Green Screen Cinema Filmmaking for the 21st century

Free Film School, Chapter 6

Sunday, May 11 2008 @ 08:14 PM UTC
Contributed by: Jimbo
Views: 6,109
Free Film SchoolBefore we get into the nitty gritty of professional film production I'd like to spend a little more time talking about your career. How much money are you going to make? Are you going to have a nice house? Or will you be living off government cheese? So much of this depends on where you start out and what you strive for. If you are primarily interested in money you should probably head straight for a hedge fund and forget about this film thing. But if you have a love of the cinema then you are probably wondering what your life is going to be like pursuing that one great love. Let's start at very the beginning, as Julie Andews was wount to say. Let's look at some origin stories.

We'll start with a quick tour through Alpha Cine, where I got my first big break.

You've probably never heard of Alpha Cine, but it's the one lab in the northwest that regularly handles 35mm film. By some miracle I was allowed to intern in their breakdown and check department my junior year in high school. I "broke down" 16mm and 35mm prints that came out of the lab (into the individual reels that had been ordered by filmmakers). My boss at the time said I would probably handle more film at Alpha Cine than I would at film school (and he was right). It was a great introduction to the post production process. It also convinced me that I absolutely did not want to break down film for a living.

Why do I call a lowly lab job my big break? It did one very important thing for me that still serves me to this day; it introduced me to the parts of the business that exist outside theatrical production. It turned out that the lab did most of its business with corporate and educational clients. When I finally moved to L.A. I encountered the fuzzy skepticism that many industry people have toward this kind of work. As if you were nuts for doing it. As if the world ends right after the Paramount lot on Melrose.

It took me many years to realize that if you keep driving down Melrose you eventually hit downtown.