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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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Indie Film Maker, Try Gumroad

If it seems as if I have not been available for the last few months you have gotten it right. I am have been in the middle of pre-production while editing a back log of ebooks. I know that there should be no excuses for not showing up at work. I have a few post on marketing lined up and I hope to post them in June. 

Okay today I would like to offer some help to the ultra independent film makers amongst us. Those who want to have complete control over the sale and or rental of their films there is a site that might be perfect for you. I was told about and I am still in the process of learning more about it. So far Gumroad looks goods. It offers the ability to post your finished film for sale or rent and their share of your profits are rock bottom low. 

Check out these videos and let me know what you think.


 I look at this as a tool that you can use to monetize your film. If you have a large social media presence then you can sell direct to customer without the dozens of expensive middle men out there. To thrive in this new digital film making world we are going to have to become better at marketing our work. The field is more crowded now than ever and to get notice is going to be as important as producing a quality finished product. Okay now I would like to touch on some business that have been piling up. I love the tv series Gotham. It has been a shock how good and intense it has been. The existence of series like Gotham and Agents of Shield does not mean that the world of Fan films needs to suffer. There are many ways to approach characters and situations. This takes me to an update on the Joker Rising sequels. It looks like they will come in the form of a web series. Perhaps when it is up and running I will be able to get another interview with the film maker.


 Thank you for hanging in there with this site. I promise that things will get back to normal as soon. 


Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Fun of Fundraising

The Fun of Fundraising

I have not posted in a while because I am at the beginning stages of raising money for a feature film. There are any number of ways to approach this and I have tried to clear some of the big hurdles by writing the screenplay myself and to pull together the basic equipment that I will need for a micro budget shoot.

Each of us view a micro budget shoot differently. In terms of how much money we expect to spend. How big the production crew needs to be. How big a cast we are going to need. The pre and post production needs such as how soon do I involve an editor and a composer if I am not planning on doing either of these jobs myself. How many days do I plan to shoot? Do I aim for a feature shoot nonstop in under two weeks or do I shoot on weekends for how ever long it takes (this worked for Christopher Nolan when he shot his first feature).

Money will dictate a number of the choices that you make. So figuring out an honest budget and then going out and raising the money needed is going to be have to be job one. There of course is an exception to this rule. If you are an actor or you live with a great actor or actress then you can go zero budget in your own home or a location that you can get for free. Film makers have done this before. The video that I would like to share with you today is over 90 minutes long and it features a ton of interviews with film makers about how they approach raising money for their projects.

Thank you for visiting my blog. Good luck with your fundraising whether you do it all yourself, find an investor or go with crowdfunding. Please take a moment to add me to your Google plus and to share this post with a friend.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Crowdfunding With A Movie Star

Crowdfunding With A Movie Star

 Crowd funding is one of the ways that many film makers find the money to complete a project and or to fully fund a project. To go into it as an unknown film maker of a first film and a cast of beginners in a mountain most of us will have to climb. Today I would like to begin with a film maker who I was say has a big leg up on most of us. I would look at it as hitting the lottery. The lead actress in his film is Keisha Castle Hughes. Academy award nominated (she should have won) for her first film Whale Rider. Location plays a part in getting talent for your project. In the case of her career so far I would argue that location has been the only thing that has held Keisha Castle Hughes from being top of the A list actresses. Okay let me get back to the campaign we are going to look at. The title of the film is Find Your Voice and there is about a week left in this campaign. I suggest you check it out.

 Next up is a sci-fi feature film. I am one of those people who believe that sci-fi should be more about characters and situation rather than special effects. This campaign looks interesting and is near both is funding goal and its end date. I hope that you will check it out. The title of the film is The Toll.

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 I have been told by readers of this blog that I avoid animation like most guys avoid Twilight films and that is not true. Yes, I hate Twilight, but no I do not dislike animated films. It is just hard to find animators to interview. I may try to get an interview with the film maker behind the next project we are going to look at. The title of the film is Yellow Brick Road and it is about what you think that it is.

 Next up is the campaign for Deadly Waters.

 Thank you for visiting today. Good luck with your film making projects. Please take a moment to like this post on Stumbleupon and to share it on your facebook page. Also you could add me to your google plus.