[tig] How to Become a Successful Filmmaker

Jeff Booth jeff.booth
Mon Jun 9 12:46:14 BST 2003

Found this on the DS list.  Thought it was funny.

How to Become a Successful Filmmaker

It seems as if everyone who gets a computer and owns a camera toys with the
idea of making a movie at some time. The plain truth is that films come and
go with alarming regularity. A few stick around, but for every one that
reaches its second birthday, five will appear and vanish. Here are a few
simple tips to insure that your effort at making a movie places you in the

PINCH  PENNIES -  You spent thousands on shooting. It's silly to spend more
than $100 on an editing program. You might even find one for free. After
all, if cheap is good, free must be better. Be sure to shop for a
rock-bottom price on a post shop, too.  It doesn't  matter if no one ever
heard of them before...they will before you are through.

SCHIZOPHRENIA IS THE ORDER OF THE DAY - Keep 'em guessing. Try at least a
dozen different formats and tape speeds. That will keep post on their toes.
You wouldn't want to be predictable. Change things around constantly...
timecode, audio channels, gamma, the color balance from section to section.
You really don't like it when the online is easy anyway.

SPEAKING  OF  BEING  PREDICTABLE - Only be available part time. And change
your availability frequently. Part of the adventure of post is to keep the
facilities guessing. Pick strange hours: noon to 3 pm Tuesday and Thursday,
6 am to noon Monday, Wednesday and  Friday, Midnight to 6 am weekends,
except national  holidays and the third Tuesday in September.

DON'T WASTE MONEY ON OFFLINE - You don't need it for such a brilliant movie.
It will put itself together.

movie. So what if you like the lattes better across town! The backers can
just cough up a little more.

BE RUDE TO EVERYBODY IN POST - They're all schmucks who don't know anything.
You don't have to be polite to them. Do your best Sam Kinison imitation when
they ask questions.  Call them names and make fun of them because they don't
know all about Kurosawa and
German Expressionism and such. After all, you know everything about them...
don't  you?  Dump them in mid-session because they take too long to comp in
your cameo...or just because you want to look important.

MAKE IT A DELIGHTFUL MAZE - Make lists so complex that a PhD couldn't find
his way around your edit. Hide files on computers without internet access,
and with obscure names and RT-11 codes. While you're at it, use several
different frame rates to test the online editor. Then complain bitterly when
you're still digitizing after a half-day.

Follow these simple rules and I can guarantee you will join the vast
majority of films that fade into the sunset within months or even weeks of

Does  all  of this sound like a lot of work?  You're  right.  It takes a lot
of effort to become a successful filmmaker. But the rewards of meeting new
people, making new  friends,  seeing other points of view, make it all


Soho Images Film Laboratory Digital Post, 8 - 14 Meard Street, London W1F 0EQ
tel: (+44) 020 7437 0831  fax: (+44) 020 7734 9471 web: http://www.sohoimages.com
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