The aim of this Manhattan-based group is to serve as a social outlet for creativity, and to produce fun-to-watch short films of acceptable quality for the film festival circuit. No experience necessary!
We may not produce as impressive a product as we want, but we’ll make movies, learn a lot, and we’ll have fun. Films will be written and directed by its members, and we’ll decide collectively which will be the next project. Any collective, and certainly this one, will require frequent compromise, so while it’s good to make known what you believe in, please check any stubbornness at the door! :)
This group is designed to allow those with full-time jobs to participate, and we’ll collaborate online as much as possible and shoot on weekends. This will be a time-commitment, and you can expect each film to require 2-3 full weekends (one for rehearsal), and we’ll probably get through at least one film every 4-5 months. Auditions will be held on 2-3 weeknights, and we might spend a couple more weeknights working on props and set design. The meetups and majority of filming should be in Manhattan.
I’m up for starting with any screenplay our initial group collectively decides on. I’ve written an eligible psychological thriller myself. The one who writes the screenplay will have to fund it, but will have the choice to direct it. Films that require no budget at all (for instance, a dialog-driven movie with actors in a park) are perfectly doable, so don’t worry about money as long as you have creativity. The screenplay should be an easy read, but does not have to be a masterpiece. Direction and acting can expose many hidden dimensions in a story.
There is a role for everyone, and it may be different each film. Priority for roles will be given based on interest, experience, taking turns, and collective agreement. I’ve attempted to form this type of group before, and we successfully produced a short comedic film entitled “The Fig Thief”. See the trailer here:
It is currently under consideration by a few local film festivals. The film is entertaining, but certainly didn’t come out perfect. It did, however, prove that we could produce, and we learned how to go about it much more smoothly.
We’ll audition real actors for the roles (very fun). I have enough equipment of my own to have filmed The Fig Thief (primarily an HF200 camera, a Zoom H4n recorder, and two 500W softboxes), but I’ll look to rent better equipment as necessary for Dream State. I have a Mac Pro with Final Cut Studio for post-editing. We’ll use the best equipment we have available to us.
For each film, we’ll have roles we want to fill:
1) Writer - Writes the screenplay and modifies it as necessary
2) Producer (the same as the writer) – Pays for the production, and secures the necessary sets.
3) Editor – Will require Final Cut/Adobe Premiere and probably requires the most work. Unless someone else wants to tackle this, I can do it.
4) Film Composer – I’d love to have a film composer as an active participant, but if not, it’s not difficult to find someone to provide this service for free in post-production.
During the film shoot we’ll need:
1) Director – I want the director to be allowed, as much as possible, to concentrate on the acting and realizing his/her image rather than technical details. The writer has the option to direct.
2) Director of Photography – arranges the lighting and gets the shots that he/she thinks the movie requires to fulfill the director’s vision. Possibly will also man the camera.
3) Sound Technician – determines the necessary audio-recording level and position, and also monitors background noise. Will hold the microphone boom during the shots.
4) Production Manager – Handles the logistics of the film production, including sending out the casting call to actors, organizing the auditions, and making sure people have what they need to have.
5) Script Supervisor – Will be checking for actors’ adherence to the script, also making sure everyone knows what the scene that is being shot is about. The script supervisor will handle the clapboard.
6) Continuity Supervisor – Will keep in track of props, positioning of people and things, and whatever else needs concern between shots.
If necessary, we can combine some of these roles, but from experience, it’s much easier if we have at least one person for every film-shoot role. I’ve learned the hard way that having more people is always merrier.
I hope all this doesn’t scare off people who are truly interested. I learned from experience it’s better to have the system laid out in advance. If anything, this should reassure you that I’m serious about this and you can trust your creative efforts won’t be for naught. If you apply for membership, please be patient as I want to get to know a bit about who we're going to be working with. New applicants are welcome any time.