Sunday, April 4, 2010

Shooting low budget, indie films

Some of the best films made, are indie's.

No matter where you are, regardless of the budget, unless the entire cast & crew is your family and dearest friends or people who owe you  their life in favors-
treat the project as if it is union.
No, you wont be able to pay the going union rate, but, know that a fair rate can be determined by percentage of budget.
Yes, it's true that studio jobs do not pay by percentage to individuals, they pay a percentage by dept.
In indie you have fewer people working much harder accomplishing what you need to get the story told, with less on set, down time. 
The lowest paid, the P.A.'s,  deserve at least slightly more than min. wage.  Multiply their hourly by 14 as they will most likely be working at least 12 hour days. 
Make sure every meal is served at exactly 6 hours in, have a 2nd meal for the few times you go over 12 hours. Feed people well, do not skimp on food.
Only go over 12 hours once in every 20 days or so of shooting &
pay overtime.
If someone has done a great job, be sure they are aware that you will give them a good reference if they ever need it. 
Treat people with decency and respect, whether they are union or not.
Because many people in Los Angeles follow these basic, common sense type guidelines, it's pretty easy to get a combination of experienced and newbie crew for an independent film.  In New Orleans, a lot of the indie projects were produced by people who came here solely to take advantage of the tax credit. They weren't interested in finishing the film or having a great product~ they got their tax credit returned and moved on. They notoriously treated their crew like absolute shit, working them well over 12, 13, 14, even 17 hour days without proper turn around time. So now, it's very difficult to find anyone with the slightest bit of experience that could even day play on a studio backed picture to consider being a key on an indie. People have been burnt and they are over it.

We're bringing in people from L.A. and Miami. 


Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I wish I had the time/money to just come help out. I'd love to be on my first set and have the chance to work with & learn from you.


beFrank said...

Have fun. Enjoy. I wish I was shooting in New Orleans. Maybe next year for me.

Thomai said...

Well Brian, if you're here I hope it's to shoot GOOD news....otherwise, I hope you wont have a reason to be here. lol

When was the last time you were in NOLA ?