Archive for August, 2009

Pre-production, Plan B & Other Stuff

August 25, 2009

August 25, 2009

I am going to be at the Rappahannock Independent Film Festival (http://rifilmfestival.com/) in Fredericksburg, VA this weekend. It’s a great festival, come by and say hello.

“Making a movie is going to take time, lots, patience, even more, and the ability to move mountains — on a good day.”
– – from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide

Why do people think making a movie is so easy? Is it because they watch the director commentaries on their DVDs? Do they watch the “behind the scenes” extras as well? It sure looks fun and easy, doesn’t it?

Well it’s not! And the fact that they put that shit on the DVDs really pisses me off. Anyone who has ever worked on a movie let a lone made their own will tell you it’s hard fuckin work! You plan and plan, you rehearse, nail down locations and then something goes wrong. Now what? You need to have a plan B. That’s what pre-production is for.

Too many filmmakers think if they aren’t on the set they aren’t making a movie. So many films would be better if they would learn how to plan better, and have back up plans for when things do go wrong! Because they will. The smart filmmakers always have a back up location, a different scene, or different props available for when something goes wrong.

When I was doing “real people” commercials I was invariably told by an ad agency person that one of the people I would be interviewing was great! They had spoken to them previously and they were funny and articulate and I could expect great things from them. It rarely happened…

I was shooting some grocery chain spots and interviewing the people who worked there to put together a group of funny, quirky commercials. We get to the Produce Guy who they had been telling me about for days and the dude freezes up! I would ask him questions and he would say “yes”, “no”, or things that were totally unusable. He was scared to death. The agency people are watching this and they are freaking out. What am I going to do?

One of them said we shouldn’t use this guy, they couldn’t figure out what had gone wrong. I was prepared for this. I figured the guy wasn’t everything they told me he was and I had Plan B. I had one of the Grips go get a prop I had put on the grip truck the day before. A Giant Plastic Red Jalapeno Pepper. The thing was about 5 feet tall, I had used it in a Sesame Street Video I had shot once and had it hanging around my studio. I told the guy to hold it (in the middle of the produce section) and say, “A pepper should never be this big.” as seriously as possible. He was nervous but he said the line correctly. The agency folks were laughing and I had the perfect end to one of my commercials. It became an award winning spot.

Always have a back up plan, always be prepared for the worst, and always be ready to change your thinking. In pre-production I always plan for things to go wrong, and I plan a solution. That’s what pre-production is all about.

My book, The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide Part One: Making The Extreme No Budget Film is full of things to help you make your film. So why haven’t you bought it!

Go to my site, (www.angryfilmmaker.com) and buy it for a mere $16.95 + $3 S&H. You’ll feel better about yourself in the morning.

“Never have there been so may instances of the work “Fuck” in a book worth reading.”

Jim LeBrecht
Berkeley Sound Artists

On to other stuff.

I am still booking the Fall Tour so 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), Pollard Design (www.pollarddesign.com), Zoom Creates (www.zoomcreates.com), and Cheezy Flicks (www.cheezyflicks.com ). If you haven’t checked out their sites and their services, you better.

And I’m welcoming a new Sponsor, Film Slug, (www.filmslug.com) but more about them later…

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

Advertisements

Book & DVD Signing on Saturday

August 21, 2009

I will be signing books and DVDs at Working Class Acupuncture (4410 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy Portland, OR 97221) this Saturday (August 22nd) from 10 – 4. Come on by and say hello. There’s also going to be free acupuncture…

And for your viewing pleasure here’s a film from the vault. You’ll Change.

Enjoy your weekend.

Kelley

http://www.angryfilmmaker.com

Amazon, Murphy & Other Stuff

August 20, 2009

August 20, 2009

Can I get a favor here?  Please go to Amazon and write a review of my book, The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide Part One: Making The Extreme No Budget Film.  I am told it helps sales a lot.  It only takes a few minutes.

And if you want to buy the book, buy it from my site, (www.angryfilmmaker.com) for a mere $16.95 + $3 S&H.  This Angry Filmmaker appreciates it.

From The AF Survival Guide…

One of the biggest mistakes new filmmakers make is not allowing enough time for preproduction.  There seems to be this myth that if you’re not actually shooting, then you are not making your movie. I have found over and over, the more time I spend in pre-production, which includes casting, scheduling, and location scouting, the smoother and more efficiently my shoots run. Figure out how long you need for pre-production, then double or triple it!

Remember, it’s a big deal making a movie. Treat it like one.

Murphy Works Harder Than You Do

Lay out your schedule on the board, sheets of paper, or whatever. That way you have a place to start. Show it to other “experienced” crew people and get their feedback. Make
changes accordingly. Remember, the shooting schedule is a living, breathing thing. It’s going to change while you’re working. You’re not going to have enough time to finish a
location, something is going to fall through, actors will get sick or have conflicts, you’ll lose locations, or whatever. It’s going to happen and you have to be ready to shift things around and shoot in a different order than what you might have planned.

Try to have back-up locations you can go to if something changes at the last minute. If you get rain on an exterior and you don’t want it, have an interior you can go shoot instead.  I love the rain. The crappier and darker the day, the happier I am. It fits my style. In the Northwest, the weather can change dramatically in just a few minutes. You need to be ready for it. I usually get screwed by the weather being nice. I really hate that!

So buy the damn book already!  You need it!

“This is a great book, written by an impassioned filmmaker who also happens to be a teacher of the first magnitude.  An incredibly rare combination.  Profit from your luck at having stumbled on this gem.  Do yourself a favor, listen to what Kelley Baker has to say.”

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

On to other stuff.

I am still booking the Fall Tour so 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), Pollard Design (www.pollarddesign.com), Zoom Creates (www.zoomcreates.com), and Cheezy Flicks (www.cheezyflicks.com ).  If you haven’t checked out their sites and their services, you better.

And I’m welcoming a new Sponsor, Film Slug, (www.filmslug.com) but more about them later…

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

The “New Model”, My Book & Other Stuff

August 14, 2009

August 13, 2009

I just received this note from a buddy of mine and I wanted to reprint it here. He teaches filmmaking in Chicago.

Kelley,

Man, I’m so sorry about being out of touch, but I have to tell you something:

I attended the Film Financing Conference at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June. It was a series of panels and seminars over two days that had some “indie” people talking. Anyway, the gist of the thing was the “new model” of financing and distributing independent films. And guess what they came up with…that’s right…the KELLEY BAKER METHOD!! Now, of course, they didn’t call it that, but here’s what they’re saying:

-make lower budget stuff
-make it personal and targeted to a VERY SPECIFIC audience
-create a fan base for the film and yourself
-use a mailing list to market and RAISE MONEY for your production
-use your web tools (website, Facebook, etc.) to increase sales/downloads
-guard your digital rights with your life
-the future is online

When I took it all in, I couldn’t help but smile, because I had been taught this already by a fine gentleman named Kelley Baker.

When I mentioned this to a few of my fellow attendees they all seemed shocked because, wasn’t this the FUTURE? How could someone have been doing this ALREADY?

I think the LAFF owes you some royalties. I hope all is well.

Best,
John

John A. Rangel Parkside Films

That’s great! It looks like I have been living in the future. It’s nice to know that I am ahead of the curve.

Yes, I have been doing this for quite a few years and a lot of people have said I was nuts and it wouldn’t work. Well I can’t dispute the nuts part, but it is working and it has been working. That’s why I wrote my book, The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide Part One. I outline how you should make a feature for very little money, and make it personal. All of my films are personal.

I learned my lesson a long time ago what the so called “Indie Film Industry” wants, and I’m not buying it. I try with my tours, workshops and my book to let people know that there is an alternative and it works. If you want to make a living making films, you can. You just need to make some adjustments to how you work.

The interesting thing for me is that many of these festivals and conferences pay these people to come and talk about the “new model” but they don’t do it themselves. They really haven’t road tested the information. If I were paying to go to one of these panels I would love to have it full of people who were actually doing what they’re talking about. Maybe I am just a dreamer…

If you want to hear me talk about the “new model” of financing and distributing independent films, you know the thing I have been doing for the last 5 years, check back on my web site as I will be posting my Fall tour schedule.

If you want to read about the making good No Budget films check out my book, The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide Part One Making The Extreme No Budget Film. Which is available on my site, (www.angryfilmmaker.com) for a mere $16.95 + $3 S&H.

On to other things.

I want to thank the following people for being willing to help me up date my website. I think you should go check out their work and if you like what you see, hire them to work with you on your site.

Chris Elliot @ http://www.webdesignrush.com
Tara Krick @ http://www.rexpost.com
Jim Dougherty @ http://www.3oclockproductions.com, http://www.indiestunts.com/jdougherty/
Johnny 5 @ http://www.renderedhero.com/ http://www.myspace.com/discoblaze
Sean @ Cheezy Flicks …

Thank you all for your help.

On to other stuff.

I am putting together the Fall Tour so 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), Pollard Design (www.pollarddesign.com), Zoom Creates (www.zoomcreates.com), and Cheezy Flicks (www.cheezyflicks.com ). If you haven’t checked out their sites and their services, you better.

And I’m welcoming a new Sponsor, Film Slug, (www.filmslug.com) but more about them later…

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

Screen Writing Rules & other stuff

August 5, 2009

August 4, 2009

Happy Birthday to my sister, Leslie! I hope it’s a good one.

I know too many people who want to make movies for all the wrong reasons; apparently I’m not the only one who feels this way. I just pulled this off my buddy William Akers blog (http://yourscreenplaysucks.wordpress.com/) and he stole it from, well you’ll see.

“I share these six items from a talk I give called “Fatal Errors Beginning Writers Make.” Will Aldis (STEALING CARS, KEEP COMING BACK) is a staggeringly talented writer and I love his list.
Number One: trying to write what you think the biz wants you to write.
Number Two: writing for the cash only.
Number Three: writing to get laid.
Number Four: writing a screenplay because you think it sounds like a cool, hip thing to do. It isn’t.
Number Five: writing about something, anything, other than yourself.
Number Six: taking a screenwriting class from someone who doesn’t fully grasp the horror.
Keep Number Six firmly in mind when selecting a teacher, because the very last thing you want is a teacher who gives you any hint that this foolishness is easy.

It isn’t.”

This is what I have been saying for years, what we do isn’t easy, it’s damn hard work. And yet I keep meeting all of these people who think they’re going to write a screenplay or make an independent movie and they’re going to make a bunch of money and everything will be good.

Wake up and smell the coffee! If this shit was so easy there would be a lot of good movies made. The streets of Hollywood and New York are littered with the carcasses of people who think this is easy! If you are gonna make a movie do it for the right reasons: Because you have to. If you don’t make this movie you will explode! Making movies is all you’ve ever wanted to do. You don’t care if you ever sell this because if you don’t find a distributor you’ll take it on the road yourself and show it where ever possible. You think Park City, Utah is a horrible place winter or summer and you never want to see Robert Redford or Paris Hilton in person!

Make the movie for yourself and enjoy the whole process. Don’t make a movie for any of the reasons that William Akers outlines. Like I’ve said in the past, read his blog, (http://yourscreenplaysucks.wordpress.com/) it’s one of the best blogs out there.

If you still want to make a movie, then buy my book, The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide Part One Making The Extreme No Budget Film. Which is available on my site, (www.angryfilmmaker.com) for a mere $16.95 + $3 S&H. At least you’ll have a better idea of what you’re getting in to and hopefully you won’t make the same mistakes I have.

Here’s another comment about the book.

This book is Kelley Baker’s declaration, on no uncertain terms, to reclaim and specify the definition “Independent Filmmaker”. He pulls no punches calling out both Hollywood and very specific directors for being creatively bankrupt. The author then presents his philosophy on the physical process of filmmaking with tips and advice that could only come from someone who has been there and had scars and debt to prove it. That being said, he does not hold anything back, he tells the whole story, warts and all.
Microfilmmaker Magazine

Remember,

“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

And I have been around the block quite a few times so I should know.

On to other stuff.

I am putting together the Fall Tour so 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), Pollard Design (www.pollarddesign.com), Zoom Creates (www.zoomcreates.com), and Cheezy Flicks (www.cheezyflicks.com ). If you haven’t checked out their sites and their services, you better.

And I’m welcoming a new Sponsor, Film Slug, (www.filmslug.com) but more about them later…

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