Latitude: Contacting Los Angeles

I’ve posted this update to the crew, but here it is again. I’ve recently been on Skype to Greg Glass, the President of BCIITV, a production company based in Los Angeles.

1. He’s said he can only really help spread the word once we have a 90 sec-2 min TRAILER and load this to YouTube/Vimeo, as California in particular we won’t get far without one to show to people. They’ll just turn away and not be interested in what we have at the moment, as thousands of films get turned down for not having one. In terms of the trailer, we cannot really produce one until we meet our actors and begin filming the British scenes. Once we begin filming we will have some footage to create a trailer from.

2. He needs to know EXACTLY what days we will be in LA from our shooting schedule and he will ask his boss for help, meaning possibly providing crew/equipment/facilities/location scouts. Currently half the crew is going from 10th-17th April and the rest are going between 30th April-8th May.

3. He said he uses Replay XDs instead of GOPROs as he finds them to be better quality and have easier manoeuvrability. He sent me this video and another to look at. His company has 40+ of these cameras, which provide good time-lapses too. We could think about using these.

4. CONTACT UNIVERSITY FILM DEPARTMENTS across the West Coast. Students there will offer help for FREE. They want the experience. San Francisco State University, San Francisco Academy Of Arts, California State University, Monterey Bay University, UC Santa Barbara, California Institute Of Arts in particular. They could offer knowledge on local locations that they may have used before and production assistants (that could possibly come on shoots). They could also offer equipment similarly to how our University loan shop works (in particular possibly a JIB/Tripods/Glides which would cost in weight for us to take to USA).

5. Location Scouting. He said this was a tricky one. Most location scouts, due to being based in California are not willing to help for a small price. It would be lucky if we could get one for $1000-$2000. Though he did say we could try and check out http://ca.reel-scout.com/loc_search.aspx OR http://www.la411.com/ which has EVERY single thing we need to know in the Los Angeles area, particularly in terms of location scouts (of which there are 30-40). This should not be a problem any more as myself, Sam and Alex are planning on going out earlier and sorting locations.

6. Film permits. We need to think of these if we are to be distributing this on a large scale. We can either go renegade and risk being sued or try and dodge the police. If police see you stopped on an open road with cameras they will ask for a film permit. He mentioned this will be a problem. Also with hotels and bars along either Highway 1/Pacific Coast Highway we may just have to wing it, as it’s unsure as to how they will react. Especially if you want the pubic not to be there. We will have more luck shooting outside the big cities rather than in LA/SF/San Jose/Silicon Valley.

7. Equipment. He said there is no way we would be able to rent out RED cameras or Arri Alexa for cheap. To hire them out would be the budget for our entire film so we can rule them out. However he said if we wanted to hire a Super 16mm to try out either http://worldwidedigitalservices.net/ or http://www.woodennickellighting.com/ both based in California/LA.

We also need to check out the film permits as a priority. Myself, Sam and Mick will work on them. I know in New York it wasn’t a problem, but LA might have different regulations.

If we can get a bit filmed in Iceland, this could be a section of the trailer. It doesn’t necessarily need to be in the film, like most trailers you see, but it’ll help build some content towards it. Apart from that there’s not much I can do in the next 10 days other than plan a storyboard for a possible trailer (I was going to do this anyway as I have 50 pages of blank storyboard that I’m taking to Iceland with me). I think if it is required in order to get our film out to those in California, then it’s a great use of time.

Greg said it’s probably best to say we are a student film; otherwise people will categorise us with non-student films, which brings us into the competition bracket of the higher budget large production companies. In comparison people will think we are having a laugh. Also being a student production, we will get away with more and people will be more likely to help us if we just ask. The last thing we want is to be arrested by the police for not having student documentation and permission forms.

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