Short Films Online Budget

Frequently Asked Questions

    What is a good website to buy cheap wallpaper?
    I need to buy wallpaper at the absolute cheapest price possible. I am on a very strict budget for a short film so the more I can save, the better. Also, any other suggestions/stores or anything where I could find cheap wallpaper versus going online? Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      Go to a paint supply or even a Home Depot, and ask to look at discontinued, or damaged rolls. Also Family Dollar sells wall-paper, how cheap is

    I need some help on making a short film?
    I am making a short film. I am only an eighth grader and I have no idea how to make one. It is horror/suspense and I need tips on what to do. I have written the script and everything, I just need to actually put it together now. Like actors(probably classmates), camera crew (I wish), BUDGET, and the worst is, it takes place in a school at night, so how do I do that?! If you could at least answer a few of these questions that would be great. THANKS!

    • ANSWER:
      BUDGET:Go to party city they have lots of horror things but probably not in stores go online and go to the Halloween section, most things don't cost to much
      CAMERA CREW:You could get a classmate or friend who is a tech geek or likes to take pictures, maybe ask the class nerd. But it's really not that hard you just get a camera(if you don't have one barrow a friends) and point and shoot.
      SCHOOL AT NIGHT:well seems easy enough most janitors are there at night from the television shows I've seen, go in the hallways turn on the lights or bring flash lights and point them where you wanna shoot it's good being in the dark for horror so get a flash light And point in not IN the scean but Maybe close to the camera, so it shows enough light to shoot good quality or maybe turn on school lights there must be lamps or somthing...
      ACTORS:classmates are good, mabye even family! Chose people how there character seems; if the main character is easily scared get a friend whose like that, or if the main character is brave get someone like that.

    I need some help on making a short film?
    I am making a short film. I am only an eighth grader and I have no idea how to make one. It is horror/suspense and I need tips on what to do. I have written the script and everything, I just need to actually put it together now. Like actors(probably classmates), camera crew (I wish), BUDGET, and the worst is, it takes place in a school at night, so how do I do that?! If you could at least answer a few of these questions that would be great. THANKS!

    • ANSWER:
      Hmm, you are facing a lot of the same problems that big budget movies face, so don't be too worried. This will take a lot of work, you'll have to be patient, and keep in mind that you might have to improvise on the fly.

      Alright, with the budget you'll have to prioritize. Since you probably won't be paying cast or crew what you want your budget to focus on is production design. You'll have to try and figure out how much it will cost to make your movie before you even shoot a single second. First, price check all the things like props (since this is a horror you'll be looking at stuff like stage blood and stage knives, etc.) costumes. This might cost a lot, or a little, it will depend on some things. If your actors can provide their own costumes, that they don't mind getting dirty (even ruined) it will be cheaper. Also, stage blood can get expensive, if you want you can make batches of your own (there are plenty of recipes online that can give you specifics). As for any other props, it will depend on where and in what condition you buy them in, but props can be fairly cheap.

      Sorry to stay on the budget, but budget is very important, I would suggest investing in some kind of light kit (there are expensive ones, but you could put one together yourself using a work light from a hardware store and then getting some light gels). I'm guessingyou're most likely using a camcorder so look into getting a couple of extra tapes/SD cards in case something happens to the one in the camera or it gets full. And finally, this is one of the most important parts of budget making for movies is, you will want to have extra funds available just in case something goes out of control.

      Onto the camera crew. A camera crew can simply be made of 2 or 3 people, and you may include yourself as one of these people;
      -a camera operator, someone who knows the camera fairly well and can do minor troubleshooting in case something isn't working properly.
      -a 1st AC who takes care of the memory card/tape when it is filled and has another at the ready, they also will watch the camera when the camera operator is away (bathroom, food, stuff like that)
      -(optional) if you decide to invest in lights a gaffer is a good person to have, they move the lights around, make sure that the lights have power, and they put gels on them.

      Now for locations; this may not be as tricky as you think. Granted it may take a bit of working the system, but it can be very educational. First, talk to the school you want to shoot at, specifically, talking to the principal is a good place to start. This will be a time to pitch your movie, you are trying to sell this to the location. Because this is a horror/suspense, it might be good to downplay the horror and focus on the more suspense aspect of the script.
      Even, then the principal might ask that you go through another person (the school board, the janitorial office, somebody), don't get discouraged, keep on going and if necessary make the same pitch you made to the principal. Now the thing about shooting at night will be tricky to sell. You could try that just to see, however, it is probably not going to happen. In that case, suggest shooting during the day when no classes are taking place (if that's the case, remember that extra money in the budget? You can use that to buy this stuff called duvetyne and gaffer tape. Then you can tape the duvetyne over windows and stuff to make it look like it is night in the school).
      And if the school doesn't go for it then you can maybe try a local community college or see if you can get permission to film at a place that looks like a school and then you can edit footage together to appear as if you are shooting at some school.

      I hope that helps; movie making is hard work, but it can be the most rewarding experience you have. Good luck and I have attached some URL's to some of the film supplies I was talking about:


      Gaffer Tape

      Gels (I recommend only getting Blues and Oranges, specifically CTO Full and CTB full)
      CTO Full
      CTB Full

    How can I visit Chicago on a semi-limited budget?
    Do you have tips for a traveler on a budget? I'm going to be going to Chicago in July, and want to know some ways to save some money. We are spending most of money on a nice hotel downtown, so are looking to save on our entertainment and food, but still be comfortable and have a nice time.

    • ANSWER:
      Chicago in July is the place to be. You are going to be dizzy from all of the free or inexpensive options.

      First, take all of Manonthestreet1's advice. Then read this:

      Be prepared to walk! For example, walking from the Magnificent Mile on North Michigan Avenue or Navy Pier down to the Museum Campus (basically, one end of downtown to another) will log a few miles on your sneakers. Get a CTA visitor pass before you go (but allow 2 weeks for delivery) to get unlimited rides on buses and 'L' trains while you're in town. A 5-day pass is only .

      For a breathtaking view, head to the Signature Room at the 95th in the John Hancock Building. It's only one floor below the observation deck, but it's much less crowded and you can relax up there at a private table for the cost of just one drink.

      Also, the city has a tremendous number of outdoor festivals, the most famous and largest of which is the Taste of Chicago (June 29-July 8 in Grant Park). Most locals (like me) avoid this because of the crowds and the expensive food tickets. Admission is free, however, and crowds are lighter on week days during lunch time.

      A better bet would be the neighborhood festivals which have great live music. My favorite is the Chicago Folk and Roots Festival (July 14-15) at Welles Park which is just a few blocks from the Western stop on the Brown Line 'L'. The neighborhood festivals charge suggested donations of about , but they can't legally force you to pay to walk on a public street.

      Chicago's world class museums are another good option, but they can be expensive. The Art Institute of Chicago is free on Thursday and Friday evenings in the summer from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. As someone else mentioned, the Lincoln Park Zoo is always free as well. Unfortunately, all the museums on the Museum Campus (the Field Museum of Natural History, the Adler Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium) have no free or discounted days in July. If you are a true museum buff and plan to cram several museums into your visit (I would be exhausted), consider the CityPass, which gets you admission to the Adler, the Shedd, the Field, the Museum of Science and Industry and the Hancock Observatory. It's about and lasts 9 days from first use. Keep in mind that special exhibits and attractions may cost extra.

      Beaches in the City of Chicago are always free and a great way to spend a summer day. If you do make it to the Museum Campus, 12th Street Beach (just a short walk south of the Adler Planetarium) is relatively secluded and not crowded for a Chicago beach. Pack a picnic lunch and a book or a Frisbee, and you're set.

      You absolutely cannot miss Millennium Park, which has free outdoor concerts and performances all summer long. (Check their website for details in a month or two.) Make sure to take pictures with the "Bean" or Cloud Gate sculpture, and get your feet wet in the whimsical Crown Fountain.

      Another great free downtown experience is Summer Dance, a free dance lesson and concert series right in Grant Park downtown. Learn the dance for an hour, then dance what you've learned to a great live band. Each night offers a different style of dance and music. Their schedule is also not yet online.

      Starting at the end of July, the city presents the Outdoor Film Festival, which shows free movies in Grant Park on Tuesday nights at dusk. Another great picnic opportunity, people start staking out their spots as early as 4 p.m. The 2007 schedule has not been announced, but check the city of Chicago website soon for details.

      In addition the Chicago Park District hosts free Movies and Concerts in the Parks all summer long in neighborhoods all over town. Check their website for details as your visit approaches.

      If you have a laptop with wireless capabilities, bring it with you and take advantage of the free Wi-Fi at all 79 Chicago Public Library locations. You don't even need a library card! That way you can look things up on the fly while on your visit.

      For cheap food, I highly recommend the book "The Streets and San Man's Guide to Chicago Eats". This book offers up a bunch of great places with real character where you can grab a hearty lunch for real cheap. You can get it used on Amazon for .50 plus shipping.

      Enjoy your visit to what I think is the greatest city in the summer time!

    What is the most simple to use digital video camera and editing softwear?
    My younger brother is autistic, but high functioning. He's becoming very interested in making films and film making. What would be a good place for him to start?

    • ANSWER:
      Hi Eric:

      For starting out, try one of the free (for short projects) online video & slideshow edit sites like which is very user-friendly and needs no software installation. See my short "features" demo here:

      And YouTube has a simple online editor function (again, browser-based, so no installation needed).

      As for a camera/camcorder, one of the "pocket model" point-and-shoot camcorders that don't have a lot of menus and dials would be best. They tend to have a "one button upload" feature, which makes using an online editor even easier. Even though recently discontinued (still available in some places), the Kodak PlaySport and PlayTouch line of pocket camcorders are rugged, water-resistant, and a good example of a simple to use video recorder.

      A visit to a local pawn shop is a good way to try some "hands on" tests of affordable camcorders, and save some money (and find good discontinued models like the Kodaks).

      Shy away from models with hinged-screens or other easily breakable parts. The ones that resemble an iPod tend to be the simplest.

      Many famous YouTubers started out with (and still use) a webcam & their laptop for making videos. Webcams are pretty hard to "break" and not expensive, compared to a separate camcorder. (- can buy a decent webcam, but not a good camcorder.)

      You're a better judge of your brother's motor skills and responsibility-level regarding handling & use of an electronic gadget. Budget your purchase accordingly.

      hope this helps,
      --Dennis C.

    What microphone or microphones should I get for recording dialogue for a short video?
    I have a budget of 250 dollars

    • ANSWER:
      Hi Chris:

      You have a fairly realistic budget for a good mike or two. From some of your other Y!A Q&A's, I get the impression you'll be shooting dramatic "film style" dialog scenes, and not sit-down interviews (where you could get away with two AudioTechnica or Sony lavalier mikes).

      Those two brands also sell the most-affordable boom-mount or on-camera "shotgun" style mikes, from the Sony ECM-CG50, with hot-shoe mount & mini-plug cable included @ 0, and the AudioTechnica AT875 in the same price range, to the other AT800/8000-series and Sony ECM-673 & ECM-VG1 at the top of your price range. [See B+H Photo's website, sorted by price: ]

      There are a lot of buying guides online, to help you decide on what to look for in a good boom or shotgun mike. B+H PhotoVideo has a good one on shotgun mikes with excellent illustrations:

      As far as side-by-side reviews of features to look for using specific models, here's another excellent B+H article from their "In Depth" series, reviewing a half-dozen good boom-mike dialog microphones: Although these mikes are higher than your price range, they exhibit the characteristics you should shop for in a more-economic model.

      hope this helps,
      --Dennis C.

    What is a good miniDV camcorder (for under 0) to make short films with?
    I want an inexpensive dv camera to start making some shorts with to get experience in shooting, editing, sound, etc. to eventually buy a better camera and shoot an indie feature. I've done lots of internet research but there's seemingly a million choices. Any help/direction would be appreciated.

    • ANSWER:
      I gave this answer a few days ago to a similar question:

      I make a significant portion of my income as a videographer and am certified as an A/V tech. I have produced quite a bit of low-budget commercial video so I am qualified to answer your question.

      If you want to use an inexpensive camera to produce the highest possible quality programs, then you must be able to separate the fact from the fiction. There are a lot of facts to know but the most important one is this:

      If the intended audience thinks your production looks and sounds good then it is, in fact, a good production no matter what equipment you used to make it. The audience has the final say on what is acceptable to watch and what they will be willing to pay you to make.

      Of course you always want to do your best work and have something to be proud of so you should strive constantly to improve your equipment and techniques. But budgets are a reality of life and being able to manage one is an extremely valuable skill. Being able to make the most with the least can be a form of art in my opinion.

      With these things in mind, you will be pleased to know that DV cam resolution specs mean virtually nothing in the practical world. Manufacturers do publish this info but for the most part it is useless to look it up because nearly all NTSC consumer DV cams shoot and record at basically the same resolution. So these things are really not an issue, especially in the price range under 0.

      What will matter to you is certain other factors which determine how versatile your camera will be for the intended purpose (making movies). The more versatile the camera the more creative you can be and the less your work will be limited by your equipment.

      Here are some factors to consider.

      1. Manual Controls - You need to be able to turn off the consumer-friendly automatic features and have manual control over as many picture parameters as possible with white balance, focus, and exposure being a minimum.

      2. Lens and Filters - A longer built-in optical zoom lens (15X or greater) can make shooting much easier in many situations. And an accessory wide angle lens is invaluable for certain indoor shots. Your camera should accept standard external filters. Neutral density and polarizing filters come in very handy.

      3. External Jacks - Headphone and microphone jacks are a must. S-Video and audio in & out jacks can be handy. Digital recording using the IEEE1394 / FireWire / iLink port as an input as well as an output are needed to be able to use the camera to save your edited master from a computer onto a DV tape. You could save your master to DVD but will lose a considerable amount of video quality by doing so.

      4. External Control Port - You will benefit greatly by having a camera with a wired remote port such as the LANC jack used on many Sony and Canon cameras. This will allow you to attach a wired remote for zoom, etc. so you do not shake the camera unnecessarily while trying to operate the on-camera controls.

      These are the four most important factors to consider in my opinion. However, if I only had 0 to spend for this camera I would spend no more than about 0-400 for a used camera on eBay which met my criteria. I would then spend the balance on several inexpensive but invaluable accessories such as:

      1. Stabilizing - It is impractical to hand-hold the camera for all shots (especially if you are in them) so a decent fluid-head tripod is a no-brainer. Making smooth motions while carrying the camera is much easier with the use of a counterweight mounting system similiar to Steadicam. You can purchase plans online to build your own DV cam stabilizer for just a few bucks.

      2. Power - Batteries never run down except when you most need them. A second charged battery can save you lots of time and money or even save the day. A small power inverter for the car so that the regular AC adapter can be used to power the camera or charge the battery while you are not near AC is cheap insurance as well. The power inverter will be about the same price as a special 12V DC adapter cord for a camera and is much more versatile.

      3. Wired Remote Control - A wired remote with zoom and recording control is worth a mint. Fortunately they no longer cost a mint.

      4. Lens accessories - Wide angle lens, ND filters, and a polarizing filter are the minimum. Special effects filters are pretty cheap too and work great for certain projects.

      5. Audio accessories - Comfortable closed-back headphones, a shotgun microphone on a boom, and a mini audio mixer are essentials. Lavalier mics are quite useful as well.

      6. Lighting - You need to think in terms of indoor and outdoor lighting. AC halogen lighting for indoors is a requirement for quality video. A separate battery-powered halogen light can be helpful as well. Outside you will find bounce cards and scrims (or the homemade equivalents) helpful.

      Here are the factors which to me seem to make the biggest difference in how "professional" a production appears to me:

      1. Stable pictures are the sign of a pro. The camera should normally be transparent to the audience. They should easily be able to forget that they are looking at the world through the lens of a camera. Shaking the picture, fast zooms, and improper framing of the subjects are usually just ways to spoil the pleasant illusion of reality for the audience. You shoud think of the camera as a window that you are holding for someone to look through, not at. Make sure if you do any of the listed maneuvers you are doing them on purpose and for a needed effect.

      2. Proper lighting is the factor which will make the biggest difference between your video looking like it was mede by a pro or a rank amateur. An inexpensive DV cam can shoot very good video in the correct lighting, but even the best camera will look pretty bad under the wrong lighting.

      3. Audio quality is another quick way to separate the pros from the wannabes. Inconsistent or low volume, background noises interfering with the dialog or mood, and camera handling noise are all dead giveaways that someone did not know what they were doing. Fortunately these are pretty easy to prevent if you know what you are doing while the camera is on. Unfortunately, they can be extremely difficult or even impossible to correct after the fact.

      With all of this said, I will make a camera recommendation. In my opinion some of the best digital camcorders ever made that can be purchased as used in this price range are the Sony Digital8 models CCD-TRV120, CCD-TRV320, and CCD-TRV520. These are very inexpensive now and accessories are widely available at low cost on eBay and elsewhere. They meet all of the requirements I cited above but do record the DV format onto an 8mm tape, which is not normally a disadvantage. Another DV cam which might be considered is the Panasonic PV-GS65 which has 3 CCD's but does only have a 10X optical zoom.

      You may email me if you have specific questions about what I have told you.

      Good luck!

    How to get better at film?
    How to get better at film?
    I am in my early teens and am VERY interested in short films. I am extremely artistic and just loves art! Anyway, my problem is I just started fooling around with a video camera and I have realized I may suck at it... What can I do to get better? I am really determined and need any tips I can get! even camera brands and what not... PLEASE PLEASE HELP! thnx in advance!

    • ANSWER:
      Well, to be honest, camera brand isn't really important when starting out. Don't worry about "sucking at it", so to speak. Remember that you're starting out, and it takes practice. Don't compare your short films to stuff that Hollywood pumps out. They're using 0,000 cameras, a team of crew members to get the lighting and set dressing right, then follows it with thousands (if not millions) of dollars worth of post production editing, from color correction to sound mixing.

      Focus more on how you film the story. Take some of your favorite directors and watch their movies with the commentary on. Often you'll gain insight in how they approach scenes and shots that may help you learn. Join some film groups online, ask questions, and watch other independent filmmakers works. Read some books on filmmaking. There are some good books out there that explain details such as setting up the right shot to match your vision, how to choose the best lighting, identifying sound issues, and so on.

      Lastly, have fun. Enjoy the artistic nature and creativity of it. Your passion will be reflected in the film.

      For camera brands, if you really want more on that, it kinda depends on budget. Really you can use any ordinary video camera. Getting more serious, I would look at some of the mini DV cameras, like the Canon XL2. It costs a few grand, but it's a great camera to work with. Honestly, though, it's all about the artist. Cameras and lights are just tools. Beauty comes from the artists, from your actors to the director to the writer.

      Hope this helped.

    What's a good camera for an ametuer Film Maker?
    I'm just a college student getting into the film, I have no experience in film making. But I can and will write and include a couple of friends as actors. I was just wondering what is a good camera to make some short videos or films? I'm on a tight budget, money is an issue here since I'm in college. It would be nice if u can add a list of cameras, equipment: lights, editing softwares, microphones and tripods etc. Thanks!! 😀

    • ANSWER:
      I am a still photographer who knows a little bit about video and do not know what type of budget you are on but I will list some links below for you to check out and you can piece together what will work for you.

      Below, if you click on the first link, it is a search page for camcorders, I filtered for flash memory based camcorders. You can scroll the list and see there is a range of prices and brands. I think have a camcorder where you can shoot and then plug the memory card into your computer and start editing has some real merit to it. I would want a decent camcorder that uses SDHC cards, these cards can be affordable and big storage (4GB card about and 8GB cards about , 16GB card cost about ).

      Ok, another option that could be intriguing is a DSLR with video ability. In particular, the Pentax K-x 12MP DSLR with HD video ability. The next 3 links (2nd, 3rd & 4th links) are related to this Pentax, 1 link to the Pentax website page on this camera and the other 2 to online review and one has a youtube link to see some video from it.

      You may have an option already for editing, but I am a Mac user and have used iMovie some and that is the way I would get started to make my movies and later would move up to Final Cut software if needed. (want to know more about iMovie then just go to

      For lighting, I would use natural as much as possible, and use relectors to reflect light where needed and you can use large white boards (poster board, foamcore) to reflect and it is cheap. You can buy some cheap clamp lights if money is tight until you have the money for real video lights. I provided another B&H Photo link that brings you to the lighting page and you can see what looks helpful and affordable.

      Also added 2 more vendor links that you can check out (adorama and buydig).

      Hope this helps some.

      Take care.


    How can I find people who want to appear in a documentary?
    How can I promote a documentary?
    My friend and I are working on a documentary about the higher education system.

    1) How can we capitalize on the film?
    2) Where can we promote it? What social media websites should we use?
    3) How can I find people who are interested in appearing in the documentary? (professors, students, graduates, employers, internship directors, internship supervisor, higher education lobbyist, politicians, and people who do research on higher education institutions)

    If you are interested in being featured in the documentary, then please e-mail me at Thank you.

    We are willing to do Skype, Google Talk, e-mail, phone, and in-person interviews.

    • ANSWER:
      OK, the first thing you need to do is to develop some sort of business plan or overarching model for your film. You need to figure out what your film is going to be about - right now, saying it's just about higher ed is pretty broad. Focus on a specific aspect of the system, and then as you go along you might find that a specific story becomes really important. Frankly, I would suggest you might want to back off and start with a smaller project - maybe a short documentary running ten minutes about just one person's experience, or one specific thing happening in higher ed. Look at the movie "The Lottery". That's about one very specific thing, and the people it impacted.

      You really need to plan, plan, plan - and then get out there and share your streamlined vision with others. A great way to do that is by looking into some of the documentary grant funds out there, and what kind of application materials they ask for. I requested funding for a documentary in Texas last year and I really had to put together a lot of material - a full budget, a summary of the story I was working on, a promotion guide, a detailed resume for myself and my producer, etc. It was a really solid experience because it forced me to think about what I was doing.

      As for getting people interested in appearing - you have to come up with an idea, and then you talk to people you meet. If you don't know someone, you start researching online and by talking to others about what kind of views you want to have.

      Even though it is an older book, I really suggest Michael Rabinger's "Directing the Documentary". It asks you a lot of questions and gives you a lot of food for thought.

      I would also suggest that you volunteer to crew on other people's productions. That's one of the best ways to learn.

    How do I shoot a movie scene with a shootout?
    Me and my friends are making a movie, and there is a scene where there is a shootout between many characters. I want to know how to show things getting shot when the characters miss, and also how to get the effect of someone getting shot.

    • ANSWER:
      Depends on several factors: What is your budget, what type of surface are your "misses" hitting, and what type of effect for the bullet wounds?

      Budget: Depending on the amount of money you want to spend, you can find several fx dealers online that specialize in prop/fx equipment. Do take note that you're not going to find pyro stuff, or extremely realistic stuff (that's where you hire a professional fx technician which I'm guessing your film isn't aiming to that level). But for a little bit of money, you can get safety glass (bottles, jars, ect.) to break and the like.

      Surface: Are the bullets hitting dirt, concrete, steel, ect? This will, to some extent, determine your approach. You can add spark ricochets and smoke ricochet effects in post using Adobe After Effects or a similar program. For sand/dirt strikes, a friend and I developed a very cheap and easy practical approach:

      get a long length of small plastic tubing, at least 5ft long. Bury the tube with one end being set for the strike point, positioning it for the right angle (do you want the hit cloud to go straight up, to one side, ect.?). Be sure to pack a small amount of dirt/dust/debris in and over this end. Then, during the scene at the appropriate time, someone gives a quick, hard blow on the other end of the tube. Takes a little timing and you usually can't do this shooting a wide shot, but it works and can be done over and over until you're satisfied.

      Bullet wounds: Again, this comes under some budget restrictions and desired effect. If you're looking for the explosive-type wounds where the hits "pop" on the victim (giving a small blood spray, holes in clothes) you will more than likely need a professional for this. If you just need blood flowing, soaking through a shirt type wound, you can find blood packs and inexpensive fx packs online, even ways to create your own blood using Karo syrup and red dye. Costume shops should carry wound/scar makeup kits, and with the help of a decent makeup artist, you can really make them look like realistic wounds. You can also add bullet hits in post using the After Effects program, though getting it to look real might take some work.

      Lastly, a lot will come down to your actors. How well they "sell" the hits. Watch a few films on YouTube and you will see a big difference between a lousy acted hit (be it a punch, a gun shot, or whatever) and a well acted hit. Your actors being able to portray being hit will really help make the effect real. Spending a ton of money on props and fx will be a waste if your actors look like the short bus clown brigade.

      Hope this helps.

      *edit - use some ingenuity. There are lots of creative ways to work fx, you just have to look at what's around you: Small fishing twine can be used to trigger/release items falling off walls and shelves, for example. If you are able to drill holes in the wall of a location, you can use the tube bullet effect described earlier to make bullet hits in the wall (use black tubing, make sure the wall looks old/deteriorated so it hides the strike point, use makeup/chalk to blend strike point with wall surface, and so on). Creativity is part of filmmaking and figuring out creative ways to address these issues can be a fun and exciting part of your film.

    Does anyone know a shop in Phoenix, AZ where they collect vintage cameras?
    I tried looking online but everything i found was either for a company to buy cameras or a place to take photographs... I appreciate your help.

    • ANSWER:
      If you can't find anything in the YellowPages, my best advice is to locate other local film photographers and ask them. Often old camera shops are businesses run out of personal interest with a low budget and they don't advertise much and are hole-in-the-wall type establishments. They may open and shut down in short periods of time also.

      Another thing you can do is simply hit all the local antique stores, thrift stores, flea markets, pawn shops and yard sales you can find. Finding vintage cameras is a bit of a hunt!

      Here is a bit of a buyer's guide that I wrote up:

      And remember, don't just collect them, USE THEM!!!


    How do I pursue my acting career successfully?
    I want to gain experience so I can create a resume, What route would be best to start and get expousure?

    • ANSWER:
      Well, some of this depends on your age and your location. But, in general, your first step should be getting training. Whether it is from a school or private coach, you need to know the basics. While acting in plays is always good to keep your craft up, knowing the technique behind acting is vital.

      Headshots. Got to have them. Right now, in Los Angeles, that means color headshots. Get a professional, not your best friend.

      If you are anywhere outside of Los Angeles, New York, or Chicago, find the nearest big city and look for agenies and production companies. These are the people that will help you find productions to start your resume. Not only will you build your resume, you will get needed exposure to the business of acting. In general it will be much easier to get resume building work in smaller markets so get it if you can.

      When you have the opportunity, and when you feel you are ready, move to L.A. or New York. Start sending out headshots to agents and do some extra work. Not glamorous, but once again, it will give you a glimpse into the process. Continue your training, get an acting coach, attend acting classes. Above all, be proactive about your carreer. Know what it is you want, know what your deficencies are and fix them. Nobody will be looking out for you, so you have to look out for yourself.

      Do work in student films and low-budget shorts. No pay, but it should give you something for your reel. USC, UCLA, and other colleges around L.A. have film schools and are always looking for actors.

      Sign up with L.A. Casting (, Now Casting (, and/or Actor's Access ( You will have to pay a fee, and all you will see for the most part is non-union and student films, some non-union commercials, but it is a great place to submit for work online.

      My final piece of advice would be to stay away from model or actor "searches". They are usually scams. Don't EVER pay an agent or manager up front. Agents take a percentage that is dictated by the union when you GET work, not beforehand.

    What is the best video camera each one of these companies have to offer: Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Canon, Aipteck?
    I am particularly interested in picture quality (nothing else). Especially the pixel count and perhaps the speed at which it records which will affect the quality when it is put into slow motion.

    • ANSWER:
      Well, you can rule out Aiptek... they only make low-quality toy camcorders.

      Pixel count isn't that important for video in camcorders, because there are only a few options, and they're tied to the standards. Standard definition camcorders record at 720x480 (NTSC) or 720x576 (PAL), regardless of the size of the sensor in pixels (many consumer camcorders have many pixels, to improve color and give you a better digital still camera function). HD camcorders recorder at either 1280x720, 1440x1080, or 1920x1080 (the latter only on tapeless camcorders).

      Very few camcorders have any sort of slow motion mode. You get slow motion when you shoot at one rate (in frames per second) and replay that slower.. but if you replay much below 24 fps, the video will look jerky. So faster fps = better slo-mo. And you will find, in the few cameras that do slo-mo at a consumer price, the pixel count does start to drop.

      Some pro models offer full video at 60fps, which lest you do 1/2 rate slo-mo at full video quality, as long as your flash cards hold out. But unless you're thinking of spending 00 or more, this is not for you.

      But don't fret... 60fps is starting to enter the consumer world. One such option is the Sanyo Xacti 1010. This is an HD camcorder that records in MPEG-4 on flash. It's not the absolute best quality around, but it's decent. And it can record at 720p (1280x720) at a full 60fps. This is under 0 online.

      To go beyond that on a consumer budget, there are a few weird choices. Sony offers a very short burst high-speed mode on some of their camcorders. They call this "Smooth Slow" recording mode, and it can go to 120fps-200fps, depending on the camera model. This is supported in both pro/prosumer (HVR-V1, HVR-Z7, others) and consumer (HDR-CX7, HDR-HC3, others) models. This is always at a much lower resolution, good for YouTube but little else. And you're limited to bursts of about 3 seconds real-time.

      Another interesting option isn't a camcorder at all, but Casio's new digital still camera, the Exlim Pro EX-F1 (about 00) Most digital still cameras these days have a video mode, but it's usually at best standard-def at 30fps, maybe a tad better. But the EX-F1 has several high-frame rate video modes. It can actually shoot near SD-quality (512 × 384) at 300 fps, 432×192 at 600 fps, or 336×96 at 1200 fps.. it also does standard High-def. And this is continuous, up to memory or file limits, not just short bursts. If you're really serious about high-speed filming on a consumer budget, this is your best bet.

    Is a Canon XL1s Still worth it?
    I am starting to get serious with my filmmaking but am on a serious budget. I found some nice Canon XL1s for 800 bucks. My prime goals are to make short films and comedy sketch's and putting them online. I know the XL1s is an old camera but is it good for my needs?

    • ANSWER:
      The Canon Xl1s is not worth it it is old and uses tape and is not HD. when you use tape you have to import it in real time which is slow. You can get a much newer camera used for about the same price and it will last longer. usually on old mini dv cams the tape drives are not good because they are only rated for so many hours and with a bad tape drive/head its just an 800 dollar pile of nothing.

    What is the average height for a lolita girl?
    I think like 5'2? or is that too tall? or short? idk...
    ...what? me and 2 friends are cosplaying as lolitas for a con...we're in 8th grade and i wanna know if our height is lolita-ish
    lolitas in ANIMES not in real life. for gods sake how simple is it to just say a number!! idc about the other stuff i care about my question.
    i didn't say that u can't if ur too tall or short i was just WONDERING

    • ANSWER:

      I'm sorry to laugh about this situation and I don't mean to make fun of you, but there are no lolita specific things like height, weight, measurements, music and hair style. I've run into a lot of new lolitas asking about these sort of things, and I don't know where the assumption comes from that we're all alike or that there are specific rules that constitute a person as a "true lolita" (then again, if someone tries to tell newbies about these myths and misconceptions, I'll bust a cap at those people for lying).

      Lolitas around the world come from different places around the world, come in all shapes and sizes (heck, one of lolita friends is 5'2" and the other is 5'8" while I'm in the middle at 5'5"), are young and old (I can tell you that most lolitas who are active in the egl community, range from 18-22 years old), and well, we like to do our own thing while being united at the fact that we love the frilly clothes.

      By the way, lolita fashion is kinda out there, but it's not cosplay. Cosplaying means that you are intentionally dressing up as a character from a film, (graphic) novel, show, etc. . Lolita, however, is mainly just clothes, and the people who wear them are, hopefully, being themselves. Since you're pretty new to the fashion, let me give you a few sources to help you and your friend get started and understand what is and what isn't lolita:

      Out of the articles mentioned and for new comers, I highly recommend reading:
      - How to avoid being an Ita
      - Lolita glossery
      -Gothic Lolita starter coordinates (keep in mind that there are other styles than Gothic)
      - Bodyline for Beginners

      Places to buy (and not to buy from):
      You probably have realized by now that putting together an outfit takes a lot more effort than just throwing on a dress, and this is true to why lolita is known to be expensive (aside of the quality matter, shipping when shopping online, and sometimes items are overpriced when sold brand new). In the second link I gave you should include a brand and shopping list, and well as advice on how to shop on a budget. It's not quite complete or updated. La Dauphine and In the Starlight are not running anymore, but you can still find ITS items in the egl_comm_sales.

      If you're ready to take the plunge to buy overseas and use auction sites, a shopping service that a lot of egl members are using is I have not had the chance to use it myself, but apparently, it's reliable, fast, and doesn't charge much for service. I believe that it can also be used for shopping at Japanese stores that do not offer overseas shipping/an English site for Western customers.

      Another place to buy on a budget while getting a bang for your buck (quality wise) are the taobao shops. Many of these stores have a physical shop in China and in spite of the Western fear of poor quality for everything made in China, the taobao shops generally make lolita items with high quality and unique designs.

      This should include reviews and shopping services

      Where to avoid:
      (includes "

      Going back to the height spite of the recent movement of Japanese brands catering to the Western market, often times, they do make items that don't fit most people from America or Europe, and are better for most East Asian figures. Whenever you're shopping online, what you really want to do is get an accurate measurement of your body. Have you and your friend create accounts for, and go through the measurement guide which you can keep to use when you order lolita clothing (remember that skirts sit at your waist, not your hips, and should be around knee length!).

      A sizing guide to Japanese brands

    How to choose a camera?
    Could someone explain I me hat I should look for in a camera?

    I would like a camera that captures fine detail, can take hd quality photographs, able to zoom in closely without becoming out of focus, takes pictures instantly ect.

    Also I would like to know what to look for in a camera for filming hd videos, close zoom, macro is great, amazing quality and perphaps comes with a light adjuster (don't knw the name).

    What else makes a good camera?
    What are the basics of buy a camera?

    • ANSWER:
      I'd have to write a book to answer your questions. In short, if you are willing to spend about 0, get a Nikon D3100. There is no mystery to cameras. Quite simply, at certain price points they are very similar. It's the person that takes the picture that matters. Decide on a budget and I would say to pick between Nikon and Canon, your personal preference, and you will have a nice camera. I personally think that Nikon is making better cameras right now but if I had to shoot a Canon it would make little difference to me.

      A 0 or so DSLR will do everything you want. Now you need to learn a little bit about photography so that you can do what ou want to do. Just because the camera is capable of doing it does not mean you will be able to do it without knowledge. Take workshops, online classes, read books, whatever it takes to learn so that you can create nice pictures.

    I'm in the process of writing my own script, what steps should I take once I'm done with it?
    I'm a HUGE movie fan, and I've taken classes to learn the basics of screenwriting. Not to brag or anything, but I have faith in my ability to cook up a pretty decent story and script. What should I do to get in contact with studios once I've finished it? What are the next steps I should take?

    • ANSWER:
      Hey Blade Runner,

      I'm part of a small independent Production Company in Montréal, Québec... We normally write our own stuff then produce them... short films, low budget (2 - 5k)... if you're looking for that kind of experience, you can try and build your team.. you can go to film schools and post your Synopsis and say you're looking for a film crew... If you guys get along, you can continue working with each other...

      If you're looking to sell your Script,

      The first this you need to do after completing your Screen Play is a "PITCH" of your script... A pitch is a document on every detail of your movie.. character description, movie synopsis, setting, locations, budget (roughly how much it would cost to produce), etc... it's a lot of work but should NOT be taken lightly, 'cuz if you have a great script but can't communicate your ideas, it's going to sound like crap and the producers are going to pass on your story.. search online how to write a pitch, it's the most important step, no jokes.. if your idea doesn't make it past this first step, it's going to stay on your desk...

      Study the production companies too.. like don't go to PIXAR with your horror movie... And aim for smaller production companies, like miramax... Independent companies are a good way to go too... If your Screen Play is really good, it doesn't matter if Steven Speilberg isn't Directing it...

      there's a difference between a Pitch for a short story or a full length feature... make sure you're doing the right one... here's a site that explains how to write a pitch, but my advice is to look at many different sites to write the ULTIMATE PITCH!!!!…

      I learned how from the book "The Screenwriter's Bible" by David Trottier... it shows you how to write and sell a movie... and the book cost me like 10$.. a MUST for any screen writer!…

      Hope this helps!

    what video camera should i buy?
    I want to get a new high definition video camera, but i don't know where to start looking. I want one that has a high fps, and that has a large storage capacity. How much would this cost? where can i get it?

    • ANSWER:
      why do u want it?to shoot documantary,short film,long films,video clip etc?how much is ur budget?
      there are so many great choices out there...if u want a bestt cam with around 2000-3000$ price,get Sony VG-20
      for around 5000-8000$,Sony NEX-FS100,Sony PMW-EX1 and Panasonic AF101 is the best choice
      for a 8000-10000$ PMW-Sony EX3 is the best
      if u want a great and i mean great Cam,its Panasonic HPX500 wich is about 13000$
      for 2k and up cams u should buy SI-2K or RED scarlet with are about 17000 $
      u can buy em online just google em and go to their official site(depending what state or region u are in)

    Where to buy high fps cam corders?
    I've heard you need high fps to do slow-motion videos. Where exactly can i purchase these camcorders or video recorders? What fps would be needed to do ones like on youtube?

    • ANSWER:
      This depends on the kind of slow motion you want.

      To get smooth video, you need playback at ideally 24-30fps. That means, if your slow motion is twice realtime, you need to shoot at 60fps, then play back at 30fps. If you're really after some super slo-mo stuff, you may be shooting many times faster.

      Obviously, there's some give and take. Some of the YouTube videos, specifically, dial it down to 15fps... the video is jerkier, but some folks will do this in order to longer YouTube videos up at the same quality (due to the 100MB upload limit).

      Also, how long is your video? If you're shooting many minutes or hours worth at high speed, you used to need a pro-class camcorder, and that still might yield the best video up to 60fps. An example is the Panasonic HVX-200, a superb camera, but beyond most consumer budgets (just over ,000), and overkill by far if YouTube is your goal. See here:
      (B&H is a reliable place to buy "online" if you can't find it locally, and a good place to compare prices)

      But don't fret... 60fps is starting to enter the consumer world. Like the Panny above, don't look for alternate frame rates on tape-based camcorders, but flash-based in particular offers other options. One such option is the Sanyo Xacti 1010. This is an HD camcorder that records in MPEG-4 on flash. It's not the absolute best quality around, but it's decent. And it can record at 720p (1280x720) at a full 60fps. This is under 0 online.

      To go beyond that on a consumer budget, there are a few weird choices. Sony offers a very short burst high-speed mode on some of their camcorders. They call this "Smooth Slow" recording mode, and it can go to 120fps-200fps, depending on the camera model. This is supported in both pro/prosumer (HVR-V1, HVR-Z7, others) and consumer (HDR-CX7, HDR-HC3, others) models. This is always at a much lower resolution, good for YouTube but little else. And you're limited to bursts of about 3 seconds real-time.

      Another interesting option isn't a camcorder at all, but Casio's new digital still camera, the Exlim Pro EX-F1 (about 00) Most digital still cameras these days have a video mode, but it's usually at best standard-def at 30fps, maybe a tad better. But the EX-F1 has several high-frame rate video modes. It can actually shoot near SD-quality (512 × 384) at 300 fps, 432×192 at 600 fps, or 336×96 at 1200 fps.. it also does standard High-def. And this is continuous, up to memory or file limits, not just short bursts. If you're really serious about high-speed filming on a consumer budget, this is your best bet.

    What do you think about the show Buffy?
    I am looking for a new show to watch and I've never watched not even one episode of Buffy before, what do you think is it a good show??
    And if you could also please give a rating out of 10 that would be great thanks! :)

    • ANSWER:
      11 out of 10.
      Very few shows can stand up to BtVS. It was/is amazing. A show that broke all the rules and made new ones. It changed the world, had a phenomenal effect on the gay and lesbian culture. It was a show designed for everyone. Women and girls loved the 'Girl Power' aspect. Seeing the strong self confident woman be the hero for a change and men loved to watch a tiny blonde in short skirts do martial arts.
      BtVS was studied by university students. It's been dissected, analysed and written about.

      This is from Wikipedia...
      "The debut of Buffy (1997–2003)
      eventually led to the publication
      of a number of books and
      hundreds of articles examining the themes of the show from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives including sociology,
      psychology, philosophy, theology
      and women's studies. Since January 2001 Slayage: The Online
      Journal of Buffy Studies has published essays on the topic quarterly, and it continues to do so. Fighting the Forces: What's at Stake in Buffy the Vampire
      Slayer was published in 2002, and since then many more Buffy books have been published by academic book publishers with more books planned for release before the end of
      2006. There have
      also been a number of
      international conferences on the topic. College courses across the globe are devoted to the show, and secondary schools in
      Australia and New Zealand also provide Buffy classes. The topic can even be undertaken as part of a Master's degree in Cult Film & TV at Brunel University in

      I love BtVS I started watching it at 11 it was fresh and funny kicked evils ass and David Boreanaz kept taking his shirt off. I watched it again properly when I was about 16 for pretty much the same reasons but I understood a little more of the hidden adult humour. Then I watched it all again early last year aged 22 and saw it in a completely different light.

      So worth watching. It's dramatic, funny, well acted and rather addictive. Just don't let the first season put you off. It was the weakest and done on a budget of what I can only guess was about a tenner.

    i want to be a actor in indian film industry?pls help me?
    i want to persue my career in acting i want to be a actor in indian film industry,pls help me,how can i achieve this dream?

    • ANSWER:
      Are you in India?
      Have you ever acted?
      Can you dance?

      These are three biggies. If you're Indian but not in India, the only way for you to break in is to move. If you are Caucasian, don't expect to be reading for the hero role. Dancing is always a huge factor in Bollywood films, so it's crucial you have some ability. Singing not so much, they loop a lot of the singing with 'playback singers' (Lata Mangeshkar is the most famous, as you'd probably know).

      Now...universal rules: Source an agent. Find out which actors the agents represent and what kind of work they send them up for. Do NOT pay an agent when you sign up. Any agent who has a joining fee is not reputable. Real agents make their money by getting you work, not by charging you money to be on their books. They might use the excuse that they need to do your photo portfolio, or put you on an online audition do that first. It'll cost a little, but it's not that expensive. All you need for a headshot is an 8 x 10 black & white photo.

      Other than that, you need to be active...writers write, painters paint, musicians play, actors act. So even if it doesn't pay at first, get yourself onstage doing theatre or in unpaid student films...or even low budget deferred payment short films.

      The only thing left to do is be lucky. Talent can only get you so far. And remember, work is more important than fame.

    what is a 35mm Camera with manual override?
    The photography course that I'll soon be attending requires me to bring my own "35mm camera with manual override". I'm not sure what they mean by that. I suppose it must be a film camera(not a digital one). Could you please explain what it means and suggest a 35mm camera to buy?

    Thanks in advance

    • ANSWER:
      Manual override refers to the ability to switch from an automatic exposure mode to a manual exposure mode.

      Automatic exposure modes would include the camera's full automatic mode (the camera sets both aperture and shutter speed), program mode, scene modes, aperture preferred (you set the aperture, the camea sets the shutter speed), and shutter speed preferred (you set the shutter speed, the camera sets the aperture).

      Manual exposure mode means that you set both the aperture and shutter speed.

      You may want to check with the instructor as to whether or not 35mm camera means a film camera; these days, digital SLRs can do just about everything a 35mm film camera could do and more. However, many instructors do want their students to learn with film first, so most likely you'll have to pick up a film camera.

      You can easily find plenty of used 35mm film SLRs on places like eBay and Craigslist. Very few new 35mm SLRs are made these days. A good used store online is but it'll be more expensive than eBay (and far less risky).

      My thoughts:
      If you want new, look for a Nikon FM10 for a full manual focus and manual exposure camera. For a new autofocus 35mm, the Canon Rebel K2 may still be found (maybe) at some stores, but it's in short supply.

      If you want used, the Pentax K1000 is the basic student manual focus camera. However, I prefer the smaller Pentax MX, as it gives you a bit more information in the viewfinder.

      However, I really think a used autofocus 35mm SLR with manual exposure capabilities is the way to go. You can turn off autofocusing if you need to. I would highly recommend the Nikon N80--fantastic camera and far better built than the more common Canon Rebel lineup. Plus, Nikon AF lenses will fit Nikon and Fujifilm digital SLRs, for future compatibility. I cannot recommend the Pentax autofocus 35mm SLRs--owning both Nikon AF and Pentax AF film cameras, there's no comparison, the Nikons are better. Higher end Canons are good too, but the low-end Canon Rebel lineup is pretty plasticky, and not my choice.

      If your budget can afford it, look for a used Nikon F100. This is a pro-level 35mm SLR often found for much less than it's original selling price (like a quarter of its original price). However, I think you'll find the N80 to be better suited for you, as it has a built-in pop up flash, which isn't found on the pro cameras.

      Finally, lenses: for film, the basic 28-80mm lens is okay. However, for about 5, a 50mm f/1.8 lens is a superb choice for sharpness and the ability to shoot in all lighting condition, as well as for its flexibility in aperture selection.

      Hope this helps.

    Tips to not be scammed by photographers on wedding day?
    I have heard a few nightmare stories of people being ripped off with their wedding photos & have seen some myself that are way to dodgy for the price paid.
    Any ideas on questions to ask the potential photographer to get the best possible results? Any tips on how to get them to lower costs?
    Thanks :)

    • ANSWER:
      Ok, as a model who has run into several "photographers" who really should be honest and call themselves "picture takers"...

      My personal advice (learned from mistakes, mostly):

      1) Ask to see a set of pictures, unedited, from someone else's event. The photographer should be able to show you a contact sheet of how the images turned out before editing which will give you a GOOD idea of the consistency of their photographic quality.

      To me, this is very important. If I'm going to pay someone "good money" for images, I am going to make SURE that they don't have just the 10 best images from the past 10 YEARS on their portfolio (or that they aren't using someone elses images- which also happens)!!

      The black tux and white of a wedding gown are difficult for exposure, so take that into account when looking at "raw" images.

      If it is a new photographer who doesn't necessarily have wedding references, try looking them up on or modelmayhem and see if you can find them (many do TFP with models to get images in their portfolio- and then you can contact the models on their OMP page).

      Remember that references are often faked. They could have shot a wedding for their sister :-)

      Prints are often overpriced. Look up basic wholesale costs on or online (even and come with those numbers when you meet.

      For a wedding, I would go with a photographer who shoots film, even if he also shoots digital or will shoot digital for your wedding.
      The reason for this is that photographers who learned on film ("old school") often have usually mastered the basics MUCH better than those who began with digital. Film is harder to fake and someone who learned by spending hundreds of dollars on bad negatives... well, I think it would make for a shorter learning curve and a higher percentage of good images!

      Student photographers who have gotten a BA degree in photography have film courses as requirements, so if you can't find an "old school" photog... consider someone with the investment and knowledge of a degree behind them (from an accredited university- not some questionable online course).

      Also, equippment. They should atleast have the professional lighting!! It's cheap to rent, and if someone can't invest in atleast a rental for good portable lighting... or if they don't know how to USE lighting (light meter, etc)... then I would run :)

      I know, this sounds tough on photographers... but there are way too many people out there calling themselves photographers and it is SO hard to tell with digital media and editing.

      As far as the pricing, come armed with a budget.
      Give them your "lowball" budget first and negotiate up from there.
      Don't sign anything until you've talked to a few other photographers. Ask photographers you meet with about eachother (it's worth a try, though I don't know how chatty they would be knowing you're planning a wedding- as a glamour model, photogs are usually protective enough to warn me away from scammers).

      Also, ask them about other photographers.... if a student is unobtrusive and doesn't get in the way or use flashes, can they also photograph the event? If so, finding a student to do your wedding for their portfolio and the experience would be a great way to get extra images for cheap/free :-)

      That's all I can think of at the moment.
      Hope this helps!

    Good site for renting and watching movies online?
    Besides zune and netflix.

    • ANSWER:
      Indie Movies Online is free (and legal):

      You won't find blockbusters on there though, only smaller-budget and independent films. If you like horror, there's a great Dario Argento film called Sleepless on there (he famously directed Suspiria). There are also lots of older films, some classics and some not so great, but it's fun experimenting with new fillms and directors.

      I also enjoyed a creepy David Cronenberg short film called The Lie Chair.

    I will be in NYC for vacation at the end of Jul. Any advice on where to go what to visit and what to pack?

    • ANSWER:
      NYC has so much to do. I've lived in NYC my whole life, and here are some of the highlights:

      -- Central Park. You can walk around, go to the zoo, pack a picnic, rent a rowboat, or do so much more! It's especially great in the summer, and it can be romantic. Here's a link:

      -- When you visit Times Sq., I would go at night, as that is when it's the most remarkable.

      -- Ripleys: Believe it or Not, and Madame Tussuads wax museum are both great attractions in the Times Sq. area.

      -- NYC has great shopping. I would recommend 5th avenue, Macy's (the largest store in the world), Manhattan Mall, South Street Seaport, the century 21 in Tribeca, and Soho for shopping.

      -- Boat tours are abundant in the NYC harbor, and they can be a great way to tour the city.

      -- You can kayak on the Hudson River, and then lounge on the grass in Battery Park City.

      -- NYC is a concert hot spot. Check and see if any of your favorite music artists are playing. If so, you may be able to get tickets.

      -- China town is a great place to go. There's stores, food, and lots of Chinese culture. In small stores you can bargain with the sellers to get cheaper prices.

      -- The World Financial Center and The New York Stock Exchange are in NYC. The World Financial Center also has an amazing winter garden with palm trees and white hot coco.

      -- Ground Zero, and the World Trade Center 1 construction site is downtown. It's sad and has lots of historical value, but i wouldn't recommend it if you're short on time, because it's basically a construction site.

      -- The Empire State Building and Top Of The Rock are both skyscrapers that offer amazing views of the city. If you do visit, buy tickets online, so you don't have to wait in line as long, and they can also be cheaper.

      -- You can visit one of the city's many zoos and botanical gardens.

      -- The Statue of Liberty is a great attraction. Now you can go up to the crown. I would buy tickets in advance for this as well, because it's a very popular attraction.

      -- You could visit Coney Island and ride the Cyclone, and the other Luna Park rides, and then go for a walk on the boardwalk and a dip in the ocean.

      -- You could rent a bike, and bike aorund the city. There's a great bike path along the west side highway.

      -- There are multitude of museums in NYC. Besides Ripleys: Believe it or Not, and Madame Tussuad's Wax Museum, I would also recommend The American Museum of Natural History, MOMA, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The New Museum, The Tenement Museum, and The Intrepid Air and Space Museum. If you are older then 18, there is also the Museum of S E X.

      -- You guys could walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, have lunch at Grimaldi's Pizza, and come back.

      -- Broadway plays, while expensive, are really good, and I would definitely see one or two if you have the budget. Billy Elliot, West Side Story, and Wicked are really good. The Book of Mormon, and Warhorse won a lot of Tony awards this year as well.

      -- The Highline Park in NYC is amazing! You get to walk on an abandoned subway track turned natural sanctuary. It's free too :).

      -- Some great restaurants are:
      Il Corallo trattoria in Soho
      Pop burger, near the Hudson River
      Ox Cart in Brooklyn
      Joe's Pizza on Bleecker
      Philio's Fro Yo on Bleecker.

      -- Sunscreen (It gets HOT in July.)
      -- A camera, and extra film (You'll definitely want to take loads of pictures)
      -- You should go to and print out a free subway/ bus map if you plan on using public transportation.
      -- Pocket money (Bring extra money, because things can get expensive)
      -- Credit Card-- lots of businesses such as hotels, and restaurants may only accept credit cards.
      -- I.D.-- It can never hurt to have an ID, and you may need it to do things like go to the statue of liberty.
      Have fun in NYC :)

    Why is the UK behind in Animation?
    One thing I could never understand is why Britain has never capitalized on the animation market as the US, Japan, and Canada has done. Other then Aardman it seems like it lags behind, even in the comic book industry. Some of the best british comic book writers like Alan Moore, Mark Millar, and Neil Gaiman are working for American comic companies. It's odd that a country that has done extremely well with the Film and Music Industry doesn't seem to follow up with animation.

    Just looking for an interesting answer.

    • ANSWER:
      The UK animation industry is now only worth a vanishingly-small £120m, at a time when Screen Digest says the world animation industry is worth £70 billion a year. Animation production in the UK has fallen by 83% in six years. Three-quarters of the UK’s animators have either already moved abroad or are considering shifting overseas. Some of the reasons are:

      * a lack of taxpayer-funded support and/or serious training incentives via government. This was the case during the long failure of the Labour years, but has been continued under the current government. Film still gets huge subsidies (most of which was wasted, under Labour), but animation gets almost nothing.

      * the consistent cutting of production capability by TV producers (e.g.: BBC Animation Unit closed; S4C animation closed; Channel 4 animation dept. closed; C4 budget for short animations cut by £500,000)

      * the almost complete sidelining of animation by official UK film agencies

      * the complete lack of interest in funding animation at the Arts Council

      * the lack of accredited university courses (Skillset can currently only find six B.A. animation courses in the whole of the UK that are worthy of being accredited)

      * the low status and poor conditions often accorded to visiting lecturers at UK universities, together with increasing management intolerance of creative quirkyness and preference for a "safe pair of hands" whose "face fits" when recruiting full-time lecturers

      * the general public distain for courses in "creative subjects" in schools, coupled with the generally poor manner in which creativity is taught in schools

      * a general lack of understanding of the career potential of the creative industries, especially outside London among careers advisors and jobcentres - which can derail a demoralised young talented person in the regions into undemanding and non-creative work

      * siphoning of young talent into the videogames industry, where it is often burned out by overwork within five years

      * the opening up of a great many less time-consuming ways to be creative / make money - many of them online - which naturally draws talent away from the industry

    I'm really good at movie filming, web designing and movie editing?
    How can I make a few bucks doing these things?

    • ANSWER:
      You could start your own 'video content' website, filming subjects that interest you. Or making quirky low-budget recordings, with a bit of fun, or obscure story lines. You could get some students to act in them for free.

      Well they are inevitably going to be low-budget, but you could make them 'arty', or 'different', or comical, etc. Or short stories, 3 minute stories, 15 mins etc I'm sure you could find loads of talented student writers to do some free work. (Always think 'freebie' lol!)

      And you could slowly build an online stock of these, and you could even use this website as some sort of 'portfolio' for other work. You probably won't make much money from it from the beginning, and loads of your stuff may even appear on other free online video sharing sites, so instead of getting upset about people using your stuff illegally, you could use it to your benefit and place a url for your website at the end of the clip, or at the bottom of the clips while they are running, so that way, you're benefiting from free advertising.

      And this could lead to some well paid work in the future. So basically, think of your website as a portfolio first, and this will minimise frustrations when it doesn't make money right away.

      Good luck

    Can I get a job as a film director if...?
    I am an undergraduate at Syracuse University and majoring Tv/Radio/Film, and Religious Studies. Is it possible to go to the film industry and get a job as a film director? Or do I need to wait until Grad school?

    • ANSWER:
      You have to understand that there are no "jobs" per se for film directors. You'll never see "film director wanted" in the classified ads of a newspaper or online. Certainly film directors are hired sometimes, but really, how it works (as mentioned) is you spend many years working your way up the ladder and proving yourself by directing low or no budget films.

      Generally speaking, THIS is the genesis of a film director:

      1) Maybe, maybe not graduate from film school.

      2) Shoot/direct/make a bunch of short films and try to get them into film festivals.

      2) Make a first feature length film based on a great script with either your own money or money from investors based on your success with short films and your winning personality.

      3) Promote your first film and try to get it into upper level film festivals and ultimately into the hands of a distributor.

      4) Make another feature length film with ideally a larger budget than your first film and go through the same cycle as in number 3.

      5) Repeat step 4 as many times as it takes until you are considered a "film director" and you can easily get financing for films.

    If i had moved had to LA, America (from Australia) for an acting career.....?
    With all experience and education all done in Australia, how would this be an advantage or disadvantage.

    For example if i had done this all in Australia:
    - 25 years old, Male.
    - 3 commercials
    - 2 major guest spots on Neighbours or Home & Away
    - 4 Short film [leading role]
    - 4 Year course in dramatic art
    - Legit agency

    Would all this time/effort be a waste if i wanted to have a serious acting career in LA?

    Much thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      I'm an LA Actor giving you the REAL DEAL!

      You're already ahead of people starting out in LA.

      Here are some tips to help you on your acting journey:


      READ (check Samuel French, libraries, and bookstores):

      *=If you're on a budget

      Acting business:
      *Acting is Everything: Gold Edition-Judy Kerr
      *How to Be a Working Actor-Mari Lyn Henry and Lynne Rogers
      *Self Management for Actors-Bonnie Gillespie
      -How to Get Arrested-J. Wallach Michael and Paul Thurwachter
      *An Agent Tells All-Tony Martinez
      -One Less Bitter Actor: The Actor's Survival Guide-Markus Flanagan
      -So You Want to Be in Showbusiness?- Steve R. Stevens
      -Acting Truths and Lies (purchased at

      *Book the Job-Doug Warhit
      *Intent to Live-Larry Moss
      -Acting for the Camera-Tony Barr
      -Acting in Film-Michael Caine
      -Acting Class: Take a Seat-Milton Katselas

      Method Acting:
      *Art of Acting-Stella Adler
      *Sanford Meisner on Acting-Sanford Meisner
      *A Dream of Passion-Lee Strasberg
      -Actor's Art and Craft-William Esper
      -The Power of the Actor-Ivanna Chubbuck
      -No Acting Please-Eric Morris
      -Respect for Acting-Uta Hagen
      -Challenge to the Actor-Uta Hagen
      -You Can Act!-D.W. Brown
      -Strasberg’s Method-Lorrie Hull

      -8 Characters of Comedy-Scott Sedita
      -The Sitcom Career Book-Mary Lou Belli

      -Anything by Viola Spolin
      -Steve Book on Acting: Improv

      Auditioning/Cold Reading:
      *How to Get the Part Without Falling Apart-Margie Haber
      *Audition-Michael Shurtleff
      -Secrets to Successful Cold Readings-Glenn Alterman


      Regardless of how "talented" you might be, you NEED training, PERIOD!

      Best schools in LA:
      Cold Reading/Auditioning
      -Margie Haber
      -Brian Reise
      -Amy Lyndon

      -Hey, I Saw Your Commercial!
      -Chris Game
      -Stuart K. Robinson
      -Stuart Stone
      -Killian McHugh
      -Francine Selkirk-Akerman
      -Carolyne Barry

      Improv (All four are great)
      -Second City
      -Upright Citizens Brigade
      -Improv Olympic

      Scene Study/Acting (It varies. Some schools are not for everyone. Chubbuck, Eric Morris, and Howard Fine are not for people who aren't fans of Strasberg or Uta Hagen (ie. affective memory and substitution.) Playhouse West, Joanne Baron/DW Brown, and Acting Corps are more Meisner oriented. Try to audit these places and make sure if they're for you or not.

      -Doug Warhit
      -Kimberly Jentzen
      -Beverly Hills Playhouse
      -Howard Fine
      -Stella Adler
      -Ivanna Chubbuck
      -Joanne Baron/D.W. Brown
      -Tom Todoroff
      -Playhouse West
      -Aaron Speiser
      -Acting Corps
      -Eric Morris

      -Scott Sedita
      -Lesly Kahn

      3. Get GREAT headshots

      Here's is a good place to start:

      4. Build Your Resume and Reel Doing Student films and Indie Films. Also do plays to build your acting experience.

      Sample Resume:

      How to make an ACTING resume:

      The ONLY LEGIT Online sites that you can find jobs on your own through:

      Free but proceed with caution:

      5. Get an Agent

      To get an agent, you need to get GREAT headshots, a good resume, and training from the best. These are enough to get you a commercial agent at least. Getting a GOOD theatrical agent (Film/tv) takes longer. Most good theatrical agents won’t see you unless you’re SAG, have a polished resume, and a demo reel. Commercial agents are more lenient about that. What the best Commercial agents want to see on your resume are good commercial classes, improv, and cold reading.

      You can get an agent multiple ways. Here are a few common ways:
      -Mail in an unsealed manilla envelope with a CONCISE coverletter and headshot with the resume stapled on the back. If you have a demoreel include that too.
      -Attend a showcase and impress them. By showcase I do not mean scammy conventions like IMTA, IPOP, Proscout, or Best New Talent. I mean legit ones like at Actor Connection, Reel pros, Network Studios, etc.
      -Get a referral from a friend who is with the agency that you’re interested in

      -Email them unless they tell you to. IT’S UNPROFESSIONAL!
      -Call unless they tell you to. ALSO UNPROFESSIONAL!
      -Walk in and ask for a meeting. UNPROFESSIONAL THREE!
      -Sign with them if they ask for upfront money, make you take new photos with THEIR photographer, or take THEIR classes. Agent’s ONLY make money when you do. Agents usually make 10% on film/tv and commercials and 20% on commercial print.

      Here are some agencies that are more open to taking developing actors:
      Top Youth Agencies:
      Coast to Coast
      Daniel Hoff
      Amsel, Eisenstadt, and Frazier

      Top Commercial Agencies(*=definite winners):
      KSR *-Alicia Ruskin
      Abrams *- Mark Measures
      CESD *- David Ziff or Adrienne Berg
      Diverse *- Wendy Morrison
      Coast to Coast * -Hugh Leon
      Daniel Hoff * - Daniel Hoff
      Commercial Talent * - Neil Kreppel
      Commercials Unlimited - Richard Reiner
      Innovative Artists * - Marcia Hurwitz or Cher Van Amburg
      Independent Artists- Jenine Leigh or Laura Fogelman
      Bobby Ball-Mike O'Dell
      Flick Commercials- Tina Kiratsoulis
      DPM - Daniel P. Mulheran
      DDO - Marlene Sutton
      Venture IAB - Noel Palm
      Sutton, Barth, Venari * -Pam Sparks
      Arlene Thornton and Associates - Tracy Mapes
      Pantheon * -Patricia Dawson or Pierre Gatling
      Beverly Hecht -Teresa Valente-Dahlquist
      Don Buchwald and Associates *- Kristy Dax
      M. Greene and associates - Jim Lighte
      AKA * - Doug Ely
      Amsel, Eisenstadt & Frazier -Gloria Hinojosa
      Brady, Brannon, and Rich * - Judy Rich or Pat and David Brady
      Brass Artists - Jack Ianacci
      Aqua - John Kolinofsky
      Special Artists Agency - Alexandra Gucovsky
      Amatruda, Benson, and Assoc. -Kimberly Gola
      Angel City - Gwen Davis
      BiCoastal - Greta Hanley
      Clear Talent Group - Tim O'Brien
      Lemon Lime - Robin Harrington or Chaim Magnum
      LA Talent - Pam Loar or Mike Casey
      LW1 - Sean Robinson
      Mavrick - Brad Diffley
      Momentum - Garry Purdy
      NTA*- Nancy Luciano

      Up and Comer Commercial Agencies:
      -Talentworks (Emily Hope from ACME is here)
      -House of Representatives (Top theatrical agency that now has a commercial department)
      -Sovereign (Top theatrical agency that now has a commercial department)- Annalisa Babich
      -Hollywood Select Talent-Mike Sutton of Baron Entertainment is there.

      Theatrical Agents (Minus the Big 4 (William Morris, UTA, ICM, CAA) and the B Agencies(Gersh, APA, Paradigm, Innovative) who do NOT take beginners) :
      David Shapira and Associates
      The Glick Agency
      Kazarian Spencer (KSR)
      Michael Greene and Associates
      Pakula King
      Peter Strain
      SMS Talent
      Stone Manners
      SDB Partners
      Coast to Coast
      Daniel Hoff
      Defining Artists
      Gage Group
      Hervey Grimes
      Henderson Hogan
      House of Representatives

    Best film-based SLR camera for starting out?
    Hi, i'm starting a photography class soon and need to purchase a film-based SLR camera. I have had a look and to be honest i'm not sure where to start, my budget is around £600 as I would like to keep using the camera for a while after my course.

    • ANSWER:
      See if you can find a good used camera and save some money. I like the Nikon SLR cameras. You want a good "old school" camera where you will have to do manual focus with basic controls then look for these Nikon models: FM, FM2,FM2n, FM10, FE, and FE2. You can do internet searches and find info on all of these, below the 1st link is to a review of the FM2n.

      I added a 2nd link to It is a website that has a large online photo coummunity with much information that includes discussion forums that you may find of assistance.

      Then either get a 50mm lens (sometimes refered to as a standard lenss) or a good quality short zoom lens.

      Feel free to contact me if you think I can be of help.


    Can I screw a 3x Zoom Multiplier(Point&Shoot) into the end Filter Ring of Nikkor DX lens with same mm threads?
    I have been thinking about an upgrade from a Point and Shoot to a D-SLR for over a year now mainly because my Kodak 5MP is 6 years old now, has an adapter to use Kodak's Wide Angle lens which blocks the flash and I have no focus control.

    I really haven't considered any other brands like Canon or Fujifilm, Pentax because I had been set on a Nikon. Specifically the D80. I finally decide after reading countless reviews and the like that I am going to be getting a D80, I have already ordered an 8GB SDHC 150X with 20Mb/s write speed card for my camera.

    I had originally thought I was going to get the kit from Best Buy which was the D80 with an Extra Battery, a Case, and an 18 - 135mm and a 70 - 300mm. The latter lens alone is 7(on sale which is normally 0). The body only comes in at 0 and finally the 18 - 135 at 0

    That brings the separate total to 67 and 30 without the sale price on the 70 - 300mm lens respectively. Basically this means that in their kit price of 1767 they are giving you 0 for the battery and case.

    I thought this was an OK deal but I began looking at the kit and I knew absolutely nothing about the lenses from the mm to what they catch in the viewfinder (SLR means what you see is what you get) or anything. I did research to find out what I need to know and I looked at a few friends cameras and set their lenses manually to the same mm specs and took some pictures that I normally would take with my old camera and wow, that gave me a reality check. I now know that I definitely don't want the ranges of lenses that come in that kit.

    I start thinking about the information I have at hand and my budget of around 00, taking into consideration that I mainly use Wide Angles for landscape type shots, I realize that 18mm just is not going to cut it on the low end. I learned that 35mm and below is considered wide but the wide angle on my Kodak must be a Semi-Fish-Eye to Super Wide Angle type. I need a much lower mm to be the width I need at the short distance I am shooting from. Generally the closer to 0 degrees you get the faster the width goes wider so from 18 - 12 is a huge difference which is equivalent to say 70 - 120mm at medium focal length.

    I start looking for wide angle Nikon lenses and come across the Nikkor 12 - 24mm which is perfect for what I am wanting (108 degree viewing angle at 12mm) but holy cow this lens is 99. I am on a bit of a budget so... If I have absolutely got to have this lens I do need one more I think well I and going to use the telephoto a lot too so the logical choice is the 70 - 300mm. So were talking 0 00 0 = 00 without a bag or spare battery and I realize that the most used mm spec is 35mm(SLR is Film or 35mm) give or take 15mm so we are talking a 20 - 50mm lens. OK Nikon has a 17 - 55mm but it is another 0 or I could get the 18 - 135mm for 0 with extra zoom but a plastic mounting ring rather than metal.

    So this bumps me into the 00 range which is double mu budget. So then I talk to a photographer who suggests non OEM lenses so online at a review of the 12 - 24mm Nikkor and several comparable models and I decide to get the 10 - 20mm Sigma Wide Angle that supports the AF-S functionality of the Nikon D-SLR so AF works (Meaning that the Auto Focus and Silent Wave Motor or Sigma's version of it are driven by the AF function of the D80) and this one is significantly cheaper at around 0 pairing that with a more expensive 18 - 200mm for around 0 and I'm more in the ball park with 00, it is a better option to spend more on that lense with VR (Vibration Reduction) and have one less lens so the 18 - 135 and 70 - 200 are not split into two lenses which would increase price about 0 and I would be switching all the time.

    With these two lenses paired I have all the ranges I want except for the upper telephoto topping out at 200mm. This gets me thinking about something, all the lenses have threads for external filters and the lens hood snaps over but is also the same mm measurement. Why can I not buy a 3x multiplier and screw into the end of the 18 - 200mm making it into a 54 - 600mm lens?

    That is the question I am asking you guys...can i do that. The screw in lens is made for the lower end cameras such as point and shoot but if the threads are the same and nothing comes out of the end of the lens which I know it will not because the filters could not be installed otherwise. Can't I use that just for long telephoto which is usually pretty specific of a shot such as a bird or something. There is the possibility that the WYSIWYG will view the outside diameter of the 3X lens showing a ring and black corners on the final picture which is can be easily cropped out anyway.

    What do you guys think? the 3x multiplier is 0 verses 00 for a 80 - 500mm lens.The only problem I could see as a possibility would be the filters screwing on the outside versus the 3x screwing on internally.

    • ANSWER:
      Screwing a "3X multiplier" onto the front of your lens is a bad idea. The resultant loss of quality will make you quickly realize you wasted your money. Its like putting used tires on your new car.

      If you want to extend the zoom range of your DSLR lens you will need a Nikon teleconverter. They come in 3 multipliers: 1.4X, 1.7X and 2X.

      Just multiply the focal lengths of your zoom lenses: your 18-200 becomes a 36-400 with the 2X.

      As in all things, however, there are no solutions, only trade-offs. The increase you gain in focal length with the teleconverter comes with an increase in your effective f-stop. So your 18-200mm f3.5/5.6 zoom not only becomes a 36-400mm it also performs like an f7.0/11.2 lens. Yes, you lose 2 full stops with a 2X teleconverter. However, this isn't as much of a problem as you might think. How can I say that? Easy. I know the old "Sunny 16 Rule". It states: "On a sunny day, set your aperture to f16 and your shutter speed to 1/ISO." In other words, if we're using ISO 400 on a sunny day we can shoot at f16 (f8 with your 2X teleconverter) at a shutter speed of 1/400. Since your lens has VR you'll be able to go even slower.

      Buy the 18-200mm zoom with VR and a Nikon 2X teleconverter.

      If you want to spend your money wisely, buy a thin/slim mount 72mm Haze/UV filter and a thin/slim mount 72mm circular polarizer. Choose from Heliopan, B+W, Singh-Ray, Tiffen or Hoya. You want a thin/slim mount to avoid vignetting at 18mm. The Haze/UV filter will protect the front element of your lens and remove haze seen in scenic pictures. The polarizer will darken a blue sky, enhance colors, and remove glare/reflections from water, glass, snow, sand and painted metal - but not polished metal.

      Buy a lens cleaning cloth like the ones offered by Nikon or PhotoSilk or Pentax. In 37 years I've never used a liquid lens cleaner.

    Trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico in May?
    I am planning a family trip to San Juan, PR in mid-May.
    How's weather there around that time?
    Some say May is a hurricane season, so try to avoid it.
    Some say it doesn't start until June.
    I need an advice from someone with experience! =)

    Any tips on travel to PR are appreciated.

    If May isn't really the best time for San Juan, do you have any place to suggest for a family trip in May? I'm thinking about 3nights4days long and leaving from Washington DC.

    Thanks again! =)

    • ANSWER:
      As others have said here, you should be Ok in may with regards to Hurricanes and even in the main season, direct hits are not that common.

      As for temps. hot with the chnace of rain (but usually it will be a short burst of heavy rain and then the sun will be back out).

      As for things to do:

      Consider renting a car, just bear in mind that driving is a little crazy, just keep your eyes on all your mirrors and you'll be fine. It's better than relying on organized trips in my opinion

      Places to see.
      Old San Juan - easily spend a few hours walking around here. It's a little hilly so maybe jump on the free trolley bus to El Morro (the fort) and work your way back down through the city. Plenty of places to eat and drink for all budgets. Try Breakfast at La Bombonera (one of the oldest establishments in the city)

      El Yunque (rainforest) plus spend the afternoon at Luquillo Beach

      Check out one of the grand hotels on a weekend evening and try your hand (feet) at some latin dancing.

      Ponce on the South coast for more Puerto Rican architecture

      Arecibo Observatory. The James Bond movie Golden Eye and also the Jodie Foster movie Contact were filmed there.

      There is also this: Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve (Tel:787-722-5882). I have not been, but I would like to (it sounds a cool place to visit). You can have an escorted tour through the reserve on an electric trolley, but you have to book in advance.

      Pnce in the south is also worth considering

      Try the local food stands and just enjoy everything that the island has to offer.

      Also check the online guides, and

    how to enter a film festival?
    how do i enter a film festival, does it cost anything?
    also, me and a parter are currently writing around a 90 page horror script, for a low budget horror film. top enter film festivals is there a limit to how long it has to be, since i am doing a low budget film, im making it around between 1 hour and 30 mins.
    or do you think i should go with just an hour one? idk

    • ANSWER:
      Most film festivals have an entry fee for submissions. The fee varies with the festival. A lot of festivals use Withoutabox ( for entries - it's free to register for a filmmaker's account and you can enter mutiple festivals fairly easily and pay the entry fees online. So far as the length goes, ther eis no limit to how long it can be, but if you are making a 90 minute film it better be pretty darn exciting for the entire 90 minutes! I used to jury a film festival and for a feature film, after 15 minutes we would vote on whether or not it was worth our time to watch the rest of it; but most short films we would watch the whole thing. An hour long film is actually an awkward length - some festivals consider a short film anything less than 30 minutes and a feature anything over 70, so a 60 minute film doesn't fit either category.

    Anime movie making online software?
    Hi I'm into film-making and developing stories. But I'm having a problem :( I don't have any actors so im kinda stuck I wanna post video on youtube and facebook. So i just decide start off with anime instead as a basic. I'm on a tight budget so does anyone know any anime software where I can make anime short films or any online for free??? thanks

    • ANSWER:
      You mean like video editing software like Adobe After Effects?

    Need ideas for a short film please?
    Okay so I'm launching my new channel on YouTube but I want to launch it with a Short Film to gain some popularity. I need something simple that can be done with a relatively low budget (simple expenses for props as I have a camera, stabilizer, tripod etc...). I enjoy shooting action scenes but I need a good story line. I am open to doing Fan Films but please search online first before suggesting them as Left 4 Dead and others have already been done. Please also do not include Minecraft as I'm actually planning on doing that later on once I have more resources and access to actors. Thanks!
    Im 15 btw. And I realize that like the guy in the comments said you are giving ME, YOUR ideas not knowing how much experience or skill I have, I realize that its hard to trust some random guy on the internet but heres a quick run down, I picked up my first camera when I was 8 and started making videos, since then i've improved my skills and done some product videos and even some TV ads for my dad who's a website designer. I've now taken a bigger interest in doing larger projects for actual money such as this, so there's my story and if you don't feel like giving your idea that's okay just anything would be appreciated.

    • ANSWER:
      Start by making a list of locations available to you. Then make of list of people who would be willing to act in your movie. Think about what could happen at those locations.

    How can i get more Short Films Online?
    You should try watching more short films. Perhaps the inventory of well-known short films these days is limited to the Pixar shorts before their features, and whatever the Academy decides to nominate at Oscar time. And perhaps the perceived quality of the “short film” type is diluted by all the terrible student films and demo reels made by people who, rightfully, will never have access to the budget of a feature-length film.

    But the short film has a long and distinguished pedigree. Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd were equally well-known for their shorts as for their features. Because of the lengthy process of animation, most of our greatest animators are known primarily for short films. And, I would argue, there are many famous feature filmmakers who seem better suited to the short subject format.

    • ANSWER:
      Agreed, I watch a lot of short films on IFC

    Acting school for children?
    My daughter have appeared on 11 low-budget short films and now she wants to take an acting class in order to get an agency(big one like WMA or CAA). What is the best acting class for children with low tuition in the NYC area ?
    P.S : The kind which teaches us not only acting skills but also how to do good at auditions and appear naturally in front of the camera.

    • ANSWER:
      Asian girl,

      I think I answered a question of yours the other day, you really need to back off the WMA and CAA idea or you'll just be disappointed. They will not sign your daughter until she does something big or you know someone important, period. You don't want them to anyway because having them as your agent means nothing if they won't work for her. She needs momentum and without big credits she doesn't have that.

      Now, about your classes, you're not going to find the best studio for cheap in NY. That's another pip dream. It takes little more than a search to find several classes and as big as NY is it's best for you to search to find what's closest to you. Tuition is going to be big there, that's just the way it is so do one class at a time if that's all you can afford. Start with technique or scene study class, switch to an on camera, then an audition class when you can. You just do what you can when you can. I could barely afford my classes, I started working in the office and doing anything I could to get my classes, it was a trade. Make it work if it's that important to you.

      Make a list of questions, call every studio you can find and ask them about scholarships or making any type of arrangements to pay or trade services.

      Vary the words in your search to suit your needs and call to ask questions. Check up on their business using BBB,, etc. Search their name and the word scam online to see if there's anything else you should know before spending your money there, do your research.

      good luck,

    If they cost the same, what's better?
    my question is this: If any given AF 35mm SLR and digital AF SLR cost the same, and you consider every single feature and specification on both cameras, which one would generally be better?
    My budget is kind of tight, so a camera that isn't too pricety (600-700 bucks) so I can still buy wide angle and a good telephoto lens. I want it to be able to do things that a point and shooter can't, but also be able to do things that a digital camera can't (very long exposures and whatnot). I don't really travel much, except to tourist traps with my family, because I like to find great shots in common things (plus I can already find extrordinary things near where I live-like my friends backyard. His dad earns a store specializing in birds, and they have a huge backyard with trees, a river and a field with at least two dozen feeders.)

    • ANSWER:
      If you know how to really use the equipment in terms of getting the exposure right and you are pretty sure of your composition skills, it's a toss up in terms of the camera and a matter of personal preference.

      If you travel a lot and visit exotic and remote places, I go digital. The film quality can't be guarranteed in places like the Far East, India, Pacific Islands, etc. The digital gives consistent and reliable results.

      If you do things like take long back pack trips (over a week or two), like I used to like to do, I go with film because I don't want to carry an extra battery or some sort of jury rigged solar recharging setup.

      For initial cost, the film camera is the best. You don't have to invest in software and maybe an upgrade to a computer system, or the purchase of a new one.

      If you shoot a lot, digital is less expensive over time in terms of not using consumable film. Also, it is much more flexible so you won't have to invest in filters to do color correction, produce golden sunset pictures, etc. You'll also never run into the situation where your film is the wrong type for the lighting. Even though the basics of photography don't change, the digital way of accomplishing many of those basics is different and that makes the learning curve steeper and longer. Digital is more convenient - it's not easier.



      Given the added information, I do have a specific recommendation that should be around your budget if you shop smart.

      Canon's EOS 350D is a full featured digital camera that will do just about anything you want. It can and does produce professional level images the equivalent of the Canon 20D and is outstanding in its low noise at the higher ISO speeds. ISO 1600 is very usable. It has RAW and JPEG image files available. You can get that with a kit lens for around 0.00 USD or less online with some smart shopping.

      The kit lens would be the 17-55 mm zoom. It's not a great lens, but it is very acceptable. In 35 mm terms, this covers a range from 28 mm (wide angle) to 88 mm (short telephoto).

      You mention birds and for that you'll want a telephoto. You're description of what you'll shoot also shows that anything may be a subject for you. Way cool, you should have a macro for nice close-ups. The Tamron 70-300 mm zoom lens is a good sharp lens with nice contrast. You should be able to pick one up for around 0.00 USD.

      The wide angle of the kit lens will be good for landscapes, group shots of your friends and some pretty fine shots using the distortion of wide angle for creative stuff.

      The macro will get you in close and the images are sharp. The world looks very different this way. You'll be able to take close-ups of flowers, insects, or anything else you want with good quality.

      Tamron 70-300 zoom images:

      Macro Spider:

      Teleshot @ 200 mm:

      Dance performance/handheld ISO 1600:

      Kit lens, 18 mm @ 20 sec exposure:

      The camera used for the images above is a 20D, which is a working camera for me. The 350D and the 20D are virtually identical in terms of image quality.

      The lenses used are the two I am recommending.

      If you want to do better, start thinking in terms of a LOT more money. The 350D also uses the same lenses as the the high end Canon's so if you upgrade the body, lenses can still be used.

      Tried to put together an equivalent Nikon system, but really couldn't.

      A film system will be cheaper, but I think there would be a lot of practical drawbacks for you.

      There's my thoughts, my reasons (the images) and your budget. Opinions vary.


    Help Me Get My First Short Film Made!?
    About Me

    Hey everyone, I am an 18 year old filmmaker from London, I have just purchased my first camera and written a short film. As many of you film makers out there can probably relate to, the first film is the scariest. I have what i think is a solid storyline but am currently working on 0 budget, which has made this very difficult to pull off.

    About The Project

    The project i am working is titled 'Coming To Terms' and is about an atheist teenage boy who dies, when he dies he goes to 'Limbo' and there he meets Satan himself. Whilst there he has a conversation with Satan about why he doesn't deserve to go to hell. even though he never believed in God whilst alive. I am a christian and this story is very meaningful for me. I have alot of friends about the age of the character who do not believe in God and although i respect their decision, i want to make them question what would happen when the die. This is a thought provoking film that hopefully will let them see that god is the right way to go.

    any contributions to helping me make this film would be widely appreciated and thanked greatly. Mainly the money will go to helping me get lighting equipment to boost the production quality of this film and paying for such items such as the space to film, the actors wage, and any expenses made out whilst the filming is being taken place.

    This is my first film, although not my first filming experience and i would really appreciate all the help to get started as i can.


    What I Need & What You Get

    I am asking for 0 or £310.00(roughly) to get this project off the ground.

    £200 of this will be going to getting the space to film, we need a wide open pain with no buildings around it, these are rare to come by around London.

    The £70 will go into paying the actors/film crew for their time and effort

    The other £40 will go into publishing and promoting this film online. I want as many people to see this film and take in its message as possible.

    Now to what YOU get for your generous help!

    Every contribution no matter how big or small will receive a special thanks in the credits of the short film. I will try my hardest to personally thank everyone aswell.

    Contributions over £50 will receive a special producer credit in the film and a hard copy if wanted of the film on DVD format.

    If i do not reach my entire goal, not to worry, money is flexible to stretch and balance depending on how much help I receive!.

    The Impact

    This film could potentially impact ALOT of people if its pulled off how i hope it will be. The film aims to make people question their religious views and see that if they do not believe. they are not safe.


    This story dosnt mention Christianity or any religion. It simply promotes a forgiving god. i do not wish to feel like I'm shoving my views down anyones throats.

    Other Ways You Can Help

    If you cannot personally donate, i thank you anyway for taking the time to read this campaign. If you could forward this to anyone and everyone who you think may be interested in helping me, please do!

    I cannot put in words how much any help would be gratefully accepted.

    Thank you again.

    Here is the link where you can safely donate to the cause and read the films script if you so wish.

    • ANSWER:
      Sorry but I'm no expert of such things as movie/film making, maybe you can join some professional group such as forum or things like that.
      Good luck.

    steps to creating an short film? please help!?
    im making a movie with some friends, mainly for fun because were bored this summer. were taking it pretty seriously though, we wanna make it look good! are we on the right path to making it good, staying organized and all?

    we have our plot
    we made our roles
    looked for materials
    were trying to plan our budget
    weve found locations for shooting
    we also know how to edit our shots and do effects

    are we missing anything? any tips on how to keep a low budget movie with fair quality? any help at all would be great :)

    • ANSWER:
      Organization is one key. You seem to be on the right track. If you want it to look good, make sure to do a little research on filmmaking in general - cinematography, lighting, and so forth. Read a few books or look up filmmaking tips online. Framing a scene correctly can do wonders for capturing a great looking film.

      Sound is also something you must take into consideration, an aspect many new/indie filmmakers overlook. Bad audio can ruin a great film. I'd recommend either having an experience sound person or making sure you have good audio during filming - make sure your locations aren't near busy streets, using a windsock on your boom mike to help muffle wind noise, using a boom mike instead of the in-camera mike if at all possible, use lavs (small microphones that are attached to the clothes of the actors) when possible, ect.

      For keeping it low budget but good quality, the key is getting everything you can for as little as you can. Don't be afraid to barter, ask for discounts, ask for donations, call in favors, and so on. Sometimes a local business might donate a little something for publicity or just to be nice. Maybe a local pizza place will give you free or discounted pizzas for a crew meal, or a local clothing store will give you a few shirts or wardrobe pieces. Ask anyone you think would help, and even the ones who you don't think will. What's the worst that can happen, they say "no"? If they say no, thank them politely for their time and move on. Let the "no"s roll off your back and you'll get those coveted yes'.

      Most of all, have fun. Shooting with friends can be tough sometimes as some might treat it like just another afternoon game. It can be difficult sometimes if your friends aren't into it. Be as professional as you can, of course, but enjoy it. It'll show in your film if your heart, as well as your actors and crew, are into it.

    how to attract budget online?
    i need to do short film,it cost too much anybody can

    tel how to get the budget i mean subscribe by online is it possible through

    online pls suggest

    • ANSWER:
      if you have a great idea and some experience that show you will get the work done you can upload your project to kickstarter to get financing for your movie

      all the best

    how to be a successful film director by the time im 25?
    im 16

    • ANSWER:
      - Be related to someone in the industry who can help you.

      - Make a controversial low budget short film or feature and put it online or get it into a festival where it will be seen and talked about.

      - Study the career trajectories of other people who achieved notoriety and success at a young age as filmmakers.

      - Get into a program where you can get mentoring or funding for your work, or go to one of the film schools that are known for being networking hives (NYU, USC, UCLA)

    Best equipment for short film?
    I'm in the process of beginning to write, shoot, and edit a short film for a local student film festival. Because it is a student film festival, obviously no one's submissions will be high tech, but all I have at the moment is a short tripod, iMovie, and a JVC Everio camera.

    I've read that lighting and sound are often overlooked by first-time directors, so for as little money as possible, what equipment would I absolutely need to make the sound and lighting worth watching in my film? Really, it'd be great if someone could tell me about any basic equipment that I'd really need for this to make it look good.

    Thanks :)

    P.S. If some of this stuff isn't too expensive then I'll probably just buy it (I would like to buy a camera lens attachment, for instance), but other stuff I'd probably rent if possible. I live in Rockland County, NY, could anyone tell me if there are places that do this nearby? My online searches didn't come up with much.

    • ANSWER:
      Your current equipment will be great for shooting the film. You do not need a bunch of fancy stuff. You can make a very respectable film on a low budget these days.

      These students are doing it on the cheep.
      you can find tons of information through that site.

      When I shot my first movie we had one camera one boom mic and some small lights. You can even use clamp lights like you get from home depot or lowes. You might want to see if you can find some red, yellow and blue gels. If you dont know what that is, they are basically colored plastic sheets. You hang them in front of your lights and it gives you a blue light, basically. Then you would have one or two blue and one or two regular or open. This will give you cool lighting effects for cheap. Dramatic is cool, just use what you have and make sure it shows up good on camera.

      Sound is more important than lighting, in this case. No one will watch a movie if the sound sucks. So get some kind of mic. I would suggest a boom. You can capture tons of good sound with just one boom mic. This might cost you a few hundred dollars but it will be worth it. If you end up not catching a certain line or sound, dont freak you can always capture the line afterward and put it in. But you will want to make sure to capture the ambiance sound from each location this will be background noise. If you get that you can always fade in lines.

      Oh yeah call B&H photo and video and tell them what you are doing and your budget and they will hook you up. They are in NY but its in the City. They are really great with returns so if something stinks just return it.

      You can find them by doing a google or I have links to them on my website

      Good luck!

    short stories or scrips for a film?
    hey, im 17 now, i plan to go to film school which ive looked into etc
    i was wondering about scrips, just small ones nothing outstanding just something solid that i can turn into a simple creative short film. I've heard using small scrips from online is illegal even if i am just doing making the film to show universities my film making/directing skills with no money gained what so ever.This is pretty lame if it is true, however if it is is their any sites where i can read a script and purchase it for a small amount of money, not a lot of course just a real small amount, under £10 or etc. It's just i would really like to start practicing making writing into film and this would be a great way to do it. Simple story lines, short, solid and not too difficult for a low budget director to make. Thanks a lot links to sites on where I could get scripts or even read them would be great, also if anyone has an email that they themselves would be willing to send me a script it would be brilliant experience to talk to a script writer, thanks :)

    • ANSWER:
      hi i am an aspiring screenwriter. personally if you want to go into film i think you need to learn how to write your own screenplays or make up your own stories. usually screenplays that are sold online are longer and from writers who would like to think their screenplays are worth more than 20 bucks. i would be happy to write you a simple screenplay for free. email me if you want to get more details.

    I'm looking to upgrade my camera as I am getting more and more advanced with film making. I make short films and things on YouTube and yes I am getting payed for them. Right now I'm using aJ VC Everio GZ-EX210 it's a great camera, but I really want to get more professional looking videos created...I need a camera with amazing picture quality, good sound quality, works well in dark places, etc.

    I have a budget of about 600-700 bucks. I make all different types of videos examples would be action videos, comedies, horror movies, etc.

    Any ideas on what a good camera would be for me?

    • ANSWER:
      hmmm, You can try the "Sony HDR cx 580v camcorder!! it is 800 bucks directly from the sony store, But you could Find a Cheaper deal from Amazon or B + H photo and video online. It shoots video in 24p/60p HD , It has A built on Real f**king bright light (essential for lowlight, horror films etc) , It has A 5.1 HD surround sound mic, It has cinema tone presets ( 24 frames a sec mode, Cinema tone mode), it has a headphone and mic jack, A multi interface Shoe, to put on extra accesories, like Cam lights, mics. It has built in 32 gb flash memory. It is 20.1 mega pixels. It is A Awesome camcorder, I use it everyday, and also make short films! whats your youtube channel? ill tell you mine :) hahah , i havent uploaded any footage, or short films from this camcorder yet though. Im still shooting a Film with my friends hahah

    What is the best laptop out right now?
    Hi, I currently have an HP Pavilion laptop and I have had it since the summer of '07. It is now becoming unreliable and non-responsive. I've had to install Windows 7 three times and it continues to find a way to malfunction. So I'm looking for a new laptop and was wondering what's out there. I love playing music and movies on my laptop so something that is made for that would be preferred. Also I wish to make video/short films on my laptop as well. I have some video editing software but my computer ran too slow to use it and would just become non-responsive so a laptop that is faster and has a better processor would be much preferred. I'm interested in getting a Mac but there are WAY too expensive as my budget for the most part is 0 more or less. If I found an incredible laptop I could maybe go to 00 but I would much rather prefer to stay at or below 0. So what laptops do you all recommend? Where should I go online if you suggest purchasing online? Also I want a laptop with at least a 15" screen, great to acceptable memory, and a processor that won't drive me crazy. I also want to stray away from HP as I am traumatized from my current HP experience but if there is a really good HP laptop out there let me know please. Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      Ok. Please don't buy a Mac. You are correct, they are way too expensive. I really think you should consider this deal. This computer will run you 0 after tax and has very good specs. It's not the best, it's been out for a year, but it has very good reviews.

      Lenovo Ideapad Y570
      Intel Core i7 processor <-- the better processor you wanted 15.6'' screen <-- the screen size you wanted 8gb of RAM <-- more memory than you will ever need 500gb Hard Drive Nvidia Geforce gt 555m dedicated graphics card Bluetooth 2.1 2 usb 3.0 ports The list goes on: Lenovo prices it at 00 (I doubt it's really worth that much...whatever) but they almost always have a coupon to reduce the price to 0. Right now, it's down to that with the coupon code DOORBUSTER0607 Unlike the Mac, this computer is kinda ugly imo, but it's right at your budget and you won't find a better deal for the specs on it. If you go to the site and this deal's gone, wait a few days, they always drop it back down to 0. I hope you find the computer you've been looking for! Good luck!

    what mac is right for me?
    so my old mac sadly after years an years of service has finally run it's course an soon will be replaced by a new mac! my budget is under 2,000 dollars i'm looking for a desk top. now i'm not really all that computer skilled so i don't know what alot of storage space is i just know i need alot.
    my biggest uses are
    imovie- at first it was mostly joking around with the built in camera but lately i've been actually using a camera an making short films and once i get a new mac i plan to do this wayyyyy more
    garge band - i love just playing around and recording songs i wrote.
    downloading - music off not so legal sites and itune, and movies etc
    watching movies- legally non legal
    randome research for fun today i read about frogs! this does not have to do with school at all lol
    internet- youtube myspace facebook, gaia online, neopets
    some games, the sims possibley wow
    but game graffics arent that important to me i just want space.;
    and i keep a coputer jurnal

    i already have a pc. for school stuff

    so find me a mac

    • ANSWER:

    I am looking for a good external microphone to buy online.. Either a boom mic or a shotgun mic..?
    So I need an external microphone for my Canon HD VIXIA HF R100 video camera, the built in mic isnt very good, so I was thinking about getting a boom mic or a shotgun mic. Multi directional? The mic jack is a stand 1/8 audio input so any microphone that can plug into this would be great... I am filming comedy sketches and short films with this mic so I need something pretty decent. Please help with suggestions! I am going to order online so its cheaper..

    • ANSWER:
      A boom mic is usually a shotgun mic mounted on a boom... though it is possible to mount other types of mics on a boom.

      The Camcorder uses two mics to provide stereo audio. Most shotgun mics are mono and not stereo. Generally, when you plug a mono mic into a stereo jack (like your R100's), only one of the audio channels (right, I think) will record audio. This can be fixed when you edit - with either your video editor or an audio editor like Audacity.

      Budget? Audio Technica makes decent low-end mics... So does RODE and NRG Research. All will be less than 0. A good shotgun mic from Sennheiser or Audio Technica can be many thousands of $.

    How can I build a wooden shed that looks old?
    I want to build a shed to use in a short film. It doesn't have to actually function as a shed, just look like one. But it needs to look old. And wouldn't you know it....I have a limited budget. I don't mind dipping into my pockets, but anything more than a couple hundred dollars for this shed would be too much. Would love to do it for less.

    I've tried finding an actual shed, but I can't find one that fits what I'm picturing in my mind.

    What's an easy, affordable way to build something that can resemble a shed, and to make it look old? Here's the closest image online I could find that's along the same lines although I'm thinking much smaller...standing room for two people and some tools, and I can get away with only building two walls and the door, since that's all that will show on camera.

    All the information on building sheds is about fixing them up or building them so they look nice. I can't find information on building one to look like it's on it's last legs.

    • ANSWER:
      what you are looking for is used wood. mostly old pine from farms ect, check your local craigs list and search for weathered wood or used wood siding

short films online budget