Archive for January, 2010
Listening to: Jurassic 5-Concrete Schoolyard
I feel like the mentality of a lot of filmmakers is that when they make their first feature they decide to make it for either dirt-cheap or further down the line when they become “someone” and have access to an endless abyss of money. Let’s get real here though, most of us are clueless in regards to how to attain dough for your flick during pre-production. We wouldn’t know who to ask yet alone how to ask.
I recently discovered this videoblog on YouTube that relates to this called Confessions of an Independent Filmmaker. This guy has guts. Basically, for the past 10 years he has been struggling to get his film made. He wrote the script in college at USC and since then has been going to studio execs and film marketers to make his dream become a reality. He’s constantly getting the door slammed in his face but he continues to persevere through it. It’s some inspirational stuff:
Listening to: Insolence-Poison Well
Been real busy the last few months with my next film, Diecast: Initiation. I’m still editing it, putting together the website, making a film marketing plan, etc. It’s a busy process.
Anyways, in trying to do all of the above I’ve also been reading more than I ever have lately (I never read). With only one semester of school left it’s starting to hit me – I’m about to go into one of the world’s most competitive industries where money and egos reign. Can I change my ways and become more assertive? Less lazy? More inspired? Tough to say. All I know is that I will try. Here’s my current booklist:
I’m about 2/3rds of the way through with it but so far it has been one gigantic bank-hand to the face – in a good way. She writes a lot about the negatives of result direction, which is the kind I generally give (if any, hah). She offers up suggestions on how to get more out of your actors. It was almost embarrassing to read all this and finally begin to understand why there were questions on set. Essentially she gives a clear outline of what the actor wants to hear from the director and how to solidify that actor-director relationship. It’s a very informative read (thus far) and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to direct.
The pre-production and marketing aspects of this book were invaluable. Dov drops the knowledge. At the end of each chapter he provides addresses, phone numbers, etc. to get your “in” in Hollywood. Course, I question how accurate some of these are since the book was written in ’03. Nonetheless, he breaks screenwriting down in a very simplistic way. It literally made me LOL. He also has a ranking of the most popular film festivals (honestly, aside from Sundance and Tribeca, I wasn’t familiar with the topnotch ones). Since the book is more focused on shooting film and feature-length in regards to production, I didn’t find that section particularly helpful. He does address shooting on digital later in the book but I felt like it wasn’t entirely up to date but his section on attaining distribution is enough to warrant the book’s purchase.
This was actually an assigned book for one of my classes – most people didn’t read it, hah. The book consists primarily of interviews of filmmakers who have successfully made and attained distribution for their short films. I know, there’s short film distribution out there? Don’t quit your day job just yet though – it’s a long, difficult process. In fact, short film distribution is much more competitive than feature length distribution simply because of the greater number of shorts made. Fortunately, if you aim your film at a particular niche or theme, know your audience, have an excellent marking campaign, and know which festivals would appropriately suit your film then there is hope.
I’ve just started reading this one but I already know that it’s going to be a game-changer. It concentrates on the writing aspect of film in a workshop form. What I’m particularly drawn in by is the fact that there is no one way to write a story. McKee encourages the writer to try whatever works. He touches on plot development and how to humanize your characters. Heck, I even bought the audiobook version. FYI, this book is fairly lengthy. If you aim to become a writer in film, you should definitely check this one out!
Albeit, this isn’t necessarily a film book, I’d say it’s just as motivational as Rebel Without A Crew was. I’m constantly finding quotes that really stick with me. Especially going into a career filled with negativity and fatalism, I think it’s extremely important that you present yourself as optimistic and glass-half-full. I know that I enjoy working with upbeat people MUCH more than those who are cynical and jaded – even when the latter has more knowledge and experience. Yes, I would choose a rookie optimist any day over an experienced naysayer. Warning: This book will give you a whole new perspective on life.