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The Do's and Don'ts of Successfully Directing Actors

The Do's and Don'ts of Successfully Directing Actors | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“Directors have to remember that a lot of players who go in front of the camera are nervous, frightened, insecure, unconfident…” –Gary Busey

 

While many independent filmmakers spend the majority of their efforts getting caught-up in issues behind the camera, its important to remember the value of what is actually captured on film. That is, to make a high quality film and gain success, filmmakers must ensure that the performances of their actors are of the highest quality.

 

This article offers some advice and the opinions of numerous actors on how a director can get the most out of his or her actors. The first piece of advice that is mentioned is to make the actors feel at home. More specifically, in making an actor feel at home, directors help their actors deliver great performances.

 

To see the other advice, check out the article!

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Making an Independent Film: Advice from Sundance and Oscars Experts

Making an Independent Film: Advice from Sundance and Oscars Experts | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“Ever since filmmaking began co-starring with technology, it hasn't followed the Hollywood formula, but that doesn't mean there can't still be a Hollywood ending.”

 

A recent development in the filmmaking industry is the use of technology on both the creative and business sides of operations. This article focuses on how to better incorporate new technologies into your next project.

 

One of the most time consuming aspects of the filmmaking process is casting. To solve this issue and streamline the process, technology can be an invaluable resource. One potential solution to this lengthy and difficult process is the site StarCast, which puts filmmakers in direct contact with many actors without any initial fee.

 

To see how technology can be incorporated into filmmaking in other ways, check out the article.

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11 tips for LA screenwriter newbies #scriptchat

11 tips for LA screenwriter newbies #scriptchat | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“Hustmyre relates some of the things he’s learnt as in the last 18 months, as he’s moved from being a baby screenwriter to one who’s sold three screenplays.”

 

Of the many ways to become an independent filmmaker, some choose the route of a screenwriter. For those that make this decision, most of their efforts are split between improving their craft and gaining exposure. In this article, eleven tips and industry observations from screenwriter Chuch Hustmyre are presented.

 

One important point that Hustmyre brings up is that independent scripts are sold most often on the basis of the title and concept alone. While this might mean that a script doesn’t have to be technically perfect, it also means that the concept and title need to be very provocative to gain exposure.

 

For the other tips, check out the article!

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Help an Independent Movie Theater with Cinefamily’s Digital Projection and Restoration Kickstarter

Help an Independent Movie Theater with Cinefamily’s Digital Projection and Restoration Kickstarter | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“If you’ve had the chance to go to an independent movie theater, you know it’s a completely different experience than going to one of the chain theaters.”

 

Part of being an independent filmmaker is having a strong passion for film. To truly be a great filmmaker, this passion should manifest as respect for others in the industry. The focus of this article is on how the recent shift to digital filmmaking has made it difficult for traditional independent theatres to remain operational.

 

While most independent filmmakers have benefited from the switch to digital, many older independent theatres are closing around the United States. To remain in business, many of these theatres are being forced to make huge investments into digital projectors. Since some cannot afford these expenses, many are going out of business.

 

In sum, as you benefit from the ease of digital filmmaking during your next project, just remember it comes at a cost to other vital aspects of the industry.

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Shoot It!: Hollywood Inc. and The Rising of Independent Film

Shoot It!: Hollywood Inc. and The Rising of Independent Film | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“Hollywood, once the heart of the world’s entertainment industry has seen its film industry decimated with fewer and fewer productions filming in Los Angeles.”

 

This article acts as a brief summary and book review of “Shoot It!: Hollywood Inc. and The Rising of Independent Film” by David Spencer. In California, the movie industry generates more than $6 billion in state and local taxes. While this figure might seem astonishing, the fact remains that Hollywood is declining at the hands of independent filmmakers.

 

Across the country, filmmakers are enticed to shoot in states and cities with special tax incentives. The governing bodies that create such incentives reason that bringing film crews into specific locations will boost local economies. Thus, with this clear financial incentive, many films are filmed outside of Hollywood nowadays.

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There Is an Audience for Our Films: Four African-American Female Filmmakers Speak Out

There Is an Audience for Our Films: Four African-American Female Filmmakers Speak Out | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“The demise of independent film labels has made it more challenging for new talent—especially nonwhite filmmakers—to tell their stories and gain entry into major studios.”

 

The focus of this article is on the struggle that many African-American filmmakers face as they try to have their stories heard and films seen by large audiences. More specifically, this article discusses what it means to be an African-American female director in today’s movie industry.

 

One of the main issues showcased in the article is the misconception that “black” films do resonate well with audiences. Because of such misconceptions, many black filmmakers, especially females, have difficulty getting financing and distribution.

 

To read this article, and see exactly what the directors said, check it out!

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Reddit Writer Dathan Auerbach Gets a Movie Development Deal

Reddit Writer Dathan Auerbach Gets a Movie Development Deal | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“Reddit as a website gave me the opportunity to get my stories in front thousands and thousands of people.”

 

This is a very encouraging article for aspiring filmmakers hoping to have their stories reach the masses. When philosophy teacher Dathan Auerbach posted his story “Footsteps” on Reddit, he never imagined the success he would gain. But after his story was received well by many people, Dathan decided to write another short story “Balloons”. After winning a monthly writing contest on the site, Dathan used this success to crowdfund a novel and get a development deal with an Oscar-winning producer.

 

In sum, Dathan’s success shows that being industrious and utilizing the tools of the Internet can lead to great success.

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Why Does David Lynch Think Digital Cinema Is "Pretty Beautiful" for Indie Filmmakers?

Why Does David Lynch Think Digital Cinema Is "Pretty Beautiful" for Indie Filmmakers? | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“What it will do is let people express ideas that they love, whereas before they could not afford to express these ideas. Now they can.”

 

This article showcases David Lynch’s thoughts on digital filmmaking and the opportunities it creates for independent filmmakers. Lynch argues that both digital cinema and the Internet are “friends” to the independent filmmaker. Since art houses no longer exist to present quality independent work and instead seek profits over originality, independent filmmakers must utilize different means to express their art. Thus while it might be harder for independent filmmakers to find an audience given the push to the Internet, great content can still attract a following.

 

The article offers a link to the full interview, so check it out to learn more!

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Google+: Ghetto Film School's MasterClass

This is a very interesting video about a non-profit organization known as Ghetto Film School.  Ghetto Film School was founded in the South Bronx as an opportunity for inner-city youths to learn filmmaking.  Since the founding of this organization, Ghetto Film School has grown in global reach. 

 

Using Google+ hangouts, Ghetto Film School allows people from around the world to connect through the Internet and take lessons from successful filmmakers.  This video highlights the relationship between Lee Daniels, director of “Precious”, and a young aspiring Haitian filmmaker.

 

Watch this video to see how Google+ can be used to help teach film lessons.

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Seed&Spark Unveils 15 Founding Filmmaker Fundraising Campaigns for Launch

Seed&Spark Unveils 15 Founding Filmmaker Fundraising Campaigns for Launch | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“The Seed&Spark Founding Filmmakers reflect the broad spectrum of what’s possible in independent filmmaking. Their film projects represent dramatically different voices from one another and from most of what’s being made today.”

 

A recurring theme on this page is the importance of funding in pursuing an independent film project. In this article, the focus is on Seed&Spark, a company that helps independent filmmakers fund, produce, and distribute films. To launch this fundraising project, Sees&Spark recently selected 15 filmmakers to start their website. As people watch their videos and fund projects, projects benefit from the exposure and capital while audience members benefit by earning “Sparks”. Sparks are points, redeemable on the site to watch additional content and use other features.

 

By showcasing 15 films, Seed&Spark is not only building an online community but also paving the way for prospective filmmakers. Read the article for more about the 15 films!

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First Time Lionsgate Has Two Films Make Over $125 Million In The Same Year They Do It With Female Leads

First Time Lionsgate Has Two Films Make Over $125 Million In The Same Year They Do It With Female Leads | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“There’s been a lot of talk about how Hollywood doesn’t believe female-led films will make money at the box office and that’s why so few are made.”

 

The focus of this article is gender in Hollywood. For years, films starring men as the lead have far outnumbered films starring women. The reason for this trend has been due to the notion that female-led films are not as profitable as male-led films.

 

In opposition of this claim, the author cites two films released in 2012 by the independent film studio Lionsgate: “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2”. In North America, the studio accomplished record sales by having both female-led films break $125 million. Before this, a single movie studio had never accomplished such success with female-led films.

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Dailymotion's 'MotionMaker Fund' Wants to Make YOUR Film

Dailymotion's 'MotionMaker Fund' Wants to Make YOUR Film | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

One of the most difficult tasks in filmmaking is finding financial backing. In this article, an opportunity for aspiring filmmakers to gain funding on their next project is showcased. Sponsored by Dailymotion, “The MotionMaker Fund” of $50,000 will be distributed between five and ten projects. All projects will be hand selected by a team of Dailymotion staff and professional filmmakers.

 

To apply, applicants should submit ideas for film related projects. Projects can include, but are not limited to, short films, web series, music videos, and documentaries. This is an amazing opportunity to gain financial assistance on your next project.

 

Check it out!

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Watch Indie films for free on your iPad, iPhone and iPod touch

Watch Indie films for free on your iPad, iPhone and iPod touch | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“SnagFilms is a free, universal iOS app that brings hundreds of independent films to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.”

 

This article focuses on the universal iOS app SnagFilms, which allows users to watch independent films on apple devices. This app is advertisement supported, making it free to watch a wide array of independent films. To save movies in a queue, users must sign-in with Facebook information to access the full features of the app. While the author finds this requirement unnecessary, it seems like the Facebook login system has become somewhat of a standard with many apps. Films can be viewed through 3G but WiFi is recommended.

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Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12: Video-editing software is still solid, but adds little oomph

Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12: Video-editing software is still solid, but adds little oomph | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“Among consumer-level video-editing applications, Sony's Movie Studio Platinum is one of the most capable, offering more features than most of its competitors do.”

 

An important aspect of being an independent filmmaker is ensuring the quality of the final film. While this objective requires hard work and an attention to detail throughout the filmmaking process, the most vital steps occur during editing. In this article a video editing software, Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12, is discussed.

 

One great feature of this software is that it is 64-bit-compatable. Moreover, in addition to its technical capabilities it also has useful features such as the ability to upload videos directly to Pixelcast. Pixelcast is Sony’s new sharing site, similar to YouTube.

 

To learn about the other features, check out the article!

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He Wasn't Even Supposed To Be There: Kevin Smith Teases 'Clerks 3'

He Wasn't Even Supposed To Be There: Kevin Smith Teases 'Clerks 3' | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“So with the HIT SOMEBODY shift, the minute Jeff Anderson signs on, my last cinematic effort as a writer/director will be CLERKS III. #TaDa”

 

The basis of this article is the above tweet by famous filmmaker Kevin Smith. In the world of independent filmmaking, Kevin Smith is regarded as one the original self-taught writer/directors. Famed for teaching himself the art of filmmaking by religiously watching videos and movies, his first great success was with the release of his independent film “Clerks”.

 

To finish his filmmaking career as a writer/director, Smith has announced that he will return to the “Clerks” series with “Clerks 3”. While he had originally planned on directing “Hit Somebody” as his final work, the transition of this project into a miniseries has left Smith with the opportunity to make “Clerks 3”.

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48 Things We Learned from the ‘Casino Royale’ Commentary

48 Things We Learned from the ‘Casino Royale’ Commentary | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“It’s time to look back to one of Bond’s beginnings. Not the books, and not the start of the film franchise in the 1960s. Instead, let’s crack open the DVD of ‘Casino Royale’”.

 

An important skill to being an independent filmmaker is the ability to watch films and determine what work and what does not. While for many years aspiring filmmakers relied on film schools to help with this task, recently the popularity of DVD commentaries have proven very useful.

 

In the article, the author conveniently provides a brief summary of all of the points discussed in the DVD commentary of “Casino Royale”. While interesting facts about the production and background of the film are mentioned, the commentary also offers raw filmmaking tips.

 

For those of you that have seen and enjoyed “Casino Royale”, I recommend looking over this transcribed commentary.

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The Biz: The Silliness of State Tax Credits for Film Production

The Biz: The Silliness of State Tax Credits for Film Production | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“The state tax credits for film production are pure lunacy from a policy perspective.”

 

In this article, entertainment lawyer Schuyler M. Moore argues that the current system of state filmmaking tax incentives is hurting local economies. Moore claims that since different states set their own tax policies, many “fight” to provide the best incentives as to attract more filmmakers.

 

The issue with such a system is that the bidding war creates too great of financial relief for filmmakers. As states provides financial incentives they cannot afford, only the film crews reap the benefits. That is, Moore argues that there is not a multiplier effect of bringing film crews to one’s state. This is because the film crews typically leave once the movie is finished. Thus, the studios do not stay long enough to “put” money back into the local economy.

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10 Top Sites For Independent Filmmakers

10 Top Sites For Independent Filmmakers | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“Filmmakers have an ever-growing presence on social media sites such as twitter, facebook, youtube, and various blogs. This presence has resulted in a wealth of shared knowledge for filmmakers worldwide.”

 

As independent filmmakers, it’s important to constantly seek new knowledge and information as to master one’s craft. This article is a great resource in helping filmmakers do so by examining ten sites that provide such useful information.

 

The first site mentioned on the list is Filmmaker.com. This site is a great resource because of its blog feature and its loyal community. Using the insight of others in the field, aspiring filmmakers can learn a great deal from frequenting this site. Also, with the forum feature, new filmmakers can also ask for specific advice on their next projects.

 

For descriptions of the other resources, check out the article!

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How to Do a Festival Q&A

How to Do a Festival Q&A | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“The secret magic of film festivals is that they offer audiences direct communication with the artist.”

 

Most filmmakers dream of one day having their films shown at festivals around the country. The focus of this article is how directors should handle the Q&A portion of most film screenings. In this piece, the author offers some great advice on how to better position yourself and your film.

 

The first piece of advice that the author gives is to take the Q&A seriously. While most new filmmakers might not realize their impact in setting the tone for their movie at a screening, the influence is immense. As a result, it is of the utmost importance to take the opportunity seriously and not act bashful.

 

For the other tips, be sure to check out the article!

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Audition and Hire Composers for Your Film with scoreAscore

Audition and Hire Composers for Your Film with scoreAscore | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“Finding the perfect soundtrack for your film on stock music sites or using music generation software can be infuriating and sometimes seem next to impossible.”

 

In addition to an amazing script and great acting, the score of a film is very important in making an award winning independent film. This article describes a new website which allows filmmakers to have film scores created specifically for their films. The name of the site is scoreAscore.com and it simply puts composers in contact with filmmakers.

 

Filmmakers can upload a scene from their movie or describe how they want the music to sound, and composers will create custom film scores for the movie. If a filmmaker likes the music, the site facilitates pricing and terms of use negotiations. Overall, this is an amazing resource for filmmakers looking to save time while working on their next project.

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How To Turn Your Book Into A Movie

How To Turn Your Book Into A Movie | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“Going from a writer to a screenwriter to a filmmaker is a very complex process.”

 

Creativity can manifest itself in many forms. For some aspiring filmmakers, the process of telling a great story is first realized in the form of a book. This article focuses on how to turn one’s book into a film. The first step recommended by the author is to hire an actually screenwriter to make the conversion from book to screenplay. The author argues that books and movies are distinct, making the tricks of one sometimes useless for the other. Moreover, the other advice focuses on the other technical aspects of filmmaking such as creating a budget and hiring an attorney.

 

Of all the tips presented in the piece, one theme is clear: use professionals during every step of the process. That is, just because you have the ability to write a book, it does not mean you have the expertise to jump straight into filmmaking without any help.

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10 Reasons Independent Filmmakers Can Be Thankful 2012

10 Reasons Independent Filmmakers Can Be Thankful 2012 | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“There’s never been a better time to make movies”

 

This article highlights why 2012 has been a great year for independent filmmakers. The author uses 10 industry trends to support this claim and describe the direction of the movie business. The first reason the author cites as to why 2012 has been great for independent filmmaking is the idea that there has never been a better time to make movies. This statement, while bold, is grounded in the actual facts of the current industry. That is, currently content is king with more channels than ever before demanding entertainment. From TV shows to webcasts, content is making its way to audiences all over.

 

To see the other supporting claims, check out the article!

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Free Film School #74: No One Will Be Admitted After the Start of the Performance

Free Film School #74: No One Will Be Admitted After the Start of the Performance | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“I would perhaps even argue that Psycho was one of the first films to chip away and break down the wall between the good-dirty-fun of the exploitation circuit and the mainstream filmmaking world.”

 

This article focuses on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film “Psycho”. As independent filmmakers it is vital to study classic cinema. This article provides a great synopsis of “Psycho” and how revolutionary it was for its time. “Psycho” contained many elements not common to feature films of the 1960s such as strong sexual content and the death of a main character early in the film. Moreover, the film also had an immense impact on movie going in general. Due to the important twists throughout the film, Hitchcock insisted that theatre patrons watch the film from beginning to end by arriving on time.

 

To learn more about the style and themes of “Psycho” check out the article!

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Screenwriting Tips | 12 Screenwriting Tips for Beginners

Screenwriting Tips | 12 Screenwriting Tips for Beginners | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“If you don’t know anything about screenwriting, then pick up a book and learn. If you have a busy life, then carve out short blocks of time; write a page a day.”

 

An important aspect of independent filmmaking is finding a great script, or in some instances writing it yourself. In this article screenwriting tips are discussed to help you improve your next screenplay. The first piece of advice offered is to learn how to properly format your script. Of all the tips, this is the most practical because agents and producers will not read a script that is incorrectly formatted.

 

Another tip is to watch a lot of movies, both good and bad, and figure out what works and what does not. If you are interested in screenwriting, your film knowledge should help guide you on your next project.

 

For more tips check out the article!

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Alt Script: What Does Independent Filmmaking Mean?

Alt Script: What Does Independent Filmmaking Mean? | The Independent Filmmaker | Scoop.it

“Alt-cinema is any project a writer takes on, where they decide to reduce the number of decision makers between themselves and the audience.”

 

This article discuses why the term “independent film” should be replaced with “alt-cinema”. In modern times, the term independent film has an ambiguous meaning. The term originated in the early twentieth-century to describe films made outside of the big Hollywood studios. Going by this definition, many films would be considered “independent” including foreign productions such as the work done by the BBC and Bollywood. To replace this outdated term, the author recommends the phrase alt-cinema. In essence, alt-cinema applies when artists limit the number of people (i.e. agents, producers) between them and their audiences. Throughout the piece the author discusses some advantages of being an alt-cinema screenwriter.

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