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 my student film: advice needed

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Trequartista
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PostSubject: my student film: advice needed   Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:40 pm

ok, so i mentioned in "free talks" earlier about my two film projects falling through. i wish this was a thread where i posted a youtube video or a link to download my film... but unfortunately that's not the case. it's come down to the end and i need some advice. what happened was this:

in my university we have a student organization to get together and make films. they decided they liked this screenplay I wrote and wanted to make it. we picked a director... and from there everything went to hell. the director asked for numerous changes to what I had written, i didn't like many of his changes but i said I would compromise and make a few of his changes. so i did that, gave it back to him... only to have him go ahead and rewrite my script himself with all the changes he wanted that I said no to. it was enough to change my story thematically and completely change one of my main characters (there are only two characters in the story) and added two or three more as well as change my ending. i was shocked, i went through his version and told him why his changes had no part in what i wrote. i reminded him that when we chose him to direct, he said this was the best screenplay he'd read by a fellow student blah blah blah and thus shouldn't need his changes. of course he thought differently, his changes were making what I wrote better.

after much duress and back and forth between the director, the organization's president and I, I realized i was making no head way. the organization as a whole saw this as me crippling the director's vision, not him slandering my writing. so, an agreement was reached: I would have to compromise again, his changes to my script would stand BUT they would shoot my ending as well as the one he wrote. i said i didn't like it, but since i knew it was the best i would get, I agreed HOWEVER said I reserve the right to pull my name off the project anytime I please. the director says no no no, i love your work, I don't wanna do it without you attached--but i say tough smelling as man, that's how it is.

finally the movie is shot. i am not on set, because i knew it would drive me insane being there. but i hear everything went smooth, looks great, blah blah blah. i assume they followed through with their deal because no one has told me any differently. well, two nights ago I go to look at the footage... and guess what: my ending is not there. i start making calls--and here's where i need advice: the president of this organization, who made the deal with me about shooting my ending, says that he's not responsible because all he did was make the deal, it's not his fault it wasn't followed through with. the producer says he's not at fault because he didn't make the deal to begin with. and the director says its' not his fault because he ran out of time on set and was only able to shoot his own ending. so everyone points a finger at someone else... so my question is, who do I blame and what do I do? i did pull my name off the project, but still i feel like i got screwed and no one has to take responsibility.
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Taib
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PostSubject: Re: my student film: advice needed   Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:48 pm

You took your name off the project and I view that as you terminating your involvement with the project. If things went to hell then you can not really try to hold someone accountable because you were not involved. You got screwed mostly by yourself.
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usampa
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PostSubject: Re: my student film: advice needed   Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:07 pm

Trequartista wrote:
so, an agreement was reached.

It is very complicated...

I don't know who you should exactly blame or what you have to do , but I don't like the word agreement. Because agreement doesn't worth much with people who you don't know well and have some interest and presumable benefit from your projects.
Maybe you could blame all of them , directors , producers and so on , or you could blame yourself as well...

And something else , maybe this is your path , you have to rely at first on that kind of people who will take advantage from you , until........ cheers or...... scratch
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Trequartista
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PostSubject: Re: my student film: advice needed   Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:12 am

Taib wrote:
You took your name off the project and I view that as you terminating your involvement with the project. If things went to hell then you can not really try to hold someone accountable because you were not involved. You got screwed mostly by yourself.
i understand what you're saying and don't take offense to it. i suppose the only problem i have with this view, is that essentially they are not responsible for their end of the deal.
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Jofo
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PostSubject: Re: my student film: advice needed   Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:50 am

Believe me or not I see something like that coming when I read the first lines. I'm 21 also and at university. We also have project and I try to give my best advice.

First Bravo for your first script, I mean your only 21. So you can see like this. Your director is older then you and he is in the business, so he knows more then you and trying to help and point you in your work.
Second he is some mediocre who hasn't done anything big in his life so he is totally use in the chance to be the BOSS. Telling you what to do and trying to ruin your work.

It's obvious that the job is done and you where played. If you like that to be your profession or you think you are good at that then work alone and quit from that organization. It's crystal that they used you, but no need to blame no one. I hope that you'll understand this as a good lesson in your life and never to make mistakes like this. I know that you where the fool here and they take all the credit about your effort but move on and show everybody that you are better then all of them.

Keep doing the good job and don't give up. I believe in you.
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Belgio
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PostSubject: Re: my student film: advice needed   Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:30 pm

Jofo wrote:


First Bravo for your first script, I mean your only 21.

Keep doing the good job and don't give up. I believe in you.

More or less my conclusion. Very bad situation you got into but I'm sure as hell you'll make it!!
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nomade
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PostSubject: Re: my student film: advice needed   Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:32 pm

They used you, it's common for people starting such careers, or any career on that matter. It sucks and makes you feel outrageous, cause you donno who to blame...You did your thing, keep doing it again and again and good luck!
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Trequartista
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PostSubject: Re: my student film: advice needed   Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:32 am

Wow, thanks for the support guys. It really does mean a lot.

To answer Jofo, the director, producer and president are all students just like myself, we're all the same age. Btw, thanks for the congrats on the script.

And you're all right, the best thing I can do is to learn from the situation and keep on doing what I do as best as I possibly can.
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Giolazio
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PostSubject: Re: my student film: advice needed   Sun Dec 14, 2008 5:46 am

Hey treq, sounds like a trap situation, i feel for you. I don't know much about the industry but why couldn't you have changed directors at the start when you first noticed you had differring ideas? Hope you still have your original screenplay with some sort of copyright. Hope things work out!

_________________
To knog or not to knog......
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Trequartista
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PostSubject: Re: my student film: advice needed   Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:16 am

Giolazio wrote:
Hey treq, sounds like a trap situation, i feel for you. I don't know much about the industry but why couldn't you have changed directors at the start when you first noticed you had differring ideas? Hope you still have your original screenplay with some sort of copyright. Hope things work out!
The biggest reason is because this was all within a student organization and not operating within the "real industry." In the beginning the director we decided on had a lot of ideas, which was good. Some I was into and some I was not. But he was the only director that was interested in the project that was also capable of even making a decent attempt, in mine and the producers opinion.

The differing ideas came when he laid out a list of changes he wanted to my script. After I compromised, I assumed that was the end of it. I thought it was sort of understood that within this organization, the director doesn't touch the screenplay without the writer's permission. Unfortunately, I found out otherwise. I couldn't fire him because when he called me and told me he went ahead and re-wrote my work, it was 2 weeks until shooting, the locations/crew/cast/equipment were all locked down for those dates. Not only this, but the director had already coached the actors and had them start memorizing to his version of the script before he informed me of any of this.

If we changed directors, there's no way that this project would've been shot this semester. Which means that (a) we would have to explain to our university, who funds the organization, why their money was spent but there was no final product (b) the president would have to explain to the organization as a whole why the project that the members voted to be made had not been made, which he simply had no interest in doing. For his sake, everything needed to, and still needs to, appear business as usual so his ass is covered. Everything is politics right? So, when I spoke to him earlier this week about him not holding to his word and I said, "I wonder what the other members think about voting for my script and getting someone else's movie?" he responded, "I don't think they need to know about this."
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Mafalda
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PostSubject: Re: my student film: advice needed   Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:30 pm

Hey Treq, im so sorry what happened ... let me tell you my point of view, you now im authority in a university.

- If you have an authority over that students organization or group ... you should go to them, this is a ethic problem, and the ethic faults must be punished, most of all in the university where the people goes to be professional.
They did a transgression to your author right and that is very serious fault, that was like plagiarize your work and that, at least in Chile, has a legal sanction.

- If you dont have an authority or something like that to blame to ... they must have at least a moral sanction, I mean the people must know what happened with your script, they are not reliable people.

I give you all my support Treq, but in this world there are still people who you trust to, stay working.
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Caxi
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PostSubject: Re: my student film: advice needed   Sun Dec 14, 2008 11:33 pm

Treq, what was the implications of you withdrawing your name from the project if you don't mind me asking?
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Trequartista
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PostSubject: Re: my student film: advice needed   Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:16 am

Mafalda, it's nice to hear from a member of university. I would be willing to take this matter up with the school, however, if they knew about this, that may well effect our funding in the future. Then I would understandably be vilified by this organization. Films cannot be made without money. But, the most important thing right now for me, as you mentioned, is the moral issue. The members of the organization must know what happened. It's not fair to them to not know about incompetency or misconduct by their elected officers. Covering this up is a cowardly act.

Caxi wrote:
Treq, what was the implications of you withdrawing your name from the project if you don't mind me asking?
If the film were to be entered into festivals, I would not be attached to any awards won. Some tell me that is worth the trouble, but if my work, the screenplay, were to be awarded, then I wouldn't feel right accepting as the script that was shot simply was not mine. I would be accepting accolades for something I did not do.
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Jofo
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PostSubject: Re: my student film: advice needed   Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:50 pm

This change things now. So you was not screwed by that movie org but a member or two. Just call a meting and clear the things up. If you get support enough vote for their resignation.

Btw this don't change nothing actuality, keep the good work and never give up. I know you will make it and when you do post the movie here.

P.S. If you ever become world known screenwriter and make movies with Jolie, Alba, Hatherway don't forget me buddy. Wink
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Kris
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PostSubject: Re: my student film: advice needed   Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:23 am

IMO Treq, you pull your name from the work.

You might not see it now, but you will be far more succesfull & respected by your peers for sticking by your ethics & principles.

People like this director pick on inexperienced & intimidated targets, if it wasnt for talented people like you, these guys would not be directing, it is impossible for them to be creative, so they steal ideas and edit others work to make it look like they are the creative inspiration. I call people like this "parasites"

If you stick to your guns, and continue to produce good work, people will quickly realise that you are a talented writer and take your work far more seriously.

Hope all goes well, learn from it, and try not to lose any sleep over it... your time will come, im sure of it.
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Cash
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PostSubject: Re: my student film: advice needed   Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:04 am

I am becoming very interested in your script Treq...would love to see it...
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Belgio
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PostSubject: Re: my student film: advice needed   Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:01 pm

Cash wrote:
I am becoming very interested in your script Treq...would love to see it...

Watch out with this guy Treq...




Twisted Evil
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Cash
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PostSubject: Re: my student film: advice needed   Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:56 am

Belgio wrote:
Cash wrote:
I am becoming very interested in your script Treq...would love to see it...

Watch out with this guy Treq...




Twisted Evil

pirat
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Trequartista
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PostSubject: Re: my student film: advice needed   Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:24 pm

haha, actually i wouldn't mind sending it along. always like to have a pair of eyes on my work.

I had a meeting with the organizations president and the faculty sponsor this morning about my situation. It went more or less how I expected. I vented some, but there was nothing they could do. There's nothing that said the director couldn't do this, there's nothing in the constitution to prohibit my project being taken out of my hands, there's no writing that says the director must have integrity. I understood this, but I had to appeal to them in some way. Doesn't anyone feel this is wrong? Shouldn't there be some consequence? He can just make his own film nobody voted on that... that's it, we just look down on him and change the constitution so it doesn't happen again?

It was frustrating but ultimately it came down to this: what did I want. I didn't know what I wanted. I wanted to run this director down with my car, but we all agreed that was no practical as his corpse on my hood would not get my movie made. Still seems appealing, though. But, they said what you guys said, just learn from it and try to come out of it better. Work harder, run faster, jump higher, write gooder, etc. I'm trying to have a sense of humor about it. I guess that's my closure. Again, thanks for you guys support, means a lot to me.
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PostSubject: Re: my student film: advice needed   Today at 9:07 pm

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