» Posts Tagged ‘manchild’

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sundance screenwriters lab fellows 2014

It takes a village to make an independent film, and there are few villages as important and supportive as the Sundance Institute. If you don’t know the institute and its programs, you certainly know the films that exist because of the Institute’s immeasurable support. Previously I shared how I got into the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, and speculated about why I was fortunate enough to be selected this year after not making it in the past (hint: make a short – regardless of the labs, so many of this year’s festival features were adapted from shorts). Now that the lab and the festival are over, I’d like to share some things I learned at the life-changing (and I don’t use that term lightly) Sundance Screenwriters Lab. More »

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sundance_institute_logo_detail_02Earlier this week the news broke that I’ve been selected for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab with my project MANCHILD. On top of that I’ve received the inaugural A3 Foundation Sundance Fellowship.

This.
Is.
A.
Dream come true!

I’m not sure if it’s possible to look forward to something more than going to the Screenwriters Lab and my first Sundance.

Here was my step-by-step approach to getting selected for the lab: More »

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EXIT STRATEGY 1Hot on the heels of a long overdue update about my feature MANCHILD, I’m happy to share that the production company I co-founded with Zack Lieberman, EXIT STRATEGY, is one of eight companies selected for the inaugural class of the Dogfish Accelerator program (that’s our ridiculous team photo at left). Dogfish Accelerator is the first seed accelerator for film production companies, modeled on startup incubators like TechStars, and is co-founded by producer James Belfer (Like Crazy, Compliance, Prince Avalanche). We publicized the program here on No Film School, as that is one of our missions with this site — to share opportunities that may be potentially career-changing for filmmakers — and Zack and I felt it represented such an opportunity for us and our long-germinating interactive project, 3RD RAIL. This post is long overdue, as we’re already two months into the three-month accelerator, but that’s what happens when you juggle projects and responsibilities — something that is a must in the film industry. Ridley Scott, for example, currently has 11 projects announced, in pre-production, filming, or in post-production. This is a good opportunity to talk about Dogfish and how MANCHILD and 3RD RAIL relate to the art of stacking projects, otherwise known as having an answer to the question every filmmaker is asked when a project garners recognition: “what’s next?” More »

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amateur-websites

The last time I posted about my MANCHILD prequel AMATEUR, I was asking for help and releasing a teaser trailer to help the short get picked up by sports and film websites. By releasing a short film directly online instead of waiting to get into festivals, I was accelerating the release schedule and — at least in theory — finding an audience everywhere, instead of just in a few select theaters. I’m glad to say that AMATEUR has now been featured on a lot of prominent websites and has enjoyed a lot of festival play as well — despite being free online. Let’s take a look at how we achieved this, the lessons I learned, and the status and schedule of the long-delayed but better-than-ever feature MANCHILD. More »

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AMATEUR MANCHILD court PR stillMy Q&A about MANCHILD (and its prequel short AMATEUR) just went live on my favorite sports/movie website, Grantland (if you like it, please click “Recommend”at the bottom of their article!). Grantland is ESPN’s in-depth, long-form journalism spin-off that features movies alongside sports coverage, which made it my #1 target for AMATEUR. Most sports websites, however, are accustomed to posting a quick highlight clip or an animated .gif. Thus, to spread the short to other sports sites, we’re doing a couple of things: one, releasing the short on YouTube, and two, cutting a 15-second teaser that (hopefully) whets the appetite. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again (with a different strategy). Here’s the new teaser: More »

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Last week I posted AMATEUR, the prequel to my forthcoming feature MANCHILD, and the response to the short has been downright amazing. Thank you to everyone who has watched it! If you haven’t seen it yet, it is embedded below, and if you have seen it, here’s how two seconds of your time can make a big difference for the project: More »

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AMATEUR is a short prequel demonstrating my vision for MANCHILD, the feature film we’re making next. I’ve never been so excited to release something, so I hope you like it! If you like the short and want to see the feature, please head over to our just-launched website for MANCHILD and share it. I’m releasing this directly online, and that’s how this short will spread — every tweet, facebook like, and share makes a BIG difference. Thank you! More »

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UPDATE: the application form is now closed for this round, thanks!

We’re working hard on my feature MANCHILD and the associated short, and we’re looking for some extra hands on deck. I’d like to think this is a good opportunity; you’d be working directly with myself and other folks like Gotham Award-winning, Spirit Award-nominated producer Chip Hourihan, as well as some of the best post houses and web startups around. Read on if you’re interested in interning and you’re in New York City: More »

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In the comments section of my more-contentious-than-I-expected post about making a short that ties into my forthcoming feature MANCHILD, there were a lot of questions about my project, as well as the overall wisdom of making a short in order to fundraise for a feature. Reading through the comments, I realized I could’ve delved deeper into the timeline of what’s happened since my Kickstarter campaign. So, to answer some of the questions posed in the comments — as well as to generally shoot the shit about filmmaking — I sat down (virtually) with NFS editor Joe Marine for an wide-ranging video chat. More »

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UPDATE: In response to some of the (heated! opinionated!) questions and comments on this post, we did a long video Q&A as well.

I wrote recently about finishing the screenplay for my feature MANCHILD (for now… ), but it’s been a while since I talked about what else is going on in the trenches of first-time feature filmmaking. The title of the post gives it away: we’re making a short. Why are we doing this? And why do I think this strategy makes a lot of sense for other first-time feature directors? Because there are millions of people with a screenplay, all trying to figure out how to get from here (words on a page) to there (actual finished movie). If your goal seems impossibly far off, that’s when it’s time to bite off a smaller chunk and show what you’re capable of. More »

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A few months ago I finished the screenplay for my feature MANCHILD (for now, at least). I’ll have more updates on the project soon, but suffice to say there’s been a long rewriting process since I ran my Kickstarter campaign over a year ago. And while this wasn’t the first screenplay I’ve written, it’s certainly the best, and the one on which I’ve worked the longest and hardest. Over the past two years, here are the things that have helped my screenwriting process. More »

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First of all, I want to start this post off by saying I have a tremendous amount of respect for Lucas McNelly. Not just because of the articles he’s written for numerous websites, but also his A Year Without Rent project in which he traveled to work on indie films for free for a year, as well his free VODO film Blanc de Blanc (I haven’t had a chance to see his other work yet). As someone who did my own year without rent, I feel an affinity for Lucas despite never having met him, and I think he’s great for the indie film community. Lucas, this is not a personal attack on you by any means, and I’d love to get a beer with you at some point should we ever find ourselves in the same city or at the same festival. HOWEVER, I want to take this opportunity to talk about Lucas’s criticisms of some Kickstarter campaigns — mine included — and how I believe attitude and criticism affects creativity and productivity. I’ll also talk about the rise of the professional crowdfunding consultant. This is going to be a long, rambling post with a high risk of TL;DR — don’t say I didn’t warn you. More »

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It’s been a while since I’ve had an update on my feature Man Child, as I haven’t had any major news to share. Last week, however, the Tribeca Film Institute announced their 2012 All Access grantees, and I’m incredibly honored to be among them. In addition to sharing my own good news, I’d also like to raise awareness about a pair of Tribeca programs currently open for applications: the Tribeca New Media Fund and the Tribeca Film Fellow program. First, here are the details on All Access, and then I’ll share details on the other programs, as well as more about the current status of Man Child. More »

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In a post about the new RED SCARLET-X, I mentioned that I ordered the camera myself. First of all, some context: I’ve been a “professional” in video (since apparently we need to distinguish between professional and amateur) since I was hired as a video editor in 1999, at the age of 18. Since then, save my four year stint in college, I’ve made my living in and around the industry, shooting, editing, directing, producing, designing, etc. for hire (here’s a resume). Yet I’ve never owned a “professional” camera. So I got all excited on Twitter about the prospect of finally being able to own and operate a camera of the SCARLET-X’s caliber, after twelve years of working my way up to this point. But I’ve been surprised at the number of people who have left comments questioning this decision, accusing me of misspending the Man-child Kickstarter funds, or writing critiques with me at the center. So here are a dozen points of clarification: More »

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Here’s what I learned from running a $125,000 Kickstarter campaign for my feature film Man-child, which became the most funded project in Kickstarter’s narrative film category — for just one day, it turns out. More »

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The Kickstarter campaign for Man-child ended successfully at 108% funded: $125,100!!! Thank you all so much — it’s been a dream come true. If you missed the deadline, you can still back the project here! According to Ustream we had over 1,300 views of our live video stream of the concluding party — the archive of the video is below. Thank you all for making this possible, from the bottom of my heart! Now the real work begins… More »

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THANK YOU ALL!!!

Thank you for supporting my first feature film. Thank you for spreading the word. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for bearing with me as this site got a bit overrun with campaign promos. And thank you for reading! I’ll have a better write up in a while when I have a chance to decompress and edit a post, but in the meantime — Man-child hit 100% with 10 hours left, thanks to you guys. I sent out a last email to NFS readers and the campaign jumped so fast that I couldn’t refresh the page fast enough. Come join us at the party tonight in NYC, or here online live at 9PM EDT!

If you’re not subscribed to the newsletter, I wanted to share with you a story I included in my last email about the campaign. The concept for the NoFilmSchool newsletter has been to write letters to myself that would’ve helped me avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made so far in my career. I’m not constantly selling stuff in the newsletter and so I run it at a loss. But the idea is that if I can genuinely help people, regardless of short-term dollars, somehow it all comes back around: and the success of my Kickstarter campaign is exhibit A! Here’s the email: More »

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Exactly 24 hours left in the Man-child campaign, and we’re so close! Despite this screencap from my Twitter campaign video, I haven’t had a team to help. But what I have had is help from a lot of other websites! So in addition to writing a dozen posts about Man-child here on NoFilmSchool, participating in Independent Film Week, Facebooking and Twittering almost non-stop, and writing my own Press Release — all while simultaneously trying to post the latest helpful news about filmmaking here, as usual — I’ve also thankfully popped on a lot of other web sites. Some of these were guest posts, some were interviews, and some were posts written by others out of the simple desire to help the campaign. This has been a community effort that has made it this far thanks to, literally, thousands of people. I can’t say it enough: thank you so much for helping. It takes a village! As I say in the post title — and to use a sports analogy — I’ve left it all on the court. Now we’re on the cusp of making history together. Here’s a list of appearances elsewhere that I’ve been able to keep track of over the last 37 days: More »

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NoFilmSchool reader @truphtooph took to Twitter recently to offer up some reasons to back my campaign to make my first feature film, which ends tomorrow night. Man-child, I don’t need to remind you, will raise nothing if the campaign falls short! Also, I had nothing to do with these tweets — it was a simple act of unprompted generosity. My favorite reason of his has to do with [easyazon-link asin="0767846869"]American Movie[/easyazon-link] — and what could happen if Man-child ends up sucking!

Here are his six reasons: More »

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I’ve learned a lot over the past 36 days of running a potentially record-breaking Kickstarter campaign for my film Man-child. The clock has switched from “days” to “hours” remaining and we may or may not make it! I’ve tried to share what I’ve learned about crowdfunding along the way, including a Ten Must-Read Posts Before Running Your Own Crowdfunding Campaign post. Here’s a second compilation of valuable posts.

One thing I learned after the first couple of weeks: I implemented an unsaid rule for my twitter account that I wouldn’t mention my film campaign (or retweet the mentions of others) unless I had talked about something else since my last mention of the campaign. There’s a balance between talking about yourself and remaining relevant. And while that might balance might have shifted over the past few days — there are only 2 days left, so my sense of urgency is overpowering the desire to show self-promotion restraint — this Twitter lesson is included in one post below.

As I say in the introduction to the first ten, “luck favors the prepared.” And in setting out to run this campaign, I read a whole lot more than ten posts. So here’s a second set of ten posts to read when preparing your own campaign. More »