Friday, January 15, 2016

Behind the Scenes Hateful Eight and Campaigns

Been super busy with projects big and small.  I love this blog, but finding time for the next few weeks is going to be hard.
Right now I would like to share at little bts from the Hateful Eight. I have mixed feeling about the movie, It brought back memories to see a movie shot in actual 70mm. it is stunning on the big screen. Many of you have seen the Hateful 8 by now, some of you love it, some hate it and some like me have mixed emotions about it. It looks like a Spaghetti western, it is bloody like one, but is too talky to be one. Also it was of course not shot in Italy by an Italian film maker.

Watching this film makes you want to grab that western script from the back of the dresser drawer (I have three such scripts) get some 70mm (really 65) camera equipment and shoot a modern masterpiece. Then you find out that you are gonna need 20 to 30 grand for the equipment and another 30 to 50 to process and edit the footage. Without a massive kickstarter or indiegogo campaign that ain't happening.

Let's look at some bts footage from the Hateful 8.

Now a scene from the movie.

The last thing I want to mention about the movie is the cast. I think this is the best job of casting that Tarantino has ever done. It is almost a perfectly balanced cast. I had forgotten how good Jennifer Jason Leigh was and this film is probably her best performance.

Thank you for checking in and please take a moment to bookmark this site and to check out these two kickstarter campaigns I have been following. If you have an upcoming campaign. Let me know and I will be happy to post a link in a future post. If the campaign looks really interesting maybe we will do an interview to go along with it.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Joker Rising Sequel News

Looks like one of the most popular and well made fan films of all time is going to be getting a sequel with the help of the fans of course. 

The Joker Rising is a prime example of what can be done on a micro budget. With just a few thousand dollars and a quality cast and of course a great screenplay you can produce something that can stand side by side with film that cost hundreds of times more.

If you liked the first film and wish to support the sequels then you can either donate direct to the upcoming kickstarter campaign or you can spread the word through social media. The most powerful marketing tool that the indie film maker has is social media. A few hundred dedicated fans can help you to reach hundreds of thousands of future fans and customers.

Thank you for stopping by and if you wish to help this site grow you can do so by sharing your favorite post and adding me to your google plus.    I am going to leave you with a bonus, the international star wars trailer, just came out yesterday. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Digital Feature Filmmaking, Blocking A Scene

Digital Feature Filmmaking, Blocking A Scene

 Far too many micro budget film makers just dive in and never give a thought to things such as lighting or blocking a scene. Today we are going to look at scene blocking and why it is as much an art as it is a learned skill. 

The learned skill is easy. You can learn blocking from a book or a few videos on the subject. If you wish to make a low budget film that looks professional you are going to have to master this basic skill or hire someone who has. To put it simply, blocking is the art of pre-determining the visual relationship that the camera will have with the actors in the scene being filmed. Look at it as moving around pieces on a game board. You can look at the art of film making as the art of placing a board game. If you do not know the rules then you are bound to lose sooner or later. You cannot play a game and trust to dumb luck. If this is true then why would you trust to luck where your film is concerned. The following video will lead you through the basics. 


This next video is a scene from the master film maker Orson Welles. He is considered perhaps the greatest artist to every make a motion picture and his masterpiece is of course Citizen Kane.


  I hope that this gives you an idea of how it is done. The cool part is that thanks to digital video you can practice for hours until you get comfortable with the process of blocking before you every have to record one second of your actual movie. Thank you for visiting my site. Please take a moment to add me to your google plus and to check out my books on film making. 

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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Digital Filmmaking The Camera as Storyteller

Digital Filmmaking, The Camera as Storyteller

Some times we forget that the camera is more than just a tool that we use as film makers. The camera can under certain circumstance become an actor in the scene. Through carefully planned out movements the camera can tell a story all its own. By simply angling the camera above or below the actor on screen we can tell the audience how to fell about the actor on screen. 

From below the actor looms over the view. Making the actor seem more powerful and or important. From above we can make the actor look smaller or weaker as compared to others in the same scene. Consider this as you watch films particularly those made by the masters of cinema. 


From the guys at video maker let’s look at camera movements from some great films. 


 Here is scene from one of my favorite thrillers. Study the camera movements and how they help to build suspense. Never has the steadicam been used better and this was before the arrival of the dslr.


Thank you for hanging in with my blog while I was away. Long story short is that I had a house fire and after a few months I am almost back to normal. Just lost a lot of equipment, files and time, but these things happen. I hope to touch on trends in the indie film world while I was away. The rise of a few filmmakers who are not celebrated because of the genre of their films rather than the quality. When a film maker starts at the bottom and over a few years builds an audience to the point where their forth theatrical release holds number one at the box office for two weeks and there are not a chorus of film makers cheering it makes me wonder if some of us are to into being like cooler kids in high school. I understand why Hollywood hates War Room, but why do other indie film makers. I always thought that the goal of becoming an indie film maker was to make movies my way. Movies that I wanted to see and were not being make. To make movies for an audience that wanted the same thing. 

You know I think that it is time to do a post on Audience. 

 Whether your audience goes to church or to sundance or to mma matches or to the opera or to soup kitchens or anywhere else on earth the only thing that matters is film maker and his or her audience. Finding the audience is hard. Getting them to notice you is harder and getting them to follow you is hardest of all. If one out of every hundred micro budget film makers manage to do this then it can be considered a minor miracle. Hollywood has the entire world of film goers to connect with while we have to go out and find our audience and grow them day by day. 

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Friday, August 14, 2015

Check Out the Crime Lord Campaign

Two days left in this very interesting crowdfunding campaign. Crime Lord for the great indie film maker David P. Baker.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

ThrowBack Follow Up and New Crowdfunding

 Of all the interviews about micro budget digital film making that I had done the one that is closest to my heart is the one I did with Travis Bain about his film Throwback that was shoot entirely using a Canon HV 20. The HV series of cameras were and probably still are my favorite camcorders and to shoot and release an entire creature feature using one of them is an amazing achievement. I still hope to do something similar with my HV 20 someday. I know that we now live in a Dslr world, but those camcorders do offer advantages for digital film makers on a budget. Some of which are the their ability to record sound, their battery life and storage ability. Most camcorders can give you at least one hour of recording to tape right out of the box. If you would like to read my complete interview about the making of Throwback you can find it by clicking here or you can read it in my book on digital feature film making.

 Here is the final trailer for ThrowBack.

 Now I would like to highlight their campaign for their next film. It is low budget sci-fi. The title is Starspawn and you can still get involved by donating or by spreading the word.



 I would now like to highlight a crowdfunding campaign for a film that I am looking forward to seeing. Many micro budget film makers imagine that if they had been born in a different era that they would have worked in the grindhouse genre. Masters of the Grind looks like to be one of the film making documentary that we will be watching and talking about for many years to come.

 The last project that I want to look at is a horror film being filmed in Nebraska. The movie is titled Endor and you still have time to donate.

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 Thank you for visiting my site. Good luck with your projects and please take a moment to share this post on Google Plus.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Crowdfunding and Sourcing Post

The Crowdfunding and Sourcing Post

 When sitting down to write one of these post I actual taken into account how long the videos that will be included in the post will be. I try at all times to make it a digestible amount of total time. Lately I have thought that if a suggest is very important then maybe I should pack as much information into the post as possible so today I am going to do that. 

 Digital feature filmmaking could not have become what it has without the audience or the crowd. The crowd has made thousands of good and bad movies possible. We have visions of making epic films in both size and scope and the only way to make these films (without winning the powerball lottery) is to convince the crowd to get involved. Part of the reason that I started this blog was to get to know other film makers and to build a network. Thanks to google plus I have achieved some of this. 

The first two videos that I would like to share with you are about both crowdfunding and crowd sourcing.




 Before we continue I have to say that money is important, but it should never be the goal and it should never stop you from shooting a film. Perhaps you cannot make that micro budget version of the Avengers, but you can shoot a film. The best way to learn film making is to make a film. Make one and then another and another. Hold on to the things that you did well and learn not to make the same mistakes a second time. If you got a dslr or a iphone or a camcorder then you have what you need to record footage. Go out and do this and after you do this find a free editing program and use it to learn how to cut scenes together. If you put together a few good scene you can save them and later they may help you with your crowdfunding campaign. 

 The next video runs about two hours. You will meet many people at different stages of the game. From film makers to those who support them in their efforts to crowdfund.


Thank you for visiting my blog and now if you have a free moment add me to your google plus and feel free to shave this post with a friend. Finally I would like to thank Film Courage for doing these interviews. I know how difficult it is to get film makers to sit down and table about their films and themselves. You guys do an outstanding job.

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