Showing posts with the label sound

PRODUCTION TIPS: 3 Tips to Working With a Tight Budget

Filmmakers, no, you will not go to jail for bankruptcy. Fraud on the other hand... It is difficult to plan ahead and come up with the perfect budget for a film but the allure of making a film can not be denied. And so, the filmmaker plods ahead come what may to make that film. But for low-budget indie filmmakers all it takes is one misbudgeted item to derail the whole project. So when you gotta make that film even if you lack enough funds then you must be efficient and flexible to make it to the finish line. Here are 3 tips to get there: ATTRACT TALENT WITH PARTNERSHIPS Find the best Writer, Protagonist Actor/Actress, DP, Sound Mixer, Line Producer / Production Manager, Lawyer and Editor you can afford. Develop a professional relationship and friendly rapport with them. Think long term. If you can't afford their fees, put together a compensation package that is more than just credit and deferred compensation. Even low pay is better than nothing. Some other forms of comp

CASE STUDIES: The Best 14 End-of-Year Film Industry Lists of 2014

Among the many traditions that befall us throughout the month of December, the end-of-year-lists can not be avoided. Whether we read them or write them, lists are everywhere. Film magazines and blogs partake in that tradition by putting out their best/worst list of films for the year. I have nothing against them, personally, but I wanted to go deeper and probe the news and trends in the film industry for my own list which would be of strategic use to filmmakers and producers. However, my trip to Cuba for the Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano and the usual holiday fanfare put to sleep all that. Still, my Catholic guilt insists that I share something with you. Since I did read some really good lists that go beyond the fun but banal topic of what film was the best/worst in 2014, I have compiled them here.  The 14 lists below can either help you understand the industry better, give you a glimpse of where the industry is going, or deepen your love and knowledge for th

PRODUCTION JOURNAL: Midweek Morning Mixer - 2.5.14 (United Artists edition)

My apologies for the temporary disappearance of the Monday and Midweek Mixers, I have been busy working with clients and developing projects for 2014 that rendered me unable to blog.  Although I love searching for informative and fun stuff to add to the mixers, it's time-consuming so I can only squeeze them in whenever I can.  Still, as busy as I get, I will do my best to continue to do so. And now without further adieu... Today in film history let's remember... 1919  –  Charlie Chaplin ,  Mary Pickford ,  Douglas Fairbanks , and  D.W. Griffith  launch  United Artists . 1933  – the birth of  Jörn Donner , Finnish director and screenwriter 1943 – the birth of  Michael Mann , American director, screenwriter, and producer 1948 – the birth of  Christopher Guest , American actor and director 1948 – the birth of  Errol Morris , American director Taking a cue from the formation of United Artists is a good reminder of the good work that can result when talented filmmak

PRODUCTION JOURNAL: Midweek Morning Mixer - 1.8.14 ("It's-hard-for-black-actors-but-things-change" edition)

Sometimes it's easy to forget how far we've come because we still have so far to go. Although public outcries forced SNL to hire a black female as a featured player on the show after so many years, opportunities are plentiful for actors of color compared to what it was like in the past.  And the roles are waaaaaaay more dignified.  So as a reminder of how hard it was for black actors who had to accept roles that were beneath them, let's offer a special HBD tip of the hat to... Butterfly McQueen . "She was born on January 8, 1911 in Tampa, Florida, to a stevedore and domestic maid, Thelma McQueen would go on to make cinematic history as one of the few African-American character actors in classic Hollywood. In 1916, her father abandoned the family, leaving her mother and her to travel the East Coast in search of work. She eventually landed in Long Island where she completed her education and learned to dance. She made her stage debut as a part of the Butterfly

PRODUCTION JOURNAL: Monday Morning Mixer - 1.6.2014 (The-New-Journey edition)

HBD John Singleton (director of Boyz in the Hood, Poetic Justice, etc.) and Anthony Minghella (director of The English Patient, Cold Mountain, etc.) [d.] and RIP Victor Fleming (director of The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind, etc.) who died this day in 1949. WRITING: Is it possible to be a screenwriter and have a family ? (the bad news and the good news) PRODUCING:  What is your filmmaking game plan for 2014 ? FINANCING: What are investors considering when they fund films?   DIRECTING: Everyone knows that having famous actors in your movie will help it get financed and screened. So once you have them committed and casted, how do you direct famous actors in a microbudget film ? LIGHTING: Here's an homage to all the things grips and electrics have to do to light and shoot without the gear they actually need... shitty rigs . SHOOTING: How can you use camera angles to sell your scene ? SOUND: A tutorial on the importance of the pre-production process for your sou

PRODUCTION JOURNAL: Monday Morning Mixer - 12.23.13 (HBD Transistor Edition)

Amplifier circuit, common-emitter configuration with a voltage-divider bias circuit. HBD to the transistor , the fundamental building block of modern electronic devices , found in everything from TVs, mobile phones, radios, calculators and computers.  That you can read this post is a function of the transistor's capabilities, so thank you John Bardeen , Walter Brattain , and William Shockley for developing it at Bell Labs in 1947.  Thanks to the transistor we can watch movies on screens as large as walls and as small as belt buckles. WRITING: What are the elements of a good scene ? LEGAL: How much does an entertainment lawyer cost ? PRODUCING: Do women prefer films made by female filmmakers ? FINANCING: How do you finance a movie using VOD sales projections ? DIRECTING: How do you turn your boring movie into a Hitchcock thriller ? (h/t to Jeffrey Michael Bays and makes a great last-minute gift) SHOOTING: How do you add diffusion to your image by 'netting

PRODUCTION JOURNAL: Happy Birthday, John Cassavetes - 12.9.13

Today John Cassavetes would have been 84.  Aside from watching all of his films in an all-day or week-long marathon, there is no better way to pay homage to the godfather of American indie films then by learning from his words and his methods.  Below are excerpts and documentaries on the making of many of his films like Husbands, A Woman Under the Influence, Shadows and more. John Nicholas Cassavetes (in Greek: Ιωάννης Νικόλαος Κασσαβέτης; December 9, 1929 – February 3, 1989) was an American actor, film director and screenwriter. He acted in many Hollywood films, notably Rosemary's Baby (1968) and The Dirty Dozen (1967). Cassevetes was also a pioneer of American independent film by writing and directing over a dozen movies, some of which he partially self-financed, and which pioneered the use of improvisation and a realistic cinéma vérité style.  He studied acting with Don Richardson , using an acting technique based on muscle memory. ~~ Wikipedia   Here a

PRODUCTION JOURNAL: Midweek Morning Mixer - 12.4.13

Created by script reader and Reddit user profound_whatever WRITING: What are 38 reasons why your screenplay isn't getting recommended by the script reader? PRODUCING: Ok, Mr./Ms. Producer, here's a challenge: What creative work would you make with this ? FINANCING: Even if you're a no-budget filmmaker right now, one day you will have to know the ABCs of International Pre-Sales .  Why not start learning today? DIRECTING: What can lessons on editing, directing actors and choosing shots from Bruno Dumont teach you about filmmaking? SHOOTING: When should you use RAW and when should you avoid it? LIGHTING: What are 5 tips to improve your green screen shooting skills ? SOUND: What are some things to learn from a quick primer on music licensing ? STUNTS & VFX: Ever consider that maybe the best set for your movie is your living room ? (h/t to @ JasonFararooei ) EDITING: What should you know about advanced storage for your files ? MARKETING:  Why is eng


Today, I'd like to try something a little different... and that's use video to answer every question today.  So thank you YouTube!  I still wish I had created you, but alas... thank you for being you.  Today's theme will be NO- to MICRO- to LOW-BUDGET FILMMAKING.  P.S. Don't forget to visit the Filmmaker's Toolkit for all the forms, templates and information you need to make your films at every phase of production from Development to Distribution. WRITING: Why do most people fail at screenwriting ? PRODUCING: How do you pre-plan a no-budget movie ? FINANCING: Why do you need money to make money when it comes to making a film? DIRECTING: What are the top 5 tips for new directors or how you can become a better director? SHOOTING: How do you make a dolly track ? LIGHTING: Building a lighting kit, what are the professional film lights you should stock your kit with (at a minimum)? SOUND: How do you record high quality audio on a

PRODUCTION JOURNAL: Midweek Morning Mixer - 11.20.13 (CLOUZOT and ALTMAN EDITION)

Today in November 20... 1907 – Henri-Georges Clouzot , the legendary French film director of films like Les Diaboliques , Wages of Fear , La Vérité and The Mystery of Picasso was born today. A stylish filmmaker known for making movies about betrayal deception and violent deaths whose negative persona and outlook on life was refelected in his work.  Nonetheless his skill made the master of suspense, Hitchcock nervous, as Senses of Cinema reveals and " although not as prolific, Clouzot’s is undoubtedly a comparable talent, and Wages Of Fear (1953) and Les Diaboliques (1955) regularly make it into lists of the greatest thrillers ever made." To get a glimpse of how Clouzot made films watch the documentary, Inferno . 2006 – Robert Altman , the legendary American film director of films like MASH , Nashville , McCabe and Mrs. Miller and Gosford Park   passed away today. A maverick filmmaker who thrived during the 1970s and preferred large casts in his movies had a


Last week was an off-week for The Film Strategist so my apologies but had to focus on some important work. Now I'm back so stay tuned for some interesting upcoming posts including your Monday and Midweek mixers. On November 18, 1928 – The animated short Steamboat Willie was released.  This was the first fully synchronized sound cartoon , directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks and featured the third appearances of cartoon characters Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse . This is also considered by the Disney corporation to be Mickey's birthday.  The short was such a success that it propelled Disney to international stardom. Now, what I want to know is when will Steamboat Willie and other works of that era finally fall in the public domain?  Because it should've happened a while ago already. But as Timothy B. Lee makes clear , "15 years ago [on October 25], President Clinton signed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which retroactively extended copyright