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How does one make locations look good?

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ryan elder
How does one make locations look good?
on Oct 27, 2018 at 9:06:47 am

For my next project I would like to make the locations and the production design look really good, since I didn't feel they looked that good in my previous works. I thought maybe I should just spend the money and hire a killer production designer, if I have to, or will that not do any good, since I am forced to rent real locations, which I am not allowed to paint or alter in anyway pretty much?

In that case, what do you do to get locations look good?


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Rick Wise
Re: How does one make locations look good?
on Oct 27, 2018 at 5:46:17 pm

Ryan, here's a suggestion: Before you post ANYTHING more, put up links to videos you have actually completed.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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ryan elder
Re: How does one make locations look good?
on Oct 27, 2018 at 6:19:24 pm

Sure, I can do that, but I did that before on here though, and perhaps no one has seem them? Or where should I post them?


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Rick Wise
Re: How does one make locations look good?
on Oct 27, 2018 at 6:59:37 pm

Right here.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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ryan elder
Re: How does one make locations look good?
on Oct 27, 2018 at 8:15:44 pm

Sure, here are a few links to some of what I have done so far, and I have a current project being edited and underway:



















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ryan elder
Re: How does one make locations look good?
on Oct 27, 2018 at 9:33:54 pm

I forgot, I should have stated a warning for violent and sexual content.


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Gary Huff
Re: How does one make locations look good?
on Oct 29, 2018 at 3:38:42 am

[ryan elder] "In that case, what do you do to get locations look good?"

Hire a set designer.


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ryan elder
Re: How does one make locations look good?
on Oct 29, 2018 at 3:56:56 am

Okay thanks, but I tried that before, and they said that they cannot make real locations look near as good, cause I have no control. The location owners will not allow me to repaint for example, so the set designer said they wouldn't be able to do much good if they can't control the color.


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Mark Suszko
Re: How does one make locations look good?
on Oct 29, 2018 at 3:55:36 pm

Before you hire a production designer, hire a DP with lighting gear and experience. A lot of your footage needs better and more consistent lighting technique, and lighting that enhances the mood you're trying to create. Some of this can be adjusted a bit in post with better color grading, but it's not a miracle cure.

I know this is hard on a micro budget, but lighting and sound are two things you just can't afford to skimp on. They're fundamentals.


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ryan elder
Re: How does one make locations look good?
on Oct 29, 2018 at 10:12:37 pm

Okay thanks. I got a lot of good sound equipment, but I can't be behind the camera and operating the boom and the mixer at the same time time of course, so I need someone else to be behind the camera, so I can operate the audio equipment.

I have been trying to find a really good DP but they have been hard to find in my experience. I was told by someone at my film school that I should just hire one from the DGC (Director's Guild of Canada), and even though they are a lot more money, it's worth it.

But I looked it up and a DP from the DGC is actually quite a bit of money and it will eat through future budgets for sure. So do you think that it's the only way to get what you pay for, or are their other organizations to find cheaper DPs willing to do cheaper projects?


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Mark Suszko
Re: How does one make locations look good?
on Oct 29, 2018 at 11:37:34 pm

You could ask the guild if you could job shadow a real DP or take an internship of some kind as an unpaid grip, and just observe what the pro does. Remarkable how much you can pick up by observing and osmosing.


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ryan elder
Re: How does one make locations look good?
on Oct 30, 2018 at 12:31:44 am

Okay thanks, but I still need people to help and I can't wear all the hats can I? I mean I'm already director and production sound mixer and editor most of the time, so shouldn't I leave the DP to another hat, rather than take on that one too?


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ryan elder
Re: How does one make locations look good?
on Oct 30, 2018 at 1:25:49 am

It's just I have these other projects coming up I am directing as well, and don't really have time or the money to go another city and get an unpaid job learning, when I don't even want to be a DP, and would rather just stick to director and editor to build towards. So therefore, shouldn't I still look for, an hire another DP?


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Mark Suszko
Re: How does one make locations look good?
on Oct 30, 2018 at 3:52:21 am

blah blah blah, can't do this, can't do that; you are freaking Hamlet over here. Always with an excuse not to do something. It's trolleriffically boring. Look, I've always tried to cheer new people on and encourage them. I try to be diplomatic and supportive, to a fault, and I try to keep my criticism constructive... Others here have, too. You just keep throwing it back in our faces.

I think you're in love with the *idea* of being a film maker, but the way you go about all of this, it's never going to go anywhere for you, not with your attitude...

You reject opportunities to learn the craft, then wonder why your projects come out... the way they do.

You ask for advice, then never take it, always whining back with an excuse why you can't apply it.

You claim you study film; you throw around random tech and historical references, but never seem try to apply the most basic, straightforward techniques, because, I don't know, they're boring or too obvious or something, you're claiming you're trying to challenge and improve yourself, but won't learn the basics and get them solid first...? You only want to be avant-garde or something.

I recommend some time-out to deeply, deeply re-assess your life choices. Get counseling. Maybe try welding school.

(His next reply will, true to form, go something like: "Okay, thanks... what kind of counselor should I go see, and should they know something about film? I don't want to research the difference between a psychoanalyst and a therapist, because Google isn't a thing; can someone lay it out for me? Do they have to be local, or are they better in Toronto or Quebec? I can't afford to go to those places, by the way, because reasons, but thought I should ask anyway, just so I can get you to say sure, go, whatever, and then say I can't afford to go to them. Though I'll then deny I don't have money... never said I don't have money... I have plenty of money, I just can't spend any of it on the basic things I need for the job, because I might not have enough for the exotic and inappropriate thing I want to buy and use in the wrong way, that has nothing to do with the job at hand, and would actually ruin the entire project, and I don't want to rent the exotic thing I totally can so afford, because that's too hard and I can't manage the timing, because my volunteers control my schedule... but I'm pushing ahead with more productions, even though my current ones aren't finished...that way I have an excuse not to start the new thing AND not to finish the old thing, at the same time... I was told I was unresponsive to advice and counseling, so maybe I should just keep going in circles, doing what has not been working for me, yet again, instead? But I've always done that clockwise; is there a professional reason to do it counter-clockwise, and does that still hold valid when I shoot in Australia? Because I'm not going to Australia. But I wanted a professional opinion on it. My friends say Tasmania is cooler though. Except in the summer. Does it matter if the counselor has one of those fainting couches, or can I sit in a regular chair? Should the chair be ergonomic? In case I have back problems? I don't. Have back problems, that is. But I thought I'd ask, just so that once you spend time answering that, I can say it didn't matter... and then I'll stand, or I'll maybe get one of those big, bouncy inflated ball chair things, but what color should it be, because I think that's really important to my process... Should I watch movies with psychiatrists in them, before the counseling, to get a perspective on the process? And which ones from obscure directors would be best? Or should I just go to the local Timmies and chat up the counterman over Timbits and coffee? (Which coffee? Because I wanna talk at length about the coffee choices, then tell you I don't drink it, I actually drink tea. Or more accurately, KambuCha, which I ferment at home, but it doesn't come out tasting professional, despite me not following the brewing instructions I got from three different Kambucha forums and using a bean tin for the fermentation cell; I want to be a trail-blazer of Kombucha, so I throw in different things to make experimental infusions, and I don't know why the last guy to drink some of it was hospitalized, I didn't have the money to go to the hospital to ask him and find out... okay, I *did* have hospital money, but something about the lime Jello there was just bugging me, it's not pro enough...The Tim Horton's countermen are.. they're like, kind of like a bartender, and bartenders listen to people and give advice, right? At least they do in movies. Or maybe Dunkin Donuts would be better? I could go to one in Toronto... but my car isn't up to the trip, I really want a Lotus Esprit to make that trip, but I'm saving up for a Maybach with snow tires in front and duallies on the back. The car I use, after I didn't listen to the guy at the garage, I took two wheels off, so technically, it would be a motorcycle, but it doesn't handle like the Ducati's at the track do, I don't know if it's my technique, maybe I can send you a video of that for analysis....would YouTube be good enough for that, or should I use Vimeo for higher quality? I don't know why you people refuse to help me by taunting me with advice I asked for but refuse to take. Hey, do you smell burnt toast, all of a sudden?" )

(falls on floor, frothing and spasming. Nobody reacts.)


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Bouke Vahl
Re: How does one make locations look good?
on Oct 30, 2018 at 8:12:09 am

Hey Mark,
Glad you took the effort.
(Tried to flag troll myself a couple of times but that seemed without effect.)
Do note that I got posts pulled for way less, but I totally agree, and hope this one stays!

Bouke
http://www.videotoolshed.com


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ryan elder
Re: How does one make locations look good?
on Oct 30, 2018 at 11:23:22 am

Okay thanks, you're right. It's just I was going to start a new a short film and look for a DP, but wonder if I should delay it now, to learn from a DP instead.


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ryan elder
Re: How does one make locations look good?
on Oct 30, 2018 at 11:25:05 am

I also find it would very difficult to be DP, director, and production sound mixer all at the same time if I have to be. How do other filmmakers do it?


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Gary Huff
Re: How does one make locations look good?
on Oct 29, 2018 at 5:26:20 pm

[ryan elder] "Okay thanks, but I tried that before, and they said that they cannot make real locations look near as good, cause I have no control. "

Then they weren't actually set designers.


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