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Oliver Peters
Re: FCPX cutting a hundred million dollar feature right this minute.
on Jan 22, 2014 at 11:56:45 pm

[Gary Huff] "But outside of that, it didn't lead to any continuing career from what I can tell. They are still unknowns and haven't made anything since 2009. Not the career path I would want for myself (except for the money)."

Yes, of course. It's always a gamble. A film I edited well over a decade ago was co-produced and directed by an experienced DGA UPM/1stAD as his debut directing gig. The year before starting pre-prod/prod/post he earned about $119K in salary. The year of making the film, he earned $9K. The film has had countless exposure at festivals, cable TV (including HBO) and other distribution over the years. It has a well-known, but older cast. I doubt the film has yet returned a profit.

[Clint Wardlow] "You can make a full-length indie film for between $2,000 and $6,000. "

I would call that a hobby ;-) The only way you can make a film in that budget is if everything is virtually free. I'm not saying it won't be entertaining. It absolutely can. That just doesn't put it into the same context as what most folks would recognize as a mainstream film. Plus, if there is actual distribution, there are add-ons that folks often don't bother to factor in, like errors & omissions insurance and proper music licensing.

[Marcus Hardy] " it really irks me that people deny the possibilities of making feature films for little to no money. Making references to films over a decade old can hardly be considered "New Media" the world has changed so much since then."

No one is denying the possibilities. It's just that these products are entirely different entities from most filmmaking. When it comes to cost, I'm trying to make a clear distinction between out-of-pocket because you didn't factor the cost of your own services or you got material, talent, space, etc. for free. It's just that if you look at most stories realistically with real money at face value, then the costs are larger than all the low-budget hype suggests.

I see it both ways. I write as a sideline. Both for pay and free (my blog). My uncle when he was alive was a very prolific book author in Germany on topics of history, politics, social satire, etc. But the large bulk of his efforts really just boiled down to vanity publishing. Not something he ever made real money at. I do not mean to be insulting when I compare these films to vanity publishing, but it's really just another version in the modern world. Don't get me wrong. It's great if you have a voice and a passion to do it. But that's different from what others do who make a living at this.

[Marcus Hardy] "you can get actors to work for free,"

Isn't that exactly what we've been talking about?

[Marcus Hardy] "We live in an era where people can own a 4K camera for 4K"

Technology is largely irrelevant. The same options were there when you only had 8mm film. One of the lower-budgeted films I've worked on as a colorist was shot with a Canon 5D in one studio and a couple of sets. Only two actors. Very limited scenarios. The story and the acting worked. I have no idea about cost, but I know that editing, music/mix and grading was out-of-pocket for the filmmaker, yet I can't imagine this whole film was super expensive. Yet, it's played well in international film festivals, thanks to the actors.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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