paul skidmore andparabolos

cinematic storytelling, strategy, and advice

parabolos portable production

over the next few weeks, i’ll be doing a series on parabolos portable production.  the past few films i’ve worked on have allowed me to realize the possibility of modern technology to really revolutionize the way parabolos (my film production company) does film production.  the change is huge whether i’m approaching it as a director, a producer, or a 1st AD.

with the proliferation of smartphones, laptops, new devices like netbooks & the iPad, and ever expanding, ever faster Internet connections, film production has the potential to be more simple, streamlined, economical, and portable than ever.  while many filmmakers are already harnessing this power on their own, i’ve had some great trial-by-fire experience and developed some workflows that others may find useful.  i am sharing them here as i feel that, while content must be secured and kept secret as a precious, intimate commodity, process must be shared if we are going to advance the artform and develop it artistically.

some people want to go paperless for environmental reasons.  that’s fine.  some people want to save money, or time (but i repeat myself).  and that’s fine, as well.  some want to make it easier.  i do, too, as long as i remember that truly great art often comes through great struggle… and at a price.  but frankly, i’m tired of the struggle being against things that don’t seem to matter.  i’m tired of the artistic struggle being — for the filmmaker — against the production protocol, the tools we use, the time lost retracing steps, bad communication, no communication, disseminating information, making copies, converting files, etc.

for me, the struggle should be against the darker side of life, against the things that hold us back from being truly magnificent beautiful creations that are fearfully and wonderfully made.  having to convert my Pages document to a PDF so i can e-mail it to someone that doesn’t know how to access my iDisk isn’t my idea of “suffering for my art.”

the biggest thing i appreciate about these processes i’ve learned, and what i hope to pass along to anyone reading, is that when process starts to become invisible (or at least second nature), what’s left is creation.  i became a filmmaker to emote, to bring along, to empathize, to learn, to entertain, to captivate, to be captivated… to tame a wild, wild world… to fill the voluminous earth and subdue it… to chase the truth and be set free.

i can’t do that chained to a copier.  i hope the processes that follow in the coming days are of use to others besides myself.  a lot of it won’t be anything new, but maybe the combination of it will be something new for you to try out.  as technology keeps changing, i’ll keep adapting, and i’ll keep posting, making as much of it as freely available as possible.  i want to help creators create, i want to help storytellers tell stories, and i want to help filmmaker make films.

and also i hate fax machines.


skidmore | administrator

believer. follower. filmmaker.

  • share this:
  • development part i – the research | 10.03.30

    […] soon i’ll post development part ii – the screenplay, followed by development part iii – the pitch.  if you’re curious about why i’m so interested in portable production, read the original post. […]

  • shane carmichael | 10.04.06

    love it… really curious to see where this thing goes!
    … and I share your disdain for fax machines… the idea that i have to print something off and fax it to myself to get it in the right “fax folder” for an employee is just absurd! they should all be handled as they did it in office space…

  • Biola Media Conference | 10.04.30

    […] addition to my workshop on parabolos portable production, i’ll also be doing a twitter interview, or “twinterview,” so check out the […]

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