Digital innovations and Filmmaking -

Monday, August 27, 2012

Globe - Behind the scene

Globe's filming ended in May 2012 after the last schedule was shot in Nantes. Globe's post-production is in progress and I think that it's time for me to wake up my lovely blog. I was wondering if I could offer any tips on how to help you to make your first feature film, and I thought that I could simply share the technical stuff we have used to make Globe. Maybe, it could help... I don't know if it's the best way to make your first feature film if you have a limited budget. In fact, I'm sure that it isn't, but I don't care! I also don't know if I want to use the same workflow to make my second one, but, here we go!

Crew : Francis Frenkel, Alain Brasseur, Emmanuel Joseph, Céline Disint, Zed Bruno, Catherine Caldray, Caroline Audrain
Cast : Carole Reppel-Baele, Anthony Bertaud, Bruno Henry, Dominique Prié, Vivienne Vermes, Phillip Schurer, Christophe Jouzel, Nolwenn Le Floch, Sébastien Froger, Antoine Ohron, Adrien Comelli, Daniel Macaud, Samuel Decoux, Gilles Richard...

First things first, the production side... 

Last year, I watched Dov Simens' DVDs again and again. Dov's film school helps to keep the focus on what's really important for independent filmmakers who want to come into this industry. Turning some of the Dov' magnetic power of persuasion inward could recharge your faith and build a deeper confidence in yourself.

In my opinion, the best way to make your first feature as an independent filmmaker is to do your job as best as you can with your budget and skills... Stay on budget! Try to do as many things as you can and try to identify complementary people to make your crew... and don't let people say that you can't do a feature film with only six crew members. It isn't easy but I think they are wrong! I've heard this sentence so many times in the last year...

Hire a great artist to design a beautiful pre-production poster! It changes the way people look at your filmmaking project! Of course, it could help if you plan to launch a crowdfunding campaign like us (Ulule) to get the end of your budget, but also remember that location scouting is a vital process in the pre-production stage of filmmaking, and this poster is really appreciated by the location owners...

Let's go right into the core of the discussion...

Learn from the masters! I have read many books in the last ten years but two of them really helped me in the last six months.

Learn from computers! Digital revolution is in march, DSLRs, NLE, iPad, what an amazing period! Stay connected!

I wrote the first version of the Globe's screenplay with Celtx, an open source software you probably already know. In december 2011, Wayna Pitch hired an english screenwriter Barth Hulley to write the english dialogues of the film and we work together in the Celtx collaborative environment. I have to say that it works fine!

During Globe's pre-production stage, I used my own computing experience to move on. 

In theory, the script breakdown involves taking every scene in the movie and placing it on a production board. I created an Open Office spreadsheet (complex but powerful!). The pre-production schedule was created with the Shot List app on the iPad (amazing in its simplicity!).

GoodReader is The Must-Have document reader for iPad and it is the perfect tool on the set for the director to direct the story and the actors, to keep organized and share the vision, no sheet of paper, everything in the right place : the script, the notes, the homework, the shot list...

I recently read on nofilmschool that Magic Lantern is no longer a Hack... Francis and me agree! We use it during 26 days on two Canon 5D mark II and I assume that we couldn't have done this without it. V2.3 is really a mature release with more professional features than any other cameras (focus, exposure, bitrate...)

Post-production, here's where we are today... Editing in FCPX and DaVinci Resolve 9 for color grading! ProRes 422! Two 3To hard drives! FCPX is for me a great professional NLE. The only thing that really drives me crazy in FCPX 10.0.5 is that I would like to copy, paste and remove individual clip attributes, effects, rather than the shotgun all or nothing way it is done now...


  1. Hi Jonathan

    Interesting to see you created your breakdown in Open Office, then set it up in ShotList.

    You could of course do this all n ShotList, but I thought I'd just mention that the new version of ShotList (released last month) now reads and writes xls files, so you can output a template from ShotList, work with it in OpenOffice then reimport to ShotList if you wish.

    Just thought I'd let you know. Thanks for the mention, great to hear you are finding it useful.

    Soluble Apps

  2. Good news Peter... I like it!!! It makes sense!!!