Re: Answers/Suggestions

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Posted by Michael Raben at on February 21, 2001 at 01:38:13:

In Reply to: Aspireing Film/Video Makers? posted by FizzyFloppyFoo on February 20, 2001 at 13:05:16:

: ... How did you get started?

Kevin and Scott met at the Vancouver Film School and worked on a short film together (Mae Day: The Crumbling of a Documentary). Some would consider THAT the beginning. 'Clerks' originated as a series of comedic short bits that Kevin wrote while working at the Quick Stop; some might call THAT the beginning. Still others would consider 'Clerks' itself the beginning. It's all arguable and not really worth the paragraph I devoted to it, and not really relevant to what you'll choose to be your first marquee project.

: I am 17..I am a month short of graduating...the best products I have been able to turn out were music videos.
: All of that said, my question is this... Where can I go from here.

First, you should really love what you're doing, because mose independent film/video makers spend years NOT GETTING PAID and having NO REAL SUCCESS in the entertainment business. You're going to spend a bunch of time, money and effort on projects that probably won't be worth much in the short term. Now, ALL THAT notwithstanding, here are some possible routes if you want to get into the business:

1) School. Not just film school, mind you. Don't take this the wrong way, but you're young, nobody's going to take you seriously and you'll know tons more about life, the world, creating investment documents for a film project, etc. in 5 years than you do now.
2) Ground Floor Work. If you're dead set on getting into the business NOW, you might consider doing PA work. It'll be shit work and you might not even get paid, but you'll meet people, learn the processes, etc.
3) Practice Your Craft. Keep doing your videos on the side. Try different things, learn post-Fx programs so that you can jazz-up your projects. Shoot on higher-grade video (3/4", Hi-8, DV, etc.) Use this to build a nice reel of material. You can use this reel later on to get more work or raise money for a bigger budget project.

There are some other options too, if you put your mind to exploring what's going on around you.

: I was considering technical school as a possibility but have no idea where to look for one. The guidance counselors are good when it comes to standard carrers, advertising, doctor, lawyer, that type of thing. But when it comes to the creative arts, they are clueless.

Either you're not talking to the right people or you're not explaining yourself properly. Funny how both these things are an ingrown aspect of the entertainment business already. So keep looking; you're obviously on the 'Net, so keep at it. Nobody here is going to do the work for you. Research your options and decide what's best for you.

: Another question is this... I have a lot of great ideas for short videos. This sceen, that sceen, but have yet to find a way to incorperate them all. I would like to make a feature length movie but am having trouble staying focused long enough to write anything longer than 5 or 10 minute skits.

I'm not sure if there's a question here, but let's be realistic: by your own admission, you can't stay focused on the idea of a feature. That's not a bad thing; it's actually impressive that you can define what you want to be working on. So work within the creative realm that you work best. Short films and videos are very popular and there are plenty of avenues for exposure on the internet and at film festivals around the world.

: Are there any carrers for music video writers/editors?


: Does anyone have any suggegstions on how to turn 10 minute skits into
: feature lenght movies?

Find a creative collaborator.

: Where does one go to start out as an "indie film maker"?

Wherever and whenever you decide it is. Your focus determines your reality (allright, I kited that from SW1, so sue me).

: What entry level jobs are there and what are the pre-requisites?

PAs and Assistants in general run the gamut. Some positions require a legitimate resume, others just want people who work hard and are dependable.

Hope this all helps. This kind of thing is always a daunting task, but if were easy, everyone'd be doing it.

Michael Raben

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