Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by (output started at /home/ardentpictures/ardentpics.com/index.php:4) in /home/ardentpictures/ardentpics.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-e-commerce/wpsc-core/wpsc-constants.php on line 19

Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent (output started at /home/ardentpictures/ardentpics.com/index.php:4) in /home/ardentpictures/ardentpics.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-e-commerce/wpsc-core/wpsc-constants.php on line 19

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/ardentpictures/ardentpics.com/index.php:4) in /home/ardentpictures/ardentpics.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-e-commerce/wpsc-core/wpsc-functions.php on line 1573
Secrets of Indie Filmmaking

All posts in Secrets of Indie Filmmaking

Indie Inspiration: Dog Day Afternoon

Today’s Indie Inspiration: Dog Day Afternoon.

There are a number of good reasons to see the film: the excellent screenplay by Frank Pierson; the performances by Al Pacino, John Cazale and Charles Durning, to name only three of several great ones; and Sidney Lumet‘s direction, which is truly masterful. It’s an undisputed classic, and its core virtues provide invaluable lessons for independent filmmakers.

Continue Reading →

Secrets of Indie Filmmaking: Talking Equipment II

Photo: Samantha Swan

Talking Equipment.

In our last post Talking Equipment, we focused on equipment that can add a great deal of value to your shoot without costing an arm and a leg. As I stated last time, independent or new filmmakers often obsess over equipment… and for some puzzling reason, it always seems to be for the camera. I don’t think any indie filmmaker has ever said to me, “My God, look at that microphone!” And they should. Why? Because if you’re working an an ultra low-budget independent film, you won’t have the sound department a big-budget feature film has. You are going to have a lean and mean equipment list and a mean and lean crew list. (And I’m not saying that because you don’t feed them. But more on that hornet’s nest in a future post.)

So, on Sound.

Continue Reading →

Secrets of Indie Filmmaking: Talking Equipment

Photo: Christopher Comrie on location in Mexico by Samantha Swan

Generally on this blog, we have confined our discussions to the creative: posts about who and what can inspire indie filmmakers; storytelling concerns; directing techniques, et cetera, and all through an independent or low-budget or micro-budget independent filmmaking lens. In other words, we have tried to not make it yet another indie film post talking equipment.

Oh God, the ongoing fascination with equipment.

Cameras in particular. I don’t know what it is, but it seems I can’t attend a film Q&A without being asked “What did you shoot it on?” And if I’m one of the people in the audience, the camera question is one I always hear.

I’m not completely unsympathetic. It is understandable, if you are about to make your first film or a feature that has been put together on a wing and a prayer, held together by chewing gum, that you really want to check in with others of your ilk. “What equipment do you have? What did you shoot it on?” But those questions are often actually stand-ins for the panic-stricken “What is enough? Do I have enough to do this? I can’t possibly have enough!” And let’s face it, equipment is tangible. It’s much easier, and in some cases reassuring, to go to an equipment rental house or vendor and stand around talking cameras and tripods and lights. You can touch them.  You can’t lean across the counter, caressing a stack of paper, saying “I’m not confident in my third act.” Well, you can, but all it would yield would be blank looks.
Continue Reading →