Showing posts from November, 2013

CASE STUDY: Marketing A Film Based on Its Content NOT the Race of Its Characters

Image It seems like common sense that the best way to market a film with minority characters is to emphasize the presence of those minority characters and draw in minority audiences in large numbers.  End of Watch is a good example of this;  "The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena as two cops assigned to South Central L.A. Pena's character is of Mexican descent and from East L.A.... When End of Watch debuted over the Sept. 21-23 weekend, 32 percent of the audience was Hispanic, both Spanish- and English-speaking (separate breakouts by language aren't available). The film, distributed by Open Road Films on behalf of Exclusive Media, won the frame, grossing $13.2 million (a solid number for an indie)..." But studios and distributors walk a fine line between promoting the film's minority appeal to get minority audiences and downplaying it's strong minority presence to avoid alienating white audiences.  As a 2011 study


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

PRODUCTION JOURNAL: Midweek MIDDAY Mixer - 11.6.13

Oh boy... started the day later than I expected so the Midweek MORNING Mixer became the Midweek MIDDAY Mixer.  You probably didn't notice but still felt like I had to explain.  Now... on to our program...  November 6 marks the birth of 2 important directors and film visionaries who should be better known by mainstream audiences - Thomas Ince and Mike Nichols . Thomas Ince - November 6, 1886 Born into a stage family in Newport, Rhode Island, Thomas Harper Ince would grow up to be known as the “Father of the Western.” At the age of 15, Ince made his Broadway debut. But despite his theatrical blood, and performing in a number of plays and vaudeville shows, Ince could never make his acting career pay off. Instead, he turned to the new medium of film. By 1910, he was directing one-reelers. And by 1911, he’d convinced the New York Motion Picture Co. to send him to California. In Los Angeles, Ince’s ambition blossomed. He leased land close to Santa Monica, and hi

PRODUCTION JOURNAL: Monday Morning Mixer - 11.4.13

November 4 Barack Obama became the first African-American president today in 2008. For many that was a new day of hope and, for others, the first step into hell. Well, whatever, I for one was happy.  But that's life, a heady mix of the good and the bad depending on your perspective.  And in the film & TV industry, today was both a happy one and a sad one too.   Happy for those born today, like... 1879 – Will Rogers , American actor (d. 1935) 1913 – Gig Young , American actor (d. 1978) 1918 – Art Carney , American actor (d. 2003) 1959 – Ken Kirzinger , Canadian actor and stuntman 1961 – Ralph Macchio , American actor 1961 – Jeff Probst , American television host and producer 1969 – Sean Combs , American rapper, producer, and actor 1969 – Matthew McConaughey , American actor And sad for those who died today like... 1982 – Jacques Tati , French actor and director (b. 1907) 2011 – Andy Rooney , American radio and television host (b. 1919) +++++++++++++++++++++