PRODUCTION JOURNAL: Monday Morning Mixer - 9.30.13

Film-Makers’ Co-op Press Conference, 1964
L to R: Gregory Markopoulos, P. Adams Sitney, Andy Warhol, Ron Rice, Jonas Mekas © 1964

On September 30, 1962, a group of New York filmmakers (including Jonas Mekas, Shirley Clarke, Emile de Antonio, and Jack Smith) released “The First Statement of the New American Cinema Group,” a manifesto by New York artists to herald in new age of cinema. Railing against current modes of exhibition, distribution and financing, this group proclaimed low-budget filmmaking as its own aesthetic: “The low budget is not a purely commercial consideration. It goes with our ethical and esthetic beliefs, directly connected with the things we want to say, and the way we want to say them.” Overall they called filmmakers to unite and storm the box office. In their vibrant last words, “we don't want rosy films — we want them the color of blood.” While few of the filmmakers became household names, The Film-Makers' Cooperative they started lives on, and their belief in the potential for low- and no-budget filmmaking gave rise to the American Independent film movement of the 1980s. ~~ Focus Features

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Always good to remember that the early independent film movement in the US wasn't just Sundance and John Cassavettes (important as they were) but also included an organized collective of united artists who realized they not only had to express their personal visions in new and original ways but also had to take control of the practical business of funding, making, distributing and exhibiting their films.  The flag they raised today over 50 years ago with their manifesto marked the need to marry the two poles of artistry and business as prerequisites to make their kind of cinema, free and unfettered by censorship and gloss.  The message still rings true today whether you shoot digital or film.

WRITING: How do you reveal character through dialogue?  

PRODUCING: So now that you're inspired by The New American Cinema Group you want to produce experimental movies? Or avant garde films? Or underground cinema? What's the difference?  Find the answers here then go live life and make art.  

FINANCING: How do you qualify for General Solicitation Fundraising?

DIRECTING: With Gravity set to open this Friday, what are some directorial insights Alfonso Cuaron can share with filmmakers? 

SHOOTING: What are 4 tips for shooting a long take?    

LIGHTING: How do you choose a lighting kit? 

SOUND: What can a writer-director's perspective on sound teach you?

STUNTS & FX: What can you learn from, Dave Brown, one of the top safety specialists in the industry, about using firearms in your movie? 

EDITING: What are 3 low-budget editing tips for action movies?  

MARKETING: What advice did Harvey Weinstein's give to Errol Morris that can help you too?

DISTRIBUTING: Do you agree with this manifesto for a global mult-platform release?

LEGAL: A summary of Reg. D, Rule 506(c) Final Rules.


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