Archive for August, 2008

The AF Work Shop DVDs are here!

August 27, 2008

My computer has been down the last 2 days, bad timing as I am hitting the road in a few days… Sorry this is late.

Hey Everybody,

Two of my Work Shops are now available on DVD. Making the Extreme No-Budget Film and Sound Design for Independent Films.

Making the Extreme No- Budget Film

In 2002 Kelley sent 100 letters to 100 Friends asking for $100 to fund Kicking Bird. He raised $6000 and shot for 18 days.

In this 2 ½ hour workshop Kelley will walk participants through the entire process from scripting through post production. Kelley will discuss writing with your budget in mind, how to get the most for very limited resources and asking the right questions to get free stuff.

“I am constantly being asked questions about the pre-production process. These questions lead me to believe that a lot of filmmakers don’t really understand the process, and how it can save them time and money while they’re making their film.”

Stuff happens during production that causes changes to the way you had planned to tell your story. Deal with it.

Sound Design for Independent Films

As the Sound Designer on Gus Van Sant's films, as well as animated features, network television specials and his own features, Kelley Baker has a unique approach to the Art of Sound Design. Whether you're working with a huge budget, or a non-existent one, sound is the one area of filmmaking that always gets little attention, until the very end. "We'll fix it in the mix…" is an often heard expression, but what does that mean?

As a sound designer it usually means you're in trouble. There's never enough money or time to do sound right. So what do you do?

Kelley will share his insights, and show you creative solutions to many sound problems.

One of the most important things in any movie is sound. And the most important sound? It's the dialog, stupid! If you can't hear or understand the dialog, then you're hosed. You've got nothing. It doesn't matter how pretty your pictures are, how good the acting is, what a terrific music score you have, or how clever you think you are. If you can't hear or understand the dialog, you've got NOTHING!

Check out http://www.angryfilmmaker.com/buy.php to find out more.
Other stuff.
Internet Special!!!!

Check my Internet Specials page, http://www.angryfilmmaker.com/internet_special.php

Right now you can pick up Kicking Bird and The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide Sound Workbook for only $20 with no shipping and handling charges. That’s a $9 savings! Check this page every week and see what’s on special.

The Fall Tour is steaming along. I am excited to be promoting my new book, The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide: Making the Extreme No-Budget Film. The book will be out shortly and my tour kicks off on September 9th at Creative Alliance in Baltimore. Moses and I will be on the road for 2 months. There are still dates available so if you want to book me send me a note, angryfilminfo@aol.com. And don’t forget to check out Film Baby (www.filmbaby.com), and my other tour sponsors.

As always,

Talk later,

Kelley

http://www.angryfilmmaker.com
http://www.facebook.com
http://www.myspace.com/theangryfilmmaker
http://www.youtube.com/theangryfilmmaker

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Don't listen to business advice from people not in the film business.

August 19, 2008

Your Angry Filmmaker Tip of the Day.
1. This business is not for the faint of heart, I don’t care how much you think you know.
– – from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming really soon).

When I first got into the business, my accountant gave me some very prudent professional tax advice in November: “tell your clients not to pay you until after the first of the year. Then take out a loan for 90 days and invest in equipment. Then after the first of the year, you can pay off the loans with the money you’re owed. Take the tax deduction for the previous year, and you’ll be in good shape.” It made sense to me and everyone else I talked to because we all went to art school! I almost went bust because of that advice!

Right after I bought all of this equipment, business dropped off severely. The film business can be seasonal, especially if you are outside of LA. In Portland, the film business usually dies off around Thanksgiving and doesn’t start picking up again until mid to late February. Sometimes it stays busy through the end of the year, but usually it doesn’t.

A lot of the corporate and commercial people that hire us need to get things done and money spent before the end of their fiscal year. Then they take the holidays off. Why not? They have steady salaries. After the first of the year, they need to put together budgets and plan for the rest of the year. This is a cycle I have seen over and over. There have been exceptions to this, but rarely.

By the time I got paid on what I was owed, I had other debts that had accumulated, and guess what, gang? Banks will not loan you money when you need it! They only loan you money when you have money. (Don’t get me started here, I hate bankers.)

Anyway, I spent 9 months in hell trying to pay off people and pay my bills, and I had a bunch of equipment that suddenly felt like a burden.

The upshot of all of this is:

DON’T LISTEN TO PEOPLE WHO AREN’T IN THE FILM BUSINESS!

My accountant had the best intentions, he was used to dealing with normal businesses, and we’ve always said, “There’s no business like show business”. That’s why I think they should teach more business classes in art school.

When you do a paying job take some of that money and put it away. I don’t care how much you think you are going to work, there will come a time when no one’s working and you’ll have to live on that savings. And living on savings is a lot better than using credit cards at over 30% to pay your bills.

Other Stuff.

I am heading out on the road on tour soon and still looking for sponsors. With gas prices still ridiculously high I need to do something so that I can continue to tour.

I am excited about the Fall Tour. I am going to be promoting my new book, The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide: Making the Extreme No-Budget Film. A lot of my old friends are inviting me back and a lot of new places are adding me on to their schedule.

It looks like I’ll be appearing at 35-50 venues which will translate to 4,000 – 5,000 people on the Fall tour. Over the last 5 years I would estimate that I have been in front of well over 25,000 film students, filmmakers, and film enthusiasts. I think that’s pretty good.

I still have dates available, so if you are interested in having me come to your college, university, media art center, independent book store, or even to your house for dinner, drop me a line (angryfilminfo@aol.com) and let me know.

I am thrilled that Film Baby (www.filmbaby.com) is a sponsor on this tour. If you haven’t checked out their site and their services, you need to do it. They are a great group of people dedicated to helping you get your films out.

I am finishing up the first two Workshop DVDs and they should be on my site, http://www.angryfilmmaker.com, (and Film Baby’s) in the next 48 hours and ready to fly off the shelves. I’ll let you know when they’ll be up, or you can just keep checking…

Talk later.

Kelley

http://www.angryfilmmaker.com
http://www.facebook.com
http://www.myspace.com/theangryfilmmaker
http://www.youtube.com/theangryfilmmaker
http://www.filmbaby.com

Don't ask. Don't get!

August 14, 2008

My apologies for taking so long to post this week, I am slammed! The galleys to my book finally arrived and I am going over corrections. I am hoping that books will be available very soon. I also am finishing up my 2 Work shop DVD’s (Making The No-Budget Film and Sound Design for Independent Films) and their respective work books, and I am still booking the tour. I also have some work for hire in house and did I mention that there have been lots of changes to my web site behind the scenes so my friends at Zoom Studios (www.zoomstudio.com) are teaching me all sorts of new stuff.

I have to thank Jeff Pollard my good friend and brilliant designer (www.pollarddesign.com) for helping me with lots of last minute changes to everything from DVD cover art and disc art, to being there to walk me through the lay out of the book. Jeff, the next round of PBR’s at The Ship is on me!

So let’s get to it.
Your Angry Filmmaker Tip of the Day.
There are some people who hate asking their friends for money. These people are not going to be making movies any time soon.
– – from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming really soon).

When I say this, it’s not really about asking people for money. It’s about asking people to give you stuff. Money is good and all, but if you have a problem asking friends and strangers for things you need for your movie, you are going to have a rough go getting a movie made.

I say this over and over again in my work shops. People want to help you make your films. They really do. But they need to be asked. If you can’t ask for things with out feeling embarrassed you’re not going to get far.

What is the worst that someone can say to you? That would be “no”. They won’t yell or call you names, they’ll just say no. And you know what you do? You thank them for considering it and then ask if they know of anyone else that might be able to help? Always ask people, whether the say yes or no, can they think of anyone else who could help out. You will be amazed, sometimes they can’t or won’t help, but sometimes they will turn you on to a person that helps put it all together.

I will ask people for just about anything if I need it to make my films. I have no shame and I am always polite and sincere when I ask. Do I like doing this? I think “like” is the wrong word. No one likes cold calls, but you learn to do it if you want to move forward. People can’t help you if you don’t ask.

What I used to do when I was starting out, and sometimes I’ll still do it, is to write down what I want to ask for and why. I keep that next to me as I’m talking to someone on the phone to make sure I cover everything I need. I also make notes during and after the call. I want to remember what was said and what was promised. Do I need to follow up? What are the names and phone numbers (or emails) of other people they suggested? Make notes about all of this stuff.

I also put together a list of stuff I need for my films and send a copy of it to all my friends and colleagues, telling them that if they know anyone who might have some of these things to please get me an introduction. This has also worked really well.

So remember, if you really want to get your movie made, don’t be afraid to ask. It does get easier over time.

Other stuff…

The Fall Tour is coming along great, so if you are interested in having me come to your college, university, media art center, independent book store, or even to your house for dinner, drop me a line (angryfilminfo@aol.com) and let me know.

I hope to have the work shop DVDs and new work books up on the website next week for purchase.

And just a reminder, I am available to consult on your films.

What do you get out of the deal? You get the best value and advice in making your film. No matter what stage you’re in. I’ve been in the business for 25 years, working on everything from animation to live action, Independent features, Real Independent features, Hollywood studio stuff, and documentaries. If you check out my bio and filmography (www.angryfilmmaker.com/who.htm) you’ll see I’ve worked on award winning films, and films that never got distribution.

I will look at your work honestly and objectively. If there are problems, I’ll point them out, in a constructive way. No one wants to hear, “This sucks!” My goal is to guide you through the process, so that you can see what the problems are, and we’ll come up with ways to fix them. Check out (www.angryfilmmaker.com/consulting.htm.)

As always, feel free to link to my site and you can subscribe to my blog. So what are you waiting for?

Talk later.

Kelley

http://www.angryfilmmaker.com
http://www.facebook.com
http://www.myspace.com/theangryfilmmaker
http://www.youtube.com/theangryfilmmaker

Film Baby Joins Forces with the Angry Filmmaker

August 6, 2008

I am happy to announce that Film Baby (www.filmbaby.com) has become a sponsor for my Fall Tour. Film Baby is an on-line DVD distributor and a company I have been impressed with for a long time, I am thrilled that they have signed on.

According to Jamie Chvotkin, “Film Baby is very excited to be supporting Kelley's tour and strongly believe in the message he preaches. It is rare for someone to be able to speak about the truths in the film business and give away some priceless information that every independent filmmaker needs to know.”

What does all this mean? In addition to my films being available through Film Baby, you will be able to read my blog entries, check out my tour progress, and submit a question to Ask The Angry Filmmaker. I will answer a couple of questions per week on various topics. This ought to be fun!

I encourage you all to sign up at Film Baby (it’s free) and check out the kind of films that they handle. If you have a film and you’re looking to get it out to a wider audience they offer a lot of good services. Are they going to sell thousands of copies of your movie while you sit at home doing nothing? Probably not. But if you’re willing to work with them they’ll help you get your movie out there and help maximize its potential. They have some really good people over there that’ve been doing this for awhile.

I am still looking for additional Tour Sponsors (even though the price of gas is going down a bit, this is still my biggest expense on the road), so if you are interested in sponsoring me, or sponsoring a single tour event please let me know. Drop me a line at angryfilminfo@aol.com.

The booking of the Tour is going great! I start off in Baltimore on September 9th at Creative Alliance for a screening (and a workshop on September 10th). Then it’s off to the DC Shorts Film Festival (Sept. 11-14th), from there I will spend the next 2+ months doing workshops, screenings and guest lectures working my way back to the West Coast. You can check my site (www.angryfilmmaker.com) to keep track of my schedule.

As most of you already know, in addition to promoting my films I will also be promoting my new book, The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide: Making the Extreme No Budget Film. The Tour is filling up but I still have some open dates. If you want to book me drop me a note and I’ll happily come to your media art center, university, college, art house theater, independent bookstore or even your house for dinner.

I’ll let Jamie get the last word in here.

“If you are thinking about releasing a film, you would be remiss for not following Kelley's plan. Heeding Kelley's hard-won knowledge, you will find more doors will open for your film.”

As always,

Talk later,

Kelley

http://www.angryfilmmaker.com
http://www.facebook.com
http://www.myspace.com/theangryfilmmaker
http://www.youtube.com/theangryfilmmaker

What is Foley and Why Should You Care?

August 4, 2008

What is Foley and Why Should You Care?

Here's everything you need to know about Foley.

Foley effects are sound effects that are easier and more efficient to perform to picture. You project the movie in a studio and one or two people actually perform the sound effects to the picture. The sound effects are recorded live and are used in the final movie.

The most common Foley sound effects are foot steps and clothing rustle. Some specific effects are actually much easier to do in Foley than cutting them individually. In Finding Forrester, there were lots of scenes with basketballs. The main character was a high school basketball player. It was much easier for us to have the Foley artists do the basketball dribbling for the movie then to sync each basketball hit by itself.

Foley is used mostly when you have to deliver a foreign mix of your movie. You use Foley footsteps when you can't use the footsteps on the production recordings because you have to remove the dialog so that it can be dubbed into whatever language a particular country uses.

We had the basketball effects on the dialog (or production) tracks and they were in sync. If there was any conversation going on during any of the dribbling, then when it came time to deliver the foreign version of the sound mix, we couldn't use any of the production basketball effects. There was dialog on it.

In the case of Far From Heaven, the Todd Haynes film, Todd wanted us to do all of the Foley footsteps so they sounded like they came from a sound library that was put together in the 1950s. In fact, he wanted all of his sound to sound like it was from the 1950s and this was a studio picture. That was a challenge.

Any time you do a period film it's a challenge. I had to find telephone effects with bell ringers, typewriters, and real V8 automobile engines. Most sound libraries don't have these effects anymore. And finding the real thing can be tough.

As a sound designer, you learn to be resourceful trying to find some of these effects. We went out and recorded some old automobiles to get some realistic sounds of heavy old car doors closing. I mean, let's face it, a 55 Buick door certainly sounds a lot different from a Honda door.

But back to Foley. If you're doing a small independent movie, the odds are you're not going to use much Foley. With Kicking Bird, I did all of the Foley myself with two of the effects editors, and we recorded it straight into the Pro Tools. I watched the movie on a monitor and performed the effects right in the editing room. I knew exactly what I needed, so I just did the effects that were absolutely necessary.

I had decided all of the running sequences would be done to music so I didn't even worry about doing footsteps for the runners. That would have driven me crazy if I had to do all of that. I just figured out what I needed to get the job done and did exactly what I needed. Since I was going to be doing some of the mixing myself, and after 20 years of doing this, I knew what I needed and what I didn't.

– – from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming really soon)

Other stuff.

Internet Special!!!!
Go to http://www.angryfilmmaker.com and check out my films. Between now and August 10th, 2008 if you order any 2 of my DVDs I will send you my Sound Work Book for free! If you want to know about the three types of microphones or what the most important element in Sound Design is then you need this book. It is crammed full of tips on Sound for films. Order any 2 DVDs and you get my knowledge and sound tips for free. Two DVDs will set you back $20 + $10 shipping and handling and for that you get the Sound Work Book (a $10 value) for free. Now that’s a deal!

And just a reminder, I am available to consult on your films.

What do you get out of the deal? You get the best value and advice in making your film. No matter what stage you’re in. I’ve been in the business for 25 years, working on everything from animation to live action, Independent features, Real Independent features, Hollywood studio stuff, and documentaries. If you check out my bio and filmography (www.angryfilmmaker.com/who.htm) you’ll see I’ve worked on award winning films, and films that never got distribution.

I will look at your work honestly and objectively. If there are problems, I’ll point them out, in a constructive way. No one wants to hear, “This sucks!” My goal is to guide you through the process, so that you can see what the problems are, and we’ll come up with ways to fix them. Check out (www.angryfilmmaker.com/consulting.htm.)

As always, feel free to link to my site and you can subscribe to my blog. So what are you waiting for?

The Fall Tour is coming along great, so if you are interested in having me come to your college, university, media art center, or even to your house for dinner, drop me a line and let me know.

Talk later.

Kelley

http://www.angryfilmmaker.com
http://www.facebook.com
http://www.myspace.com/theangryfilmmaker
http://www.youtube.com/theangryfilmmaker