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Re: FCPX cutting a hundred million dollar feature right this minute.

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Oliver Peters
Re: FCPX cutting a hundred million dollar feature right this minute.
on Jan 22, 2014 at 3:21:40 pm

I have to take exception with the "movie in your living room for under $50K" (cost of a DB) idea. It simply is more a wish than a reality. All of the films I've worked on as an editor, online editor and colorist all fit into the low budget indie category. Over the years, the cost of producing these has come down, but it's not because it has become cheaper to make them. It's because it's harder to find adequate financing.

What used to be produced for $500K-$1M in the 90s have become projects that today are in the $150K to $200K range. In both cases, none of these budgets would even have been possible without considerable incentives, in-kind services, deferrals, freebees, favors and outright begging. When you do a real budget for a standard, dialogue-driven indie (figure a 20-30 day shoot), non-union everything, you will be hard-pressed to come in under $800K and that's with a lot of industry-standard discounts (like 3-day week rentals). This includes prod, post, sets, cast, music, etc.

The true talent is on the part of the producer who can pull off a larger look for $150K total, but that same producer can never go back to the same folks and ask for the same deal on the next project. Movies almost never make money, so deferrals almost never get paid. It's either a labor of love or you have to recognize that you've become a de facto investor in someone else's project.

The usual examples that are held up are Rodriguez's first film and "The Blair Witch Project". Neither one of those efforts would have ever seen the light of day if the studios hadn't paid for a significant amount of additional post after the project was picked up. The odds of that happening to the average small filmmaker are like winning the lottery and getting struck by lightning at the same time.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL

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