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!


Emma Thompson on Screenwriting – Article and Audio!

Over on the IndieWire blog they have a great feature on Emma Thompson’s recent talk at BAFTA. I think it is often overlooked that Thompson is not just an actress but also a more than capable director and screenwriter.

The piece has some transcriptions, but, for the real goods scroll down to the bottom of the article where there is the complete audio of the speech! Awesome!

I think it should be a great resource for any screenwriters out there!

Another Gilliam Interview

Over at CulturalWeekly they’ve got a good interview with one of my all time favourite directors – Terry Gilliam. Gilliam talks at length about his latest film – The Zero Theorem – which I didn’t know came through the Project Greenlight process.

It’s a fascinating interview with some good insights.

Playboy interview with David Fincher

Unassailable Truth: David Fincher has done some cracking films, such as Fight Club, Zodiac and The Social Network.

Over at they’ve published their interview with the director from the Oct 2014 issue of the magazine. He goes into some interesting points about his track record, his balancing of work and life and his casting methodologies (rule 1: offer everything to Brad Pitt).

It’s a good interview, but don’t expect a mini-film school. This is pure promo.

Time Traveling Indie Success from Australia

I think this is my final post of the day, so it’s nice to end on a high!

For your consideration… I give you ‘The Infinite Man‘, a low-budget time-travel comedy(!) from Australia. The film had it’s premiere at SXSW and is getting great reviews.

‘Infinite Man’ was funded by South Australian Film Corporation’s low-budget FilmLab program. It has been handing out $350,000AUD to a few filmmakers and specifically looking for new and exciting projects. And this one looks a cracker! I love time-travel movies.

First time director Hugh Sullivan has a great interview over on where he talks a lot about the making of the film. And see the article linked above for more, including a look at the great reception this film is getting.

Congratulations to him! I can’t wait to see it.

Unsung Low-budget J-Horror Director – A Retrospective

I include this article in my links for a few reasons.

First, because I live in Japan and I would like to see more non-mainstream Japanese films being made. I am not a fan of horror – J-Horror or any other variety – but I know this genre is pretty popular world wide. So why not the films of Koji Shiraishi?

Second, because horror is often done at a low budget, understanding the production elements behind them can be of interest to other low-budget creators, horror focused or not.

So, with that explanation aside, this article is from the Asahi Shimbun newspaper where they have a bi-weekly column on Japanese Film written by Kiwi Don Brown. Why this column is not written by a Japanese person I do not know, but I think it does point to a larger problem within the Japanese film community. Nothing against Don Brown, but I’d love to hear more from a local.

The article is a lengthy retrospective on Shiraishi’s career. Shiraishi is too much of a gore-master for me, but, I cannot help but respect his output.

Anyway… here’s the article.

Michael Moore’s 3rd Tablet – His 13 Commandments of Documentary Filmmaking

I am a fan of Michael Moore. There are several reasons for this. The first is that he shone the light on what was happening in his hometown, Flint, MI, which was a town I had been to many times. It’s only about an hour or so from where I grew up. So I knew the situation. When ‘Roger & Me’ came out it was the first time I, or any of my friends, had probably paid to see a documentary.

With that film Michael Moore changed how documentaries were made and distributed. Like it or not, that is a fact. And it happened because the people responded.

At the Toronto International Film Festival (which has always been very kind to Moore!) he gave a great panel talk about what he thinks it is to make a documentary and what he wanted to see. A kind of manifesto.

I was reluctant to include it here because it has been widely blogged and tweeted, but, I include it because of his point 13, which really is my mantra. ‘Sound is more important than picture’.

6 Filmmaking tips from GOTG Director James Gunn

Well, 7 if you include the thing about Juliet and the penis.

FilmSchoolRejects have put together an article gathering up quotes from Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, who – as we will hear over and over and over again now from the indie filmmaking world – got his start shooting low budget horror for Troma.

The article falls more into the ‘inspirational’ rather than the practical, but, it is good stuff none the less.

Funnily enough – it all comes down to the story.

Behind the Scenes – Videodrome & Cronenberg

As we all know, David Cronenberg is absolutely insane. From his twisted mind, housed in this mild-mannered man, come nightmares to the screen.

His films, right from the first – which we used to love to watch and be disgusted by when I was a kid in Canada and it would come on late night tv – have always been unique in their view of people and the world and the influence each has on the other.

Now someone has unearthed footage of behind the scenes shots and interviews from one of Cronenberg’s seminal works – Videodrome. Here we get a glimpse into the process, and the sweaters, of many of those involved.

And, if you really want to get inside the man’s brain you can also watch the indepth interview with Cronenberg.

Steven Soderbergh Interview…looking back on 26 films in 26 years… and retiring

In case you missed it I wanted to point out this great interview with Soderbergh – the man who’s Sex, Lies and Videotape ushered in the modern indie film era.

Soderbergh has produced an incredible body of work in a relatively short period of time. And he plans on retiring from filmmaking at age 50.

Give it a read! Inspiring stuff.