Most people when they start out in film are handed a PO book and never shown how to fill one in properly – nor does anyone explain what the PO’s are actually used for or why they are important. I hope to shed a little bit of light on this subject, once again in the hope that a few more people will get this right and slightly lessen the stress and aggravation in the accounts department (including my own).
I thought I would start with why they are important, as I know that for some people understanding why they have to follow a process makes them more likely to actually follow it…
Once the film is shot the journey is far from over. The post production process can be both miraculous and heart breaking. It is an opportunity to reinvent your story, to change things around if necessary and really play with the footage you have. A chance to tweak things and highlight details to give the film nuance. But without the right team guiding you through the process – and making the process work seamlessly – post production can be a nightmare that a number of filmmakers get trapped in.
Luckily on Restoration we had an amazing Post Production team led by our incredible editor Edward Sampson. In this post we hear a bit about the editorial process alongside one of the critical make-or-break areas, particularly for a film like Restoration, the grade with our colourist Gerard Ward.
A huge thank you also to the team at Digital Post – everyone should do post there if they can it is a wonderful environment.
In order for a character to be truly great they have to be ‘coloured’ in a way that speaks to who they are. The make-up and costume are critical elements for this, and sometimes their importance can be over looked. Many actors have said that the right costume and make-up help them to get into their role. For Restoration there were a few interesting challenges in these departments – the period costuming, the sinister guy in the painting, and an artist covered in paint for parts of the film. Celeste, our make-up artist and Amber, our costume designer, give us some insights into creating characters looks.
Working in accounts in film you tend to notice people making the same mistakes over and over again. In an attempt to try and get more information out about how accounts need things, and also to give those people starting in the industry a basic understanding, I have put together this post.
The first and probably most crucial thing to understand is that nothing can happen instantly. We are here to help and will certainly endeavour to get you things when you need them, but we have processes that need to be followed and our systems tend to be tedious, laborious and involve numerous signatories before we can make a payment.
Remember that we not only have to adhere to the instructions of the Producers but also the rules set out by the studio (or financiers) that are essentially paying everyones wages. On top of that we also have to follow tax law. When we ask for something a certain way, its not because we are trying to piss you off, its because it is a requirement of one of these organisations. The quicker you deliver us what we need the quicker we can make payment – everybody wins.
In this post we explore the aspects generally considered the Producer’s territory. At times I found that most break downs of a shoot covered all the cool fun aspects but never the nitty gritty of how things got made. Because I didn’t just want to generate a ramble for this post I got Aliesha, an upcoming Producer and our Production Assistant on the film to write questions for me that other people in her position would be keen to hear the answers to. I hope this helps…
But first a big thank you has to go to Michelle and Nick from Short and Sharp, our Executive Producers and to the NZFC for giving us a chance to make a film with funding! Continue reading →
At the heart of any great film is a visionary, a champion who leads and guides every aspect to become a cohesive whole. For Restoration that was Tim Tsiklauri. Tim combines a collaborative spirit with a clear vision, taking on the ideas that work but still ensuring that the film has a clear focus.
Of course also critical to a films success are solid performance from the cast. We were incredibly lucky in Restoration to have stellar performances from our cast Milo Cawthorne and Alistair Browning. In this post we hear from Tim about his vision from the film, as well as his approach to the performance and also from Milo on his thoughts about the film.
The Art Department is one of those departments that is usually forgotten about on lower budget films. I have worked on many projects that don’t have separate people for the department, or that don’t schedule in things like prep time for sets to be dressed. Of course a lot of this comes down to the time and resources available to you but there is something magical about the art department. They make the impossible possible and visions tangible. We were incredibly lucky for Restoration to have the incredibly experienced Lyn Bergquist as our Production Designer. In this post he delves into, in his own words, ‘the nightmare world of Art Department…’
When making Restoration the script was our greatest asset. Not only did it inspire Short and Sharp to shortlist us for financing, but it helped us to hook our incredibly talented cast and crew. I believe this comes down to how well crafted the script was, not just in relaying the story but by painting such a vivid (and a times chilling) picture for the reader. Below I have Tim and Luke break down how they collaborated to create the blueprint for the film.
With Tropfest 2015 happening this weekend I thought it would be good to share what we learnt from making Tropfest 2014 winner ‘Help’. We made the short in six days from concept to completion, with no money and a lot of passion. So a year later we have had time to reflect on both what we think made the film successful and how some success can ‘help’ propel you forward. Continue reading →