Archive for the ‘General Resources’ Category

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:

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: http://theblackboard.blcklst.com/

SoShare Your Large Media Files For Free

Monday, February 18th, 2013

SoShare is a new free file sharing/delivery service (currently in public Beta) that works through BitTorrent. You can send as many large video, audio and image files, or any other type of file – up to a terabyte of data in each transfer. All for free! The only limit that I can see is that the files are only available for 30 days.

“With SoShare, you can send files of any size. You can collaborate on media projects with friends and co-workers. Ideas are free. And so is SoShare. There are no caps or size limits on creativity.” – from official SoShare site.

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Summary Highlights:

  • Send bundles up to a terabyte in size, totally free.
  • Sharing is as easy as email. They get the files, you get a receipt.
  • The SoShare plug-in enables pause/resume and fast transfers.

After you sign up [highlight]here[/highlight] – you’ll need to download their plug-in.

Check it out.

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+

Technical…

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…

Source: Awn.com

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

source: sortable.com

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 GetInMedia.com. 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…

Source: tdylf.com

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 Collegehumor.com 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.”

  Historical…

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?

 

The Black List Is Now Open

Monday, December 17th, 2012

The Black List just released their 2012 list (PDF) of the top unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. The “list” was started in 2005 by Franklin Leonard when he surveyed 100 film industry executives about their favorite scripts from that year that had not been produced. Many of these scripts have since been made into feature films (The King’s Speech, Slumdog Millionaire, etc.). This became a regular occurrence since then.

But this year, they are making a service available to all (for a small fee – of course), to upload your scripts to their database and be evaluated by professional script readers. That evaluation will be added to their recommendation algorithm, which (according to them) will be sent to over 1,000 film industry professionals.

Our evaluation includes an overall rating of 1 to 10., describes Leonard. A rating of 1 of 10 along five different metrics, including dialogue, structure, setting, premise. And then three short answers to questions about the script’s greatest strengths, weaknesses, and commercial viability.”

Here’s how it works: you upload a script for $25 a month hosting fee – which makes it available to their entire membership. There’s an optional $50 fee if you’d like to have one of their reader evaluate your script.

Veteran screenwriters, John August and Craig Mazin talked to Franklin Leonard about the Black List on their Scriptnotes Podcast (transcript) during this year’s Austin Film Festival.

The data that is generated by those evaluations we can use to create sort of a Black List of non-professional scripts, sort of a real time, that is sort able by genre, subgenre, words that feature in the log line. And then we also built a recommendations algorithm similar to what exists on Netflix and Amazon so that based on all of our 1,150 members’ individual taste, in the event that a script is particularly suited to one of those members’ taste…” – from Scriptnotes podcast

You can sign up and start the process [highlight]here[/highlight].

Moviebytes Lists ALL the Screenwriting Contests

Friday, November 30th, 2012

I wrote a while back about “Online Video Contests” about an aptly named site of the same name that has over a hundred contests. Moviebytes is very similar to that but its niche is to index ALL the available screenwriting competitions. Their Screenwriting Contests Directory breaks out all the different categories and genres. If you are an aspiring screenwriter, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Please apply a ‘buyer beware’ approach when entering any online competition that requires an entry fee. Moviebytes provides these databases “as is” and without warranty of any kind – so be sure to read their Terms of Service before entering any contest.

JuntoBox Films Can Green-light Your Film

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

JuntoBox Films is a collaborative film studio and social media platform that allows filmmakers to pitch their ideas and have film fans rate & vote on projects that can ultimately be funded, produced and distributed. To get started, create a project and profile in the JuntoBox platform. This is where you’ll present ideas to the JuntoBox Films Collective (see their “How-to Junto”).

Filmmakers will then rise up through the Five Levels of development by building their film’s profile through fan participation and completion of various tasks. When a project has risen to the top of the JuntoBox ladder, it is eligible for development. JuntoBox Film’s co-chair – actor, producer and director, Forest Whitaker recently announced that they will be funding and green-lighting five films in 2012!

JuntoBox’s 5 Levels

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images/illustrations from juntoboxfilms.com

Beyond a business, JuntoBox is aspiring to be part of a new business culture that aligns talented people in need of support with accomplished mentors who want to give something back and encourage the stars of the next generation.” — JuntoBox founder Philippe Caland

The success of this type of initiative is crucial to the development of truly independent films. Check it out, sign up and and show your support by pitching your film idea and/or rating other’s projects.