Although up only one day, my previous post on Me and Joe movie-making received a lot of attention. I need to point out some differences between shooting hunting and outdoor videos compared to what Hollywood-inspired film schools teach about movie making.
The significant difference between a modern “outdoor” production and Hollywood movies, is that the newer tradition of outdoor hunting videos had its origins in home movies, rather than in studio productions of feature films.
The originators of outdoor filming were driven by the need to advertise products. These included films made by the late Bob Hice (Tree Lounge Tree Stands), David Blanton (Realtree Camo) and “Cuz” Strickland (Mossy Oak). In these early days the cameraman often did everything needed to edit the movie and dialogue. After this was done, a production company was hired to take the film and put on the finishing touches to make it into a commercial product. Now, some of the larger companies do all of the pre-and-post production work in-house, even to the point of pressing test CDs with the artwork, etc.
In filming hunts there is usually one cameraman and one hunter. This compares to “Hollywood Productions, ” where there may be 20 union-scale-paid professionals around the set, including one guy whose job is to take care of the electric lines that run between the cameras, mikes, sound equipment, lights, etc.
Anyone can see how the “Hollywood method” can generate serious expenses. The minimal costs for a modern “Hollywood'” film is commonly said to be $500,000. By shooting away from the “Coast,” using non-union supporting people (often for free) and filming at a small number of nearby locations, a narrative movie can be made for $50,000 or less.
Me and Joe moviemaking is where the co-director, producer-writer-wardrobe-make up-set designer-first grip and gopher and the co-director-cameraman-sound man-light designer-editor and mixer have equal parts to play brings production costs down to the $5,000 range.
Is the product up to commercial standards? That depends on the people doing the production, equipment used and the post-production process and packaging. This can be a very time-consuming process and a money sink. Not only is time taken making the movie, but time spend doing what may be a “training exercise” is time taken away from income-producing work.
More can always be done. At some stage someone has to say, “Enough. It’s finished.” Then the task for both parties is marketing their product. If not produced on contract, self publishing or selling a movie to a distributor can be a daunting task.
However, you have a movie. You two have done it!
If nothing else a “Me and Joe” production can get you into local film festivals and provide contacts that will be valuable for future work, learning and growth. In the movie business a movie that demonstrates your skills and the personal contacts gained as you show it are more valuable than college credits. You need basic skills, but the industry does not care how you got them.