View Full Version : Getting Started to get the feet wet
03 March 2005, 10:47 PM
Hello all film making nerds,
I had this burning desire in me to make a film atleast once in a life time. Finally i think its time but i'm being careful and practical.
First of all i'm working on the script write...write....write as it was said in Querilla film making book. But meanwhile i want to get my foot wet so i decided to take some projects on my own cost to learn from it. To achieve that, i had to spend some money. These projects are music video projects for the local rock and jazz bands. These guys are absolutely amazing.
My question is:
Should i start a company and incorporate it? so that if i a invest money through the company and the company buys all my rental equipments and also insurance for the projects i'm undertaking or should i just go freelancing without even starting a company. By starting a company i can write off my expenses and losses.
The point is, when i go and talk to the managers of these bands or record album owners they ask for the company name and my business card. So i'm seriously thinking about this . Also i think people would be really interested in dealing with you if you have a company .
So should i start a company or should i not? Any experienced film makers please advise.
Thanks in advance,
03 March 2005, 05:46 PM
Sorry if this sounds harsh, but read through before you get pissed.
I have never quite understood the apparent need of people to start a business and incorporate when they have absolutely ZERO experience or knowledge of the subject. I see it with 3D modelers who have no talent what so ever decide they are going to sell tutorial CD's, or people who have just bought their first Video camera, barely even know how to turn it on and decide they need to start a business.
Do you know ANYTHING, anything at all about lighting? Do you know what a tungsten light is? HMI? PAR? Open face? Kino Flo? Kelvin?
Any idea about setting up multi point lighting? I haven't even gottten to hard questions yet.
How about camera technique? You don't just turn it on and point.
How about learning how to use it and practice with it and get some actual experience before doing something ridiculous?????
Harsh as this sounds, I'd suggest you get some experience first and LEARN the subject matter instead of trying to play big shot video guy and get business cards printed for yourself. In the long run you'll be better off for it. Get books and DVD's on the subject, study, learn, take notes and practice, practice, practice, practice.
Then if you are any good, start a business.
03 March 2005, 07:27 PM
You made a good point. Thanks for your advice. I bought some dvd's,books and had been reading it for a while which had been referred in this site. Its my bad i didn't mention it properly. But still i do understand your point. I'm putting together some film students for these projects and learn from it. Its not only giving them a chance but also get some practise from the process. I'm also involved in a full time job which is primary for me. Well also site like this is really good place to learn.
Please let me know if there are good sites for rental equipments. I live in Midwest MO i did a google search i couldn't find any.
thanks for your advice,
03 March 2005, 09:26 PM
No problem. Like I said, I didn't want to sound like a complete ass, but it'll probably save you some money later.
I'll post some resource links later, and include what MUST HAVE videos/DVD's and books and some forums that have more resources for this kind of thing than here.
Good luck, you'll need it :)
04 April 2005, 08:47 PM
After reading your post and the response from Madmax, I am happy to hear that you are not starting your own business. People who start their own business can't be as impressionable as you seem to be. It sounds to me like you have a dream, go for it. You only live once, and if you judge your future off of what madmax is saying then you will end up spending more time researching your life than living it. I am not suggesting that you should blindly dive into starting a business, but I do suggest making a decesion that is based on your passion and intelligent reasoning.
By the way, you don't need to start a business to distribute business cards. If you "dress for sucess" and convey the image of sucess, you WILL become a sucess.
Talent also helps, but of course you know that!!
04 April 2005, 08:59 PM
You only live once, and if you judge your future off of what madmax is saying then you will end up spending more time researching your life than living it.
With only 4 posts you are certainly building up a reputation for bad advice.
Telling someone to just launch head first into something that is very expensive to do, which they have little to no experience with is absolutely irresponsible.
If learning the field you intend to go into FIRST before investing in it is a bad thing as you seem to think, you have no business giving anyone advice.
04 April 2005, 12:00 AM
I am not sure why you are pulling the "personal attack" card so much, what I said was not a personal attack at all, it was advice that I was giving to someone. That someone was not you. Also, I agree for the most part when you say that you should practice, practice is very important. However, I do feel that you are the reason there is such a negative connotation associated with film school directors. You don't have to be perfect right away, practice makes perfect. The angle of your camera doesn't make you an artist. You are already an artist if you pick the camera up and put a piece of yourself in the project. Expressing your ideas and opinions makes you an artist, not knowing about the array of lighting available to you doesn't matter one bit. Unfortunately there are people like you in the "industry". You will not help, only make the beginners feel more insecure about the project they are producing, or worse of all prevent a young impressionable person from even picking a camera up.
- The number of responses that I have posted matters not this situation, is that some kind of "personal attack"? Clever......
04 April 2005, 02:38 AM
I am not sure why you are pulling the "personal attack" card so much, what I said was not a personal attack at all, it was advice that I was giving to someone.
Just where did I say anything about personal attacks here?
However, I do feel that you are the reason there is such a negative connotation associated with film school directors.
Interesting conclusion on your part considering I only advised against a course of action that can get very expensive when you don't even have the basic knowledge to perform the task. It sounds like you have a grudge against film schools and teachers.
You don't have to be perfect right away, practice makes perfect. The angle of your camera doesn't make you an artist. You are already an artist if you pick the camera up and put a piece of yourself in the project. Expressing your ideas and opinions makes you an artist, not knowing about the array of lighting available to you doesn't matter one bit.
Practice doesn't make perfect. People wash out of the Military because they just can't cut it no matter how hard they try. People drop out of medical school when they can't cut it no matter how hard they want it. Picking up a paint brush doesn't make you an artist and picking up a camera doesn't make you an artist.
And saying that understanding lighting and the various types of lighting doesn't matter one little bit as you claim is nothing short of complete nonsense. Knowing lighting, knowing when to use what type of lighting, wehat types of filters, how to use the right flag or silk and when makes all the difference in looking professional or looking like crap.
Unfortunately there are people like you in the "industry". You will not help, only make the beginners feel more insecure about the project they are producing, or worse of all prevent a young impressionable person from even picking a camera up.
Funny I haven't seen you provide a single bit of help. Your posts seem obsessed with madmax is wrong or don't listen to madmax or madmax is what is wrong with the industry.
Have your little fun, it won't take too many posts for people to realize how useless your responses are.
04 April 2005, 02:40 AM
04 April 2005, 02:26 PM
Funny I haven't seen you provide a single bit of help.
Sorry MadMax, but I'm not sure you are actualy helping digikris by turning his call for help into a personal argument. I think your replies generaly tend to be a bit too harsh even if you're trying to help (I don't deny that) which result in uselsess argument on who gives the best advice. You're acting the same on the thread about fimmaking contest. I beg you, try not to be so nervous and keep this forum clean. Thanks.
To get back on the topic, I agree with the essence of what you said MadMax. Building up a company to begin in the industry is certainly not a good idea. My two cent piece of advice to you digikris would be to buy a small DV camera and shoot, shoot and shoot again. Practice is the best way to learn.
Good luck with your project.
04 April 2005, 03:16 PM
You don't have to be perfect right away, practice makes perfect. The angle of your camera doesn't make you an artist. You are already an artist if you pick the camera up and put a piece of yourself in the project.Unfortunately you're wrong, at least as far as the topic of this thread. The original poster is asking about setting up a company so people can hire him to do video projects. You don't think it matters whether he knows anything or has any experience??? I know that if I hired a company to do a video for me that they sure as hell better know what they're doing. Practice on your own, not on my project-- even if I'm not paying for it-- because my time is valuable, and whether I'm paying for it or not I still want a good final product for all my efforts.
Take another look at the initial post. It wasn't asking about becoming an artist, it was asking about business. And in business, quality counts. (Yes, I'm aware that this is a business that has art aspects to it. But while "picking up a camera..." may make you an artist, it doesn't automatically make you a GOOD one.)
So I agree with MadMax's comments, which basically boil down to: First become someone who's WORTH hiring, THEN start a company. That's not saying "give up and go home," it's saying "use your head" and that's good advice.
04 April 2005, 07:15 PM
in my opinion digikris is thinking in thre right direction. Madmax was right about the skill part, but that wasn't digikris's question. The question was whether or not he should start a company.
As you are no doubt aware, there are certain financial benefits with owning a business vs being just a guy with a camera. I would recommend, Yes, starting the business, If you feel that this is a direction that you want to pursue.
However, before you take the plunge with incorporating, I'd recomend just starting out as a Sole Proprietorship, which in essence is what you'd be doing anyway. In Hawaii its only $20.00 to get a sole proprietor license, wheras its $1000.00 to incorporate. If you don't know what a sole proprietor is, then I'd definately recommend digikris doing more research into the business side of things before proceeding any further.
Which isn't bad advice for the rest of us "artists" out there. Too often I see the emphasis on the art (I saw it all the time in college), with no consideration with what happens after the art has been created.
Spielburg, Lucas, Cameron, Not only are they great ARTISTS, But great businessmen too. There's a reason its called showbiz after all.
My final advice digikris would be that whether you choose to incorporate or not, its ok to learn on other people's projects, (since we all learn from every project we work on) BUT if this rockband is expecting you to be something you're not, you're gonna be in trouble. If its a learning experience for everybody, then hey no problem. You learn so cool stuff, they get a (hopefully) cool video. Everybody wins. However if they expect what you can't deliver, then you're gonna be in trouble.
And finally, Its always a good idea to sit down with all parties involved, and discuss exactly what everybody expects, to make sure everybody is on the same page. Be frank and honest about your skills (however humble or awesome they may be) and if you need help to do what you want done, then don't be afraid to ask for it. Write down what the rock band wants, what you want, what both parties can do for each other and then from this create a contract that everybody agrees on. This way, in case there is trouble later on down the road, there is written proof regarding the problem in question.
04 April 2005, 04:27 AM
Okay... now I realize that I've hardly made any posts in this forum, but I'll try to give some good advice! :) How much of a desire do you REALLY have to make that film or A film? Do you already have a film in your head that you want to make? Or do you just know that you want to make a film? If it's just something that you think you should do because you just want to make a film... what the hell, just go ahead and do it. If you want to make it look somewhat professional, I would suggest you read alot and first work on short films - much like Robert Rodriguez. Making shorts you can learn quite a bit and perhaps develop your own style. Working on shorts and being your own writer, director, producer & editor (plus the multitude of other jobs required) really helps you to understand the things required to make a film.
Just start out slowly - like Igor Sandman said, just buy a small DV camera and start shooting. Write a small script and shoot it. Of course it's not THAT easy since you would ultimately have to break down the short into manageable small parts to film, but that is definitely the way (IMO) to begin.
If you REALLY want to do it, DO IT! Like Captain Spalding said: "It sounds to me like you have a dream, go for it." Practice may not make you perfect, but it will help you to become a better filmmaker. I think that the passion you have for your project will dictate if you can actually do it - but the quality of the final product will come from your artistic talent and abilities. Both of which - with practice - you can improve upon.
Regarding the business end... I pretty much agree with Chadeusmaximus - go with Sole Proprietorship. It's alot easier and cheaper and will allow you to print up business cards with a REAL business name. Although if you really want to incorporate, I believe you can incorporate in Delaware (for ANY State) at http://www.corporate.com/ for as little as $279 - though it depends on what state you live in. I doubt that going this far at this point is cost-effective, but you can if you want to. I would say that if you definitely want to persue this, go the sole proprietor route FIRST and see how well it goes. Then... incorporate.
Best of Luck!
04 April 2005, 04:31 PM
My advice would be to check in depth what the obligations with starting a company is, and if possible find a friend who is into those details. How much will you save on it? If you really know what you're doing, there is not much of a risk with it, however if you don't there is a bigger potential for screwing up paperwork and administration, or having a pro help you with getting it sorted out.
I doubt that it's worth starting a company unless you know for sure that you'll have some income. You'll want to be in a position when people ask you to do paid jobs, and you are sure you can live up to their expectations. In the meantime, as previous posters said, learn and practise.
For your reference, I started a company 2 years ago and it's going well. Before that, however, I had spent about 3 years fulltime within the cg field (2 years employment), plus 5 years in the medical field.
Good luck to you!
04 April 2005, 04:51 PM
Have your little fun, it won't take too many posts for people to realize how useless your responses are.
Or how much of an ass you can be sometimes, MadMax.
05 May 2005, 03:59 AM
Thank you for all of your suggestions. Yes, i did my homework rented a dv camera, lighting and green screen during a weekend. Just spent $200 for the rental. I'm doing editing on my own using FCP5 (just received yesterday). Once the project is done. I will definetly post the link here so that you all can look and critisize about it.
It was very good learning experience interms of lighting and camera work and preparing the logistics. It also gave me a good project management experience and how to organize things. I did extensive research on different types of cameras, formats and what softwares are really compatible with types of camera. I did the project in 24p using Panasonic DVX100 and also with my sony DV tcr20 with CTB filters to create cinematic look. I also applied for license for the song eventhough its for educational purpose, you never know!!! Its a lip-sync project with special effects keyed in green screen.
I'm really excited guys. I think each one of us in the world is a character and we have to just let go the outcome be happy with the forums like this we have to share our knowledge.
I started my own website and one of my lawyer friend is taking care of setting up the company. I still have the movie in mind and i'm concentrating on strong story because i'm planning to shoot the movie in High def Panasonic varicam. The guy who owns it really liked the story and offered to help for a low budget.
Thanks again guys,
05 May 2005, 03:59 AM
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