Because Indie’s are doing so well… 25% increase in SAG rates

I can picture the process.

The board of directors of SAG-ACTRA – the actors union – sits around and says “should we make people pay us 25% more?”. Unsurprisingly, they said yes. (This is like politicians voting on their own pay packets!).

Slowly but surely SAG will chip away at what was once heralded as a chance for low budget films to use better talent without violating the sacred SAG rules. All of this is a mystery to me. It’s not like when you hire actors you are sending them down into a coal mine (except when the script calls for it!). It’s acting. I’ve never understood the need for a minimum wage. I can’t see the upside. Yes, you are guaranteed more money, but where you can work becomes limited (in some cases severely).

Anyway, if you need a better written article about it, without the bias, read the attached piece from

3 Reasons Short Films Get Rejected From Festivals

Noam Kroll dropped a simple blog piece back in September that I missed first time around.

It’s a basic 3 point list on why your film didn’t make it into a(ny) film festival.

Of course the list is grossly oversimplified. There are more than 3 reasons.

I’d add:

4. Your film didn’t fit the festival

If you make a genre film, find genre appropriate festivals. Of course, a great film is a great film, but, you have better chances by matching yourself up. A mismatch (i.e sending your ‘Teens Get Slashed in the Woods’ horror film to the Nonviolence International Film Festival) is a sure fire path to rejection (or in this case, Hell).

5. You gave yourself away too early

Some festivals only take premieres. If you have made a cracking film but you decided to give your New York premiere to the Bronx Short Film Festival then Tribeca might be tempted but will pass. Be aware of the requirements for the festivals you want to get into – and be realistic.

Anyway, here’s Noam’s article

About being a photographer (and filmmaker) – the great Scott Kelby

I think there is a lot of overlap between photographers and filmmakers. In my opinion, practically, photographers have it easier, but, regardless of course there is a relationship. That is why I watch videos and read articles about photography (and animation).

At the 2012 Google+ Photographers Conference Scott Kelby gave a great talk, ostensibly about composition, but in reality it is about being a jobbing photographer. Scott Kelby has been around almost forever and being doing talks on digital photography since, well, the advent of digital photography almost.

This seminar is very inspiring. Scott is open an honest and totally demystifies taking great photos. He also goes into how to arrange your portfolio, how to learn what you love, the importance of subject and much much more.

The video is an hour long.

If you want to know if it is relevant for filmmakers, start at the time offset below and then please, please, go back to the beginning and watch the whole thing.

Think therefore I shoot: The 18 Best Philosophical films

Sometimes you can’t help but love a good list. Over on the ‘Taste of Cinema’ blog I discovered this one, published last month. This is not something I would normally think about (ha ha!) but, it is interesting to me that almost all of the movies on this list I have seen and loved. It includes one of my ‘desert islands’ movies (I would go to a desert island with a nice theatre setup): Woody Allen’s Love and Death.

Other highlights, for me, include Rope, The Truman Show and Being There  – all personal favourites. (As an aside, Being There capped an amazing decade for director Hal Ashby who made 7 remarkable films in the 1970s)

These movies are all inspirations to me and films that I would turn to as guides for writing. Good idea, actually!

So, grow a beard, stroke your chin, light a pipe (of tobacco) and ruminate over this amazing list of movies. Oh yes, and watch the movies.

The Cinematography – and Cinematographer – of Wes Anderson’s Films

I love Wes Anderson films. They’re all about people thinking they are special when in fact they are normal (at least that’s my take on it). And they are shot with such an unusual beauty.

Robert Yeoman has been Anderson DP since the beginning – yes, since Bottle Rocket (not counting Mr. Fox). On they’ve put together a colleciton of hallmark scenes and had Yeoman himself chime in on how the scenes were developed.

It fascinating film-nerd stuff!

The art of the colorist

This video is all over the internet right now (and rightly so)

It’s a great example of what a colorist can do for your film.

All the hubub seems to have started on this thread on Reddit.

The man behind this, Taylre Jones, did an AMA on Reddit today based on the success of the piece. You can find that here

Not only is this a great example but it is a great piece of marketing for the film “The House on Pine Street”.

The AMA is well worth a read – and I’m curious to see the film now!

Amazing what you can do with 8 DSLRs, 5 people and 1 green screen circular room

Stumbled on this over at PetaPixel. It’s a little behind the scenes info on the rather freaky music video “Fear and Delight” by The Correspondents.

The video is this

It shows what you can do with a little ingenuity and a bucket of green screen paint! I can’t quite figure out what they are doing, but it seems to be compositing multiple views of the same action.

The all too brief behind the scenes is here:

Soderbergh’s 2014 viewing list: Proof that being a director doesn’t take up too much time

If you go to Steven Soderbergh’s wikipedia entry you’d think that the man does nothing but work. He has an impressive and extensive list of films he has written/directed/cinematographered(did I just make that word up?)/produced.

It seems like he must work 24/7.

Well – he doesn’t.

On his blog Soderbergh released his insane viewing list from last year. From this list you can glean a list of amazing movies – current and past – and some top TV shows too. We also see that Steven is perhaps a little OCD for keeping such a detailed list (unless an assistant did it – which is effing awesome if so!).

Anyway – peruse, infuse and be amused and realise that to make great art you have to understand great art.

Netflix vs VPN users – how they don’t really want to crack down

Over at investment site The Motley Fool they have an article about the recent news that Netflix was cracking down on VPN users (i.e. members who access the service from outside of their subscription zone). This whole issue is a double edged sword for Netflix. Of course, the terms they have with the content providers specify what regions they can let people watch in. But, the people who are using simple computer trickery to get around this are paying customers – so Netflix is making money.

What to do!

Like Sky Digital satellite service in the UK – that has millions of subscribers outside of the UK in places like Spain and Italy – the best thing to do is to appear to crack down but in reality to turn a blind eye.

The reason is obvious – Netflix makes money from these people. And, I am sure it could be proven, that clamping down on these people doesn’t make them sit at home and stare at a blank TV screen. They turn to piracy.

How many more different use-cases do we need to show that the ‘regionalizing’ system of releasing content doesn’t work and fuels piracy?