Behind the Myth – The ultra-low-budget sensation Marble Hornets

Marble Hornets is something rather special. Crafted by college kids, it is a long-game version of the Blair Witch Project. MH ran for 5 years(!) on YouTube and, personally, I find it too creepy to watch.

I actually find this incredible article, from the Kernel about the series and the people behind it, almost too creepy to read!

If you want to read about the series genesis and execution then enter. Otherwise, be afraid, be very afraid.

More cold hard facts – and some great tips

Chris Hood over at BleedingCool has been doing this amazing series for filmmakers. And now he is coming to a close.

But don’t stop reading too early. Chris has saved some of the best for the last. This article is all about the reality of it. And the reality is tough. But Chris is a level-headed kind of guy, I’m guessing, and the advice he gives is cold and clear.

I love his tips about a ‘hook’ – and his point that the script is not the hook. You need something to distinguish yourself and your film – VISUALLY distinguish it. A name on the box, a cool FX… something.

Anyway, what are you reading me for? Click over to this insightful article… and read the rest of the series too.

A Business Model for Low Budget Indies

Over at FilmmakingStuff there is a VERY interesting article that talks about a possible business model for people make what they call ‘back yard indies’ (I love that term!). Author Jason Brubaker suggest forming a company with some other filmmakers and concentrate not just on a single project but on a group of projects.

There are some great reasons to do this – both covered and not in the article – but the point is: pool your assets, ditch your egos and create some movies. If you make 3 or 4 or 5 features over a few years the odds of a ‘hit’ are higher and your skills will dramatically (ha ha!) increase. It is a win-win situation, and an idea that I have been championing for some time.

Exciting stuff from Jason!

5 skills as an on-set filmmaker in training

Over at DSLRVideoShooter, Caleb Pike has a good video covering some basic things to be aware of as you are starting out as an assistant on set. The video and article is too jargon-laden for my tastes (as jargon is terribly offputting to newcomers and I find that most of the time jargon is used to show how cool you are.) But, jargon aside, I think Caleb has some good points.

The video is a little superfluous as the points are on the page, but, if you’ve got 13 minutes to spare then you can pick up some bonus goodies by watching.

25 tips on writing mystery

I loves me a good mystery! It is a dying art, as it seems that flooding the screen with bloody and body parts has taken over everything! But, with a clever mystery a screenwriter can forge a career. Please write me a low budget one to film!

Over on the cleverly titled TerribleMinds.com blog is an article that gives 25 great points to remember if you dare to master this amazing genre.

The title of point #6 alone is worth the click through!

First all-digital Tollywood film

It should be noted that I actually don’t know the difference between Bollywood and Tollywood. Or, more precisely, I don’t know the definition of Tollywood. I don’t know if it is a physical location or a language that defines it, and I don’t know exactly where in India these films are made. If anyone can’t point me to something more enlightening than Wikipedia (or update the Wikipedia page!) then I’d be most grateful.

So, moving on, it seems that Tollywood is cranking it out. Basically a film a day is produced there. (With a ‘success’ rate of under 10% I won’t be investing any time soon! As an aside this article has a great quote that I see repeated around the world: ” we should also concentrate on quality stories to improve the success ratio in the industry”… amazing how obvious this statement is!)

But, in this article from the Times of India, we find out that they have yet to shoot one of these entirely on digitial! That is a LOT of film stock! Whoever said film is dead obviously was not thinking about India. It seems the digital revolution is finally going to happen there – and sources in this article claim now is the time to break into Tollywood as a director or producer. Hmmm.

Get inspired. Perhaps I should set up a travel agency for filmmakers to go to Tollywood. Of course, not knowing where it is is an issue!

Anyway, enjoy!

Netflix: On Their Way to Global Domination – Australia and NZ next!

A quiet press release announcing Netflix’s readying of their Australian and New Zealand service rollout. With this they become even more of a global player, and they will be a definite force to be reckoned with in film distribution for years to come!

Amazing!

5 great reasons to write for low budget films

I, and every other producer, am always always looking for clever scripts that are written with a low budget in mind.

If you have one then contact me!

But over on scriptmag.com I found an old article that articulates the benefits – as a screenwriter – of trying to write a few low budget scripts well.

It’s good reading and I hope it inspires you!