos. We got yelled at by Frances for running into a shot and were about to be escorted away, they thought we were Matt crazy. We were out of breath and as Matt was being lead away all I could get out was “they kept the negatives.” (We still had our passes) Matt stopped in the middle of the road and so did others who knew about the photos. Matt ran back to my sister and there was some others that gathered around us, the questions were flying. Someone was sent to “go get the negatives” and we were taken to the dining area. We sat at the table with Matt, until we heard the news. (We ate fried chicken) They had rescued with negatives. Matt had in the meantime gotten to know my sister and knew she was too young, but he and his casting agent were very grateful for what we did, so it was arranged that we would play a couple in the background at a distant table as Matt walked past a window. No lines, and blurred faces, but we were in a movie. I got inpatient and ended up walking across the room and out the back door, that was the take that was kept. But since we did not speak and it was a few second extra shot, no credit.

      We stayed on the set until filming was completed in Sapulpa, I would mostly just watch Frances and how he directed, that was when I knew I wanted his chair.

      A few years later after Matt got a bit more famous I got a letter in the mail, it was a very polite letter, and kind but they asked for the photos and negatives, it seems that now that Matt was a box office draw they wanted the photos, today the photos would be nothing, but back then, just too reveling. In that letter (package) was a copy of the movie an other stuff, after my wife saw part of the movie it was trashed, we had two young boys at the time).

      It was a hot summer in 1982 in Saplupa.

    • #202717

      Cool stuff.

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