February 9, 2013

Upcoming B&H Seminar: 'Making a Movie Without a Hollywood Budget and Big Crew'

Beginning in the summer of 2010, filmmaker Gail Mooney and her daughter took a 99-day journey all over the world to create "a film about people who were making a positive difference." Opening Our Eyes was the result. The partially Kickstarter-funded film follows eleven subjects across six continents, and went on to achieve accolades such as Best Documentary at the 2012 Orlando Film Festival. Considering the scope and scale of the project, and the budget at which it was accomplished, Opening Our Eyes is a startling achievement -- and, through an upcoming B&H seminar with Mooney herself, other filmmakers can learn exactly how it was accomplished.

Below is the film's original Kickstarter video:

And here are the details on the seminar straight from B&H, and Opening Our Eyes' official trailer:

Making a Movie Without a Hollywood Budget and Big Crew

Most video seminars focus on “the gear” when talking about the DSLR as a movie making tool, but few provide a case study, showing by example, how to take an idea, create a project and monetize it. There is a high demand right now for story driven content for the web and beyond. We live in an age where the content creator is king/queen of their content’s financial destiny – the gates to the kingdom are open to all who are willing to think outside the box and do “the work”.

This seminar will provide the audience with information on how to take a personal project from concept to reality and maximize its potential in the marketplace. Gail [Mooney] will discuss making your film or creative project a reality:

  • Recognizing an idea and overcoming inertia
  • Breaking the project down into manageable facets
  • Logistics – Scheduling, travel arrangements
  • PR and press – finding the niches
  • Building an audience with a project blog and utilizing social media
  • Crew needs – what you really need
  • In the field – the shoot – being prepared but flexible
  • Post-Production – collaborating with an editor, sound mixer, composers and music licensing, composite artist
  • Raising funds but keeping your rights – crowd funding (Kickstarter, IndieGoGo), Grants, Sponsorships
  • Distribution options – selling your project – not your soul

For those interested (and in the area/looking to make a trip), the live seminar will be held at the B&H Event Space in New York City on March 19 from 1-3pm -- reservations are available on the seminar's event page at B&H.


Your Comment


This sounds cool. I'll be in Texas around that time teaching the same kinds of things.

February 9, 2013 at 6:12AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Hey DIYFilmSchool.net:

I'm not calling you out but most of your comments, on all the posts, seem to be superficial with no real additive substance. I'm sure your not just doing it to add traffic to your site. Riiiiiiiiiiight?

February 9, 2013 at 7:04AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM

David F

Dave, it’s unfortunate that you don’t find my comments of any value, but can you explain to me how leaving engaging comments doesn’t add value to NFS? Or how stimulating conversation doesn’t increase activity on this site (like right now)? How is it vain to leave commentary that benefits NSF which MAY consequently drive traffic to my site because readers find it relevant? Does that detract from or add to the value of NoFilmSchool? Or is the issue simply that the opinion I give is coupled with a brand?

February 9, 2013 at 8:15AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Hey DIYFilmSchool.net.

It's unfortunate you took offense to my comment. Here's a list if your last " engaging comments" which were under your websites name and Logo. I have a brand and a business myself. I'm just saying that Koo has worked hard to build this website business and it would be cool of you, if you want to advertise on his site, that you pay like the rest of the people over on the right. But I'm sure your not just advertising for your business. Riiiiiiight?

"This sounds cool. I’ll be in Texas around that time teaching the same kinds of things."

"I saw the silica gel post via FilmmakerIQ the other day and I highly respect Evan Luzi for providing the kind of information he does about camera operation — information that was never taught to me in school."

"This is cool, but if I’m going to build anything it’s going to be the RotoRig. Half the price and twice the functionality."

"I like the idea of this camera but it, along with many of the cameras that have been covered in recent months, are beyond my price point."

"Both the 6D and the Mosaic filter are out of my price range, but it’s good to know that this is available for people who are able to spend more yet are still looking for a deal."

February 9, 2013 at 8:44AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM

David F

I get where you are coming from but those comments sound like a majority of discussion that goes on here with or without DIY.

Still, you're obviously trying to promote. Maybe you should pay for advertising instead of doing it this way.

February 9, 2013 at 11:38AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


What you're doing is cheeky. You've not only borrowed from the same pool of ideas on how to name your website, but you're then advertising that website here on NFS. And to add further insult, your website doesn't offer anywhere near the level of content and quality information that NFS already offers. There are others that post here that have their own blogs - Luke Neumann (NeumannFilms), Evan Luzi (Black and Blue), Frank Glencairn, and so on and so on. The difference is that they post here as individuals, not as brands... oh, and that they generally have something useful to add to a discussion. Everything you post seems like some segue into "why don't you check out my site?". I think you'd be better served by posting as Anthony Ferreri, and posting some quality discussion points, so that people can't help but want to know more about you. I fully support anyone who's trying to make a living in this field, but I can't support someone who's dangerously close to infringing just to do so.

Now, to try and steer this back to relevant discussion, since you brought it up, are you interested in giving a few bullet points about what you'll be talking about at this Texan convention?

February 9, 2013 at 3:41PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Hey Dave,
Thanks for pointing it out. I don't know if anyone else has in the past, but I've noticed DIY FS's posts since I started hanging out on NFS a few months ago. It seems like DIY really has no reason for posting...

February 9, 2013 at 8:53AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


I'd like to add that his website is one of those utterly useless websites that only exist to sell one of those cheesy digital download ebook thingy majigs. There's basically zero useful content on that website. Makes me laugh.

February 9, 2013 at 12:08PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Wow. Can we turn the vitriol down? I believe that there's three boxes "name" "mail" and "website." Perhaps all the self appointed arbiters of responsible NFS posts can let the sites admin do the "heavy pounding?" If they have a problem with DIYFilmschool.net, they can say as much. And seriously, pointing out DIYFilmschool.net's previous posts is oddly self aggrandizing, contradictory, and hypocritical. There's enough negativity out there without adding to it here.

February 9, 2013 at 6:25PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Sounds like a great seminar. Hope they post a video of it afterwards. Can't tell from their YouTube channel whether they do that for every event or not.

February 9, 2013 at 7:13AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


He is just a competitor trying to get his piece. Ask any news organization about the value of the Huffington Post regurgitating one of their stories. It is becoming more and more the norm online. If this guy sticks at it religiously for a long time he will establish somewhat of a base and could make a few bucks though.

February 9, 2013 at 6:55PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Hey Dave:
I can't speak for anyone else but I respectfully decline your comment. It sounds like your'e trying to tell us what to do and considering your'e not admin shouldn't your own words apply to you?

"Perhaps all the self appointed arbiters of responsible NFS posts can let the sites admin do the “heavy pounding?” "

does this not make you "self aggrandizing, contradictory, and hypocritical" (Your words not mine)

As far as my posting his previous post; He called my bluff so I had to show him my cards.

NFS is a great site. Koo, Joe and the rest of the crew work incredibly hard to find and disseminate good relavent information for their readers as such they deserve some respect for their efforts. People can say anything they want on blogs but once you start to disrespect the admin and the community by blatantly hawking your wears, and not giving something in return, it becomes un-cool. I don't verbally contribute often to NFS but I do click through on the ads and purchase products I need. Why? Because this is a self supporting eco-system and those that carry the load should be monetarily rewarded for their efforts or the ship sinks.

So this brings my argument full circle. Koo, Joe and Crew, please consider admonishing DIY for blatantly hawking his wears on your site without due reciprocity. Oh and while your'e at it please admonish me also for "self aggrandizing, contradictory, and hypocritical" behavior.

I am out!

February 10, 2013 at 7:33AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM

David F

I think it's great that B&H has the time and resources to provide seminars and educational tools to their user base. They're most likely one of the biggest retailers in our field. Showing people how to use products Is a great way to get clients. Although if this promotes the actual craft and not the gear that would be amazing. Not too many videos actually go into the process unless it some long documentary or BTS on a BluRay.

To the guys up top let's keep it civilized and remain on topic until Koo and NFS staff can speak up for themselves. But I agree that DIYFS has been quite derailing over the past few months.

February 11, 2013 at 8:24AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM

Jorge Cayon

This type of seminar in the digital age is the type that should be...FREE and LIVE and LIVE STREAMED.

I'm seriously praying BH is not charging for this.

The idea that it hypes is a good one; but to continually monetizing every single, gdamn idea of creativity and education and enlightenment in this digital age and world is getting downright sick. Do a lot of money crunchers and grubbers forget who and how and why the internet and therefore, the digital age was created and invented for? Not every idea and helping hand is for sale. That's why content creators in the digital age are pretty much telling HWD system to go to hell and go right to the audiences themselves.

February 12, 2013 at 5:35AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Is this going to be online at all in the future? I would love to go if I had the money. :/

February 13, 2013 at 9:31PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


That girl, Maggie, from the Opening Your Eyes movie is totally amazing! :)

February 16, 2013 at 7:03PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Heroic stuff from Gail and Erin, this is why we are here. It's that simple. Get on The Road.

June 2, 2013 at 10:13AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM