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Direct distribution platforms have made finding an audience for independent, no budget movies a real possibility. And though much of your effort might be focused on just getting your film online and monetized, there is a whole area of distribution that could provide potential profits that may be slipping past your attention: bonus content. VHX, a direct-to-fan distribution platform, has crunched the numbers on which content options are the most popular for the documentary STRIPPED – a project that has harnessed the power of bonus content to appeal to their fan base, and has put more money into the pockets of the film’s creators.
Though it has been made much more doable thanks to crowdfunding platforms, securing funding and navigating the process to maximize your return can be tricky. DP Katie Maul and the team of filmmakers working on the indie doc Trichster, have run a total of 3 successful crowdfunding campaigns for the film, and Maul has shared some tips on how you could approach your next fundraising efforts.
This is a guest post by Katie Maul. More »
Leaving your home to shoot a movie in different country is certainly not for the faint of heart, something cinematographer Richard Patterson knows all too well. When he traveled to Haiti from the U.S. to shoot a short documentary entitled Papa Machete about the slowly vanishing martial art of Haitian Machete Fencing, he was met with many different types of issues concerning gear, media management, you name it. Thankfully, Patterson decided to share what he learned with all of us.
This is a guest post by Richard Patterson. More »
For the last two years, Brooklyn-based filmmaker Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt has been directing a documentary called Havana Motor Club, which explores Cuba’s underground drag-racing community and their quest to hold the first official car race in Cuba since the Revolution. He learned quite a bit about filming in the country, and in the final days of his Kickstarter campaign to raise post-production funds, is sharing with us what you need to know if you want to shoot there (some of which can apply to other countries you might shoot in).
Have you ever wanted to just make a “quick and easy” film? That was filmmaker Joey Ciccoline’s intention for his first narrative short, a sci-fi film entitled 88:88, which has now gone on to win a handful of awards (including a Vimeo Staff Pick) and screened at festivals all around the world. But his idea for a “simple short film” turned into an exercise in creating stunning and clever practical effects without a small crew and an even smaller budget. Now Ciccoline wants to let you in on how he captured (almost) all of those effects in-camera.
After months of busting your hump making pitch videos, coming up with rewards, and tweeting like there was no tomorrow, (hopefully) you’ve found yourself celebrating a fully funded crowdfunding campaign. However, before you start reveling in your success, you might want to figure out just how much of those funds will make it into your production’s budget not only after you pay your platform’s fees, but after you pay the taxman as well. Yes, taxes can take a pretty substantial bite out of your funds, but here are a few ideas on how to run your Kickstarter campaign to make the bite less severe come Tax Day next year.
If you’re involved with the dark arts of video in any way, there’s a good chance at some point that you’ve created, or at least come across, a demo reel. While traditional demo reels are usually your best video pieces cut to music, how can you really stand out from the crowd in any meaningful way if they’re all pretty much the same? Nora De tackles that very subject and shows off her “remixed” demo reel, talking about how it landed her a job, and how rethinking your reel could help you land your own dream job.
Back in 2012, we covered the Kickstarter for a short film called Prospect, which would eventually go on to premiere at this year’s SXSW film festival. Besides using relatively inexpensive gear to create some fantastic visuals, the directing duo of Zeek Earl & Christopher Caldwell had quite a bit of help from enthusiastic volunteers who found out about the project after the Kickstarter campaign. The short film has finally been released to the public, and you can watch it below, and read about some of the lessons the team learned throughout the entire project. More »
[This is a guest post by Mark Tapio Kines] More »
If you’re looking to tell people about your film and get some buzz going, social media is probably your best bet, seeing how Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and so many other platforms have helped filmmakers not only find their film’s audience, but get their films made. Filmmaker Robert Mockler shares how he used social media to do just that for his film Like Me, which is currently in the running for Indiewire’s Project of the Year.
This is a guest post by Robert Mockler. More »
One of the biggest reasons why filmmakers go to film festivals, including Cannes, is not just to showcase their films, but to network and make new industry contacts. In the final part of our 3-part series on how to Survive the Cannes Short Film Festival, filmmaker Lit Kilpatrick fills us in on how and where to network, including where to go and who to look out for, at the festival based on his own experience attending last year.
Preparing yourself for any film festival can be a stressful situation, and for those of you getting ready to go to the Cannes Short Film Corner, the clock is ticking! If you’re finding yourself lost trying to figure out how to start preparing for your stay, filmmaker Lit Kilpatrick is here to share a few lessons he learned from his trip last year. This is Part 2 of his 3-part series on how to survive the Cannes Short Film Corner.
The Cannes International Film Festival is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, but premiering, screening, and awarding the best feature films isn’t all that Cannes has to offer. Cannes Short Film Corner is an event that allows the creators of short films an opportunity to show their projects to a massive audience, pitch future projects, and hopefully make many important connections as well. However, the festivities can seem quite overwhelming, but Brooklyn-based filmmaker Lit Kilpatrick is here to walk you through Cannes and fill you in on how to make the most out of your visit. Lit describes all of the basics for those who aren’t familiar with the short film corner in part 1 of our 3-part series.
Having a two-camera set-up can have many great benefits. It can cut down on your production time/cost, streamline your work and make it more efficient, as well as provide much-needed continuity to the final product, which will ultimately raise your film’s production value. If you’re working with a skeleton crew, a multi-camera rig might be a good solution to having to hire more people, but be forewarned — there can be pitfalls to that set-up (e.g. Tommy Wiseau’s multi-camera/multi-format frankenrig that he used in The Room). Filmmaker Rubidium Wu puts this set-up to the test, mounting a Blackmagic Cinema Camera and a Canon 5D Mark III to a MōVI 10 gimbal stabilizer to see if he can cut down on costs, time, and even permit applications!
When many of us first picked up a camera, it was whatever we had lying around. Maybe it was dad’s old Super 8 at home or the Handycam in your high school yearbook class. It was available, affordable, and convenient, so the choice was already made whether you knew it or not. Today, however, there are a lot of cameras out there so naturally beginning filmmakers will ask themselves, “How do I choose a camera?”
Finding money is often one of the toughest tasks many independent film producers face, as well as one of the most critical. You need money to make movies, and you need to make movies to build a successful career. Building relationships with investors is one big, important step you can take to help find money on an ongoing basis for your projects and further your cause.
This is a guest post by Fred Siegel, CPA. More »
As is customary at the beginning of every new year, we ask ourselves, “How will this year be different? What will change? What will stay the same?” As filmmakers, I’m sure most of us are asking these questions about the film industry, perhaps even making assertions and predictions about what we’ll be seeing in cinema in 2014, and founder of Sub-Genre Media, Brian Newman does the same. Here are his 10 predictions about the 2014 film industry. This is a guest post by Brian Newman. More »
Apple’s release of the Final Cut Pro X 10.1 update came with a number of new features. From more 4K software and hardware support to better project and media management, FCP X’s new capabilities are many, and here to share his first impressions of the update is a filmmaker who has had extensive experience with the powerful NLE.
This week the Sundance Film Festival announced the 118 features that will play this year’s festival, selected from 4,057 submissions. Here at No Film School we are not good at math, but we are pretty sure this means 3,939 filmmakers were rejected from the festival. This short letter is for you guys.
Director Ryan Lightbourn dropped out of film school and decided to strike out on his own, making films and music videos with gear he bought himself. Having just recently finished his first feature film Sleepwalkers, Ryan decided to let us behind the scenes, explaining his process as he made his film using an array of different types of gear, including the RED SCARLET, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, and the 5D Mark III.