Thursday, October 29, 2009

Not Since You Premiere a Success!

We had a wonderful premiere of our film on Sunday night. It was a full house and everyone seemed to really enjoy the film! I'm still recovering - ha!

A couple of colleagues even blogged about the film. Leslie Morgan gives her thoughts here. And Andy Ramachandran of Movie Habit discusses it here

Thanks to everyone for helping to make it a success! Off to AFM we go with the film!

The Future of Indie Film Distribution: Peter Broderick

Here is a video in which indie distribution pioneers discuss new strategies in distributing independent films. Good info to consider:



Sunday, October 25, 2009

Today Is Not since You's Premiere

A premiere of a film you have been working on for four years or more is a big day. And that's the day for our film Not Since You today!

I have to revel in the joy of it. So I'm up late the night before watching really cheesy TV to relax before the insanity begins tomorrow. 

One of the best things about a premiere is that you get to have a reunion with the people who helped you make the film all along the way, from the cast to the crew to the investors to the vendors and agents and managers, etc. It's a moment of closure and new beginnings for the picture.

So wish us luck as we take Not Since You to it's next stop on this indie train. We hope to see you as passengers on the way!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

OpenIndie

Arin Crumley is the director of Four-Eyed Monster and now a co-founder of a movement (OpenIndie) where filmmakers can figure out how to get their films screened in a ton of cities. Arin premiered his film at the same SXSW that we premiered our film Straight Line. It's been really fun to see Arin become such a big indie figure since then. He is building a community of filmmakers to help get indie films some screenings. Check it out. I'll be joining. Where's my credit card? Click here to pledge and become a member of the site. You'll be in good hands!


Lets build OpenIndie.com Together (Half way to our Funding Goal)

We've past the half way mark towards our funding and I've been reading the amazing discussion taking place on our campaign comments and saw that already we are getting great input for how the site should function from our backers.

In addition to Kieran and I's direct responses I wanted to make a post to say that the point is this, the possibilities are endless. Kieran is a computer programmer with over 10 years of experience building similar infrastructures. So we can all bring our ideas to the table and make this thing do anything we want it too. Also I've been planning how this could all function for over 4 years by constantly envisioning this future system every time I made a new distribution move with Four Eyed Monsters. There are pages and pages of notes and ideas and sketches and drawings and concepts for how I see a new film industry functioning and OpenIndie.com is designed to be a huge part of the missing link.

But even with all of these ideas we have, it's the backers who will aid more then anybody the actual shape of this new service. First of all you guys bring money to the project which is huge. And secondly you are our base of filmmakers and users that will inform us how the system should be developed. The plan is to regularly update the backers with what the sites components are looking like as the get built. Comments about each update will play into the development and inform the direction we take phase 1. And then of course there will be phase 2 where we all get to try out the new system and learn what can improve.

So we are building the future together. What your donation means is that we are all going to make this happen together.

Of course this only happens if we fund. So please, spread the word. Reach out to a few fans of your work, see if they'll back even just 1 dollar. And if you know feature or short filmmakers, reach out to them as well. Share with them your reasons for backing this project and invite them to do the same.

Also, I've noticed many filmmakers pledging 20 dollars, I'd strongly encourage you to increase your pledge to 100 so that your film can actually be one of the 100 films that gets the free 1 hour of consulting and gets to use the service of the site. Kickstarter makes it very easy to increase your donation. Just hit the button and you can type in any number during the time frame that the campaign is live.

Thanks for supporting OpenIndie.com and have a wonderful day...

Arin Crumley 
co-founder

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Do It With Others

I want to talk about Do It With Others. Last year, it was Do It Yourself and this year everyone is abuzz with Do It With Others.

I am a big proponent of Do It With Others. I think it's the ideal way to get the most publicity and best results for your film. When there is real collaboration happening, anything is possible. 

But is the real collaboration happening or even possible?

Let's talk about how it could be: 

Producer, Director, Writer, Financier(s), Cast, Crew, Agents, Managers, Assistants, Interns -- all the people who are part of the actual creation of the film. 

Each and every person above worked hard to make the film a reality at the time their specific skills were necessary for the completion of the film. The end product contains their work. And hopefully they are proud of it and they want the film to succeed. So let's say they bring their energy from the beginning of the process to the launch of the film. That's over 100 people telling others about the film and hopefully they tell 2 friends and so on. And that's just the creators of the films.

Then there are the fans, colleagues, friends, family and other filmmakers who can join in the promotion and let's not forget the Sales Agents, Producer Reps, Publicists, Production Attorneys, Theater Venues, Film Festivals, Journalists, etc. 

But, and tell me if you have found this to be true as well, too often a film is made and the 100 people who worked on the film have moved on to the next project that is currently exhausting them and paying their mortgages and bills. And suddenly that initial 100 has dropped significantly to a handful of people from the group of creators promoting the project. 

And then the fans, colleagues, friends, family and other filmmakers are distracted by their own commitments and life in general. They're excited about the project and they want to it to be a success. But life gets in the way and their own projects take priority. And the film flops.

So how can Do It With Others work if no one is really making it a priority to Do It With Others? We need to make a commitment to help one another. All of us do. And I believe the more we help one another, the more we help ourselves and our projects. Are we willing to go that extra mile to help others besides ourselves? It's the only way DIWO will work. 

Saturday, October 17, 2009

How Do You Get Past the All the "No"s in Hollywood

No, No, No, No, well, No, okay, no, no again. Really, another No? That's right. In Hollywood, you get used to hearing "no" a lot. It's actually expected. And when a "yes" comes along, it takes a little bit to register. Wait, was that really a no? Hmmm. Do I dare believe I heard a "yes"? Maybe -- as I slowly begin to race toward that yes, heartily embracing it's potential for rocking my world. 

That Yes may even turn to a No, but you feel pretty damn good even getting that initial Yes. 

I hate to break to you, but you may as well get used to hearing "no" in Hollywood. It's a knee-jerk reaction. No, I won't fund your film. No, I don't like your script. No, you can't have that actor. No, you aren't invited to that premiere. No, you can't get in that party. No, you aren't accepted to that festival. No, you didn't get that job. Just face it: No is a popular word and Yes is what you will be chasing the rest of your career. When you get them, you better cherish them for another one may not come around again for a long while. 

So how do you deal with all the "No"s? You just do. You let those countless "No"s roll off your back and you try to learn from them. Why did he or she say no? There's a reason for everything. And if you can hone in on that reason, you may be able to focus on why you aren't hearing the elusive "Yes"! Or maybe that person is just a tool. Could be the case. You never know.

If you let them, the "No"s can also be very inspiring. Every time I hear a "No," I get fired up. I think, "What the hell do I have to get a 'yes' around here" -- alright, get your heads out of the gutter... And I buy that revealing dress (just kidding; wanted make sure you were still paying attention). In all seriousness, I work even harder and I set out to keep making more quality films. Boy that sounds really boring. But it's the truth. 

Each day, I think of new stories. I write. I read books and magazines and the news. I watch a crap-load of movies and TV shows. I troll the internet (again, minds out of the gutter, please), and I look for inspiration for new kick-ass ideas that can translate to the big screen. The key is hearing that "No" and kicking that negative energy right on out of your living room. Just get it out. Don't accept it. 

Remember: All it takes is ONE (IN THE BIGGEST LETTERS POSSIBLE) YES! That's right. Just one "yes" is all you need. You may hear five million "no"s but that one "yes" could be number five million and one! Just keep at it and keep getting better. 

Pangofilms (see Comments) makes a great point. Don't take it personally. That is the most fundamental step to dealing with "No"s. Filmmaking is a business. And not everyone is going to like your work. That is a fact. So get comfortable with that fact and find your audience who does like your work and cater to them. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Not Since You Web Site Is Live!

After many months of painstaking work by our incredible Web master, we have our brand new Web site for Not Since You! Check it out at www.notsinceyoumovie.com.

Thanks to everyone who contributed their time and insights to the development of the site. We are excited to share it with the world. 

The site has lots of fun details about the film, pictures, and videos. We hope its effective in helping us draw in an audience. 

Let us know what you think!

Monday, October 12, 2009

When You Have the Wrong Producing Partner

Unfortunately not every partnership works. And it can become apparent at any time in the filmmaking process. 

There can be many reasons for the break down in the relationship. One of the main reasons is having a different vision over an aspect of the film -- use of funds, edit of the picture, certain hires, music and actor choices, etc. 

Every relationship can and does have conflict. Problems arise when people don't work together. It takes a team to make a movie and when someone steps away from the team and tries to impose his or her viewpoint as the best and only means of addressing an aspect of or even the entire film then a crack in the bond of the creators is inevitable. 

The worst part about having a fissure in the producing partnership is that it detracts from the main goal to which all energy should be focused: the successful creation of a motion picture. Infighting breeds stress and many wasted hours of discussion. Imagine if that energy could be used to help support the project instead of working against it? Imagine if the partners had worked together toward a compromise or common goal that both parties could believe in and feel comfortable with? 

You may be saying, but I have tried to find that common goal. And perhaps you have. Solutions can only be made if both parties are committed to listen to one another and accept each other's opinion and find a solution that works for both parties. You can't make it happen by yourself. A filmmaking team is not made of one person's actions or decisions. If you have truly tried to repair the crack and your partner ignores your attempts and still wants to make it all about his or her ideas then all you can do is keep working hard toward making the best movie possible. 

Some people don't have the strength to say, I need to put the film first. When a crack appears, everyone needs to step back and evaluate all factors of the picture. Does your or your partner's viewpoint make sense in the overall scheme of things? Are you really suggesting solutions that make sense for the film and the team and resources behind it and the film industry on the whole? Do you really understand how the industry works? Or could you be so focused on believing that you have the solution for what ails the project that you have forgotten that it takes a village to raise a child?

Let's not forget how hard it is to get a movie made. I know firsthand the many challenges and obstacles that need to be overcome. I have the scars from being knocked down, dragged through the mud, slammed into walls, and pulled through raging waters. I am humbled by what can go wrong and extremely proud of being able to make it over, under and through all the problems. Is it easy? Absolutely not. But is it necessary? Yes. You are a filmmaker and there will always be obstacles. Survival includes figuring out how to handle those obstacles and still make a great film. 

So what do you do when you realize you have the wrong producing partner? All you can do is re-channel any energy spent on the crack in the relationship back into the successful creation and launch of your film. For the sake of the movie that you have spent years building, you need to set aside the stress of the partnership and figure out how to make the best product possible. Because in the end, the winner and loser of your partnership is your film. 

Unfortunately, some people allow their ego or pride or lack of knowledge of the industry get in the way of putting the film first. They latch on to the idea that their way is the best and only way of completing the film and they terrorize those who do not fall in line with their vision. When this happens, all you can do is work hard to make the best movie you can make with the resources you have.

Look at all of the great leaders throughout history. You better believe they experienced conflict throughout their careers. No one is immune to conflict. It's how you react in moments of conflict that make you great. And in my opinion, the only way to react when you have the wrong producing partner is to focus on making the best film possible. For in the end, it's all about the movie, not you or your partner. 

Friday, October 9, 2009

Not Since You Tickets on Sale at Arclight Hollywood

I am very excited that tickets are now on sale for Not Since You at Arclight Hollywood. I am hoping to sell out the screening. We'd love to see any readers at the screening! The filmmakers and cast will be in attendance. Super, super excited! Screenings are the fun part of filmmaking - ha!

Now it's about promotion, promotion, promotion. I am tweeting and updating our facebook and myspace and youtube pages, etc. etc., and we are planning to launch a brand-spanking new Not Since You Web site on Monday. I'll post the link once it's done. Would love your comments on it!

We also have a new trailer that our foreign sales company Curb Entertainment has created. They are using this trailer to sell the film at MIPCOM (the major TV sales market in Cannes) and at the American Film Market here in LA. 

Here is a sneak peek. Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Team with Massify.com and Killer Films to Make a Short

Killer Films, Ace Hotel, and Massify from Massify on Vimeo.


MASSIFY AND KILLER FILMS TEAM UP WITH ACE HOTEL FOR NEXT FILM

Next-Generation Talent Platform and Independent Cinema Icon Evolve Successful Alliance with Leading Hotel Group

New York (Sept. 30, 2009) – For its latest partnered production, Massify (www.massify.com) and Killer Films are joining forces with Ace Hotel to produce an innovative series of short films. Killer Films will work with a select group of writers and directors from the Massify community to shape concise, character-driven, comedic vignettes - with each story woven through the inspired setting of Ace's new Manhattan location. Actors and crew members will also be selected from Massify's network of talent to create the short films.

"We hope this production lends an element of transparency to the process of developing multiple projects simultaneously. The talent here is amazing and it's been a lot of fun so far," said Christine Vachon, co-founder of Killer Films. "Not to mention, grounding everything at Ace creates a physical and creative base."

"Expanding our partnership with Killer Films to include a brand like Ace Hotel is a great addition," added Massify CEO Geoff Pitfield. "It challenges filmmakers to be creative within certain limitations, while also tying the narratives together in a tangible way."

“We hope the hotel inspires great stories," said Alex Calderwood of Ace Hotel. "Our custom video on demand system allows us to curate and program unique content just like this. We hope that this will be an important way for Ace Hotel to be an on going friend to the independent film industry. Our guests are cultural enthusiasts and passionate about film, art and music and this fits perfectly with their interests.”

From now through the beginning of November, filmmakers can pitch their short film concepts on Massify. A group of finalists will be selected by Killer Films and given the opportunity to revise their scripts after receiving extensive feedback, before the films are chosen. Cast and crew members will be attached in early December, with production beginning shortly thereafter.

This project marks Massify and Killer Films' second partnered production. The first film, a festival-bound short titled Loop Planes, is currently in post-production.

LINKS
http://www.massify.com/killerfilms
http://www.killerfilms.com/
http://www.acehotel.com/

ABOUT KILLER FILMS
Created in 1995 by current principals Christine Vachon and Pam Koffler, Killer Films has established itself at the forefront of American independent cinema. It has a reputation for delivering challenging, thought-provoking and original movies from filmmakers with distinctive visions. Actors and directors are attracted to working with Killer because of its experience and its fearlessness, and the way it is protective of the artistic sensibilities of its collaborators. The company has produced over 30 films for directors as diverse as Todd Haynes, Kimberly Pierce, Mary Harron, Todd Solondz, Robert Altman and John Waters. Killer’s movies have been nominated for 8 Academy Awards and 20 Emmys, and won the Best Actress Oscar for Hilary Swank’s transformative performance in Boys Don’t Cry.

ABOUT MASSIFY
With over 45,000 members, Massify is the world’s largest and fastest growing online film production network. By enabling emerging talent and industry veterans to connect, collaborate, develop and promote projects - Massify creates a new platform for filmmaking as the industry moves into a digital age. Since its launch in 2008, Massify has amassed an impressive database of talent, created jobs for industry professionals, produced several projects and enabled countless more. Based in New York City, Massify is led by a team of seasoned technology and entertainment entrepreneurs. (www.massify.com)

ABOUT ACE HOTEL
Ace is the low card and the high card. Our rooms are affordable but replete with cool amenities, like turntables in select rooms with collections of vinyl from Other Music, customized Epiphone guitars, and Smeg refrigerators well stocked with delicious beverages and snacks. We partnered with design team Roman & Williams to fill the hotel with vintage furnishings from Brimfield antique markets and custom fixtures. Local street artists decorated the walls with murals and raw canvasses, and Michael Anderson created a huge graffiti installation in the lobby. We worked with designers like Coto, Various Projects, Mackintosh, Converse, and Levi’s to put our staff in custom threads. Our hotel is a friendly place, with lots of things to find. Ace Hotel New York is located on Broadway in the NoMad neighborhood of midtown Manhattan, with easy access to everywhere in the city.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Detailed Dialogue Action Continuity Script

As part of deliverables, there is a very innocuous-looking requirement: the Detailed Dialogue Action Continuity Script. It lurks around on your deliverable list taunting you with the idea that it will be a simple requirement. And then you go to do it and you are suddenly filled with immense dread: Basically it's a line by line, word by word breakdown of all the dialogue and action and even song lyrics according to time code and duration in seconds and frames. 

Ah, you think, no problem. I can do that. And then you do. And it sucks! It literally takes about 2 weeks full time to complete it. Your fingers will ache. Your back will hurt. Your butt will be flattened and your eyes will tear. Even the glass of wine after a hard day's work will take on a new meaning. 

Abbreviated at DDACS, this document is used by foreign buyers to create their subtitles and dubs. In post production, it has to be one of the most mind-numbing projects to tackle, if you decide to do it yourself. 

If you go to a company to have it completed, expect to drop around $2k (give or take) depending on the company. 

Now if you decide to do it yourself, good luck. There's practically no information available out there regarding the DDACS. There's a few random Web sites who have brief samples but that's about it. So unless you know someone who has a sample or you are friends with someone at a company who handles the DDACS, you will be hard-pressed to figure it out on your own. 

But don't give up. If you want to do it, you can. It's basically transcription work and while it's incredibly tedious, I believe it is something that anyone can do who has the patience for it. And it will save you a couple thousand and for an indie filmmaker that's the budget for your next short!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Not Since You to Premiere at the Hollywood Film Festival

Our romantic dramedy Not Since You will be premiering at the Hollywood Film Festival on Sunday, October 25 at 5pm at the Hollywood Arclight. We are excited to be part of the Hollywood Film Festival. A local screening is icing on the cake. And the cherry on top is screening at the premiere theater venue: the Hollywood Arclight. 

As an indie film, we find joy in the little things, like screening at the Arclight. We feel like kids in a candy store with this screening. We wish we could screen it on a film print but seeing that would mean an additional $30k, an HDCam will have to do. 

It's also great to be able to screen the film to a wider public audience. I hope any LA-based readers will come! I'd love to see you there. Now, it's time to promote, promote, promote!