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September 30 at 1:00pm

Survival Guide for a Small Film Festival

by Niall McKay
 
Starting film festivals seems to be a disease that I have. I founded the San Francisco Irish Film Festival,  co-founded the LA Irish Film Festival.  But, when I moved to New York last year, the idea of starting another Irish film fest in a town where these things come and go seemed daunting.   But this time last year we did it. We held the first Irish Film New York Film Festival in 2011. We hosted over 1000 people during the three-day event which included screenings, parties and industry panels. Now we’re trying to get to the next stage – to build an organization rather than just an event. 
 
Some things I’ve learned along the way to have our small film festival survive:  [...]


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September 28 at 8:15am

Everything I Know About Producing, Pt. 1

As you might know, I was in Sydney,Australia courtesy of Screen Australia to do a Two Day Workshop on Producing, entitled HopeForFilm. Screen Hub journalist Andrew Einspruch took careful notes — and he and Screen Hub kindly agreed to share it with you.  Thanks.  Here’s Day One:

by Andrew Einspruch

Let’s start with how the movie world has changed. As Ted Hope phrased it, the first hundred-plus years in the film world were marked by three characteristics that no longer apply. “The business was built around a belief in the scarcity of product, that we have to control where people see and engage with that content, and that the only way they will do is impulsively, without education or knowledge beforehand.” 

This antiquated model has fallen over. [...]


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September 27 at 8:30am

The Elephant In The Room: Indie Filmmakers Can Not Survive As Things Are

IFP’s Independent Film Week in NYC was a great event with many diverse elements. It was a place to be. Like walking into your favorite restaurant, and finding all the chefs — from the places you wanted to go but could not ever afford — were hanging out and having a cook off and you were the private taster.  So many riches! Good ideas, access, and a good cool vibe.

From the start, I felt the RE:Invent Story mini-conference was too good to miss — and I wasn’t wrong. Top thinkers, makers, doers, getters, and yes, takers to, all sharing and telling like they see it. A peek behind [...]


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September 26 at 8:15am

Twenty Tips For Packaging Your Project Successfully

 

Wondering what’s needed for packaging?

Producing requires that you look beyond your own projects and looks at how you build it better for everybody. I frankly don’t have respect for producers who only work on their projects. I want to know they give back to the community in general.  That does not have much to do with packaging frankly, but it is why I write this blog.

To that end, I want to share with you my thoughts on how to package your film in such a way that your film will gather momentum, get made, and succeed in the marketplace.  I have come up with twenty  points.  I wanted to know what I forgot, so I hope you add to the list.

  1. Recognize what you are doing when you package a project.  You package a project because you want to finance or sell your film.  You put actors in it not just for the creative enhancement, but also for the financial benefit.  If you fail to make the movie or to use the actors well, you devalue them in the market place.  That’s a HUGE risk for them.  It’s not true that if an actor attaches herself to the project and it doesn’t get made, no harm is done.  Attaching an actor exposes them to the marketplace — and kind of checks their value.  If a project an actor attaches himself to does not get made, it appears that buyers are not interested in them (because they presume that audiences does not value them).  By attaching actors to your project, you are risking their career.  Do not even approach them, until you are can demonstrate to everyone around them that is not the case.
  2. Develop a positive reputation for consistently delivering films of quality and acclaim.  It may sound like a Catch 22, but [...]


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September 25 at 8:30am

Diary of a Film Start-Up Part 5: A Crash Course in Film Distribution

By Roger Jackson

We now have more than 40 films in the Kinonation Private Beta, with more submissions arriving every day. Among them, a couple of documentary trailers immediately had me wanting more. And that’s exactly what KinoNation seeks to do — make it super easy for independent films and docs to get video-on-demand distribution, so anyone “wanting more” can instantly rent or buy the movie from among dozens of global VoD outlets. Black Sun, a 2005 documentary by Brit filmmaker Gary Tarn, tells the tragic and inspiring story of Hugues de Montalembert, a New York City artist who was blinded for life during a vicious street mugging. On a lighter note, French filmmaker Pascal Cuenot submitted In The Tracks Of, her intimate look at the life and work of the late, great film composer Maurice Jarre. I watched this preview clip, frustrated that just as Jarre starts telling the story of his involvement with Lawrence of Arabia and his first meeting with the legendary producer Sam Spiegel…the clip ends! I desperately wanted to watch the full documentary, right away. That’s why we’re so passionate about KinoNation — the promise of instant access for consumers to rent or buy movie gems like these. Keep submitting your films, please.

 

Distribution Deep-Dive

While Klaus and the technology team is busy building the KinoNation platform, I’ve taken a deep dive into the world of film distribution. [...]


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September 24 at 11:00am

When Will The Film Business Adjust To Reality?

I have given a few interviews around my new mission as the San Francisco Film Society’s Executive Director.  I recently spoke to Cinesource and we discussed a bit about where we are now and where we could hopefully go.  It is always such a challenge because the existing businesses are invested in the status quo — even when that is predicated on propping up a world that is no longer here.

I said: “The business of film has been oriented around the concepts of scarcity and control—where 50,000 titles can come out every year,” Ted points out. “It would take nearly a century to [showcase] just a single year’s output of films.” 

“The film industry has not been able to keep up with what the tech industry has brought to the forefront. The business has been stuck in ways of doing things that are not good for business. Transformations need to occur to create a sustainable investment class to continue to help filmmakers market to the new niches.” 

Hope would like to see business practices [...]


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September 21 at 8:15am

The Best Way For An Independent Filmmaker To Make Money?

When I was in Sydney, Australia to lead a two day workshop on producing for Screen Australia, I was asked by Screen Hub journalist Andrew Einspruch what the best way for an indie filmmaker to make money these days. I replied:

I think the question should probably be something a little bit different, or they’re going to get trapped along the way.

The answer to that question is [...]


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