Archive for the ‘Film Industry News’ Category

The Black Board is the New Official Writing Community of the Black List and Go Into The Story

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Go Into The Story, the official screenwriting blog of the Black List just announced the launch of their official forum: The Black Board.

What began as a user-generated idea — to create an online forum where writers who were participating in the Go On Your Own Quest challenge could gather — has evolved into a terrific resource.”Scott Myers

Here’s how they break down the sections:

Here’s a screenshot with all the details…

Check it out for yourself here:

12 TED Talks on The Power of Film

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

This is a new playlist (TED’s collections of talks around a topic) that focuses on a theme that we all appreciate: The Power of Film.

“These carefully curated talks emphasize the evocative medium of film — be it to convey emotion, to protest, to educate or simply to entertain.” Few things are as magical as sitting back in a theater with a hushed crowd to enjoy a film, but what you see on the screen isn’t everything. Hear from visionaries — from Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood — on how to make movies.” – Curated by TED – from “The power of film (12 talks)

There are over 3 hours of “talks” here – averaging about 16 minutes each. Definitely worth your time. Check it out…

Here are the 12 Talks (Curated by TED):

1. Andrew Stanton: The clues to a great story (19:16)  [icon style=”link” color=”blue”][/icon]
Filmmaker Andrew Stanton (“Toy Story,” “WALL-E”) shares what he knows about storytelling — starting at the end and working back to the beginning.

2. Rob Legato: The art of creating awe (16:27)  [icon style=”link” color=”blue”][/icon]
Rob Legato creates movie effects so good they (sometimes) trump the real thing. In this warm and funny talk, he shares his vision for enhancing reality on-screen in movies like Apollo 13, Titanic and Hugo.

3. JJ Abrams: The mystery box (18:02)  [icon style=”link” color=”blue”][/icon]
J.J. Abrams traces his love for the unseen mystery –- a passion that’s evident in his films and TV shows, including Cloverfield, Lost and Alias — back to its magical beginnings.

4. Adam Sadowsky engineers a viral music video (14:28)  [icon style=”link” color=”blue”][/icon]
The band “OK Go” dreamed up the idea of a massive Rube Goldberg machine for their next music video — and Adam Sadowsky’s team was charged with building it. He tells the story of the effort and engineering behind their labyrinthine creation that quickly became a YouTube sensation.

5. Beeban Kidron: The shared wonder of film (13:12)  [icon style=”link” color=”blue”][/icon]
Movies have the power to create a shared narrative experience and to shape memories and worldviews. British film director Beeban Kidron invokes iconic film scenes — from Miracle in Milan to Boyz n the Hood — as she shows how her group FILMCLUB shares great films with kids.

6. James Cameron: Before Avatar … a curious boy (17:08)  [icon style=”link” color=”blue”][/icon]
James Cameron’s big-budget (and even bigger-grossing) films create unreal worlds all their own. In this personal talk, he reveals his childhood fascination with the fantastic — from reading science fiction to deep-sea diving — and how it ultimately drove the success of his blockbuster hits “Aliens,” “The Terminator,” “Titanic” and “Avatar.”

7. Shekhar Kapur: We are the stories we tell ourselves (21:14)  [icon style=”link” color=”blue”][/icon]
Where does creative inspiration spring from? At TEDIndia, Hollywood/Bollywood director Shekhar Kapur (“Elizabeth,” “Mr. India”) pinpoints his source of creativity: sheer, utter panic. He shares a powerful way to unleash your inner storyteller.

8. Ed Ulbrich: How Benjamin Button got his face (18:07)  [icon style=”link” color=”blue”][/icon]
Ed Ulbrich, the digital-effects guru from Digital Domain, explains the Oscar-winning technology that allowed his team to digitally create the older versions of Brad Pitt’s face for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

9. Adam Savage: My obsession with objects and the stories they tell (15:38)  [icon style=”link” color=”blue”][/icon]
Adam Savage talks about his fascination with the dodo bird, and how it led him on a strange and surprising double quest. It’s an entertaining adventure through the mind of a creative obsessive.

10. Deborah Scranton on her “War TApes” (17:36)  [icon style=”link” color=”blue”][/icon]
Filmmaker Deborah Scranton talks about and shows clips from her documentary The War Tapes, which puts cameras in the hands of soldiers fighting in Iraq.

11. David Hoffman on losing everything (04:00)  [icon style=”link” color=”blue”][/icon]
Nine days before TED2008, filmmaker David Hoffman lost almost everything he owned in a fire that destroyed his home, office and 30 years of passionate collecting. He looks back at a life that’s been wiped clean in an instant — and looks forward.

12. Franco Sacchi tours Nigeria’s booming Nollywood (17:34)  [icon style=”link” color=”blue”][/icon]
Zambia-born filmmaker Franco Sacchi tours us through Nollywood, Nigeria’s booming film industry (the world’s 3rd largest). Guerrilla filmmaking and brilliance under pressure from crews that can shoot a full-length feature in a week.

20 of the Best Filmmaking Related Infographics

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Infographics are not only informative but also fun! They cover every topic from science to pop-culture (movies are prominent in this category – especially Star Wars– here’s one about how to defend the Death Star).

In maintaining the niche of Filmlinker, here are the best “filmmaking” Infographics (click on each thumbnail for the full picture):

“I want to make…”

Here are 4 great “I want to make…” infographics created by Canal+


The next set of infographics are more in the “technical” side of filmmaking.

Scene Anatomy (Inglorious Basterds – Infographic by Jordan Anderson

First, we have a breakdown of a Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds. It dissects Scene 1 from 2:06-21:20.  It breaks down the shots, characters, dialogue, etc. – every detail you can think of in a fun, graphical concept.

Next, we have “Inside the DIY Filmmakers Toolkit” by Wistia.  The tools of the trade for every low-budget indie filmmaker.  From the handheld camera to the wheel chair dolly.  All in an interesting artful representation.

DIY Filmmakers Toolkit by Wistia

And… a graphical depiction of the lessor known crew positions on a movie set – by Oxymoron Entertainment.

Lessor Known Jobs in a movie by Oxymoron Entertainment

Even more technical…


The next one is titled, “Machines in Movies.” It’s not the Terminator. It illustrates the computing power that is behind big-budget films (designed by Brocade).

What exactly is IMAX?  This one explains it all!

Source: VizWorld


Have you thought about making a 3-D movie? This next one titled, “3-D Bubble” explains its history (where its been and where its going), the business and how 3-d works.

Film Careers…

The next series looks at working in the film industry.

Source: FilmSource

Let’s start with a humorous look at “what’s your place in the film industry?”

source: GetInMedia

Here’s a more serious look at a career in film – from the folks at It lists basically every professional job – and asks, “Where do you fit in?”

source: Yodi Group

And another… “Film Careers: Where to Begin.”

Film Industry…


This set covers business side of things – movie money, distribution, ratings, etc. – you get the picture (no pun intended).

First, IMDB – “By the Numbers” – (Facts and Figures About the Films that Populate the Internet Movie Database).

source: Dr4ward

Another “money” one – “Reel Dollars – The Flow Of Money Though the Film Industry.”

Next – “The Advent of Online Film Distribution.”

source: Yekra

And for the funny one from on “How Movie Ratings Actually Work.” Here’s an excerpt on what PG-13 actually means:

You can still show PG-13 movies on cable without editing them, making this a completely meaningless designation. Probably more violence than sex.”


The final 3 infographics will illustrate a historical look at the first filmmakers, how editing evolved and an interactive look at the history of film.

The The Lumière brothers, Auguste and Louis were  known as the first filmmakers.  This graphic celebrates their 150th anniversary and their contribution to Cinema.

Next is “Quick Facts: Editing – by The Art of Guillotine.”  This one goes through the “first cut” in the silent film days to the modern day.  It describes the different eras and the different editing styles that make up the art that is editing film.

And finally, I’ll end this post with “The History of Film: 2,000 Films, 20 Genres, 100 Years.” This is an interactive look at 100 years of film. Just click on the image and then scroll over the graphic for all the info.


That’s 20 infographics! Do you have one that I missed?


Mobcaster is Crowdfunding Indie TV

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Mobcaster is another crowd-funding site, but specializes exclusively on indie produced television content. It has it’s own online TV channel (Mobcaster TV) – which will broadcast the funded shows’ series and will share ad revenue (50/50 net split) with the show’s creators.

Mobcaster sells advertising around the series broadcast on Mobcaster TV and all Showrunners of such shows are entitled to half of our net advertising revenue. Because Mobcaster TV is dedicated to audience supported (and funded!) TV, Showrunners will have the opportunity for greater revenue participation than nearly anywhere else online!” – from 

Mobcaster’s biggest success to-date is a show called The Weatherman (watch the pilot episode here). It not only surpassed its $72,500 goal, but it will get a distribution deal with TiVo’s digital streaming service.

I watched The Weatherman pilot episode and it was really funny, well written and produced (by Dark Heart Productions). They are setting the bar pretty high for all the other proposed shows that will try to get funded through Mobcaster.

If you have an idea for a TV show – go ahead and pitch it (free of cost) to the Mobcaster audience. Follow their steps: Pitch -> Fund -> Produce -> Broadcast.

Online Video Contests – A Site That Has Them All

Friday, September 7th, 2012

I try to post as many filmmaking/video contests that are available online – but this site – Online Video Contests – has ’em all!

We are a resource for filmmakers, directors, animators, and amateur video enthusiasts to easily find (and win) video contests. – from

You can search and sort the types of contest that best fit your interest/needs from their easy-to-use “find contests” tab. They are currently running 165 total contests, with a cash value of $660,903. Check it out!



Gathr is Theatrical On Demand

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Gathr is a new service that attempts to democratize theatrical distribution by allowing the movie-goer the ability to bring independent films to local theatres – coining the phrase, “TOD” Theatrical-On-Demand. Described as if “Kickstarter met Netflix and had a love child,” (from Filmmaker Magazine) Gathr utilizes Kickstarter’s crowdfunding route as a down payment reservation for local theaters. Screenings can only happen if a minimum number of people reserve tickets before a screening request expires. If the minimum is reached, then the venue is guaranteed the funds committed because all reservations are not just intentions to attend, but a paid in full (credit cards are charged) pledge.

Gathr was created by a fellow filmmaker Scott Glosserman (IMDB) who was frustrated by the distribution process he experienced with his own films…

I was so disappointed by the difficulty I had getting my movies out there that I decided our industry had to innovate or filmmakers like me were going to continue to languish.”

There are similar services out there that you should also check out like OpenIndie, Tugg and Eventfull.  I’ve also covered a few others in a previous post titled, “DIY Screenings & Distribution.” The success of these types of non-traditional distribution outlets will greatly benefit our ability to collate an audience for our independent films.

Lars Von Trier – Project Gesamt

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Avant-garde (see Dogme 95) director Lars Von Trier (IMDB) announced this month the creation of a user-generated collaborative art project called Gesamt.

The concept gesamtkunstwerk can be explained as ‘the universal work of art’ or ‘synthesis of the art’. It refers to a piece of art that has been made up of many different types of art. Film is one of the only types of media which can accommodate several types of art forms at once. By using the idea of Gesamt in a user-generated film project we are taking the concept one step further: A universal work of art is not only created by many different art forms but also by a diversity and multitude of people. — from the official press release (PDF)

The project will be produced by the Copenhagen Art Festival and asks participants to submit their own reinterpreted films or audio pieces (up to five minutes in length) – inspired by these selected artists:

Paul Gauguin
Albert Speer
Cesar Franck
James Joyce
August Strindberg
Sammy Davis Jr.

Important Note: You can choose to reinterpret one or several of the artworks within the same material. But the six art pieces should NOT be depicted directly in your material.  If they are, your material will not be included in the final film.  Read the OFFICIAL RULES.

Lars Von Trier sets the rules (above), you create the material and the Danish director, Jenle Hallund will put it all together.


Gesamt will premiere on October 12. 2012 at Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen.

Submit your film here (before the September 6, 2012 deadline).

Canon and Ron Howard Launch Project Imagination Again

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Canon is once again launching its photo-inspiring-film, user-generated assignment with director Ron Howard called, Project Imagination.  Last year was their inaugural project launch where they collected submitted photos that inspired a short film called, “when you find me.” Directed by Bryce Dallas Howard (28:44 – watch it below):

This year, they are looking for you to submit photos in 10 different tenets of storytelling. Here are the 10 themes:

  1. SettingAny location or environment
  2. TimeRepresents time of day or within history
  3. CharacterCan be anyone or anything
  4. MoodConveys atmosphere, tone or emotion
  5. BackstoryA history that promotes fuller understanding of the narrative
  6. RelationshipA relationship between anyone or anything
  7. GoalWhatever the character is pursuing
  8. ObstacleAnyone or anything in the character’s way
  9. The unknownCan be anything unexpected, a twist
  10. ?The 10th theme will be revealed at a later date (TBA in September)

A judging panel will then select the finalists. Ron Howard and a public vote will determine the winners. Then, 5 celebrity directors – actors Jamie Foxx, Eva Longoria, musician James Murphy, fashion designer Georgina Chapman and Twitter cofounder Biz Stone – will choose 10 photos, one per theme, which will inspire their upcoming films.

Upload/submit your photos [highlight] here [/highlight].

Win $1,000 Scholarship in Fair Trade Colleges & Universities Short Film Contest

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Fair Trade Colleges & Universities (a non-profit campaign to institute ‘fair trade’ on campuses across the U.S.) is running a short film contest with a grand prize of $1,000 scholarship, a trip to Latin America with a documentary team – plus other prizes!  If you’d like to know what their organization is all about – check out this video (below):



The Contest:

Produce a short (30-90 second) film using your unique perspective as a current or former college student to explain the important role that students can play in the empowerment of farmers, workers, artisans and consumers through Fair Trade.


You must be currently enrolled or have been enrolled in an institution of higher learning in the past 5 years in order to enter.

Grand Prize –

[list style=”list9″ color=”green”]

    • Trip to Latin America with a Fair Trade documentary team
    • $1000 Cash Prize
    • Keurig Coffee Brewer + a year’s supply of coffee
    • $250 Fair Trade gift card
    • A free trip to the 2nd National Fair Trade Campaigns Conference


[list style=”list9″ color=”orange”]

2nd Place Prize –

    • $500 Cash Prize
    • Keurig Coffee Brewer + a year’s supply of coffee
    • $100 Fair Trade gift card
    • A free trip to the 2nd National Fair Trade Campaigns Conference


[list style=”list9″ color=”yellow”]

3rd Place Prize –

    • $250 Cash Prize
    • Keurig Coffee Brewer + a year’s supply of coffee
    • $50 Fair Trade gift card
    • A free trip to the 2nd National Fair Trade Campaigns Conference


The contest is open for submissions now – [highlight]click here[/highlight] for more information

5 Awesome Kickstarter Funded Filmmaking Tools

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Kickstarter is a great place to pitch your film for crowdfunding, but it’s also an ideal place for funding filmmaking gadgets and tools. In fact, this area has an advantage over other creative endeavors where supporters are not only showing their interest in a product, but also pre-ordering it – guaranteeing a profit before it goes to market!

Here are five great filmmaking tools that met their funding goals through Kickstater:

Digital Bolex Camera – It’s a a 2K RAW Digital Cinema camera that will sell for $3,000.  Here’s their pitch:

Once upon a time, motion picture cameras that created high-quality images were affordable for all filmmakers on any budget. Consumer 8mm and 16mm cameras like the original Bolex shot footage that could be projected on any movie theater screen.

In today’s digital market, ‘affordable’ and ‘consumer’ have become synonymous with ‘low-quality’ — but it doesn’t have to be that way. Introducing the Digital Bolex D16, the first digital cinema camera to shoot RAW at a price anyone can afford.


[/framed_box]Other reviews of this product:  “Digital Bolex – Viva la Revolution!” –

Genie – A motion control time lapse device.  Here’s their pitch:

The Genie! A simple, affordable and extremely easy to use device used for motion control and image capture for Time Lapse Photography + more. The Genie is an all-in-one device used to combine image capture with motion control, capable of either panning or linear movement that’s commonly used in Time Lapse Photography. Simply attach your camera to the top of the Genie, plug it in, and program it to move and shoot to your desired needs.


[/framed_box]The SnapFocus – The SnapFocus is a cinematic one man band with grip-level focus control.

The SnapFocus allows filmmakers to pull focus and steady the camera on the move, making it easier to achieve Hollywood production value on a shoestring budget. Focus on the fly and give your documentary or cinema vertiè footage an expensive look, or add production value to your projects with really cool technical focus pulls. 


[/framed_box]Other reviews of this product:  “JJ Abrams Loves the New Indie Film Gear Snapfocus” –

+ Rhino Slider –  It’s a camera track designed to to give lateral movement when shooting.

Get amazing cinematic video with a GoPro, iPhone, DSLR or RED. The most affordable, ultralight and versatile 48″ slider ever.


[/framed_box]Other reviews of this product:  “Rhino Slider for DSLR filmmakers Glides Past Kickstarter Target” –

 + The Aviator Travel Jib – A portable, lightweight jib-arm.

Get big budget camera moves from a jib (crane) that weighs less than a bottle of soda, fits in a backpack, and sets up in seconds.


[/framed_box]Look out for all these products when they come to market.