Steve Kaplan is a great scriptwriting educator, especially in the area of comedy. Why oh why does no one seem to listen!?!?!
Here’s a little snippet where he savages forced comedy.
And then sit back and enjoy the whole conversation.
Great stuff from FilmCourage.com
Do I know the guys over at GregGreenFilms.com? No I do not.
Do I love this article they wrote? Yes I do!
It is short and to the point. If you are not doing or very, very seriously thinking about doing these things for your indie film then why bother making it?
There are thousands of independent films made every year but most of them will only be seen by friends and family of the filmmakers. Why? Because the filmmakers didn’t think about how their film would be marketed and sold BEFORE it was produced.
Earlier this year the German version of the American version of the British version of The Office came to the big screen in Germany.
The TV show ran for 5 seasons in the Germany, between 2004 and 2012 (no, I don’t understand that either!) and is a fine example of the well known German sense of humour (sarcasm intended). But, the show was highly successful, but that was where it ended. When the show (finally) limped to an end in 2012 no further plans were made.
Now, the show is not without it’s controversies. The show’s makers actually did not acknowledge it as being a remake of the Office. In 2007 the BBC brought in the lawyers and “inspired by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant” was added to the end credits (and a bag of cash was deposited somewhere in the Caribbean).
Maybe that was what led to the ‘no further plans’ thing. But, whatever the reason, the German fans were not content to let the show fail. A crowdfunding campaign was started by producers Brainpool. In a week they had raise €1 million. They did it in an interesting way. For each €1 invested, if more than 1 million people saw the film then the investors would get back €.50. This kind of investor profit sharing is a very clever idea and I can definitely see this being a wave of the future as we go away from ‘gifting’ to true investing.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention that for 3 weeks the Stromberg film was the top grossing film in Germany. In it’s first two weeks in took in €30 million.
With numbers like that, and the interesting business model, Germany – and other European nations – might be on to a winning formula for home grown content resurgence!
Recently, Alex Gandra over at Raindance published the article below.
It’s an interesting article, obviously strongly based on personal opinion.
I would have made other choices – I find Sarah Polley’s ‘Away From Her’ much more moving than ‘Stories We Tell’, and I could have done without all the 70s European work that really does not stand up to the test of time.
But the article got me thinking (which is the most an article like this can hope for).
So I did what any house-bound net troll would do: I googled.
BFI’s ’10 great British films directed by women’.
There really are some crackers on here! Sally Potter’s Orlando, Jane Arden’s The Other Side of the Underneath, Dreams of a Life (which I haven’t seen but sounds awesome!). And in the comments you get even more goodies: Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher and Andrea Arnold’s Fishtank (hmm, note the animal theme!).
But ok, ok. There’s got to be more.
So I googled further!
And without further ado here is my own list. I stick to top 10 because I am soooo lazy.
- LOST IN TRANSLATION (Sofia Coppola, 2003)
- BOYS DON’T CRY (Kimberly Peirce, 1999)
- THE HURT LOCKER (Kathyrn Bigelow 2008)
- YENTL (Barbra Streisand 1983) – so sue me!
- WINTER’S BONE (Debra Granik 2010)
- EUROPA, EUROPA (Agnieszka Holland, 1990)
- ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW (Miranda July 2005)
- WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN (Lynne Ramsay 2011)
- PRIVATE PARTS (Betty Thomas, 1997)
- MONSTER (Patty Jenkins, 2003)
A little while ago, for my Raindance Postgraduate Program, I wrote a blog posting covering the jump in Woody Allen’s films from ‘Love and Death’ in 1975 to his next film, ‘Annie Hall’ in 1977.
It seems fair enough to cross post this over to here.
I’m not a scholar, or a film writer, but I think that this transformation in Woody’s (I can call him Woody, right?) work is so notable that it might forgive my fumblings.
Brutal truth: Times change.
But, I do not think that human morality has fundamentally shifted. I do not think that people – in the case of this article, Australians – have all decided to break laws. People pirate content for other reasons, like because access to the content is so incredibly difficult and expensive.
So, in an unverified leaked memo the powers in Hollywood have their sights set on Australia – supposedly the place with the highest per capita pirates. And Hollywood is looking to fire a barrage of lawyers at the problem.
We know this won’t work. Firstly, because the hard core center of the piracy movement will change technologies and the litigation won’t work.
The smart money would be a TWO-PRONGED approach – litigation in the face of a better, cheaper, simpler system for regular people.
My mother does not want to learn how to use BitTorrent…she just wants to watch TV shows, in her living room in Canada, that are at the moment only available in the UK. This to me seems so basic. Removing territory locks would be a huge step towards ending piracy. And lowering the outrageous cost of a ‘digital copy’ that the small print says you don’t own anyway.
Ok ok… enough of me. Here’s the article.
Over at GreatBusinessSchools.org they have an amazing infographic about Netflix operations. It is so rich with content I could probably write a couple pages on it…but I won’t.
Some key facts:
- Netflix will spend $100 million making two seasons of House of Cards. To recoup that they need half a million people to subscribe for two years.
- Netflix offered up one of 10 different trailers for House of Cards based on the viewers previous viewing habits. Big Data rules the roost at Netflix
Give it a view yourself. Very well researched and referenced bit of work.
I have mentioned this several times already in the short life of this blog, and I know I will mention it dozens of more times:
Sound is the most important part of your film
And I have found a brother in arms over at BleedingCool.com. They are running an ongoing series on making your film. They are up to part 20(!), where they discuss sound.
Writer Chris Hood covers the whole gamut, from on location production sound, to looping, to scoring, to track separation.
It’s an awesome read!
Over at FilmmakingStuff.com they have a new article about selling your film.
This is an area that most filmmakers fall down at. There are 3 stages in a movie
- raising the money
- making the movie
- selling the movie.
Stage 2 is the easiest. Trust me.
And filmmakers can be ok with Stage 1, as it really is all about convincing other people of your passion to make this.
It’s stage 3 that is the killer. I think there are a few reasons for this. A lot of it comes down to burn out. After making the film your brain tries to tell you it’s all over. And you’re tired of the film.
So, the FilmmakingStuff article – while basic – is the kind of thing you need to read to get you off your ass. There are some good points in the article.
Ok, personally I hate the term ‘YouTube Millionaire’ but it works with my title. YouTube Millionaire, for those of you who don’t know, refers to channels that have at least a million subscribers.
One such millionaire is actress/director Anna Akana. Akana came to prominence in the much ballyhoo’d web series Riley Rewind.
In this good little interview from TubeFilter.com Akana talks about her evolution and process.
It leaves out one thing that I am slowly realising is a crucial ingredient for web series success. You must feature young and beautiful people. I don’t know why someone just doesn’t come out and say it!