My No Budget Filmmaking Class starts soon in Portland

June 1, 2010

Don’t forget my class on No Budget Filmmaking starts soon. There is still space available.

For more information check out http://www.nwfilm.org/education/classes/core/#90

You know you want to take this class…

Kelley

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I am teaching a new class in Portland, OR

May 9, 2010

EXTREME LOW BUDGET FILM PRODUCTION Course #208

KELLEY BAKER
SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS, JUN 5 & 6, 12 & 13, 19 & 20, 9 AM-6 PM
AND TUESDAYS, WEDNESDAYS, THURSDAYS, JUN 8-10 & 15-17, 6-10 PM

When resources are super tight on a dramatic film, there are right and wrong ways to cut costs. Do it right and you keep the focus on telling the story as effectively and cheaply as possible. Do it wrong and you compromise goodwill with cast and crew, spend money you don’t have, and end up with a movie which simply doesn’t look and sound as good as it could on screen. This intensive crash course takes intermediate and advanced students step by step through the process of producing a short dramatic film, emphasizing the short cuts and tricks at each stage of production which lead to extreme low budget success (tip: light it right and you avoid expensive color correction). Serving as writer/director, the lead instructor will provide hands-on guidance throughout, aided by a visiting director of photography, sound recordist, and other specialists who drop by along the way. Students will serve in at least two crew positions, ranging from camera/lighting/grip to editor and sound designer. Assignments will be made based on student interest and skill, but at instructor discretion. The class will culminate with a sound mix at a local post-production house and a final screening for families and friends. Every student will be credited for their roles and receive the completed film on DVD. The goal is for participants to feel confident in budgeting, scheduling, and producing their own extreme low budget short dramatic film at a later time.

Pre-requisite: Some previous production experience. Knowledge of Final Cut Pro highly recommended.
12 sessions

Tuition: $775 | Equipment/Lab Fee: $230

NON-CREDIT OR 4 PSU CREDITS
PSU Credit Fee: $240 (OPTIONAL)
NW Film Center School of Film

934 SW Salmon St, Portland, Oregon
Mailing: 1219 SW Park Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97205

or call 503-221-1156 for more info.

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

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

Blogs, Articles, Festivals, & Books

March 30, 2010

March 30, 2010

Check out William Akers blog, (http://yourscreenplaysucks.wordpress.com/) He’s getting crankier than I am. Great stuff here!

If you are interested in learning more about Crowd Funding check out Sheri Candler’s articles in Microfilmmaker Magazine.
Part one, http://www.microfilmmaker.com/tipstrick/Issue52/Crowdfn1.html
Part two, http://www.microfilmmaker.com/tipstrick/Issue53/IndieGo1.html
There is a lot of interesting information here.

Moses and I are still on the road, heading to Chicago tomorrow and on to Kansas City through the weekend. We’ll be hanging out with my pal Joe Heyen. If you haven’t checked out his film Cowtown Ballroom… Sweet Jesus (http://www.cowbr.com/ you really should.

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.

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)

If you already have a copy of my book (or DVDs) then contact your local library and tell them to buy them. 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 Part One: 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…)

It costs you nothing…

Feel free to link to me.

Thanks. Talk later.

Kelley

Follow me here’
http://www.facebook.com/kelleybaker
http://twitter.com/thekelleybaker

Such a Deal…

March 25, 2010

Just a quick reminder…

Save 20% for a limited time on my workshop DVDs. Just follow the link… http://www.angryfilmmaker.com/cool-crap-to-own/workshop-dvds/

Also save $2.00 off my book The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide. http://www.angryfilmmaker.com/cool-crap-to-own/books/ Just $14.95 + $3 S&H.

What are you waiting for?

Talk later.

Kelley

Links, Books, & Other Stuff

March 24, 2010

March 24, 2010

Moses and I are cooling our heels in St Louis right now. Got a few meetings in the area and I’m going to try and get some work done.

I have added more links to “Links & Other Points of Interest” on my Bio menu. Check out the new stuff. If you have a link that you think I should put up on my list send it to me. If you would like to link to my page as well, I would really appreciate it.

I have been re-reading Morrie Warshawski’s book, Shaking The Money Tree and I have forgotten how much good fundraising stuff is in there.

I am also reading Scott Kirsner’s book, Fans, Friends & Followers. I saw Scott speak at SXSW and I was impressed. The book is really good.

I know some people are waiting for me to go off about SXSW since this was my first time there. I had a good time and I couldn’t believe all of the people that were there. It felt more like a tradeshow than a film festival to me, but I never made it over to see any of the films. I sat in on some panels, did my own panel, checked out a lot of the Vendors in the Trade Show area and reconnected with a lot of old friends. I have to say that I picked up a lot of information, but felt like I was one of many. I was gone before the music portion started so I didn’t get to see any of that craziness.

It seemed like you had to stand in line for lots of things and people there seemed to be having a good time. I guess I missed the art. I only saw one of the organizers, Jared (I hope I spelled that right) and he was great. He was sincere in wanting to make sure that Jim and I had no problems with our panel. Next time I am in Austin I’d like to buy him a beer.

We’ll see if I get asked back.

I am still trying to get on All Things Considered and/or Fresh Air. A lot of people have been sending notes to them on my behalf and I have to say that all I get is still the automated responses to my emails. Do you think they even read those things? I am beginning to doubt it, but I am going to keep trying.

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.

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

Feel free to link to me.

I got work to do, so we’ll talk later.

Kelley

Workshop in Austin, on to Houston

March 16, 2010

March 16, 2010

Tonight:
REEL WOMEN / KELLEY BAKER workshop on “The Art of Sound Design” on Tuesday, March 16. 6:00 – 9:00pm. $40 / $25 RW, AFM Members, AFS Filmmaker Level Members (or get membership AND workshop for $55!) The Picture Box Studio, 701 Tillery, Suite A-7, Austin 78709

I did my workshop/panel yesterday at SXSW with Jim LeBrecht and it went great! We got a lot of great questions and no one appeared to walk out. I’d do it again.

I saw some pretty great panels here myself and feel like I learned quite a bit. It was also good to see some old friends and hang out in Austin. I can’t believe how much the Hilton charges for rooms (I’m staying with friends) and worse yet, Beers! This is an expensive festival.

Tomorrow I head to San Antonio for a few days to work on a friends film. Saturday I am in Houston at SWAMP for ….

SOUND DESIGN FOR INDEPENDENT FEATURES
Date: Saturday, March 20, 2010 (10:00am- 2:00pm)
Location: SWAMP Office
Cost: $50 – General Public; $40 – SWAMP Members & Students
Instructor: Kelley “The Angry Filmmaker” Baker

If you’re interested go to www.swamp.org or call 773-522-8595 ext 2 for more details.

Moses is holding up well although stairs are giving him some trouble with his arthritis.

I still have some openings in the Spring tour, if you want Moses and me to come by 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.

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

Talk later.

Kelley