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Trying to produce a fantasy feature film in middle school is hard

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  • Trying to produce a fantasy feature film in middle school is hard

    After a long and dragging 8-month preproduction stage, we finally started filming in October. But seeing as I am 13, as is most of crew, we have only gotten 4 scenes filmed, out of 100 some we need to get filmed! (I just filmed three of said scenes today, when I finally got the first chance to film since OCTOBER!!!)

    With school, and living in a place that has nasty weather, and trying to organize everything, finding out where everyone will be and when, and when they will be around, and saving up pocket change...you can understand that things are going very slowly for me. Not to mention that I am the writer, director, producer, DP, and the editor. That doesn't make anything much easier.

    Do any of you guys have any advice for me? How I could speed things up, how I could make some extra cash, discipline methods for obnoxious actors??? Help!

  • #2
    I assume you have already made a number of short films before embarking on this project? How did you get things done when you made those? Do the same thing, just more :-)

    If you haven't been making tons of short films (preferably with this crew you are working with), I highly suggest you shelf the feature film and start doing some shorts.

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    • #3
      I've probably made 2,000 short films in my life! Thing is, I didn't take filmmaking quite so seriously as I do now for the majority of my life...

      My more recent short films are better, but even THOSE are hard work. I recently have made a short fantasy epic, and a western short for a festival. But I cut down the crew size a lot when I make those short films, because trying to get the crew all in one place at one time is challenge at my age.

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      • #4
        Hi Bryce,

        Yes, short films are a lot of hard work, and feature films (by virtue of being much longer) are much more hard work. I realize that this isn't the answer to the question you asked in this thread, but I just wonder: Do you think that even if you are able to get the feature finished that it will be up to your standard of quality? It sounds to me like you have been in production since October and only had two shooting days. That and your question about disciplining obnoxious actors make me think your cast and crew just may not be up to the challenge of a feature right now. And are you sure your own skills are where they need to be?

        The great majority of film school students go through the whole program without making a feature (or often a film longer than like 15 minutes for that matter). Why? Because it's a lot more helpful to people who are learning to make a lot of movies and get progressively better than spend a lot of time on one long movie.

        A well made short is going to impress people a lot more than a poorly made feature.

        I hope you don't think I'm trying to discourage you, but I just want to make sure you are concentrating on the right things to further your eventual film making career.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Vance Baryn View Post
          Hi Bryce,

          Yes, short films are a lot of hard work, and feature films (by virtue of being much longer) are much more hard work. I realize that this isn't the answer to the question you asked in this thread, but I just wonder: Do you think that even if you are able to get the feature finished that it will be up to your standard of quality? It sounds to me like you have been in production since October and only had two shooting days. That and your question about disciplining obnoxious actors make me think your cast and crew just may not be up to the challenge of a feature right now. And are you sure your own skills are where they need to be?

          The great majority of film school students go through the whole program without making a feature (or often a film longer than like 15 minutes for that matter). Why? Because it's a lot more helpful to people who are learning to make a lot of movies and get progressively better than spend a lot of time on one long movie.

          A well made short is going to impress people a lot more than a poorly made feature.

          I hope you don't think I'm trying to discourage you, but I just want to make sure you are concentrating on the right things to further your eventual film making career.
          thanks for the tips. unfortunately, i have already spent hundreds of dollars and gotten too many people involved to go back on this film. on a brighter note, our two shooting days HAVE gone quite well. and what we HAVE gotten done is pretty quality work! it's just moving a bit too slow for my taste. and believe me, if I had replacements for those actors, I'd get rid of them in a heart beat. :)

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