Category Archives: Film Distribution

The Production Process

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to give a talk about covering “The Production Process” at Film Oxford. Like many I feel nervous talking in front of an audience. They say you should do something each day which scares you, so I agreed to give the talk for an hour or so. One of the problems creating the talk was knowing how experienced the audience would be and how much information to cover. I decided to fall back on earlier experiences of filmmaking and focus predominately on pre-production.

The Production Process
If pre-production is well planned then hopefully the rest of the production should all go to plan (at least until post production). There was a dazzling array of talent in the audience (many who were specialised and had years of experience). I tried to overcome my initial nerves to deliver a candid and hopefully useful talk. Whilst some of the context may be lost I’ve included my slides here. I hope any other filmmakers reading will find some of this information useful.

Download The Production Process Talk Slides by Andrew Carslaw


Palpable fiction

pal·pa·ble  [adj]        capable of being touched or felt: tangible.

Before I can fully let go of our Etiquette project and move forward with Spare Change there are a number of things that are still remaining I want to tick off. One is a local screening for anyone who was unable to make the mid-week BAFTA premiere. The other is developing a DVD as promised (either as a thank-you to the team for their efforts or as a thank-you perk for our IndieGoGo supporters). I am currently deciding what we have time for on the DVD. The current line-up on the DVD is looking suspiciously like:

  • Three versions of our film, so you can see how the editing process evolved. The first is Sherilee’s original edit. The second sees me take Sherilee’s edit and add a few flourishes of my own. The third is the final version, which is a collaboration between us both.
  • A commentary track. I was hoping to do a track with Sherilee, the crew and actors. However time constraints getting us all together means this is unlikely. At the very least, I will fly solo. I really enjoyed doing the Gardening and other crimes commentary, so hope I feel the same this time also.
  • We have had the “okay” from the Yellow Square team to put the original version of the film by Dan Collier on the DVD. Now you can compare and contrast the original version against our shameless remake.
  • A few short interview clips with the cast.
  • A copy of my first film – Gardening and other crimes, as promised on the IndieGoGo campaign.
  • A trailer for Sherilee’s “Unspoken” project

What you won’t be seeing is:

  • Any making of featurette. We were hoping to do one, but don’t really have the time right now with Spare Change waiting in the wings. It could materialise at a later point, but don’t hold your breath! Send me an email petition if you really want this!
  • Bloopers. We had a lot of fun during the production. For whatever reason (probably time related), there were not enough clips to make a full blooper reel like we did last time.

Whilst we are on the subject of DVDs:

It appears online streaming is overtaking optical media now. I can’t deny that the market is certainly changing in this direction (DVD consumption is definitely reducing). However I guess I am that rare individual who likes to have a “physical copy” of something. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with the use of streaming. I use streaming, my first project was streamed (it wasn’t a huge success when I did it, admittedly two years ago). I am curious to dip my toe into the Distrify waters at some point. Meanwhile I still believe there is a market place for both streaming and optical media (for the next few years at least). When Internet TVs are the norm, things will of course change. But for now, a few issues I have with streaming are:

  • If your network/bandwidth disappears (and occasionally it does here living in a village), it ruins the whole viewing experience.
  • Not that this is applicable to all online services, but if I like the film, I don’t want to have to pay each time I want to see the film. I don’t want to install anything to get around the digital rights management so I can view it. I don’t want it to expire after a set period. I just want to pay a set amount and re-watch at my own leisure without fuss.
  • I find it much easier to forget about films in the “online” environment. They are more disposable. If I have a copy, I can look through my collection and there it is! Streaming works well with things I am only ever going to see once.
  • Personal one this: I don’t know if others the same. If I sponsor a project on the likes of IndieGoGo, Kickstarter etc, I rarely show much interest in “online streaming” versions. If I sponsor a project, part of the charm is getting something tangible at the end of the process as a perk.
  • The quality still isn’t quite there. Perhaps I am way off here as I’ve not researched recently. Has anyone streamed anything from an “online” source which has DTS surround sound from a legitimate service? Did it come with commentary tracks, extras, subtitles etc or was it just the film?

Obviously there are several key benefits which make streaming extremely attractive however:

  • The most obvious is the huge reduction in overhead costs and delivering it to others. I mean you can upload to YouTube or Vimeo for free. There are other solutions such as the aforementioned Distrify. With online-rental, I’d be curious to know if recent “stamp price increases” will have an affect. Perhaps it is driving the likes of LoveFilm even more towards this model.
  • It is more portable with things such as mobile devices
  • It can be available almost instantaneously.
  • Optical media physically takes up more space than files on a hard-drive.

I’m sure everyone has their own take on it, love to hear other opinions. Meanwhile speaking of project sponsorship a moment ago, I see the US is introducing some new laws for Crowd-sourcing. Interesting!

For those of you still reading, one last thing. I’ve slightly updated the Ferny Films website content. Aesthetically for anyone who’s already seen it, it’s much the same. The content was out of date however and it was becoming a royal pain to update. Hopefully now improved a bit.