In the interest of equal time, don't forget about Sony's professional HDV
camera, the HVR-Z1, which is currently available, and sells for significantly less than the Canon or Panasonic.
Sony has also just released a new one-chip, "professional" minature HDV camera, the HVR-A1,
which utilizes a CMOS, rather than CCD, chip and is literally the size of a stapler and the diameter of a Coke can. Street
price is $2,500.
SAGIndie rep Paul Bales was also at the Market to explain SAG's new
low-budget filmmaking contract, which replaces the Experimental and Limited Exhibition contracts. The new Ultra-Low Budget
contract does away with the bump you once had to pay when your project received distribution and the rate for professional
actors is only $100 per day. Unfortunately, there is no longer a deferred contract at SAG, but for most low-budget filmmaking
situations the Ultra Low Budget contract is an improvement.
NO BUDGET FILMS
* Unlike this year's Sundance and Los Angeles film festivals, the Toronto
International Film Festival was devoid of no-budget features. More known for their foreign films from top and
emerging international directors, and lately, Hollywood's award's season premieres, Toronto has become a hard place to find
no-budgets from first-time American filmmakers. There were some lower-budget features of note, including first-time
feature director Aric Avelino's "American Gun", which was shot on Super 16mm by Nancy Schreiber ("November");
"L.I.E" director Michael Cuesta's second feature, "Twelve And Holding"; InDigEnt's newest, "Sorry,
Haters"; and the latest from Larry Clark, "Wassup Rockers", shot with the Canon XL2.
NO BUDGET PEOPLE
* Chris Nolan's next project is coming together quickly.
Following his successful "Batman Begins", Nolan plans to next shoot "The Prestige" with actors Hugh Jackman and Christian
attached to star. Chris' first feature, "Following" was made for $12,000 on 16mm (and finished to 35mm
by Next Wave Films).
* Craig Brewer's next project is preparing to
shoot soon. The "Hustle & Flow" director will be working with producers John Singleton and Stephanie Allain again
on "Black Snake Moan" for Paramount Classics. The film stars Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci, Justin Timberlake and recent
Emmy-award winner S. Epatha Merkerson. Craig's first feature "The Poor And Hungry" was shot on Digital8 for $5,000.
* Joe Carnahan is readying his next directing project for Working Title
and Universal. "Smokin' Aces" will star Jeremy Piven, Ryan Reynolds, and Alicia Keys. He is also co-writing the
script of director Gavin O'Connor's next feature, "Pride and Glory". Joe's first feature was the $7,000 16mm
feature "Blood, Guts, Bullets & Octane", (which also received finishing funds from Next Wave Films).
* Marc Forster is attached to direct the remake of French film "36 Quai
des Orfevres" for Paramount, following the success of his last feature, "Finding Neverland". His newest film, "Stay" wil be
opening soon and stars Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts. The busy director is also in post on "Stranger Than Fiction" with Will
Ferrell, Dustin Hoffman, and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Marc's second feature, the $100,000 "Everything Put Together", was shot
on the miniDV Sony VX1000 and premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival.
* Justin Lin starts shooting "The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo
Drift" this month. The third installment of the successful franchise will star Lucas Black and rapper Bow Wow. Justin's
$125,000 feature "Better Luck Tomorrow" was a hit at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival.
* David Gordon Green is set to direct "Goat" with
producers Scott Rudin and Christine Vachon. David's first feature "George Washington" was shot on 35mm with a budget of $50,000.
* J.T. Petty has been hired to write the horror
film "Storage" for Redbus. J.T. is also writing and will direct Lions
Gate's "The Burrowers," and he wrote the video game for "Batman Begins". J.T.'s first feature "Soft
For Digging" was made for under $10,000 on 16mm and featured one word of dialogue, "murder".