A documentary filmed in 2068 revisits some of the survivors of the internet as they tell the frightening story of how we all were glued to the screen looking at pictures of cats.
Stephanie Palmer identifies what “No” looks like in the creative field and how “Maybe” and “Yes” sound in comparison.
You know those stories where the hero is lied to, but doesn’t know it, and the best friend knows about the lie and has to decide whether or not to tell the hero? With rare exception, the sooner the hero is told about the lie, the better. It might hurt, but better to know the truth.
Good In a Room | Read the Full Article
A Panel of Doctor Who fans attempt to explain why Hal Rudnick of the Screen Junkies show should invest time in watching this classic staple of British television.
Julie Gray takes on a common issue with writers who are just starting out – treating their characters with kid gloves.
So I have read – oh gosh – a thousand scripts? Fifteen hundred? Two thousand? I have no idea anymore, I’ve stopped counting. Now more than ever, I realize the value of having another pair of eyes on a script. What to me is obvious – a weak complication, two-dimensional character or front-loaded script – to you is a nagging mystery until I point it out. Because after spending so much time with one script, you can’t see the forest for the trees. And I don’t blame you.
The only thing I have that you don’t have is perspective and over a thousand scripts under my belt. I have not stared at your script day in and day out for six months. I have not lived with your characters. I am like a doctor. I sit your script down on the exam table and I look at what’s there in the here and now. And it might hurt juuuust a little. Close your eyes if you don’t like needles or a whack on the knee. But I always send my patients back home with a lollypop and a smile.
Just Effing Entertain Me | Read the Full Article
A soft premise is the result of not really thinking the premise all the way through. Writers get stuck in their heads sometimes and tell a story which has mild emotional and usually autobiographical interest to them but not to anyone else. A woman inherits a house from her grandmother and learns that like her grandmother, she loves photography. Wha-?
But – movies are about conflict. Major conflict. Movies are uncomfortable and filled with tension. In real life most of us avoid conflict like the plague. But the movies are centered on it. Writing a script is a time to scrap being polite, proper or careful.
Newer writers are too easy on their characters because they model them too closely after themselves or people they know. But your character is not you or a friend – a character is a symbol that represents Jealousy, Power, Innocence, Betrayal, Justice or Heartbreak.
Writers are often loathe to be too hard on their characters. They like them too much to give them a meaningful, active flaw. They start them out pretty nice and they wind up nicer. Characters must have an arc of change and they can’t wind up changed if they started out pretty okay in the first place. Something has to be majorly amiss in your character on page one. Not a little amiss like they are shy and want a date. That’s boring. We all want a date. Go. Bigger.
Just Effing Entertain Me | Read the Full Article
This Slanted Lens lighting tutorial, goes on location in downtown Los Angeles to shoot an image involving 4 parts. This includes some tips for how to light chrome objects which are tricky because they’re almost more about the reflections than the actual object itself.
Bidding on a project is an art form. And believe me when I say that it’s something I still struggle with every time it comes up. Certainly there are some clients who will find a $10,000 project to be a bargain and clients who can only dream of affording $1,000 for their next video project. Much of it boils down to confidence – your confidence and the confidence the client has in you.
Here’s a tip I’ve been starting to employ. There are a lot of rate calculators out there that factor in your office and living expenses. But if you bid on projects based solely on your hourly rates, you could be setting yourself up for trouble if you’ll be using your own gear.
Instead of just using a working rate when bidding on a project, consider incorporating “rental fees” on all the gear that you bring that to the project. Figure out much you need to make on this project and then add rental fees for every piece of gear you own that you’ll be using.
To determine the rental fee, find a local rental company and use their rates (add a little extra for incidental expenses). Samy’s Camera in LA and surrounding areas is an excellent starting point as they have an online catalog and carry all cameras from DSLRs up to full sized RED ONE as well as a large selection of grip and lighting equipment (make sure you include those as well). AbelCine is another example. You can also pull figures from sites like LensRental.com and BorrowLenses.com - just make sure you include the cost for enough days to cover the job as well as the shipping of the rentals back to their rental house.
If you think this is just padding the bottom line, it’s not. If it’s gear that you invested it – you should be making money off of it!
But adding these costs to your bid has another important benefit – insurance. Say you have a big corporate video to shoot but your camera dies right before the shoot date? If you included the cost of a camera rental in your bid, you will have enough in your invoice to cover the rental of a replacement camera. Yes your profit margin will be slimmer, but if the unthinkable happens then you won’t have to eat the cost of a rental.
You don’t need to itemize these costs on your bid, although you can if the client requests it. Being able to list off all these equipment required will demonstrate that you know what your doing and that the client isn’t paying for some bum with a Barbie Video Girl Camera. Even if you’re bringing some DIY gear to the shoot – include some sort of fee (perhaps the cost to replace the DIY supplies). Don’t make outrageous claims like charging the rental fee a full sized Steadicam for a DIY handheld camera stabalizer, but do include a small material fee for it.
Now I’m not saying you absolutely have to do this for every single project you take on. The luxury of owning gear is being able to use it for whatever and whenever. And there are times when you’ll take a simple job for some cash to live another day. But if you are getting involved in a rather large and complicated project, you really need to consider the rental costs of your gear if anything just as a backup plan.
Most importantly – this approach separates you “the Professional” from you “the Gear”. A bid should represent your worth as well as the worth of the gear being used – after all, these tools are major investments. Sometimes clients can think of you as nothing more than a camera and that thought process can rub off especially in this hyper-marketed camera environment. As cameras become cheaper and more prevalent we need to think of the equipment more as a commodity rather than a point of entry into the professional market place. Ultimately, it really is going to come down to your skills, experience and professionalism (I’m finding that I’m getting called on more often to do it right after they’ve tried to do it themselves and wonder why it doesn’t look good).
I still struggle with coming up for figures for bids but this little technique helps. If there’s one lesson I’ve learned over and over again, it’s this: When you undercut the market, you’re really undercutting yourself.
Golden Globe winning X-Files writer and producer Frank Spotnitz is joins the London Screenwriter’s Festival for a session on writing fantastical TV, helming a TV juggernaut and maintaining momentum through a decade of success. How do you maintain creative integrity, develop idea after idea and shepherd beloved characters through season after season?
SoundWorks Collection interviews Academy Award winning Director Brian Helgeland about the sound and music of his new film “42″. Also featured are Helgeland’s behind-the-scenes collaborators include Composer Mark Isham, Re-recording Mixer Jeff Haboush, Re-recording Mixer Chris Carpenter, and Supervising Sound Editor Jon Johnson.
Hero is a word we hear often in sports, but heroism is not always about achievements on the field of play. “42″ tells the story of two men—the great Jackie Robinson and legendary Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey—whose brave stand against prejudice forever changed the world by changing the game of baseball.
Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines traces the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman. From the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s to the blockbusters of today, Wonder Women! looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about women’s liberation.
Watch this in full from PBS Independent Lens (expires June 14, 2013)
Watch Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines on PBS. See more from Independent Lens.
Putting the Cape in the Caped Crusader, here’s a look at how the Batman costume evolved as it went through the hands of directors Tim Burton, Joel Schumacher, and Christopher Nolan.
The Screen Junkies give the Wizards of Hogwats their “Honest Trailer” sardonic treatment.
Russell from IndyMogul provides 10 tips for the younger filmmakers who are trying to get started on the journey of filmmaking. Truthfully, these tips could apply to adults as well