Archive for the ‘Film Industry News’ Category

YouTube PROJECT: DIRECT Can Get You to Sundance ‘09

Monday, November 17th, 2008

2009 marks the 25th anniversary of the Sundance Film Festival and Youtube’s short film competition can send you there with PROJECT: DIRECT. The winner will go to the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and meet with Sundance’s Director of Programming, screen your film to a live audience, plus $2,500 cash. Submissions, no longer than 5 minutes long are due by December 14, 2008.

Here’s the gimmick: Your entry must include two props from their list – plus a red telephone. There are 25 props samples to choose from. Each represent a classic Sundance Film Festival film – i.e. a hockey stick from Clerks, an instant photo from Memento, a bunny suit from Donnie Darko, etc. Here’s the FAQs.

For the full rundown, check out the clip below from writer/director Darren Aronofsky [IMDB]:


DETAILS Mag & NEHST Studios Want Your Film Pitch

Friday, October 31st, 2008

NEHST Studios and Details Magazine are collaborating on a project to produce a film with you. Yes you! NEHST, whose founder produced Sling Blade [imdb] and Details, a men’s lifestyle and fashion magazine want your film pitch.

Here’s the gist:

The DETAILS/NEHST Movie Project is a unique initiative that enables aspiring filmmakers the access to get their film made. Anyone who has a movie idea can “pitch” their idea via this website. DETAILS and NEHST will then review the submissions and if they find the right project, they’ll greenlight the idea. The DETAILS/NEHST collaboration allows those wanting to break into film—or those just toying with a movie idea—to bypass the red tape of Hollywood and have their ideas reviewed by real producers.” [from the official DETAILS/NEHST Movie Project site]

If you have a script, treatment or just an idea for a film – they are interested in hearing from you. Go to their official “how-to pitch page” and submit your idea. There’s a $10 submission/administration fee – but that will also get you a one year subscription to Details Magazine.

Film on Facebook Debuts First Movie

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Facebook is now embracing independent filmmakers with their FILM ON Facebook project. According to its official page, it’s described as “a place to interact with other filmmakers and movie-goers on Facebook and to share your experiences about marketing your film on Facebook.” It was first announced at this year’s SXSW Film Festival and now will finally premiere its first movie: One Track Mind, (a surfer flick shot on 16mm film – created by Woodshed Films).

The film will debut exclusively on Facebook on October 16-17, 2008 via the Kyte video application. Check out the 2 minute trailer by clicking below:


The Super 16 Digital Alternative – Ikonoskop A-cam dII

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

The digital revolution in filmmaking started several years ago, but it wasn’t until the Red One camera came along that a true comparable alternative to 35mm film was introduced to the filmmaking community. Now, another camera is jumping in the fold. What the Red One is attempting to do to replace the 35mm film market – the Swedish company, Ikonoskop is taking a similar course for the Super 16. The new Ikonoskop digital motion picture camera: A-cam dII is shaping to take that market segment for under $10k – semi-affordable for the indie filmmaker.

Like digital Super-16 — A-cam dII’s Super-16 sized sensor opens up for the use of Super-16 mm lenses. This enables you to use the best cine and prime lenses available. Our sensor and the technology around A-cam dII is built on the knowledge and experience from our much acclaimed A-cam SP-16 motion picture camera.” [Excerpt from ]

The camera records in 1920 x 1080 pixels on to an 80 GB memory cartridge which has a capacity of 15 minutes of footage, audio and metadata. Its compact size is ideal for documentary filmmaking. Check out all the specs on Ikonoskop’s official website.


New Film Distribution Site – MeDeploy

Monday, September 15th, 2008

MeDeploy is a new online distribution platform that gives filmmakers and digital content creators a tool to monetize their work. It provides an API that utilizes distribution integration into all types of web outlets like blogs, social networks, widgets, mobile applications, etc. MeDeploy’s Distribution Dashboard allows users to manage all their sales and distribution points in one interface. All this with pricing consideration for indie filmmakers versus the more expensive “professional” scale reserved film distributors & TV networks.

Deliver pay-media content into consumer’s eager hands – easily and economically. MeDeploy’s unique revenue share model enables content holders to build a digital video distribution business with a distribution platform that scales as business grows. All without risk, or the exorbitant costs usually associated with launching a digital media business.”  [from MeDeploy’s Overview page]

The site was just launched last week at the DEMO conference. Here’s Christian Taylor – MeDeploy’s founder & CEO explaining the site’s features at the conference (click below for the video clip):


Openfilm Launches New User-Generated Film Site

Friday, July 25th, 2008 is the latest online outlet for up-and-coming filmmakers to showcase their work. This site distinguishes itself by choosing only the best quality films – weeding out the amateur, low-quality shorts that you can find on any video site on the web.

“Openfilm welcomes all submissions, but screens each video for technical and production quality,” states the site. “Openfilm’s in-house production staff, which also produces original web shows that appear on the site, processes all approved submissions to ensure high quality playback.”

They’ve also forged relationships with several film festivals and films schools: Vancouver Film School, Miami International University of Art & Design, Greater Philadelphia Student Film Festival, South Beach International Animation Festival, and Montreal-based Young Cuts Film Festival.

Along with their platform, they offer content providers the opportunity to monetize their films by adding advertisements. Openfilm splits the revenue with you 50/50. Check out their Membership Agreement for more details.

Here are some of the features that Openfilm offers: [as listed on their website]

– High definition large video player displaying resolutions from 640×360 and 700 kbps to full-blown HD at 1280×720 and 1500 kbps.

– Prescreening, selection and custom encoding all submissions to preserve the highest possible quality.

– Allows submissions as Internet uploads (up to 2 GB) or as mail-in DVDs. Users can also request a private FTP access to upload their videos on the site.

– No limitations on video duration.


CNN Launches iReport Film Festival

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

CNN is launching its first user-generated short film competition covering the 2008 U.S. presidential election: iReport Film Festival. Contestants are asked to submit/upload an original short film (8 minutes or less), documenting their perspective during the presidential campaign. Deadline for submissions is October 12, 2008 and the winner will be announced on November 13 on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360.

Here’s more info from iReport:

The best films will vie for Grand Jury and CNN Audience Awards, and as with all iReports, may be featured on CNN. Award winners will receive a trip to Washington D.C. for the inauguration of the next president of the United States and a top-of-the-line HD camera. [excerpt from]

You can upload your film HERE.

Celtx (Free Pre-Production Software) Releases 1.0 Version

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Celtx just released the 1.0 version of their pre-production software. I personally have not used Celtx since their 0.9.7 version and I was only utilizing the Screenwriting feature. This new release has so many new features that I think is worth checking out – and it’s still free! You can download it here.

Some of their new features include Storyboarding, and upgraded Project Scheduling tool that integrates with the script breakdown, and an iPhone tool that allows you to view your Celtx projects on your iPhone. There’s a lot more too. Every independent filmmaker on a budget would be wise to try this open platform tool that is – did I mention this – FREE!


April Is Script Frenzy Month

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

If you need motivation to kick start your screenplay – join Script Frenzy‘s month long international writing event. Participants have to write 100 pages of scripted material in the month of April. There’s no fee to enter and there’s also no “valuable” prizes awarded. The real award will be the pride of finishing 100+ pages of your script. They’ll throw in a Script Frenzy Winner’s Certificate and web icon announcing your achievement. Some of last year’s participants have left comments on John August’s blog about their experience with the event.

Script Frenzy is affiliated with The Office of Letters and Light which also sponsors NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) – an event that challenges participants to write a 50,000-word novel in the month of November.

Also check out Script Frenzy’s Writer’s Resources page. It’s got several “how-to” and formatting guides.

Funding Your Film Through the Fan Based Social Marketplace

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

In a previous post, “Let the Public Finance Your Film,” I looked at several examples of filmmakers utilizing the social landscape of the internet for funding their film. Their approach was to reach out and create a fan base that would lend financial support for their project. Kevin Kelly [bio] recently commented on the financial power of a fan base in his article titled, “1,000 True Fans.” Kelly states that “anyone producing works of art – needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.” The expansion of that idea has created other websites that provide a platform for project funding and promotion.

The latest example is IndieGoGo. This is the hottest endeavor to utilize the social market place in helping filmmakers find funding for their projects. It was just launched in January ’08 and Filmmaker Magazine reported that the site announced its first film to reach its funding goal (The Lilliput by filmmaker Minna Zielonka-Packer raised $10,000 through the site). IndieGoGo allows filmmakers to incorporate what they call a “DIWO – Do It With Others” approach. Here’s how they describe it:

IndieGoGo enables this “filmocracy” by providing filmmakers an open platform to pitch their projects to the world, and giving the fans a vehicle to experience and influence the once inaccessible world of filmmaking. Filmmakers get new resources to build and engage a loyal fan base to assist in making their projects happen. Filmmakers can raise money and awareness, find cast and crew, and gain credibility through the help of their number one resource: their fans.” [excerpt from IndieGoGo-About Us]