Why a Filmmaker Needs Stock Footage

Have you ever tried using stock footage yourself? If you're a filmmaker then using stock footage can be really advantageous. There are various reasons why filmmakers use stock footage. Read on to know it has always been an integral part of film making.

Stock footage is a combination of videos, photographs or both. These clips are available for download online at nominal prices. The footage falls into two licensing categories namely royalty-free and rights-managed. Royalty-free licensed footage permits a buyer to use it multiple number of times with single purchase. While rights-managed footage is more exclusive and the buyer needs to specify why and where the footage will be used.

If you're a filmmaker then there are a number of situations where using stock footage can help you. Few of them have been listed below:

Impractical shots
Movies among other visual media have long been a fan of stock footage. One of the most famous examples of usage of this footage in film industry is of the Oscar-winning motion picture "Forrest Gump". In the movie, it was modified with computer generated imagery to show the lead character socializing with historic figures such as John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and John Lennon. Filming such scene would have been practically impossible in real life.

There are also times when shots are critical to the project but impossible to shoot, for instance, getting an up and close shoot of volcanic eruption or a ravaging tornado. Capturing such shots will not only put your crew in a life threatening situation, but will also increase your budget extensively. It is then a professional quality stock footage can come to a film maker's rescue, helping him achieve amazing results.

Budget constraints
Like we know purchasing a stock footage is much cheaper, especially when compared to on-site shooting expenses. As a filmmaker it comes as a big plus. To be honest every filmmaker prefers to take the trouble of renting a quality camera, traveling to the location, setting up lights and sounds to get that perfect shot. But harsh realities of truth may be that your budget simply does not allow it. This footage on the other hand is within reach for everyone. Anyone from a filmmaker to a student can get something within their budget.

Forgotten shot
This can be one of the most frustrating experiences for any filmmaker. Imagine traveling to a distant location, doing a shoot and coming back only to realize one shot was left to complete. Instead of going through all the trouble of traveling once again to the location to get that single shot, a filmmaker can buy a suitable footage. This will save him a lot of time and money on rescheduling trips.

Out of reach locations
Stock footage can help you incorporate specific background that your project demands. This is particularly useful when you are unable to visit the location yourself due to budget constraints. For example, if your project demands a shot of The Great Wall of China but you are unable to go to China. Then buying a stock footage showing the historic monument and mixing it well with your own shot to give an authentic look will serve the purpose.

Likewise there are many other situations in which the use of stock footage is considered a smart move. As a filmmaker, you just can't escape the charm of this vital resource.

The author of this article is professionally associated with MrFootage, a leading online supplier of Wildlife, War and Disaster and Sports footage among others.

Original article

Independent Film Producer? 5 Basic Tips to Become a Success and Make a Profit

So you want to make money as an independent film producer. Do you even know what it takes to get a film completed? There is an old adage in Hollywood, that it takes "an extreme amount of talent to make even a bad movie". With that in mind, making a movie is a daunting task and each and every day, movies are being made and sold to a variety of audiences.

Just because you have a story or a screenplay and the talent to make a movie doesn't necessarily mean you can make money with the film. Today there is a plethora of movies being made: and among those being made, only a small percentage of the films actually make any money for their independent producers.

Sure if you make a movie for $10,000 and get a deal that is worth millions such as "Paranormal Activity" you definitely will make money. But "Paranormal Activity" is the exception not the rule. Plus the advertising budget for that film was in the tens of millions of dollars. With that type of promotional dollars the movie was bound to make the filmmakers money.

So what can you do to make sure your film is a success? And can you do it without spending your inheritance? Well yes and no. Audiences are fickle. Make a movie you think is great still may flop because no one watches it.

Keep your eye on the goal: to make money as an independent producer. If you have never made a film before and are out to set the world on fire, good luck. It probably will not happen. And if your goal is to make a living as an independent producer you must follow a few basic rules towards that goal.

First of all have a great story and after you turn it into a script have someone advise you on it. The story must have a beginning, middle and an end. Sounds easy and straight forward, but it isn't always the case. First time filmmakers (and those that aren't first timers) are typically shooting too much and editing too long and lose the impact of a good story by putting in too much material

Second keep your budget low and use actors that know how to act. This usually means getting actors that have credentials and have been in films before. If you can't afford to use SAG actors then ask local community theaters for actors and beg them to be in your film for the experience.

Third, rehearse and rehearse again. This is related to keeping your budget low and being able to put money where it counts. Rehearsing is one area that can keep the number of takes to a minimum.

Fourth, start looking for a distributor or sales agent before you start to film. If you have not talked with a distributor before you start your film do so now.

And finally, keep a good paper trail. Many films are never distributed because the producer had hand shake deals with everyone. That may work in school, but in the real world it doesn't work.

These are just a few tips to get you on the road to success as an Independent Producer...In fact this barely scrapes the surface of the process. For more info email me with questions. Check out the resource box below.

Bob Willems is an Independent Film Producer and Director and President of Champion Entertainment Inc. ( http://www.championentertainment.com/ ) a film production and distribution sales agency company with offices in Houston and Los Angeles.
Through Bob's many contacts, he advises filmmakers throughout the world on getting their project completed and distributed through the proper outlets. You can email Bob questions info@championentetainment.com. Bob will personally answer every email he receives and is constantly looking for co-production projects and unique scripts to get produced. Visit his IMDB page at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0929721/

Original article

Non-Linear Texts Versus the Notion of Authorship - The Demise of the Auteur?

A narrative is a story structured to impart a series of fictional or non-fictional events, often designed with a clear start, middle, and end. Non-linear narrative adheres to the same definition, but not necessarily in stated order. It can be presented in a number of ways: A shuffled narrative, like Memento (Nolan, 2000). Memento has been described as being linear, only backwards, but not only is the film constructed as a series of forward-running scenes presented in reverse order, it is intercut with a series of black and white scenes presented in chronological order that together form a prologue; flashbacks: a device again used by Memento, but was most famously employed in the pioneering Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941); and, a hypertext novel can decentralise its structure such that one story can turn into another - portmanteau-style - as seen in These Waves of Girls (Fisher, 2001), where the story and perspective switch between that of a four-year-old girl, a ten-year-old girl, and a twenty-year-old girl - out of chronological order - depending on which hyperlinks are selected. Each hyperlink provides little or no clue as to when or who it is going to lead.

The term auteur came to prominence during the French cinematic New Wave - or Nouvelle Vague - movement, which was spearheaded by such critically influential figures as Andre Bazin, Jean-Luc Goddard, Eric Rohmer, and Francois Truffaut. These men were a collective of University drop-outs and autodidacts who came together under the forum of the renowned film critique publication Cahiers du Cinema during the Fifties. They were concerned more with counter-culture than the musicals and war films of the American mainstream. It was in 1959, when Truffaut's first film Les Quatre Cent Coups (The 400 Blows) won him the coveted Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival, that the talents of the Nouvelle Vague gained recognition. Despite the directors' assertions that they were each making such intensely personal films that they did not consider themselves as belonging to a movement, the critics pushed their collective names to the forefront as Zeitgeist-capturing icons; a symbol of France's rejuvenation after the trials of the Second World War. Goddard made A Bout De Souffle (1959); the same year Rohmer directed Le Signe du Lion; Truffaut's sophomore effort was Jules et Jim (1961). In spite of their differences, this movement - including a number of other French films made during the Sixties - sparked a cultural revolution, changing not only how films were made but perceived by giving cinema a distinct cultural and social significance.

Although the main tenet of the Nouvelle Vague was that the filmmakers worked without constraints, if there was one rule - albeit unspoken - was that their films were based on original material, and not adaptations of existing works. The logic behind it was their desire to reaffirm the director's role as that of an auteur; to make their films signature pieces, at odds with the Hollywood studio style of filmmaking, which was based around compromise, collaboration, and committee. This was the approach particularly favoured by Truffaut, which led to aspersions being cast upon his artistic integrity after not only moving to work in Hollywood, but directing an adaptation of Ray Bradbury's novel, Fahrenheit 451 (1966). This was unfair, however, as the Nouvelle Vague and Cahiers du Cinema had long championed the work of directors Howard Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock - who they perceived as artists rather than hacks - despite both working under the confines of the Hollywood system. It could be said that the Nouvelle Vague and its personal centricity were designed to be in direct opposition to the polished, anaemic American culture of filmmaking, which was smothering the French cinematic identity with its cultural imperialism.

Roland Barthes argues against the auteur's existence, or at least the need for one. He believes that the auteur's presence detracts from the reader's engagement with the piece, or, as he phrases it:

"To give a text an Author is to impose a limit on that text, to furnish it with a final signified, to close the writing"

(1977, p147)

It is the reading of the text, not the writing, that brings meaning to it, Barthes suggests. If this is so, then non-linearity would surely elevate the reader above the author/auteur, as the format allows a broader level of interpretation over a linear structure. It is therefore reasonable to conjecture that hypertext narrative supplies Barthes with the paradigm that proves his theories: it is the reader that navigates the text as there is no 'director' dictating the order in which the piece should be viewed. But, if Barthes' theory is true, does non-linear narrative - and its increasing popularity - threaten the integrity of the auteur?

"Storytelling and narrative lie at the heart of all successful communication. Crude, explicit, button-pushing interaction breaks the spell of engagement and makes it hard to present complex information that unfolds in careful sequence"

(Whitby, 1993)

Here, Whitby suggests that hypertext fiction fails to express itself to the reader by failing to allow them to be immersed within the text; that as clicking on hypertext links requires - on some level - thought and reason, it distracts from the text itself communicating with the reader. This seems a technophobic view, as the same could be argued of turning the page of a book. Page-turning may be something that becomes habitual to the point of reflex, but is that not because it is so culturally ingrained? Is the act of clicking on a hyperlink overwhelming enough to spoil a text? Maybe after five-thousand years of the hypertext novel this idea will become moot.

Although hypertext fiction does not entirely compromise authorship, it does place far more importance on the reader as it necessary for them to decide which narrative path they wish to choose; the reader is given an element of control, but only within the parameters set by the author. Whitby would surely argue that although this statement is true, the more hyperlinks there are to choose from the more the narrative would befuddle the reader and erode their immersion in the story; that the hyperlinks draw the reader's attention to the fact that they are viewing a series of records rather than experiencing a story. In the case of These Waves of Girls, this is most certainly false; the links actually increase the reader's level of engagement with the narrative. The stories of the four-year old, the ten-year-old, and the twenty year old girls appear to merge randomly - and it is left open to interpretation whether these three perspectives belong to the same person at different stages during her life - which encourages the reader to place them within a context; it challenges the reader to consider the text. Whitby, in order to support his argument, would rather a mindless text, surely?

Barthes belief is that a text - either literary or cinematic - does not exist as a narrative until it has been experienced. Therefore, the author's existence - auteur or no - is directly affected by the extent of the reader's engagement with the work. If it is the audience's perception that determines the position and integrity of the auteur, does that mean that the author "lives or dies" dependent on that degree of audience engagement? If a novel is skimmed through leisurely by a reader, does that allow the author to breathe for another day? Barthes theory on the death of the author is so rigid that it allows no middle ground. He makes such sweeping statements as:

"The reader is the space on which all the quotations that make up a writing are inscribed without any of them being lost; a text's unity lies not in its origin but its destination." (p189, 1977)

Which suggests that the author's personal biases do not impact upon the reader. But of course, they do. He may counter that the reader is not just a receptacle for the text, but is also an interpreter, and it is the interpretation that enlivens the text. This not only assumes that the reader is of uniform identity - that this 'reader' entity is stimulated unilaterally without exception - but that the reader's bias resists and nullifies the author's bias. This fails to acknowledge that the text would not exist without author bias: without it, there would be nothing for the reader to engage with. The author/reader relationship is symbiotic rather than parasitic.

If the auteur ideal is that of striving towards a state of textual omnipotence - imparting knowledge as an Oracle - the hypertext is its zenith; it reinvents the auteur for the Twenty-First Century. Just as the cinematic auteurs, such as Brian de Palma, used split-screen in the Seventies (see: Phantom of the Paradise (1974) and Carrie (1976)), new literary auteurs are taking advantage of new technology to expand their creative vocabulary.

Auteurism in film represents an ideal based on artistic integrity and creative freedom. The critics-cum-directors of Cahiers du Cinema and the Nouvelle Vague understood that intelligent, challenging film could be made under the constraints of the commercial film industry. Non-linear narrative is a complex and challenging literary device and so would undoubtedly provide another means of expression to the author, and not dilute or bypass the intent, despite Barthes' claim. Barthes argues against authorship and the developments in non-linear narrative - especially hypertext works, in which the reader is able to influence the order and structure of the narrative - seem to reinforce his theory. His theory, though, must be appraised in relation to the author's intent.

A text is presented to the reader in whichever format the author desires; with whatever freedoms or restriction they allow. No matter how liberated the reader is to select which link they follow next, they are still adhering to the rules that the author has set; no matter which order the narrative is followed, the reader is still following a preprepared path, but instead of singular it is just one of many. It is that way by the author's design; it is the author's gift to us. Caitlin Fisher has granted the reader of These Waves of Girls a narrative map without direction; we are free to explore its textual universe with her blessing. But she has determined where each hyperlink is placed within the text, and where it leads to. Without the author to grant it, this would not be possible. We cannot stray beyond the author's plan - the narrative milieu - so its integrity remains intact. This is authorship.


Barthes, R (1977) Image - Music - Text, translated by S. Heath, New York: Hill and Wang

Whitby, M. (1993) Is Interactive Dead? Wired Magazine

Fisher, C. (2001) These Waves of Girls

Original article

Why I Like Watching Movies

Stress from work and from having a busy lifestyle could really be exhausting for me. When I feel so tired, I just want to take my mind off work and glaring deadlines. I relax by watching movies from my favorite top Hollywood producers like Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Walter Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer. Walter Disney is a known filmmaker and is a favorite among the children due to the great Disney movies like "Bambi", "Dumbo", and "Cinderella". Watching these movies, would help me to unwind and get in touch with the "inner child" in me to help me smile despite having a very tiring day. Being in touch with the "inner child" in me is a big help when I need to get those creative juices flowing for my kind of work.

Watching movies for me is like escaping into another world where there are no worries and no troubles. It's like being transported into a whole new world where only excitement and mystery exists. Another film producer that had me hooked in watching movies is Steven Spielberg because he knows how to connect with his audiences. The movies "E.T." and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" made me rethink on how I see the world. Movies like these helped me to broaden my horizon and really get my imagination going. You see, I am one who believes that imagination is one of the key ingredients for success.

I also like watching the Sci-Fi movies by the great filmmaker George Lucas because this man really has visions. He was the executive producer for the "Star Wars" saga and the raiders of the "Lost Ark". The "Star War Trilogy" did not disappoint me; it was packed with action, heartwarming scenes, a great story and it allowed me a peek into the great beyond where anything could happen.

Have you ever seen movies by the producer Jerry Bruckheimer like "Top Gun" and "Con Air"? I fell in love with these movies not only because of the very handsome leading men which were Tom Cruise and Nicolas Cage but also because they were made and conceptualized well.
There are many promising young filmmakers today but they still need refinement and polishing with their skills although I am pretty sure they would be considered as top producers in Hollywood someday. Since they are still new to the industry, they still need to work on how to move the emotions and tickle the fancy of the moviegoers.

Aside from all these wonderful and positive things that I can get out of watching movies, it is also a very inexpensive way to relax. If you compare watching movies with some other hobbies like going to the spas and malls, it's really a budget saver. I could just buy or rent DVD tapes, make popcorn and call my friends to have some great time. For me movies are the best, it can make my cry, laugh and it can even make me fall in love.

Original article

5 Movies With Film Locations in Portugal

Portugal is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for film productions with a wide variety of locations of every description. But there haven't been very many major movies so far that feature locations in Portugal, so we've dug into the archives to search out a few that you may remember.

If 007 visits you can be sure it will be remembered. On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) is one movie that puts Portugal on the map, even though with George Lazenby as 007 it was perhaps one of the least popular of the old Bond movies. The movie kicks off on Guincho beach near Cascais west of Lisbon with Bond rescuing Tracy di Vicenzo, mobster's daughter, from the sea. We see plenty more scenes of Portugal including the dramatic 25 de Abril suspension bridge in Lisbon and the glamorous Palacio Estoril Hotel where Bond stays. Much of the rest of the drama shifts to Switzerland, but these scenic landscapes of Portugal are still memorable today.

Bond's more enduring face, that of Sean Connery, visits Lisbon in another role and another era. The Russia House (1990) is a spy thriller based on a Le Carre novel and the film stars Michelle Pfeiffer as well as Sean Connery. While most of the movie is set in Russia, (and filmed on location there, a first for western films at the end of the Cold War era) Barley, Sean Connery's heavy drinking publisher character has a home in Lisbon where he takes refuge in the middle and at the end of the movie, as he waits for the girl to join him after her escape from Russia.

The House of Spirits (1993) has an all-star cast with Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Winona Ryder, Antonio Banderas, and Vanessa Redgrave in a supporting role. The movie is set in Chile, based on the novel by Isabel Allende, but was filmed on location in Portugal and on set in Denmark. The rural Alentejo region in the South of Portugal with its rolling hills, mountains and hot dry summers doubles for Chile, and Lisbon provides some of the city backdrop to the drama.

Contemporary thriller, The Ninth Gate (1999) by Roman Polanski stars Johnny Depp as a rare book dealer seeking out a supernatural demon text. In the course of his travels around Europe through France and Spain, to track down the authentic copy of the book for his client, he visits Sintra in Portugal. It's a picturesque area of Portugal just outside Lisbon with plenty of atmospheric hilltop palaces and castles. Depp visits Chalet Biester with its turreted outline tucked into lush green woodland exuding mystery.

The Lisbon Story (1994) was never a big box office draw, but being produced by Wim Wenders it has a certain appeal to movie buffs. Set in and around Lisbon it was originally commissioned as a promotional documentary by the city until Wim Wenders added a story line and some fictional characters to turn it into a full length movie. Of all these movies it is the one that probably shows the most representative views of the Lisbon itself, though the others have bucket loads more glamour!

Keep looking out for modern movies with locations in Portugal, as it's sure to feature more and more on the film production companies' lists of desirable destinations.

Prinz Productions offers premier stills and film production services based in Cape Town, South Africa and Lisbon, Portugal. Browse through their locations Portugal galleries for more inspiration.

Original article

Too Erotic for America - Too Discerning for the Nazis

The late 19th century was a time of widespread experimentation in new fields like electrical engineering and photography. The recent discovery of moving pictures was no exception.

Viewers were fascinated by this new medium of entertainment. By the early 20th century, audiences were growing rapidly. To meet the demand, silent films were produced based on many different themes and famous plays.

Denmark's Rising Silent Film Star

In Denmark, one rising star was gaining more and more recognition after her debut film: The Abyss was released in 1910. After several years of stage acting, Asta Nielsen's success in this early movie encouraged her to continue making silent films. When it became apparent that her talent was not understood by the Danish film industry, she moved with her husband, director Urban Gad, to Germany. Here she became known as "Die Asta" by her German fans.

In 1911 Asta Nielsen was voted the world's top female movie star and was soon the highest paid film star in the world. In 1915 she visited New York to study American film techniques. But Nielsen's films were heavily censored in the United States because of their erotic nature, and her work remained relatively unknown to American audiences.

A Harsh, Late 19th Century Childhood

Born in Copenhagen in 1881, Asta Nielsen was the daughter of a blacksmith and washer­woman. Their earnings were often very meager. Her father struggled with unemployment, and died when Asta was fourteen. Living under such harsh conditions, must have impressed on her at an early age, how hard a struggle life could be.

So much exposure to hardship and tragedy in her own life, was perhaps the reason she sought a life in the theater. At eighteen, Asta was accepted as an acting student at the Royal Danish Theatre School.

A year before her graduation in 1902, she gave birth to a daughter. Her mother and sister helped her raise the child, while she continued with her acting studies.

Finding Her Way into Films

After graduation Asta Nielsen worked for several years on stages in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. But acting live, on stage, was to her disadvantage because of her deep and uneven voice. As a stage actress, she was not at her best. However, once she had a chance to perform in films, her riveting, physical attraction brought her remarkable reviews.

Thus, her dramatic genius was clearly destined for the genre of the silent film.

A Powerful Acting Styles all Her Own

Asta Nielsen's greatness as an actress lies in her natural performing style. She could play characters in varying psychological states. Portraying women from various social strata without resorting to exaggerated dramatization was also a unique talent she possessed.

As one of Germany's most loved and appreciated film stars, "Die Asta" continued working in Germany until sound movies became popular. She made one feature movie with sound, but could not adapt her voice to the genre and retired from the screen. From then on she only worked on the stage.

Turning Down Even Greater Fame and Wealth

In 1936, Joseph Goebbels wanted to set her up in her own film studio, but she was not interested in promoting Nazi Germany and moved back to Denmark. This speaks highly of Asta Nielsen's personal integrity and values. Unlike her Swedish colleagues in Berlin, she must have sensed the extent of the atrocities that Nazism was capable of and wanted no part in it.

Once WWII broke out, Asta Nielsen's greatness took on a new form. Her understanding of human suffering, and deep compassion for others in need, led her to send money to a young Dane (Allan Hagedorff) living in Germany, who used it to assist Jews. Because of her support, Hagedorff could send so many food parcels to Theresienstadt's concentration camp that he was warned by the Gestapo.

A Unique, Personal Archive of Acting History

Asta Nielsen died in 1972, but fortunately she had saved much of her correspondence, newspaper articles and photos. This extensive material has recently been donated to Lund University in Sweden. Film researchers and other historians now have access to an invaluable personal archive. The intimate writings and images of this archive, can reveal an even greater under­standing of this early 20th century film idol's life, the pathos in her art, and the complex historical times she lived in.

Janet Boynton Runeson

March, 2012

Lund, Sweden

About the Author: Janet Boynton Runeson is a freelance web copywriter and director of Entrepreneurial Copy. She specializes in cultural awareness.

Original article

How to Properly Budget a Film - Some Expenses Most First-Time Directors Forget

Directing your first movie is always a fantastically challenging experience. The process of getting your first movie onto the big screen can end in tears if you fall foul of the producer and the budget and schedule.

A budget is a simple list of all the stuff and people you need and the amount of money required to pay for it. A schedule is a list of the dates and times you need the stuff. Both are incredibly tedious to produce, but without a budget and schedule, it's very difficult to make your film.

Even with a no-budget film, you will still need a list of the stuff and people you need, and a schedule of when and where you need everything to show up.

Messing up the budget really impacts on the film.

Here is a handy list of items that cost money, and can easily spiral out of control if you aren't careful. Most of these pitfalls are from lack of forward planning.

1. The Development Budget

When a film gets into production, the story rights need to be acquired and paid for. At this point, the producer controlling the script rights totals up all the money spent to date and presents an invoice so the production team can recoup the money they have paid, plus a profit.

Expenses include travel, accommodation and entertainment at places like Cannes Film Festival, location scouting, casting agents fees and that weird one: "Office Overhead." Plus of course option fees paid the writer to date, insurance, banking and legal fees.

This can easily get out of hand, and when the final production budget is in the bank minus the development costs, directors can have a nasty surprise. Directors may have no alternative other than cutting pages out of the script.

I know two different writer/directors who found that over 10% of their production budget was gobbled up by extras added to the development budget.

Make sure you keep on top of the development budget.

2. The DoP

Choosing the right Director of Photography (or not) will really impact on your budget.

Some DoPs will literally take over the directing for you, blocking out the scenes in the rush to get the shots completed before wrap. This can lead to a war between the DoP and the director. Such conflict can ruin the morale on the set and make the shoot next to unbearable. But at least the film will get shot in this scenario.

Other DoPs are so eager to please they fall over backwards at each of the director's whims without the benefit of courteous but professional criticism. The resulting shoot meanders and can quickly fall day after expensive day behind schedule. (see #10 below)

3. Location Location Location

Every time you move from one location to the next the cost rockets. Hence the typically low-to-no budget shoots in a single location movie like Paranormal Activity. If you desperately need a second location look out for the two-for-one, i.e. the front of a house can pose as one location and the rear garden as a completely different one.

4. Casting Agent

There are two factors here:

Firstly a skilled casting agent can save you a fortune, which is good.

Secondly too often directors fantasise about cast until it's too late, and then hire a casting agent to get them out of jail to no avail. Money is flushed down the drain.

5. Let's Fix It In Post

Every time I hear a director say, "We'll fix that shot in post," I cringe. I've worked on 68 features and over 700 commercials. Every time the director made that choice on a set, heads would roll a few days into post-production where the budget would start to rocket.

A director who thinks some sort of post-production miracle can save sloppy location shooting is lazy and ultimately a very expensive director.

6. Music

Including uncleared music in a movie is probably the single most costly mistake a filmmaker can make. Over the past 20 years I have had so many bad experiences with festival films that had to be pulled last minute because the filmmaker lied about whether the music was cleared or not. We even had one case where sales agents were nosing around a movie because it had an expensive song like "The Girl from Ipanema" in it (uncleared). Needless to say that movie didn't sell.

7. Catering

This is such a no-brainer you probably are wondering why it's even on this list. Problem is, no one ever considers the cost of the chilli and beans Aunt Emma is going to cook, nor the cost of cutlery and plates. Before long you have blown a good chunk of your budget, and have to decide whether or not your entire cast and crew can service the next 3 weeks on nothing but white rice, or cut a special shot to save the catering budget.

I once spent 2 1/2 weeks on white rice and I can tell you - it was a thoroughly unpleasant experience.

8. Insurance

If I had a buck for every time we get late afternoon panic calls form filmmakers desperate for a magic insurance telephone number I'd retire to the south of France.

No one ever thinks about insurance in time to budget for it properly. And you almost always need it at some point in the process.

9 Transport

I am sure your producer has allocated for car and van rental with the necessary fuel charges, taxes and tolls. But what of the petrol or taxi charges added to invoices of cast and crew? I had such a situation last week where I agreed to the fee but when the invoice arrived it included a whopper taxi bill. When queried, I was asked how else the equipment was going to get there.

10 Shooting Ratio

In the good old days of celluloid was all about the shooting ratio. Because film stock and processing was so expensive, producers, directors and DoPs kept an eagle eye on the ratio between consumed footage and the final film. Most indie films were shot on a ration between 5:1 and 10:1. Ie: 5:1 ratio means that 5 minutes worth of film stock was used to cover each minute of screen time.

In the digital age, image capture and storage is so cheap that some directors shoot over and over - as much as 100:1. Can you imagine the challenges of editing 100 hours of footage into a completed one hour film?

High shooting ratios aren't clever, necessarily. But they sure are expensive.

Fade Out

Are you having trouble shooting on a budget? Would you like to learn how to get your script onto screen with a limited budget?

Get a couple of mates. Get an idea and write them down in bullet points. Grab your cell phone and shoot it. edit it. Review your work. And do it again.

You will get better at film directing quickly.

Elliot Grove founded Raindance Film Festival in 1993, the British Independent Film Awards in 1998, and Raindance.TV in 2007.

He has produced over 150 short films, and 5 feature films. He has written eight scripts, one of which is currently in pre-production. His first feature film, TABLE 5 was shot on 35mm and completed for a total of $278.38. He teaches writers and producers in the UK, Europe. Japan and America.

He has written three books which have become industry standards: RAINDANCE WRITERS LAB 2nd Edition (Focal Press 2008), RAINDANCE PRODUCERS LAB (Focal Press 2004) and 130 PROJECTS TO GET YOU INTO FILMMAKING (Barrons 2009). His first novel THE BANDIT QUEEN is scheduled for publication next year.

Open University awarded Elliot and Honorary Doctorate for services to film education in 2009.


Original article

How to Make a Film Practically for Free!

So you're a filmmaker in the making, but don't have the funds to do your first film. You have a script and a basic idea on how to make a movie. Brilliant! You sit down and put together the budget you will need to complete this film from soup to nuts. Then you have a breakdown upon seeing all the money required and decide you should have become a lawyer instead. You could go the route of fund raising; applying for grants, saving your pennies, but this can take up a lot of time with potentially little to no success.

No one wants to hear that you are an aspiring Filmmaker. The fruits of your labor are your calling card and you need to churn them out sooner than later. One option is to attempt to make a film for free-ish. This is a challenge, but not impossible as I have done this myself.

First of all, decide if you are making a short film or feature length film. This is important. You can do this with any length of film. It used to be, that a short film was more of a calling card that rarely had the potential to earn money. Feature films could win awards the same as a short in festivals, but use too have a greater possibility of being considered as a candidate for distribution. Times have changed due to many Internet sites like Spike TV, YouTube and such. It seems, short is the new long, so go with a short film if at all possible. It's easier and potentially more valuable in the end.

Getting the word out about you and your film should start early in the game. Publicity was always important, but now it is more so than before. In our internet-connected world, word of mouth has returned as one of the most important ways to advertise, with the likes of social mediums such as Twitter. People will want to hear the story behind the story. Often it's important to help gain an audience that will be invested in your journey and therefore, curious to see the final product.

The first thing you'll want to do is go ahead and make that budget. Try to bypass the breakdown though. The approach I recommend is to put up a simple fundraising campaign anyway while you organize pre-production. First you want to get fiscally sponsored so that if you are lucky enough to get donations, they will be tax deductible. This is very attractive to people who may think of tossing a quarter into your pot. I recommend FracturedAtlas.org because they make the application process easy. Basically, you apply and pay a monthly membership fee and Voila you have a Fiscal Sponsor. Next go to a fundraising site such as IndieGoGo.com and put your campaign on their site and connect it with Fractured Atlas.

Set up a Facebook page so people can follow the progress of the film. People want to feel that you are exhausting your every moment and resource trying to make your film happen. If you re silent for a month at a time, they will think nothing is happening. You need to make them feel that the project is progressing even during the times you have to pay attention to your day job. A sentence a day can make a world of difference. It can be about any aspect of your filmmaking journey on this project. Including your frustration of having interrupted your flow with other obligations in your life. If the project is on your mind, it should be on your followers mind.

Make sure you post your campaign link out on all your social networking sites and mailing lists. Two things will be accomplished: Publicity for your film and potential donations. Make sure you stress that they can donate as little as a dollar.

Now after that move forward, make your film anyway. If you get some money great, but if you don't your project is still forward motion. Look at the amount of time you calculated for pre-production, production and post-production. Now, whatever the length of time, multiply that by 5. The "Monkey Wrench Fairy" will throw a lot of stuff your way during every step of the journey. Don't fret; this is just the Universe's way of testing your dedication to your craft. By the way, when you calculate a budget, make sure there is a column titled: "Monkey Wrenches".

Putting together your team can be tricky when you are not offering money. When writing ads looking for crew, remember people always do projects to get something in return. This is not a bad thing. You are making your film to get something in return. It could be for money or just the experience, but everybody wants something. So make the ad sound valuable, enticing and friendly. You don't need to give away your film plot, but put aspects of the film that could be good for someone's demo reel.

For example, if the film has action scenes or special effects, you want to mention that this film will have these types of scenes that are great reel material! At the end of your ad make sure to list the 'Compensation': "Credit and DVD of Film". This can be good enough. See what bites you get. If you don't get many or any responses, you may have to pad the compensation with barter as well. Don't do this at first, because you don't want to fall into a situation where you owe more time than you can give to multiple people. Follow through is super important, so make sure what you offer in return can be done, even if it's later than sooner. Most people want 1] experience, 2] credit and 3] super important: footage.

You will end up doing some bartering which is actually a good thing in the end. When you offer bartering, mention your skill-set. You have to decide which skills to offer and why. You can offer services that you are adept at and would be able to return the favor at a fast pace. Or, you could offer a skill you would like to develop more, or get demo reel material in return for. Bartering can be a great one hand washing the other experience.

• Casting is the same approach: offer credit and a copy of the film. There are tons of actors who are looking for projects. The most important end result for them is the footage. Often, they experience a lot of Directors who never give them a copy of the film. So, make sure that no matter what, they end up with a copy of the film. If the project tanks and never gets finished, you must still give them their scenes, as those will still be reel material for both of you. Above all your, reputation is important! You don't want to be known as a promise breaker.

A few time savers in the casting process are to look at actor reels and see if they can act in the first place. Although, I must say not every reel does an actor justice. I personally didn't like viewing them because it was more important to see what they could bring to my project. There are many factors that can lead to a not-so-good performance. If you can see people in person, it's better all the way round. Time and experience has helped me to see the real abilities behind a bad performance. If you are just starting out, viewing a reel in advance is possibly a better time/money saver.

Make your project non-union so that you can avoid a lot of complications and expenses. Make sure this status is known in the casting call so you don't have a ton of union actors showing up who otherwise would not have. If Union actors decide to come to your non-union audition and fit a part, you will want to ask them if they have a non-union name to use for your production. There are many actors hampered by their union status, because Union jobs are not always plentiful. Make sure you are both on the same page if you decide to do a call back or cast them.

If you can hold casting somewhere for free that would be the goal. It is not unusual to do casting out of a church basement, apartment or house. Just make sure that you make the actor feels comfortable about the situation. There should ideally be at least one woman on your casting crew and she should greet people as they arrive. Everyone should conduct himself or herself professionally. No beer bottles lying about and off color humor allowed. You want people to take your production seriously and feel safe.

You've got your cast and you're ready to make a movie! Weather can impede a shoot even if your production is all indoors. You might still want to consider shooting during seasons known for nice weather. People can be delayed due to inclement weather or bad weather may decide to crash your outdoor scene. May through October is usually ideal in most of America. Southern states July and August can be a bit overwhelming due to the heat and there could be more power outages due to everybody's air conditioner running. Typically cold; snowy or rainy seasons will cause potential complications too. You have to weigh out your needs, but now worry if you can't have the perfect scenario.

Where are we shooting? Believe it or not, you can get locations for free. State film commissions often have a locations department and some can be very helpful to you. For example, the state of New Jersey encourages filmmakers to use the state as your canvas. Their locations department has lists of places used as film sets and will pass this info along to you for free. The location costs range from big time budget down to free! There are other benefits including 20 percent tax credit program and a waiver of Sales and Use taxes. Make sure to check nearby states and their benefits to your project.

• When it comes to insurance, many filmmakers take the risk of not using it on their project. I'm not saying this is a good idea because it is very risky. But if you go this route you have to make sure all your cast and crew have a waiver clause in their release form so they cannot sue you. Then in turn, you have to think what risks there are for shooting. If you are taking the no insurance risk, you would want to avoid scenes using fire, stunts, weapons, animals, etc. I was once on a shoot in the woods where we discovered there was a high tick population. Quite a few people were bitten and gave their hospital bills to the Director. These things can happen so you have to figure out how to make the safest situation for both you and those working with you.

• Lights, cameras, equipment oh my! When weighing out what is the most important part of the whole process, one could argue that the camera is that part. It is best that you shoot any project in HD so you are not limited if opportunity rings. SD [Standard Definition] is now an old school format that no longer meets broadcast standards. Even the Internet is using HD. The good news is it's easier to get an HD camera; even the cheapest one looks good. Each camera has their own look in some cases, but since you are trying to go as cheap as possible you may have to go with what you can get. Ideally, you want to get DP's who have their own camera if you don't already own your own.

You also require the rest of the necessary equipment so you don't have a dark, silent movie unless of course, that's what you're going for. Make a checklist of equipment required for a shoot: Camera, lights, boom pole, microphone, gels, etc. Schools will often lend you equipment for your projects even for up to a year after you've graduated. If you belong to an actors' union, they have recourses for borrowing as well. Put ads out looking to borrow what you need. It is hard to find a DP who has their own equipment, but they exist. Mention this in your ad. Also, people will do things in return for being "an extra" in your film. Just think outside the box for every aspect.

Just remember though, the most important factor is that you have good content and great performances.

• Food is a very important aspect of production. If the engines of your cast and crew are not fed, they won't run. This may be an area you need to spend money on. You don't have to provide elaborate spreads, but food is important. Put ads out on Craigslist, Mandy.com and ShootingPeople.org and see if you are lucky enough to find a culinary student looking for a catering credit. They may have connections to donated food. You can even ask Mom and Pop deli's if they are willing to donate a lunch for the set in exchange for being listed in the credits and/or on the film website. Often things like Chinese food; pizza; rice and beans can be cheap and feed a lot of people. Try to avoid individual meals as they can add up. Also, make sure you are dishing out the food as people bring up their plates so one person doesn't serve themselves a portion for 12. People can come back for seconds once everyone has had their fair share.

• Let's put all the pieces together! First of all, I strongly recommend you learn to edit. This is a skill that will help you on so many levels especially during your first few films. It will save you a lot of money and help you to think ahead while shooting. Post-production should, in a way start during production. Get editing interns to jump on board and organize footage; do rough edits of scenes, etc. This will help you see if things are working or even missing and it's also a good way to audition editors to help finalize the film if you cannot. Just make sure you set up how YOU want things labeled and organized and always have the work done at your place. Important: don't let footage leave your place. You need to use a system that works for you because if you have to take over at any moment, you don't need to play detective with your post project.

• Your film is done and now we come back to publicity! Keep building a mailing list starting with everyone involved with the film in anyway. If you plan to have a screening, this is where you want to hand out those DVD's of the film that you owe your cast and crew. Encourage everybody to give your project a shout out to people they know. Always make them feel like it's our film and they will spread the word.

The bottom line for anything you want to do in life is to just go for it. It will take a village to accomplish a film, but it will never happen if you don't get the ball rolling. The road will be bumpy with many obstacles. Treat each one as a challenge you plan to conquer somehow, some way. Your film may not be how your vision started out, but that's ok. That's what filmmaking is about: figuring it out and making it happen!

Original article

Skipping Class: Actors That Made It Without Formal Schooling

Education is a sure way of improving the chances of having a bright future. School is a huge part of most children's lives, and hopefully, their school environment is positive and encouraging. Unfortunately, the level of education is not the same in all parts of the world. Politicians and humanitarians work hard to try to ensure the proper education of all, but sadly, there is no guarantee. It is never suggested that a child drop out of school, but there are some stories of success in Hollywood. Some of these actors have made the most of their lives without even a high school diploma. It is possible to have a successful career without dropping out, but these actors had a passion so strong attending class everyday just didn't suffice.

John Christopher Depp was born on June 9th 1963 in Kentucky. Depp had a strong interest in music and started a garage band called "The Kids". At only 15 years old Depp dropped out of high school to pursue music full-time. His dream of becoming a rock musician overshadowed his interest in his studied. After visiting Los Angeles, California, and meeting actor Nicholas Cage, he decided to start acting. Depp's film debut in the 1984 film "A Nightmare on Elm Street" was an amazing start, and since then he has been a principal character in over 50 film productions. For Depp, music may not have been his true calling, but luckily for us, he became an actor.

Quentin Jerome Tarantino was born on March 27th 1963 in Tennessee. Tarantino's father, Tony Tarantino, was an actor and musician that strongly influenced his son. While attending his first year of high school, Tarantino made a life changing decision to become an actor. He dropped out at 15 years old to attend James Best Theater Company. There, Tarantino was able to learn the art of film production, and became a director of film. His first film "Reservoir Dogs" was an immediate hit at the Sundance Film Festival, and since then he has directed and produced six blockbuster films. Although he never completed his formal education, Tarantino's IQ has been documented at a 160, which is about the level of the average college graduate.

Nicole Mary Kidman was born on June 20th, 1967 in Hawaii. Kidman was brought up by two very well-educated parents. Her father is a doctor, biochemist and psychologist, her mother is a nurse, instructor and medical text editor. At three years old, Kidman began studying ballet, and went on to study at the Australian Theatre for Young People. She was also a regular at the Philip Street Theatre, and there she was encouraged to study acting full-time and dropped out of school at 16 years old.

John Joseph Travolta was born on February 18th, 1954 in New Jersey. Travolta began attending Dwight Morrow High School, but dropped out at 16 to move to New York City. He believed living in NYC would help him get his career started, and he was right. There he landed a role in a musical touring company performing Grease, since then he has appeared as a principal role in over 60 films.

For more information on the entertainment industry please visit the InterFACE Talent blog. http://www.interfacetalent.com/

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Use of Subtitles in Today's Video Production

Video production throughout the globe has seen a lot of advancements in the past few decades. Classic works have emerged in almost all national and local languages. Good works can be seen in all versions of video such as TV programs, advertisements and movies. The knowledge that quality video production is happening all around the world created an urge in video viewers to start appreciating productions other than the ones in their language. This trend has been made possible mainly due to one technology that permits a viewer to understand any movie irrespective of the language in which it is made, the technology of subtitling. Subtitling is the process of displaying the conversations in every scene in written form when that scene is happening. These writings are called subtitles and are provided towards the bottom of the frame so that they do not disturb the clear viewing of the scene. The language in which the subtitles are provided is decided according to the targeted viewers of the video. With the globalization of visual media industry, subtitling is one among the most common processes in contemporary video production. Subtitles in almost every language are being made these days. Subtitling the movies in different national and local languages with writings widely used languages such as English, French, and Chinese etc is very popular at present. Among the videos being subtitled with selected languages, giving English subtitles to French movies are one among the most demanded services. Understandably the reason for this is the widespread usage of these two languages and the prominence of filmmaking in them. The general subtitling procedure goes through the steps of receiving source video material, checking time code reference on video, importing the video to workstation, setting subtitle style parameters, translating source language to target language, preparing subtitle text, adding timing cues, reviewing subtitles against video and audio, producing preview output tape and deliver subtitle file to transmission.

Among the Indian production houses sought after by the global biggies, SBL comes in the premium class. SBL is a global ISO 9001:2008, ISO 27001:2005 accredited IT and ITES solutions provider with a proven track record of successfully delivering end-to-end IT solutions to Governments and Fortune 1000 companies. SBL Graphics continues to keep winning the race among video production companies by its simple formula of giving the best results at the lowest of prices. Manpower, infrastructure and location being its might, SBL successfully maintains its repute of timely delivery of results that are remarkable and cost efficient.SBL works in implementing the best practices for Data protection in strict conformance with the global standards and cover emerging disciplines of security and privacy. SBL is ISO 27001:2005 certified for Data Security and Data Privacy under its framework. SBL has the best possible infrastructure dedicated lines for tele-conferencing, impregnable firewall protection, fail safe power supply with dedicated transformers, latest software's and 24 hour guarded access with sensor cards. Riding along India's speedy winds of advanced video production culture, SBL is soon expected to be one among the global leaders of this realm.

Among the Indian production houses sought after by the global biggies, SBL comes in the premium class. SBL is a global ISO 9001:2008, ISO 27001:2005 accredited IT and ITES solutions provider with a proven track record of successfully delivering end-to-end IT solutions to Governments and Fortune 1000 companies.


Original article

Simple Tips to Improve Your Nature Filmmaking

With recent advances in technology, the average person now has access to affordable digital equipment that can produce imagery on par with the most stunning commercially produced films. While digital video cameras are capable of capturing beautiful images, users need to know how to use them properly for the best results. While anybody can point a camera at a nature scene to capture great footage, nature filmmaking is not always that simple. The best filmmakers have great equipment, but they also know how to film nature so that the footage turns out spectacular more often than not. Not everyone was born with filmmaking talent, but there are some things that you can do to improve your nature filmmaking.

Perhaps the most important attribute of a skilled nature filmmaker is patience. Filmmaking in the natural world is much like hunting. Hunters are known to sit quietly and patiently in one spot for hours at a time in order to capture their quarry. Filmmakers should be prepared to do the same thing. The great thing about shooting in the digital format is that you do not need to be concerned about preserving film. As long as you have hard drive or SD card space, you can keep the camera rolling while you wait for something magical to happen. However, you do not want to spend more time than necessary editing, so try to run the camera judiciously. If you find a great location known for the presence of wildlife, you might spend a fruitless day in the woods waiting for something to happen, but your patience may also pay off with some exciting footage of wildlife.

Sometimes you simply want to capture a beautiful natural scene in a panoramic video. Panoramic videos are terrific for offering viewers a fully immersive experience. Unfortunately, many amateur nature filmmakers fail to capture panoramas properly. The most common mistake is moving the camera too quickly. While filming, you should always move the camera as slowly as you can, then try to move it even more slowly. While doing this, the lack of speed can seem excruciating, but you will end up with a much steadier shot, and a more organic-looking video of a natural scene.

If you are like many people who have begun a digital filmmaking hobby, you have probably captured some wonderful footage thus far. Thanks to the latest technology, even amateurs are capable of filming professional-looking nature films, but there is always room for improvement. If you are serious about improving your nature filmmaking, you should remember to be patient and work more slowly. Even if you feel like you know how to film nature effectively, these simple tips will improve your work significantly.

The author has spent a lot of time learning about Nature filmmaking and other related topics. Read more about How to film nature at the author's website.

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3 Versatile Film Production Destinations

One of the top requirements for a good film production destination is versatility. A wide variety of very different locations and landscapes gives much more creative scope to a production. It also reduces production costs if one destination can provide a large percentage of the locations needed for a production, saving on travelling time and costs and simplifying logistics.

Here are three countries where there are established and professional film production companies offering an endless supply of versatile locations - South Africa, Portugal and Mauritius.

Locations in South Africa
South Africa has become increasingly popular as a destination for all sorts of film productions, from advertising to full length movies, music videos and stills photography. A large part of its attraction is the sheer range of different locations available, especially around Cape Town, where you can go from lush wine estate, to beach to mountain landscape all within a day's work. The weather is another huge draw card: summer sunshine and clear blue skies for months at a time, when the Northern hemisphere shivers in the grips of winter. South Africa is a year-round film production destination, as the winters are mild in many parts of the country.

Locations in Mauritius
Mauritius is another exceptional location for a film production. Beaches are the first thing that spring to mind, and it is true that there are a huge variety of stunning ones, tropical palms and all, but more than that there are lush green vistas of farmland, mountain wilderness, towering forests, rivers and waterfalls and scenic roads. There are South African production companies that operate here, ensuring the best of professional crews and equipment flown in for each production.

Locations in Portugal
When the South African summer season draws to a close, Portugal takes over, as summer comes to the Northern hemisphere. Lisbon is a vibrant city with plenty of historic streets and squares, and a fascinating mix of old and new. Out of the city there are endless beaches, picturesque farmland, forest and mountain, gleaming modern cafes and charming old ones. Lisbon-based production companies also operate in Madeira and the Azores, adding another wide range of possibilities to the Portugal locations list.

So when choosing a base for your next film production, look first at one of these versatile countries and give yourself the benefit of an endless choice of locations in South Africa, Portugal or Mauritius.

Prinz Productions offers premier stills and film production services based in Cape Town, South Africa and Portugal. Browse through their Locations South Africa and Locations Portugal galleries for more inspiration.

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Extra Work for Extra Pay and Pleasure

Film and television 'extra' work can be both fun and financially rewarding. It is a career that can be embarked upon at any age in your life. No matter what you look like, whether you are young or old, short or tall, fat or thin, all these characteristics make up the backdrop to many of our favourite movies.

Let me tell you about George. His story may inspire you to have a go at this kind of work yourself. George was a relatively successful businessman in his own right. He had built up a couple of small businesses to the point where he did not have to be there all day, or even every day. In other words, at the ripe old age of forty five, George had time on his hands. He had no previous experience in the entertainment industry, although it is fair to say he is a garrulous character. He certainly had not acted since he was at school, when his appearances were limited to third shepherd in the annual nativity play. The reason he chose this kind of work was because it gave him freedom. He could choose when he worked, if he was needed at his business he would not do the other. Make no mistake, he never let anybody down. If he said he would do one or the other he did.

George started out by getting a small A4 folded style brochure printed. Nowadays you can do this on the computer, back then it was not quite so easy. Anyway, this was his form of business card. He had a (professional) head and shoulders picture of himself on the front cover. On the inside he had another full length shot. On the facing page he had all his details. Name, contact details, his measurements, and his clothes and shoe sizes. All this information made it easier for the casting directors to know at a glance if he fitted their criteri for that particular project.

Initially he responded to advertisements in trade publications like the Stage (Variety in the US), and newspapers. Nowadays it is much easier as many internet sites advertise such vacancies. As he started to get work and got chatting to others doing the same job, he got to know of the good agents, and before long he was registered with three or four agencies and getting regular offers of work.

He has been doing this work for fifteen years now, and has fully retired from his businesses. He has appeared alongside some of the biggest names in television and cinema and has even done location work overseas a few times. George has often been seen, in the background walking the streets of Walford, or mowing a lawn, while all the action takes place in the foreground.

We provide the best info about being a movie extra and movie extras. For further details please visit the provided links.

Original article

Shooting a Low Budget Masterpiece

When I was in film school, I always wanted to make an epic film. It never really turned out that way, because of budgetary issues. Film is expensive and in some cases you have to pay actors, pay for transportation, food, and cover expenses for your crew.

With digital video more or less taking over the industry, it's become relatively inexpensive to shoot a low budget film. While many take advantage of the technology to create something that looks hip and slick. Some filmmakers go out of their way to make something campy and that has an obvious, low budget look.

One filmmaker who made notoriously low budget films was Ed Wood. His Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) has often been called the worst film ever made. Actually most of his films are pretty bad, but they're now considered cult classics because of this.

In some cases filmmakers don't intentionally go out of their way to make a film that isn't well received; sometimes is just a weird twist of fate. Many low budget films (or B Movies) of the 1950s were box office flops, yet they've achieved a highly regarded status today because of the clumsiness of the filmmaking. That's not to discourage filmmakers from trying their best, but some directors have capitalized on this trend and made films as an intentional homage to the B Movie genre.

One film in particular that stands out is Black Dynamite (2009) an homage to the Blaxploitation genre. The film actually had a very low budget and was shot on 16mm film to give it a washed out look, usually associated with the films of the early 1970s. The film features intentional 'mistakes' such as boom microphones appearing in shots and actors reading stage directions prior to their lines. Also of note is heavily exaggerated cinematography, including racked focus and jittery use of the zoom lens. The film was a critical success.

Some low budget films have turned out to be critical masterpieces, such as David Lynch's Eraserhead, which took 6 years to film and had a shoe string budget, was critically derided when it was released, yet today it's considered one of his finest films. The same can be said of John Waters' Pink Flamingos (1972), which cost about $10,000 to make and George Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968), which helped reinvent the zombie genre and was produced on a budget of roughly $115,000.

The best way to make this type of film in film school is to study the bad ones. Get a sense of how they managed to stretch their minuscule budgets and especially study their obvious mistakes. Some film schools may not advise you to go this route, yet there is an audience for them. Everyone finds some sort of inspiration, and while these films are enjoyable to watch, you may not want to venture into this realm at first, yet it can be a rewarding exercise to some degree.

These kinds of parodies can be successful in the long run. It's always fun to experiment in film school; some of my classmates ventured into this genre, which were always well received, because we all knew that they were done as more of an homage. Some film schools may not be entirely in favor of these types of films, yet it's one way to learn about filmmaking and may provide an entry into a profitable genre.

Original article

Best Video Production Leaves Unbelievable Impact on Customers

Video production can be categorized in many forms such as TV videos, marketing videos, corporate videos, training videos, etc. Though all videos carry the almost the same message with minor differences and meanings. The main aim behind video companies is to make the clients and customers know about the products, service and companies. But, the with minor differences in all the mentioned videos, the video production companies have to take care about the effectiveness and efficiency that needs to impart in all videos. These can only be acquired if the people behind video productions find latest and advancements equipment and cameras, and have the passion for their work.

The passionate people can offer memorable creativity and uniqueness in the videos. This makes them more entertaining, meaningful and leaves a great impact on the customers by sticking to the memories of customers. Talent and creativity are the skills that can not be taught through books or can be learned from experiences. When the passion stays in heart then the courage for offering significant work portrays in your assignments. The task finds an extra edge when the video production is processed using high definition cameras and advancement equipment or applications in the industry. So talent and technology merge offers unbelievable video that remain unforgettable and effective for many years and sometime for decades.

Today, videos are the best medium to display products, convey messages and woo customers in the industry. Fast and hectic life schedule never allows anyone to read and go through the description provided in a pamphlet, articles or in some written script. Making an entertaining video not only help the viewer to know about the things clients want to share to the customers but also help making the talk of the town. Best entertaining videos makes the family and the professionals talk, discuss and play all the time with it. The product gets promoted to many even when offline.

Therefore, never compromise on the video production by providing contract to less known company in the country. Always look for the client's list provided by the company of the industry. The company with more reputed clients could help you get the best, unique and impactful videos for your business, corporate and advertisement. Such companies will offer flexible budgets that will eliminate all hidden and financial disappointments in the middle of the projects. You will get efficient videos delivered to you on-time within budget by the best video production companies.

To learn more about Web Video Production, feel free to visit: Video Production.

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Popularity of Herschell Gordon Lewis

Herschell Gordon Lewis is basically an American filmmaker, and his films specialize in creating the subgenre of horror. He is more popularly known as the Godfather of Gore. His films ranged in vast array of categories ranging from children films, delinquent films and even nudie cuties. He is also well-known for making a rural comedy. It was with "Prime Time" that he started his first career venture. This was the first ever feature film that was produced in Chicago. Following this, he produced many other films ranging from "Living Venus", "Playboy" and many more. His films are renowned all over the world even today.

There are plenty of books written on this famous film maker and his ideals and principles in life. These books also contain reviews and comments on different films made by the godfather. He combined with the producer David F to produce some of the greatest films in the history of world Cinemas. The movies that they made together were considered to be the early films of exploitation. The nude scenes that were depicted in their films were not seen in the mainstream Hollywood movies then. Even in the early 1960s we find erotic film production by these filmmakers.

However, it was these films that generally marked the beginning of a different approach to filmmaking. It was with Herschell Gordon Lewis that the trend came when respective parties were allowed to continue with the careers of production. These films were made especially with the intension of making a profit. Some of these nudies include "The Adventures of Lucky Pierre" and the "Goldilocks and the Three Bares". Following this, this filmmaker also entered into the phase of uncharted territory. These were considered by the critics as the first ever "gore" film. This was mainly because of the nature of the film for which they could easily cater to the requirements of the public.

However, in the later phases, the filmmaker continued to make many other gore films, but stopped working with David after the production of "Color Me Blood Red". In course of time, when he completed experimenting in different genres of films, he decided to stop film making. Following this, he decided to work as a copywriter and directly as a marketer. On the basis of these subjects, he published many books. However, after few years, in the year 2002, he returned into film direction once again, and thus directed many renowned and reputed films in the Hollywood movie category.

He made some money with a successful advertising firm. Thus, with the money so earned, he funded for his own films. His films are always different from the others in the sense that they were very low-budget films, but he always remained resourceful in the works he produced. Herschell Gordon Lewis also purchased the right to an incomplete film, and completed the film by himself. He re-titled the book as "Monster A Go-Go. He also released a film related to television game in the year 2009. This marks his immense popularity.

If you are interested to know more about Herschell Gordon Lewis, and want to have a look at the latest books produced by him, you can check out the site http://www.worldheadpress.com/.

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How to Succeed at Singing Auditions

There are renown production firms in the world that offer people with an opportunity to audition. To be part of it, you must be willing and ready to go through the auditions. There are different types of auditions. Some are for actors whilst if you wish to be a singer then singing auditions are for you.

Having the heart to be a singer is not the only factor that you need. You need to practice way before the auditions. In fact, you do not have to wait until they announce the auditions dates. The auditions are done regularly and thus it is best if you stay on your toes and keep practicing.

You can stay on top of your game by engaging in private music lessons. However, this might be an expensive undertaking. Private tutors tend to charge hefty amounts, but at most times the cost are worth it. If you do not have much to spare, then you can join a local music group. Even though this might not be all that compared to private tuition, it is still a great idea since you will get experience.

Other than experience, you also need to know some of the basics that the judges are looking for. There are some music genres that may be interesting to you, but are not favored by the judges. Have a general idea as to what the judges are looking for. At most times, the requirements for the auditions will always be advertised on the local papers and online. You need to keep an eye out for the requirements.

Having a costume to wear at the auditions is a good idea especially if you are to fit into an acting role. For singers, simple wear will just do the trick. You need to stay sharp on the audition day. Like any other audition, you need to expect anything. Note that at times the judges might go off the book and ask you to do something that you did not expect. Having composure is a great plus and will see you emerge top of your competitors.

Most people who attend auditions think that their good looks and stylish dressing will get them through. However, you have to couple all that with a star look. You need to walk and act your part. Extra skills like playing the guitar or piano among other instruments is always a welcome idea. At the auditions, you should not try to over impress the judges for that may make you sing off-key. Keep to the simple basics and let your unique vocals speak for you.

For more info about singing auditions and singing audition click on the links.

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Mauritius For Exotic Beach Film Locations With Infrastructure

Great beach locations aren't hard to find, but if you also want efficient infrastructure for your ideal film location, that narrows down your selection immediately. Mauritius has scored highly as a top destination for international commercial shoots in recent years. Not only does it offer an idyllic selection of pristine beaches to choose from, but it also has a well-established film production infrastructure built up over the many years it has been catering to the Indian movie industry. Strong links with South African film production companies also make it easy to access any special requirements not available locally.

Equipment hire
Major South African equipment suppliers now have permanent branches in Mauritius which saves the cost of freighting in the heavy equipment and lighting needed for stills and film shoots. Cameras still tend to be shipped in from South Africa where they are serviced and maintained, according to the requirements of each shoot.

While key crew personnel are generally brought in from South Africa for each shoot, there is a growing pool of local crew available in Mauritius too, so costs can be balanced out and the benefits of local knowledge and contacts added into the equation.

Actors and Extras
Professional actors and models are flown in for each shoot, but there is a wide range of local talent available as extras and characters, from a cosmopolitan range of backgrounds, including European, Indian, Africa and Chinese. The official language of Mauritius is English and most locals speak both English and French as well as the local Creole language.

Mauritius has long been a luxury holiday destination, so there is a good selection of top quality hotels, very often with their own beaches, and renowned for their smiling and friendly hospitality.

Other considerations
Mauritius is only two hours ahead of mainland Europe and South Africa, GMT+4, and has direct flights from Europe, Dubai, Bangkok, Perth and South Africa.

International companies that return to Mauritius for their commercials and catalogues again and again are Nivea and Ambre Solaire, as well as many beachwear and cosmetics companies. Kellogg's filmed a Special K spot there in 2011, choosing Mauritius over many other possibilities such as the Maldives and the Bahamas, for its perfect locations, reasonable costs and established infrastructure.

All in all Mauritius should be put at the top of any short list of beach film locations that demand a paradise island feel with palm fringed beaches, shimmering white sands and balmy weather.

Prinz Productions offers premier stills and film production services based in Cape Town, South Africa and Portugal. Browse through their locations in Mauritius gallery for more inspiration.

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Videography Services Effectively Show and Tell

Videography services are foremost among photographic disciplines which have progressed by leaps and bounds along with the incredible advancements in technology. Not only have still and video cameras become more sophisticated yet user-friendly, but recorded images are so easily shared with and/or published to a world-wide and ever-growing audience.

There are always good reasons for clichés being true: "A picture tells a thousand words." There could not be a more accurate description of exactly what good videography services provide. Humans are multi-sensory beings, and often either the audio or visual sense dominates. Video format addresses both, especially for those who are unable to visualise.

Commercial uses include material for corporate companies, training and safety procedures, live events, seminars and sales presentations, TV, retail centre and cinema advertising, weddings, music and live web casting.

This format is a highly effective marketing, company image and branding tool, and an excellent medium to explain product features, benefits and operation. Humans tend to absorb what they consciously see.

Video Production

Many different functions and skills are involved in production of good quality and content, and many of these can be specialised occupations on their own merit.
Camera work/filming, which is detailed artistic work, including research, focus, generating and maintaining interest in the subject, lighting, composition and a keen eye for detail.Script - a good writing ability and the imagination to produce a cohesive script which enhances the film, its main subject and interesting peripherals.Sound recording, because generally, built-in camera sound recorders are not able to provide the required audio quality, so the use of separate equipment becomes necessary.Voice-over recordings produce far better script and sound standards.Editing of film to maximise visual and emotional impact, maintain maximum interest of viewers, and quality of images, will produce the best product.If working on commission for a client, the videographer will also give the client the opportunity to have input prior to final production.The package is likely to include graphic design and production of labels and packaging of the completed product.Clients may require duplication or multiple copies.

Travel and Wildlife Videography

Although the mere mention of travel and wildlife evokes some of those magical images seen on TV and in nature and travel magazines, these fields are specialised and require hard work, long hours and lots of patience and commitment. This is not to deny that being in the right place at the right time often produces amazing results from both professionals and amateurs.

A sound technical ability and understanding of equipment is vital for both of these disciplines, particularly for wildlife photography, where largely unpredictable animal behaviour and conditions occur. An eye for detail, keen powers of observation and some artistic ability assist the videographer in capturing interesting footage.

Before undertaking a trip to record wonderful and spellbinding places or nature, research and lots of it, should be done. The aim is not only capturing worthwhile footage, but making it as interesting and arresting as possible. This also involves having the outlines of a script, so that both the images and the pictures tell a story.

A good general knowledge assists in research and script compilation. A passion for travel is essential and a background in the travel and tourism industry would also be handy, especially in order for the videographer to market his/her services and skills.

Particularly in tough economic times, there is a great demand for travel film material, since agents seek new and innovative tourism markets. According to one source, about 60% of travel decisions are made after the tourist has viewed films of the chosen destination. Such footage may cover places of geographical, historic, cultural, adventure, camping and ecological interest.

Successful wildlife documentaries require field craft, research of animal behaviour and habitat, and plenty of patience, since animals are skittish by nature and their habits are influenced by many extraneous conditions, like weather, perceived danger, season and time of day. The cameraman should not be seen, smelled or heard.

The provision of good quality videography services should not merely be seen as a way to have a holiday in exotic, faraway places at someone else's expense. It takes hard work, long hours and time away from home, and finely honed skills, but the satisfaction of having produced a quality product of interest to many, outweighs any negative factors.

Original article

Help Your Child Pursue a Career in Acting

Career training is a doing that many people opt for. There are many schools that offer the training. Nonetheless, for you to get into the right school, you need to first make up your mind on the kind of career that you are to pursue. There are many people who choose a career for the prestige or the earnings that come with it. However, this is always the wrong way to approach the whole idea. You need to choose or select a career that you love with your heart. This should be a job that you will love waking up to. Choosing a career in acting is a choice many make.

Getting an acting position or being recognized as a great actor is not an easy task. Unlike what many people think, acting is a demanding profession and it needs a lot of hard work and talent for one to make it in the industry.

For one to nurture his/her acting skills, they need to start by gathering all the experience they can get. If you notice that your child is interested in acting, nurturing them for the role from a tender age is ideal. Encourage them to join their school drama club. Take them to the movie theatres whenever you can and get them tutorials on how to become an actor. There are many tutorials online and some are free to download. You can also buy them books and literature on the subject. Do not deny your child a chance to attend after class acting classes. Develop their talents the best way you can.

After they are done with school, you can go out of your way and enroll them in acting schools. There are many acting schools that help people develop their talents. Some of the best schools attract fierce competition for the few available positions. Once they are in, help them sing-up for the right acting classes. Let them choose lessons that they are happy and comfortable with. They will easily excel in a niche that they love.

Knowing the basics of acting is always the first step in the right direction. Once you have known them then cutting out your niche on what you would love to pursue is going to be easy. Ensure your kid enrolls in a reputable school known for developing talents. Also, you need to be ready to invest in the same since many schools tend to charge high amounts for the lessons. The lessons will prepare your kid to be ready for future auditions and give them an edge over other participants. Certificates from training institutions also improve your kid's chances during the auditions.

For more info about career in acting and acting training click on the links.

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When Your First Film Doesn't Go As Expected

When I was in film school, I was a bit uncertain about what kinds of films I wanted to make. Of course I wanted to make the greatest film of all time, but you have to start small, maybe with a skeleton crew or even by yourself as a one man band on occasion. Either way, you're bound to come across issues when starting out in film school; these can range to sound problems, issues with actors and even lighting problems.

I made a few short films at first that experimented with lighting and sound, none of which were very interesting in retrospect. Other films from my first year involved an editing experiment, for which I chose to make a quick horror film, in which a student is pursued by an axe murderer in the middle of the night (let's say that when you're on a budget, family size bottles of ketchup definitely do come in handy). I liked this particular film because it was made in black and white and was more ominous than gruesome. It was also beautifully lit, using lots of contrast and the overall darkness and grain of the film added to its overall tone.

When I ventured to make one of my first major narrative projects in film school, I didn't expect a series of problems that would plague the production. I chose to venture into drama, writing a somewhat lame script about a girl whose parents get divorced, who then winds up getting kidnapped by vampires. Cheesy, right? Yeah I dropped the vampire angle and made it more about the problems she has with her jerk boyfriend who wants nothing to do with her. Honestly, it was all I could think of at the time as I didn't have the budget to create something with aliens or spaceships. I figured doing something with just a handful of actors and a crew of three (myself included) would be the best way to execute this.

I chose friends of mine, who weren't acting students, to be in the film; I thought their inexperience would add to the authenticity of the whole thing. At first they couldn't properly deliver the lines and weren't convincing in their portrayal of the characters; they were uncomfortable on camera, so the more we worked with tweaking the dialogue and rehearsing, there were fewer issues with the acting. I figured using real people instead of acting students would be a bit more convincing and add a bit of realism, yet I didn't realize that this would be an issue.

I discussed the problems I was having with my professors in film school and while they felt the acting wasn't the greatest, they did believe the film had potential. They gave me some suggestions as to how to make the film more visually interesting, by re-shooting some scenes and by tightening the editing a bit. Most film schools offer this type of interaction and by getting feedback from your professors as opposed to just making a film and showing something that doesn't really work.

In watching in the rushes with my small crew, we realized that the footage was actually more comical than dramatic and I decided to stick with the script and informed the actors to keep doing what they were doing, that I wanted it to be a comedy instead, and they agreed. I had the actors overemphasize the dramatic elements to make it appear more comical and preposterous. It was an interesting experiment, seeing if I could pull it off and if the actors were comfortable with my decision to change the tone of the film. When I finally finished the film and showed it to my class, it got a positive response and many laughs. Sometimes things just work that way.

Watching the film years later, it is funny, but incredibly crude. I realize that I should've used professional actors and perhaps tried different lighting effects, yet that was sort of the intention I was going for, to make some sort of 1970s era drama. So, I had taken this experience in film school as an experiment and learned from it with the intention of trying not to repeat the same mistakes on future projects. The interesting thing is that film schools want you to succeed, yet you have to learn by trial and error, which will benefit you in the long run.

Original article

Short Films: Don't Plan To Fail!

What is the definition of a short film? There appears to be some differing views on what constitutes a short film. The American Academy defines it as any film that is forty minutes or less in length. Others, including the International Film School, say it is a movie between one and fifteen minutes in duration, yet another school of thought calls it any film over three minutes long. Indeed many of the major film festivals now include films shot on mobile phones in the short film making category.

With the ready availability of good digital cameras, and yes, even cell phones, it is not beyond anybody's capability to make a short film. However, if you are considering embarking on such a project, you need to approach it in exactly the same way as if you were producing a remake of the Titanic.

Remember the old adage "if you fail to prepare, be prepared to fail"? So it is in film production, short long or epic. Check out the various websites where people upload their own masterpieces. You will be able to decide for yourself those that work and those that do not. This will help you in your own endeavours.

Start off by deciding on your subject matter, whether it is dramatic, funny, or informative; you are not making a home movie. Next, decide on your own preferred length and begin crafting your screenplay and story boards. Even if you are making a silent movie, you still need these crafts. Armed with them, you can then decide on your budget, if at all you need one.

The next step is casting. If you are using professional actors, it will make your job a lot easier. If amateur thespians, you will have to try to match their personalities to those of the characters, in order to save you a lot of time that would otherwise be wasted in bringing your characters to live through mis-matched thespians.

Do not forget to get your actors to sign a release. Professional or amateur, even family and friends, should be asked to complete one of these forms early enough, else it will be too late after the film is released or uploaded to the Internet. Similarly, if you intend to shoot on location, find out if you need permission to do so; you do not want to interrupt filming because you have not got the correct paperwork.

If you have a definite idea of what you want to achieve from your short film making, you will find it easier to achieve success. Very few film makers have the talent to improvise, and it can often end in chaos and, or bitter disappointment. Endeavour to first get the idea, and then work around it during the making of the screen play and shooting of the film.

We provide the best info about short film making and learn film making. For further details please visit the provided links.

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8 Mistakes Filmmakers Make That Kills Their Career

As your filmmaking career starts to grow, it's crucial that your actions don't strangle it in its infancy.

By avoiding the mistakes that so many filmmakers make you have a far greater chance of succeeding well beyond the first 2 years of the launch date of your career.

1. Doing Too Much Yourself

Business owners as well as filmmakers fall into this trap as they attempt to minimize costs. It can mean that you will get bogged down in the day-to-day nitty gritty, keeping you from stepping back and taking a good hard look at the future. Future planning, and with it, the ability to anticipate problems, are two important areas successful filmmakers have to keep control of. Doing too much can mean that the fire-fighting cycle just keeps repeating over and over again.

Coupled with that is the guilt associated with neglecting family and personal relationships. This often leads to exhaustion and collapse.

Why not call for extra help before you need it, and not after the cracks have begun to show, and usually, it is too late.

2. You Don't Know What You Don't Know

Most filmmakers start their career because they are really good at something. Some are really good at directing action, others have a flair for working with actors, and others are just good solid all-rounders.

What many filmmakers forget is that it is a business which involves a host of different skill sets. They forget that filmmaking requires the basic business management skills such as: sourcing new clients and work, marketing and publicity, recruiting new crew and staff, and managing the cash flow questions that any small business has. Add into this the creative mix and you have the potential for a meltdown.

Running and more importantly, developing and expanding your movie career is like growing and developing any type of business. It is unlikely that you will have the expertise to do everything needed yourself.

Successful filmmakers learn to recognize their own skills and knowledge and take action to fill the gaps in their career plan.

3. Quitting The Day Job Too Quickly

A filmmaker or screenwriter's passion in what they are doing is usually so high that they enjoy some initial successes and revenues. They then quit their day jobs and hire premises and staff - only to face psychological and financial ruin when their early successes have been a minor blip on the long hard haul to a successful career.

Everyone needs money in order to survive. Make sure you are able to cover your monthly expenses before you ditch your day job.

Done correctly, you might be able to apply for funding or enjoy certain strategic tax benefits depending on your personal profile and the geographical territory you live in.

4. You Haven't Got Anyone To Talk To

Filmmakers have career issues which often require discussion and debate. The difficulty facing most filmmakers is that they find it very difficult to find anyone they can relate to.

Certain legal and technical challenges can be discussed with an accountant or lawyer. But issues of creativity are not the issues you want to discuss with inappropriate people.

Having no network is potentially very damaging. Discussion with a trusted adviser or friend is where one finds new ideas and perspectives. Having your project and ideas endorsed is also nourishing for one's ego. Lukewarm receptions can indicate that your ideas are not developed enough.

A small network of trusted people able to 'get' you and to listen and discuss ideas with you is an essential part of a filmmaker's success.

5. Working With The Wrong People

Filmmaking is a passionate business. It is also almost always very last minute. Add on top of that, the chronic fatigue. Under these circumstances it is tempting to hire people for production and other jobs quickly without properly interviewing and checking references.

Remember, no matter how good someone is, if there's a difference in values, then the only questions that matter are "When will the row happen?" and "On what subject will it be?"

Always be asking yourself: how much real experience do they have? Is it relevant to what you need? Are their skills and experience complimentary to yours? Do you have mutual respect? How important will you be to them? Do they know their own limits? What networks and contacts do they bring? Will they let you talk to their previous employers/collaborators to get a feel of how they work?

As always, don't agree to work with anyone until you feel comfortable. And make sure you have written contracts in place for any creative collaboration.

6. Lack of self awareness

Many filmmakers are afraid of admitting their fears and inadequacies because they don't want to lose the mantra of praise that they want to follow them everywhere. They won't take any criticism from anyone because they don't trust them and because they believe they know better. When confronted they usually nitpick ridiculously fine details and refuse to entertain the creative or practical suggestions from anyone else.

This makes it very difficult to develop a team, and as the word spreads, they find fewer and fewer people willing to collaborate with them.

Successful filmmakers are brutally honest about themselves. Get some vital feedback from that special and trusted friend.

7. Staying In The Comfort Zone

Most filmmakers work with the same team members over and over again. There is nothing wrong with this - except - who is challenging and testing you and your ideas?

It's an easy trap to surround yourself with 'yes' men. Working with people who challenge you may be uncomfortable, but it's a whole lot easier then attending a disastrous screening of your movie because no one around you had the courage to say "hang on a minute - what about XYZ?"'

Hip, innovative filmmakers pick up those cool ideas from outside their conventional thoughts. They learn to accept constructive criticism and learn how to deal with negative criticism.

Mixing with others will increase your chances of doing this. The more diverse your contacts (whether by sectors/age/ethnic group/gender), the more you'll also be able to "narrow the angles" on potential incoming problems; someone in your group will have had experience of issues that you haven't - better to learn from others' mistakes than get extra battle scars yourself!

8. Not Knowing Why You Want To Make Movies

Filmmakers make movies for many different reasons. It doesn't really matter why you want to make a movie. Some make movies because they want to make money. Others make movies to get a message across. Others make movies because they are attracted by the allure and glamor.

Decide what your ambitions are before you head off and attempt a career in fillmmaking. Realize that your real reason for making movies will predetermine much of what you try and achieve.

By avoiding, at least to some degree, these eight common mistakes your filmmaking career has a much more decent chance of success. Analyze each of these eight areas and take appropriate action.

Elliot Grove founded Raindance Film Festival in 1993, the British Independent Film Awards in 1998, and Raindance.TV in 2007.

He has produced over 150 short films, and 5 feature films. He has written eight scripts, one of which is currently in pre-production. His first feature film, TABLE 5 was shot on 35mm and completed for a total of $278.38. He teaches writers and producers in the UK, Europe. Japan and America.

He has written three books which have become industry standards: RAINDANCE WRITERS LAB 2nd Edition (Focal Press 2008), RAINDANCE PRODUCERS LAB (Focal Press 2004) and 130 PROJECTS TO GET YOU INTO FILMMAKING (Barrons 2009). His first novel THE BANDIT QUEEN is scheduled for publication in 2010.

Open University awarded Elliot an Honourary Doctorate for services to film education in 2009.


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