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  1. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabyasachi Patra View Post
    What qualifies as a Film?

    Why this anathema towards people who post aerial footage, architectural and nature footage, commercials, PSAs etc? Don't they tell a story through these?

    On one of the above posts you talk about knowing the limitations of the craft. When someone is testing a portion of his or her craft by posting something you don't appear to like it.

    Since the original post is essentially blank, I am not sure what is happening here.

    I remember you had posted sometime back that you should have released your book some 5 yrs ago during the DSLR revolution. I didn't find any link to your book.

    I find anything which is given free is not valued by people. Also, any post which can impute that the reader doesn't know is not well taken.
    Fair reply, and you are right, what does qualify as a film?

    In my post, by film I meant in the traditional sense of a narrative story, or documentary. I should have clarified that. Commercials and PSAs do tell stories, and I very much appreciate how they can do it in 30 seconds to a few minutes. Many are just crap (as are many films), but a few really are entertainment AND message beautifully merged.

    These two, for example ...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ect5...&nohtml5=False

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-8P...&nohtml5=False

    And this combination music video / PSA

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQ7o...&nohtml5=False

    And this - today's technologies - architectural drone work. Any of these shots can be integral to a larger story.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLGz...&nohtml5=False


    These all do tell stories, or parts of stories, and I certainly do not think any less of them than complete, well-made narrarive and documentary films. My point was, not all the folks here make narrative film, or maybe they want to someday when they are confident in their ability and purpose to move from say corporate image work, to finding (or writing) and producing their first narrative film. Maybe some have already tried it, made a beautiful film with the technical experience, gear and circle of friends and associates they have, but in the end decided it wasn't quite their comfort zone. There isn't any money in it, so back to commercial work to make a living.

    Jus' saying over the years I have written for so many different kinds of folks, and so many different kinds of projects. Some were solid all around, some were damn good, some were disasters. It just works out that way. Of the 63 short films I have had the blessing to see produced, maybe 5 or 6 really stand out as both strong story AND strong production. I admit it, not all my stories translated into film as I imagined. They were weak, had story holes, whatever. Sometimes I just suck at it.


    When did I ever say or appear to show this ...

    On one of the above posts you talk about knowing the limitations of the craft. When someone is testing a portion of his or her craft by posting something you don't appear to like it.


    First, I do encourage other writers to come here so they can know both the possibilities and the limitations of the art and craft behind production. I believe my original post also encouraged them to push those limits. Make the cinematographer figure out how to pull off a certain shot. Neither the writer nor the production should forever and always be too comfortable. That's called stagnation.


    This ...

    I remember you had posted sometime back that you should have released your book some 5 yrs ago during the DSLR revolution. I didn't find any link to your book.

    It's here. Just click on HOW TO SPEAK SCRIPT

    https://alexmwhitmer.wordpress.com/zz-excerpt/


    This ...

    I find anything which is given free is not valued by people.


    I make no claim that it will be of any use to anyone at all. It has certainly been a learning experience for me, though, so at least someone got something out of it :) Look, I worked some long, hard years on this, and based it on feedback, my own experiences, and my own ideas. I am not wholly comfortable with where screenwritng is, and I do believe it needs to catch up with today's technologies. I could be wrong.

    I thought that just maybe I could add something to the library of knowlede and opinion on the topic of screenwriting as it concerns filmmakers, the dudes and dudetted on set, not behind a typewriter. It isn't finished, either, and this is one reason I decided not to publish it. I want to keep working on it till I'm fricken' dead. Who knows, it may end up being 2,000 pages in 4 volumes. Technologies and the whole dynamics of film keep changing and growing, so there really isn't a way to call the book finished. Dang it, now I need to add a chapter on AI writes a screenplay!

    I find MOST screenwriters are happy with the way things have been since what, the 50s? It's predicatable, formulaic, and now has all the software needed to do the formatting for you. Fuck that. I'm not happy with it, but it is my passion, and I want to see it electrified!

    If the overall response to the book and my perspective is negative, I'll yank it and leave it on the shelf. But at leaast wait until I get part 2 of volume 1 up. It focuses on FINDING YOUR STORIES, and it is here where my autism really shines through!


    This ...

    Also, any post which can impute that the reader doesn't know is not well taken.

    Where'd you get that from? I was chatting about screenplay reviews, and a few quotes from/about Akira Kurosawa.

    ''If your goal is to become a film director, you must master screenwriting.” - Akira Kurosawa

    “Most directors have one masterpiece by which they are known. Kurosawa has at least eight or nine.” – Francis Ford Coppola


    My point was, maybe Akira was on to something concerning screenwriting - and why I titled the thread 'To be a Director ...' But seriously, how many filmmakers have the time and commitment to master screenwriting? I am on my 12th year and have much yet to learn. How long would it take me to master the film camera if I started today? What's the average number of years you guys and gals have into your craft? Are you happy with where you are, or do you work to learn new things everyday?


    I'm am thorough at reading / reviewiing screenplays. I know NOTHING about how to turn a camera on. Folks trade skills here, or impart tricks they have learned, or ask question on topics or gear or tricks / shortcuts, or best ways to resolve problems. I was just tossing in my hat on the one part of filmmaking I have some experience in - not that others don't, and I will gladly trade ideas with them.

    It was just a fricken offer for christ's sake. I think it must have come across as 'I know Jack'.


    The links I provided as samples of my screenplay reviews and writing preparation are here ...

    http://www.indietalk.com/showthread.php?t=61666&page=5

    http://www.indietalk.com/showthread.php?t=61628&page=2


    Anyways, as I said, this - REDUSER - (and some DVXUSER) is where I really learned to write for film. I spent some years in screenwriting forums learning the basice, but after a short stint, things just repeated themselves, and the folks just regurgitated the same information over and over and over, then bitch and commiserate that they can't get there 120 page spec screenplay sold for a million bucks. Nothing new ever happens. No new ideas, no new perspectives. They argue on for days whether a character should be introduced as COP #1, or CHUBBY COP.

    This is the current state of screenwritng. Woot.


    But here, things are alive!

    I would hope - and think and know - folks here that actually make films (or commercials, or music videos, PSAs, arial footage, or all of the above and more) have fresh and innovative ideas about writing that stay current with the technologies they use everyday.

    I have found that filmmakers do like the information in my eBook, or above 50%, anyways. Writers really have nothing to say either way. Creatures of habit, what can ya say. Here is where you are right, if it's free, it's of little value. Buying it from a store somehow guarantees its usefulness.

    Sure.

    I could be way off base.


    Anyways, if you don't like my free work, then toss it in the trash. It's that easy.


    alex
    Last edited by a whitmer; 09-11-2016 at 03:12 PM.
    “It went for so much money and it was a Western and nobody knew what the fuck we were doing.” - William Goldman, on the selling of the 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' screenplay.




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  2. #12  
    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    I'm confused what this thread is about.
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  3. #13  
    Apparently there was a significant edit on the first post.

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  4. #14  
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    I put it back best as I remember.

    The thread is (was) about reviewing screenplays before putting them into production, and my own take on how scripts fit into the whole, with some of the folks here who are not writers, or would like to be writers for their own works, or are already writers but would like a fresh pair of eyes to look over their scripts, they can give me a shout if they would like some feedback.


    I also mentioned that being on a set was not my thing. I am a hermit by nature. I could learn from the experience, but it just isn't my thing. I prefer the abstract distance from it. That was in the OP.

    And, far as I know, production working with material they aquired (as opposed to write themselves) would prefer the writer not be on set. Or so I have been told. True or not, I couldn't say.

    Actually I do have a few nightmare stories to know it is SOMETIMES true (not me on set, just projects I was sadly dragged into).

    The worst? Going on five years after production, the project that took me 4,000 hours to write has yet to be released, and I was never paid, nor ever will be. Ther is more to it. Lots more, but that should suffice.

    As a writer who is NOT a filmmaker, I have no desire to be on a set.


    I guess I put it in such a way that bristled.

    My oops.


    Onward ...

    Seems there used to be more conversation about the creative side of filmmaking (and I include commercials, PSAs, etc., here). Christoffer Glans started this thread over a month ago ...

    http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthr...lmmaking-topic

    ... but it was a luke-warm reception. Nope, wrong forum. Yes, good idea. And then it just died.

    It used to be the right forum. Somehow we all lost interest?

    a
    Last edited by a whitmer; 09-11-2016 at 06:42 PM.
    “It went for so much money and it was a Western and nobody knew what the fuck we were doing.” - William Goldman, on the selling of the 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' screenplay.




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  5. #15  
    Senior Member Marcos Montenegro's Avatar
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    Alex-

    Thanks for the material. I appreciate the sharing of knowledge.

    Thanks!
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  6. #16  
    Senior Member Ben Scott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a whitmer View Post


    I'm am thorough at reading / reviewiing screenplays. I know NOTHING about how to turn a camera on. Folks trade skills here, or impart tricks they have learned, or ask question on topics or gear or tricks / shortcuts, or best ways to resolve problems. I was just tossing in my hat on the one part of filmmaking I have some experience in - not that others don't, and I will gladly trade ideas with them.

    This is the good stuff. Everything else got a bit confusing but stay on this message and you'll get a lot of takers :)


    EDIT: Nick and others - The original OP rubbed me up the wrong way a little bit but I think it was well-intentioned and simply open to intepretation but in summary - writer wants to contribute to Reduser in the area where he feels he can. :)
    Last edited by Ben Scott; 09-11-2016 at 10:52 PM.
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  7. #17  
    ''If your goal is to become a film director, you must master screenwriting.” - Akira Kurosawa
    I guess I agree with this sentiment. I've had various stages with my own screenwriting from complete arrogance through to thinking I can't do it at all to realising maybe I'm not so bad after all. It's especially important when you are a zero budget filmmaker because I screenwriter can put whatever he likes into a screenplay but it's you that has to figure out how the hell you're going to find a rooftop to film on.
    I've longed for good feedback on my work, it's hard to tell if something is going to be good until it's made and even then it's hard to tell until someone else has looked at it. I'll be writing a short one way or another this Friday night for the 48 hours so hopefully it'll turn out well. 11 years and I still haven't made a finalist.
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  8. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig W. Bickerstaff View Post
    I've longed for good feedback on my work, it's hard to tell if something is going to be good until it's made and even then it's hard to tell until someone else has looked at it. I'll be writing a short one way or another this Friday night for the 48 hours so hopefully it'll turn out well. 11 years and I still haven't made a finalist.
    Send it my way, I'm happy to look it over for you.
    “It went for so much money and it was a Western and nobody knew what the fuck we were doing.” - William Goldman, on the selling of the 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' screenplay.




    My Films and Work
    https://alexmwhitmer.wordpress.com/


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    Screenwriter, Novelist, Copy Writer, Author, Ghostwriter, Editor, Consultant. Writer of 66 produced short films, 3 feature films, 2 unpublished novels and 1 unpublished screenwriting book.
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  9. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by a whitmer View Post
    Send it my way, I'm happy to look it over for you.
    Sounds great, I'll send you a draft however you'd want it to be sent as soon as I've finished it. It'll be good to have some independent opinion on it before I have to shoot it on Saturday.
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  10. #20  
    Senior Member Elsie N's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig W. Bickerstaff View Post
    I guess I agree with this sentiment. I've had various stages with my own screenwriting from complete arrogance through to thinking I can't do it at all to realising maybe I'm not so bad after all. It's especially important when you are a zero budget filmmaker because I screenwriter can put whatever he likes into a screenplay but it's you that has to figure out how the hell you're going to find a rooftop to film on.
    I've longed for good feedback on my work, it's hard to tell if something is going to be good until it's made and even then it's hard to tell until someone else has looked at it. I'll be writing a short one way or another this Friday night for the 48 hours so hopefully it'll turn out well. 11 years and I still haven't made a finalist.
    I think the Kurosawa quote should be expanded to read "If you want to be an Indie movie-maker you must first master screenwriting." ... or at least expand the term "director" to include all aspects of making a movie.

    Reason for the need to understand and be a screenwriter is so you can create an affordable story. IME (in my estimation) normally a scriptwriter just spins a yarn and the cost of bells and whistles in the story is not their concern. They are seeking Wow! factor and give no thought to expense in shooting. Works for the big Hollywood type shoots with sizeable budget... not a cost a low/no budget shoot can afford.

    So an Indie movie-maker needs to know some of the tenets of screenwriting.

    The good news is we don't have to become professional screenwriters. That is, we don't have to know how to WRITE a script in proper form because we are not going to submit it for approval to the Nazi-format sticklers. We are our own client and if we understand what we mean and envision how it will play in edit, then we are screenwriters... screenwriters whose main concern is story.

    THAT in my opinion is the connection between being both screenwriter and director/movie-maker.

    EDIT: In the interest of clarity, I don't mean we have to write our own scripts. Just that we need to know how to take someone's story and mold it into something more affordable or screen-friendly when necessary.
    Last edited by Elsie N; 09-12-2016 at 08:18 AM.
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