“Why are some films watched by people repeatedly, while others are watched once and forgotten?” This is the question that I have been asking myself for over 10 years, and during those 10 years I carefully analyzed the films that I personally enjoy watching repeatedly. In this post I will outline the screenplay elements that,
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
In this post I will dismantle once and for all any delusions you might have about the merits of going to film school. The film school industrial complex does not want you to read this article. First things first: I have a lot of respect for higher education and I myself had the privilege of
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
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
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
Contents 1.0 Development 1.1 Story development / treatment / scriptment / plot points / structure 1.2 Writing the screenplay 1.3 Re-writing the screenplay 1.4 Financing the movie 2.0 Pre-production 2.1 Casting 2.2 Locations 2.3 Shot list 2.4 Script breakdown 2.5 Tech scout 2.6 Scheduling by the 1st AD 2.7 Production design 3.0 Production 3.1 Principal
The purpose of this post is to warn independent filmmakers – particularly the newbies – about the true nature of many film and video competitions, in the hope that you will be in a stronger position to make the best decision for yourself and avoid costly mistakes. In the final analysis, it should not be
If you think shooting your film was tough, just wait until Film Distributors get their hands on you. Key points 1. Distributors are in the game to profit from films that are easy to sell, not to nurture filmmakers. 2. An independent film will languish on the shelf indefinitely if it is not marketable. 3.
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
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.
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,
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
“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
An article in the L.A. Times described how the star of an independent movie entitled “Magic Man” was disheartened to see that most buyers walked out of the screening in Cannes before the first 10 minutes were up. By the end of the movie, there were hardly any buyers left in the room. I feel
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
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
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
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.
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