I spent a good portion of my adult life as a professional actor. I starred on Broadway, film and TV...and then I MADE MY OWN FILM.
DID IT HELP? Well...it wasn't cheap, it wasn't fast and it certainly wasn't easy.
The very first film I made was budgeted at $7,500...I spent $60,000,
maxxed out every credit card, borrowed from family...and never made a
dime of it back.
And yet...for me, it was the most lucrative decision I have ever made!
We went to Cannes with it and got to feel real fancy about ourselves,
but the fact that NO ONE, who could actually help my career, cared about
my film, is what proved to be the most useful wake-up call of my life.
That experience, with all of the steep costs, made me realize one thing:
If I wanted control over my career, I needed to learn to do this the
RIGHT way. And so began my journey through the business, repping writers
and filmmakers, raising money, selling film and TV...
TO SUCCEED, I needed to learn:
1) How our industry actually works (How are scripts actually bought and sold, how is film and TV financed, how does the entire machine work)
2) What value I can bring to people in the marketplace...consistently.
3) WHO I need to build relationships with...and HOW.
4) WHAT 'market-ready' material truly is...and how to create it.
When I clarified my goals, crafted a roadmap for achieving them, truly
took seriously the job of a content-creator, built a company that could
consistently provide value to others, and built a rolodex of people that
were relevant to my particluar journey...the world changed for me.
SO...ARTISTS: Should you create your own content and/or bring your own material out?
If you're willing to see the process through, absolutely. BUT, remember,
making a few calls or creating content alone will do nothing for you
except drain your bank account and divert your focus.
Doing what it takes to leverage
that content for your specific long-term career goals in a way that is
in keeping with how our business works...now that will change your life.
I recommend the latter!
learn how to CONNECT with relevant industry DECISION-MAKERS, to create
work YOU can be proud of and to BREAK THROUGH ON YOUR OWN TERMS, sign up
for a free CAREER STRATEGY SESSION today!
Support ARTISTS & ACTIVISTS by buying HATS, SHIRTS and MERCHANDISE at our SOCIAL IMPACT STORE.
More info at: http://socialimpactconference.com/store/
FILM TV CAREER INTENSIVE - For artists tired of banging their heads
against the wall that separates the business from the artists...we show
you the way in! Learn the business, develop great work, build
relationships SELL your own material. www.ImpactIntensive.com
SCRIPT DEVELOPMENT BOOTCAMP - Kick your script in shape with the help
of development execs and working professionals. Email for more info: email@example.com
INDIE PRODUCER'S BOOTCAMP - Learn to Find the money, Speak to the money, Spend the money...and Return the money. www.ProducersBootcamp.com
Randy Becker's BEST-SELLING book gives you a powerful way to approach
the entertainment marketplace and build a career you can be proud of.
A very quick read to jump start a new phase in your career.
"NexTV gives talented artists a real
chance to fulfill their potential in the industry, by educating,
connecting and advocating for those who might otherwise go unnoticed.I
began as an artist, then spent years representing writers and
I saw that too many artists didn't know how to connect with industry
decision- makers. Today our innovative competitions, coaching programs,
books, videos and live events bring powerful opportunities to artists.
I've enjoyed seeing the industry discover and embrace so many in the
NexTV community." - Randy Becker (founder, NexTV Entertainment)
Not all filmmakers have the budget for expensive cameras, state of the art sound tech and professional editing. The good news is, in this day in age, you can make films that look professional even on a slim budget. If you have a film in your head you've never pursued, now is the perfect time to make it happen, as technology has made filmmaking more accessible than ever. Here are some tips to get you started.
You might not believe it, but one of the most celebrated films of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival was filmed on an iPhone 5S. "Tangerine" is a documentary about transgender prostitutes that live in a rough part of Hollywood. While many amateur films have been shot on iPhones throughout the years, "Tangerine" is the first to be featured at the Sundance Film Festival, which adds validation to a budgeted craft. So how did the filmmaker do it? Well, they used four simple tools. First, the iPhone. Since the iPhone 7 Plus is the latest model, this is the obvious choice for you, especially with its 12MP camera. Next you'll need the Filmic Pro app, which costs about $8. This app gives you control of aperture and color temperature of your shot. Your third tool is a Steadicam harness that holds the iPhone steady while attached to your body; because iPhones are so light, even the calmest hand will appear to shake the camera once you watch the footage. Lastly, you should make use of an anamorphic adapter lens, which will help to broaden the shot and make the footage look as though it belongs on the big screen.
While wonderful documentary films can be shot on a minimal budget, there are steps you can take to boost your production with added capital. Crowd funding options like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter can earn you the kind of means that seem impossible without the help of fans. Of course, for this option you must estimate your costs ahead of time and reward your backers with behind the scene news and footage. You should also have a clear plan and reliable team dedicated to the project before you let your crowd fund campaign go live.
Another strategy to fund your project is a filmmaker grant. There are a huge number of grants specifically for documentary filmmakers given out by the likes of Netflix, the History Channel and documentary funds, like the Pare Lorentz Fund.
Once you fund your project, you may find yourself in a place where more extensive equipment can be obtained. RED cameras are widely-used by indie filmmakers. From set ups that cost over $100 thousand dollars, to some that cost as little as $7 thousand, RED has made digital film at a professional level much more accessible.
The editing process of a film can make or break your final product. While you could spend thousands on a professional editing team, there are less-costly options. Adobe Premiere Elements and Corel Videostudio Pro X9 are both solid programs that cost just over $50. While you may take months, or even years, in the editing process, these tools have enough bells and whistles to give your film the professional look it deserves.
Getting sharp images in your photographs can be hard enough if you don’t have other factors to deal with outside of the subject. If you wear glasses, it can be even harder. Thankfully, with today’s technology and a few simple tools, it’s quick and easy to have everything that’s supposed to be in focus actually be in focus.
Start by making some minor adjustments to the viewfinder diopter, it might be enough to fix many of your problems. Any DSLR or other camera with an optical viewfinder, meaning you are looking through a piece of glass not a screen, will have some basic diopter adjustment available to you. These are generally able to adjust from -/+ 3 — if you need more than this then you can buy add-on diopters that screw into the viewfinder to give additional power. But glasses can get in the way of the viewfinder, so the diopter may or may not be comfortable to you, especially if you have to take them on and off.
If you find taking your glasses on and off to be an annoyance, consider buying a replacement eyecup. These eyecups snap onto the viewfinder and are larger than the default one. This gives a better seal around your eye, which helps to block out surrounding light and get you closer to the viewfinder.
By blocking out surrounding light, your eye will better be able to see the contrast of the scene in front of you. Better contrast means you’ll be able to tell if the image is out of focus. This tighter seal also prevents any light from coming in from behind you, which could affect your image by over exposing it. If an eyecup isn't possible, consider having various replacement lenses for your glasses, which can help you adjust the light in your surroundings.
A loupe is a small magnifying glass that can be attached to the LCD screen of your camera. This is great for cameras that do not have an optical viewfinder or only have the LCD screen. In essence, this turns your screen into the viewfinder, which has its own pros and cons.
One advantage of a loupe is that not only do they have diopters that can extend beyond the usual -3, but many come with magnification built in to help you see details in your photo — making it ideal to check that a shot is in focus. The loupes made by video accessory manufacturers like Zacuto are also designed around use with or without glasses because of the large eyecups.
The main disadvantage is the added bulk and that your optical viewfinder can’t be used at the same time. Still this is a viable option and can be especially good if you shoot video as well. The added magnification in live view ensures that you are always at critical focus.
Instead of using your optical viewfinder, using the LCD screen on the back of the camera is another way to make sure your images are in focus. Today’s live view autofocus technology is almost as quick as non live view autofocus.
Using live view with polarized glasses can be difficult due to the technology behind how LCD screens work. This is not the case with LED/OLED screens, which are starting to become more common as the technology matures.
Congratulations to the QUARTER-FINALISTS of NexTV's WEB SERIES & INDIE FILM
We are proud and excited to present this talented group of filmmakers...and thank you for your extraordinary patience!!
Note: About 30 % of submissions move on to the Quarter-Finals.
All Submitters get FREE TICKETS to the: SOCIAL IMPACT CONFERENCE
The best networks to use based off of their traffic levels are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. When you are developing a project, it's a good idea to secure accounts on these platforms. You don't want to announce your project and then find out the URL or handles you wanted have already been taken by someone else.
While these three networks might be the most popular at the moment, you need to watch for upcoming networks as well. Snapchat, for instance, is a newer way to give content to younger crowds. However, these trends shift quickly, and what may be good for one project might not be as good for the next. This applies for demographics as well. Younger users tend to use fast-paced platforms like Snapchat, Tumblr and Instagram over sites like Facebook. Know who your audience is, and then research what platforms you should put time and money into.
Posting content on a regular basis ensures that your followers can keep up with how the project is going and see any important information, such as release dates and screening locations. While it is important to have a lot of content that is given to your followers, you don't want to overwhelm them. Too much content comes off as spam and may drive away your followers.
Research the times that are most effective to post content on the various social media sites for your audience, so you can make a bigger impact. You also should share your content more than once so new followers don't miss important information and don't feel like they missed any updates on how your production is going.
Going to each site to schedule posts isn’t efficient or a smart way to use your time. Instead, use an aggregation program, like Hootsuite or Agorapulse, which lets you post to several networks simultaneously and gives you access to calendars and metrics to see what's working and what isn’t.
As tempting as it may be to post every single thing you’ve done on your film, you need to find the balance of what to post and, more importantly, what not to post.
The larger your project is, the more control you have to exert over what is posted. The crew may want to post what they are doing to their personal social media accounts and this can be managed. However, you should state at the beginning of the project that any social media content should be cleared with your media specialist. Or, if you're concerned about confidential information getting leaked, enforce a flat out ban on posting before a specific date.
Limiting who can post information also limits the amount of "bad" content that makes it off-set. This includes everything from plot details, to blurry or dark shots, to actors not at their best. If you have a dedicated social media specialist on set, providing him or her with good equipment is a must. While a DSLR might be more "professional," your followers may feel like it's less authentic or special because it seems staged. A smartphone that can focus and take good pictures in low lighting, such as the LG G5, strikes a good balance between what seems posed and what gives a good impression of the project.