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<P><H1>Version 3.2</H1>

<P>Compiled and Maintained<BR> by<BR><BR>
<FONT SIZE=+1>Benjamin Craig<BR>
<A HREF=""></A></FONT><BR> <BR><BR>

<P><H2>PART 3 OF 4</H2></CENTER>

<P><HR WIDTH=400 ALIGN=center>


<p><b>&copy Copyright Benjamin Craig, 1994 - 96. All Rights Reserved.</b></center>

<p>Permission is granted for reproduction, distribution, transmission, or storage of this FAQ for non-commercial
purposes only and on the condition that the contents are not modified in any way. Commercial use and/or distribution 
of this document is strictly forbidden with prior written consent from the copyright holder.  Educational use of this 
document is allowed subject to the above mentioned conditions and the requirement to notify the copyright holder 
before any such use is undertaken.

<h3><p align=center>DISCLAIMER</h3>

<P>Whilst every effort has been made to maintain the accuracy of information provided in this FAQ, the
author cannot accept any moral or legal liability for inaccurate or outdated information contained within. 
Furthermore, certain information presented in this FAQ is based on the opinions and experiences of the author
only, and cannot be taken to be legally binding.  Trademarks referred to in this document are noted as such,
and are used without permission of the respective trademark owners. Use of such trademarks is for 
informational purposes only, and should in no way be considered a challenge to their ownership.

<P><HR WIDTH=400 ALIGN=center>


<P>(%) denotes a new/updated topic; (+) indicates the question is presently unanswered.<BR><BR>

<P><DL><DT><FONT SIZE=+1>Part 3: Production Stuff</FONT><BR><BR>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="#screensoft">What screenwriting software is available?</A> %
<DD><LI> <A HREF="#prodsoft">What production software is available?</A> %
<DD><LI> <A HREF="#sceenbuy">Where can I get copies of screenwriting/production software?</A> %
<DD><LI> <A HREF="#shareware">What screenwriting/production shareware is available?</A> %
<DD><LI> <b>Where can I pick up directories of crew working in [insert place]?</b><ul>        
<li><a href="#USA-w">USA (West Coast)</a>
<li><a href="#crewuse">USA (East Coast)</a>
<li><a href="#oz">Australia</a>
<li><a href="#crewuk">United Kingdom</a>
<li><a href="#crewcan">Canada</a>
<LI><A HREF="#sa">South Africa</A></ul>
<DD><LI> <a href="#indie">What/where are groups that support independent filmmakers?</a>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="#nobudget">Gimme Info on how to make a No-budget film.</a>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="#SAG">Does SAG offer any breaks for independent filmmakers?</a>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="#flouro">I need info on working with fluorescent lights.</a> %
<DD><LI> <A HREF="#bluescreen">Why is Bluescreen blue?</a> %
<DD><LI> <a href="#compscrn">How do I film a computer/video screen without it flickering?</a>
<DD><LI> <a href="#timing">How do I work out the timing of my script from its number of pages?</a>
<DD><LI> <a href="#bolex">Where can I pick up Bolex parts and accessories?</a>
<DD><LI> <a href="#rearscrn">What's the best material to use for rear screens?</a>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="#elm">How much did <EM>El Mariachi</EM> really cost to make?</A>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="#finance">Gimme info on film financing.</A> %


<h3><A NAME="screensoft">What Screenwriting Software is Available?</A></H3>

<p>A year or two ago there was very little choice available to the buy of a program to format their screenplays. This has changed dramatically in recent times and new products are being released almost monthly.  These packages mainly run on MS-DOS/Windows based or Apple Macintosh machines either as stand-alone programs or add-ons for popular word processing software. Currently (AFAIK) there are no programs for other operating systems or platforms.

<P>Minimum system requirement vary from package to package but as a guide your system should have one of the following minimum configurations.  

<DD>286 processor, 640K RAM and a Hard Disk. 
<DD>386DX processor (486 recommended), 4MB RAM, and a Hard Disk.
<DD>1MB RAM and a Hard Disk

<p>Some of the programs that are available are as follows. All program titles are registered trademarks
of their respective companies.

<TR><TH ALIGN=LEFT>Program<TH ALIGN=RIGHT>Host Program/OS  <TH ALIGN=RIGHT>Price (approximation) 
<TR><TD>MovieMaster <TD ALIGN=RIGHT> MS-DOS  <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>          $US 234.00 
<TR><TD> ScriptWare  <TD ALIGN=RIGHT> MS_DOS         <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>    $US 299.95 
<TR><TD> ScriptWare Lite  <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>                                       MS-DOS<TD ALIGN=RIGHT>             $US 129.95 
<TR><TD> The Script Thing <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>                                       MS-DOS<TD ALIGN=RIGHT>             $US 199.00 
<TR><TD> Script Wizard    <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>                              WinWord 2.0/6.0<TD ALIGN=RIGHT>             $US 175.00 
<TR><TD> Side By Side     <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>                                      WinWord   <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>                  ?? 
<TR><TD> ScriptRighter      <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>                                WinWord 6.0   <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>           $US 75.00 
<TR><TD> ScriptWright       <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>                               Word 6.0/7.0    <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>          $US 99.00 
<TR><TD> StoryVision         <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>                             MS-DOS CD-ROM<TD ALIGN=RIGHT>                     ?? 
<TR><TD> Scriptor               <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>     Word/MacWrite/WordPerfect/WordStar.<TD ALIGN=RIGHT>            $US 149.95 
<TR><TD> Script Perfection   <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>                      Word Perfect for DOS         <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>            ?? 
<TR><TD> SuperScript Pro.   <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>                       Word Perfect for DOS        <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>      $US 99.00 
<TR><TD> ScriptRighter         <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>                    Word Perfect for DOS           <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>          ?? 
<TR><TD> Final Draft             <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>                                   Mac        <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>     $US 299.00 
<TR><TD> SideBySide           <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>                             Word for Mac <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>             $US 79.00 
<TR><TD> ScriptWrite            <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>                               Word 6.0     <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>             $???? 
<TR><TD> Dramatica Pro.       <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>                          Win 3.11/95/Mac <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>            $US 399.00 
<TR><TD> Dramatica Writer's Dream  Kit  <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>      Win 3.11/95/Mac <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>            $US 149.95 
<TR><TD> Writer's Blocks                        <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>                 MS-DOS   <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>           $US 99.00 
<TR><TD> Collaborator                             <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>            MS-DOS/Mac <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>           $US 199.00 
<TR><TD> Truby's StoryLine Pro.               <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>    MS-DOS/Win 3.11/95/Mac <TD ALIGN=RIGHT>           $US 295.00 
<P><EM>ScriptRighter</EM> is available from The Imp Press, PO Box 73615, Toronto ON, 
Canada. Telephone (416) 534-5603. For more info email Lincoln Stewart at 
<A HREF=""></A> or check out their Web page at <A HREF=""></A>.
<P><EM>ScriptWright</EM> is a sophisticated program which runs in Word 6.0/7.0. <EM>ScriptWright </EM>
runs under Word 6.0 (16 bit Windows 3.x/Mac) and Word 7.0 (32 bit Windows 95/NT). It is written by Guy Gallo (of GScript fame) and distributed by Indelible Ink. For more information send email to <A HREF=""></A> or check out the home page at <A HREF=""></A>.
<P>The package retails for $US 99.00 and has all of the important features 
found in other software twice the price. I particularly like the way the 
program offers the tools of a stand-alone screenwriting package, yet 
manages to squeeze every ounce of value out of Word's already vast existing 
features. Another great feature is the price options: if you are a student you can pick up your copy of <EM>ScriptWright</EM> for only $US 39.95, or if you want to "cross-grade" from another package, you will only pay $US 59.95.

<P><EM>ScriptWright</EM> is also available from StarComp (address above). You 
can pick up a demo of <EM>ScriptWright</EM> via anonymous FTP from 
<A HREF=""></A>. Indelible Ink were kind enough to send me a copy of <EM>ScriptWright</EM> to try out hence the free plug. 


<h3><a name="prodsoft">What Production Software is Available?</a></h3>

<p>The amount of production software is on the increase as more of the production houses and independent producers
find that computers can reduce the inevitable paper pile that accompanies every film production.  This list is intended to give
you an idea of what is out there as far as the leading products go - it is by no means definitive.

<P>Minimum system requirement vary from package to package but as a guide your system should have one of the following minimum configurations.  

<DD>286 processor, 640K RAM and a Hard Disk. 
<DD>386DX processor (486 recommended), 4MB RAM, and a Hard Disk.
<DD>1MB RAM and a Hard Disk

<P>Some of the popular packages are:

<DT><EM>STORYBOARD QUICK</EM>&reg; - $US 189.00 
<DD>     Storyboard drawing program for the non-artistic amongst us. Has 
     pre-drawn people, objects and can zoom in and out. Win 3.11/95/Mac 
<DT><EM>STORYBOARDER</EM>&reg; - $ ???? 
<DD>     From American Intelliware. Storyboard design program. MS-DOS 
<DD>     This two part package allows you to create detailed budget 
     spreadsheets, script breakdowns, and schedules. This is the industry 
     standard, but (IMO) is a bit over-priced for what you get... but 
     still, you can't argue with the monopoly. Budgeting and Scheduling 
     parts sold separately. MS-DOS, Mac 
<DT><EM>TURBO BUDGET</EM>&reg; - $US 355.00 
<DD>     Budget presentation and analysis software. MS-DOS, Win 3.11/95 
<DD>     Upgrade generates cost to complete reports based on Turbo Budget 
     estimates. MS-DOS 
<DT><EM>TURBO AD</EM>&reg; - $US 355.00 
<DD>  Script breakdown and production scheduling software. MS-DOS 
<DT><EM>SCRIPT SCAN</EM>&reg; - $US 265.00 
<DD>     Script breakdown directly on script. Uses your favourite word 
     processor. MS-DOS 
<DT><EM>DotZERO SCHEDULING II</EM>&reg; - $US 49.95 (Registration) 
<DD>     Script breakdown software. Shareware. MS-DOS, Mac 
<DT><EM>DotZERO BUDGETING II</EM>&reg; - $US 49.95 (Registration) 
<DD>     Easy to use budgeting package. Shareware. MS-DOS, Mac 
<DT><EM>ACCOUNTING</EM>&reg; - $ Special 
<DD> Fully integrated, auditable double entry production accounting system 
     any production. Only available on a lease basis. Not for purchase. 
<DT><EM>COSTING</EM>&reg; - $US 225.00 
<DD>     Single entry accounting for day to day expenses compared to budgets 
     created using Budget II. MS-DOS, Mac 
<DT><EM>HOTCOST</EM>&reg; - $US 535.00 
<DD>     Cost estimation package. MS-DOS 
<DD>     Storyboard and 3D visualisation package that is used by the 
     professionals. Download a demo from <A HREF=""></A>. Windows 3.11/95, Mac 
<DT><EM>AUTOBUDGET</EM>&reg; - $special 
<DD>     Budget template for Microsoft Excel. Currently only supports 
     Australian budget standards. Send email to for 
     more information. Win 3.11/95, Mac 
<DT><EM>CORK BOARD</EM>&reg; - $US 99.00 
<DD>     3x5 "card" program that allows you to organise your ideas, sound 
     bites, quicktime movies etc. Mac 
<DT><EM>FILMWORKS</EM>&reg; - $US 600.00 
<DD>     Another budgeting and scheduling package. Not in major use. MS-DOS 
<DT><EM>MACTOOLKIT</EM>&reg; - $US 279.00 / 299.00 
<DD>     Budgeting / Scheduling package for the Mac. Parts sold separately. Mac 

<p>All of these packages are available from your local software vendor or through the resellers listed in the
<A HREF="sceenbuy">next section.</A>  Prices subject to change without notice.  

<p>There are demo versions of some of the above programs floating around the place.  Whilst it is best to get 
in contact with the application's authors for a demo of the latest version, here are some I've picked up along the
<li plain><i>Turbo Budget 2.0 For Windows</i><br>
<a href=""></a>
<br><br><li plain><i>Turbo AD</i> for DOS (includes Quantum Films software demo)<br>
<a href=""></a>

<h3><a name="sceenbuy">Where can I get copies of screenwriting/production software?</a></h3>

<P>There are many good book and computer shops all over the world that specialise in providing this type of software. If you 
have problems locating a particular item, you may wish to check out one of the following vendors.<BR><BR>

<P><a name="000"><b>The Writer's Computer Store</a></b><br> 
<FONT SIZE=-1>3001 Bridgeway Avenue, Sausalito, CA 94965-1495, USA<br>
Tel. (415) 332 7005&nbsp;&nbsp Fax. (415) 332-7037&nbsp;&nbsp; 
WWW. <a href=""></a></FONT>

<P>WCS has been a main source of software for film professionals for many years now. Friendly service and competitive prices.


<P><b>New Media</b><br>
<FONT SIZE=-1>153 South LaBrea, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA<BR>
Tel. (213) 935-5300&nbsp;&nbsp; Fax. (213) 935-5399</FONT>

<P>Good source of software for screenwriting and film production.


<FONT SIZE=-1>Tel. (818) 609-0330&nbsp;&nbsp; Email. <a href=""></a>
&nbsp;&nbsp;Web. <a href=""></a></FONT>

<P>The Internet's first virtual filmmaking software store. StarComp's FTP site contains demos for all of the software that
they sell - try before you buy!<br><br>


<h3><a name="shareware">What Screenwriting/Production Shareware is Available?</a></h3>

<p>There is very little available in this area, primarily because there aren't many people who are 1) filmmakers/screenwriters,
2) able to write computer programs as well, 3) desire to spend lots of time writing a shareware program for a 
relatively small market that probably won't honour the shareware agreement anyway.

<p>A couple of screenwriting templates do exist for <i>Microsoft Word</i> which aid in the formatting of <i>Word </i>
documents into screenplays.  Two people have kindly offered to provide copies to others: <ul>
<li> <a href="">Nick Nordquist</a> /  <i></i>
<li> <a href="">Guy Gallo</a> / <i></i> (author of <i>G-Script</i> and
<p>G-Script is also available via anonymous FTP from <a href=""></a>.

<p>A budget template is also available for <i>Microsoft Excel 5.0</i> from <a href="">Nick</a> above.

<P>A program called <EM>Script Manager</EM> has recently been released as a shareware product. <EM>Script Manager</EM> helps you keep detailed records of all your script writing and querying activities. Send email to <A HREF="">Bill Wyza /</A> for more information.

<P>There is also a program floating around called <EM>ScreenWright Professional</EM> which is a shareware script formatter.  I don't know where to get it from yet, but you could do an Archie or Web Search on the filename SWPRO.ZIP and see what you find.

<P>A screenplay template has been written for <EM>Word 6.0</EM> by Lester Crombie at the Queensland School of Film and Television (Australia).  This is available free of charge. For more info send email to <A HREF=""></A> or contact:

<BLOCKQUOTE>Queensland School of Film and Television <BR>
PO Box 380                <BR>
AUSTRALIA                              <BR><BR>

PH: + 61 7 3257 1939                 <BR>
FAX: + 61 7 3257 1947</BLOCKQUOTE>


<h3><a name="USA-w">Where can I pick up directories of crew working in [insert place]? - USA (West Coast)</a></h3>
<p> A few directories exist in Hollywood, one such is the <i>Hollywood Creative
 Directory</i>. This is not a directory of crew, but "Production Executives, Development 
 Executives, Producers, Studios, and Networks.  They also have <i>Hollywood Agents/Managers 
 Directory, Hollywood Distributors Directory, Hollywood Financial Directory, Hollywood 
 Interactive Entertainment Directory,</I> and <I>Hollywood Movie Music Directory</i>.

<p>Their address is:

<blockquote><b>Hollywood Creative Directory</b><br>
3000 Olympic Blvd<br>
SANTA MONICA, CA, 90404<br>
Tel. (310) 315-4815<br>
Fax. (310) 315-4816<br>
Toll-Free. (800) 815-0503 (North America)<br>
WWW. <a 
<p> Probably the best way to hire an LA crew is to hire an experienced LA based 
 Unit Production Manager and have that person hire the crew for you.  Note that,
 if you hire an LA based Cinematographer, he or she will probably have a crew
 that they work with.

<p> Another approach is to work with a "below-the-line" agent.  One good one
<dd><b>Casala Production Advantage</b>
<dd>8323 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 954
<dd>BEVERLY HILLS, CA, 90211
<dd>Tel:  (213) 465-7577
<dd>Fax:  (213) 465-1029<br>


<h3><a name="crewuse">USA (East Coast)</a></h3>

<p>The <a href="">New York Independent Home Page</a> 
<i>(</i> contains some resources for east coast filmmakers.
<p><i>If you have more info regarding crew lists for east coast USA, please mail <a href="">me</a>.</i>


<h3><a name="oz">Australia</a></h3>

<p> There are two major sources of information regarding personnel available  in Australia - 
<b><i>The Encore Directory</i></b> and <b><i>The Production Book</i></b>.

<p><i>Encore Directory</i> orders can be made via:
<blockquote>Reed Publishing<br>
PO Box 5487<br>
West Chatswood, Australia 2057.</blockquote>

<p><i>The Production Book</i> can be purchased from:
<blockquote>PB Publishing<br>
151 Forbes Street<br>
Woolloomooloo, NSW 2011<br><br>
Tel. (02) 356 3355<br>
Fax. (02) 358 3810</blockquote>

<p>Due to the fact that the production community is relatively small, most people will know most other people.  
They will surely have a good list of friends in other disciplines of filmmaking and will most likely provide good 

<p>Several Web sites have recently sprung up to meet the needs of film professionals seeking other people in their 

<li><a href="">Australian Media Facilities Directory</a>
<li><a href="">Australian WWW Film & TV Production Service</a>


<h3><a name="crewuk">United Kingdom</a></h3>

<p>The best source is probably BECTU (the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union). 
However, they only list crew who are union members, and they're close-mouthed with information. <blockquote>
<b>Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union</b><br>
111 Wardour Street<br>
London W1V 4AY<br><br>
Tel.  (+44) 171-437-8506</blockquote><p>There are also directories, like <i>Kays</i> and <i>The Knowledge</i> and <i>The White Book</i>, which 
are available for substantial amounts of dosh.
<p>An online site also exists called <a href="">Mandy's Production Directory</a>
<i>(</i> which details crew and facilities that are available in Europe and the UK.  This database is currently being 
expanded to include specific information for most of the film production centers in the world.
<p><i>If you have more info regarding how to obtain any of the above guides, please mail <a href="">me</a>.</i>

<h3><a name="crewcan">Canada</a></h3>
<p>An onlite site called <a href="">Toronto's Electronic Production Directory</a>
<i>(</i> has information about crew and facilities that are available in that city.

<p>You can also try the <i>The Reel West Digest</i> which outlines crew and facilities 
that are available in British Columbia.  It is published every Feb. by:
<blockquote><b>Reel West Productions Inc.</b><br>
1106 Boundary Road<br>
Burnaby, B.C., Canada<br>
V5K 4T5<br><br>
Tel. (604) 294-4122<br>
Fax. (604) 294-0633</blockquote>

<p>Several other useful organisations in Canada are:

<blockquote><b>British Columbia Film Commission</b><br>
601 West Cordova St.,<br>
Vancouver, B.C., Canada<br>
V6B 1G1<br><br>
Tel.  (604) 660-2732
<b>British Columbia Motion Picture Association</b><br>
1101 - 207 West Hastings St.,<br>
Vancouver, B.C.,Canada<br>
V6B 1H7
Tel.  (604) 684-4712<br>
Fax.  (604) 684-4979</blockquote>


<A NAME="sa"><H3>South Africa</H3></A>

<P><A HREF="">Showdata</A> (<EM></EM> )
is the Home of Film and TV information in Southern Africa.  Publications, documents, people * products * companies.  This service has been in operation since 1989 and is the only service that has all the information, cross referenced, that you might need. For more information, you can send mail to <A HREF=""></A>.


<h3><a name="indie">What/where are groups that support independent filmmakers? - USA</a></h3>

<p>Independent filmmakers can find support of varying degrees though  the following organisations:
12th Floor<br>
104 West 29th Street<br>
New York, NY 10001<br>Tel. (212) 465-8200 <br><br>                       

<li><b><a name="AFI">American Film Institute</b></a>
2021 North Western Avenue<br>
Los Angeles, CA 90027<br>   
Tel. (213) 856-7600<br>
WWW. <a href=""></a><br><br>
<li><b>Association for Independent Video and Film (AIVF)</b><br>   
9th Floor<br>
625 Broadway<br>                       
New York, NY 10012<br>                    
Tel. (212) 473-3400<br><br>                     
1625 Olympic Blvd<br>
Santa Monica, CA 90404<br>
Tel. (310) 392-8832<br>
Fax. (310) 392-6792<br><br>
<li><b>Sundance Institute</b><br>                         
10202 Washington Blvd<br>                      
Culver City, CA 90232<br>                     
Tel. (310) 204-2091<br>
Web. <a href=""></a><br><br>
<li><b><a href="#indiefilm">Independent Filmmakers Forum</a></b><br>
Los Angeles BBS<br>
Modem. (310) 425-0012<br>
Info. <a href=""></a><br>
Email. <a href=""></a>



<p>Contact your state government film/tv office or the <a href="if-faq4.htm#ozgov">Australian  Film Commission</a>.  Governments agencies are:
<li>NSW  - <a href="">New South Wales Film and Television Office</a> <i>(</i>
<li>VIC  - Film Victoria
<li>SA   - South Australian Film Corporation
<li>WA   - Screen West
<li>QLD  - Film Queensland; 
<a href="">Pacific Film and Television Commission</a>


<H3>United Kingdom</H3>

<p><i>Action BFP</i> is a charitable organisation set up three
 years ago to promote the British Film Industry and campaign for a more film-
 friendly production environment in the UK.

If you join you  receive <i>British Film News</i>. A bimonthly newsletter full of 
gossip about the industry, location reports, production news, who's doing what,
where and so on.

For more info drop a line to:
<dd><b>ACTION BFP</b>
<dd>15 Crathie Place
<dd>LL11 2HB
<dd>United Kingdom

<h3><a name="nobudget">Gimme Info on how to make a No-budget film.</a></h3>

<p> This is one of the most difficult areas to work successfully in... more difficult (IMO) than in budget filmmaking.  You need to be incredibly resourceful, dedicated, and a great people person (the amount of ass-kissing you'll need to do far out stretches that which you would normally have to do to work in the industry - and that's a lot as it is!).  As with normal filmmaking, contacts are probably the most important commodity you'll need to aquire.  No-budget filmmakers also have to spend their meagre 

earnings according to the following hierarchy:
<li>             The Film Project
<li>             Food
<li>             Shelter
<li>             Clothes
<li>             Etc...
<p>No budget filmmaking is really a very personal thing and there are no hard
and fast rules, easy ways etc apart from the fact that you must *really*
love what your doing.  A good place for further information is Mark Pirro's
book <i>Ultra Low Budget Movie Making.</i>


<h3><a name="SAG">Does SAG offer any breaks for independent filmmakers?</a></h3>

<p>Thanks to Jim Hensz for this one.
<p>SAG offers some breaks for low budget films (ie. under 2.5,  1.75,  and 1.5 
million dollar marks) These "breaks" include the waving of rules concerning 
concurrent employment, a reduced daily rate for SAG actors, among other 
advantages for the production company.

<p>These agreements are outlined in Memoranda between the AMPTP and SAG. 
Producers wishing to operate under these guidelines must enter into agreement 
with SAG via the "Letter Agreement for Low Budget Theatrical Pictures" 

<p>For full details, you should contact your regional SAG office for copies of 
the SAG low budget agreements and applicable AMPTP memorandum.


<h3><a name="flouro">I need info on working with fluorescent lights.</a></h3>

<p>This question is wide-ranging and reasonably complicated.  Antonio Tatum
has provided some general answers to this question.

<p>Fluorescent lights (Flos) have no filament; light is given off when exotic gases are subjected to a current 
and their electrons become excited, and they "fluoresce". Household flos are warm white or cool white. In film 
terms, ww is analogous to tungsten colour temp (3200 k) and cw is approx daylight bal. (5600 k). They are also very
green. In practical photo terms they are corrected with "minus green" gel, a magenta colour, restoring balance to
either tungsten white or daylight white. Sometimes if necessary, film light fixtures may have "plus green" gel (green 
colour, obviously) added to correct to match existing flo fixtures.

<p>Modern film photography now uses many types of flo fixtures commercially produced especially for film. 
These are lightweight, w/ accessories, and utilise special flo bulbs that are green-corrected, ie., do not 
photograph green. Kino-Flo is one company, Syne-Flo is another. Kino-Flo is the best known, and makes
fixtures ranging from the Wall-O-Light, w/ ten 4 ft bulbs, to the micro flo, thinner than a pencil.  Most often
used are the 4 ft, 2 bulb or 4 bulb fixtures, used for everything from car commercials to features to tabletop to 

<P>Another concern when shooting with flourescent lights is flicker (thanks to Conrad Hunziker at Photocon for this answer). The chances of flicker are directly porportional to the frame rate you are using and where you are shooting. What causes filcker is the dead time inbetween bursts of electricity from the electric company. In the U.S., it comes at 60 Hertz, which means that there are 60 bursts and 60 dead times per second. When using this electricity directly with HMIs or flourescents this means that 
there are 60 flashes and 60 spaces of no light per second. What this means for cinematography is that you must shoot at a frame rate that will catch a flash while the shutter is open. In the U.S., that means shooting at a frame rate at a multiple of 6 (i.e., 24, 30, 36, 60, 120.....). All other frame rates will produce flashing (or changing between these frame rates during
shooting will produce flashing) without an electric ballast. A ballast condenses these spaces of no light to very small brief periods of time, to the point that only at very high frame rates will flashing show up (like around 400 fps). Under a ballast, no flashing will occur under all normal frame rates (under 400 fps), including during frame rate changes.

<p>More detailed info is available in the <i>American Cinematographer's Manual</i>,  published by the ASC. 


<h3><a name="bluescreen">Why is Bluescreen blue?</h3></a>

<p>All colours in our visual range are made up of a combination of the three primary colours, red, blue, and green.
In the bluescreen process, an actor or object is filmed against an evenly lit (ie. entirely one colour) blue screen.
In the compositing process, the blue element (ie. the background screen) is removed via a colour separation 
process.  The screen is blue in colour because blue is the smallest competent in the colour of human skin (ie. 
skin colour has more red and green elements), so that when the blue colour is removed, it does not affect the
appearance of the skin.  This of course also means that the actor cannot wear certain blue clothing or the object
cannot have blue parts.

<p>With digital technology gradually replacing the traditional compositing processes, the colour of the background
screen is becoming less important as greater accuracy in colour separation can be achieved with computers.  In
the television series <i>Lois & Clarke:  The New Adventures of Superman</i>, the Man of Steel is filmed against
a green screen for the flying shots.  This prevents his blue tights from disappearing into the new background.

<p>More information about bluescreen can be found in various books on special effects techniques, at the <A HREF="">Blue Screen/Chroma Key Page</A> (<EM></EM>) and of course in the trusty old <i>American Cinematographer Manual</i>.


<h3><a name="compscrn">How can I film a computer/video screen without it flickering?</a></h3>

<p>Filmming of a computer screen requires the camera speed to be synchronised with the scanning rate of the monitor
in question.  To do this you need a CEI film/video synchroniser which connects to the monitor/computer and 
replaces the camera's internal sync. with that of the monitor.  You then have to start your camera rolling as the 
monitor starts any given scan otherwise you will get a black interference line somewhere in the picture.  This can
be a bit fiddley to achieve, but you just need to keep trying.  All you do is stop and start your camera whilst looking
through the viewfinder until you get a shot where the line is not visible (and keep your camera running!).

<p>Detailed information regarding filming computer screens can be found in the <i>American Cinematographer 
Manual</i>, published by the ASC.


<h3><a name="timing">How do I work out the timing of my script from its number of pages?</a></h3>

<P>The easiest way is to get the script professionally timed by a qualified script supervisor or someone who has decent experience in this area. The often flashed around term "one page equals one minute of screen time" is generally not true, as each script is individual and will require a different approach. For example, how can one page of dialogue take the same amount of screen time as one page of sceneic description? It just doesn't work that way. As a writer, you should be able to guage the length of y
our script as you are writing it. As a director (or other production person) this comes with experience.


<h3><a name="bolex">Where can I pick up Bolex parts and accessories?</a></h3>

Bolex's US distributors are:

<p><table width=100%>
<tr><td><b>Chambless Cine Equipment</b><br>
Rt. 1, Box 1595, Hwy. 52 WEST<br>
Ellijay, GA 30540
22048 Sherman Way, Suite 105<br>
Canoga Park, CA 91303
<tr><tr><td>Tel. (706) 636-5210<br>Fax. (706) 636-5211
<td>Tel. (818) 346-1292<br>
Fax. (818) 346-7712

<p>Procam is also a good source for Eclair. 

<p><i>** Please provide any information you have on International distributors**</i>


<h3><a name="rearscrn">What's the best material to use for rear screens?</a></h3>

<p>There are several materials that you can use to create an effective rear screen.  If 
your budget is a little stretched, try using voile or scrim material.  White scrim works quite well
because it's very diaphanous, however it is a goo idea to keep stray light off it.  

<P>You can also try getting some Roscolene diffusion gel from a theatrical supply house (it's normally 
used for stage and film lighting). There are different grades of diffusion gel and you'll have to experiment to
see which works best. 


<A NAME="elm"><H3>How Much Did <EM>El Mariachi</EM> Really Cost to Make?</H3></A>

<EM>El Mariachi</EM> is one of the lowest budget films ever to get wide international release.  Although exact budget information is not readily available, it is believed that the film cost between $US 7,000 and $US 10,000 to make.  When examining what appears on the final screen for this dollar value you must remember that <EM>El Mariachi </EM> was
picked up by Columbia at a work print stage on 16mm.  The studio payed for the sound to be remixed,  for balanced prints and blow-ups, and added credits to the film.  Although I have no confirmation of it, I have heard figures from between $US 100,000 to
$US 1 million were spent by Columbia on "fixing" the film before it was released.

<P>You can get more information on the making of this film in Robert Rodriguez's autobiographical account of the production, <EM>Rebel Without A Crew</EM>.


<A NAME="finance"><H3>Gimme info on film financing.</H3></A>

<P>Thanks to Paul Reiher for the answer to <EM>"Do Studios use their own money to finance production?"</EM>

<P>"In years past, almost always it was the studios themselves putting up the money.  Often, it still is.  In many cases, the money is borrowed from a huge revolving line of credit set up with a bank that has a long-term relationship with the studio.  In others, the studio simply plows the money made from films in release into films in production, just like any other business would finance future production from current sales.

<P>It's becoming more common for large films to be financed in large part by pre-selling rights for foreign territories.  For example, someone might pay $3 million up front for the German distribution rights to the next Kevin Costner movie.  Enough up-front payments can equal the cost of the film, thus cutting the risk heavily.  On the other hand, with foreign box office receipts becoming increasingly important in the overall gross, it also limits how much money you can make.  Most of Carolco's really
big hits did not bring the company as much money as one might expect, because they'd pre-sold foreign rights.

<P>In some cases, production companies have private financing deals with banks or other large investors.  They pay for all or a large part of the film, then sell the US distribution rights to a major studio.  This is called a negative pickup, because generally the studio has nothing to do with the film until a complete cut of the film is available.

<P>It's rather uncommon for individual investors, even the really high-rolling ones, to have the opportunity to invest in a major film.

<P>All this changes when you're talking about smaller films, in particular direct-to-video films.  Depending on the economic climate, prevailing tax laws, etc., these films are financed in a wide variety of ways - including getting a bunch of doctors and dentists together in a room to pitch your film in the hopes of getting a couple hundred thousand out of them.  Getting a lot of credit cards and maxing them out, whining to your parents, and cashing in disability pensions are other techniques that have wor
ked in the past.  If you poke around, you can doubtless find a way to spend $10,000 helping someone make an independent film he'll swear will be the next "Reservoir Dogs," but it almost never will be.  Bankrolling independent films is not the high road to financial success.

<P>There are a few interesting exceptions.  Disney has made a practice of selling shares in blocks of its (at the time unmade) films through various partnership agreements.  The catch is they never sell shares in their animated films.  For that matter, when you buy in you have no notion which films will be made under the partnership.  They've done this five or six times, and I believe none of them performed as well as simply buying Disney stock, though they also didn't lose money.  (Which is pretty unusual
the world of film finance.)

<P>Actor Paul Hogan, made an unusual arrangement to finance <EM>Lightning Jack</EM>, a Western he made a few years back.  He essentially sold shares of the film on the Australian Stock Exchange.  Strictly speaking, he sold shares in a company whose only costs and assets were the film.  The film got made, but bombed.

<P>The producer rarely invests his own money.  In the case of studio productions, the producer uses studio money.  In the case of production companies, the producer works to get others to invest, basically serving as a broker."

<P>There are almost limitless ways of raising capital to make a film and the process can be as creative as the film itself (although sadly is not recognised as so).  A good starting point for financing ideas is abook called <EM>Film Financing</EM> by <A HREF="">Michael Wiese</A>.

<P>The Hubert Bals Fund and CineMart in Rotterdam provide resp. money and assistance to novice film-makers embarking on
projects and without the necessary capital to get started. The Fund can provide minor contributions and the CineMart (which works closely with the NY based independent market) organises annual encounters where film-makers, financiers, producers, distributors etc can get together. You can get more information about this at <A HREF=""></A>.


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Benjamin Craig         Email.
Digital Horizons       WWW.
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