David Sandberg’s Kung Fury trailer raised $630,000 on Kickstarter, and he’s now competing at Cannes and developing a feature. Here, he talks about how smart use of social platforms, his Grandma, and David Hasselhoff helped him realize his dream.
Two years ago, David Sandberg had to sell his couch and TV to afford food and rent. Now, he’s getting ready to head to Cannes, where on May 21 his 30-minute short film Kung Fury will screen in the film festival’s Directors’ Fortnight section. A week later, on May 28, the film will premiere on platforms like YouTube and Reddit. Meanwhile, a feature version of Kung Fury is in the works with Hollywood producers David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith—not to mention a Kung Fury clothing line, graphic novel series and merchandise. Oh, and David Hasselhoff recently made a Kung Fury music video that has been viewed over 8 million times.
Sandberg’s story is the classic aspiring-filmmaker-to-”It”-filmmaker fairy tale, updated for the digital age. He wasn’t discovered in film school or on a commercial shoot, but on Kickstarter, where, in late 2013 he posted a trailerfor Kung Fury. The teaser was an over-the-top homage to ’80s action movies with an absurd premise: a bandana-wearing hero (played by Sandberg) travels back in time to kill Hitler. Along the way, he battles ripped Norse Gods, kitschy dinosaurs and robocops.
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Science fans, assemble! The world’s top superhero team is back to save the world in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” And these superheroes use some super science to help them keep the bad guys in check. This week, Reactions looks at the chemistry of the Avengers, including Tony Stark’s suit, Captain America’s shield and Black Widow’s super-fast healing.
Thursday April 30th 2015, Sydney, Australia – Australian audio company RØDE Microphones is proud to announce the first product in the “RØDELink” digital wireless product range – The Filmmaker Kit – has commenced shipping to authorized RØDE dealers worldwide.
A fully-digital wireless audio system, RØDELink utilises a next-generation 2.4GHz, 128-bit encrypted digital transmission sent on two channels simultaneously, providing a high-resolution 24-bit/44.1k digital audio signal at a range of up to 100 meters (over 100 yards).
The Filmmaker Kit consists of a beltpack transmitter, on-camera or beltpack receiver, and RØDE’s broadcast quality Lavalier microphone. Future kits in the RØDELink system will address specific audio solutions across film, news gathering, presentation and stage use, and will consist of a number of receiver and transmitter options.
“Today marks a very special occasion for us at RØDE. Wireless has been a dream of mine for the last 15 or so years, so to finally be shipping a product today that is not only a leader in technology and design, but affordability and user experience is a dream realised”. Commented Peter Freedman, RØDE’s Founder and President. “I can’t wait to see RØDELink systems being used all over the world, helping independent filmmakers reach a level of audio production quality that was previously out of reach.”
The RØDELink Filmmaker kit is now shipping to authorised RØDE dealers globally. For more information, please visit www.rode.com/wireless.
Before the cameras start rolling, a filmmaker has to know what they intend to put to picture. Unless, of course, they want to burn tons of money on film stock and crew overtime. But when millions of dollars are on the line, you’d better have your visual ducks in a row.
Here’s some bonus material from Cinefix – sitting down with Daniel Gregoire and Clint Reagan from industry leader Halon Entertainment to talk about the pre-visualization art, science, and magic.
Academy Award winning writer, Graham Moore (Imitation Game), gives advice on writing for an intellectual character in a way that the audience can understand.
My least favorite moment in all of cinema is a relatively common one. You will recognize it, I’m sure, from dozens of movies and TV shows that prominently feature scientists. You may even have laughed at it once or twice. It usually gets a quick chortle. The moment goes something like this:
Our character is a scientist of some kind. He’s a mathematician if you’re watching a drama. He’s a physicist, usually, if you’re watching a sci-fi movie. He is a biologist in a zombie movie or a coder in a techno-thriller (and he is almost invariably a man, which in and of itself is an annoyance). Our scientist character delivers a brief, relatively reasonable paragraph of technical dialogue. He explains some plot point to the other characters in the scene, which serves to explain it to the audience as well. He throws in a few obscure, jargon-y scientific words for verisimilitude, but the basic point he makes is quite clear and comprehensible. Something along the lines of: “We’re going to need to modify the warp thrusters to go through a wormhole of that size,” or, “The terrorists are using an unhackable 512-bit key to encrypt the location of the plutonium,” or even, “By traveling into the past you’ve created an alternate universe timeline in which you were never born.” Something along those lines. He describes a scientific concept that is both readily explicable and quite literally has just been explained.
But then, after our scientist has finished, the camera turns to a second character. This would be our scientist’s normal-dude buddy. He’s just a regular Joe. He is the audience’s stand-in during the scene, and the character with whom the audience most identifies. This guy makes an incredulous face in response to the scientist’s technical language. And then he says the following line:
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Expert screenplay readers and analysts from ScriptShark answer questions that Facebook fans and Twitter followers posted. Read on to find helpful answers to questions regarding how to become a professional screenwriter and many other aspects of screenwriting and the movie business…
Q: What exactly makes a strong theme? Should public opinion affect one’s themes when writing a saleable script?
Analyst: As is the case with most screenplay elements, part of what makes a theme “strong” is wildly subjective – like a premise or a protagonist, not everyone’s going to dig it. If you can keep that in mind, you’ll likely sleep a little better at night and make more headway.
Generally, studios respond to a theme based on its universality and relevance because they’re looking to appeal to a broad audience. One example of this is the recent Social Network, the central theme of which – friendship – is one nearly everyone can relate to and is always relevant. Most people couldn’t give two figs about a geeky, anti-social narcissist such as this movie’s protagonist, but because the film’s theme of friendship is so incredibly universal, we’re all thinking about that friend back in junior high we treated so poorly. That’s a strong theme.
Q: Typically, do you find that a meta-theme and/or themes drive character development and plot or do they tend to evolve organically during the writing (rewriting) process?
Analyst: From my many conversations with writers over the years, each seems to approach theme a bit differently. For some, the governing theme is crystal clear at the onset of writing, usually in the form of the story’s premise. While others may be initially focused on developing and effectively stringing together the major plot events, in which case the themes tend to crystallize as they write. In either scenario, a script’s big themes get focused during the rewriting process and they certainly impact character development.
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Trace the origins of acting technique by following the roots of theater going back all the way to the Ancient Greeks, through the Italian Renaissance and finally to the psychological approaches of the 20th Century under the term “Method”
This course is sponsored by RØDE Microphones
You may have noticed our new intro, here’s a quick behind the scenes shot of John working on it – or at least how he’d like to think he looked like while working on it.
This is just a sneak peak at a lot of new stuff coming to the FilmmakerIQ.com – stay tuned for a big announcement in the coming weeks.