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Making Movies 2 Replies

Started by Carlisle Antonio. Last reply by Black Onyx Productions Jul 14, 2009.

Chasing the impossible

Started by Carlisle Antonio Sep 1, 2008.

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Comment by Grady Bishop on January 15, 2011 at 5:11pm
SAG and AFTRA Members Ratify New TV and Film Agreements

Dear Screen Actors Guild member,

In national voting completed today, members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Screen Actors Guild voted overwhelmingly to approve a new, three-year contract covering theatrical and television production under the Producer-Screen Actors Guild Basic Agreement and Television Agreement, Exhibit A to the AFTRA Network Television Code and the CW Supplement, which applies to both unions.

AFTRA, SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reached a tentative agreement in November on the deal that provides increases in base rates, contributions to the unions’ benefits plans, expanded employment opportunities and other improvements for working performers.

Overall, the memberships of SAG and AFTRA voted 93.52 percent to 6.48 percent in favor of the new agreement. Ballots were mailed to 137,437 members of AFTRA and SAG, of which 25.09 percent returned them. The final vote was certified by Integrity Voting Systems, an impartial election service based in Everett, Washington.

Screen Actors Guild President Ken Howard said, "The success of the referendum is a huge boon for members in terms of pension and healthcare contributions. We have the input of our members and the dedication of our SAG negotiating team to thank for the outcome.”

AFTRA President Roberta Reardon said, “This ratification is a win for union members and it is a critical victory for our health and retirement plans. I thank the working AFTRA and SAG members who served on the negotiating committee for leading us through to a strong agreement that the memberships of both unions have endorsed and approved.”

The new pact goes into effect on July 1, 2011 and will remain in force until June 30, 2014.

The unions began talks with the AMPTP on September 27. A joint AFTRA-SAG negotiating committee of 26 individuals – all of whom are members of both unions – participated daily in the talks. Leading the negotiations for the unions were Presidents Reardon and Howard, along with chief negotiators David White, the national executive director of SAG, and Kim Roberts Hedgpeth, the national executive director of AFTRA.

Members voted on the tentative agreement that had been reached with the AMPTP industry on Nov. 7 and overwhelmingly recommended by the SAG-AFTRA Joint National Board in a meeting on Dec. 4. Ballots were mailed on Dec. 10 to all eligible members in good standing of both unions. Due to the holidays, the customary voting period was extended from three to five weeks.

Screen Actors Guild

Comment by Grady Bishop on January 4, 2011 at 5:51pm

http://www.infocus-magazine.com/article/StuntWork/464/

 

Magazin Article on Casting & Auditions "Don't TakeThe Call If You Can't Make The Fall"

Comment by Grady Bishop on December 4, 2010 at 10:56am
They understood the dangers I added all the Industry Standard Safety Rules Regulations that applied in my original bid.

Safety Bulletins
RECOMMENDED BY
INDUSTRY WIDE
LABOR- MANAGEMENT
SAFETY COMMITTEE
FOR THE
MOTION PICTURE AND TELEVISION INDUSTRY

Our Safety Chief Craig Clarke Carries these to every set.

SAFETY BULLETIN INDEX (for this shoot)
A: Introduction of the job of Stunt Coordinator
B: Risk Factors & Considerations for Stunts
Emergency Procedures Bulletin
Seatbelts & Harnesses
Helicopters
Communications Regarding Stunts
Safety Awareness
Scuba Equipment
Insert Car
Water Hazards
Airbags
Motorcycles
On Camera Driving


Introduction-Stunt Coordinator



The Stunt Coordinator is the manager of the stunt unit. It is he/she who translates the director’s vision into action in front of the camera. The Stunt Coordinator works with the Director and where applicable the 2nd Unit Director, Key Rigging Grip, and Special Effects Coordinator’s in pre-production to design and plan action sequences such as chases, fights, and burns. Together, they decide how these illusions will be accomplished as well as where and to what extent stunts will be required.

Based on this, the coordinator prepares a breakdown of the script and/or storyboards detailing the stunts and their estimated cost. The coordinator is usually someone who performs stunts him/herself, and thus is uniquely qualified to judge through personal knowledge, resumes or references, whoever is best at doing particular types of stunts. The Coordinator will determine the number of stunt performers needed and estimate their stunt fees, called “adjustments”.

During the actual shooting, the Stunt Coordinator is responsible for assisting the Director in choreographing the action sequences and supervising the performance of the stunt. The coordinator must ensure that the stunts are performed safely while still obtaining the maximum visual impact. As part of this process, the coordinator will arrange and supervise the rigging of the stunt equipment, stunt vehicles, airbags, and other equipment, determine what safety precautions (paramedic, standby ambulance, etc.) are necessary and communicate them to the production company. The coordinator may offer suggestions regarding coverage, camera placement and frame rate.

The Stunt Coordinator is also responsible for the safety of all of the performers involved in a scene. It is important to realize that actors may request a stunt double at any time when they feel a scene is too dangerous to perform. If non-stunt performers appear in an action scene, the Stunt coordinator will determine to what extent they may be involved in the action (if at all) and, if doubles are needed to take the place of the actor in danger.

The Stunt Coordinator also shares in the task of ensuring the general safety of the camera personnel and other crewmembers during the performance of a stunt by anticipating hazards and providing escape routes. He does this with the assistance of the 1st Assistant Director, Production Medic, Fire & Police Officials and, where applicable, the Key Grip.

The Stunt Coordinator may also perform some of the stunts for the project, and sometimes acts as the Second Unit Director, particularly if the film requires a lot of action.
Comment by Grady Bishop on November 30, 2010 at 6:20pm
How Hollywood killed the movie stunt
Computers and editing tricks have obliterated one of cinema's great pleasures: Seeing real people in real danger
By Matt Zoller Seitz

A still from "Death Proof"On Nov. 12, 1910, a hundred years ago today, a man jumped out of a burning-hot air balloon into the Hudson River while a movie camera rolled. The vast majority of silent films are lost to history -- vanished, destroyed or somehow rendered invisible -- and this, it would seem, is one of them; I've seen the burning balloon gag cited as the first movie stunt on a number of sites, some quite thorough and authoritative, yet none list the film's title or the name of the stuntman. Photographic evidence of the balloon man's deed lives on in the Topps bubblegum card pictured here, and his legacy can be seen on any screen that shows moving images.

But what happens when movies change, and stunts become devalued?

I ask because in looking at that image of the stuntman diving into the Hudson, and running through a mental checklist of my favorite movie stunts, I realized that almost none of them occurred in films released during the last 10 years.

What's the significance of that time frame? Well, for one thing, it's the approximate start of the Digital Era of cinema -- the point where video started to replace film and practical effects (meaning effects that were created in order to be photographed just like any other physical object) started being subsumed by computer-generated effects. And for another (and this is surely related) the late '90s/early aughts marks the point when classical or "old-fashioned" editing -- which dictated that every cut should be dramatically and aesthetically justified -- was supplanted by what the film theorist David Bordwell calls the "intensified continuity" or "run and gun" style. The latter seeks to excite viewers by keeping them perpetually unsettled with computer-enhanced images, fast cutting and a camera that never stands still.

Intensified continuity is about denying the viewer a fixed vantage point on what's happening to the characters -- especially in action scenes. It's about "using brief shots to maintain the audience’s interest but also making each shot yield a single point, a bit of information," Bordwell writes. "Got it? On to the next shot."

One side effect of intensified continuity is that it doesn't let audiences see action in context -- and is, in fact, the enemy of context. If the 1910 balloon stunt appeared in a film made today, we probably wouldn't see it in a sustained wide shot that showed the diver in relation to the balloon and the Hudson River as he jumped from the basket and dropped into the water (the preferred framing of truly spectacular film stunts from the silent era through the end of the 20th century). We'd more likely see a flurry of shots, only one of which showed us the big picture. Most of those would very likely be anxious hand-held close-ups -- say, a hand grasping the lip of the basket, the man's feet leaving the floor of the basket, a brief point-of-view shot revealing what the man saw as he jumped from the basket and so forth. Intensified continuity, Bordwell writes, "doesn’t demand that you develop an ongoing sense of the figures within a spatial whole. The bodies, fragmented and smeared across the frame, don’t dwell within these locales. They exist in an architectural vacuum."

That might seem like a minor difference, but for stunt performers, it's major. An "architectural vacuum" can sustain excitement on-screen -- I enjoyed the Bourne trilogy, for example, and defend its often derided rat-a-tat visual style as a subjective expression of its hero's warrior intuition, an approach that gives viewers a sense of what it might be like to live in the head of a beleaguered assassin who knows he could be killed at any second and has to keep scanning his surroundings for information and signs of danger. At the same time, though, I can't deny that the run-and-gun style has dampened the impact of stunts. As astounding as that car chase in the second "Bourne" film was, I might have appreciated it more -- perhaps savored it as a display of choreography and cutting and physical daring in the way that I did the truck chase at the end of "The Road Warrior" and other ambitious chase scenes -- if the camera had pulled back more and if the director, Paul Greengrass, had been willing to hold shots for longer than a second or two.

The decline of classical filmmaking, coupled with cinema's increased reliance on computer-generated or computer-burnished imagery, has pretty much destroyed the specialness -- the magic -- of movie stunts. You can't appreciate what you can't see. And it's harder to appreciate the unusual nature of a physical achievement when the entire movie strives to make every moment seem thrilling, astonishing and intense -- a phenomenon I wrote about in a 2009 Salon piece about the director Michael Bay, who seems to believe there is no such thing as a small moment, and whose hyperactive action pictures suggest what Nike ads would look like if they were directed by killer cyborgs on cocaine.

I thought this summer's Angelina Jolie action thriller "Salt" split the difference between classical and contemporary filmmaking quite well, giving viewers the now industry-standard editing razzle-dazzle while also holding shots somewhat longer than the norm and putting the heroine's feats of strength and endurance in physical context. My favorite stunt in the film is photographed with what is, by contemporary filmmaking standards, unusual patience and calm: Salt ducking out of an apartment window to elude pursuers and clambering from window ledge to window ledge like a cat, carefully and with concentration. Jolie did this stunt herself with the insurance of a wire harness that was later erased digitally. It's a meat-and-potatoes stunt, not too fancy, yet it's very effective. Why? Because it sustains the illusion that we're watching an actual person do something dangerous in circumstances we recognize from life. I get mild vertigo just thinking about that scene -- much more so than I do recalling a far more visually spectacular stunt in the same film in which Jolie's character escapes CIA agents and cops by jumping off an overpass bridge and landing on the roof of a moving truck. The latter is far less exciting than the window ledge stunt partly because of how it's edited (cut-cut-cut) and partly because a key shot in the sequence, which follows Salt as she tumbles down off the bridge, is obviously (and rather awkwardly) computer-assisted -- and thus no more real-seeming than the airborne house in "Up."

Yes, of course, stunts are still being performed. And stunt performers are no less daring and inventive than they were in the '80s, the '60s or the '20s, when Harold Lloyd hung from a clock face in "Safety Last" and Buster Keaton risked getting crushed by the falling facade of a house in "Steamboat Bill, Jr." But stunts don't register (for this viewer at least) the way they once did, because the current language of movies devalues and diminishes them. Real stunt performers clambered across the tops of the train in the current "Unstoppable," but director Tony Scott cuts so often that it's harder to appreciate the bravery of the characters and the athleticism of the stuntpeople; the stunt becomes another piece of data in the cinema of information overload.

Great stunts are arresting in large part because they occur in reality, or "reality" -- the reality established by the movie; i.e., the wider (visual) context that Bordwell writes about. In retrospect, I think the last great flowering of movie stunt work happened in the early '80s and '90s, when Hollywood was churning out an unusually high number of well-constructed crash-and-burn action thrillers such as "Aliens," "Die Hard," "Terminator 2," "Under Siege," "The Fugitive" and "Speed," and Hong Kong action cinema was showcasing work by actors who also happened to be astonishingly gifted stunt performers, and situating their work in films that made sure you knew where you were spatially and what the dramatic and physical stakes were. Think of Jackie Chan leaping from escalator to escalator and getting his face smashed into window glass in the shopping mall finale of "Police Story," or the incomparable Michelle Yeoh, aka Claudette Colbert plus Buster Keaton, riding a motorcycle onto the roof of a moving freight train at the end of "Police Story III: Supercop."

I don't think it's a coincidence that on those occasions when a recent stunt makes a strong impression, it's because the filmmaker has made a point of setting it up in a plainspoken manner, often showing the stunt performer's entire feat in a comparatively long (for the action genre) take that views the performer from far back. Think of Roger Moore's double Rick Sylvester diving off a cliff at the end of the ski chase in "The Spy Who Loved Me." Or Harrison Ford's regular stunt double Vic Armstrong sliding underneath a moving truck in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" -- or the legendary Hollywood stuntman Yakima Canutt performing a gag in "Zorro's Fighting Legion" that directly inspired the one in "Raiders." Or Thai kickboxer Tony Jaa showing off his superhuman agility in the low-fi martial arts thriller "Ong Bak." Or stuntwoman Zoe Bell hanging on the hood of a Dodge Charger in the climactic chase sequence of Quentin Tarantino's "Death Proof."

It's probably also no coincidence that Bell and Jaa's achievements were described in pre-release publicity for the movies -- an extra-cinematic means of letting the audience know that what they're seeing is both a great movie moment and a documentary record of an extraordinary athlete doing his or her thing. We've gotten to the point where audiences assume everything on-screen is conjured with pixels unless filmmakers strenuously insist otherwise. The low-fi aesthetic showcased in "Ong Bak" and "Death Proof" is the best antidote to audience skepticism, because when a movie is clearly made by people who didn't have two nickels to rub together, that means the stunt work isn't just an ingredient in the meal, it's the main course.

I wonder if we'll see a resurgence of low-tech, stunt-driven action as an antidote to high-tech sorcery. I hope so; with the right context and the right attitude, a wide shot of a man jumping out of a burning balloon could be more exciting than 300 computer-generated avatars charging across a battlefield made of ones and zeros while the director runs and guns and cuts, cuts, cuts.

Matt Zoller Seitz is a freelance critic and film editor and the founder of the online publication The House Next Door. He has written for The New York Times, New York Press and other publications. His video essays on films and filmmakers appear regularly on the web sites of The L Magazine and the Museum of the Moving Image. More Matt Zoller Seitz
Comment by sharadsinghthakur on October 6, 2010 at 2:03am
Hi, I am producer and Director recently produced and directed Hindi Movie Titled Zara Sambhal Ke; Based on prostitution and child labour, my web site www.anishafilmsint.com
Comment by Elyjah Wilbur on September 12, 2010 at 4:44am
Hello Fellow Directors and Producers,

My name is Elyjah Wilbur, and I have just wrapped production on my senior project for film school that I am writer/director/producer on. We recently entered the script into NexTv's short film/web series competition and could use the help and support of fellow directors and producers to view and vote on the project! Please click here and search "Jack of Hearts" or "Elyjah Wilbur". It's the support of fellow directors and producers that get any of us who strive to make it in this industry, anywhere. I hope that you all at least take the time to view the project!
Comment by Rudolf Konimois Film on September 1, 2010 at 4:06am
Hi

I am a film director and the owner of the video production studio Rudolf Konimois Film.

Feel free to contact me for co-operation and networking.

More information about the studio: http://www.rudolfkonimoisfilm.com/

And my showreel: http://www.vimeo.com/rudolf/videos

Regards,
Kaido
Comment by JulesTV on May 16, 2010 at 4:17pm
Hi

I am a self-shooting TV Producer/Director
Credits from BBC1, Channel 4, MTV, Sky etc

Mostly reality and factual entertainment shooting.

Happy to answer questions.

I blog at

www.jules.tv

and I have a Flip camera blog at

www.myflip.co.uk
Comment by Jose Noriega on January 25, 2010 at 6:51pm
Hello Group

Looking forward to add new friends in the international video DVprofessionals Network community, greetings from Mexico
Jose Maria Noriega
Producer
www.video.com.mx

My Spanish Speaking Latin Producers Network
Comment by 3B Digital Studios on January 1, 2010 at 2:56am
Hi All,
Happy New Year!
 

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