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December 23 at 8:15am

A First Time Writer/Director’s Trial by Fire, Part #6: Audience as Part of My Filmmaking Family

As a moviegoer, I like to keep an open mind, but I also have a crisp understanding of what I like. Because I know this, I know there are other people who share my understanding and also like what I like. How do I know this? I see them leaving a theater as happy as I am about having watched a great film, sharing what they felt, taking that positive experience home with them. Knowing this affords me comfort in the simplest approach as a filmmaker. I write the types of stories that I would want to see and steer clear of pandering to a potential audience.

One of the single greatest things, [...]


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November 14 at 8:15am

7 Factors That Make A Director/Producer Collaboration Work

 How do you know someone is someone you are going to work with for the long term?

How do you know each other is capable of being supportive of what the other has to be doing?

What are things needed to make this unique relationship work?

The latest installment of my Film Courage interview attempts to answer precisely that:

[...]


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November 13 at 8:15am

On Producing, Directing, And Why Our Industry Needs To Change

Colin McCormick did a really great and in depth interview with me for SAGIndie.  We covered a significant amount in pretty substantial detail. Suffice it to say that this excerpt is just the tip, and you will want to read the whole thing. But to begin with check this excerpt out on the similarities between producing and directing, and how they demonstrate everything has got to change:

I often say that there is the role of the producer and there is the role of the director that are remarkably similar. The producer comes in and has to extract the big vision, the dream of everything that you [...]


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November 11 at 8:15am

A First Time Writer/Director’s Trial by Fire, Part #3: The “Final Draft” Facade, Is It Ever Really Done?

HFF Blog 3 ImageI am the fucking greatest! Ah, the wave of pride and misguided sense of accomplishment that one can ride having “finished” a script. Especially script number one. The real one, not the others before it, shat out only to be abandoned too late out of sentiment and denial. Don’t get me wrong; completing a script is hard work. The act itself is something to be proud of. What happened after I typed those last words wasn’t what I expected. A colossus weight lifted. For a day I felt serene. Then that wave of anarchic emotion that I’d expected kicked in and I felt complete…but was the script? [...]


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October 28 at 8:15am

Method Characterization and Haunted Doorknobs: A First Time Writer/Director’s Trial by Fire. Part #2

image-1Recap: This series chronicles my wide-eyed and crushingly insecure processes that pulled back the curtain on my ideas about filmmaking – revealing what it really takes to write and direct my movie, Recess. Occasionally I gain productive insights that plant me on less insecure ground. Others I still talk to my therapist about. Perhaps the most important insight I’ve kept – from teething as a writer – the idea that creating detailed, well-drawn characters with original voices can make even a script about a haunted doorknob compelling. I realize there may be infinite approaches more resolute but, for me, the haunted doorknob concept puts character development into perspective.    [...]


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October 14 at 8:15am

What the F!$@ Is All This: A First Time Writer/Director’s Trial by Fire

Crafting a brilliant script. That’s all it takes to get a project noticed and “green lit”. This was my single-minded approach when I got the bright idea to start skipping down the indie filmmaking road. It was all so clear; admittedly up hill but I saw no potholes or wreckage to avoid. Nope. Curious sights and comfortable, clean rest areas amply stocked with fresh toilet paper lined my highway. The horizon seemed practically at arms length. My first detour: I had as much interest in writing a screenplay as Hunter S. Thompson probably did with the idea of writing sober.

[...]


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October 6 at 8:15am

Buffalo 8: First Time Directors — Getting From “Who” to Tarantino

Bigger film budgets continue to dwindle. Smaller film sets continue to appear. Camera technology and film centric software continue to evolve. Through all the change, one aspect of film production that has remained the same— difficult directors. As a producer, I understand this. Filmmaker’s are passionate people by nature. Their work is the ultimate fruit of their labor, and they only want to make quality of the highest caliber they’re capable of. Of course, there are a few directors in our industry who have a license to demand their perfected vision — David Fincher and James Cameron have proven their artistic credibility, skill set, and commercial viability through consistent quality work and perseverance.  Yet, as an independent producer, I’m often presented low budget films helmed by first time directors with an unrealistic approach to execute their vision on a budget — most often due to lack of experience. This serves not to lessen ambition, but to provide guidance for amateur, working or budding professional directors. [...]


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