Friday, June 03, 2011

Tips for the Filmmaker

People Don't like Short Films
Guy Ducker wonders why people don't like short films, and comes up with three reasons:
  1. Chances of a short making some money – moderate
  2. Chances of a short making all its money back (depending on the budget) – small to tiny
  3. Chances of a short turning a meaningful profit – too low to calculate.
He then explains why you should still make one:
Short films can genuinely help your career. Come up with a strong idea, get the script right, cast it well and get good performances and your film will soar above most of the competition.
TalesFromTheCuttingRoomFloor: People Don't like Short Films

Working with Green Screens
Julie Babcock at Videomaker offers a tip for improving your Green Screen technique:
The trick to selling any effect is to match the light on your set to the light of the background plate. Choosing your background prior to starting production will allow you to plan your lighting design accordingly.
VideoMaker: Make your Green Screen Lighting More Believeable

Larry Jordan's Tips
Larry offers ten tips for improving your video. This is perhaps the best one:
10. Don’t try to make your video “perfect.” Just focus on making each video you do better than the last one. Larry’s Ten Tips for Improving Your Video

Helping the Audience understand
Jim Owen's tells directors that they have to be careful not to distract - or bore - their audience:
The director’s goal is to help the viewers understand, to guide their thoughts, whether the scene is describing a technical process or telling a joke. The director does not want to confuse or distract them by irrelevancies. It is important to present a logical sequence of ideas that the audience can easily follow.
MasteringFilm: Don’t Distract Your Audience

How to become a Background Actor
This article covers how to get a job, as well as dealing with SAG, and the difference between being a non-union extra and a union extra:
SAG’s website currently makes reference to only the “3-voucher” system as to how non-union B.A.s can qualify for membership in SAG. A voucher is merely an authorized time card given to the B.A. from the production company. To become a union B.A., you must earn three vouchers from SAG signatory productions. Once you achieve this magic number, you can apply for membership by filling out an application and submitting your original paycheck stubs.
NewEnglandFilm: Extra, Extra: How to Become a Background Actor

Alternatives for Distributing your movie online
Another article at New England Film looks at digital film distribution, and focuses on alternatives to iTunes and Netflix, such as Dynamo Player, Distrify and EggUP, and Yawm, services which might be a better solution for small films:
While all the services expressed concern about piracy, digital DIY distribution is its own anti-piracy effort in some ways. “Distrify is built on the philosophy that if something is made available at a fair price, people will buy it rather than pirate it,” explained Distrify’s Gerard. “What we want to encourage is micro-businesses among film lovers.” Dynamo Player CEO Rob Millis echoed this idea, saying, “The biggest protection we have against piracy is making it easy to pay for something of quality.” And, he added, “Most people want to pay for content.”
NewEnglandFilm:Digital DIY Distribution: Another Way to Be Heard

The reality of low-budget filmmaking
Mike Vogel writes that "after making two nanobudget movies (The Waiting List & Did You Kiss Anyone?), I realize that some of the impressions I had about filmmaking were a bit glamorized. So I made this handy, printable chart…" Highlights include:
IMAGINE: Discussing how to employ chiaroscuro lighting techniques with your Director of Photography.
ACTUALLY: Lighting with round paper lanterns you bought at Ikea.

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