Home
NEW TODAY
SCRIPT CONTESTS
FREE EVENTS
WATCH MOVIES
NEW MOVIES
FESTIVAL VIDEOS
PICTURES
READ POETRY
MOVIE SCENES
SUBMIT your FILM
POETRY CONTEST
DAILY PODCASTS
WATCH FREE FILMS
THE LAST RITE
2010 MOVIES
ACTORS
ACTRESSES
DIRECTORS
MOVIES by YEAR
FILM FRANCHISES
MOVIE GENRES
NOTES and IDEAS
WATCH VIRAL
GET OUR E-ZINE!
CONTACT US
TOP 100 Sex
FAQ
2011 MOVIES

Subscribe To This Site
XML RSS
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines
 

Marc Beurteaux Blog
June 12th/2007

Marc Beurteaux Talks About Enlisting Crew


Last Friday, a few minutes before the deadline, I got my grant application package in. I passed some other filmmakers dropping their grants off. Most of these filmmakers had bigger grant packages. I felt a little under-gunned. Of course, it's not the size of your package that gets you the grant, it's how hard you ram your ideas into whoever reads it that counts.

Anyway, enough about grants. Now I start wrangling my crew. I met with my props and sets guy yesterday who is just amazing to work with. He's one of those super talented people who's done everything. This guy even charges me like a third of the actual cost. I kinda' wonder why he's working with a little independent animator like myself? Maybe he likes building the wacky crap I come up with? Or maybe he likes it when I say I'll pay him and actually do - which is a pretty rare thing with some productions.

WATCH MARC BEURTEAUX'S AWARD WINNING FILM: ROBOTA

A lot of the time when you work on small productions you get offered one of three things from the filmmaker:
    1. I can't pay you now but when my grant comes in I'll pay you then. (if the grant comes in of course)
    2. I can't pay you now but when I do my multi-million dollar TV show you'll be on the crew (yeah, sure)
And everyone's favourite:
    3. I can't pay you now or ever - you should just be happy to work for an incredible genius like myself. (this one's more common than you would think)


Sometimes when a filmmaker does get some money s/he gets kind of giddy and wastes it on stuff like "research trips" and high-priced food services. Then they run out of money, and you don't get paid! @#!$&!!?!

However, if you're new to the business, working for free is good for experience. As long as you're learning skills it's not a waste of time. You just have to know when to bail from a production. I think the most telling sign to leave is when you are working your ass off yet you can't pay the rent. Time to walk and find a paying gig.

Some filmmakers will just keep using free talent, one after the other, to produce their project. There's plenty of kids fresh out of school who are just stoked to be on a production - any production, doing anything. I know - that's how I started my career. It was fine until I needed money. Ultimately, I figured if I was going to be poor I might as well make my own films and at least have something to show for my suffering.

One thing a lot of filmmakers do, who don't have much money, is to barter skills. For instance, Neil Exall who did the music for my last film ROBOTA has a really cool band called The Mercurymen. So Neil does my film's music and I do a music video for his band - deal. It still doesn't pay the rent for either of us, but then if we wanted to make dough we would become defense contractors for the Armed Forces instead. No-bid contracts are cash cows.


Anyway, so the wheeling and dealing with my crew starts. A lot of the crew I can put on hold as I won't need them until post. That's a good thing about being an independent animator - I can build puppets, basic sets and props, light scenes, set up, shoot and rough edit my footage myself at my home studio. This keeps costs way down, but it puts a lot of pressure on me. It also takes massive amounts of time (which makes working a day job near impossible). Luckily, I have a very, very understanding spouse. I owe her everything and then some.

However, that's the price I pay for not having much money to do what I do. I've learnt that if I'm going to pour money into something it's going to be the final picture cut, colour correction, professional sound effects and sound mixing - let the professionals do those things. But, at the end of the day, faced with these expenses, one nagging thought is at the back of my mind - maybe my grant application package should've been a little bigger, just to be on the safe side.

return from Marc Beurteaux Blog to Marc's Home Page

Google
 


footer for marc beurteaux page