Archive for the ‘Film Industry News’ Category

Use Moby’s Music Catalog for Free on Your Indie Film via MobyGratis

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Moby – the prolific DJ/Musician just re-launched MobyGratis – his free music service for independent filmmakers. Moby’s extensive music catalog has over 150 music tracks available to license for free*. MobyGratis is described as “a resource for independent and non-profit filmmakers, film students, and anyone in need of free music for their independent, non-profit film, video, or short.”

Check out the catalog and browse by instrument, tempo, genre, etc. All you need to do is create an account and submit an application for the tracks that you’d like. The approval process takes about 24 hours.

Check it out:

 

After you complete your film utilizing Moby’s music – you can share it with the mobygratis community by uploading it to YouTube or Vimeo.

*The music is free as long as it’s used in non-commercial films. If/when your film becomes commercial, the license changes and all royalties will go to the Humane Society. Be sure to read all the terms when you set up an account with mobygratis.

Amazon Storyteller, A Free Storyboard Tool

Saturday, June 8th, 2013

Amazon Studios just launched a new application that lets you convert your screenplay into a movie storyboard. Amazon Storyteller is free to use for anyone on Amazon Studios. Try it out – just upload your script or play with one that’s already in the Studio.

You choose the backgrounds, characters, and props to visually tell a story. A successful storyboard can tell the full story of a script, or capture its essence in short form, like a trailer. Either approach can be a great way to build an audience for your story and see how people respond to it.” – from Amazon Studios FAQ.

By clicking on the scene from the script (see example below), the storyboard tool scans the text for descriptions and characters. It automatically selects backgrounds and character drawings from its own library database.

Example from Amazon Studios – The Alchemist Agenda by Marty Weiss

Make sure to read Amazon Studios’ FAQs regarding rights and their Terms of Service before you participate and submit anything.

Once a storyboard is published on Amazon Studios, Amazon Studios takes a 45 day option on the project to evaluate it and decide if it should be added to our development slate. If after 45 days, Amazon Studios does not option the project, the rights to the original script are retained by the original writer.” – from Variety article.

FYI… the “option” Amazon Studios offers states that they “will have the exclusive right to buy your script for $200,000 if it is a script for a feature film or $55,000 if it is a script for an episodic series.”

Donate to the AHA and Get Your Script Read by a Hollywood Pro

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Screenwriter Joe Nienalt is launching a campaign to fight heart disease & stroke by raising money for the American Heart Association Heart Walk, and has once again partnered with Daniel Vang, a manager at Benderspink – one of Hollywood’s top production and management companies. This partnership will incentivize aspiring screenwriters to donate to the campaign and get their screenplays read by Daniel Vang and possibly receive representation from Benderspink. Last year they raised close to $45,000. This year’s goal is $50K.

Here’s the official description of their campaign:
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In exchange for your donation, Daniel Vang will consider you for representation.

Here’s how it works…[list style=”list8″ color=”red”]

  • -If you donate $25, Daniel will read the first ten pages of your script or pilot.
  • -If you donate $50, Daniel will read the first 50 pages (if it’s great, he won’t want to put it down after 10 or 50 pages).
  • -If you donate $100, Daniel will read your entire script or pilot (good or bad).

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source: Joe Nienalt’s Personal Page for Heart Walk 2013-2014 [/framed_box]

I first heard about this from listening to the Scriptnotes Podcast by screenwriters John August (IMDB) and Craig Mazin (IMDB). You can hear the episode here (it’s mentioned towards the end of the podcast at around 44:45), download it: AAC, MP3, iTunes or read the transcript here.

… listen up people who say, ‘No one will read my script. No one is going to read my script!’  Well, shut it.  Here’s the story: Daniel Vang is a manager at Benderspink. They are a real, legitimate production management company… they’re real producers. They’re real managers. Daniel Vang is an actual human being who reads things and is involved in this business.”   — Craig Mazin on the Scriptnotes Podcast

Please note that your donation does not guarantee you’ll get notes or feedback on your screenplay. From what I read, you’ll likely get a rejection response – but you never know. You should go into this like you play the lottery, but you’ll be donating to a good cause. Karma points may be all you’ll get out of it, but this is a tough business and this is a small window of opportunity that in its worst case scenario will contribute to possibly saving lives.

Go to the official donation page for all the information: Joe Nienalt’s Personal Page for Heart Walk 2013-2014. The deadline to make donations is Friday, October 4th, 2013.

Top Filmmaking Pinterest Boards and Pins

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

At this point in time, everyone’s probably heard of Pinterest — the pinboard/scrapbook photo-sharing website that allows users to create theme-based “boards” by “pinning” image or video collections found on the web. There are a lot of Pinterest profiles and boards dedicated to film/cinema/movies, but I’ll only focus on the ones that are specific to filmmaking. Here are the best ones I found…

Cinescopophilia (cinescopophilia.com)


Ted Hope (film producer)


dbykov (art director, designer)


Abelcine


Shootblue (digital cinematography equipment based in London)


Tierible (Thierry Saint-Paul – Filmmaker, Cinematographer)


The Black and Blue (Evan Luzi – Camera Assistant and author)


Red Rock Micro (sells cinema accessories)


Roger Duck (video producer, web developer, and marketer)


Peter Feuersenger (digital producer)


Ben Mallaby (Director and Cinematographer)


MORE USEFUL BOARDS:

What If Seed&Spark Is Successful?

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

There’s been a lot already written about Seed&Spark. My first thoughts on S&S are that it’s a very interesting take on the whole crowdfunding landscape with an angle on a ‘fair trade’ filmmaking movement. The “wedding registry” wish-list is also a unique set up that gives an alternative to a cash donation. That makes a lot of sense since filmmakers will have an endless list of expenses that will use that cash. Any donation of meals, locations, loaning equipment, etc. will go a long way for a tight indie budget. Some contributors may find it easier to provide a needed service or product – rather than straight up money – times are tough. Additionally, Seed&Spark will offer a distribution outlet (80/20 split) – with 100% of the rights maintained by the filmmaker. Plus, they have a bonus (a.k.a. “Spark”) that incentivizes and rewards their consumers/moviegoers/fans to join and watch as many films as possible. Great ideas all around – right? Absolutely!

Then I had some additional thoughts on this… comes in as more of a question: what if this type of service succeeds, really succeeds and becomes the go-to standard for all indie filmmakers? Let’s think about this for a moment… it would be great, wouldn’t it? I have been looking at a lot of different filmmaking services and websites since I started working on my first feature, Nothing Without You. Through that process – I started Filmlinker. I usually gravitated to whichever service was applicable to that stage of production we were in – i.e. screenwriting, financing, pre-pro, production, festivals, distribution, etc. Back to my question – what if this type of service succeeds and becomes the go-to standard for all indie filmmakers? I think it would cover ALL the stages – from start to finish of what independent filmmakers are looking for – making a film, getting it to an audience and sustaining a creative career. Remember when YouTube first launched (before Google bought it)? YouTube now supports several video creators.

Crowdfunfing sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter have facilitated the financing possibilities. The current filmmaking technologies have brought production costs way down. Social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) has allowed filmmakers to communicate directly with and grow their fan base. There’s a plethora of self-distribution choices (VHX, Vimeo On-Demand, IndieFlix, Distribber, etc.) and many more that seem to launch everyday. All good – but Seed&Spark is combining all these services into one.

Let’s root and support this type of initiative. The future can be now.

New MPAA Report Shows Hispanics Trending As Higher Percentage Moviegoer

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) released its annual Theatrical Market Statistics Report for 2012 this week. The report illustrates that global box office revenue for all films worldwide reached $34.7 billion in 2012 (+6% over 2011). The U.S & Canada rev was up 6% to $10.8 billion with a 6% increase in admissions to 1.36 billion. One very noticeable piece in the report was that Hispanics – while only representing 17% of the population in the U.S & Canada – encompassed 26% of all movie ticket purchases.

Although Caucasians make up the majority of the population and moviegoers (140 million), they represent a smaller share of 2012 ticket sales (56%). Hispanics are more likely than any other ethnic group to go to movies, and purchased more tickets in 2012 compared to 2011. (source: MPAA)

Hispanics report the highest annual attendance per capita, attending on average 6.4 times per year, compared to closer to 4 times per year for African Americans, Caucasians, and Others. (source: MPAA)

In 2012, the ethnic composition of frequent moviegoers looks much the same as in 2011, with Hispanics oversampling as frequent moviegoers relative to their proportion of the population. (source: MPAA)

So what does all this information this mean to the independent filmmaker? For one – we can see that there’s a target audience that is not being directly served by the big studio films. This also seems to be a great opportunity for four-walling a film and bypass traditional distribution system. If you have an eager audience that wants to see films, why not make films for them.

Click HERE (PDF) for an infographic of the report.

Click HERE (PDF) for the full 2012 MPAA Theatrical Market Statistics report.

Tribeca Film Festival’s Vine Competition Announced

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

The Tribeca Film Festival just announced a call for entries for Vine powered 6 second shorts (#6SecFilms). After its initial release in January, Vine has become a popular platform/app for creating very short videos (6 seconds is the limit) that are shared on Twitter (its parent company) and Facebook. The 6 second limit on the Vines have forced its users to be even more creative with their looping films – same as Twitter has revolutionized the creativity of the 140 characters written snippet.

Here’s the gist of the competition:

– Create a Vine (a.k.a. short film) that tells a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

– Tag your Vine with #6SECFILMS and the appropriate category hashtag of in one of the following areas:

#GENRE (Horror, Comedy, Sci-Fi, etc.)
#AUTEUR (artistic visionary story or script)
#ANIMATE (animated short)
#SERIES (serialized Vines – up to three)

– Then post it to Twitter (you must also follow @TribecaFilmFest).

– The deadline is 11:59 pm ET on 4/7/2013.

Read their Official Rules (here).

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Here’s the rest from TFF’s official announcement:

All Vines submitted to Twitter using the relevant hashtags before the deadline of 4/7/2013 will be reviewed by the Tribeca Film Festival programming team. A shortlist of select Vines that meet the creative requirements will be chosen by the programmers and displayed on Tribecafilm.com the week of 4/17/2013.

Our panel of distinguished judges will deliberate over the shortlist and select a winner in each category. The winners will be announced 4/26/13.

SHORTLIST, WINNERS AND PRIZES

Shortlisted Vines will be recognized and showcased on TribecaFilm.com.
Winners in each category will receive $600 (a hundred bucks for each second).

[/framed_box]

Second Screen Mobile App Enhances ‘APP’ Film

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

A new Dutch film apply named APP will use a second screen application as a companion to the film. The app utilizes the SyncNow Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology. ACR makes second screens content-aware, delivering a package of enhanced features and information that are relevant & synchronized with the content playing on the main screen. Viewers are asked to download the app (available in iOS or Android) before going to see the film. APP’s app will offer 35 moments in the film where additional information or content will be accessible to enrich the movie viewing experience.


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This second screen feature is an interesting concept that is probably not a good gimmick for just any film. Other filmmakers (I believe Kevin Smith was the first) have used audio companion downloads that provide the director’s commentary that you’d time to synch with the film. However, APP’s story line makes it relevant since it involves a young psychology student who is addicted to her smartphone and after a long night of partying – discovers a mysterious app named IRIS has been downloaded on her phone.

APP Official Trailer:

Highland, the Screenplay Editor Officially Launches

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Highland – the screenplay editor conceptualized by screenwriter John August, is available in the Mac App Store today. Highland converts screenplays between PDF, FDX (Final Draft) and Fountain formats – back and forth in every direction. Here’s the product’s trailer…


With Highland, you can also tackle FDX files without Final Draft. We’ve found our users are often writing in Google Docs or TextMate or vim — or on their iPads. Whatever setup you prefer, Highland can get you into and out of Final Draft smoothly when you need special features.”John August

August introduced Highland last year, but wanted to beta test it with screenwriters before it went on sale. It’s available now for $9.99 until the end of the month (March 31st) – then it’s back to its original price: $19.99. You can also try the free demo here (zip file) or from the official site.

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Self Distribution via Vimeo On-Demand

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Vimeo recently announced the launch of their self-distribution on-demand (VOD) platform that will allow filmmakers to sell downloads or rent their films to the public. It’s available now through their ‘PRO’ service ($199/year).

I’ve been looking at all the self-distribution options for the feature film I produced and co-wrote with director Xackery IrvingNothing Without You. As we come to the last leg of the Festival phase of our film (next screening to date at the Sarasota Film Festival – April 6 & 7) we’ve come across several options. There are many ‘pay-wall’ type options similar to what Vimeo is now offering – but I think they all do not have the same brand cache and audience that Vimeo brings to the table. Plus, Vimeo’s revenue share is unmatched with their 90/10 split favoring the filmmaker.

[Vimeo On-Demand] is completely open, so anyone with a Vimeo PRO account can create a VOD page, sell their work, choose their price, choose the regions they want to offer and the time that it will be available, make it look beautiful, then push a button that says ‘publish’… and it’s open to the world.” – Blake Whitman, the company’s VP of Creative Development.

You can read Blake Whitman’s full interview with IndieWire here.

Here’s the Vimeo On-Demand trailer: