Archives For Filmmaking

I desperately want to live in a world where impossible dreams can come true. And the more I live in this world, the more I believe that it is entirely possible. I have been reading Michael Hyatt’s book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, and he talks about how writing down your dreams will turn them into goals. And people who write them down are more likely to accomplish their goals.

I’m a list maker by nature. I even have lists for my lists. People have made fun of me for it my entire life, but it’s the only way I ever remember anything or get anything done.

Since I was twelve years old I have been writing down my dreams, and after reading Michael Hyatt’s book, I realized how powerful that statement actually was because many of the dreams I thought were impossible have actually come true for me.

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As I was growing up, Hollywood was the place every aspiring young filmmaker hoped to end up. I certainly spent hours daydreaming about what it would be like to work on a Hollywood set. However for me, independent film soon after became the next “cool” thing, at least for a teenager interested in film. I used to look for the Sundance laurels on every film I rented at Blockbuster and thought that a movie had to be good if it played at Sundance, and I soon began believing that film festivals would be the ticket to making it as a filmmaker.

However, times have changed and so has the film industry, and it would appear that the future of successful filmmaking might not be at film festivals but instead at comic conventions. If you’re a filmmaker, here are some reasons to check out comic conventions for your screenings.

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It’s been months (maybe years) of filming, editing, shooting pickups, re-editing, ect. The film is finally cut to perfection, and it’s time to sit down with a composer. You might find that talking to other film geeks is easy, but talking to a composer is a different ball game. Not all filmmakers speak “music talk.” So what do you do? Check out these tips and find out!

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As of right now, it is six weeks until the completion of the first short film that I wrote and directed, entitled AvariceIt has been a project that has taken 2 and a half years to complete, and it will only be about 15 minutes in its entirety. It’s crazy to think that 2 and a half years of a person’s life could be defined by 15 minutes, but that’s kind of how it feels.

It has been the most challenging thing I have done, which I’m sure will be followed by even greater challenges. It’s been a long journey, and I walk away with so much more than I had ever expected to. My only hope is that I can pass on valuable information to other first time filmmakers.

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Working with a Visual Effects Supervisor can be tough if it’s your first time doing it, especially in independent film. You only have one shot to get it right because there isn’t time or money for re-shoots.

I learned a lot of lessons while directing Avarice and working with Visual Effects Supervisor Dan Baker. Here are some great tips for driving your Visual Effects Supervisor to insanity:

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After two years of development, Final Draft’s iOS offering is finally here. Many have criticized Final Draft for being late to the game, and their recent Final Draft Reader flop just about started riots in the streets.

Final Draft says they didn’t want to release Writer till it was just right, so now that they have, is the app ready for prime time, or is it too soon to delete the iOS screenplay writing apps you’ve been using?

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I’ve written iOS filmmaking articles at Macedonia Films for long enough to realize that there are a common set of features I look for right off the bat. A lot of people would go straight for stability, aesthetics, and ease of use, but I think there are some app qualities that are nearer and dearer to filmmaking than the usual fare.

Filmmaking, by nature, is collaborative. The lone-gunman is either completely insane, or making his first film whereupon he will discover the error of his ways. The ability of an app to accommodate collaboration, then, is absolutely critical. Even though Macedonia Films is a small outfit, there’s at least 4-5 project leads that all need to share and modify schedules, shot-lists, and other documents.

Here are three criteria I’m going to be looking for in upcoming iOS app reviews. They’re not make or break when it comes to the usefulness of an app, but if the app doesn’t fit into a healthy workflow, why would I want to use it?

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I recently watched Jason and the Argonauts because I was attracted to cinematic legend Ray Harryhausen, who is well-known for his amazing work in stop motion animation.

However, despite its revered place among classic films, I have to say that I was not very impressed. The stop motion animation was very interesting and impressive, but I had a difficult time paying attention to the rest of it. After fighting to keep myself seated until the end (where there is a really cool skeleton fight scene), I realized that this movie did not differ all that much from Transformers. Continue Reading…

As I’ve been compiling notes for my (temporally shelved) book on iOS Filmmaking, I’ve noticed that filmmaking iOS apps aren’t exactly spreading like wildfire. I was a little surprised at first; filmmakers as a whole tend to be the cutting-edge, Apple-loyal types. I’ve found so many apps already that I consider essential to my workflow, apps that save me time and support better communication within my team. What’s gone wrong?

While AT&T’s dismal LA area cell service in the early days of the iPhone may be partly to blame, I have noticed a couple of things I feel are holding iOS back:

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Have you ever been introduced to a celebrity and found that there is a very thin line between being a fan and being a stalker? Well, I have. And I’m not really sure how it happened.

I’ve recently been introduced to the world of comic conventions where we have been going to promote our films, and I have gotten to know a lot of really interesting people there, most of whom are super awesome fans of the fantasy/science fiction world. So I am hoping that my experience will fall on understanding ears. Or maybe the world will forever think I’m insane.

Not sure which one… Continue Reading…