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Friday, November 28, 2014

what's Thanksgiving without a little CHARLIE BROWN?

To get that Charlie Brown vibe, click below for some Thanksgiving stuff.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ultimate Guide to Crowdfunding for Filmmakers

Indiewire's Ultimate Guide to Crowdfunding for Filmmakers

A good article on crowdfunding by Indiewire:

As crowdfunding becomes more and more the standard for independent film projects, filmmakers continue to look to Indiewire for resources on the best practices and tips for crowdfunding. Indiewire's developed quite a corpus on the topic, and we've got a list of our essential reading below.  Feel free to bookmark this page; we'll keep it updated when we publish new articles that are essential reads for those prepping for their campaigns.

To read full article:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Very Short Stories

Very Short Stories

Yes, more on the art of the short storytelling form. Below are some extremely short stories. As filmmakers, which of these can be made into a film? Which ones might be cinematic? Visual?

Computer, did we bring batteries? Computer?
Eileen Gunn

Longed for him. Got him. Shit.
Margaret Atwood

He read his obituary with confusion.
Steven Meretzky

Rained, rained, rained, and never stopped.
Howard Waldrop

Osama’s time machine: President Gore concerned.
Charles Stross

To save humankind he died again.
Ben Bova

To read read more, go to the full article here:

Monday, November 17, 2014

Roger Deakins on the Art of Cinematography

Below is some excellent advice from an amazing DP. My favorite is -- 
"Don’t Get Distracted with Technique"

1. Don’t Get Distracted with Technique

“Operating the wheels needs to become second nature as it can be a disaster if the technique of operating distracts from the relationship that an operator has with the subject. When I was starting I practiced doing figures of eight with the wheels and progressed to signing my name with them. I don’t feel the need to practice anymore but I do reassure myself that I can still sign my name each time I start a new film, if I am using a gear head. A gear head is not everyone’s choice and I don’t always carry one but it does have distinct advantages on certain set ups and on certain films.”

2. You Must Discover Your Own Style

“I am very wary of showing too much in the way of plans and diagrams. Not because I am secretive and I don’t want to give away something that is personal. Not at all! I just remember that when I began as a film maker and a cinematographer I never watched another cinematographer at work. The closest I ever got to seeing ‘how it was done’ was by shooting some documentary footage of Doug Slocombe at work on ‘Pirates of Penzance’. I loved seeing him work but it had absolutely no influence on the way my work evolved. Our styles could not be more different. That’s my point really. You can’t learn your craft by copying me or anyone else. I hope what I do can do is in some way inspire others but I would be appalled if I though my work was being studied as ‘the right way to do the job’. My way is just one of an infinite number of ways to do the job.”

3. Compromise is Sometimes Needed for a Better Film

“Sometimes, as with the death row scenes on ‘Dead Man Walking’, it is better to compromise composition, lighting and perhaps even sound a little and shoot with two cameras in order to help an actor get their performance. Sometimes it is better to go wider to include a prop in frame than break an actor’s concentration. When an actor appears on set ready to do a take it may be too late to change anything. At that time if I see a bad shadow or an eyeline that is slightly off I might talk to the actor or I might not. Perhaps I might think it better to change things for take two. If not then I judge it my mistake and I must try not to let it happen next time. In the end a film can look lousy but work because of a great performance but not the other way round. That’s something always worth remembering.”

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

advice on writing the short story(film or prose)

Process. Habits. Write everyday. Work on many stories. Things will come, you'll get better. You will learn by doing. 

For film, write stories with few characters and few locations. This will be easier for you to make, and also force you to dig deep into emotions/conflicts and character.

Monday, November 10, 2014

scene from BIRDMAN

Yes, such a good film.

Here's a great scene. Well written and incredibly shot. Such energy.

Give the drummer some!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Want to see a great film?

This is it. Extremely creative. Incredibly shot. This film is a force.

Rarely do I see a film which inspires so much. Great story. Supurb acting. It is so intense in every way - feels like one continous shot. Of course it is not, but FEELS like it is. We are always in his head - between reality and not. Amazing how fluid this film is. Go see it!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


You're invited to the SAG Foundation's latest panel on:
As digital media becomes more and more of a mode of mainstream distribution, content creators are looking for unique ways to showcase their product. The SAG Foundation's LifeRaft program is thrilled to present a panel populated by industry professionals who will provide insight in to obtaining financing and distribution in unique and exciting ways.
Neal Edelstein - Director/Producer, HAUNTING MELISSA
Aron Gaudet & Gita Pullapilly - Writers/Directors, BENEATH THE HARVEST SKY
Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Chad Villella - Actors/Writers/Directors, CHAD, MATT & ROB 
Moderator - Zadi Diaz - Exec. Producer, YouTube Nation
Thursday, November 6th
Check-in will begin at 6:30pm. Doors close at 7:00pm and late arrivals will not be admitted.

SAG Foundation Actors Center
5757 Wilshire Blvd, Mezzanine, Los Angeles
(free validated parking - entrance off of Curson)


Alternative Funding & Distribution Methods
Aron Gaudet, Gita Pullapilly, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Chad Villella, Zadi Diaz
Thursday, November 6, 2014
7:00 PM 
Check-in begins at: 6:30 PM
7:05 PM PST
SAG Foundation Actors Center - Los Angeles
5757 Wilshire Blvd, Mezzanine Level
Los Angeles, CA 

(free validated parking)
Seats are available!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Six word short story!

Less is always more. Tell me these six words don't make you think/feel?