Advice for Filmmakers from Someone who Ran a Festival.

Here’s some festival tips from folks that have been on the other side of the submission form.

Project Bootleg

You see, from 2008, through till 2013, working with some incredible people, we headed up the Bootleg Film Festival?—?a traveling event that played at a variety of cities on both sides of the Atlantic. I retired the festival after it’s last showing in NYC (that announcement is here), but for five years, along with an incredible team, we hustled hard.

During that time, we programmed hundreds of films from the many, many thousands of submissions we received. They truly ran the gamut from bad to the truly inspiring, to total brilliance. Through that period, I learned an awful lot about filmmaking as an art and a business, and these are the key things I discovered.

1. Don’t ask for waivers.

Rule one. If you forget everything else, remember this. Burn it into memory: DO NOT ASK A FESTIVAL FOR A FEE WAIVER.

Why? Because most often, they won’t give it to you. And they’ll ignore the links you included in your email. And possibly ignore you forevermore.

You see, when you ask a festival for a free pass because you spent all your submission funds already, you’re saying that the festival didn’t count high enough in your consideration when you had the money. But now that you’re broke from submitting to Tribeca and Sundance (and not getting in), you need them to cut you a favor. Intentional or not, you’re being obnoxious.

If you want free festival entries, target those festivals?—?there are lots?—?just Google it. But if you want to screen your film in a fancy venue, where people have given up (usually) about six months of their spare time to select and promote the work, you need to pay for it. I can’t speak for any other festival, but Bootleg always lost money. Always. Why? Because venues are expensive, as is equipment hire, printing costs, administration etc. etc. In fact, it’s like filmmaking?—?time consuming, exhausting and costs way more money than most anyone realizes.

So again, unless you want to piss a festival off (which you don’t), DO NOT ASK FOR A WAIVER. Instead, be selective, budget for those festivals and charm the pants off them with a kickass movie.

Project Bootleg | Read the Full Article

Pets in Movies – How Can a Pet Improve Your Characters and Plot?

Marilyn Horowitz explains how adding pets can flesh out the characters in your screenplay.


We often find ourselves with characters that seem a bit familiar, but are hard-pressed to find a way to freshen them without losing their essence. One solution that works is to give your characters a pet. This technique can do two key things to improve any character: Make a predictable character seem new, and the pet’s antics can provide invaluable plot twists in your story. Who would Dorothy be without her terrier, Toto? Toto makes Dorothy much more interesting and further, acts as the catalyst for the plot: First he digs up Miss Gulch’s flowerbed and then he runs away.

improve your characterThere’s an old saying: “Dogs have owners but cats have staff.”

Is your hero or heroine a cat person or a dog person? What about your villain or obstacle?

We tend to see “cat people” as sensuous, somewhat aloof, and prone to mood changes for no apparent reason. We also have stereotypes we associate with cat lovers. For example, if we heard of someone with seven cats we might imagine a weird old lady. Confounding that expectation was certainly part of the success of the character of Holly Golightly in the film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The glamorous courtesan played by Audrey Hepburn is a good example of how to turn the cat lady stereotype on its head. Also, Holly’s cat is what forces her to confront her feelings for the hero at the end.

Script Mag | Read the Full Article

The Searchers (1956) A Turning of the Earth-Behind the Cameras

“A Turning of the Earth: John Ford, John Wayne, and The Searchers” (33:07) Written and directed by Nick Redman, this portrait is narrated by Patrick Wayne and others, including Milius again, Pippa Scott (who plays the oldest Edwards daughter), Lana Wood, and the words of Harry Carey, Jr., voiced by Peter Rainer. Its most precious elements are color home movies of Wayne and Ford together, flying, driving, and boozing.


The Double: Duplicating Jesse Eisenberg In A Dystopian World

An exclusive look at the making of The Double, from the creation of Jesse Eisenberg’s doppelgänger to the sci-fi film within a film. Go behind the scenes with director Richard Ayoade (Submarine) and VFX powerhouse Framestore in our documentary above.


Flame VFX for Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

FxGuide chats with Flame artist/owner Sam Edwards, who spent eight months working in the production offices on vfx for the new TV series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Edwards composited almost 250 shots, which was approximately 1/6th of the show. We cover a bit of background on the job and then Edwards provides an overview of several shots he work on for the series.


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