I’m Terrified to Release My Short Film Online.

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Am I really doing this?!

It’s had its festival run, but now I’m itching to release my short film, ‘Flutter’ online.

The problem? I’m afraid to do it. Maybe it’s silly of me, but I’m worried that releasing my short online will somehow degrade its value. What if people don’t like it? Maybe it will be lost in the sea of better short films or worse, not seen at all. Perhaps putting my short film online means it’s no longer important…

Then again, there are thousands of videos on YouTube and Vimeo that are absolutely wonderful and I’m glad to have been able to see them. As a filmmaker, I learn a great deal from watching these films. There is always something to gain from watching, whether it’s an artist’s experience, more knowledge about film techniques, or just a great watch.

Can a filmmaker find success from posting their films online?

Yes. Many artists and filmmakers alike have been discovered on the Internet. Most recently, Fede Alvarez has been thrust into the limelight both for being found on YouTube with his short film, ‘Panic Attack’, and for being hand picked by Sam Raimi to direct the remake of his cult classic film, ‘The Evil Dead’.

That’s a pretty big deal.

In fact, Alvarez had never directed a horror film or a feature, but Raimi saw enough talent in him to trust him to direct a future blockbuster.

Maybe there’s hope for the rest of us small filmmakers? I really hope so.

Either way, there are still plenty of other reasons why I’m personally afraid to release my short film online, namely the ‘views’.

Viewing counts, total plays, whatever they are called… I think about those stats as a sign of success or failure. Somewhere in the back of my head I am also aware that good or bad promotional tactics affects those numbers. Since I am not an expert in that field, I can only pray for lots and lots of views. Hence, the black and white notion of success or failure.

With social media creating a cyber popularity contest, I feel even more pressure about releasing my film on the web. After all, I want people to see my work and like it, but in order to do that; I need to make myself known on the Internet. Easier said than done.

For those of you out there with lots of followers on various social platforms, I applaud you. I don’t know HOW you do it. Personally, I want people to follow my work because they support what I do. The tricky thing is getting my work and myself visible enough to achieve this.

Yet another struggle an indie filmmaker must face, as if we didn’t just make a film.

There are so many things to consider, but the more I think about it, the more I see that perhaps releasing my short film online is a good thing.

After all, isn’t the point of making visual art for people to see it? If the Internet is my only future platform for my short, than it’s probably what I should use.

Since I also plan on creating a Kickstarter for another short I have written, it may be best for people (perhaps future investors) to see the kind of work I am capable of making.

Furthermore, one view online is one more person I can add to my audience. Surely, that can’t be a bad thing? (Unless it’s a critic, but I am prepared to handle that).

I’m sure there are many filmmakers who struggle with the dilemma of posting their work online, but I think I may finally understand where I stand with it.

So what is my film, ‘Flutter’ about?

A non-linear construction of adolescence. Following the lives of three sisters, the film confronts a young girl’s first experience with heartbreak. Challenged by the implications of first love and loss, it is up to Kaylin and Olivia to get their sister, Lena through this moment in her life. The bond of sisterhood and growing up are at the forefront of this short film.

I plan to release it April 16th via Vimeo and ChelseaLupkin.com.

chelsealogotransChelseaLupkin.com

For Goodness’ Sake, Know How to Edit!

I fool you not!! – Why Indie Filmmakers will take over the world.

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Raceway Park – My friend, Chaz caught me shooting as media on the track at a Club Loose drift event last Saturday… I had a shot list in mind and I was ready to capture footage (sans rig) for my video.

Every member of the production team has been there.  The phrase, “hurry up and wait” comes to mind. But the word ‘wait’ stands alone.

I worked on a big commercial shoot a few years ago where I literally stood for an extra hour and a half because the director thought he should get more coverage than he already had. Trust me, he had enough.

A director who takes and takes and takes… and takes the same shot of a scene over and over again from multiple different angles because he thinks that the more coverage he gets will help the editors at the post production house have an easier time of making a brilliant commercial or movie edit is a lot to handle. See this run-on sentence? It’s like that.

FACE PALM.

This is an example of a director who does not know how to edit. As a freelance editor and someone who has many friends who work at post houses, this situation is daunting. Imagine having to look at 25 takes of an actor’s performance only to have to look at 25 more takes of the same performance from another angle (and maybe 25 more for good measure) and finally having to choose which take is the best fit!

Sure, an editor’s job is to put the shots together and ultimately tell a story in 30 seconds or 2 hours.

And yes, a good director should have as much coverage as possible to ensure that the commercial (or movie) will be a successful campaign and appease the clients and producers.

However, there are too many directors out there who go completely overboard and can’t tell when they’ve gotten the golden shot or need more coverage. They cannot tell the difference between overkill and necessity.

In my opinion, a good director should know how to edit. A director who can envision the whole picture and decide what shots he/she needs to make a good end product is someone worthy of the role ‘Director’… Notice the capital D.

Time and time again, an editor will have to work with the footage a non-editing-director has shot. That editor has a voyage ahead to produce a final cut.  It’s an editing nightmare because that editor has to appease the director, the clients, the production company, producers… you get the idea. Without going into tedious detail of how editing a cut in a post production house works, it’s safe to say that there are a lot of heads to please.

That said, working with a director who knows what their end product or final vision in Final Cut Pro or AVID looks like, is someone you want to work with.

Presumably, a director’s job is to take an idea and make sure that the rest of the team sees the same vision and translates that vision into a cohesive product. A director must be able to convey what he/she is looking for to the Director of Photography. A director must be able to direct talent to embody a script that he/she may or may not have written. A director has to make sure that the clients, sitting in the “video village”, are happy with the commercial as it is being shot.

That said, shouldn’t a director know how to edit? Yes. But, all too often, this is not an actuality.

This frustrates me. Some people would argue that a director is supposed to direct and an editor is supposed to edit. Period. However, if all creative people took the time to learn about each other’s craft, everyone would benefit. No one benefits from ignorance.

Please note that not all of the directors I have worked under are bad at directing. On the contrary, they are all much more experienced and knowledgeable than I am in their art.

I merely would like to suggest that directors should learn how to edit to better their ability to ‘see’ what they need as opposed to prolonging an already long 12-hour production day.

For any aspiring filmmakers out there, there is something to be said about being both a director and editor.

With the revolution of camera availability, namely DSLR’s, indie filmmakers can produce their art and have a hand in editing. This is fantastic! There is a new generation of directors, writers, and cinematographers who have an understanding of how to achieve the perfect final edit. This understanding makes them better at their craft.

What can we all take from this?

Power to the Indie Filmmakers! Patience, we will take over the industry soon enough.

chelsealogotransChelseaLupkin.com