ATTN. FILMMAKERS: WANT 100% ARTISTIC CONTROL? (Then Use the Golden Rule) by Dov S-S Simens on September 30, 2016 HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN RULE Want control? Want creative control? Want 100% creative control of your baby and ensure that what you wrote is what is produced and directed the way you visualize then there is only one-way… and that is to go the independent route not the studio route. (Even Spielberg lacked 100% control on his first studio financed movie) So as not to be seduced by the studio system always remember the “Golden Rule” which is “He Who Has the Gold, Makes the Rules“. And, ...Last modified on Continue reading
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Anyone can write, produce or direct a feature film, especially with budgets of $5,000 to $1,000,000, once they get realistic and approach their first project maturely. Below are 14 Filmmaking Secrets or Tricks, not taught at USC, UCLA or NYU, to maximize production value for your first feature film. (ONE) SCREENPLAY: KISS (Keep-It-Simple-Stupid), 90-pages, 1-location, character driven, dialogue story. (TWO) SHOOT: 1-Weekend, 2-Day Shoot, 90-minutes, real time (“Rope”, “12 Angry Men”, “Birdman”, “Tangerine”) (THREE) LOCATION/SET: 1-house, 1-bar, 1-elevator, 1-courtroom, 1-classroom (think you get the point) (FOUR) GUILDS & UNIO...Last modified on Continue reading
SCREENWRITER’S GAMEPLAN Write a Studio Feature Script (110-140 pages)… Write an Independent Feature Screenplay (90-100 pages)… Write a TV Drama (45-55 pages)… Write a TV Sitcom (25-30 pages)… Where does a screenwriter start? Remember; If productive, it takes 2-3 years or 5,000 hours to master a skill. So let’s start writing. Thus, Write. Write. Write. And, when bored or disillusioned Write some more. Basically, Ya gotta write 4 scripts… and remember “Nothing is written… It’s re-written.” Keep reading and I promise by the end of this post you, the writer, will know how to focus your creativity and what to write… You will have a gamepla...Last modified on Continue reading
SPIELBERG, HITCHCOCK & BERGMAN’S DIRECTING SECRET Want to Direct? Then learn the Directing basics. This is a Re-Post of my Monday’s Blog that went viral (was told “it trended”) and I’ve opted to reconfirm the info with a Re-post for those who didn’t read it on Monday. Making a Movie is like building a Building. After the Blueprint (aka: script) get the Floor & Walls how you layout/design the floor & walls is what’s called “style” or “art” and I can’t teach “art” or “style” but poor the foundation, get the floor and then put up the walls. Now, let’s talk filmmaking and directing. After you have the Script (aka: Blueprint) for each s...Last modified on Continue reading
5 TYPES OF MOVIE PRODUCERS: So you want to Produce? Or rather you must Produce because you have this great idea and the thought of it not happening keeps you awake at night… but you’re not a director, and you’re definitely not a writer, and you sure-as-hell ain’t the Cinematographer or Editor… so what’s left for people like you with great ideas…guess you’re the Producer. Okay, but which type? (Producer? Harvey chatting credits with “Q” for his next movie) Are you the Deal-Maker Producer or the Filmmaker-Producer or the Idea-Producer or the People-Producer… And do you know the differences? Technically, there...Last modified on Continue reading
by Dov S-S Simens on March 10, 2016 SCREENPLAY CONTESTS WORK… MAYBE? Screenplay Contests come in 4 categories that are (1) They Suck & You’re an Idiot for Entering, (2) They’re Ego but it Helped You to Do a Re-Write, (3) They’re Good & You Could get Hired & Optioned or (4) They’re Great and You Have an Agent & Offers. Be careful about Category 1 & 2. Submit to only 3 & 4. Now, permit me to explain the difference between excellent screenplay contests (3&4) and bogus script contests (1&2) First, Script Contests, overall, offer a very good way for first-...Last modified on Continue reading
THE $3-5 MILLION PRODUCT PLACEMENT MOVIE: Last week’s post (Part 1) explained the massive new revenue source for Hollywood called “Product Placement”. Although PP revs have been around since the 40s with films like “It’s A Wonderful Life” (National Geographics) and “African Queen” (Gordon’s Gin) and became mass popular with the Aston Martin/auto in the James Bond Films, it has only in the past 7 years become so massive that it PP is now literally 25%-40% of the budget of a Major Movie Studio’s feature film. WHY? ANSWER. Because now that TV has a DVR and people (future viewers) are recording the shows they want to watch; and watch ...Last modified on Continue reading
Heh. I’m dryly laughing at myself because I have never been at a loss for words…until now. I mean really, when have you ever seen me not be able to write a proper intro? AARON GINSBURG, the Supervising Producer and one of the writers of the CW’s The 100 left me gasping for air and I still haven’t recovered! You are in for a special treat today with this interview. There are things in here that we, as actors, never get to learn about, never get to hear about and certainly never get to practice. Everyone – this is one crazy ride as Aaron discusses personal things about himself, work and takes us behind-the-scenes of The 100! I broke the interview int...Last modified on Continue reading
THE $12-15 MILLION MOVIE (Save $9-10 Million): Once again, always remember “Hollywood Lies”. Actually Hollywood (aka: 6 major studios) doesn’t lie…. it markets, it promotes, it creates value. And a beast of marketing is to embellish, enhance and exaggerate to create a higher perceived value for its product to the consumer/viewer. Therefore, every movie has 2 budgets. One is “real” the other is “BullSh*t” The First one, the real one, is the true budget (aka: Negative Cost) of what it truly costs to make the movie and only the accountant, producer and IRS knows the exact number and the Second is the inflated hyped budge...Last modified on Continue reading
PRODUCE THE $2-3 MILLION MOW (aka: Movie-Of-The-Week) The negative cost of A Movie-of-the-Week is usually between $2,000,000 to $3,000,000. Negative Cost is the phrase for what it actually cost, IN-HARD-CASH, to get to our final print or DCP of your movie. However, a movie made for $2-3 Million cash, even in the tv world, is usually marketed as either a $5,000,000-$7,000,000, or a $7,000,000-$10,000,000, or a “just-under” $10,000,000-$12,000,000 feature film…. ater they throw in the phrase “once all the expenses, to include marketing, are known”. Further, do you have a name? Huh? WHAT ABOUT A NAME? When&n...Last modified on Continue reading
$1,000,000-$2,000,000 Crowdfunded Movie… or the… “just-under” $3-5 Million Movie or the…”just-under” $5-7 Million Movie or the… “just-under” $7-10 Million Movie Always remember “Hollywood lies, lies, lies and lies” and way more than things like “da check’s in da mail””. Well they actually don’t lie they market… they promote… Why? Because Hollywood is not a filmmaking industry. QUESTION: Then what is Hollywood? ANSWER: Hollywood is a Film Marketing industry. And Hollywood believes “the higher the perceived budget. The more incentive a viewer has to watch it out of curiosity of what-does-that-money-look-like” And, while promoting (aka: ma...Last modified on Continue reading
THE ULTRA-LOW-BUDGET FEATURE FILM. Got $100K-$200K? Then Produce a Low-Budget or actually, an Ultra-Low-Budget, Movie. Here’s the assumption: You have $100,000-$200,000 cash sitting in a bank account (don’t know how you got it & don’t care) yelling “spend me, spend me”… Sheeeyit, that’s a lot of money. Matter of fact you have just crossed out of No-Budget, out of Micro-Budget and out of Mini-Budget or Ultra-Low-Budget Filmmaking and entered the wonderful world of Low-Budget Filmmaking and you can now afford a 2-3 week shoot. Congratulations. In a later blog I will show you how easy it is to raise $100,000-$200,000 by “selling-th...Last modified on Continue reading
Blackmagic Design Announces DaVinci Resolve 12 Public Beta is Available Now for DownloadTry the FREE Download Fremont, CA - July 27, 2015 - Blackmagic Design today announced that the public beta of DaVinci Resolve 12, its professional editing and color correction software, is now available for download from the Blackmagic Design website. In addition, Blackmagic Design today announced new naming for the DaVinci Resolve product line, plus extra “secret” features that were not included in the original launch and are being publicly disclosed for the first time today. The new DaVinci Resolve 12 is the software’s biggest update ever ...Last modified on Continue reading
The $50,000- $70,000 Feature Film Featured
Producing the $50,000-$70,000 Mini-Budget Feature Film: First off, with access to this amount of money, independent of the film industry, this allows you to expand from a 1-week shoot (see prior posts) and now schedule a 2-week (13-Day) production with a more manageable shooting schedule of 7 pages/day, rather than a 1-week (7-Day) shoot with it’s 12-13 page/day shooting schedule.. PLUS: For Feature Film Budgets of “$1,000-$10,000″, “$10,000-$20,000″, “$20,000-$30,000″ & “$30,000-$50,000″ budgets (prior posts) you have been planning a power-through, 1-week shoot with 90% of the setups being Master Shots obtained with...Last modified on Continue reading
For many filmmakers, music can be a huge blind spot. While most directors have a pretty clear vision when it comes to what the audience sees on the screen, they may not have the same confidence in discussing and conceptualizing music. The process of finding a composer to come up with a score that truly elevates your project can be daunting. As with casting and directing your lead actors, the choices you make and your approach to working with the talent can make or break your project. As a professional film composer, my aim in this article is to demystify the process and highlight some of the pitfalls that you might encounter in your search for a compo...Last modified on Continue reading
The $30,000-$50,000 Feature Film Featured
Last we discussed the $20,000-$30,000 film now here's some information on... Producing the $30,000 Feature Film: This is the 1-Week Shoot, 90-Page, 1-Location Script. 90-Pages, 7 Shoot Days… Working 15-18 hours/day executing a Shooting Schedule of 12-13 Pages/Day. If 1-Page of Script, formatted properly, becomes approximately 1-minute of Running Time… Then you must get shot (aka: covered at least 1-Page In-The-Can every 45-50 Minutes. Phew…. But doable. WELCOME TO HOLLYWOOD & MICRO-BUDGET FILMMAKING My prior blogs showed how to make a $1,000-$10,000 No-Budget Feature like “TANGERINE”; a $10,000-$20,000 Credit Card Fe...Last modified on Continue reading
The $20,000-$30,000 Feature Film Featured
The $10,000-$20,000 Credit-Card Feature is now covered. So let’s proceed to the $20,000-$30,000 Shot-For Feature Film… With, “Shot-For” being the key phrase. Why? Because “Shot-For” is most common phrase heard after someone states the movie’s budget was”$20,000 to $30,000″. “EL MARIACJI” was “Shot-For” 20,000-$30,000. “CLERKS” was “Shot-For” $20,000-$30,000. “PI” was “Shot-For” $20,000-$30,000. “IN THE COMPANY OF MEN” was “Shot-For” $20,000-$30,000. “BLAIR WITCH PROJECT” was “Shot-For” $20,000-$30,000. “PARANORMAL ACTIVITY” was “Shot-For” $20,000-$30,000. “SHOT FOR”, “SHOT FOR”, “SHOT FOR” what the heck is this phrase. Answer is pretty sim...Last modified on Continue reading
AFI DOCS Winners & Highlights Featured
Strategically located in the nation's capital, AFI DOCS is at heart, a festival which attempts to empower bold, visionary filmmakers, and audiences alike, on their quest for knowledge and truth. Not only does the AFI DOCS conduct a fantastic conference and panel series, the festival actually connects filmmakers with politicians and policy makers, in an effort to inspire growth and change for a better future. Considered an “Audience Festival,” AFI DOCS is known for focusing on their viewers first, and industry second. Not only does the fest only have an “Audience Award” category, it takes things a step further. Audiences are seated and taken care of before b...Last modified on Continue reading
Brooklyn Film Festival Featured
“3,000 miles away from Hollywood.” It's not hard to see the statement that The Brooklyn Film Festival is trying to make about their position within the film industry. Not just on the outside, but happy to be so, proudly waving at it from afar. I can't help but admire this years tag line and cheeky ads which flaunt their no frills, artistry above hype attitude. Though they poke fun all around, including at themselves, they make a good point. Truly independent cinema is increasingly harder to come by, as top tier festivals have become mini studios where films with $5million budgets are strategically marketed and released. The nitty gritty, shoe string...
Seattle International Film Festival Featured
As one top tier festival was wrapping up in the South of France, another was just beginning in the pacific northwest. Though not as publicized as some of it's contenders, the Seattle International Film Festival remains one of the most respected festivals in the industry. Over the course of a whopping 25 days (yes, 25!) SIFF features approximately 300-400 films annually in and around downtown Seattle. Today the festival remains dedicated to independent film from around the globe and is generally considered an “audience festival”. It has grown to develop an audience of true cinephiles, who appreciate the festival's elevation of niche cinema. The festival its...Last modified on Continue reading
Fremont, CA - May 22, 2015 - Blackmagic Design today announced that Flash Film Works uses Fusion Studio on TNT’s new hit show “The Librarians,” including dozens of extensive VFX shots for each of the television show’s weekly episodes. Founded in 1993 by Emmy and Visual Effects Society (VES) award winning VFX Supervisor and Academy Award technical achievement recipient William Mesa, Flash Film Works has won a number of Emmy Awards and has provided VFX work for studios such as 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, Disney, HBO, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Universal and Warner Bros. “The Librarians” is centered around an ancient organization that sets off o...Last modified on Continue reading
Festival de Cannes 2015 Featured
Another Cannes has come to an end and despite some, expected and unexpected, controversy the festival continued to do what it does best. None really truly compare to the spectacle that Cannes is so famous for. Every celebrity from around the world flocks to the South of France for the event. And despite the fact that the festival is "invitation only", thousand upon thousands still do what they can to see and be seen every March. The festival took some heat for it's failure to entirely live up to it's claim that it would be the "Year of Women". Though it started off strong, opening with a film by a female director for the first time in 28 years, not much was...Last modified on Continue reading
The Cannes Film Festival is almost coming to a close. This weekend will mark the end of the festival and soon the winners will be revealed. Not sure if you have been keeping up with the films of the festival, but I'm guessing probably not. Mainly because Cannes Film Festival has been making headlines and it hasn't been for forwarding the artistic vision for the good of the global film industry. Before I get into the silliness that Cannes has brought forward I want to the ask the question: Why is Cannes so important? Why is it the most prestigious of all the film festivals? My first line of thinking was that Cannes was the oldest film festiv...Last modified on Continue reading
SCREENWRITING & FILMMAKING: Avoid Guaranteed Failure… If you desire to either Produce or Direct a script that you either wrote or optioned then Absolutely-Make-Sure that any of these 6 words-or-phrases have not been typed in the 90-100 pages that you are about to make with very little money. If you do not desire to either Produce or Direct the script you either wrote or have secured the rights to then disregard what I am about to detail… However, if (I repeat) you intend on Producing or Directing this project, and this is your first feature film that you are about to get an Opening Title Credit on, then please read carefully FOOTNOTE: Ple...Last modified on Continue reading
Fremont, CA - May 20, 2015 - Blackmagic Design today announced today that Hollywood’s Inhance Digital uses Fusion Studio to complete VFX work for a number of this year’s top shows, including “Jane the Virgin,” “Nashville,” and “Grimm,” one of NBC’s most popular and long running shows. Located in the heart of Hollywood, Inhance Digital is a leading interactive marketing agency that specializes in bringing complex science and technology to life. From full CG environments to leading green screen compositions, Inhance VFX delivers a variety of services for major studios on VFX heavy productions such as “Grimm,” and Fusion Studio is the primary compositing...
FINANCING: THE 4 ABSOLUTE BEST WAYS Featured
FINANCING (*No-Bull!): Funding $10,000-$1,000,000 for your first truly Micro- or Low-Budget Feature is relatively easy if you are realistic about your (A) script/package, (B) what you can handle and (C) your budget rather than naïve and romantic. Okay, let me get to the NO-BULL, permit me to cut-to-the-chase and show you how to fund your first movie…. assuming of course that you are realistic. There are over 35 ways to finance a feature film directly 100% and over 128,000 permutations if piece-mealing your financing (10% here, 25% there, 15% here, etc.) ranging from & utilizing… FILM MARKET PRE-SELLS, (not for 1s...Last modified on Continue reading
JULIE ANN EMERY on Better Call Saul Featured
WRITTEN BY: ROBERT PETERPAUL (@robpeterpaul) Unless you’ve been camouflaging yourself in an underground bunker for the past seven years (I’m looking at you Kimmy Schmidt), Breaking Bad has definitely been high on your radar. Growing into somewhat of a cultural phenomenon, it’s only natural that the series eventually produced offspring. What’s not always likely though, is that a “spin-off” show will find its own groove to success. However, AMC’s Better Call Saul seems to be defying the odds. Julie Ann Emery plays Betsy Kettleman on what’s deemed the Breaking Bad prequel. Prior to landing Betsy, she was a “huge” fan of&nbs...Last modified on Continue reading
SCREENWRITING (No-Bull): Hollywood, according to union minimum rules, pays approx. $100,000 (see below) for a Treatment and 2 Drafts (1st Draft & Final Draft) to hire a writer to write a script based off an idea they have or a book or real life story they optioned. QUESTION: So what do you think they’ll offer you when you come to them with the finished script that, for whatever reason, is absolutely perfect and they love? ANSWER: $100,000. Duh. For specific amounts go to the website for the screenwriters union, called Writers Guild of America (www.WGA.org) and view (http://www.wga.org/uploadedFiles/writers_resources/contracts/min2014....Last modified on Continue reading
FILMMAKING: THE $10-20K FEATURE FILM Featured
You have $10-20K. You have a choice. Want into the film industry. Then either make-a-Short or make-a-Feature Film. And remember, last year there were over 300,000 shorts made in America for $10,000 or more and “correct made if I am wrong” not one of them has sold. Which choice are you going to make? Duh. So the bottom-line, not NYU or USC film school theory, is that all you show Hollywood when you, as an adult, make-a-short is that you know how to go broke. The answer is so simple… “Feature Film”. You have $10,000-20,000. Make-a-Feature Film! Let’s get a movie shot for $10-20K. The question now becomes “How does one make-a-feature film (aka: get it sh...Last modified on Continue reading
“Make your mark in New York and you are a made man.” Though times have changed, Mark Twain still has a good point. Yes, there are now alternatives, making it just one of several cultural capitals. But there is something distinct about New York that artists and art loves alike hold dear. After it became clear that the independent film community, along with the entire Tribeca neighborhood, in the lower Manhattan area were in desperate need of revitalization, The Tribeca Film Festival was born. Celebrating it's 13th year, the festival continues to celebrate the city itself, as a melting pot of World Cinema. Tribeca has no separate category for US Films, like m...Last modified on Continue reading
Star power for a film is thought of way before the film is even in production. Why? Producers know that the giant selling point is having name cast/celebrity attached. They know it will increase the odd of the movie going further. A good producer will be thinking of every stage of the game involving his/her movie, that includes sales and distribution. With a celebrity involved the thought is that once you have that person attached you will have an instant hit on your hands. This is not necessarily true. For independent filmmakers making a movie is hard enough, then trying to sell and get it distribution feels like a monumental task. Having a known ac...Last modified on Continue reading
Like most people in the arts you are probably waiting to do your taxes at the last minute. You would much rather be creating art, writing a script or shooting a movie then crunching numbers and poring through old receipts. If it helps, consider it a civic duty to pay your taxes since those funds are used to cover many of the communal goods we use. But, the truth is even if you do not think it is your civic duty, you simply can not avoid them. As the Benjamin Franklin saying goes, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Therefore, you have to get them done. And it is worth taking the time to understand the process even if y...Last modified on Continue reading
1. Start early More than once, I’ve been hired to come in and do a shoot right before the crew is ready to hit the streets and start shooting. And more than once, I’ve discovered that the financing entity actually opened the production checking account as much as a year earlier, has been using that account the whole time, and never had any books for the production until I came on and set them up. In effect, someone’s been spending production money for as long as a full year without knowing how much has been spent or what the actual balance in the checking account is. I can only tell you how difficult is it to sign onto a shoot and lea...Last modified on Continue reading
Are Film Festivals Worth It? Featured
The film festival circuit is supposed to be the golden ticket to success, money, and to hopefully making your next film. So, I pose the question: Are they worth it? The purpose is to get the exposure needed to get your movie out there, seen, and sold. Call film “art,” all you want, but the main objective is to make a living. Being in acquisitions, I see the initial marketing materials a sales rep or filmmaker will send my way. Of course, what comes with that is the laurels. I see the familiar festivals and then I come across some, and think to myself, “What the hell festival is that?” The first thing I’m going to say about this whole process is it costs m...Last modified on Continue reading
Working in acquisitions I see a lot of filmmakers’ mistakes, misconceptions, and lack of knowledge, and that definitely is no one’s fault. Film programs around the globe teach a lot of things, but barely if ever touch on what should happen after you finally finish your film. You’re ready to get your movie out there and seen, this is your distribution. Here are 10 top things to know before getting your film considered for distribution. 1. Get a Lawyer, and/or Sales Rep. LAWYER UP! On a serious note you must have someone that is the buffer between you and the distributor. They need to know they CANNOT take advantage of you. Everyone is scared of law...Last modified on Continue reading
Filmmakers sacrifice alot for their art; their sleep, their bank account, their time, their family, their sanity, even their health. That is understandable to a degree since the need and desire to express yourself trumps the more rational necessities of life. But while filmmakers, as artists, might believe there is no limit, there really is and that is when you take someone's life in your hands. It feels morally repugnant to risk someone's life for art or money.But it happens in film. And the reality is that it has to happen. It has to happen because without taking risks you can't "get that shot" or "finish the film" or "make the fight scene look ...Last modified on Continue reading
SXSW 2015 Featured
Ahh, SXSW. What has grown over the last 28 years into a conglomerate of all things music, film and interactive content continues to prove it's relevancy in the independent world, by staying on the cutting edge of...pretty much everything. Since the addition of it's film festival in 1994, it has consistently competed with top tier festivals, becoming a solid launching ground for independent content creators. Although like any major festival, it is at times, criticized for being over commercialized, it's hard to deny it's significance. It's progressive spirit has kept it on the forefront of both groundbreaking art. A lot has been said about the lack o...Last modified on Continue reading
Many independent filmmakers over-rely on festival reviews when it’s time to create their initial marketing materials and distributor pitches. Even rave reviews should be supplemented with endorsements from influential third parties, as this creates less work for the future buyer or sales agent. And films with mediocre or no reviews at all clearly need endorsements from somebody; even anonymous IMDB quotes (sounding suspiciously like the filmmaker’s marketing materials) are better than no quotes at all.Social media, especially Twitter, has made “influencer” endorsements just as powerful—if not more—than a traditional review.&nbs...Last modified on Continue reading
We are excited to announce our 3rd annual Cinema at the Edge (CATE) Film Festival! We are celebrating independent films of all genres that feature a distinct vision, a unique voice, or a challenge to what is expected and accepted in the medium. Featuring narratives, documentaries, and shorts, from talented filmmakers all over the world, Cinema at the Edge gives new and recognized films and filmmakers the chance to ignite audience buzz, gain acclaimed exposure, and provide global distribution opportunities. The festival is located in the heart of Santa Monica’s Main Street minutes away from the beach – housed at the Edgem...
Originally published at Film Strategy on 3.10.15 Some thoughts on "The State of Diversity in Writing for Television" Finally got a chance to read the WGAW 2015 TV Staffing Brief and the findings are somewhat depressing: "Not only were minorities still underrepresented by factors of nearly 3 to 1 among all staff writers and nearly 7 to 1 among executive producers during the 2013-14 season, but women television writers also continued to tread water, at best, relative to their male counterparts. That is, women were underrepresented by factors of nearly 2 to 1 among all staff writers and more than 3 to 1 among critical executive producer positions. ...Last modified on Continue reading
By filmmaker Peter DukesTired of endlessly chasing that next (rare) gig? Tired of responding to job postings that never get back to you? I have a solution to offer.Produce your OWN work.This might sound crazy at first, but it's not.The film industry is uber competitive. We all know this. No gig is ever just going to fall into your lap. There's a tremendous amount of people out there vying for a very limited number of gigs. That's just the reality of things. If no one will give you an opportunity you need to prepare to create your own opportunities.When I first came out to Los Angeles I had a film degree but not much practical real world ...Last modified on Continue reading
WRITTEN BY: ROBERT PETERPAUL Performers seeking authentic advice should search no further than the honest guidance of Heather Matarazzo. The New York raised actress has remained in the spotlight ever since her lead role in the coming of age film, Welcome to the Dollhouse. This breakout 90's hit propelled Matarazzo into a successful career thats spanned over twenty years so far. For instance, she's had notable roles in The Princess Diaries films, Hostel Part II, and many other projects, but she's certainly not finished yet. Heather has been called "outspoken", "unattractive", and "unfuckable" (whatever that means), but when...Last modified on Continue reading
By Ilana Rapp“Victoria Cartagena made such an impact during the interview that I was totally thrown off guard.” - ILANA Let's talk about Victoria Cartagena, aka Vicki, who plays Detective Renee Montoya on FOX's Gotham. When an actor takes a huge chunk out of their time to perfect an interview, that also gives one a sense of how serious they take their job. As with any other job, acting is not just about acting – it's also about how you conduct yourself, what you do to promote yourself and how to handle rejection and success. The original topic of this article was about something totally different, but it quickly changed to what it is now when I intervie...
In the new series Agent Carter Marvel further expands its universe on the small screen thanks in part to amazing visual effects from the folks at Industrial Light & Magic. While creating high-quality VFX is nothing new for the the award-winning team, doing so on a grueling weekly TV schedule has proven to be a monstrous challenge. Here’s how they do it.
Directing Your First Feature Featured
Bigger film budgets continue to dwindle. Smaller film sets continue to appear. Camera technology and film centric software continue to evolve. Through all the change, one aspect of film production that has remained the same— difficult directors. As a producer, I understand this. Filmmaker’s are passionate people by nature. Their work is the ultimate fruit of their labor, and they only want to make quality of the highest caliber they’re capable of. Of course, there are a few directors in our industry who have a license to demand their perfected vision — David Fincher and James Cameron have proven their artistic credibility, skill set, and c...Last modified on Continue reading
Amanda Schull is mainly recognized for her recurring and noteworthy television stints on shows like One Tree Hill, Pretty Little Liars and Suits. She's also credited as the sweet Jody Sawyer in the 2000 film Center Stage, which showcases her stunning dance abilities. Most recently, the Hawaiian born performer has landed a starring role on the brand new Syfy series 12 Monkeys. She took a break from filming to chat with NYCastings about her role in the action packed series, the importance of having an acting coach and working with Clint Eastwood. RP: When did you first know you wanted to be an actr...
Sundance 2015 Recap Featured
With another Sundance program coming to an end, it's time to recap the highlights of the indie world's pinnacle festival. Although it's received some slack in recent years for straying from it's independent roots, succumbing to the Hollywood commercialism it once sought to escape, it's hard to deny the actual quality of the emerging talent that comes from the festival each year. Say what you will about where the festival has gone, every filmmaker knows they would practically cut off their right hand for the feeling of being among the 1% to open their email and read “Congratulations! Your film has been selected for this year's Sundance Film Festival!” L...Last modified on Continue reading
It wouldn't be the beginning of the film festival season if we didn't recap the other annual Park City fest. Slamdance, celebrating it's 21st year, is often considered the “antithesis” of Sundance, striving for a more anarchic and irreverent spirit. Personally, I admire Slamdance for continuing to stay true to its roots despite its enormous growth since 1995. Feature competition is limited to first time directors with film budgets under $1 million. Never scared to push the envelope, Slamdance tends to strive for the unexpected. Here's a list of this years winners: Jury Award for Narrative Feature: Tired Moonlight (Director: Britni West) Ju...
By Matthew HeldermanThe independent film business is broken. The entertainment banking business is broken. The global film markets are overly flooded with content. And most of all, no one cares about your film…yet. These polite truths illustrate how a shifting paradigm driven by innovation has concluded in negative results. 1.) Technology - camera technology is moving faster than content innovation. Meaning, cheaper bottom line costs. Leading to increased supply of product. Resulting in a flooded global market place. Period. 2.) Efficiency divided by cost - every industry, whether you wear a hard hat or hoodie to work, has been effecte...Last modified on Continue reading
Much attention is given to the pictorial elements of filmmaking, but equally crucial in this audio-visual medium is sound design, a storytelling art form in its own right. The manipulation of sound effects, the sweetening of dialogue, the composition and manipulation of mood all come into play. In a sense, sound design is closer to the ethereal and non-verbal nature of music, and often the profound effect it has on the viewer is as invisible as it is immersive. In an attempt to demystify the process and the creative nature of this role, I spoke with New York based Roman Chimienti, who runs The End Audio Productions (http://theendaudio.com/)...Last modified on Continue reading
Showbiz Terminology 101! Featured
Show business is full of colorful terminology. Here is a short list of Showbiz terms that an actor might want to be familiar with! A-LIST – Usually refers to top-tier actors/actresses who are paid upwards of $20 million per feature film; can also refer to producers, directors and writers who can be guaranteed to have a film made and releasedACTION! – The command from the director for the scene to begin. It also means that the camera is rolling. ACTORS REEL – Video footage of on-camera productions the actor has been cast in. Can be footage from Films, TV Shows & Commercials. A.D. – T...Last modified on Continue reading
Welcome to FiLMAGON! Featured
Filmagon is a brand new website that is aimed to be a hub for filmmakers and all types of production crew. It is now in Beta testing, but you can still get on board now. Join Now >You can do things like: - Post your Awesome Resume - Post a Crew or Media Job- Find new Crew members to be part of your team - Upload all your Reels for review from the community- Upload all your Images for review from the community- Start your own blog and turn into a Film Expert!- Create events and Invite other site members- Create and lead a discussion Group Here is quick look at what your resume page can look like. You can see everythi...Last modified on Continue reading
THOUGHTS ON CROWD FUNDING Featured
Crowd funding has become a useful tool for the independent filmmaker. Instead of trying to find that one Guy With Money to fund a project, the net gets cast wider and allows for revenue to come from various sources. Not only does this often allow the project to be made, it also becomes a personal validation for the artists themselves. People believe in you enough to put up cold hard cash. Each of the films I’ve been a part of that had successful crowd funding has a unique and specific biology. The content dictates how you market it, and to who. But in every case, the pitch needs to contain the following information: 1. Give the project a Face....Last modified on Continue reading
Phone interviews can be a harrowing process. As an interviewer you anxiously wait on the line, hoping for a pleasant and worthwhile interaction with the talent (and, of course, good reception). With a cheery “Hey, Robert!” almost immediately those preliminary worries vanished. I instantly knew my time speaking with Vanessa Marano would be delightful. Over the generous span of a half hour, the Switched at Birth star opened up about starring on the ABC Family show, audition room mishaps and golden advice for aspiring actors. Kicking off her career with roles on Gilmore Girls and as Lisa Kudrow’s daughter on The Comeback, Vanessa is no stranger to success. Wi...
Written by: Kelly CalabreseWriters grab a pen and take note… A focused emotional journey is vital for your story whether you are writing a script, a play or the next ‘Great American Novel' - and you CAN achieve this forward momentum through The Transformational Arc, developed by script consultant Dara Marks. As a leading international script consultant, Dara Marks specializes in the analysis of the modern screenplay. Dara has over twenty years of experience and Creative Screenwriting Magazine consistently rates her as one of the top script consultants in the film industry with clients ranging from beginning and apprentice screenwriters ...Last modified on Continue reading
AoBFF will accept submissions from October 1st - to Feb 28th, 2015, with a special extended deadline of March 15th for Withoutabox users. AoBFF guarantees that every film submitted will be considered by our Film Screening Panel, up until midnight on the final day of submissions. Founded in 2011 by working artists, the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival is the only independent, international festival for, by and about Brooklyn indie film — a local scene with global influence. AoBFF screens films from all over the world whose creators are connected to Brooklyn’s diverse independent film community. For example, in years past AoBFF has programmed a documentary by an...Last modified on Continue reading