Friday, May 24, 2013

Digital Film Making, BTS

    Digital Film Making, BTS

I find a great deal of inspiration from watching other film makers working behind the scenes on their projects. You get to see that it really is work. A lot of trial and error and no one gets it right all the time.

   The teaching part of this digital film making post will largely be in the form of videos for the simple reason that this is about the behind the scenes aspects of filmmaking. Many film makers have included behind the scenes stuff on the dvd releases of their films. The difference between what you get with a Hollywood film’s BTS and what I hope to offer today is that you will be getting an idea of the stopping and starting that is a large part of film making. First up is a look behind the scenes of the movie Stab 6. If you are familiar with the Scream series of films then the film inside a film Stab should be familiar as well. The Stab series has become very popular on Youtube. If you are ever in the mood for a good old fashion slasher film you could do a lot worst than checking out a few of the movies in the series.   SPECIAL OFFER! Save 50%* on New Web Hosting Plans The things I like about the next behind the scenes video is that their is no dialogue, just like in the short film that it is about. Which is a great idea if you can pull it off. One of the big problems with dslr shooting is the how to record quality audio and the with what should you record said audio. Shooting a sort of silent film or at least sections of your film that require no sound except that of a sound track can really speed up the film making process. Also I love how they are just going out their and shooting. Using mostly what is available to get the shoot instead of blowing money on unnecessary equipment. Also they are using the micro budget’s film maker’s best friend, the monopod. The monopod can be used in place of a standard tripod and when collapsed it can stand in for a pistol grip. You can even get away with using it as a camera boom. You can get a good monopod for about twenty dollars online. The last one I am going to show you is the making of the Evil In the Hills. I picked this one because I believe that this micro budget film maker is really good. David Ryan Keith is the writer director. I wish I could show you the behind the scenes of his feature film Attack of the Herbals, I have seen it, but it is not available to be posted. When making his feature film he did what we micro budget film makers are suppose to do, he got himself a Canon dslr, some friends and shoot a feature. He did not let the lack of money or professional actors stop him. He went from short films to a feature. Please take a moment to stumble us on stumbleupon, add us to your google plus and to tell a friend about this post. Word of mouth is the fastest way to grow a blog. Thank you for visiting.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Fan Films, Joker Rising Interview

  Fan Film, Joker Rising Interview

I promised that I would try to get an interview with the maker of a fan film and
Alek Gearhart the writer/ director of the fan film Joker Rising has agreed to answer a few
questions about his film. Before the interview begins I would again like to remind you guys
that Alek is running two crowd funding campaigns for this movie. One at Indiegogo and the other at Kickstarter. So please take a moment to visit kickstarter at and or the indiegogo campaign at

In the world of crowd funding every dollar counts and as little as a dollar can make you part of a special project. If indie film makers do not support each other then we will always be at the mercy of the big studios. If you can not donate money, then share a campaign through what
ever social media that you use. Stumble it, post it on your google plus, use twitter. Telling a few
friends about a crowd funding campaign can help more sometimes than making a donation yourself. You never know. Okay, lets get to the interview.

Thank you for your time Alek. This will be basic question and answer style.

Most of the fan films from the Batman universe seem to be based upon
Batman or Darkwing with an occasional Cat Woman short thrown in, but you
decided to go back to the beginning with the Joker. Was this a choice because he has
been over looked or because he is the character that you are most interested in?

-The idea for this Joker film came from looking at the sadness that seemed to be in the Joker's eyes, especially in Heath Ledger's version. Like there was something horrible that happened to him to make him go the way he did. In this we are elaborating on that. Another idea that inspired this was the idea that he might not have been funny in the first place but was driven to it somehow. Also you hit the nail on the head. The Joker has been overlooked as a lead character and even in The Killing Joke we don't really get to know much about him. Every villain should have his day.

You also decided to included the very popular character of Harley Quin in the film.
How big a part does this character play in the film?

-She is very much the glue of the story. The both of them are societies outcasts so really they only have each other. She is a prostitute in this working for a pimp named "Riddles". She is easily the most important supporting character in the film. Another important character not seen in the teaser is Black Mask who also provides a very important piece to the puzzle of the Joker's origins.

There are the comic books, the graphic novels, the movies and the animated series to
look to draw from. When writing the script did you use them as a guideline or is this
going to be something new?

-No, I drew mostly from other films and books like Drive, The Departed, Blood Meridian and Shame. This is from a criminal's point of view so we want it to really feel like you are in the underbelly of Gotham.

Since the reader of this blog are interested in the film making process let’s talk about the
making of the movie.

The first question that comes up from other film makers is what kind of camera did you
use on the trailer and will you be using it to shoot the feature?

-We used a Sony Nex 100 UK for the trailer and will use it for the film as well. Great for anything at night and looks a bit more like film.

The sound is great, what did you use to record it?

-The sound is recorded with the mic that came with the camera. No boom was used for that teaser. The only alteration was that a high pass filter was added in final cut.

I have read comments about your cast and how great they are. One of the hardest parts of indie film making is finding actors who can handle the basics yet alone lift your production to another level. How did you find your cast?

-The cast was really a pleasant surprise. My partner on this project, Manuel Eduardo Ramirez and I had a one day casting call and almost immediatly great talent started to come in. Katie Young, who plays Harley, blew us away as soon as she walked in. At the end of the day tho we didn't think we we're going to find a guy who could pull off Joker and him before he turns into the Joker but right at the end Dylan Hobbs walked in and stole the show. A few other actors have come aboard later who we knew or heard about through friends. Ski Carr will play Black Mask, Dominic Marsell will play Riddles and Manuel Ramirez, who is also the guy who got gunned down in the street in the teaser will play Killer Croc or just Croc in this. God was looking out for us.

Last film making question before we get to crowd funding. Who inspires you? For me
it is Takashi Miike who does every kind of movie under the sun and does them well.
Who is it that you hope to be compared to or mentioned in the same breath with someday?

I am inspired by filmmakers like Terrance Malick, Chuan Lu (for City of Life and Death a film that everyone should watch), Steven Spielberg, Nicolas Winding Refn, and Alfonso Cuaron. Mainly Terrance Malick. Also inspired greatly by the 2004-2009 show Battlestar Galactica for taking something that is usually campy and grounding it in reality.

You are crowdfunding on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Do you have links to these campaigns?

-We are doing both at the moment.
Indie go go is

Are you determined to make this film whether you reach your goals or not?

The film will be made, it will just be a bit harder without help. But once it is done regardless of how we got there it will be something to behold.

When is production going to start and how many days do you plan to shoot?

- We start in June and plan on going for 2 weeks.

Any final words?

-We hope that this movie will usher in a new era of fan films and even comic book films that will surpass just action or sci-fi and enter into the realm of character pieces and hard dramas like the Place Beyond the Pines and Crash.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Digital Film Making, The Fan Film

Digital Filmmaking, Fan Films

Many of us became film makers because we are fans of a series or a movie that we wanted to be a part of in some way. Perhaps the show ended before its time and we wished to finish it our way or the universe that the movie built had room for many more stories. The king of the fan film universe is Star Wars.

 You could build an online network that showed nothing, but Star Wars short films and that network would not run out of content for days. I am not going to pick the best Star Wars fan film, this Sith lord does not look forward to being hunting down by angry Jedi knights (although if Ahsoka wants to turn to the dark side I am here for her). What I am going to do is look at the one that has done best in the world of crowd funding and that is the Pink 5 series of short films. These short digital comedy films show that if you find a compelling character, do quality special effects and build a loyal following the sky is the limit for how popular your films can become.  Understand that fan films can not generate you money directly. You can not sell them. However they can generate money indirectly through building a name and following. You can use the fan base that a fan film can create to market your original digital production. Have you seen the spin off fan films from the Scream series. The Stab movies. Look at fan films also as a way to limit your options in a good way. Having to create a world that has strict rules will focus your work. Making a fan film will make you have to do the most important thing as a film maker. You will have to establish a reality. The fan film has to establish the world the characters exist in before it can alter or subvert that world. There are many great films based upon the batman universe. Below is a video from a kickstarter campaign. They have the modest goal of 1,000 dollars. Some of us know that this amount can go a long way when making a micro budget film. If you like the trailer please take a moment to visit their kickstarter page and even if you can not afford to donate tell someone about their project. There will come a day when most of us will find ourselves running a kickstarter or indiegogo campaign. Down the road we are going to get into how to run a successful campaign. Okay why not look at your favorite movie or series and shoot something based upon it. Even if all you use is your iPhone. The great thing about fan films is that they are fun to shoot. They maybe the most fun because there is not pressure to make money with them. It is just shooting something you love and having a good time doing it. At least that is the way it should work. That is it for this post. I am going to try to get an interview with someone who has done a fan film to understand the process more. I would like you guys to check out my crowd funding page. I have added three new campaigns that I find interesting. Thank you for visiting. Please take a moment to share this post with someone and to stumble us on stumbleupon. Here is a fun bonus fan animated film. SPECIAL OFFER! Save 50%* on New Web Hosting Plans