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January 31 at 1:00pm

Rethinking Your Key Art Game Plan Part 2

By David Averbach

Note: This Key Art series is intended for micro-budget filmmakers whose crew is not under a union contract. If your film’s crew is under an IATSE contract, you will need to abide by the rules regarding still photographers on set as forth by the union. We have been advised that there may be penalties involved by bringing an intern or PA in to shoot stills.

Yesterday, in Part 1 of this blog series, I discussed how relying solely on 1920×1080 pixel frame grabs was a bad idea if one wanted to create a poster that featured some sort of main image. In an ideal world, your entire film would be shot on a 5K camera, and you could pull as many frames from the footage as you wanted. That would be Plan A. But in the real world, many filmmakers emerge from their shoots with only 1080p frame grabs, and that’s not going to work.

Another problem is about marketing. During the chaos of a film shoot, filmmakers often forget to think about the art they might need to support a variety of possible marketing ideas and concepts, and are therefore left with fewer choices and placed in an ultimately weaker position vis à vis possible options on how to market their film without an expensive and inconvenient reshoot. [...]


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January 31 at 8:30am

Graph Search and the Triumph of Internet Foolishness

By Reid Rosefelt

One of the most stunning achievements of the Internet is the speediness with which it can spread misinformation, stupidity and lies.   There have been dummies since the dawn of time, but they have previously lacked the technology to unleash the virus of their brainlessness to untold millions with the swiftness and ease we enjoy today.   There is no way that so many seemingly sentient people could believe that the President of the United States wasn’t born in the U.S. if it wasn’t for the power of the web.  Even as big a blowhard as Donald Trump would not to be able to accomplish this without the Internet.

And now we have Graph Search.  As I wrote last week,  Graph Search has the potential to do enormous good, but quickly I realized that it would also be another force for the triumph of stupidity in the modern world.

As I was turning in my blog copy,  a guy named Tom Scott put up a Tumblr blog, “Actual Facebook Graph Searches,” which quickly went viral.  Scott searched things like married people who like Prostitutes, current employers of people who like Racism, and more disturbingly, family members of people who live in China and like Falun Gong and Islamic men interested in men who live in Tehran, Iran.  Gizmodo  also found people who announced on Facebook their liking for “Shitting my pants,” and Mashable  used Graph Search to suggest that People Who Like Honey Boo Boo Like Playing Dragon City,  Musicians like to play Tetris Battle, Apple Employees listen to David Guetta, Google employees listen to Pink Floyd, and Mashable readers like “Inception.” [...]


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January 30 at 1:00pm

Rethinking Your Key Art Game Plan Part 1

By David Averbach

Over the next several days, The Film Collaborative’s Creative Director, David Averbach, who has worked with dozens of TFC Clients and other filmmakers to help them create and refine their key art, will talk about ways you can avoid the problem of finding out all too late that you don’t actually have the proper materials to produce the key art you want to make.

Note: This Key Art series is intended for micro-budget filmmakers whose crew is not under a union contract. If your film’s crew is under an IATSE contract, you will need to abide by the rules regarding still photographers on set as forth by the union. We have been advised that there may be penalties involved by bringing an intern or PA in to shoot stills.

Takeaway: For narrative feature films, understanding the technical aspects of producing key art and thinking ahead to your key art while on your film set can save time, money and a heck of a lot of aggravation down the line.

If I had a nickel for every narrative feature filmmaker who has told me that they got a photographer, professional or otherwise, to come to their film set and shoot photos but in the end they didn’t show up or didn’t do a good job, or was only there for one day out of a sixteen day shoot, and therefore there was nothing to show for that effort in terms of producing images that could be incorporated into a poster, and therefore were only really left with the prospect of using frame grabs from their film, I’d be rich I could probably buy a Starbuck’s gift card that would last me a week or two.

I hope this series of posts can offer some helpful suggestions for you to avoid this situation for your next film.

First let me say that while I design movie posters, I don’t really have a background in filmmaking itself. If there is anything incorrect/inaccurate, generally unfeasible included here, or if you have anything you think I should add, please feel free to let me know. That said, it’s clear to me that in the heat of the film shoot, filmmakers often forget to think about or are so focused on the film shoot that they can’t get around to thinking about the art they might need to support a variety of possible marketing ideas and concepts, and are therefore down the road left with fewer choices and placed in an ultimately weaker position vis à vis possible options on how to market their film or sell it to a potential buyer without an expensive and inconvenient reshoot. [...]


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January 30 at 8:30am

What Would You Do In This Situation?

Let’s say you produce a prize-winning director.  And they just won a very big award.  They have a story they wrote that have wanted to make, and now they can basically write their own ticket to do whatever it is they want to do.  This story has the possibility of casting big stars and shooting in glorious locations.  You know it will be a fun shoot, and well funded.

The question is not whether you do that movie or not.  Of course you do.  You’re going to get paid well (which is rare these days), and have some real fun working with people you like in a place you have always wanted to be.  What could be better than that?

The question is what happens when the film is finalized in terms of picture and sound.  What if the film is just not good?  Not up to the director’s previous work? [...]


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January 28 at 8:30am

The Brave New American Art House

Art House Convergence Welcome Address

by Russ Collins, Director

(Ted’s note: I have participated in the AHC three times now.  Over the last 6 years, the American Art House Exhibitors have gotten organized.  Their mission of instituting best practices for community theaters is lifting our culture.  I have found it incredibly inspiring and exciting.  Filmmakers everywhere should take note as to what’s afoot.)

January 15, 2013 – for the Art House Convergence conference, Zermatt Resort, Midway, Utah

Welcome to the Art House Convergence. Welcome as we celebrate the Brave New American Art House. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to gather here in Utah with colleagues and friends and, with strangers who will soon be friends, to execute the mission of the Art House Convergence.

The mission of the Art House Convergence is to increase the quantity and quality of Art House cinemas in North America.  We hope you will help us pursue this mission by: 1) constantly improving your own Art House; 2) helping colleagues make their Art Houses better places for audiences to experience cinema art and 3) working to make all Art Houses serve as highly effective community cultural centers.

This conference would not be possible without the hard work of a dedicated group of volunteers. Thanks to the Art House Convergence Conference Committee – if you participated in one or more of those Friday calls that happen throughout the year as we plan the Art House Convergence, stand and be recognized.

It is wonderful to see so many of you here! How many are here for the first-time?  Wonderful, welcome to Utah to the Art House Convergence.  How many of you are staying, for at least a day or two to go to Park City and check out the Sundance Film Festival?

I see a lot of friends; friends that have grown from the 25 brave souls who came to the first Art House Convergence to this year, with nearly 350 registered delegates, the sixth annual gathering of community-based, mission-driven cinema operators.

The strong theme of this year’s conference is The Brave New American Art House. So, what’s the Brave New American Art House?

The Brave New American Art House is a set of ideals that looks something like this: [...]


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January 27 at 11:00am

Sundance Proves A Filmmaking Renaissance Is Happening In The Bay Area

What would Variety, Hollywood Reporter, IndieWire, The Wrap, MovieCityNews, Filmmaker Magazine & Deadline report if a single film company took the following awards at Sundance this year?

  1. Narrative Grand Jury Prize
  2. Audience Award For Narrative Film
  3. Best Directing of a Narrative Film
  4. Best Directing of a Documentary Film
  5. Special Jury Award For Documentary Film #1
  6. Special Jury Award For Documentary Film #2

I can’t help but think they would announce the arrival of a powerhouse.

Well, allow me the pleasure of breaking such an announcement. [...]


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January 26 at 12:36pm

Truly Free Film In Academia: JUNO – an open case study live! TODAY!!

By Adam Collis

Today, Saturday, January 26th, Arizona State University will be hosting an all day inter-collegiate video conference with members of the Juno team, including director Jason Reitman, screenwriter Diablo Cody, editor Dana Glauberman, cinematographer Eric Steelberg, title designer Gareth Smith, financier-producer Nathan Kahane, producer Mason Novick and Fox Searchlight President of Production Claudia Lewis.  Participating in this Interactive Open Learning Experience/Experiment are students from ASU, UCLA, Duke, University of Montana, Quinnipiac University and Yale.  Film students and film lovers can also watch online.  The event is called Anatomy of a Feature Film: JUNO and all the details are at http://www.facebook.com/AnatomyofaFeatureFilm
 
I’d love for you to watch the event.  But I’m writing today to share the story of how all of this came together and why sharing film events like this one is important. [...]


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