Re: Answers


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Posted by Michael Raben at spider-mtc-tf051.proxy.aol.com on January 11, 2001 at 19:41:12:

In Reply to: a budding filmmaker could use some advice from Kev posted by ecdraven on January 11, 2001 at 19:14:01:

: 1. what kind of camera(s) did you shoot clerks with?

'Clerks' was shot using an Arriflex (Arri) 16mm SR-1; might have been SR-2. Curse my eyes, I can't remember for sure.

: 2. what kind of film did you shoot on?

In basics, 16mm black & white. I'm sure Vincent would know the EXACT types of film, if you wanted the info.

: 3. i've heard you spent around $30,000 total on it. did that include the actors' pay or was it just for the production of the film?

The $27,500 and change paid for the original cut that played at the IFFM in New York. I'd pretty sure that noone on the shoot was paid, but after the film was sold at Sundance, I'd further guess that everyone who worked on the flick got a taste of the proceeds. Keep in mind that after Miramax bought the film, they paid for some post-production work (soundtrack, ADR, minor re-edit, etc.)

: 4. how did you get permission to shoot at your locations?

He asked. It's really not too hard to get permission as long as you're not going crazy at a locale, showing major copyright protected buildings/logos, or getting in anyone's way. I found it rather easy to get the okays when I shot my flick. If you're a good salesperson, most people will let you shoot for the curiosity factor alone.

: 5. any tips for stretching scenes without much dialogue?

The way you phrased this question bothers me, only in that it sounds like you're thinking first about film run-time as opposed to the completeness of the story. 'Stretching' scenes shouldn't be a priority; telling the story comes first. When you're storyboarding, flesh out what you want to say in a scene, in ADDITION to the dialogue: define the setting, the mood, the attitude/emotions of the characters, REACTIONS to things (not just words, but physical response), action going on around the characters, etc.

: 6. what kind of audio equipment did you use?

They had a standard audio package: Nagra (DAT or 1/4"), boom mike, etc.

: 7. what did you do your editing on?

Initial edit - Steenbeck flatbed. No AVID or Media 100. Yikes.

: 8. how did you get clerks to the masses? entering film festivals or did you send it in to miramax?

A bit of compressed history: 'Clerks' plays at the IFFM in New York -> indie film guru Bob Hawk sees film and becomes interested -> Bob Hawk puts Kevin in touch with indie film guru (and former producer's rep) John Pierson -> After some seesawing, Pierson comes on board -> Mssrs. Hawk and Pierson help get the film into Sundance -> Miramax buys 'Clerks' at the festival.

Now, keep in mind that this story is very "fairy-tale-ish". Most indie films don't play many festivals at all and of the ones that do, most don't ever get picked up for distribution. That notwithstanding, there are literally festivals going on year round, inside and outside of the US. Factor in local and art house screening possibilities and there are opportunities to get an indie film screened.

Hope this has answered your questions.

Always,
Michael Raben





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