Archive for July, 2009

Common Film, Thank yous, AF Survival Guide, Neil Jordan & more

July 27, 2009

July 27, 2009

Check out Common Film’s website (www.commonfilm.org). Jon just did a podcast with me about my new book. I actually sound like I know what I’m talking about! It’s also a great site run by a guy who loves films. Thanks for having me on your podcast last night.

I want to thank everyone who responded to my call for a Web Designer in my last blog, I got some fantastic responses! I got to look at some great work that is being done out there. I am going to list them all on my blog next week as a thank you. I’m still trying to figure out a few things but hopefully will be working with someone shortly to upgrade my site. Thanks again, I was a bit overwhelmed by the response.

“Too many people finance their films on credit cards, and they go broke! Their films end up not getting a distributor and they’re left paying 30% interest on a film that no one wants.”
From The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide

Heed the words of noted financial consultant and former NBA player, Charles Barkley, “Credit cards exist to keep poor people poor.”

DON’T USE YOUR DAMN CREDIT CARDS FOR ANYTHING!!!

Does that mean I’ve never funded something with credit cards? I have. And I have lived to regret it. Not the eventual movies, but the financial shape it left me in. I sold my home of twenty years to get the IRS off my back, all because I listened to the wrong people. People who said they would help me. I was gullible because making movies is all I’ve ever wanted to do.

So please, don’t do what I did. The stress isn’t worth it.

Figure out how to make your movies without breaking the bank. You’ll thank me later.

Check out my book @ http://www.angryfilmmaker.com. Hopefully it’ll help you avoid the mistakes that I have made over the years.

Here’s another quote…

“Packed with facts, and laced with humor, this book is more than a road map of independent filmmaking. Unlike many other books about filmmaking, Kelley’s doesn’t pretend there won’t be potholes along the way; instead, it does its best to point them out in advance, so you’ll know how to recognize them from a distance and avoid them like the plague. A definite must for any wannabe filmmaker.”

David Fechtor
Former Editor & Foley Supervisor

I just watched Neil Jordan’s, The Butcher Boy. What an unexpected pleasure. I can’t believe I hadn’t seen it before. I am much happier when he makes films in the UK as compared to what he has made here. I still think The Crying Game is one of the best films of the 1990’s. I also loved Michael Collins. The films he makes outside the US seem to be much more personal and definitely more of a challenge to watch. I still like filmmakers that make me work, there is a time and a place to watch mindless entertainment, but I foolishly still think of film as an art form in the right hands.

I will say that Breakfast On Pluto was a tough one to figure out and to stay with, but well worth watching. I hope to see more stuff by Neil Jordan. If you haven’t seen The Butcher Boy, check it out!

On to other stuff.

If you want Moses and I to come to your college, university, media art center, high school, theater or even to your house for dinner this Fall send me a note, angryfilminfo@aol.com.

Don’t forget to check out my tour sponsors, Show Biz Software, (www.showbizsoftware.com), Film Baby (www.filmbaby.com), Pollard Design (www.pollarddesign.com), and Zoom Studio (www.zoomstudio.com), and Cheezy Flicks (wwwcheezyflicks.com). If you haven’t checked out their sites and their services, you better.

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

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Website Designer wanted, Good Audio & other stuff

July 22, 2009

July 22nd

NEWS FLASH (or something like that)

I am looking for a Website Designer! It is time that AngryFilmmaker.com got a make over! I have a new logo and I really want to make some changes and update the site so it will be more fun and hopefully more irreverent!

I HAVE NO MONEY!!!

I do have swag. If you’re willing to help me out I can give you copies of my films, an AF T-shirt and a signed copy of my book.

If there is anyone out there who is interested, and skilled, contact me at angryfilminfo@aol.com.

And now on with the show…

I have recovered from my birthday so it is time to move on. How many of you bought my book for my birthday? Not nearly enough! So what are you waiting for, http://www.angryfilmmaker.com, it’s right on the home page.

Here’s what David Fechtor a former Editor & Foley Supervisor had to say.

“I’m impressed as hell by the amount of solid, practical advice that Kelley Baker was able to squeeze into his new book. No, it won’t write your script for you, teach you how to operate a Steadicam, or find you an agent. What it will do is show you how to get your movie made, and made well–even on a budget that’s slimmer than Olive Oyl’s waist.

Here is today’s AF Tip.

“A film can look like shit and people will think it’s arty. If your dialog sounds like shit, people won’t watch your movie.”
From The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide Part One

How many times do I have to say it! If filmmakers would spend just half the time dealing with sound that they do dealing with camera their movies would look a lot better. You are so worried about what kind of a camera you’re going to shoot with and what your shots are going to look like that you ignore sound all together. And if you are stupid enough to think you can just add the sound later in post you probably shouldn’t even be working in this business.

On all of the major films I have ever worked on we tried to use as much of the location sound as possible. Yes, you can get the words to match the lips if you do your sound in a studio after the fact, but you will never ever match the performance. Actors work much better on the set, working off of another actor and being in character than they do in a sterile studio surrounded by technicians 6 months later. Get some quality microphones (they are much cheaper than your camera) and someone who knows how to use them and you will be surprised how much better your movie will look because it sounds good!

And speaking of sound…

Check out the review of my Sound Design Workshop DVD at http://www.microfilmmaker.com/reviews/Issue43/Sound1.html. While you’re there check out some of the articles. It’s a great site.

Here is a clip from the Sound design workshop.

On to other stuff.

If you want Moses and I to come to your college, university, media art center, high school, theater or even to your house for dinner this Fall send me a note, angryfilminfo@aol.com.

Don’t forget to check out my tour sponsors, Show Biz Software, (www.showbizsoftware.com), Film Baby (www.filmbaby.com), Pollard Design (www.pollarddesign.com), and Zoom Studio (www.zoomstudio.com), and Cheezy Flicks (wwwcheezyflicks.com). If you haven’t checked out their sites and their services, you better.

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

John Sayles, the library and other stuff

July 12, 2009

July 12, 2009

“If you’re a PA, and you’re fresh out of school, and this is one of your first gigs, let me give you some advice: the director doesn’t give a shit about your opinion!”
From The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide

It’s harsh, but true. When we were making Birddog, there was a PA who asked me why I was doing a particular shot from a particular angle. It didn’t really look that good to her. As politely as I could, I told her that her input was not needed, especially since this was her first day on the shoot and we had been shooting for two weeks. I tried to remind her what her role was, what mine was, and she needed to take care of her job, and let me do mine. Then I spoke to the AD and said to keep her the hell away from me! Trust me, you have enough on your mind, and unsolicited input from a young PA isn’t what you need.

And speaking of books…

Please ask your local libraries to purchase my book.

On most library websites there is a place to suggest books for purchase. Or just send an email.

Here is the information they will need:
The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide: Making the Extreme No Budget Film
ISBN #: 1-4392-3273-3
Author: Kelley Baker
2009

When asked for the publisher direct them to my website: http://www.angryfilmmaker.com
(The publisher is BookSurge but I make more money if they buy from me…)

Thank you!

On Saturday, August 29, 10am I am going to be at the The Rappahannock Independent Film Festival teaching a workshop. If you’re in the area drop on by. Check it out at http://rifilmfestival.com/.

I am in the midst of re-watching some old John Sayles movies (Return of The Secaucus Seven, The Brother From Another Planet, and Matewan), and I am still blown away by his writing. Some of the acting is a little rough, but the stories are so good. I can’t get enough of him. Whether his films are good or not so good, they are always worth watching. I always learn something about story telling from him. Go back and check out some of his older work, most of the films hold up surprisingly well.

Don’t forget to check out the review of my Sound Design Workshop DVD at http://www.microfilmmaker.com/reviews/Issue43/Sound1.html. While you’re there check out some of the articles. It’s a great site.

On to other stuff.

If you want Moses and I to come to your college, university, media art center, high school, theater or even to your house for dinner this Fall send me a note, angryfilminfo@aol.com.

Don’t forget to check out my tour sponsors, Show Biz Software, (www.showbizsoftware.com), Film Baby (www.filmbaby.com), Pollard Design (www.pollarddesign.com), and Zoom Studio (www.zoomstudio.com). If you haven’t checked out their sites and their services, you better.

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

Rough Cut Advice & other stuff

July 7, 2009

July 7, 2009

I was talking to a friend who had just gotten some negative feedback on his current film which is still in rough cut. He was feeling a bit depressed, I know, I have been there before. So I thought I would re-print something from my book, my feelings on showing people something that isn’t finished…

“Thoughts on showing stuff that you’re working on to your friends: A lot of people don’t understand what a movie looks like when it’s “in process,” i.e. not completed. I have seen people show friends sequences from their movies out of context and not even close to finished. This never helps a filmmaker. I know you’re excited about your movie and you want to show stuff as soon as you can. If people don’t start jumping up and down and say what they’ve just watched is the greatest thing ever, then you get bummed. What are you thinking, jackass?

Of course they’re not jumping up and down. It’s not finished, it’s out of context and they don’t have the vision you have. I don’t care how much you think you or your friends know about movies. What many of you learned came through watching the special features and director’s commentaries on some DVDs. That doesn’t tell you anything. I have watched major movies in rough cut that looked like crap and went on to do great business at the box office. But I knew what work needed to be done to get them ready. Most people don’t.

I will NOT look at individual completed scenes from a movie.

They tell me nothing! I would rather look at a really long rough cut of the entire movie, than a couple of scenes that have been cut. To judge a movie, you have to feel its pace, see the whole story. A particular scene could be brilliant! But the scenes around it aren’t. I need to see something from start to finish so I can get a feel for the movie and give quality feedback.

I made the mistake, once, of showing a local film critic the first 15 minutes of one of my features while it was still in rough cut. Boy was that stupid! A year later, when I was set to premiere it, he told one of the local art house theater owners that he wasn’t going to be reviewing it. He had seen it already and it wasn’t very good! He assigned someone else to do it. All he had seen was a 15-minute piece! And there he was telling a theater owner no less it wasn’t very good. I wonder who else he told?

I will never, ever make that mistake again. I learned my lesson.”

From The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide Part One. Which is available on my site for a mere $16.95 + $3 S&H. Quite a deal…

“This is a killer book. It tells you what your teachers can’t, because they haven’t done it. It tells you what your friends can’t, for the same reason. Jammed with tons of useful advice, Baker’s book is an invaluable “think before you shoot” guide for beginning filmmakers, as well as people who’ve been around the block, but need a refresher course.”

William M. Akers
Author of Your Screenplay Sucks! 100 Ways To Make It Great
teaches screenwriting and filmmaking at Vanderbilt University
Lifetime Member of the Writers Guild

Also check out the review of my Sound Design Workshop DVD at http://www.microfilmmaker.com/reviews/Issue43/Sound1.html. It’s a good one!

On to other stuff.

If you want Moses and I to come to your college, university, media art center, high school, theater or even to your house for dinner this Fall send me a note, angryfilminfo@aol.com.

Don’t forget to check out my tour sponsors, Show Biz Software, (www.showbizsoftware.com), Film Baby (www.filmbaby.com), Pollard Design (www.pollarddesign.com), and Zoom Studio (www.zoomstudio.com). If you haven’t checked out their sites and their services, you better.

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

Advice, blogs and books

July 3, 2009

July 3, 2009

If making a movie is just one of those things you think would be cool to do, then don’t do anything. There are already enough posers and bad movies out there.
From The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide

That should be pretty self explanatory. If you are going to make a movie, do it because you have to make a movie. If you enjoy the process of making the movie, then do it. The odds are your movie won’t make you money or famous. You have to enjoy the ride and if you work hard enough and have a huge amount of luck, maybe you’ll get your investment back.

I encourage you all to read William Akers blog posts (http://yourscreenplaysucks.wordpress.com/). He’s a great writer who understands the business, especially the business of screen writing. He’s also funny as hell. You can buy his book off of his website, (http://yourscreenplaysucks.com/).

I have been re-watching early John Sayles movies and I have forgotten what a great story teller he is. He’s someone people should study. For writing not for editing, sorry John your films are too long, if it weren’t for the great writing you’d lose me.

Don’t forget to check out my book, The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide: Making the Extreme No Budget Film. It’s available on my site (www.angryfilmmaker.com) for a mere $16.95 + $3 S&H.

“Kelley’s frank, truthful — and realistic — advice is borne from years as an industry insider who chose to turn outsider. Through the creation of his own films, projects he as worked on, and the hundreds of movies he encounters every year at festivals and events, gives Kelley a unique insight into the state of the modern independent film movement. The text might read as angry, but the knowledge is honest and altruistic.”

Jon Gann, Director, DC Shorts Film Festival

Check out the review of my Sound Design Workshop DVD at http://www.microfilmmaker.com. It’s a good one!

On to other stuff.

If you want Moses and I to come to your college, university, media art center, high school, theater or even to your house for dinner this Fall send me a note, angryfilminfo@aol.com.

Don’t forget to check out my tour sponsors, Show Biz Software, (www.showbizsoftware.com), Film Baby (www.filmbaby.com), Pollard Design (www.pollarddesign.com), and Zoom Studio (www.zoomstudio.com). If you haven’t checked out their sites and their services, you better.

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
http://www.filmbaby.com