Saturday, September 17, 2005

Paperwork & Technology

This week was probabily the end of the series of general seminars reargding the logistics and legalities of the filmmaking process. We went over everything form Insurance to Location management, permit processing, and all that legal jargon surrounding the film industry. Makes you miss being able to pick up the camera and just film anything anywhere.

Because Los Angeles is a city revolving around the film business, everything requires paperwork. Everything has to go through a process. The formal (professional) movie-making process requires that you have a shooting permit even if you're going to film in your own house. And you have to have separate insurance policies covering general liability, equipment, third party location...etc. Here's something ironic, you can't get insruance to film inside your home or any member of the cast and crew's home. Reason? Back a decade or two ago, Mel Gibson destroyed a Malibu home he was renting/living in, and had a big conflict with the insurance company over coverage, so they created an industry-wide standard that exempts insurance coverage on filming in your own living quarters as a filmmaker.

Everything has to be documented, photographed, and covered because people are lawsuit-happy in LA, and you always want to cover your ass as a production.

Learning all these details really makes you think twice. Why does it have to be so complicated? I guess it makes sense when you have a gazillion productions going on around the same time, and filmmaking tends to be a messy process with big trucks and heavy-duty equipment hauled around residential areas. I'll get used to it. Here's good-bye to the days of hauling the camera around in one hand and tripod in the other.

Other things we got into were general Cinematography and Editing discussions. A couple of films worth checking out, all yee aspiring filmmakers: for Cinematography get "Visions of Light" and for Editing, get "The Cutting Edge". These are two documentaries that will solidify your appreciation for the respective professions and the art of each discipline.

A couple of hands-on things we did were a Sound workshop working with mixers, mics, and booms, as well as started our casting process for our films.

Casting is a fun process. We have headshots in our casting office from some 3,000 actors and actresses. Of course the first folder all the male directors and producers jump to is the "Engenues" (aka. the pretty girls). And there's a really nice role for a pretty girl in my film. Next week we'll be shooting a warm up scene with a couple of actors just to test the new cameras (Sony DVCAM 450) and get into the groove. The shooting of my film "Obsession" will be from October 22 to 26. Right now we're scouting for locations and doing some research on flowers.

Instead of posting the script on the web, I'll say this, if you're interested in reading it, send me an email to and I'll send you a copy. This way you can try to interpret it, then you'll see the actual film in a month or two. I will only put it on my web site for a day or two as I'm not really supposed to publish it anywhere on a public forum.

So that's my summary for week 3.


Blogger Lina said...

Wow sounds like a lot of details!! I mean I'd just find such paperwork to be exhausting and energy-consuming... makes you want to go indie your whole life ;)

ok I'm taking it a bit too far but you know what I mean ;p I'm at this phase where it's all about the free spirit hippie... I'm guessing it's just a phase!! God knows ;)

Oh and I would love to read the script

1:54 PM  

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