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Finding Real Numbers in Imaginary Movies

Getting a filmmaker to divulge the exact cost of a film is next to impossible. The same goes for distributors when asked about what kind of numbers to expect on the sales end. So at “Distribution X” at Sundance, a panel of distributors were asked to give numbers on wholly imaginary movies.

Case study #1: Documentary, pitched by Senain Kheshgi
This documentary is about the case of the 10 Muslim student alliance kids at U.C. Irvine who protested/heckled the Israeli Ambassador at a speech in 2010 and were charged with federal offenses.

Budget: $575,000 (about half equity, the rest non-repayable grants and foundations).
Needs: About $100,000 to finish film.
Distribution: Has a $45,000 deal from TV broadcaster… who also wants first right of refusal on VOD/digital distribution. Unclear whether those are subscription VOD rights or ad-supported VOD rights, or if they can be negotiated.
Status: The film is in rough cut.

Josh Braun
Giving up TV rights too soon for too little money in the US is not advisable A 52-minute TV-version is key; without it, you lose opportunities. Selling for $45,000 and not carving our key digits rights is a bad idea, as it severely limits sales potential and theatrical investment. You can do multiple subscription VOD deals, so as the lines blur between TV and Internet platforms, it will likely be harder to carve out rights. The key to preselling TV is that the sale should amount to at least 50% of the budget.

Indiewire.com | Read the Full Article

John Gets a Go Pro Hero 2 (the Wrap)

Filmmaker IQ’s John Hess talks about his new filmmaking tool: the GoPro Hero 2.

Episode 35:

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Shownotes

Shots from my first day out with the GoPro Hero 2

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The discussion on the server starts around 1:20


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Here I am playing a nasty quartet

Douglas Trumbull: A Visual Wizard looks Ahead

Douglas Trumbull is no stranger to special effects in big movies… And we’re talking big big movies: “2001 Space Odyssey” Big. With visual effects credits on 2001 (as mentioned), Blade Runner, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Tree of Life, Douglas Trumbull sees a bright but complex future for digital filmmakers.

In Part 1, Douglas Trumbull talks about lessons learned from over 40 years of work with filmmaking and exhibition technology, as well as some hard lessons in the movie business.

I think there are a lot of opportunities for tremendous improvement in color saturation, frame rate, brightness, and the size of the screen so we can bring back spectacle and showmanship. It would get audiences back into theatres.

Exhibition quality has hit an all-time low and that really bothers me. Not that I don’t admire what’s been done to transform theatres with 3D and digital. But brightness, screen size, saturation are all in the low end, and it’s turning people off.

They can’t quite describe what’s giving them the headache when they watch 3D, but it’s not the 3D. It’s the loss of brightness and it’s also inadequate frame rates. The biggest complicating factor is that there is little qualitative difference between experiencing a movie in the theatre and in your own home.

— Creative Cow | Read the Full Article

Here in Part 2, Trumbull delves more deeply into his career and stories from the production of iconic films.

My career started when I thought I wanted to be an architect and studied illustration. I discovered I didn’t want to be an architect, but meanwhile I had gotten into photorealistic airbrush illustration. Because I had a long-standing interest in science fiction, my portfolio quickly filled up with pictures of aliens and spaceships.

I was also deeply interested in animation, so I thought I’d try to get a job doing that. I went around to different studios, including UPA, the animation studio producing the Mr. Magoo cartoons. They looked at my portfolio and said I was in the wrong place and sent me to Graphic Films, a company that had a specialty contract making films for NASA and the Air Force. I immediately got a job there and started doing animation background illustration for these films. We had a job previsualizing the Apollo program and here I was, really a kid, painting lunar landers and vertical assembly buildings.

— Creative COW | Read the Full Article

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