Internet Filmmaker's FAQ Version 3.2 (HTML) [1/4]

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Ben Craig

Feb 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/23/96
Archive-name: movies/filmmakers-faq/html1
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<P><H1>Version 3.2</H1>

<P>Compiled and Maintained<BR> by<BR><BR>
<FONT SIZE=+1>Benjamin Craig<BR>
<A HREF=""></A></FONT><BR> <BR><BR>

<P><H2>PART 1 OF 4</H2></CENTER>

<P><HR WIDTH=400 ALIGN=center>


<p><b>&copy Copyright Benjamin Craig, 1994 - 96. All Rights

<p>Permission is granted for reproduction, distribution, transmission, or
storage of this FAQ for non-commercial
purposes only and on the condition that the contents are not modified in any
way. Commercial use and/or distribution
of this document is strictly forbidden with prior written consent from the
copyright holder. Educational use of this
document is allowed subject to the above mentioned conditions and the
requirement to notify the copyright holder
before any such use is undertaken.

<h3><p align=center>DISCLAIMER</h3>

<P>Whilst every effort has been made to maintain the accuracy of information
provided in this FAQ, the
author cannot accept any moral or legal liability for inaccurate or outdated
information contained within.
Furthermore, certain information presented in this FAQ is based on the opinions
and experiences of the author
only, and cannot be taken to be legally binding. Trademarks referred to in
this document are noted as such,
and are used without permission of the respective trademark owners. Use of such
trademarks is for
informational purposes only, and should in no way be considered a challenge to
their ownership.

<P><HR WIDTH=400 ALIGN=center>


<P>(%) denotes a new/updated topic; (+) indicates the question is presently

<P><DL><DT><FONT SIZE=+1>Part 1: Introductory Stuff</FONT><BR><BR>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="#intro">Introduction.</A>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="#abbrev">Abbreviations used in this FAQ.</A>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="#credits">Credits.</A>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="#netiquette"><EM>Netiquette</EM> for USENET Postings</A>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="#bandwidth">What is <EM>Bandwidth</EM> and how can I waste
<DD><LI> <A HREF="#where">Where can I pick up the latest version of this FAQ?
<DD><LI> <A HREF="#groups">What newsgroups does this FAQ relate to?</A>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="#resume">Is it ok to post resumes on these groups?</A>

<P><DL><DT><FONT SIZE=+1><A HREF="if-faq2.htm">Part 2: Basic
<DD><LI> <B>What is/where is:</b><ul>
<li><a href="if-faq2.htm#ILM">ILM (Industrial Light & Magic)?</a><br>
<li><a href="if-faq2.htm#lucasfilm">Lucasfilm Ltd?</a><br>
<LI><a href="if-faq2.htm#lightst">Lightstorm Entertainment?</a><br>
<LI><a href="if-faq2.htm#amblin">Amblin Entertainment?</a><br>
<LI><a href="if-faq2.htm#d2">Digital Domain</a><br>
<LI><a href="if-faq2.htm#DGA">Directors Guild of America</a><br>
<li><a href="if-faq2.htm#dreamworks">Dreamworks SKG</a><br>
<li><a href="if-faq2.htm#miramax">Miramax</a><br>
<li><A HREF="if-faq2.htm#universal">Universal Pictures</A><br></ul>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq2.htm#intern">I've heard something about Lucasfilm/ILM
Internships. What are they/how can I apply?</a>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq2.htm#iwanna">I wanna be a [insert your film career
here]. How?</A>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq2.htm#sfxjob">I wanna work in FX. How?</a>
<DD><LI> <B>What is/What does a [insert crew role] do:</b><ul>
<li><a href="if-faq2.htm#prod">Producer? Executive, Line, Associate?
<li><a href="if-faq2.htm#grip">Grip?</a><br>
<li><a href="if-faq2.htm#gaffer">Gaffer?</a><br>
<li><a href="if-faq2.htm#bestboy">Best Boy/Girl?</a><br>
<li><a href="if-faq2.htm#artdir">Art Director?</a><br>
<li><a href="if-faq2.htm#designer">Production Designer?</a><br>
<LI><a href="if-faq2.htm#DOP">Director of Photography?</a><br>
<LI><a href="if-faq2.htm#foley">Foley Artist?</a><br>
<LI><a href="if-faq2.htm#AD">Assistant Director? 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2nd 2nd?
<LI><a href="if-faq2.htm#scriptsup">Script Supervisor?</a><br>
<LI><a href="if-faq2.htm#publicist">Unit Publicist?</a><br>
<LI><a href="if-faq2.htm#upm">Production Manager/Unit Production
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq2.htm#letters">What do the little letters mean after
some people's names in the credits?</a>
<DD><LI> <a href="if-faq2.htm#schools">What/Where are the best film
<DD><LI> <a href="if-faq2.htm#cannes">What is Cannes and how do I pronounce
<DD><LI> <b>What are the entrance requirements for:</b>
<li><a href="if-faq2.htm#ASC">American Society of Cinematographers?</a>
<li><a href="if-faq2.htm#WGA">Writer's Guild of America?</a> +
<li><a href="if-faq2.htm#IATSE">I.A.T.S.E?</a></UL>
<DD><LI> <B>What does [insert cryptic film term] mean?</b><ul>
<li><a href="if-faq2.htm#reversal">Reversal Film?</a>
<li><a href="if-faq2.htm#fps">Frame Rate?</a></ul>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq2.htm#sup16">What is the difference between 16mm and
Super 16mm?</a>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq2.htm#mymovie">I've got a great script which I want
made into a movie. How?</a>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq2.htm#rights">How do I get the rights to adapt a book
into a screenplay?</a>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq2.htm#2day">Are those "two day" film schools any
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq2.htm#doubles">What's the difference between a stand-in
and a double?</A>
<DD><LI> <a href="if-faq2.htm#internships">Where can I find a listing of
film/tv internships?</a>
<DD><LI> <a href="if-faq2.htm#managent">What's the difference between a manager
and an agent?</a>
<DD><LI> <a href="if-faq2.htm#abovebelow">What's the difference between "Above"
and "Below" the line costs?</a>

<P><DL><DT><FONT SIZE=+1><A HREF="if-faq3.htm">Part 3: Production
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq3.htm#screensoft">What screenwriting software is
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq3.htm#prodsoft">What production software is
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq3.htm#sceenbuy">Where can I get copies of
screenwriting/production software?</A>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq3.htm#shareware">What screenwriting/production
shareware is available?</A>
<DD><LI> <b>Where can I pick up directories of crew working in [insert
<li><a href="if-faq3.htm#USA-w">USA (West Coast)</a>
<li><a href="if-faq3.htm#crewuse">USA (East Coast)</a>
<li><a href="if-faq3.htm#oz">Australia</a>
<li><a href="if-faq3.htm#crewuk">United Kingdom</a>
<li><a href="if-faq3.htm#crewcan">Canada</a>
<LI><A HREF="if-faq3.htm#sa">South Africa</A></ul>
<DD><LI> <a href="if-faq3.htm#indie">What/where are groups that support
independent filmmakers?</a>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq3.htm#nobudget">Gimme Info on how to make a No-budget
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq3.htm#SAG">Does SAG offer any breaks for independent
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq3.htm#flouro">I need info on working with fluorescent
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq3.htm#bluescreen">Why is Bluescreen blue?</a>
<DD><LI> <a href="if-faq3.htm#compscrn">How do I film a computer/video screen
without it flickering?</a>
<DD><LI> <a href="if-faq3.htm#timing">How do I work out the timing of my script
from its number of pages?</a>
<DD><LI> <a href="if-faq3.htm#bolex">Where can I pick up Bolex parts and
<DD><LI> <a href="if-faq3.htm#rearscrn">What's the best material to use for
rear screens?</a>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq3.htm#elm">How much did <EM>El Mariachi</EM> really
cost to make?</A>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq3.htm#finance">Gimme info on film financing.</A>

<P><DL><DT><FONT SIZE=+1><A HREF="if-faq4.htm">Part 4:
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq4.htm#boxoff">Where can I find info on Box Office
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq4.htm#books">Reading list for wanna-bes, trying-to-bes,
and being filmmakers?</a>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq4.htm#IMDB">Internet Movie Database? What is it/How
can I access it?</a>
<DD><LI> <b>What Internet Sites/Services Cater for Filmmakers?</b><ul>
<li><a href="if-faq4.htm#siteswww">World Wide Web?</a>
<li><a href="if-faq4.htm#sitesnn">Network News (USENET)?</a>
<li><a href="if-faq4.htm#sitesbbs">BBS?</a>
<li><a href="if-faq4.htm#sitesml">Mailing Lists?</a>
<li><a href="if-faq4.htm#sitesez">Ezines?</a>
<li><a href="if-faq4.htm#sitesfaqs">FAQ Lists</a>
<li><a href="if-faq4.htm#sitesmisc">Miscellaneous?</a></UL>
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq4.htm#bookshops">What good film bookstores are
<DD><LI> <A HREF="if-faq4.htm#netco">Where can I get a list of film companies
who have Net addresses?</a>
<DD><LI> <a href="if-faq4.htm#netscript">Where can I get film scripts on the
<DD><LI> <B>What government film agencies are there in [insert place]?</b><ul>
<li><a href="if-faq4.htm#usgov">USA?</a>
<li><a href="if-faq4.htm#ozgov">Australia?</a>
<li><a href="if-faq4.htm#cangov">Canada?</a>
<li><a href="if-faq4.htm#ukgov">UK?</a></ul>


<P><H3><A NAME="intro">Introduction</A></H3>

<p>This document began its life as the <EM>rec.arts.movies.production
Frequently Asked Questions List</EM> in late 1994 - a response to the growing
interest in that newsgroup as more filmmakers began to join the Internet
community. With the advent of several new newsgroups that relate to the process
of motion picture production (namely <A
HREF="news:alt.movies.independent">alt.movies.independent</A> and <A
HREF="news:misc.writing.screenplays">misc.writing.screenplays</A>) the focus of
this FAQ has grown beyond a single newsgroup to cover all the major film
production groups - hence it has now become the <EM>Internet Filmmaker's

<P>It should be noted that answers in this FAQ are by no means definitive as
many terms in the film industry are understood to mean different things by
different people. As a producer/director myself I have a good working
knowledge of much of this information, however if you feel something needs
expanding, explaining, or correcting, please do not hesitate to let me know.
<p>Because of the extremely technical nature of much of the information that
relates to film production, I have only included answers to generalised
questions that have been asked. If there is a frequently asked technical
question I will be happy to include it if satisfactory answers are presented.
The intention of a FAQ (believe it or not) is to provide answers for its name
<STRONG>(F)</STRONG>requently <STRONG>(A)</STRONG>sked
<STRONG>(Q)</STRONG>uestions. It is not intended to be a one-stop information
source for everything in the film industry because you and I both know that
this would be an impossible ask.

<P><STRONG>A Note About Australian Phone Numbers -</STRONG> Throughout this
document you will find references to many phone number of film-related
organisations and services in Australia. If you reside outside of this country
you must remember to drop the zero (0) from any area code (shown in brackets)
given, otherwise you will not get connected. For example, to dial the
following number (02) 555-5555 from overseas, it would become 2-555-5555
(including of course any prefix numbers required by your telephone company).

<p>If there are other questions that you would like to see answered in this
document, or you have additional information for an existing question, let me
know and I will include it. If you provide an answer to a technical question I
will take it in good faith that you know what you're talking about (perhaps
provide brief info on what you do so I can pass any flames
on to you :)

<p>One final note, as of Version 2.3, the HTML version of this FAQ has been
optimised for display using Netscape 1.2 or higher. You may incur minor layout
problems if you are using a browser that is not compatible with HTML 3.0 and
Netscape extensions.

<p><EM>Ben Craig / <a
<P><A NAME="abbrev"><H3>Abbreviations Used in This FAQ</H3></A>
<p><TABLE WIDTH=600>
<TR><TD>RAMP...<TD>rec.arts.movies.production news-group
<TR><TD>RAVP...<TD> news-group
<TR><TD>RAMA...<TD>rec.arts.movies.announce news-group
<TR><TD>RAMT...<TD> news-group
<TR><TD>RAMPE... <TD> rec.arts.movies.people news-group
<TR><TD>RAMC... <TD> rec.arts.movies.current-films news-group
<TR><TD>RAMPF... <TD> rec.arts.movies.past-films news-group
<TR><TD>RAMLS... <TD> rec.arts.movies.lists+surveys news-group
<TR><TD>RAMMG... <TD> news group
<TR><TD>RAMM... <TD> rec.arts.movies.misc news-group
<TR><TD>AFAIK... <TD> As far as I (the author) know.
<TR><TD>IMO... <TD> In my (the author's) opinion
<TR><TD>SAG... <TD> Screen Actor's Guild of America
<TR><TD>AE... <TD> Actor's Equity (Australia)
<TR><TD>DGA... <TD> Director's Guild of America
<TR><TD>DOP... <TD> Director of Photography (also known as DP in the USA)
<TR><TD>Indie... <TD> Independent (for non-English speakers)
<TR><TD>IMDB... <TD> Internet Movie Database
<TR><TD>Studios... <TD> Refers to the large US Movie Studios (Universal, Warner
Bros. etc)


<P><A NAME="credits"><H3>Credits</H3></A>

<P>Many people have helped me with responses to unknown questions, corrections
and or just provided stuff that FAQ needed. To them all...


<p>Amanda Kelso, Cary (don't know his surname), Jacqueline Dinsmore, Jim Hensz
Mike Vidal (for HTML help), Yvonne Hewett, Jason Rita, Jari Alakoskela, Howard
Reichman, Antonio Tatum,
Geoff Boyle, Jim Janecek, Guy Gallo, Nick Nordquist, Bruce Beaulac, Dixie
Cultler, Geofery Teabo, Chuck Skinner, Hal Hickel Conrad Hunziker, Paul Reiher,
Lester Crombie, Martin Cleaver and Bob Koster.


<P><A NAME="netiquette"><H3>Netiquette For USENET Postings</H3></A>

<P>Because of the wide variety of information that is discussed on these
newsgroups, several people have asked me to include a small section on posting

<P>If you are new to the USENET or are unsure as to what constitutes
<EM>standard netiquette</EM> you should have a look at the <A
HREF=""></A> group which
contains postings of all the pertinent information you need to know.

<P>Apart from the usual netiquette, please try to observe the following
pointers with your postings.
<Li>Make your subject heading clear as to what you are looking for. If you are
looking for a Super8 camera put "Wanted: Super8 Camera" so that everybody
knows exactly what you're on about. The same goes for if you were selling a
Super8 Camera - "For Sale: Super8 Cam.." Don't just put "Super8 Camera" or
"Super8" etc. You get the idea.<br>
<li>Don't post flames in these groups. If you really feel you must make
your point to another user, email them. Don't clutter the groups
with useless articles.<br>
<li>Try to remember that these groups are international. If you are selling
items, make sure that you let everyone know where you are, put the price in the
currency that you want (ie $US, $AU, $CA etc), and indicate which format you
equipment is (ie. NTSC, PAL, SECAM, etc). Also include a country for any
addresses that you provide for general consumption. Remember that you can use
the <EM>distribution</EM> header when posting a news article to limit the
spread of your article to certain areas only.<br>
<li>When following up an article, try to include only original message text
that is relevant to the information you are providing. Large articles that
contain lots of copied text waste <A HREF="#bandwidth">bandwidth</A> (the most
valuable Internet commodity) and create unnecessary volume (and reading!).


<P><A NAME="bandwidth"><H3>What is Bandwidth and How Can I Waste It?</H3></A>

<P>"Bandwidth is the amount of information that can be moved over a cable. The
transfer of information over the Internet is limited by the physical
limitations of the cables the information is transmitted through; thus, a post
to USENET which, for example, merely quotes back the entire 300 lines of a
previous post and adds "I agree" to the bottom takes up
space in the cables which could better be used by other posts. If enough
bandwidth is wasted, no other posts can get through, as the cables would
already be transmitting their maximum amount of data." - Joel Hahn, maintainer
of <A HREF=""></A> FAQ.

<P>USENET generates a large volume of traffic for Internet providers to manage.
A good news service should provide around 6,000 of the roughly 15,000
newsgroups. Now carrying 6,000 newsgroups generates approximately 1 gigabyte of
data per day. Now if USENET becomes unmanageable due to the huge volume
(caused by large numbers of posts), Internet providers may re-examine the
effectiveness of the service. Just as like recycling, the ozone layer etc, you
can do you small bit to reduce the volume of the USENET and help keep a
valuable resource going by keeping the quoted text in your posts to a minimum.


<P><A NAME="where"><H3>Where Can I Pick Up The Latest Version of This

<p>The IF FAQ is available from the following places. Remember that the
document is in both ASCII (plain text) and HTML (hyper text) formats. Make
sure you know which format you want.
<li><b>Network News</b> - posted monthly to<ul>
<li><a href="news:rec.arts.movies.production">rec.arts.movies.production</a>
<li><a href="news:alt.movies.independent">alt.movies.independent</a>
<li><a href="news:misc.writing.screenplays">misc.writing.screenplays</a>
<li><a href="news:aus.films">aus.films</a>
<li><a href="news:rec.answers">rec.answers</a>, <A
<A HREF="news:misc.answers">misc.answers</A>,<a
<li><b>World Wide Web</b><ul>
<li>CinemaScape Australia - <a
href=""></a> (Home)
<LI>StarComp - <A
comp/if-faq.htm</A> (USA)
<LI> Ind. Film Workshop - <a
f-faq.htm</a> (United Kingdom)
<LI>IFF Rotterdam - <A
htm</A> (Netherlands)
<LI>Uni Film Club - <a
if-faq/if-faq.htm</a> (Germany)
<li>MIT USENET Archives (ASCII & HTML)<BR>
For instructions on how to automatically receive the IF FAQ via email, send a
message to <a href=""></a>
with the subject "send help". There is no need to put anything in the body of
the message and remember to leave out
the quotes. Make sure that the "send help" request is on a line by itself.



<P><A NAME="groups"><H3>What Newsgroups Does This FAQ Relate To?</H3></A>

<P>Originally, this FAQ belonged to the rec.arts.movies.production newsgroup,
however now it relates to several movie production groups. They are:

<LI> <A HREF="news:rec.arts.movies.production">rec.arts.movies.production</A>
<LI> <A HREF="news:alt.movies.independent">alt.movies.independent</A>
<LI> <A HREF="news:misc.writing.screenplays">misc.writing.screenplays</A>
<LI> <A HREF="news:aus.films">aus.films</A>

<P>This FAQ deals with the process of making motion pictures as opposed to
video/television production. By motion pictures we mean movies (aka film, aka
cinema, aka celluloid stuff). There are considerable differences between the
equipment and
techniques used for film production and for video/TV production - hence video
news-groups exist. It is unavoidable that there will be a certain amount of
crossover between the two groups, but try to decide which group better suits
your needs before posting an article.


<P><h3><a name="resume">Is It Ok to Post Resumes On These Groups?</a></h3>

<p>Generally no, as this clutters up <A HREF="#bandwidth">bandwdith</A> with
large messages that are only relevant to a select few. Instead of posting a
full resume, try posting a message explaining who you are and what sort of work
you're looking for. This allows people who <i><b>are</b></i> interested in
(and let's face it most people aren't) reading your resume to request one from
you so that they can read it.


<P><FONT SIZE=+1>Go on to <A HREF="if-faq2.htm">Part 2</A>.<BR></FONT>


<P><CENTER><FONT SIZE=-1><A HREF="if-faq1.htm#index">INDEX</A> | <A
HREF="if-faq1.htm#intro">PART 1</A> | <A HREF="if-faq2.htm">PART 2</A> | <A
HREF="if-faq3.htm">PART 3</A> | <A HREF="if-faq4.htm">PART 4</A> | <A
HREF="#elvis">TOP</A><BR>Send comments to <A

Benjamin Craig Email.
Digital Horizons WWW.

"Your body's dying. Pay no attention... it happens to us all."
- The Vampire Lestat

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