Ted Hope’s 1% for Filmmakers

Recently everyone seems to be going on about ‘the 1%’. From The blockupy movement, to the climate change movement to…the filmmaking movement?

Not sure what kind of OCD moment Ted Hope’s guest columnist Scott McMahon (from Film Trooper) was experiencing the day he wrote this article, but, it is a bit of fun with numbers. Well…depressing fun with numbers, really.

Scott has this wacky theory that everything can be boiled down to this number. It’s interesting reading, if only for the numbers he quotes.

But – a word to Scott (and Ted) 16 / 1666 is indeed almost 1%, but in the article it is quoted as .01%.

Hey, we’re filmmakers, not mathematicians!

1 Page Film School: Raiders of the Lost Ark

Now this is cool.

Editor Vashi Nedomansky seemingly has an obsession with Raiders of the Lost Ark. He has compiled what he calls a ‘1 Page Film School’ about the landmark Lucas/Speilberg picture. He has assembled video clips and PDF downloads that cover many aspects of the production (and post-production) of the film.

It is incredibly informative to get this information together in a single place and it is especially great that this is all from an industry, not fan, point of view.

Well done, Vashi!


A new ‘golden age’? TV Stream Auteur

This article appeared in New York Magazine, which is an indication of just how mainstream the concepts of auteurism and streaming-only content, are! A quick look into whether we are entering another resurgence for filmmakers thanks to a new platform.

The real question for me is… will any filmmakers make any money?!

Looking (Again) into the Netflix and VOD data abyss

Another article that talks about the lack of numbers coming out -or not- of VOD platforms like Netflix.

This lack of transparency means it is very difficult to know a) what you should be making and b) where things are going wrong. Both are pretty vital understandings that we need to take away.

A look at rehearsing with first time actors

The folks who made indie comedy ‘Jerry’ have been very forthcoming with behind the scenes articles. This one is no exception. It offers a fascinating look at how they dealt with a cast of primarily first time actors.

Dealing with actors, and helping them get a good performance regardless of their experience, is the primary role of a director. Good reading!

Working on spec – showing the world your abilities

I’m a big believer in this philosophy: if you want people to hire you, do some of the work first and show it.

The article below is about just that – filmmaker Joe Sill made an ad for Google Glass. On his own (well, with his company), not sponsored by the company. Now, I happen to have some insider info into this area and I know that large companies and their ad agencies have no idea how to handle ‘creating content’ and right now is a prime time to go in with spec ads of high quality and get them adopted by the company. For instance, Pepsi have only recently launched their YouTube channel.

Anyway, the article is a good interview and raises some interesting questions.

Take charge of your career!


20 years in the slammer – the history Shawshank Redemption

It’s incredible to think that it has been 20 years since Shawshank Redemption was released…and even more incredible to realise that the film was a financial failure when it came out.

But that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a much loved work, and even being propelled into the annals of ‘greatest film ever’ lists.

At Vanity Fair they have a wonderful, loving, in depth article about the history of this special film. (You can ignore the tenuous, if interesting, link in the opening paragraph). We learn about Frank Darabont’s development of the story, the casting… the whole thing. A great piece for lovers of behind the scenes stories, and an education for filmmakers.

The Financials of Horror

If you can stand the incessant popups and ads, Forbes.com has an article looking at the financial state of Horror films. The horror genre has always been pegged as the go-to genre for profit, simply because you can more easily make low budget horror and the audience is not uncomfortable with the low budget trappings of bad acting it seems!

But, digging into the numbers there is a feeling that it is not the gold mine it once was – which will be very interesting news for low budget filmmakers.