Moving Into Films: Part 4


PART 4


Production Studios


Cleveland has many talented people. The problem is that they soon leave Cleveland for greener pastures. But in spite of this talent drain, there are still some very good resources left if one takes a closer look. When I started looking around, there were several production studios busy with mostly local television programming and commercials. Others specialized in Industrial films and some were basically amateur outfits run by filmmaking wanabes who contracted their services and equipment to other filmmaking wanabes. When I say ‘amateur’ I mean to say that this word best describes them. Many of them, however, do take offence to the use of the word, so be warned.

But these amateur outfits should not be overlooked or underestimated. Many of the people working in these groups were doing the job professionally in established studios and moonlighting on the side to do the kind of work they would rather do –hence the definition of amateur. They also have a surprisingly good "underground network" that had access to some very expensive equipment on short notice. Some also have connections to the theatre, a medium plagued by the lack of financial resources, so they are very adept at scavenging. In all probability, if you were in the process of making your first movie, as I was, this would be the place to start.

On the negative side, amateur outfits can be difficult to work with. You will invariably find one or two know-it-all types who will constantly try to convince you how to do your film. This is all good if, after you have seen their work portfolio, you reach the conclusion that they actually know what they are talking about. But if you can barely get a word into the conversation, chances are that you are entering a very painful stage in your filmmaking experience. You are better off trying another amateur outfit because, unless you have a rich uncle, the professional production studios are way out of your reach.

I had very few options. Movies are a colossally expensive art and an expensive enterprise beyond the reach of most people. That is why when you hear the word ‘Hollywood,’ dollar signs come to your mind. In all probability making my movie would cost more than my weight in gold. I had no personal savings and Uncle Sam owned my ass until I repaid my student loans. I passed –twice, on marrying rich and I had no rich uncle. Considering a professional production studio was paramount to lunacy. So I went to see the amateurs.



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