What is Line Producer?

Line producer could be entitled as Production Manager in some production firms. The word Line in a film’s production separates the Budget allocation above the line expenses and that of from below the line.

The Budget allocated above the line are mostly fixed, they are basically included the Story rights and fees for Writers, Producers, Directors and Cast.

And the below the line Budget allocations covers almost all expenses incurred and related to all negotiations with various aspects which includes location, scheduling and sets — that need to be estimated, budgeted and kept reined in.

Line producers enter the filmmaking process during development and stay through the production process. When the line producer received a script of and asked to estimate the below the line production expenses for the film in any format or categories, he or she has to determine the most appropriate crews and equipment and the related parties and areas that will best contributing to the needs for the production.

The line producer is also to be able and being expected to create a filming schedule after breaking the script, determining how long each scene/shoot will take place to estimate the daily cost.

Based on those estimates, the line producer prepares a budget for the producers to show how much funding they will need.

Once the final budget is firmed up and endorsed by the producer or executive producer in charged, the line producer will have to keep production costs in line as the film moves through its shooting schedule.

A Line Producer possesses skills of a combination of knowledge, experience and personality traits.

He/she needs to work very closely with the director, Assistance director as well as all parties involved in the production. Ability to breakdown all scripts and translate them into production requirements and filming schedule as well as taking a lead to all parties for a smooth and safe production not only dictates the quality of a Line Producer, but also the quality of a production process that leads to the final results of the production.

It is a very challenging role to play as a Line Producer which might stimulate your interest and confidence.

This course promise to guide you to be able to
. works with the director, production manager and department heads to prepare the final budget, shooting schedule and production dates
. oversees hiring crew, finding equipment and suppliers, scouting locations and activities of various departments
* monitors the budget and production schedule, revising the schedule and controlling expenses to keep the film on time and within budget
* answers to the studio and acts as a liaison between the crew and the producer
* approves or denies additional expenses
* How to hire and negotiate with crew
* helps the director reach his artistic vision for the film
* deals with on-location crises

To succeed, you need:
* strong problem-solving skills and the ability to make decisions quickly
* flexibility to deal with unexpected changes
* a calm approach during crisis management
* the ability to balance the creative and practical in making decisions
* diplomacy in handling requests for funds
* negotiating skills with suppliers
* the ability to work with many different types of people, commanding respect and providing encouragement
* willingness to work 80 or 100 hours a week during the production phase
[sources: Skillset.org, Honthaner]

Hear What Our Participants Say…

Hazim Saini is an actor.

For another year, or less, he told me that he aims to be a Producer in the film production.

I kind of think that he is really so determined in achieving his goal, for he was the very first one in the class who handed up his home work without failed.

Hazim Saini is an actor.For another year, or less, he told me that he aims to be a Producer in the film production.I…

Posted by Clifford Ng on Saturday, 26 August 2017

I was quite astonished when first heard Jeremy Tan told me that he wanted to be a Script Supervisor or someone call it as Continuity Supervisor in a Production.

To be a Continuity Supervisor is indeed not a pleasing task to ingratiate oneself with many aspects especially when all sat behind the editor, often time were caught in surprise that something is missing from one shot to another.

Let’s hear what Jeremy had perceived it…

I was quite astonished when first heard Jeremy Tan told me that he wanted to be a Script Supervisor or someone call it…

Posted by Clifford Ng on Saturday, 26 August 2017

James Fong, an interesting local actor who runs his own production as a Indy attended our Production Management Couse this week.

As actor, he even “acted” in the interview to make everyone laughing heads off.

James Fong, an interesting local actor who runs his own production as a Indy attended our Production Management Couse this week.As actor, he even "acted" in the interview to make everyone laughing heads off.

Posted by SGMP Film Production and Management Course on Friday, 28 July 2017

Miqi Lina has been a Casting Producer for many years.

She attended our recent Production Management Course and accepted our invite to do a short interview after the class.

Let’s hear what she said…

Posted by SGMP Film Production and Management Course on Saturday, 29 July 2017

Jason Teo is a screenplay writer. He is quite ambitious about how to pitch a concept to a potential sponsor…

Jason Teo is a screenplay writer. He is quite ambitious about how to pitch a concept to a potential sponsor…

Posted by SGMP Film Production and Management Course on Friday, 28 July 2017

Cuts & Transitions

The only way to get ourselves familiarised with the production management process, is to hands on in all the documentation as well as speaking the proper Jargon with in depth comprehension.

These are some of the basic Jargons in the editing process.

Knowing them and turn it into our second nature in thought will definitely inspire our creativities from the start.

Our workshop demonstrates.

12 Film Editing Transitions
Transitions are the bridges between scenes. It’s a good idea to know these 12 basic editing transitions.
1. Cut (a straight transition to a new shot)
2. Wipe (a gradual transition to a new scene)
3. Dissolve (a gradual double exposure transition from one image to another)
4. Fade in/fade out (a gradual increase or decrease in picture brightness)
5. Focus in/focus out (a transition shot using focus)
6. Match cut (when two camera shots are linked visually – the foreground is the same but the background changes)
7. Freeze frame (a shot that gives the illusion of a still photograph)
8. Split screen (a visible division of the screen used to combine two or more actions filmed separately)
9. Slow motion (time has been slowed down) 10. Fast motion (time is speeded up)
11. Jump cuts (the middle section of a shot is removed to create a jump in time)
12. Cross-cutting (suggests that actions are occurring at the same time)

Setting the Stage for an Interview

In a non-investigative situation, the main reason for interviewing people is to get information that is generally not known to the reporter and the public.

Once the cameras and audio recorders are rolling, reporters shouldn’t spend time asking people how long they have been employed, where they were educated, whether they are married, or whether they have any children. If that sort of information is important, it should be learned informally before the actual interview begins. You might want to include such information in the introductory sentence of your story, but you would rarely waste valuable airtime with video- or audiotaped responses on these subjects. The recorded questions and answers should be restricted to those that gather information about what the newsmaker knows or thinks about an idea or issue or, perhaps, to those that capture emotions.

One simple trick for reporters is to ask the interviewee to say and then spell their name just as the camera begins to record. This allows the videographer to double-check the audio level, plus it captures the spelling of the name that can be transcribed for the graphics operator during the newscast. Also, if the name is difficult to pronounce, having the subject say it on camera is the best way to learn the correct pronunciation.

PHRASING QUESTIONS CAREFULLY


Many people interviewed by reporters are shy by nature or intimidated by microphones and cameras. Some others just seem to measure their words carefully. In order to prevent one-and-two-word responses, reporters must phrase their questions so they are impossible to answer with a “yes” or “no” or by just a shake of the head. 

If you ask a person, “Do you like farming?” you are bound to get a “yes” or “no” answer, but if you ask, “What do you like about farming?” you should get a sound byte. If you ask a witness to an auto accident “Did you see what happened?” you might, again, end up with a one-word response. If you ask, “What did you see?” you’ll most likely get a longer response. Children are particularly likely to give “yes” or “no” answers so ask them open-ended questions and be patient.

AVOIDING LEADING QUESTIONS


Do not lead the interviewees toward giving a particular response—some of the best reporters are sometimes guilty of this bad habit. During the Gulf War, a nationally known TV reporter asked a Bush administration official if he was “upset” after viewing pictures of an air raid that showed heavy destruction to a civilian target. The pictures clearly upset the reporter herself, and phrasing the question in that manner was a disservice for two reasons: (1) it probably influenced many viewers’ feelings about the video and (2) it put the administration official in an uncomfortable situation. If the official had said he was not upset, he would have appeared callous; if he had said he was upset, he might have sounded critical of the military, which may or may not have been fair or accurate. The reporter allowed her personal feelings about the air raid to influence the question. It was a leading question. She should have asked the administration official, “What did you think about those pictures?”

LISTENING CAREFULLY


Reporters should arrive at an interview with a list of questions that they intend to ask the newsmaker. They also must develop a keen habit of listening carefully to the answers and asking follow-up questions. Many inexperienced reporters are so intent on asking their prepared questions that they fail to listen to the answers. They often do not realize that their previous question was not answered fully, or at all. Sometimes, to the embarrassment of all, the reporter asks a question that already has been answered. The astute newsmaker—often anticipating the reporter’s next question—sometimes adds additional information to an earlier response. The rude awakening comes when the reporter asks another question on the list and the newsmaker says, “I just answered that.”

Another effective technique is to establish direct eye contact with the person being interviewed. It’s easier for reporters to concentrate on what people are saying if they look them right in the eye. This habit also establishes good rapport. Maintaining eye contact with newsmakers lets them know that the reporter is listening and interested. If the reporter’s eyes drift toward the list of questions or to the cameraperson, the newsmaker might take that as a signal that he or she has said enough and wait for another question even though he or she might not have finished answering the previous question.

THE TOUGH QUESTIONS


One of the more difficult traits to overcome as a novice reporter is the reluctance to ask tough questions. It often goes against instinct to directly ask someone a question that might prompt discomfort or hostility. However, the reporter’s job sometimes requires asking questions that the subject may perceive as irritating or even confrontational. These instances may happen when asking an engineer about flooding in a new subdivision, questioning a football coach about a poorly called game, or interviewing a jaywalker about crossing the street without looking both ways. Seasoned interviewees, like veteran politicians, may not be riled easily. Others may pass you off to their attorney or, in the case of celebrities, to their manager.

Although there are no good ways to ask tough questions, some techniques work better than others. First, unless the interview is going to be brief, avoid asking a tough question at the start; this only creates a confrontational atmosphere for all subsequent questions. Second, if the question may be attributed to a third party, you can phrase the question neutrally. For example,

“Senator, your challenger in the upcoming election says fraud is rampant in your campaign. How do you respond?”
This will still elicit an answer without putting you in a direct confrontation with the subject. Use this technique if there are indeed charges from another source. It is poor journalism to use a “straw man” question to an unnamed source, such as:

“Senator, a lot of people say fraud is rampant in your campaign. How do you respond?”

There are also some instances where reporters are expected to ask direct questions. One painful example of a missed opportunity occurred at a White House press conference during the first months of the Barack Obama administration. As the other reporters focused on the economy, the war in Iraq, and the housing crisis, one reporter asked the president what he thought about baseball players using steroids. The question was not only inappropriate for the setting, but there’s only one way to answer it—does anyone expect the president to say he favors illegal steroid use?

Most interviews will not require a tough question. However, the reporter’s job is to ask such a question if the occasion warrants. Remember that politicians, police chiefs, and football coaches are accustomed to direct questions that require direct answers. The worst possible outcome is that they refuse to answer. Still, you need to ask.

KEEPING CONTROL


Sometimes reporters inadvertently allow newsmakers to take control of an interview. Politicians are particularly skilled at manipulating interviews. For example, some politicians take a couple of minutes to answer a question, whereas others ask reporters how long a response they want and then give an answer of exactly that length. Because politicians and others accustomed to working with broadcast journalists know that reporters think in terms of sound bytes, they usually try to express their views in about 12 seconds to make sure their answers are not edited.

A problem arises when the newsmaker takes too long to respond. The choice then is either to interrupt or to allow the head to finish the answer and then reask the question, saying, “That was great, but could you cover that same ground again in about half the time?” Most often the individual is happy to comply, which simplifies the editing process and results in a more natural-sounding response. Editing a sound byte down from a minute to 20 seconds sometimes alters the speaker’s inflections.

Some newsmakers try to mislead reporters. They avoid answering some questions and skirt around others. Unless challenged, newsmakers often dominate interview situations. If the head doesn’t answer the question or gives only a partial answer, the reporter should try to follow up. The newsmaker often then gives largely the same answer phrased differently. The reporter then needs to decide whether to ask the question a third time or perhaps to say to the newsmaker, “I’m sorry; but you still have not answered my question.” When the response is “That’s all I’m going to say on the subject,” that in itself makes a statement. The reporter might then note in the story, “When pressed to answer the question several times, he refused to elaborate on the original answer.”

ASKING ENOUGH QUESTIONS


It takes time to develop the skill of knowing when you have asked enough questions during an interview. Reporters just entering the field tend to ask too many questions, usually because they are understandably insecure. As reporters gain experience, they develop a feel for when they have collected enough information.

Because time is precious to a broadcast reporter, asking too many questions means that the reporter spends more time than necessary at the scene or on the phone. That leaves less time for working on other stories and complicates the editing process. 

The pressure of conducting interviews quickly can sometimes cause reporters to miss important information. It is often a good idea for the reporter to ask the interviewee if he or she would like to add anything or to ask candidly if the reporter might have missed anything important. It is surprising how often the response is “Well, as a matter of fact, I probably should tell you….”

FINISHING THE INTERVIEW 
As the interview winds down, there are a few basic strategies to gather the last information as well as to signal the subject that you’re wrapping up; you will find some interviewees can ramble on all day.

Some reporters ask an open-ended question such as “As we’re wrapping up, do you have any final thoughts on the subject?” Others prefer to ask for how to cover the story; such as “We’re heading out to the location right now. Can you suggest anything we might want to get on videotape?”

One effective technique is to ask for a Web site or e-mail address that you can release on the newscast. For example, if the Red Cross Disaster Services is having a fundraiser and its Web site has the details, asking for the Internet address wraps up the interview while giving you a tidbit to pass along to viewers as well.

Once the interview is over, thank the interviewee for their time. Grab a business card (or double-check the contact information) so that you can follow up with them later. Also, take a moment to help the videographer break down the equipment; you need to get out as quickly as possible so the interviewee can get on with their day.

Finally, never promise that the interview will be on a particular newscast. Stories are frequently dropped, plus there’s always the chance that the story may air but the interview will not make the final cut. To avoid frustrating interviewees, let them know you hope to get it on that evening, but make no promises in the field. If they are insistent on knowing if they’ll be on or not, you can always call them later from the newsroom once the rundown is finished.

Introduction to Storyboarding

Storyboards are illustrations that represent the shots that will ultimately make up a movie. They allow you to build the world of your film, before you actually build it.

There aren’t any strict, exacting rules on how to do storyboards, conveying information is what’s important. Storyboards are ultimately a technical document, a tool. So it doesn’t matter if you’re a skilled illustrator or not. This can work just as well as this. Even if you struggle with perspective or can barely draw a stick figure, you can still convey what types of shots you want and their basic composition.

Who storyboards? Typically, the director sits down with the storyboard artist to help articulate their vision.

However, it’s not uncommon for cinematographers and production designers to join in the process as well. I usually meet with the director and produce rough thumbnail sketches that summarise the important information in each panel, and then afterward I will fill in the details on my own.

Meeting with the directors once again after completing the panels to make sure everything works. We’ll then share the completed panels with the rest of the team.

Let’s breakdown the parts of the storyboard.

The panel, or frame, is a rectangle that represents what the camera will see. Panels come in a bunch of different shapes. Pick a panel shape that matches your shooting aspect ratio. Square, widescreen, really, really widescreen.

A person drawn really small in the panel is a wide, or establishing shot. A big head taking up half the panel is a close up. Deciding where you put the person in your frame is the basis of your composition. This may seem really basic, but this has a huge impact on how you prepare for your shoot.

These illustrations give your cinematographer a starting point. Things like, camera angles, lighting, depth of field, the whole gamut of decisions can be informed by the storyboards. It’s also a great way to decide what you’ll need out of your locations. Do you really need a giant bottomless pit? Or can you get away with one visual effects wide shot and then cover the rest with tighter shots?

Okay, let’s talk about arrows. So now that we have a panel with a character in it, let’s say that character is moving to the left. By drawing an arrow pointing to the left, we show where that character, or door, or dinosaur is moving. There’s no real rule to drawing arrows, and everyone has their own personal style, but what’s important is that your arrows are easy to read, and make sense. Here’s some examples of arrows. Arrows for characters moving towards camera. Arrows for characters moving away from camera. This character is kneeling down, and this character’s head is falling off. Arrows within the panel usually mean a subject is moving in the shot. Arrows around the edges usually imply some sort of camera movement. So here, the raptor lunges right, and the camera pans left.

Now let’s talk about camera movement. Camera movement arrows also aren’t really standardised. But let’s go over some common ways camera movements is illustrated. Dolly movements are typically done with one arrow, often narrowing a little bit to suggest movement in or out of 3D space. Both dolly shots and zooms can also be illustrated by placing arrows in all four corners of the panel. This shows a widening, or narrowing of perspective. You can draw a panel within your panel to show how far your dolly or zoom goes. Clearly conveying information is key, so it’s better to over-explain than to confuse people.

Pans are often shown with an arrow on the side of the panel, either pointing to the left, or to the right. Tilts up and down are done much the same way, except with the arrows on the top or bottom of the panel. You can also elongate the panel to fit the entire shot in a single drawing. Since this can get a little confusing, it’s ok to make a note indicating the shot is tracking, versus panning, or dollying versus zooming. Because arrows are often used the same way in both instances. You can make your notes beside the panel, or in the arrow itself. Sometimes you’ll need more than one drawing to illustrate what’s happening in a single shot, especially if it’s a really complicated action or camera movement.

When you take panels with angle, composition, onscreen movement, and camera movement, and then combine these panels into a sequence, you got the foundation of your movie. Storyboards are particularly useful for preparing scenes that require multiple effects techniques. But this scene from truck-flipper versus bus-puncher, we use storyboards to decide what was going to be stunts, what was going to be practical on-set special effects, what was going to be green screen, and what was going to be CGI, based on exactly what kind of action was needed in each specific shot. Without planning ahead, a scene like this would’ve been impossible to shoot in the amount of time we had available.

Storyboards are typically created based off the completed script. But if you’re doing a story that’s extremely visual, storyboards essentially can be your script, like with Mad Max: Fury Road. Since it’s such a visual film, the beats were more effectively planned out with pictures than with text on a page. While this is an extreme example, this holds true for preparing all visually complex scenes.

There’s also plenty of other alternatives to storyboarding. Stanley Kubrik used actual photos from his locations scouts to find his compositions. It’s also worth mentioning that filmmakers who adapted comics and graphic novels often use the original artwork essentially as the storyboards for the final film. You can make animatics of your sequences on your computer to include motion and timing. You can also video tape your pre-vis which is really useful for complex action. You don’t need the actual set, costumes, or magical flying speedo-bikes to test out your ideas.

In the original Star Wars, George Lucas used real World War II documentary footage to help pre-visualise space battles. Animation has also been used to help capture complex sequences. Jurassic Park used stop-motion animation to pre-visualise the dinosaur scenes. When the decision was made to use CGI in the final film, they’d already planned ahead in painstaking detail, and knew exactly what specific movements the CGI was going to need to be able to do. By the time Peter Jackson did Lord of the Rings Trilogy, digital technology had developed to the point where they were able to motion-capture the cave troll sequence, and then move a digital camera around in 3D space to pre-visualise the entire scene in a virtual setting.

There’s no hard and fast rules or one way to do it. But the ultimate goal is planning, and clear communication. So whatever tools is going to help you prepare and share your vision the most, use it, it will pay off when you get to set, and will help empower you to make the best film possible.

If you have any questions or would like to share some of your own storyboards, please visit our forums. I’ll see you next time guys.

What is the Cinematography?

We love cinema. No mater how much the form of the audiences and distribution may have changed, we’ve been telling stories in motion ever since Lumière Brothers first brought us this gift, and sense that Inception, Great Thinkers have attempted to plan our connection with it. They have said that movies are dreams but there are windows into worlds and lives that are not our own but they allow us to sculpt in time.

But as poetic as these descriptions are, they don’t quite capture the specificity the art form in our ability to manipulate it, for if this is about the art of visual storytelling in the heart of cinema and cinematography. Now cinematography is not only about how we capture the action of the scene, it is how we show that action to the audience. It just means that cinematography is all about communicating with the viewers.

“Take earlier”.

But because cinematography is often so beautiful and so emotional, it makes us assume that the murky process of filming movies must be built on some murky instinct, but instead like all disciplines, Cinematography is built on principle of concrete understanding, just cinema is the language.

“What?”

It sounds so simple but it’s like zooming in on the atomic level, you can see how it really works on people. Think about it in terms of the language analogy. Words that means right sometimes a few of them.

But they have clear definitions we have, verbs, nouns and sentence structure.

These rules are critical to our use of language but also what we build on the fall from invert them ironically. The key to understanding is that rules at the heart of how we speak to each other. In our understanding of cinematography works the exact same way.

OKAY, NOW WHAT?

Now you may have all these things you want to do and it’s cool shot ideas and you want to try and mimic or invent, but they’re still the basics of cinematic language that must be reckoned with. We must zero in on the specific words and meanings.

Yeah…Whatever…

Tell you were filming scene wanted to show that someone was really scared. The first tool cinematic language he would be towards high angle. The subject looks down on the victim coward blow, showing the person in a place of being threatened. Now you could say all come on, it’s just showing a person scared and that’s why you think that. But the language of cinema doesn’t more than that. It emphasizes, it’s not just about the information AKA what’s happening on screen, it’s the way that information is being shown. The way to folks in motion and makes it more scary.

The way it goes right past the connection of our brains and dive into our nervous system. It’s able to do this because it understands perspective. To it, imagine if you pursue the Opposite Tact.

Say we wanted to no longer be with the monster looking down on the scared human, and instead wanted to emphasize with her feeling. In that case we would switch to a low angle with her looking up at the monster, our perspective would be her perspective. The monster towers over us with medicine violence and make us feel the same way she does.

The great thing is we instinctively understand it.

These are the kind of things that happen in movies all the time just with slider and more subtle emphasis. You think of that famous seen the Graduate where Dustin Hoffman is being guided around at the party by his parents. They take up the sides of the frame dominating over him as he shrinks into the lower center.

It’s the same exact principle as the over our moving shots we talked about before. Just use them much more subtle context.

“Yes I see now.”

Cinematography is obviously not a series of mechanical static angles. Cinema is alive. It moves, and just like with angles the way the camera moves tells us something too. The smoothness of the Steadicam or tracking shot and stills us with confidence if and omnipresent godlike ability.

To go through action clarity and impunity a docu style organic movement makes us feel uneasy like we are witnessing the real world.

Dutch angle make us feel like the world is off kilter skewed and we can use any number of technique to go beyond the layers of surface and peer in that the people lay under them to unfurl the world before us.

These tactics reveal the heart of cinematography where you put the camera doesn’t just allow you to tell the story.

It tells you to think and feel about the story you are watching. We set it before but cinema is effectively the movie God’s view and sometimes it can seem like this movie God is actively investigating people, sometimes this movie God is trying to show us something about these people they don’t even want to show themselves because the god of a movie universe is the storyteller behind the cam.

Therefore it is up to you to decide what you wish to communicate to emphasize, to make us feel something you may think that you want your action heroes to be unstoppable cool badasses but doing so can easily lose the dramatic effect of a fallible your own danger making the audience feel that way too.

“We are going to die.”

Either way it’s all about what you want to communicate to your audience. Cinema is a language. So it’s time, we start talking.