Production Report – August 2012

September 13, 2012 by · Comments Off on Production Report – August 2012 

Sound Post Studios

Production Report One  -  August 2012 

I am starting a Production Report for each Month starting with August 2012. I hope that you will get a feel for what we do at Australian Film Base and how the student films progress and of course our own Feature Film Productions. 

Imagine That   4 Month Film School Post Production:  Shot in location in Warburton in July Post Production August:   Now Complete:

The Month Started out with the Final Post Production for the Melbourne 4 Month Film School Film “ Imagine That". As always there are many days of editing involved with every film and the 8 minute "Imagine That"  was no exception. Editing took place in earnest during August with a full Day of Sound Post Production taking place with Sound Designer John Hresc in Melbourne.  Sound Post was completed at Salt Studios in East Brighton in Melbourne on Saturday August 11th. The students attended after finalising the Music for the final Mix.  The day was a success for all. You can see the completed Film on

Love Shack: 4 Month Film School:
This is a very funny film. After a very successful casting, all the actors that were cast were A Plus quality meaning that the film script could really get to a higher level.  This film will be uploaded to Youtube in early October. The film was shot in August in a few different locations. The students shot in a $ 2 Million waterfront apartment in Drumoyne and in an office complex nearby. Also, the opening scene was shot at Drumoyne Ferry, creating an awesome Sydney Harbour  backdrop and part of the film was shot in the Kings Cross Hotel creating a moody nightclub scene. The nightclub scene had 15 extras to create a realistic nightclub scene.

I am always amazed how well beginners and emerging film makers take to making their first film. All the locations are locked down with no access to the public.

The Students are currently in postproduction and editing the film with Sound Postproduction scheduled for Saturday September 15th. Sound Post takes place in Five Dock at the Sound Post Studios with John who is one of the very best Sound Designers in the business. He has worked freelance for clients such as Channel 9. Look out for Love Shack in October when we upload to Youtube. 

The the Weekend Film School Saturday and Sunday August 11th, 12th

The Weekend Film School was a great success. This was the first weekend film school since December 2011.  On two of the wettest coldest days of the Sydney Winter, 27 people attended the Weekend Film School. We had a very productive weekend learning how to produce a film production with a 4 Month Film Production Plan.  We also did a detailed session on how films are sold and bought in the international film market. Also we focused on the Online Film Marketplace which is growing exponentially and is now a wonderful opportunity for the emerging film maker. You can get the best of the Weekend Film School at our Online Film School. 

The Brisbane 4 Month Film School Started Tuesday August 14th
We had the first 3 sessions of the Brisbane 4 Month Film School. The course takes place in QPIX in Brisbane and 14 people have taken to the first part with gusto. The first 3 sessions are mainly focused on screenplay and the group have created a wonderful story with 10 scripts written for the film production. The vote will take place soon for the best script. Casting is three weeks away with preproduction about to take place in earnest next week. The shoot happens in early October.

Colm O’Murchu: International Film Base   Feature Film Production – Absolute Freedom.
International Film Base is also a Film Production Company and we are currently in development on our next feature film “Absolute Freedom”
The film is slated for Production in March 2013 and the screenplay First Draft has just been completed. 

The film will be 100 minutes long and will be shot on location in Los Angeles, Mexico, Sydney and in the outback near Alice Springs.
On Thursday Friday and Saturday August 16th – 18th, I flew to  Alice Springs and started Location hunting in the outback. (Photo reference)
I had not been to Alice Springs since I was a backpacker from Ireland some years ago!!  It certainly brought back memories of that time. What was interesting is that I felt a great sense of gratitude for making a living out of Film Making.  I stronly recommend that if you have the calling for a passion, go after a career in Film Making and make it the way you make a living. It may take time even some years to make it happen but you will have a great time in the process of establishing a career.

If film is one of those areas that you love, there is one place left on the Sydney 4 Month Film School starting on September 20th. 

How to Cast your Film

July 25, 2012 by · Comments Off on How to Cast your Film 

Casting: Getting actors and organizing a casting for zero money. Casting is one of the most important directorial skills. Even when you start to make your first short films , it is very important to have a casting. Step 1 The first step is advertising your casting. This means that you go to the correct websites and advertise your film project. One also needs to know how to fill out the Casting Call correctly. This is one of the most important and vital parts of the process. When we teach our film students at our Film Courses how to cast, we always actively go through the process of advertising the Casting with each group. The words you use to advertise your film project to the actors who scan the castings is very important.  Get this wrong and you will have hardly any actors at your casting. When the Casting Call is filled out properly, we regularly get 150 – 200 actors applying for the casting call. On the Casting websites you get to see the photo of the actors and the CV and in many cases you get to see video. My advise is to give everyone who applies an audtion.  You can never tell till the actor is in the room. Only then you can tell if the actor is right for your film project. When you go through the castings, the really good actors will shine brightly. Most of my film course students are very surprised at how easy it is to pick the right actors for the film project. Remember you could be giving one of the future TV or Film Stars their first break. How much should you pay the actors?  If you are creating a short film production with very little budget, you can place the film as a non-paying film. In other words everyone involved is working on the film production for experience. Most actors are working other jobs or casing for commercials which pay very well. They need  showreel material. This is where emerging film makers help emerging actors. The payment is the finished film which they will expect a copy of.  This is what will bring them to the next level. If you have raised a substantial film budget, then you will need to pay your actors the minimum actors rates set by the actors unions. Step 2 Casting is one of the fun parts of the preproduction process. All the actors arrive 10 minutes apart and they will then enter the casting room. It is very important to photograph the actors with their contact details in the photo. When you have seen a hundred actors in one – two days it is very hard to remember who is who. By going through the casting process, you will increase the quality of your film dramatically. One of the big mistakes most beginners and emerging film makers make is that they skip casting and instead invite their friends and people that they think are talented to act in the film. This shows up in wooden performances and a film that seems to the audience,  amateur. By having a casting, you will find the up and coming talent and the up and coming film stars of tomorrow. To learn how to effectively run a Casting please book on to the Online Film School. We direct you to  the very best websites to advertise your casting. We go into detail on how to attract the actors and run an effective casting on the Online Film School. Colm O’Murchu      Director Bio: Colm O’Murchu has taught film making and directing since 1997. He currently owns International Film Base and the Online Film School. Colm also regularly produces and directs his own film productions. He also is hired regularly as a DOP and Director for a multitude of film productions

Writing the Script

July 19, 2012 by · Comments Off on Writing the Script 

Screenplays: Writing screenplays and/or developing screenplays costs varying amounts for different productions. For the emerging film maker, it usually costs the producer zero. For the Hollywood studios they will sometimes pay millions for a screenplay from a top writer. Yes,  you can get rich just writing screenplays. When you are starting out,  most times you will write your own screenplay or you work in with a fellow student scriptwriter. The Scriptwriter always writes for free at the start. By doing so, the emerging screenwriter creates creditability and improvement. I was recently at a scriptwriting conference in Los Angeles where there were many experienced scriptwriters presenting.  It amazed me that most of the top successful screenwriters had to write 10 full length or more scripts before they got their first big break. Yes that is ten full length screenplays before they made it in Hollywood and most of these screenwriters lived in Hollywood. So you need to make a decision early on. Do I want to write the screenplays or Do I want to delegate scriptwriting? I personally think that you should only delegate if you really feel that you are the worlds worst writer and writing is just not one of those things you want to do. You should also delegate if you know an exceptionally talented emerging screenwriter who you are married to or joined at the hip. I think even if your only intention is to become a full time movie producer and/or film director, you should still start out learning the writing process. Yes you should  write your own short film screenplay. This is so important for this one reason alone.  A good producer or director needs to identify a really good screenplay when they read them. There are too many producers picking terrible screenplays that end up manifesting into really bad movies. An original well thought out Story is paramount to a great movie. Story and Screenplay are two different entities.
  1. The story is the beat by beat narrative that brings the audience on the journey in the movie.
  2. The screenplay is a 90 page to 120 page document that only the studio executives , cast and the crew and Production management personal read.
This includes all of the and film students years after the film is released. It is the blueprint for a successful film. So it is paramount as film maker that you learn the process of scriptwriting. The number one best way to learn how to write scripts is to read original screenplay. Original screenplays are screenplays that have been written and formatted by the original screenwriter.By Googling Screenplays, you may find many sites that have original screenplays for free. On the online Film School we will recommend the best sites for original screenplays. It is so important to learn how to format scripts. Final Draft is a great software package that helps the writer format their script. However it costs about US$200. If you enroll on our Online Film School you will receive a link to a free scriptwriting software that formats your scripts. Not only that this software will help you storyboard and prepare your film. By enrolling on the online film school, you will save $200 right here. This is the first of many savings for the aspiring film maker. Thirdly, one needs to know how to brainstorm their story and create three dimensional characters. I often take a long drive with my partner and we will drive to rural areas stop and have a walk and then when the feeling is right brainstorm the story using all the exercises I share with you in the Online Film School. This is our creative process. Other people I know go to the local bar and over a few beers, they brainstorm the story. Another writer, I know writes all his screenplays in coffee shops. Yet again other writers I know hibernate in a cottage in a rural area and write non stop for a week. Everyone has a different creative environment or what I call creative microsm Discover yours. If you want to develop this further, please look at the Online Film School When it comes to screenwriting, the Online Film School  will give you
  • Link to a free Scriptwriting formatting software that saves you $200
  • Video Tutorial in how to format your screenplay professionally . If you do not do this , your screenplay will never be read by anyone in the professional end of town.
  • Seven brainstorming exercises in devloping your story.
  • Action plans to write your screeplay effectively.
This section of the Online Film School  will improve your writing dramatically and show you how to keep your scriptwriting costs at Zero Next email in two days on The Casting Process Colm O’Murchu      Director  

Australian Film Base – June 2012 the month that was.

July 18, 2012 by · Comments Off on Australian Film Base – June 2012 the month that was. 

Today, I launch a once per month Review of the main Film Events and Courses at Australian Film Base

June 2012 Review 

June started out with a trip to LA. As most of you know, I always love my time in Tinsel Town.  I go there twice a year now and as a result know many different people in the LA film business.   I always seem to naturally pick up meetings that matter. However, one has to always be aware of what one calls Hollywood Bullshit. LA attracts the bullshit artist like no other town. However, I do feel now I have built up an attennae for the bullshit artist. These days the Hollywood Bullshit Artist is very easy to spot. One only has to check out with IMDB and Google to find out if they have any credits. IMDB is an essential listing for any successful film maker.  I always work on about one in four meetings being actually worthwhile.  However one has to go to all of them to work out which meeting is worthwhile. Sunny LA definitley lived up to its name with beautiful days in the high 20s or in the 70s. Also I managed to get to my favourite hotels The Roosevelt and the Beverly Hills hotel. Both hotels are famous iconic Hollywood hotels where the famous often hang out.  I always feel I fit in LA where people love movies and film makers who make films. Back in Sydney I only had a week to catch my breath, when I had to drive to Victoria for the Melbourne 4 Month Film Course Shoot.   We shot on location in a beautiful village called Warburton where we all stayed as a group in the local hotels and motels. If you have never been to Warburton, please place it on your To Do List. Warburton is nestled between towering mountains of eucalyptus rainforest and rural farms. It is a quaint village full of New Age and Craft shops. We shot  "Imagine That" a short film about a magic IPhone app that when pressed sends you to all of your dream worlds and allows you to be with your dream soulmate.  Very imaginative film and it took two and half days to shoot. The Crew and Cast did very well. In fact so well, I slipped off on Sunday afternoon for a treck in the  mountains. On the drive back to Sydney , I stopped in the old gold mining town of Beechworth. Another first for me and I definitely recommend a visit here. I managed to leave the town with only buying some Honey. At the hotel,  I really enjoyed the outdoor hot spa which I spent half an hour in at 1o pm in 4C weather.  It makes you feel alive especially when you are running back to the hotel room. The Sydney 4 Month Film School is moving along well.  Casting happens tonight and the shoot happens at the end of July. The course group are very enthusiastic and of course once the film is cast, the excitement of the imminent shoot starts to build. On Tuesday last week , I flew to Adelaide for one day. It was a truly momentus day.  Needless to say when I arrived back to Sydney on the same day,  I knew that certainly my world had changed for ever.Maybe I will write about that another time.

I am very excited about this Saturday.

May 23, 2012 by · Comments Off on I am very excited about this Saturday. 

Yes it is only a few  days now and we will have the creme of  the Australian Film Business at our Saturday A Lister's Seminar. So what am I looking forward to:

Eye of the Storm Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis

I am looking forward to hearing about  the making of  "The Eye of the Storm".  Greg Reid bought the rights to the book ten years ago and stuck with the project till he raised the $10 million budget to make the film. Directed by Fred Scheppsi and starring  Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis and Charlotte Rampling. The Film had one of the highest per screen averages of any Australian Film last year and did extremely well amongst it's niche audience. I am looking forward to hearing the details of how the film was financed and what it takes to be successful at financing  making a Period Australian Film

Red Dog Director Kriv Stenders ($23 million Box Office Australia)

I am also looking forward to hearing all about Red Dog and Kriv Stenders journey in making the film so successful. How did he get involved with Red Dog and what it is like as a director to have a $23 million gross for your film. That means every woman man and child on average in Australia  spent $1 on seeing the film in the cinemas in Australia. That has to measure up as a massive success and the biggest Australian Box Office success for a 100% Australian Film. I am also looking forward to hearing about  the success of the Tunnel. How did Enzo Tedashi make an internet viral success with "The Tunnel" and what they have recently done. The Tunnel is a low budget film produced on a micro budget of $35,000 on a crowdfunding site.  When the film was released, it quickly went viral wrapping up  1.15 million views around the world. The Producers also simultaneously sold the film as a hard copy on their site. The film had very strong public recognition and relied on Internet viral buzz as it’s main marketing tool. Learn about the brave new world of viral marketing at this very interesting session. I am also looking forward to the Saturday Night Party.  We will also have two short Film Premiers with the amazing Film by Matt Smith Repressed screening on Saturday Night. I will look forward to networking with the very best in the Australian FIlm Business. If you are interested in joining me on this Saturday 26th May, please have a look on. Its not too late to book and at $165 for all of Saturday and the after Party , you will be able to meet the very best in the film business.            

The most important ingredient a film maker needs when making their film.

May 15, 2012 by · Comments Off on The most important ingredient a film maker needs when making their film. 

I have always wondered why sometimes the people you expect to go out and make their films, often fail to keep to their word and make their film. They seem to have the talent and they seem to have the desire to do it. They often have been well trained. Yet, they keep procrastinating and finding excuses to delay the film making. I know some people I have expected amazing things from, who are always shooting next year. Everytime you meet them they tell you about the current roadblock, that has caused them to delay till next year. Here are the  usual  Top 10 excuses 
  1. I decided to get married
  2. I decided to have a child.
  3. I got a promotion in my job.
  4. We are not ready yet
  5. The script is not quite right.
  6. I need a few more months to get the money.
  7. I know if we hold back till Summer we will get the hot light.
  8. The summer is too wet and I think we should hold till the El Nino effect lifts
  9. I just want to take time to have everything perfect. Maybe in six months.
  10. I want to raise $10 million and get a star.
I have heard them all and generally speaking it is procrastination. So how do you get around this problem?
Take the two Prong Approach: 
I always like to have a two prong approach myself. I believe that you should have your Go Now Film and your In Development Big Budget  Film. This will help you to get around the procrastination problem.
At International  Film Base, we like to do our One Week Film School 2- 3 times per year as they absolutely prove that a group of beginners with no experience can make a good film in one week.  We give them the one most important ingredient that ever film needs and this is why they succeed. Here is an example of one of the One Week Short Films called Pocket Change    Its not perfect but it is really good for beginners who had only one week to  create the story and cast and shoot the film. And you can bet your bottom dollar that they learnt an incredible amount in one week.
On our 4 Month Film School we also have a deadline and the film is posted and edited and shot and cast and created all in a 4 month period. There never is a delay.
All these films have the most important ingredient that so many people miss once they leave film school. Once they lose this ingredient, all of their post film efforts will fail time and time again. Of course, they will always tell me they tried really hard. However, the hard cut reality is this. A Film Maker makes films now and is always in the process of  making films every year. I invented the Hot Talent Club to keep people making films once they left our film school.

Shooting the Go-Now Film - so much fun

The Big Budget Film.  Examples are Red Dog, The Great Gatsby and The Eye of the Storm
The Film Budget  is  in the millions and can take a development gestation period of 3 - 10 years and requries patience and persistence. If you would like to learn more, please attend our A-Listers film event on Saturday May 26th where you will meet the film makers who made the above films. 
The Go-Now Film Production 
A Film that is made on what ever budget is available by an exact deadline. The budget can be anywhere from $3000 for  short film to $500,000 for a feature film. This is a Go-Now film and is generally made within 3 months - 18 months of conception. In either case, both these films require the most important  ingredient.
This Ingredient is called Absolute Conviction. What this means is a certainty mentality and mindset that says no matter what happens, we are shooting our film. This is our Deadline and once in place, we will not stop till our film is complete and sold.
This mindset moves mountains and always will deliver what you need to make your film the best that it can be.
When you have this mindset you film is a certainty.  Learn all about making films now on our Film Course and join our vision to create the film director stars of tomorrow

My Favourite Films this Year

April 3, 2012 by · Comments Off on My Favourite Films this Year 

Wishing all my readers a relaxing and fun Easter Break. 

After Easter we have a major announcement to make in relation to something that I believe  will be a major turning point.  If you want to learn from the very best in the Australian Film Industry, keep you eyes peeled for my next post.  I will leave you in suspense till then. As it is Easter,  I would like to mention some of my favourite films that I have seen at the cinema this year. These films should be available online or at your local DVD shop soon.  If you have time over Easter check them out. I think you will really enjoy all three of these films.  Of the 14 that I have seen in the cinema this year these three films were the most enjoyable.  

Tower Heist (Action Comedy)

For plain entertainment value, I really enjoyed  this film. Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy lead an all-star cast in Tower Heist, a comedy caper about working stiffs who seek revenge on the Wall Street swindler who stiffed them. After the workers at a luxury Central Park condominium discover the penthouse billionaire has stolen their retirement, they plot the ultimate revenge: a heist to reclaim what he took from them.        

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo  (Thriller)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first film in Columbia Pictures' three-picture adaptation of Stieg Larsson's literary blockbuster The Millennium Trilogy. I have seen the Sweedish version of this film and I much preferred this years updated American Version. The Film is slow to start but once it gets going, the intriging plot takes you into the most surprising twists. Directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, the film is based on the first novel in the trilogy, which altogether have sold 50 million copies in 46 countries and become a worldwide phenomenon.    

The Descendants  (Drama)

I really liked this heart warming drama.  From Alexander Payne, the creator of the Oscar-winning Sideways, set in Hawaii, The Descendants is a sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic journey for Matt King (George Clooney) an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with a decision to sell the family's land handed down from Hawaiian royalty. Very moving and engaging.  

Creating the Film Director Stars of Tomorrow- Hot Talent Club is launched

March 20, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Post: Creating the Film Director Stars of Tomorrow- Hot Talent Club is launched

On Set at our Custom Designed Police Station

At International Film Base,  we regularly are sent job opportunities and film production requests that we can not take on. It has been a frustration seeing these opportunities going to waste.   We are also involved in many of our own feature film productions and other peoples film productions that we have been commissioned to produce. As a working production company, it has been a great pleasure to employ the very best talent from our film courses on to these productions over the years. Late last year,  I decided that I wanted to create a non-profit Club that would support and help the most talented film makers. The club would   immediately make their advanced film dreams happen once the  four month film course had concluded.  I wanted to create a vehicle where they could quickly get film industry employment and make their very own passion film projects. This would include feature films documentaries and short films and no hanging around. These projects would happen immediately with solid enforceable deadlines. Late last year, I came up with the true vision for our film courses and productions at International FIlm Base.  I coined the phrase "Creating the Film  Director Stars of tomorrow."  Out of this vision, in late February this year,  the Hot Talent Club was born and launched in Sydney and  in the next few months in Melbourne. What is the Hot Talent Club? The Hot Talent Club is for people who have completed our 4 Month Film School in Melbourne or Sydney.   It is a mix of exceptionally motivated and ambitious film makers who want support and crew other film makers while making their very own passion film projects. In the Hot Talent , you will  find a mix of exceptionally talented actors, make up artists, producers and Directors. These people all have one thing in common.  They all want to move to the A List. All of these people are committed to being players in the film industry, now and  in the future. What this means is that the Hot Talent Club creates the energy matrix for these players to make their mark with every film that they are involved in. At  each  monthly meeting a project will be launced with a deadline for production and for completion and the Producer or Director is held accountable to that deadline. Out of the Hot Club we expect to see A List Film Directors and Producers making feature films and TV drama and documentaries  for the world.

Ready to shoot a scene on the Red Camera

You may ask "How do I get into the Hot Talent Club?" Every selected  person must attend our Four Month Film School in Sydney or Melbourne.  They must show  comittment to their film projects during the Four Month Film School. The candidate should have the fire in the belly and a desire to work exceptionally hard to make their film the best that it can be.  At the end , the top 3 -4 people  are invited to join the Hot Talent Club. Each person is selected by the Hot Club Panel. Ultimately, we want one or more of our members to go to the very top in world cinema and make films that get seen by the world. The overall purpose is to create the film production hits and the Director Producer Stars of tomorrow. So if you are inspired to start your film career now, please look at our Four Month Film Courses in Melbourne Sydney or  our One Week Adelaide Course. There is no faster way to get on to your first serious film production completed.  We are conducting interviews for our Four Month Film Schools right now. Book by phone on 1800 131166

Five Film Directing Skills that make a difference

March 2, 2012 by · Comments Off on Five Film Directing Skills that make a difference 

Directing a Shot on the Set of Dealing with Destiny

Post:  Five ways to make your film shoot work effectively 

Most people on our Film Courses love the Film Shoot.  The Film Course Participant learn more on the Film Shoot than any other part of our four month Film School. The main reason for this is  team work.   A group of people bond and make a creative endeavor.  There are many laughs, intense moments and character tests. The satisfaction of creating a film, that will be seen by millions of eyes in the future, also adds a sense of purpose and excitement to the shoot. However the amateur film maker can make a mess out of a Film Shoot and end up having a very challenging time. How can a Film Director make the most of a Film Shoot?  Prepare Prepare Prepare.  How does the film director make a Film Shoot fun and memorable. Here are five areas that one can focus on.
  1. The Script
  2. Actor Rehearsal
  3. Plan the Blocking in Advance
  4. Shot list and/or Storyboard
  5. Pushing the Standard High.
1 Know your Script: 
This is so important. Know your script intimately.  It is called Script Analysis. What this means is that you break the script down and work out exactly what the characters in the scene are doing. Generally speaking the characters will have objectives and they will have different ways of playing the actions in the scene. A Director needs to work out the game plan in advance of a Film Shoot. The Director needs to know how he wants his actors to play the scene in advance of the shoot.  When this happens,  the director can communicate succintly and deliberately on set. Know your script.
2 Actor Rehearsal: 
It really pays to have an actor rehearsal prior to the Film Shoot. What this means is that the actors and the director can discuss the script and the scenes. When one is on a film set, there is too much happening. The Director usually is peppered with questions and other on set problems. Therefore there is no time to rehearse in detail. Have an actor rehearsal prior to a shoot.  You can  weed out cluncky dialogue through improvisation. You sometimes will find a better way of playing the scene. If the director is lucky enough to rehearse on the actual set prior to the shoot,  this will save time. The director can lock down the Actor Blocking in advance of the shoot.
3 Plan the Blocking in Advance. 
Blocking refers to the movement of the actors on the set. The Director needs to know exactly where he wants his actors to move on the set. If left to the actors to move on their own, the movement can be very limited and will probally not fit in with the shot list. So one of the key Directorial tasks, is to work out the actors blocking. This takes training and that is why you should look at a really good Film Course to learn these key film director skills
4 Shot List Storyboard
A Director needs to work out  their Shot list in advance of the shoot. This is one of the areas that definitely reqrires training. Working our the coverage of a scene,  is so important.  A great shot list will create the building blocks for the edit.  Learn all about this on one of our practical Film Courses
5 Pushing the Standard High. 
Working on a film requires commitment . However the very best directors always push for the very best. They motivate and cajole their actors and their crew to push for the very best. If the actors and the crew feel that the director is pushing for a great film, they will try 10o times harder.
One needs to learn how to make films professionally and that is why it is very important to get the very best training available on the very best film course .  Remember learn from the best and when you are shooting prepare prepare prepare. Film Schools in the very near future 2012  
Till next time   Have a great one.     Colm O'Murchu     Director International Film Base
Why did I get this film making email?  You signed up for our Free E Course on how film directors made it big and and therefore receive our blog on a bimonthly basis. 

The Film Editor – The Star Crew Member

March 2, 2012 by · Comments Off on The Film Editor – The Star Crew Member 

POST: The Film Editor is the true star of any Film Production

Today, I want to focus on The Film Editor.

Learning all about the Tools of the Trade

This morning I read all about the Oscars.  Kirk Baxter, an Australian, has just won back to back Oscars. Kirk won last night for the film " The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. *  Yet it hardly makes the papers.  For many people, film  editors are these nerdy characters who spend way too much time in small rooms. Yet in reality they are the true stars of any Film Production. Tropfest was one of the big film events in February.  Tropfest is the worlds largest film festival which takes place at the Domain in Sydney. On the Saturday I attended Tropfest Roughcut with about 150 other film makers.     Speaking at the event were non other than Geoffrey Rush, Actor (The King’s Speech, Pirates of the Caribbean) Kieran Darcy-Smith, Director (Wish You Were Here), Actor (Animal Kingdom) Jason Ballantine, Editor (The Great Gatsby, Wolf Creek, Wish You Were Here) Jason Ballantine is certainly one of the most talented Film Editors with a raft of great film credits all ready attached to his name. Yet he is very humble.  Yet, he is one of the most important  creative people working on Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio I always find it amazing that Film Editors never get the credit that they are due. I am going to be controversial and say this the Film Editor is the single most important crew member after the Film Director. Many outsiders do not realize the following fact.   The Film Director will spend most of his or her life in post production. The Shoot might be only 6 - 10 weeks while post production will often consume about 9 months after the film is finished. Peter Jackson spent just over  a year shooting the Lord of the Rings trilogy and then spent three years in Post Production. It is the attention to detail in Post Production that pays off. If time is spent on post production, this will dramatically make the difference between a  really good film and an average film. Let me clarify Post Production. Post Production includes the Picture Edit (today's subject) Colouring and Grading Visual Effects Titles Music Sound Postproduction Conforming formats such as DCP. The Film Director is involved with all of the above.

Booming and getting the very best location sound

On the film set, the film director only gathers the building blocks of  the film and of course it is very important to get the very best building blocks. However the edit and full post production is where the film is made. There is a gulf of difference between a really good edit and an average edit. In the former,  the film is dynamic and engaging. In the latter the film stinks and is considered a Turkey. However the edit is one area that is neglected in the short film arena. Many emerging film makers believe that the film is complete, once the shoot is over. The mindset is this .....  "Oh yes there is still a bit of editing and music to do but the film is now shot and it will only be a short time till the film is complete." The emerging film maker  then confronts reality. Post Production can suddenly feel like a never ending process. Picture Editing  is an art form that  only came into existence when  motion picture was invented back in the late 19th Century.  Before 1896, there were many fine actors who acted in theater  and there were many stories been told in different mediums. Photography had been around for a long time. Music had been around since the dawn of man. Motion Picture editing only started once we could shoot motion picture.  Therefore it is the purest season of film making. It exists totally out of the need to cut motion picture and create the illusion of a story. Editing up to the early 1990s was a cumbersome process. I remember my first films back in the late 80s. We used to edit on Steenbacks. We would literally chop the film with a small guillotine and splice it back together with splicing tape. Any visual effects would be chalked on the film print and sent off to an Optical House where the effects would be created. How times have changed for the better.  We now edit in the computer and anyone can do it from anywhere. I often edit on the airplane when I am on long flights. You will only know the difference great editing makes once  you start to make your own films. One of the areas we focus on in our film courses is Post Production. A large part of the course is dedicated to post production with 5 sessions spent finishing the film. Many emerging film makers find the shoot so exciting and fun. The adrenalin is running and once the film is shot, they then are

Course Production Filming on Set

confronted with post production which is insular and slow.  Suddenly there is only two people.  The Director and the Editor sitting in front of a computer actually making a film. Not so exciting for many people. To me personally, editing is one of the best parts of film making.  When one sits down to create magic and a memorable engaging story, the hours fly by.  I believe that if you want to be a Film Director it is important to love this season of film making. You have a choice as a Film Director.
  1. Learn editing and become an expert at editing and cutting your own short films and anyone else you can volunteer for. I  personally think that if you can learn to edit, it will pay off in the  long run.
  2. Find an experienced or up and coming editor and work closely with them on your films
How do you do this?  The first step is to enroll on a really good film course   Till next time , have a great one. Colm O’Murchu      Director * If you have not seen the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, please see it. It is a wonderful film that engages you from the beginning to the end. David Fincher  is at his best in this very engaging thriller set in Sweden

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