TOOLS Blog: Resources Filmmakers Can Use

Posted Friday, September 26th, 2008

Just a heads up that I am also blogging over on the Shooting People TOOLS blog about the new(ish) digital, webbified world of production and distribution. Check it out for a link to download the Shooting People/BAFTA Short Sighted book of contacts for filmmakers making shorts (including some tips for filmmaking in a Web2.0 world written by moi), plus lots of other good stuff: most recently links to the Peter Broderick indieWIRE articles on new distribution strategies and The Film

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Go Jesse!

Posted Friday, August 15th, 2008

Belated congrats to my friend and Shooting People colleague, Jesse Epstein, for being one of the “25 new faces of independent film” in Filmmaker Magazine. In addition to getting to pose in a big red truck for Filmmaker, her film 34x25x36 is also playing in the YouTube screening room. Ms Epstein is awesome. Still from 34x25x36

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Howard Zinn Gets Graphic

Posted Thursday, April 10th, 2008

I was listening to Daniel Pink’s How Manga Explains the World talk from SXSW (I’m still not quite sure just what Manga explains but it was fascinating to hear details about how unbelievably popular it is in Japan) and he mentioned the new Howard Zinn graphic book A People’s History of American Empire. Here is an animated video, narrated by Viggo Mortensen, related to an essay Zinn wrote called Empire or Humanity? What the Classroom Didn’t Teach Me About the

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Is the writing on the wall for art films in cinemas?

Posted Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir looks at the year in indie film and focuses on the changes that new technologies and consumer viewing habits are bringing to the theatrical marketplace. As VOD and download technologies become more popular and portable platforms become ever more sophisticated, the industry is changing at a pace that induces motion-sickness in most people over the age of 15. Meanwhile, aficionados of “challenging” films are finding new ways to get their arty fix. Predicting the end of moviegoing

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Hollywood, rebuilt in Silicon Valley’s image

Posted Monday, November 26th, 2007

Marc Andreessen has written an interesting post about how the writer’s strike may accelerate a shift of power from the studios to the talent. He argues that the entertainment industry is shifting toward the entrepreneurial model of Silicon Valley which means that the creators will also be the owners of their product. I think many of the points he makes are very prescient but all this talk about free this and free that glosses over the time and talent that

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Stay hungry, stay foolish

Posted Monday, November 26th, 2007

I discovered the Whole Earth Catalog when I was at college and working in a small independent bookstore in Brighton in the UK. The catalog was originally published in 1968 and contained a wealth of information from books to tools to classes and beyond. It had a joyful DIY, countercultural feel and every page contained huge amounts of amazing ideas. I discovered Buckminster Fuller through Whole Earth and immersed myself in his ideas about “whole systems.” Whole Earth had a

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Number crunching

Posted Monday, November 19th, 2007

Thanks to Pamela Cohn over at Resources for bringing my attention to Matt Syrett’s quantitative analysis of film production and distribution. I’m pathetically terrified of numbers to the point where I muddle up my 6s and 9s in panic (and my 3s and my 8s if I’m really freaking out) but as Matt says: Whether you want to make money on your film or just find an audience for your unique vision, marketing should play a central role in your

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Where’s the female Lloyd Dobler?

Posted Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Ah Say Anything – remember John Cusack as Lloyd Dobler? In his trench coat and hi-tops, boom box above head blasting Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes? Lloyd Dobler was cool and funny and sexy. Ione Skye’s character on the other hand was LAME, LAME, LAME. Do you even remember her name in the film? Exactly. Why would you? She had nothing to say for herself. Why would he fall for such an insipid Daddy’s girl? Thank god for Lily Taylor

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SF360 Interview

Posted Monday, October 22nd, 2007

There’s an interview with me up on SF360 today (a very useful site co-published by the San Francisco Film Society and indieWIRE for those of you not in the Bay Area), talking about Shooting People and how we made the transition from the UK to the US. Check it out: www.sf360.org

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The Conservatory Syndrome

Posted Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Arwen Lowbridge over at our friends Fractured Atlas wrote this piece earlier in the summer and I have been meaning to post it for ages. She is writing about artists in the performing arts but I think that many of her points are very salient for filmmakers too and her professional pledges are definitely bang on the money (‘scuse the pun): I will be responsible for my own career and I will conduct myself as a business professional. Many artists

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