Archive for April, 2010

Interesting Links

April 29, 2010

April 28, 2010

I am still on the road and will be home in about 10 days. It’s been a long tour.

Here’s a couple interesting things I found on the net. Check them out.

http://trulyfreefilm.hopeforfilm.com/2010/04/the-power-of-crowds-and-independent-film-video.html

how viral videos can be manufactured using secret strategies: http://ow.ly/1ti5G

A Rebuilding Phase for Independent Film: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/26/business/media/26indie.html?hp

I am booking the Fall tour, if you want me to come to your college, university, media art center, or even to your house for dinner drop me a note at angryfilminfo@aol.com.

Don’t forget to check out my tour sponsors, The Write Brothers (www.screenplay.com), Pollard Design (www.pollarddesign.com), Zoom Creates (www.zoomcreates.com), and IMD Independent Media Distribution, (www.imdfilmsdvd.com). If you haven’t checked out their sites and their services, you better.

Talk later.

Kelley

http://www.angryfilmmaker.com

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Scheduling Actors, Software & Other Stuff

April 20, 2010

April 20, 2010
I am still on tour, it is winding down and I am pretty beat up. I want to thank all of the folks that sent me notes about Moses’ passing. He was a great tour companion and is missed. Your words made me feel better. Thank you.

I just got this link from a friend; check it out it’s sad and funny all at the same time. http://www.theonion.com/articles/sad-sack-purchases-screenwriting-software,17254/

Check out the DC Shorts Film Festival website (http://www.dcshorts.com/ ), it’s a great festival! The deadline is 4/30/10

I have been getting a lot of questions lately about scheduling scenes for actors, here is a reprint from an earlier blog posting for those that missed it.

Your AF Tip of the Day.

If a couple of your characters are going to have a major fight with each other, give them time to get in to rhythm and character on the set before you demand that they emote their brains out.
– – from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide

I am sure most of you know what I mean by this. When you are doing your production schedule during PRE-PRODUCTION, take a hard look at the scenes you want to shoot first. I never put the intense scenes at the beginning of a shoot. I know the actors have rehearsed and know their characters but they haven’t been working on a set together that long yet. And the same thing goes for the crew.

I like to put the intense scenes or any nudity towards the end of the shooting schedule. I want the actors to really have time with each other to really get in to character. I also want my crew working like a well-oiled machine.

Since my shooting schedules are usually only 3 – 4 weeks in length I try to put the really hard scenes in the last week. Sometimes it works; sometimes they go late in the second week. As a filmmaker I am always looking at what is going to be the best for my cast, and for my crew. When I worked as an editor I saw filmmakers schedule really dramatic scenes in that first week, and I can’t tell you how many times those scenes were re-shot. And if they weren’t re-shot I know that most good directors I worked with regretted shooting those scenes early.

Buy my Damn Book! In addition to my book being $2.00 off (Internet Specials), I have lowered the price on both of my Workshop DVDs (under Cool Crap to Own – Workshop DVDs) by 20% for a limited time. (www.angryfilmmaker.com)

I am booking the Fall tour, if you want me to come to your college, university, media art center, or even to your house for dinner drop me a note at angryfilminfo@aol.com.

Don’t forget to check out my tour sponsors, The Write Brothers (www.screenplay.com), Pollard Design (www.pollarddesign.com), Zoom Creates (www.zoomcreates.com), and IMD Independent Media Distribution, (www.imdfilmsdvd.com). If you haven’t checked out their sites and their services, you better.

Talk later.

Kelley

http://www.angryfilmmaker.com

In Memory of Mel Sloan

April 5, 2010

Mel Sloan

I recently found out that Mel Sloan, one of my instructors from film school passed away in January. I hadn’t thought about Mel in awhile but the news still took me by surprise. I started thinking about Mel, my time at film school and where I am now. Then it hit me.

Mel Sloan was a huge influence on me and helped to make me the filmmaker I am.

Mel had this way of driving you crazy. He questioned you on everything! I remember one 3 hour meeting when I was getting ready to shoot my graduate project at USC where Mel took the “devil’s advocate” side on every question, even what we were going to have for lunch! My crew and I walked out of the meeting totally beat up. Even though it was barely noon we hit the nearest bar, totally drained and drained a couple glasses.

I ran in to another film student who had Mel the previous year (and had made a great film) and he asked if we had had our three hour meeting with Mel yet? I said yes. He told me from that point on our dealing with Mel were going to be great, and he would go to bat for us at every turn. We were now “Mel’s Boys”. Mel just wanted to see how badly we wanted to make our film. Once we passed his test then we were going to be just fine. Boy was he right!

Mel did go to bat for us (and rumor had it that some faculty members were very unhappy with us over a few things, but those stories will be saved for another day). He supported us and gave us great advice and guidance. We finished the film and at our final session with Mel he told the editor (Harry B Miller) and I that our film was good, but too long. He told us we could lose 5 minutes easily. We disagreed and Mel just said to us, “Watch you film again after 6 – 12 months and then tell me what you think?”

Once again he was right. A fact that I got to tell him when I ran in to him a few years later. He smiled when I told him. Not only did he remember my film, he remembered what needed to come out.

When I got out of school and needed some editing equipment to start my business Mel called a former student and got me what I needed, at a reduced price! The fact that he continued to help even after I left school was huge.

I read where Mel taught at USC for over 50 years. Amazing. I know there were people who didn’t like him, but I don’t think they understood his teaching method. Was he rough on us in the beginning? Absolutely! Did he care about us and our film? Very much. And I think that was what set Mel apart. Whether you agreed with him or not, he truly cared about his students and tried to make them better filmmakers. Mel worked us hard, gave us deadlines and truly prepared us for what it was going to be like outside of school.

I have taken a different route than a lot of my peers. I left LA years ago and make my films up in Oregon. I am also obsessive, stubborn, and am always going against the grain. But I love what I do and I got that from Mel. There are times when I am stuck, broke, and trying to figure out how everything will come together. I sit back and I think about it. I work at it. I figure it out, for better or for worse, and I move forward. That was something else Mel taught me to do.

There were times when I thought about Mel and wondered what he was doing. Knowing Mel, I was sure he was teaching some one, some where, whether it had any thing to do with film or not. That was the kind of person Mel was. Always willing to share his knowledge on any subject to anyone.

I can picture Mel at this very moment trying to explain something to God. Hopefully God is listening to him.

Thank you Mel for all you taught me. I am lucky to have been one of “Mel’s Boys”; your lessons are still very much alive.

Kelley

http://www.angryfilmmaker.com

Hiring Crew & Other Stuff

April 2, 2010

April 2, 2010

I am in Kansas City and the weather is pretty lousy. I have lots of things to do and I am trying to get caught up. I am going to post something I wrote a couple years ago about hiring crew. If you read this before, sorry. If not, enjoy…

I think one thing that a lot of filmmakers should pay more attention to is hiring crew. I know you all spend way too much time thinking about DPs. One mistake I have seen over and over is hiring a DP that really wants to be a Director. And I see that a lot. The problem I see with hiring and working with crew people (and not just DPs), who want to direct is that so many of them are more concerned with your job then theirs. I have had PAs come up to me on the set and ask me why I am doing what I am doing. They’ve said, “That doesn’t look like a very good shot to me.” Who asked you? They were not asked back the following day.

As the Filmmaker you have to wear a lot of hats and make a million decisions an hour. Surround yourself with crew who are there to support your vision. Not a bunch of people who want to do your job.

A buddy of mine had to fire his DP a couple days before the shoot started. It was obvious that the DP thought he was a better Director than the one who hired him. I always say that took guts to fire the guy, especially since the DP had his own gear! (And no, you can’t fire someone and ask to use their equipment – – really bad form.) But you know what, the production was better off losing this DP (who was really talented). There would have been too many on-set issues if this particular DP had remained.

Remember, a set is not a democracy, there can only be one Boss. I look at myself as a benevolent Dictator, but a Dictator none the less.

Put as much thought in to hiring crew as you do your cast.

And now, your AF Tip of the Day.

You have only one chance to get casting and crew right before you commit to shooting.
– – from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide

Other Stuff…

I am going to be at the Fearless Film Festival in Fort Worth Texas on April 10th & 11th (http://www.mainstreetartsfest.org/Off-MAIN.aspx) showing my short films and talking. If you are in the area drop on by.

Don’t forget to check out my tour sponsors, The Write Brothers (www.screenplay.com), Pollard Design (www.pollarddesign.com), Zoom Creates (www.zoomcreates.com), and IMD Independent Media Distribution, (www.imdfilmsdvd.com). If you haven’t checked out their sites and their services, you better.

And the DC Shorts Film Festival website (http://www.dcshorts.com/ ), it’s a great festival!

Talk later.

Kelley