Monthly Archives: July 2017

Making Movies and Film Investors

There are extremely talented potential filmmakers out there that never make a movie because they just can’t bring themselves to take the leap of faith. Saying yes to making a movie starts with an attitude that regardless if your movie is entertaining or terrible at least you give it an honest go to see if you got the fire in you to make movies.

In the world of making of movies, especially at the indie film level, there are zero guarantees that every aspiring filmmaker that sets out to go from screenplay to distributed movie will make it to the end. Making movies is risky creatively and financially. Sometimes a movie falls apart during pre-production, filming or in post-production for lots of different reasons.

Making a movie to me is like gambling. You try your best as a filmmaker to tilt the odds in your favor as much as possible so you can win. Professional gamblers make educated bets and so should filmmakers. The one thing that successful gamblers and filmmakers need is the attitude that they are going to go all in on their movie making risk.

Saying yes to making a movie is really putting your ass out there creatively and financially. Many indie films are funded through family, friends, online movie crowd funding or your own cash. I’m still on the fence if it’s harder to say yes to making a movie with money from family and friends and your own pocket or to deal with film investors.

Honestly, using online movie crowd funding to me is risk free filmmaking. The people that donate aren’t giving you money expecting to ever see anything back or get a return on investment. It’s like gambling with a bankroll that’s free. When I donate money to the people that set up shop outside of stores I don’t expect anything back when I put money in the box or bucket.

It’s like lending money to that one relative or friend that you know will never be able to pay it back, but you like them and still want to help them out without holding it over their head.

When you use money from family, friends, your own money or film investors cash there is a much stronger sense to get the movie done in my opinion. No filmmaker wants to face family, friends or film investors and say they couldn’t finish the movie. Friends and family are always forgiving in the end, but you’ll still feel an emotional letdown if you can’t deliver a finished movie like you told them you would.

Film investors are not forgiving and will cut you off from future film funds. They can write off the loss, but your reputation will take a hit and you’ll lose out on them investing in your movies in the future. Finding money to make movies is harder than making the movie. Without film financing you only have a screenplay and a movie making dream keeping you company.

I always like to try to put out the brutal honesty first before getting to the feel good part of things. The great thing about saying yes to making a movie is you’re moving from being one of the people that only talks about making movies and never does it.

When you’re not even in the game you can’t win or lose. You sit on the creative sidelines as a spectator thinking “woulda, coulda, shoulda” about your movie making passion. When you mentally commit to taking the creative leap of faith you’ll feel a rush of genuine excitement. That’s living!

You’re movie making fire is now lit and you’re ready to roll. You’re no longer going to be a talented potential filmmaker. You will be a filmmaker doer. Each movie project is different, but here are few thoughts that might help sharpen you’re movie production. This isn’t for aspiring filmmakers that want to write a screenplay that needs a million dollar budget.

Thoughts on Making Movies

First, think of your marketing and distribution plan before writing the screenplay. This gives you the chance to think of movie product placement and other marketing avenues you can write into the screenplay to boost earning potential.

Second, before writing a screenplay think about the film budget you will need and where you plan on getting that money. Indie filmmakers are masters at writing screenplays based on what their resources are.

I know it sounds like the craft of screenwriting should come first, but for a first time indie filmmaker it’s important to understand making movies is a business. You need to be able to exploit, yes exploit, as many marketing and product placement opportunities as possible.

Family and friends will invest in you because of your relationship, but still respect their hard earned money like you would if they were film investors you didn’t know. Avoid being sloppy with paperwork. Give them the same kind of investor package you would if you were pitching to a film investor that wanted a return on investment.

Make sure the locked screenplay is tight as possible before spending one dollar of film investor money. A screenplay that is overwritten and packed with fluff will burn through production money fast.

During filming don’t take the approach studio budget movies do. You’re not going to be able to have 20 takes of scene to get it right. There’s not enough money in an indie film budget to shoot it with a Hollywood filmmaker mentality.

You’re really have to get in there on set and kickass on scenes. Not every take you’re going to love or even like, but it’s a time issue when shooting indie films. You have to be able to accept you’re not going to have the luxury of doing take after take.

When a scene is covered move on and don’t look back even if it didn’t turn out how you envisioned. Being take happy during filming will lead to you running out of money and having an unfinished film that will need finishing funds to complete.

Tackle post-production with the same attitude you did on set to get the movie done.

Film investors will ride your ass unlike family or friends when it comes to when the movie will be done, sold and their money paid. Don’t get shaken or take it personally. The business world is not warm and fuzzy full of hugs and kisses.

At the end when you finish your movie you will have a feeling like none you’ve ever had before. It’s a creative climax saying yes to making a movie.

It beats the hell out of only talking about making movies. Good luck with your future film and cheers.

Movie Rentals Made Easy

For years, movie lovers have been able to rent their favorite films and enjoy them in the comfort of their own homes. A number of major rental stores along with countless independently owned mom and pop stores have helped to make renting and watching movies a favorite pastime for many. This is a cost-effective and simple solution for those who prefer not to spend the time or money it takes to go to movie theaters.

The outstanding thing about renting movies is that a film can be watched over and over until the rental time is up. This is a preferred option for individuals who would rather spend one small price to watch a movie as many times as they want versus spending significantly more to watch it in the theater only once. Advances in technology have brought about several easy ways to rent movies.

One method of renting movies is to have them streamed to a television, cell phone, or computer device. This way of watching rental movies requires a wireless internet connection. Streaming movies to an electronic device means that individuals don’t have to deal with the hassle of keeping track of and returning movies on time. Movie-streaming services usually require users to pay a flat monthly fee in order to gain access to a library of films they can watch as often as they like. Several major movie-rental companies and countless other newer companies now offer this method to their customers. Many cell phone companies have jumped on the bandwagon and also offer movie-streaming services as well. This way of renting movies is attractive because it allows for streaming on portable devices that have wireless connections. Users can watch movies on their laptops and other portable devices wherever there is a wireless connection such as in coffee shops, bookstores or public libraries.

In recent years $1 movie-rental kiosks have made their way into grocery stores, outside convenience stores and in various other locations. The concept for most of these movie-dispensing machines is that you can rent a film at the cost of only $1 per day. In order to use this method, users enter their credit card information into the machine and select from a menu of films that are available from that particular kiosk. If the movie is returned after the first day individuals are only charged $1 per film. If it is returned later, then the credit card will be charged according to how many days it was out. Some prefer this straightforward method of renting because there is no contract required. Renting from a $1 movie kiosk is also attractive because of the low price of the rentals.

Cable and satellite television companies also provide an easy method for their customers to rent movies. Many premium television providers allow users to order films from their cable or satellite box remote controls. Movies are available for rental the same day they come out on video so users don’t have to feel that they have to wait longer than those who buy films from a store. Typically, customers who have movie-renting features also have the option to watch the film as many times as they want within a 24-hour period.

Having rental-movies delivered by mail is probably the oldest method of avoiding having to go to a rental store, and it is still an uncomplicated and convenient process. A lot of companies couple this feature with streaming programs. Often customers have access to a wider range of movies if they choose to sign up for a rental program that has both streaming and mail-order service. In order to encourage customers to use their mail-delivery service, some companies provide a limited amount of movies available through their streaming service while providing a much larger movie inventory through the direct-mail service. Many mail-order services allow customers to keep movies as long as they want within a 30-day period. Depending on the user’s account, customers can sometimes rent up to three movies at a time for one flat monthly rate.

Movie-rental, cable, and satellite television companies have made it simple to rent films. In recent years, many mobile phone service providers have also joined the movie-rental business. The variety of rental options available to consumers makes it easy for almost anyone to watch their favorite films on television and other electronic devices. Renting movies really is all about which method each person prefers.

Upcoming Zombie Movies

The latest Zombie Movies of 2013-14

Zombies have of late gained a large amount of interest in pop culture. The reasons might be myriad – a morbid fascination with apocalypse situations, a metaphor for the way that most people allow themselves to be herded like sheep, a growing fear stemming from recent virulent diseases that have wreaked havoc on populations. Whatever the reasons may be, Zombies now have their own genre despite seeming mindless, no pun intended.

Though first featured in White Zombie (1932), it wasn’t until the premier of Night of the Living Dead (1968) that Zombies in movies really garnered attention from the majority of the viewing public. A slew of Resident Evil movies later, Zombie movies were regarded as a completely action and horror oriented subject. With the release of Shaun of the Dead (2004) though, Zombie movies have been explored for their comic value, thus bursting the dam on what can be done with thousands of mindless, smelly creatures all intent on eating those still alive. The success of AMC’s The Walking Dead, a zombie apocalypse survival television series, has promptly brought on the year of the zombie, with more than a dozen films and ventures that attempt to cash in on the success that these undead freaks of nature have achieved. Here we take a look at some of the Zombie movies set to be released soon:

World War Z – One of the biggest zombie movies to be released yet, WWZ stars Brad Pitt in the leading role as Gerry Lane, a United Nations worker whose task is to coordinate resistance and help stop the global Zombie epidemic that threatens to tear down human civilization. Based on the eponymous book by Max Brooks, the director, Marc Forester portrays the Zombie cadres like a colony of ants whose strength is in numbers. With a budget in excess of $200 million, Paramount Pictures is set to release the film in June of this year. This is likely to set a record as the highest grosser of Zombie movies 2013-14.

Warm Bodies – Based on a book by Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies is a Zombie romantic comedy that explores Zombie love. Jonathan Levine, who wrote the screenplay and also directed the movie, ventures into the untested by providing a Zombie’s perspective. Nicholas Hoult stars as Zombie who shows signs of human emotions towards Teresa Palmer’s character and the movie explores the possibility of humans and zombies living in a harmonious environment. Released early February of this year, this Zombie movie has already grossed over $100 million, making this a must watch for any Zombie movies lover.

The 4th Reich – Combining the two greatest villainous entities in Hollywood, this Sean Bean starrer terrifies movie goers with Nazi Zombies. Directed and written by Shaun Robert Smith, this World War 2 era movie portrays an elite team of a British Infantry Division as they go about killing Nazis and eliminating the threat of Zombies created by Nazi scientists during their experiments to create a superior human race. Set to be released late this year, The 4th Reich is another in a long list of WW2 movies, but with a slightly undead twist.

Invasion of the Not Quite Dead – A dark comedy thriller about the inhabitants of a small island off the coast of England that is turned into Zombie death trap by a deadly virus, this is one of the more entertaining Zombie movies, written and directed by Anthony Lane is not one to miss. Starring relatively well known Andrew Ellis and Ajay Nayyar, the movie promises a unique look at how a small group of survivors face the rigors and challenges of escaping Zombies.

Wyrmwood: This is an Australian movie set to be released in late 2013, with post-production work going on. The movie is styled after the Will Smith starrer I AM LEGEND, and falls in the action category of Zombie Movies 2013-14. Written and directed by Kiah Roache-Turner, the movie stars Jay Gallagher, Bianca Bradey and Leon Burchill. The story revolves around Jay Gallagher, whose character loses his family on the eve of a zombie attack. He teams up with a friend and together they drive through the Australian Bush to the safer interiors, battling the undead on the way from the comfort of a fortified van. This movie seems to have a better storyline when compared to many of the other Zombie movies 2013-14 has to offer.

R.I.P.D – Also known as Rest In Peace Department, is a Zombie action comedy that has a star studded cast. Ryan Reynolds plays a recently murdered cop and joins the likes of Kevin Bacon, Jeff Bridges and Mary-Louise Parker who along with others and forms a team of undead police officers. With a release date in mid July 2013, this Zombie film portrays the undead as the good guys who use their undeadness to fight crime. Directed by Robert Schwentke who has blockbusters like Red (2010) and The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009) under his belt, this is one of the better Zombie movies 2013-14 and is sure to exceed all expectations.

The Harvard Zombie Massacre – Another Zombie movie that is presently in pre production, it is set in a Harvard University campus overrun with Zombies. The twist that sets this movie apart from the rest of the Zombie movies is that these particular Zombies aren’t as mindless as one might suspect. Produced by Warren Zide of American Pie and Final Destination fame, the film chronicles how America’s most brilliant minds can survive an onslaught from the most brilliant Zombies. This horror comedy written by Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit will be released late 2013 or early 2014.

Movies set for release in 2014:

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – An adaptation of the classic Jane Austen story of a woman’s quest for independence and love, the screenplay has been reworked to include her fight to eradicate a growing Zombie threat. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy are provided with zombie flavored distractions from their pristine 19th century English manors and questions of morality and marriage are superseded by the need to survive. Though the film is still in its planning stage, its unique twist ensures that it will generate a great deal of interest, and not just with zombie movies lovers.

The Curse of the Buxom Strumpet – A dark comedy set in the early 1700’s and starring Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judi Dench, this Zombie movie focuses on the accomplishments of a lord of fictional Upper Trollop, a small town in Oxfordshire, England. Based on E’gad Zombies!, a short film by the same director, Matthew Butler who worked with Ian McKellen, this movie promises a showing like none other, partly due to the tremendous acting talent and also due to the unique settings. Set to be released early 2014, this is one of the Zombie movies that will set itself apart from the rest.

The zombies are taking over the movie theaters and cinemas, after the last few years which were dominated by the vampires and werewolves. Every big Hollywood studio and the not-so-big ones, not to mention the independent movie makers are trying to cash in on the latest craze for the undead, set off the by the popular television series. Zombie movies are invading the cinemas and theaters around the world and there seems to be no stopping the undead, anytime soon.

Movie Poster Collecting

There is a great deal of history behind movie posters and movie poster collecting. Jules Cheret, who created 2 movie posters in the 1890’s, was the artist given credit for creating the first movie posters. By the end of the first decade of the 1900’s, movies had become a great source of public entertainment. In this time period, the movie poster would become a standard size known as the one sheet measuring 27″ x 41″.

In the early days, the names of actors did not appear on the posters, which the movie studios liked, because it meant paying actors less money. It was in this early period in movie history, however, that movie studios realized movie stars were as much of an attraction to the moviegoer as the movie itself. Thus, the movie star was born, and movie posters began showcasing actors’ names along with the title of the movie.

By the 1920’s, the golden age of silent movies, movie posters became more artistic and spectacular, with accomplished artists being hired by movie studios to paint portraits of the stars for posters. By the late 1920’s, movie poster images became sharper due to a new printing process developed by the Morgan Litho Company.

In the 1930’s, also known in the movie industry as “The Golden Age of Movies”, another style of movie poster was created, the half sheet. Major movies would sometimes get more than the two styles. However, due to the depression, many movie materials were being created more cheaply, causing a loss of quality in movie posters.

The dawn of World War II in 1941 saw many of the movie stars heading off to war and war was the major theme of movies at that time. The movie industry cut advertising costs and used cheaper paper for posters due to the paper shortage of wartime.

By the 1970’s, movie posters used photography, occasionally using drawing and painting styles. Movie posters at this time were being printed on a clay-coated paper, which gave them a glossy finish. Star Wars and Star Trek posters were the most popular posters of the time and are still collected by many today.

In the 1980’s, the age of the special effects blockbuster, the mini sheet was invented, and video stores became popular, thus the video store poster was created. Today, reprints of movie posters are mass-produced and sold in many stores or are just a click away on the Internet.There are several types of movie posters. Because of their rarity, the avid movie poster collector has concentrated on movie poster or theater art. These are the posters that are delivered and displayed by the movie theaters and then intended to be thrown away. Another type of movie poster is the commercial poster, which is mass-produced for direct sale to the public. Video posters are distributed to video rental stores for advertising material. Cable and TV posters are use as promotional material for TV stations for their programming. Like theater art, video posters and cable and TV posters are not produced for the public. Although not as valuable as theater art, these types of posters are still popular among collectors. Special promotion posters promote a movie along with a product. Finally, there are anniversary issues, limited editions, and special releases that are released in limited quantities and are gaining favor with the theatre art collector. Other types of movie posters include advance posters that promote a movie well ahead of the movie’s release. The award poster, which indicates that a movie has won an Academy award. The combo poster, advertising two movies instead of just one. The popular double-sided poster that has art on both sides, with the artwork reversed on one side of the poster. There are featurette posters highlighting short films or cartoons, review posters for when a movie gets a good review, serial posters for movie serials, and special distribution posters.

With the popularity of movie posters has come the necessity to create various sizes of posters. The first and most widely used poster is the one sheet, which is usually 27″ x 41″. The subway, also known as the two sheet, is larger but not exactly two times the size of the one sheet. The 3 sheet is three times the size of the one sheet measuring at 41″ x 81″. The 6 sheet is six times the size of the one sheet measuring of 81″ x 81″. There is also a 12 sheet approximately twelve times the size of a one sheet, and the colossal sized 24 sheet measuring 246″ x by 108″. Other sizes include the mini sheet, which is usually much smaller than the one sheet and comes in a variety of sizes, and the stock sheet issued for cartoons or other shorts.

As with all collectibles, condition is a great factor when placing a value on posters. A movie poster’s value is determined by demand, rarity, and condition. Poster collectors use the same grade system used by comic book collectors: mint (perfect), near mint, very good, good, fair, and poor.

For those who want to be serious movie poster collectors, you will need to know some things about taking care of your movie poster art.

Tips to retain the total collectable value of movie posters
Never alter the appearance of a poster. Do not fold, bend, tear, or punch holes in it even to hang it on your wall.

Never place a movie poster in direct sunlight. UV lights can also be harmful.

Don’t write on your poster, even on the back. Marks on the back can sometimes be seen from the other side, taking away from the poster’s value.

Never put tape on the front of a poster even to repair tears. If you do use tape, use acid free tape available from an art supply shop, and place the tape on the back. For expensive movie art take it to a professional to be restored. Posters can be restored the same way rare comic books are professionally restored.

When shipping posters use thick poster tubes or bubble envelopes.
For long time storage, frame, or place the poster in a plastic bag or tube, and keep it in a cool dry climate.

When framing a poster do not dry mount it, and use an acid free backing board.

Now that you know a little more about movie posters and movie poster collecting, go ahead, start collecting!