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May 15 at 8:15am

10 Ways Technology Altered My Filmmaking Process

By Ted Hope

I am not sure cell phones have really helped because I used to be able to always be on set.  When cell phones came along, the producer was always on the phone.  Sure schedules used to be done by hand.  Nothing was wireless.  But what was it that helped make movies more efficiently or creatively?  What were the big advances that I can recall?  Did they all actually help? Did some hurt?

  1. When we made THE UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH we had a heat sensitive copy machine and the call sheets faded away from view within 24 hours.
  2. I designed my own budget in Lotus for the first 5 or so Good Machine productions including Ang Lee’s first feature PUSHING HANDS. It was still better than using the pre-printed forms that were the vogue of the day.  At least mine automatically totaled everything, even if it was sometimes prone to an error or three.
  3. Ang Lee’s THE WEDDING BANQUET was likely the first narrative feature cut on the Avid.  I thought it would save us time, but it turned out to be a creative tool.  Previously we had cut the NYC section of Hal Hartley’s FLIRT on an Avid too.
  4. LOVE GOD was one of the first video features output on film.  We got funded by Apple and Sony to give it a go.
  5. Jame Gunn’s SUPER avg’d about 38 setups a day shooting on the Red (w a crack team & committed director)
  6. SUPER sold for more than anticipated partially due to expectation of team’s social media impact.  Sure the film totally delivered — and it wouldn’t have sold if it didn’t — but the buzz around the film was high because of the social media. Both James and Rainn Wilson had tremendous followings.  Additionally we encouraged the whole crew to tweet during the making of the film.  It didn’t make people come to see it, but I think it definitely helped sell it.
  7. STARLET was made for very little money with a small crew comfortable working small & on digital.
  8. Both SUPER & DARK HORSE had over 100 VFX shots for approximately $100K all in.
  9. Much of CROUCHING TIGER’s VFX were done by remote VFX artists.
  10. It was somewhere around 2000 when I started getting dailies on DVD and we did not watch them en masse any more.  I certainly preferred the extra three hours at home I got as a result but  we lost something when we lost the shared discussion of the work that we had just created.
What about you?  What advances helped your filmmaking? Hurt them?
PS.  I was inspired to write this post by this one: “Utilizing Technologies In the Filmmaking Process” http://trulyfreefilm.hopeforfilm.com/2014/04/bondit-utilizing-technologies-in-the-filmmaking-process.html

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