HFR: High Frame Rate Filmmaking & the Future – ‘The Hobbit’ & Peter Jackson – Film Budget

THE MOVE TO HFR (HIGH FRAME RATE)

 

This December, an attempt to revolutionize film exhibition will be made by Peter Jackson and co. with their film “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”. The film will be the first of it’s kind, available in a format called HFR 3D.

 

But what is HFR, and why make the move to this format?  What is the effect on the film budget by utilizing this method?

 

HFR stands for High Frame Rate, a somewhat arbitrary name that refers to any frame rate higher than 24 frames per second, which has long been the industry standard for film capture and exhibition. In this case, The Hobbit was captured in 48 frames per second, and the HFR 3D version of the film will allow you to see those extra frames in action.

Shooting at higher frame rates is nothing new. Even most prosumer and many consumer grade cameras can shoot at speeds of 24, 30, or 60fps (if not more), but higher frame rates have never been utilized as an exhibition standard for a major motion picture. The purpose of a higher frame rate is to help reduce the “judder” or “strobing” effect. At 24 fps on a large screen, an object moving quickly across the screen, or a whip pan by the camera can be jarring, because the objects move large distances between each frame. HFR aims to fix this problem by doubling the number of times you see that object in one second, thereby filling in some of the gaps of motion between frames. Is also reduces motion blur, because each image has a shorter exposure time.

Watch the Trailer Here

This idea has been utilized for some time now for sports videos, which often shoot at 60 frames per second because of the fast-paced nature of sports. In 3D cinema, this should help with the strain some viewers experience during high action scenes with lots of movement.

But why 48? Why not use even more frames? While shooting at even higher frame rates is possible, and probable for exhibition someday in the future (assuming HFR is received well), 48 seems to be an good transition for now. By shooting at 48fps, a film can easily be converted to the old standard of 24fps by skipping every other frame. This allows studios to release their movies in both formats, appeasing those who oppose the HFR look (some say it looks “too real”, or has a soap opera look to it).

 

Higher frame rates also yield bigger file sizes and can require different technologies for acquisition and projection, meaning greater budget expense. In visual effects, doubling the number of frames can double the amount of work: A shot of Gollum talking to Bilbo now requires camera tracking, rotoscoping, etc. for twice as many frames!  The impact on a film budget can be significant.   Large movie files take more time across the workflow to handle with more man hours to execute the same scene work.  VFX expense for double the amount frames can essentially multiply the costs upward driving up the movie budget and requirement for production film finance.

In addition to “An Unexpected Journey”, HFR 3D will be used for the next two Hobbit films, and James Cameron also plans to use the new format for his upcoming Avatar sequels. “The Hobbit” will be released in 2D, 3D, IMAX, and IMAX 3D at 24fps, and HFR 3D at select theaters December 14th.

 

Worldwide Film Budget Expert

FilmBudget.com | Sony Announces the New F55 & F5 CineAlta 4K Digital Motion Picture Cameras

 

 

 Return to Filmbudget.com

Sony Announces F5 and F55 Cinema Cameras

 

The digital cinema camera market has been quite competitive as of late: RED has the Epic, Canon has their C-series, and the new kid on the block, Blackmagic Design, has their Cinema Camera.  Depending on the scope of a productions film budget the options remain extensive and growing daily.

 

Sony is now stepping up to the plate with their newly announced PMW-F5 and PMW-F55, slated to be released in January or February of 2013, and it sounds as though they have knocked it out of the park.  The CineAlta motion picture cameras provide filmmakers the tools to shoot their movie production with scalable technical tools depending on the budgets available.

 

 

Both cameras feature a new 4K Super 35mm image sensor (4096 x 2160), a lightweight, modular body, FZ lens mounts (but come with a PL adapter), new, faster SxS cards, and a brand new recording codec (XAVC). Sony will also be releasing their second generation of CineAlta PL prime lenses with the cameras.

 

While the cameras are set to release early next year, the full potential will not be realized until Sony releases a free “planned upgrade” and their external recorder (AXS-R5). See the specs below for more info:

 

Brief specs comparison:

 

 

F55

 

Frame Rates:

 

60 fps out of the box (XAVC HD at launch; XAVC 4K, QFHD and 2K with a planned upgrade)

 

180 fps with a planned upgrade (XAVC 2K/HD). Unique to this process, there is no line skipping or sensor windowing. So there’s no crop factor, no loss in angle of view.

 

240 fps 2K RAW, with the optional AXS-R5 outboard recorder and a planned upgrade, achieves the highest frame rates most productions will need, while retaining exceptional, 16-bit image quality. This not only exceeds 12-bit RAW with 16 times as many Red, Green and Blue gradations. By design, it exceeds the capabilities of human vision!

 

Simultaneous RAW + Onboard SxS recording (with external recorder)

 

4K/2K RAW + XAVC 2K*/HD

4K/2K RAW + MPEG-2 HD422

2K RAW + XAVC 2K*

 

*expected with future upgrade

 

– Global Shutter (eliminates rolling shutter issue)

 

– 4K output via HDMI or 3G-SDI

 

 

F5

 

 

 

60 fps out of the box (XAVC HD).

 

 

 

120 fps with a planned upgrade (XAVC 2K/HD). Unique to this process, there is no line skipping or sensor windowing. So there’s no crop factor, no loss in angle of view.

 

120 fps 2K RAW, with the optional AXS-R5 outboard recorder and a planned upgrade, achieves high frame rates while retaining exceptional, 16-bit image quality. This not only exceeds 12-bit RAW with 16 times as many Red, Green and Blue gradations. By design, it exceeds the capabilities of human vision!

 

 

 

 

 

 

4K/2K RAW + XAVC 2K*/HD

4K/2K RAW + MPEG-2 HD422

 

 

 

– No Global Shutter

 

 

– No 4K out

 

 

 

Price:

 

The official price has yet to be announced, but these cameras are meant to fill in the gap between the F3 and F65, so it is safe to assume somewhere between $16K and $65K, with the F5 being the cheaper of the two.

 

Click here for Sony’s full information page for the F5.

 

Click here for Sony’s full information page for the F55.

A Quick Overview of the Role of the Producer, Executive Producer & the Line Producer

The question often comes up amongst those interested in the film business about what is the difference between an executive producer, producer, co-producer, line producer, etc.  There is a misunderstanding and certain assumptions about what these different roles entail and the responsibilities as such for each job description.  Filmbudget.com decided to shed some light on the topic.

 

Executive Producer

 

The executive producer is generally regarded as the top of the food chain of producers.  While some think of this title as the person who brings the money and they wouldn’t be incorrect in that assumption.  Quite often the executive producer or EP as it is commonly referred to, brings the financing for the film budget of a production.

 

Likewise an EP may bring the top cast or other talent to the motion picture or television program they are involved with.  A growing tradition over the last two decades has been to grant an executive producer credit to the star’s manager.  While this is frowned about by some, the clout these managers generally have who get this can be deemed advantageous for the production, if not critical for obtaining the desired film star.

 

An executive producer may have optioned the material the movie or tv show is based upon.  Obtaining the underlying rights to content which films are made from is a fundamental method for securing a producer credit and often this is granted as an executive producer position.  For example if they bring the rights to a novel that the film is created upon this would be the “underlying rights” of the production without which it could not get made.

 

There are many permutations of the executive producer credit and to whom it is granted.  Often matters of oversight, financial responsibility, access to distribution, talent and foreign sales can impact who receives the credit.

 

Producer

 

The producer of the film is the ultimate film credit that is sought after by filmmakers (or should be.)  The Produced by credit is the most desirable and most often goes to the producer with the most control or importance on the film.  This could be due to the fact that he or she created the story or initiated the project, either by taking an option on a literary property, an outright purchase or by arranging a studio deal for the writer.

 

The producer credit has long be regarded as being earned by the person who brings the project to ether in its entirety, not merely one element (ie. the script, the financing, etc.)  The producer also has the experience to manage the entire production from inception to delivery to distributors of a final project.

 

Likewise, attending to the film budget and ensuring the the production does not go over budget or over schedule is the responsibility of the producer as well.  Dealing with the day to day problems and situations on the movie set is overseen by the producer working in tandem with the line producer to adequately execute the production.

 

 

Line Producer

 

The line producer is the hands on expert charged with delivering the film into the “can”, or what we call today capturing the data.  Line producers are seasoned unit production managers who have been working on film productions for many years and have moved up the ladder of the production tower.

 

This producer oversees all physical production elements from wardrobe to lighting and transportation to catering.  The line producer is generally the most overall knowledgable person on the team who knows how to put together a film production and prepare it for shooting.  They are trained by experience, learning and the hard lessons of production over many years and films.

 

Creating the film budget is the responsibility of the line producer.  In preparation for film financing, production and distribution the movie budget must be generated by a professional line producer with extensive experience in producing films.

 

 

Unit Production Manager

 

The unit production manager, or UPM, is a Director’s Guild of America (DGA) category designation for those members who are skilled at producing film and television productions from a management point of view.

 

Also known as production managers, the upm’s work with the line producer in managing the motion picture crew, the film budget and the shooting schedule.  By working with heads of departments (HODs) to determine their fiscal requirements and limits the upm ascertains from each the state of their budgets in comparison to the overall movie budget for a production.

 

The unit production manager must also be a liaison between the production and the studio, financiers or production company with regard to physical production.

 

 

While certainly not the most profound and detailed explanation for the roles of the producer on a film production, hopefully this article provides a bit of clarity on these critical elements of the production team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Film Market | AFM 2012

 

As November approaches the international film industry steadfastly prepares for the American Film Market in Los Angeles.

Industry executives, producers, directors look to the AFM for a good jump on global sales of their film productions.

Foreign Sales company’s slates are evaluated and perfected.  Every film budget is prepared, evaluated and revised to meet the cost structure of the current landscape for independent film.

Marketing materials are being created, edited and finalized in preparation for presentation to the global business.

 

What:  American Film Market (AFM)

When:  October 31 – November 7, 2012

Where:  Santa Monica, California

Website:   http://www.americanfilmmarket.com/

Each year the hordes of movie executives descend on the the seaside town of Santa Monica California to make international distribution deals for their film and video productions.  Buyers from around the globe likewise are in full force looking for that next hot product but also the standard fare the makes up their day to day schedule of releases.

 

Distributors look to the AFM to increase their reach in worldwide penetration of markets and deals for their product to be licensed in every territory of the world.  Taking over the many hotels that line the beach, the companies take residence in hotel rooms and suites, fill them with staff, posters, one sheets and televisions to play dvds and hard drive trailers for prospective buyers.  It is truly a selling market, much as any industry sector would provide.

Conferences as well are a stable of the American Film Market with industry leaders, movers and shakers presenting panels and discussions on all aspects of the film business.  Topics include production, distribution, movie budget levels, new media, digital platforms and film tax credits and incentives programs.   Likewise co-production treaties are often explained and detailed by the attending experts.

 

 

Film Finance is always a central theme to the AFM and the Conference Series delivers top finance professionals discussing the current state of film finance, marketing, pitching, film festivals, VOD and streaming of film product.

Central to the AFM on the trade floors at the Loews Hotel are likewise film commissions presence in booths with staffers explaining the various territories film tax incentives regimin.   Locations executives laud their country or state for its natural or urban beauty, film tax credits or film friendly attitude.   As competition has grown for production dollars these events are seen as a critical attendance for these entities to tout their place in the production pipeline.

 

Altogether the AFM represents the fabric of the film finance and distribution world for the independent film community.  International productions are launched bought and sold here.

As the motion picture industry has evolved in the face of the global financial meltdown the importance of AFM has actually grown.   Producers must lower their film budget to meet the challenges of the marketplace and distributors must provide product for their buyers at the right price.

As Studio production has ebbed in this new world, the access to high end talent by indie film producers has increased, leading to a new crop of independent films hitting the screens of the market.

 

Produced By Conference 2012

The Produced By Conference 2012 kicks of this weekend June 8-10 at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, CA

When:  Friday June 8, 2012 Kickoff Pre-Event

Where:   Sony Pictures Entertainment 10202 W. Washington Blvd.  Culvery City, CA 90232    Click here for a Map

Moving over from the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank to the westside lot of Columbia Pictures, Tristar Pictures and all the Sony Pictures Entertainment divisions (the famed MGM studios) the conference has grown to be the largest collection of film producers under one roof.   The weekend boasts the biggest name producers and studio executives.

Last years event attracted 1200 participants  The CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is a major supporter this time out.

Speakers and panelists for the Produced By event, which is put on by the PGA (Producers Guild of America) include:

Produced By Conference 2012

Nina Jacobson (‘Hunger Games’)

Brian Grazer (‘A Beautiful Mind’, ‘Apollo 13’)

Graham King (‘Hugo’, ‘The Aviator’)

Mark Cuban (Partner ASX TV

Michael Burns (Vice Chairman, Lionsgate)

Michael De Luca (‘Moneyball’)

Lorenzo di Bonaventura

 

Mentor sessions included small groups with such high profile producers, directors and executives as:  Tim Shey (Youtube), Tracy Edmonds, Mark Gordon (Criminal Minds), Michael Shamberg, Jason Katims and many more.

Speakers also include:  Chris Nolan, Emma Thomas, Doug Wick, Shonda Rhimes, Walter Parkes and Chris McGurk

 

Nina Jacobson

 

Emma Thomas

Michael De Luca

Tracey Edmonds

James Cameron @ 2009 Produced By Conference

 

Topics will include the challenges of global film production, growing a new film company, creating tentpole movies, working within your film budget and getting independent films made.   A conversation with Chris Nolan will draw the Batman fans as well as big budget minded producers and directors.   The event is a major networking opportunity to rub elbows and actually have conversations and pitches with the movers and shakers in the film and television industry.

 

Visit the Produced By Conference website

 

Video Highlights from last years Produced By Conference

Produced By Conference video highlights from last year

 

Additional sponsors of the esteemed event include: Entertainment Partners, Quebec Film & Television Council, Raleigh Studios, Cinedigm, Dreamworks, Hulu,Youtube and Kodak.

 

the international leader in worldwide film budget services

FilmBudget.com | Film Budget Inc.

How Do I Make My Movie? Do I Need a Movie Budget For Film Financing?

 

 

How Do I Make My Movie?  I think one of the most common questions any filmmaker would ask is “how do I make my movie”?  As a seasoned film producer I can only imagine the immense frustration of a novice movie producer contemplating this question.

 

Even with years of experience the question remains the most fundamental.   You would not be alone in wondering what is the pragmatic answer to this complex problem.   Millions and more to come will ponder this question.   As a film producer with twenty-five years of experience I have a unique perspective on this question.

Do I Need a Movie Budget? The key in my opinion is to focus on the obvious.  Money.  We need financing to make our films and finance is the profession which generates the funding.

 

So yes, you need a movie budget.   When we talk about a movie budget or a film budget we are referring to the document detailing the costs.  Often people discuss the budget of a movie in general terms.   When filmmakers talk budgets they are referring to the paper budget in most cases I would think.  The answer is a certain yes of course.

 

  

Without a movie budget at your disposal the filmmaker is at a loss.  Accurate, custom made budgets are what a financier looks at.    Of course they should be real film budget documentation from a professional line producer.

 

So How Do I Make My Film?  Here is the secret sauce:  in order to get your film financed you need money.  In order to obtain money you need a plan.

To have a plan you need a budget and a schedule.

 

With these elements you can get financing for your film.   Most filmmakers do not quite have that clarity.  That is the issue and why I created filmbudget.com to help everyone on this issue.

 

It may seem basic once someone has advised you however the most difficult task is the one contemplated in an apparent absence of understanding of the basic mechanics required to achieve results.

 

My name is Jack Binder and I am a producer of feature films including ‘Reign Over Me’ with Adam Sandler and ‘The Upside of Anger’ with Kevin Costner.

 

I founded Film Budget Inc.  and the website http://filmbudget.com to solve this divide in a fun way that lets me meet a great deal of movie directors, producers, writers, actors, studio executives and creative people of all types worldwide.

 

My budgets are accurate and proven, by myself for the major studios, independent film companies and international film finance providers.   I have been using film tax credits since the early nineties and helped write the Michigan film tax incentive (where I am from although I am based in Los Angeles and operate worldwide.)

 

Please feel free to contact me at http://filmbudget.com/contact.shtml regarding your film production, film budgeting, incentives, film finance plans or if you need a production consultant or advisor for your film or television production.

 

My Producer Credits can be found here

Thank you,

 

Jack Binder

Producer/Founder

FilmBudget.com

 

 

FilmBudget.com

Cannes 2012 Award Winners List

We have published a list of the Cannes 2012 Award Winners List

which you can find here.

 

                

 

 

 

 

 

Producer Jack Binder Feature Film Credits:

FilmBudget.com | Film Budget Inc. | Producer Jack Binder Film Budget Expert Worldwide Movie Budget for Film Finance

 

 

 

5 Top Reasons FilmBudget.com is the Finance Movie Budget Expert

When it is time to seek and obtain film finance on your movie it is important to get the right movie budget from the correct source.  An inaccurate budget demonstrates a failure to appreciate the financing at risk on your production.  Here are the top 5 reasons FilmBudget.com is the worldwide film budget leader and finance movie budget expert:

1.  Film Budget Inc.  Filmbudget.com is the only worldwide movie budget service that creates custom, accurate and proven film budget and schedule packages specifically crafted for your film.

2. Founded by film producer Jack Binder Filmbudget.com has 25 years of studio and independent film and television production experience which provides for a tried and tested film budget for your investors.

3. As an ongoing film production concern in collaboration with our international production company Greentrees Films, Filmbudget.com is an active player in the international market for film production.

4. Through intense attention to market conditions, changing cost structures and rapidly advancing technology, Filmbudget.com maintains a thorough eye on all facets of production and filmmaking to keep our cost analysis current.

5.  Filmbudget.com is the only film budget worldwide service based in Hollywood with 25 years of filmmaker collaboration, experience, trustworthiness and reliability working for the major studios and indie film companies.

FilmBudget.com

Reliable, custom detail, experienced, accurate, proven, ongoing production concern with focus on industry trends, fluctuations and cost variations globally.

Filmbudget.com is the international leader in worldwide film budget and schedule line producer production services.   Quality movie budget service for film financing of your motion picture.

 

Watch the YouTube video of our Trailer Reel:

http://youtu.be/4rgZEJbKGKw

Why a Professional Movie Budget by a Line Producer is a Film Finance Requirement

 

Why is a professional movie budget by a line producer a film finance requirement?

For anyone living under a rock the last few years it should be extremely evident that the financial world was rocked, stirred and shaken.  As it begins to recover certain truths have emerged:

 

1. Scrutiny – Finance sources are under more pressure than ever to engage in more intense scrutiny of investments than ever before.

2. Risk Aversion – Capital markets have adopted a new risk aversion that makes the past laughable and seemingly like wild party days.

3. Return on Investment (ROI) – Investors were smacked over the last four years.  They want, rather need to see a strong return on investment.

 

For these three main reasons alone the intensity of the importance of a movie budget created by a professional line producer is critical.  Film financing today demands a fresh look at the markets for film distribution and correspondingly the true cost of the film budget associated with the expenditure of their funding.  A movie budget must be created with experience, be detailed, accurate and created by a veteran producer with extensive experience analyzing every aspect of the production.  No formulas, templates, sample film budget or software program can inject the knowledge of a production manager scrutinizing every detail, parameter, contingency and aspect of the movie budget that investors would expect them to have undertaken.

Filmmakers should be prepared, invest in themselves and present their investors and lenders with qualified, professional film budgets for analysis.  Shortcuts most often lead to dead ends.

 

Jack Binder

Producer

FilmBudget.com

Why is a movie budget from a line producer critical for film finance?

Summer 2012 Studio Tentpole Film Budget List

Summer 2012 is shaping up the be the summer of the most expensive blockbuster production film budget expenditure of all time.  With the Major Hollywood Studio’s revenues on decline the ‘Tentpole’ movie with its enormous budget is seen by the bean counters as the certainty in a changing and declining revenue landscape.   As digital proliferation of films, piracy, the economy and falling dvd sales take their toll on the bottom line the studios and larger indie production companies like Lionsgate / Summit are betting big on the VFX / CGI laden popcorn, super-hero action movie like never before, clearly.

With a continually more fragmented audience, growing cable channel line-ups and expanding reality television programming it has likewise become increasingly more difficult to reach the fans to put ‘bums in seats’.  Part of the calculations certainly must include the broad reach of the superhero, sequel, ‘based on the television series…boardgame…’ franchise which aids in the marketing of these productions.  Utilizing the convenience of familiarity the bet is on recognition factor.   Not detailed in the proliferation of newsworthy budget figures are the massive amounts being spent to promote these behemoths and guarantee the return on investment at this massive scale.

 

Summer 2012 Studio Tentpole Film Budget List:

The Lorax                                  $70,000,000

John Carter                              $250,000,000

Hunger Games                          $80,000,000

The Avengers                          $220,000,000

Battleship                               $200,000,000

The Dark Knight Rises             $250,000,000

Men In Black III                      $215,000,000

Prometheus                            $200,000,000  (rumored)

The Bourne Legacy                 $90,000,000 (unconfirmed)

Total Recall                           $200,000,000

 

* Film budgets are gathered from available industry trade data, news articles and published reports.  Actual film budgets are intentionally guarded secrets by the studios and released, confirmed or denied for marketing and/or corporate rationale and should always be taken with a good dose of scrutiny as to the actual figures.


By Jack Binder