Estimating the Truth 

One fun thing about independent production: No matter how prepared you are for the expenses of filmmaking; you always have a minor heart attack once you see the estimates. Even on more intimate projects. I am semi-amazed that we kept the production costs as accessible as we did. (Thanks again to the cast and crew.)

I thought you”d like to see a post-production estimate for our current project.

This does not include the offline editor fees or sound/VO. Nor does it include contingency padding and the automatic $500 added for things that occur prior to arriving at the post house. I should note that this is a caliber facility and they weren”t unkind to us, giving us a bit of a discount in one area. Anyway, math nerds, add it up and predict the total budget. I dare you.

If I haven”t mentioned how much it sucks for a filmmaker to be under the gun at any stage” It”s time I do. Coppola relates this idea frequently in interviews and I happen to think he is one of few who conveys a realistic impression of what filmmaking is like as opposed to the Hollywood mythology you”re sold (and I do mean sold) everyday and have been sold since the inception of the studio system. Why do you think he has only just now come back to film? There”s a point where it”s not fun anymore, and that should never, never happen no matter how challenging the shoot. Deadlines and parameters are good, but when they hit an extreme it affects the work. Literally each minute on a set or in post is expensive; money ticks away with the clock”The stress can mentally and creatively break the strongest directors. I”m sure the sulky side of every indie artist wants to lament, “I hate working independent!” To pound salt into the wounds, a bunch of people will go waste their money on Beowulf this Friday while I spend my night watching editor reels and willing the donation number to go up with my sweet mind.

The muses weep in shame for the state of our cinesouls. I know it. The magic is currently nonexistent. Even the faux magic is dead.

Anyway, no one wants to know the truth about anything. The truth is exhausting. Jack Nicholson told us all about that in the amazing documentary A Few Good Men. I often feel that way with things in the human realm, wherein in society we”ve made things awfully complex. But, you know, turning a blind eye hasn”t been so good for us. You do know that, right? It is not so terrible to know how things actually work as long as everyone pulls their own tiny bit of weight, and no one is left hauling things along by themselves. As we continue along post I will once and for all try to give you a more realistic picture of the numbers.

I wonder if you, do you, feel very free? I don't know. I certainly don't. I think about it all the time, is all.

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