Saturday, April 9, 2016



When you purchased your dslr it either came with a kit lens or just the body only. As you developed as a filmmaker you most likely added a few lenses.

 This post if for those of you who maybe neglected to do this and are now scrambling to add a few more. There is a thinking that if you are ever given the choice between a really expensive camera and a low cost lens r a cheap camera and a high end set of lenses the real film maker will spend money on the lenses. My response to this is that spending money is wrong. You are a micro budget film maker. You buy nothing brand new and you only spend money after begging and waiting for the seller to die fails.

The first thing that we are going to look at is a tutorial on what lenses and why we need them. It ends with prices for certain lenses. They are in the five hundred dollar plus range. Please ignore this. We are low budget digital film makers. We cannot afford that kind of money. Five hundred maybe the budget for your whole feature after camera cost.

 Now let’s look at some low cost lenses. We are talking under one hundred dollars.

Do you feel better about lenses now? No. What do you mean no? I did not mention camcorders.Well I do not know as much about camercorders and lenses. This is ancient and buried knowledge known only to the Sith, but I will give you my own advice. My camcorders are Canons. The vixia series and the Hv series. This is what I can tell you. All of the Hv cameras and most of the Vixia cameras have threads for lenses. If you gave me one hundred dollars to spend on one lense and I do not have a depth of field adapter then i would get a Raynox 6600 lense. It is a wide angle lens that gives you a kind of depth of field if you light well. also it travels well. You can go indoors and outdoors with it.

 Thank you for visiting. Plese take a moment to share this post on your google plus and to follow me. I want to leave you guys with the trailer for the new Star Wars film, Rogue One. I do not hate the fact that Disney is going to make a Star Wars film every year nonstop or until one flops. I feel like they are making up for the five or six films that Lucas did not make for the hardcore fans (he made Willow instead). Also I know what some of you are thinking before I post this Rogue One trailer, this site is about low budget film making and what is up with the Star Wars love. There is a movie or a series of movies that made each of us consider for the first time the idea of making movies. For me it was Star Wars. I am that little boy again everytime that I hear that intro music.


 Two crowdfunding campaigns I want to share. They are fiends whom I have interviewed in the past and they are raising funds for their new projects. If any of you want to do an interview about your project and crowdfunding campaign you can let me know by leaving a comment and I will get back to you.

 Visit the Joker Rising/ City With Two Faces Campaign. click here.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Fan Films are the Sith

There is a great new fan film that I want to talk about today. Darth Maul, Apprentice. I have to say I liked this little film more than Star wars Episode one which it would serve as a prequel to. 

Let's face it, a great many film makers got into the business shooting fan films. You could make the argument that Raiders of the Lost Ark is a huge fan film based upon chapter series from the thirties and forties. 

The film making is just as difficult as if you were shooting a film that you were planning to market and the love and care involved is far greater because all that you get in the end is to see the finished product. I have been a Star Wars fan for most of my life and there is probable a Star Wars fan film in me if I can ever find the money and someone who can pull off playing Ahsoka as a grey Jedi. 


  Back to the subject of this post. A fan film can become a digital film making classroom if you approach it the right way. The built in limitations of both character and situation will make you a better screen writer. The requirements of set and situation will force you to be inventive. You will have to learn to construct sets and do special effects that you may have not learned how to do otherwise. 125x125 Free Shipping

  Below is a bts video of the fan film. I know it is in German. 


  Thank you for visiting and I am still looking for showreels and acting reels for the page that I am adding.

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.