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business

How to Become a Film Director: a Sharp Reality Check

This topic has been clouded by wishful thinking and pernicious misinformation for too long. Time to clean up! 1. Directors are hired on the strength of their reel A director’s reel is simply a collection of the best work done in the past — the 6-9 best TV spots for a commercial director or a […] Continue reading →

Directing, shooting and editing projects for the web vs. the big screen

Reader’s question: Thanks for your email and invitation to pose questions. From a technical standpoint, how does web-based format influence camerawork, editing, etc.?  Does the shorter length of a web-based episode influence technique? My answer: Great question!  In my experience directing for the web does not necessarily call for changes to be made to one’s […] Continue reading →

Projecting films digitally in theaters (2K and 4K)

Reader’s question: Please explain the process of putting digital footage on to a medium for projection in theaters. My answer: Projecting a film digitally is conceptually very simple (I will get to the details below): the film itself is simply a digital file stored on some sort of server that is connected to a digital […] Continue reading →

Film networking: a reality check

Film networking is one of the filmmaking topics that is most replete with fantasy, wishful thinking and downright nonsense. In this post I will share my experience of film networking and make a distinction between what works and what doesn’t, based on my own experiences. Film networking: the fantasy When people mention film networking, they […] Continue reading →

Film festival tips

Film festivals are massively overrated, but they remain an important avenue through which to showcase your completed film. There are some harsh realities associated with film festivals that you should know about before you submit your film to the festivals – or, even better, before you even make your film. You can increase your film […] Continue reading →

YouTube video ideas & tips

YouTube gives everyone the opportunity to upload their video content and communicate directly with the world. Almost everyone these days has access to some sort of video-recording technology and many people are keen to join in on the action. All you need is an idea! The secret to making an awesome YouTube video is VALUE. […] Continue reading →

The film industry and the Internet are enemies

As wonderful as it is, the Internet has a number of particularly pernicious traits, including an unfortunate tendency to make people addicted to free content. If the free content happens to be a blog post or a home video, that’s all well and good. However, if the free content in question is a real movie, […] Continue reading →

Is branded content the future of advertising?

Although the concept was developed many years ago, branded content is being mentioned with increasing frequency in advertising circles. Put simply, branded content is a short film or video that blends entertainment with advertising. The model’s rationale is that the content’s entertainment value more than compensates for the fact that virtually every shot features the […] Continue reading →

The “new normal” in TV commercial production

“New normal” is the new hot term in the business vernacular, and the world of TV commercial production is no exception. A producer I know recently gave me an inkling of what this “new normal” might look like. She told me that TV commercial budgets are aggressively being slashed, and of course we are well […] Continue reading →

Panavision struggling to compete with the RED camera

An article in the L.A. Times yesterday described how Panavision is losing business precipitously. There are two reasons for this: production has declined dramatically, and when something does get made, it tends to be shot with a RED camera rather than on celluloid. This is seriously hurting the business of Panavision, which has been supplying […] Continue reading →

The good old days when content was valuable

There used to be a time when content was valuable. If you managed to complete a feature film, provided money was spent judiciously during production, it could be sold for a profit — even if it was junk. The reel of film could be marketed, regardless of its intrinsic merits. I cannot help thinking of […] Continue reading →

Clients to avoid like the plague in video production

When you want to buy something, you have a very clear idea of how much you want to spend on it. You can buy a car for $1000, $50,000 or $500,000 — these options are all legitimate, but they are not equivalent. You are not indifferent to the options: you know exactly which category is […] Continue reading →

Why music videos are dead

Here is how it used to work: folks would watch MTV. MTV played music videos. The music videos gave you light entertainment and some eye candy. (Sometimes they were truly inspiring works of art.) In return for that you would listen to the music. If you liked it, you went out and bought a CD. […] Continue reading →

Film cannot compete with the RED camera

Before the RED camera was invented the only viable options for high-end movie production were film (celluloid) and high-definition cameras like the F900 or the Viper. The problem was that the footage produced by these “high-end” HD cameras looked very much like video, particularly in its rendition of highlights. Most disappointingly, the motion was too […] Continue reading →