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ACTORS WALKING

This is probably the worst thing that could happen to your film and I hope for your sake it never happens.  But, family crisis, accidents, so many things can happen to people while in production that the idea that this could happen is not far fetched, but improbable.  However, what if your lead actor walks in the middle of production, what in Kurosawa's name will you do?  You've got all this film on her/him, she/he absolutely refuses to continue for whatever reason that you absolutely cannot solve, what can you do?

Make it a positive.

This could be a nightmare if you let it be one. What if you go through the scenes and story line you've already shot and decide what you have and can use and either do one of two things;

1. Quit and chalk it up to experience.

OR

2. Continue with what you have and make a different, maybe better film.

O.K., you've got half a film with this now missing character,
what other character in this film might have just as interesting a story that you haven't revealed yet ?
What if you shoot a double for the first lead on the floor that 'just died' from your new leads bullet/heart attack/overdose/boredom/left town?

Try something!

Maybe take a day off and rewrite something that works with the characters you have already introduced in a plot or story twist that can still accomplish what you've set out to do. I know this sounds way out in left field, kind of Plan 9 Ed Woods stuff, but you have to do something to help your film, hopefully you have supporting characters that you can now build into a different story that will be just as strong. They'll be calling you 'GENIUS' in the papers. Seriously, this is a real chance with your money and your film, but for my money, it's better than trying to beg an actor that can not, or will not come back, or quitting production on a film that will probably never be finished. You've already taken an enormous chance up to this point, why not push on and finish it, it may end up being a better film.
Take chances, experiment, it's what makes filmmaking fun and that make great stories, besides, what have you got to lose?


CREW

Be sure to pay all your actors and crew on time, and be sure to pay them consistently across the various departments. For instance, the Gaffer should get the same as the Key Grip. Best Boy Electric and Best Boy Grip should be the same. All Grips and Electric get paid the same. Before your production begins, everyone will know what everyone else is getting paid, guaranteed. Don't start with bad feelings because of rates, that's something you should solve in pre-production. This is, of course, if you have enough money to pay anybody.

ADR

What a heartache.  You lose the energy of the scene, and, even if uncle Bob doesn't notice, EVERYONE will feel a slight psychological shift between cutting in dialogue recorded in a studio, and what you did on set even if they can't articulate the perceived change.  On top of that, some actors have a very hard time looping. It's difficult and they just can't find the moment or character again, so avoid it if at all possible. However, if you have to, and can't afford ADR sessions in a booth with full playback, one thing you CAN do is what I did;

(1)
Make a cassette recording of the scenes for each actor that you have to replace from your edited work print for timing, pace and performance, then:
(2) Find a room that sounds like the room you originally recorded the sound in, record the new performance with the actor then just
(3)
lay it in over the dialogue in question with an ambient track and it can work OK.

I got all my actors into the various rooms one Sunday when I was alone in the editing suite and did all the looping in a couple hours in various rooms, closets, outside - wherever. I had to do this in my last film because the car we were using for the picture vehicle ended up not being the one we were promised (the guy just never showed) so I had to replace the references to that car.

You're better off getting wild lines on location when you're shooting, especially if you think you might like to change something, or are unhappy with a performance.

However, the sound man  I had was so incompetent it's lucky for me that I didn't, it all would have been distorted anyway.


"Film & Video Budgets" - Michael Wiese

Seems to be one of the best resource books for putting together a realistic budget for a number of different film and video projects. He has some sound advice about paying crew and scale rates available for those of you that might be able to pay scale. Singleton also has a book for budgets and breakdowns, it's OK, but harder to read, not as well organized or printed.

RECOMMENDED
Foto Kem - Burbank CA.(Lab)
Power Post - West Los Angeles (Audio)
Todd AO - Hollywood (Union - Xpensive)
Chris Weber Post - Burbank (Negative Cutting)
Blacbal - Burbank (Graphics)

STAY AWAY - NOT RECOMMENDED
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Video Plant - Los Angeles
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Amazing Movies - Hollywood
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2.Budgets & Breakdowns
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