8 screenwriting tips – and more

 

Found this guy Darius J Britt on YouTube. I’ve never heard of him before… and now I’m a subscriber.

The video that pulled me in was this one

But man the guy has some good stuff going on over there!

Is it totally original? No. I don’t think there is too much original thought left to say on a lot of these topics, but, Darius definitely falls into the ‘if I hear it enough times it might sink in’ category. And he is a joy to watch!

If I am totally honest, it’s the kind of videos I’m looking to branch out into, so, it’s a mini-school for me too.

Thanks for the great stuff Darius!

Check him out on Twitter too

 

Romcom – the most successful indie genre?

Over at Vanity Fair (yes, I am reading all the grown up websites today!) is an article about the much maligned Romantic Comedy  – RomCom – genre.

The article argues that most big, successful romcoms were and are usually independent films, or at least produced with an independent mentality (i.e on a low budget). They name check the big ones – My Big Fat Greek Wedding, 500 Days of Summer, etc. MGFGW took in an astounding $214 million AT THE BOX OFFICE (forget about all the other sales channels). 500 Days $60 million.

Does the genre depend on star power? Not really. Romcoms seem to need that special x-factor to grab onto the audience’s heart strings and play the right tune. All romcoms are predictable, but still…they work.

I’m a big fan of them when done right, and I think there is life left in them yet. They’ve been around for 70 years or so, so there’s no reason to think we as an audience are tiring of them.

Why are so many Tollywood actresses turning to prostitution?

Ok, this is slightly off topic, but I found this shocking.

Recently a well known (in India) actress, who started out as a child actress was arrested for prostitution. Shweta Prasad has been acting since 2002, when she started at age 11. Now 23 her last film was 5 years ago.

But her, and many other Tollywood actresses, have been involved in numerous prostitution scandals in recent years. What is going on there? And why is no one investigating it?

The closest I could find was this article

This article lists more actresses. Is this the fate of once popular stars in India?

Have I discovered a scam on IndieGoGo?

Here are two campaigns on IndieGoGo.

The first is a musical, supposedly from Los Angeles, for a musical called ‘Soul Song’

Next is this, from Toronto, for a horror film called ‘The Codex’

Let me compare a couple things

Codex Soul Song
However, I am part of the older generation and believe the upcoming generation that LOVES horror films. [edit].. I have a few theories as to why Gen-Y loves horror films, but no one can truly pinpoint it. What I do know is that horror films is that they make money NOW. However, I am part of the upcoming generation that LOVES musicals. I have a few theories as to why Gen-Y loves musicals, but no one can truly pinpoint it. What I do know is that musicals make money NOW.
$2150+ – Location Fees and Film Permits. From renting a house from the province of Ontario to renting a cafe shop, to paying for parking, to rehearsal space, to the recording studio for the sound and music, to possibly paying a Peace Officer to babysit us… We want to afford to do everything on the up-and-up, and not have to run around illegally, fearful of being kicked out. I’ve been a part of those shoots, and trust me, it’s just better to have the approval and permits. 2150+ – Location Fees and Film Permits. From renting a beach from the State of California to renting a flower shop, to paying for parking, to rehearsal space, to the recording studio for the music, to possibly paying a Peace Officer to babysit us… We want to afford to do everything on the up-and-up, and not have to run around illegally, fearful of being kicked out. I’ve been a part of those shoots, and trust me, it’s just better to have the approval and permits.

 

Looks suspicious to me!

Do yourself a favour – try not to lose all your work

God bless Elliot Grove over at Raindance for writing this article! As I was reading it I realised that I hadn’t configured the backup for this very website!

The article is ostensibly pointed at filmmakers, but in truth it is for anyone who uses a computer. Rule #1 check your passwords Rule #1a BACKUP.

The one thing that is missing from the article is mentioning Dropbox. Recently Dropbox upped it’s storage (I now get 1TB for the price I was paying for 1GB) and I can back things up from all over the web directly to my dropbox using OAuth authentication. Awesome.

But otherwise, please, for the love of GOD, read this article and act on it.

Another sobering look at being an indie – behind the curtain of Tentacle 8

Over on TheFilmCollective blog is a great article written by filmmaker John Chi.

John was the force behind Tentacle 8, an ultra-low budget spy thriller (which looks pretty awesome!). He is open enough to share his anxieties and his approach to getting his film out there. He hit many of the roadblocks that indie’s hit. (And he had a spot of luck with Edward Snowden!). John even naively believed that the shooting of the film would be the most difficult part. As I’ve said many times on here, the shooting is the easy bit!

John took some routes that I would not (especially getting wrapped up in the insanity of the SAG UltraLow Budget Contract). And, while on one he hand he talks about shifting the paradigm, he does, in the end, do things the traditional way. But, to his credit, the film is out there and available. Marketing is tough, and if you are trying to learn it there is a lot to digest.

In the end John did the best thing he could do for his project. From what I have seen he has a great looking film and I think that over time it will build in audience. As a producer, each film can take years of your life. I hope John keeps up the fight!

And I look forward to his next one.

 

Mega 4k shootout

The guys over at 4kshooters.net have a great couple of blog posts (confusingly called pt 1 and pt 3!) where they compare most of the major cameras used to shoot 4k.

  • Arri Alexa XT
  • Red Dragon
  • Red Epic
  • Sony F55
  • C500 i 1DC
  • Sony FS700
  • Blackmagic 4K
  • Blackmagic Pocket
  • Kineraw Mini
  • Lumix GH4
  • Canon 5d Mark3
  • Lenses Carl Zeiss CP2

Obviously these tests, and all tests, need to be taken with a grain of salt as try as they might there will be differences in the testing apparatus and of course there is a lot of personal preference involved too. But they are a great place to start.

Part 1:

Part 3:

Update:

Turns out these tests weren’t done by 4k Shooters.net, as Tomasz points out in the comment below.

Workflow on the Panasonic GH4

I’m leaning towards getting this camera and there’s a lot of great chatter out there about it. And some helpful tutorials, like this one.

I find these kinds of articles really are a twofold enhancer for the product: 1) it tells me that people are out there and using it in the wild and 2) it gives me real world tips on making my workflow better.

This article is from 4kshooters.net. Is anyone else as blown away as I am that we have the ability to shoot 4k on affordable devices?! Remember when VHS cameras were prohibitively expensive?

The confusing world of cameras – crop factor

Recently I’ve been looking into a variety of cameras with which to shoot video. As soon as you even scratch the surface you realise you are in a new world of terms and technology.

One of the most confusing, and I think unintentionally off-putting, is the crop factor of a camera. People rant and rave about it (especially in the case of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and the Panasonic GH4).

Well, over on nofilmschool.com is a short piece from Robert Hardy that might belay some of the discussion for at least a few minutes.