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The Director’s Chair Issue # 104 – January 12, 2010 (On Collaboration: Less is not Always More)

Free Monthly Ezine for Film and Television Directors

January 12, 2010                Scene 11 – Take 1

Published once a month.

Publisher: Peter D. Marshall
Email: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com
Website: http://actioncutprint.com
Blog: http://filmdirectingtips.com


Dear {!firstname},

You are receiving “The Director’s Chair” because you (or
someone using your email address) requested a subscription.

PRIVACY STATEMENT: This Subscriber List is a private mailing
list and will not be made available to other companies or
individuals. I value every Subscriber and respect your privacy.


1. Introduction
2. Two Bonuses for Subscribing to The Director’s Chair
3. Christmas and New Year Messages
4. “Creating the Daily Prep Schedule”
5. 2-Day Educational Experience at Vancouver Film School
6. Question from a Subscriber on Documentary Filmmaking
7. International Competition for Talented Directors
8. FEATURE ARTICLE – On Collaboration: Less is not Always More
9. Write an Article for The Director’s Chair
10. Understanding Montage
11. Subscriber Shameless Self-Promotion
12. Subscriber Links of Interest
13. BLOG – Film Directing Tips
14. Are You on Twitter?
15. Filmmaking Workshops
16. Back Issues of The Director’s Chair
17. Subscribe & Unsubscribe Information
18. Copyright Information


Welcome to the first issue of 2010: ISSUE #104 of The
Director’s Chair (January 12, 2010)


NOTE: If your country is not represented here, please let me
know and I will add it to this ever growing list.

Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas,
Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Botswana, Brazil, Bhutan, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile,
China, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark,
Dominican Republic, East Timor, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia,
Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong
Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland,
Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Republic of
Korea, Republic of Kosova, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia,
Lithuania, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco,
Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria,
Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico,
Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra
Leone, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, South Africa, Spain,
Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Swaziland, Switzerland, Syria,
Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tabago, Tunisia,
Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United
States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Zambia,

2) FEATURE ARTICLE – the feature article this month is called
“On Collaboration: Less is not Always More” by Sherl Faber.
“From the time I was in the fourth grade on, I envisioned
myself the solitary writer.  The idea of spending my days
alone in a garret surrounded by stacks and shelves of books as
my only friends was not all that unappealing.   As Paul Simon
sang so eloquently in his famous hit I Am a Rock, I would
“have my books and my poetry to protect me.” (Read entire
article below.)

gives you an incredible opportunity to get Free Advertising
for your services and your films. So if you want over 4100
filmmakers around the world to know about you and your films,
please send me your Shameless Self-Promotion.

4) FACEBOOK – The Director’s Chair has it’s own page on
Facebook. If you haven’t signed up to Facebook yet, I
sincerely recommend you think about doing it. Facebook is a
fabulous place to meet people who share your passions and it
is one of the top Social Networking sites on the Internet.
Here’s the Facebook home page: http://www.facebook.com

Once you are signed up, type in “The Directors Chair” and
the page should come up. Sign up as a fan and then start to
join the discussion forums, post photos, videos and write on
the Walls. If you are already a member of Facebook, here is
the direct link to the page: http://snipurl.com/923qh

From time to time I will contact you by email to inform you of
certain film workshops or filmmaking products or Online
courses that I feel are beneficial to filmmakers like
yourself. Of course, you are under no obligation to purchase
anything. I only offer this information as a service to
subscribers of this free ezine.

6) SHARE THIS EZINE – Share this Ezine by email and forward
it to your friends and associates.

7) SUGGESTIONS & COMMENTS – Send any comments, suggestions,
questions or advice to: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com

8) REPRINT THIS EZINE – This Ezine may be reprinted with
permission. Email me at: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com


Peter D. Marshall


Thank you very much for subscribing to this ezine.

BONUS #1 – Here is the link to download the first 28 pages of
my 201 page pdf Online Audio Course:, “The Art and Craft of
the Director Audio Seminar.”

BONUS #2 – Here is the link to download the first 24 pages of
my 137 page “Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling Online
Course For Independent Filmmakers.”


I would like to thank everyone who sent me a Christmas and New
Year message. I wish all subscribers a wonderful, successful,
peaceful and healthy 2010.

4. “Creating the Daily Prep Schedule” by Peter D. Marshall

“Creating the Daily Prep Schedule” contains 11 finished daily
prep schedules that show you step-by-step, day-by-day,
meeting-by-meeting, what “actually occurred” during prep on 11
real film and TV productions I worked on as a First Assistant
Director: 3 Feature Films, 2 Television Movies, 2 Television
Pilots and 4 episodes from two Television Series.

To discover all the details about this Online Course,
just click on the link below.


5. 2-Day Educational Experience at Vancouver Film School

High school students!

What does it take to get an advantage in your film, animation,
game, or design career? It takes talent. It takes passion. It
takes Vancouver Film School.

Apply now for an immersive 2-day educational experience at
VFS, exclusively for the most creative and driven high school
students in North America. Choose from one of 10 different
entertainment arts programs: http://su.pr/1JSBPl

6. Subscriber Question on Documentary Filmmaking

Peter gave me permission to write a small article, not
containing information, but instead, asking for it. Within the
next 3 years, I want to make a documentary that turns the
world on its heels. I, along with a plethora of other people
have questions about documentary filmmaking. I am going to ask
the questions that seem elementary… the questions most
people won’t ask to avoid embarrassment or to seem
under-educated. This ezine is meant to improve the knowledge
of filmmakers.

If you are a documentarian that has experience in the field,
and can answer these questions, I’m sure we can all learn from
them. Reply your answers to Peter at pdm@actioncutprint.com
and also to me at jordaninperson@gmail.com. Peter will most
likely post your answers so we can all improve together.

1. What are some good steps to learning the basic ‘rules’ of
documentary style filming?

2. How do you secure locations (legally) to be shot?

3. Since 9/11, there are very strict rules on filming without
permission (USA), what is the best way to show people’s
likeliness without legal ramification? (ie, crowd shots,
b-roll, etc.)

4. How can you get the film seen, without having an uncle that
works for the Cannes Film Festival? What steps need to be
taken to mass produce? (ie, why is Michael Moore the only one
who has documentaries in Tinseltown?)

5. How can one secure investors?

6. Pulling in favors is a huge part of filmmaking in the early
years, but what about people that don’t owe you favors? How
much (if any) should those interviewed be paid?

7. As the world moves further and further into HDland, is
documentary style filming suppose to change?

These questions can truly only be answered by someone who has
lived it. Please consider writing to us with your answers.
Experience always overrides speculation. Thank you in advance
for your assistance.

Jordan Mederich

7. International Competition for Talented Directors

“Words into action”

VibeTV is offering you the chance to create your own 10 minute
pilot.  The best present you could give to yourself over this
festive period.  Entering 2010 with a bubbly bang!

VibeTV are collaborating with International writer Walter
Quiroz for this dynamic and exciting project.  This is a great
opportunity for an unknown but talented director to produce a
10 minute pilot. ICTD aims to promote a positive industry and
audience exposure for work that would otherwise not be seen.

Each prospective director, will be sent three excerpts from a
script and will be asked to choose one section that they
believe will best suit a 10 min pilot, and why? And to create
your treatment for it. We MUST receive the treatment by 1st
March 2010. Therefore, plenty of time needs to be left between
submitting your entry form & admin charge and the final
deadline. This will ensure that you give yourself enough time
to write a treatment.

The overall winner will be announced on 2nd April 2010. The
winner will be invited to direct a 10 minute pilot which will
be filmed in June/July 2010.

All rules and regulations, along with more information and
entry form, are available for download at

8. FEATURE ARTICLE – On Collaboration: Less is not Always More

“On Collaboration: Less is not Always More” by Sherl Faber.

From the time I was in the fourth grade on, I envisioned
myself the solitary writer.  The idea of spending my days
alone in a garret surrounded by stacks and shelves of books as
my only friends was not all that unappealing.   As Paul Simon
sang so eloquently in his famous hit I Am a Rock, I would
“have my books and my poetry to protect me.”

No personalities to deal with, no one to argue over content,
no other stamp of approval on the final product – perfect.  “I
have no need for friendship, friendship causes pain” was my
motto for my writing life.  And I liked it that way.

After joining the San Antonio Screenwriter’s Meet Up group a
year and a half ago, I was approached by Yolanda Ayala, owner
and producer of Picturesque Media here in San Antonio, Texas,
about working with two other screenwriters on a Latino family
saga, The Alvarez Story, that spanned the family’s early
years, the Vietnam War and beyond.

What did I know about Vietnam?  And being of one hundred
percent Dutch heritage, what did I know about Latino families?
I had never even written a screenplay.  But, truth be known,
my biggest concern was how was I going to be able to write
with two other people that I barely knew and wasn’t even sure
I liked very well?

It took us a full year of meeting every Monday night to write
that script, communicating back and forth during the week, and
revision after revision.  During the course of this project, I
went from “what the hell was he thinking?” and “what planet
did this guy come from?” to “I wish I had thought of that” and
“where did he get that great idea?”   It was an eye-opening
experience and I really enjoyed the camaraderie and friendly
arguments we constantly found ourselves involved in.   The
three of us are still great friends and rely on each other for
support and advice to this day.   Thank you so much, Patrick
Johnson and Joe Zen.  And thank you, Yolanda, for making it
all possible.

After the Alvarez project, I retreated back into my solitary
life and actually managed to crank out two more feature length
screenplays of my own, one, The Other Mother, was immediately
snatched up again by Yolanda from Picturesque Media – it is
now in pre-production.

A chance meeting at a night club began a new partnership.
Richard Fernandez and I had exchanged phone numbers and a few
days later met at a bookstore.  There we realized that we had
several things in common, including a passion for the arts, a
lot of dormant creativity and a desire to further ourselves.
He as an actor and myself as a screenwriter realized that a
partnership in the film industry could bring us both to where
we wanted to be.  We began writing a short horror script,
meeting at local coffee shops, bookstores and restaurants a
few nights a week.

My usual doubts began to surface.  I didn’t really want to
work with horror.  I didn’t really want to work with another
person on a project.  And Richard definitely knew how to push
my buttons and send my blood pressure through the ceiling.
Where was my peace, my quiet, my attic retreat?  What was this
loud, domineering, pushy, but very handsome actor doing in my
calm, tranquil domain?  After several episodes of just wanting
to choke him, I realized that maybe part (just part) of the
problem was probably me – oversensitive, set in my ways,
inflexible, and used to always, always being the boss.

After many false starts and stops, the project began to flow –
we finished the script and showed it to a few people.  Cut out
the first five pages, said the first critic.  We looked at
each other incredulously.  No way.  We felt like we wanted to
learn from our project and make any changes later after we saw
what worked and what didn’t.  Another friend tried to re-write
parts of it but his final product just wasn’t us.  In the end,
we didn’t change a thing.  We went with our gut feelings and
decided that any changes would probably happen in the filming
and editing phases.   We wanted to experience every phase of
making a film and if we made a mistake, we would know how to
handle the same situation the next time it happened.

Between his connections and my connections, things just
started to fall in place from seeking locations to casting
actors and finding props, another bonus of working with
another person.  The actors were all truly professional,
showing up on time, working long hours with no real
expectation of compensation, and assisting in other capacities
such as local actress Liz Moise who, as a former photographer,
was a great help for us  in lighting.

The filming is now complete and we are faced with the daunting
task of editing.  We’ve come this far and we know that
together with our newly formed team, we can handle this too.
Watch for us – Help Wanted – coming soon.

Some basic rules to follow in collaborating with another
person are:

1) Don’t knock it until you try it.  You will be pleasantly
surprised at how you’re your creative juices start flowing
when you start working with another creative person.

2) Remain flexible.  Your way may not always be the best
way and you may have to suck it up and admit that the other
person’s idea is better than yours once in a while.  Just
remember, it goes both ways – further down the road, it will
be your turn to be right.

3) Keep an open mind.

4) One or two people are ideal to work with – any more than
that is too much and will just drag your script down and take
more time.

And remember, one person can write a good script; two can make
it great. Sorry, Mr. Simon, no man is an island.

Sheri Farber is a San Antonio-based screenwriter/writer.  She
has had several articles published in foodservice and wedding
magazines and websites and “True Story” magazine.   She
currently has two movies in local pre-production and is
collaborating with Mr. Fernandez on a writing, producing,
marketing a 30-40 min. horror movie, “Help Wanted”, which
should be out by February or March. mailto:s071458@aol.com
9. Do You Want to Write an Article for The Director’s Chair?

If you would like to contribute articles, tips, links of
interest, industry news, interviews, special event dates or
other resources to The Director’s Chair, please email me at:


“A montage sequence is a technique in film editing in which a
series of short shots is edited into a sequence to condense
narrative. It is usually used to advance the story as a whole
(often to suggest the passage of time), rather than to create
symbolic meaning as it does in Soviet montage theory.”

One of the key elements to making a movie (and there are many)
is that you must have an understanding of MONTAGE. Montage
(editing) is the main element that separates films from
photography. Russian Director Sergei Eisenstein influenced
many early filmmakers with his innovative use of film montage.
Watch his famous Odessa Steps montage scene from his 1925
film, Battleship Potemkin

I would also suggest you watch the entire movie here:




Each month, I give two subscribers an opportunity to promote
themselves, their company or their productions in this
section. If you are interested, send your “shameless
self-promotion” to: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com.

Please limit your promotion to less than 200 words. I also
reserve the right to edit the promotion for length, spelling
and formatting.

1) My name is Kai Soremekun and I created and star in an
interactive web series called CHICK.  The web series follows the
adventures of Lisa, a woman disillusioned with her life, as she
sets out on a quest to realize what she believes is her destiny;
to become a superhero.

The web series premiered November 3rd on KoldCast TV and
RowdyOrbit.com, with new episodes airing every Tuesday.

CHICK had a great write up in the print and online editions of the
Sunday Washington Post.  We‚re in the early phases of this project
and would love any feedback you have.

As a multi-platform interactive web series, participants can
choose how deeply they would like to immerse themselves into the
story world.  An Alternate Reality Game (ARG) component allows
players to interact with characters from the extended CHICK
Universe through contact points including in-game forums, video
blogs, a web comic and a live event.  The evolving storyline can
be followed at whoischick.com/play-the-chick-arg/.

You can visit the official CHICK site at http://whoischick.com
If you‚re on Facebook become a fan
Or subscribe to our YouTube channel to be alerted when new
episodes are online.

2) Indie Short Film Competition is now accepting entries for
the 3rd annual international short film competition. ISFC is
an innovative online short film competition that offers a
great opportunity for up and coming filmmakers to advance
their career, gain recognition in the filmmaking industry, and
receive international exposure. ISFC is open to short films 40
minutes and under. $25,000 in cash and prizes. 10 categories
to enter!

Sponsored by Sony Creative Software, Write Brothers,
Screenplay.com, Storyboard Quick, Petrol, Oconnor, Lite
Panels, Partners In Rhyme, United One Productions, and Boiler
Plate Software! Final Deadline for entries is January 15,
2010. For entry details and information visit

Ken French
Indie Short Film Competition
P.O. Box 1185
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33302 U.S.A.


“Subscriber Links of Interest” is where you can further
promote yourself, your company or your productions by having
your information displayed on a special links page at:

If you are a subscriber to this ezine and you want me to put
your self-promotion on this page, just send an email to:

Again, I also reserve the right to edit the promotion for
length and formatting.


Please take some time to look through the many blog postings
on my filmmaking blog, FilmDirectingTips.com and make some
comments on the posts – your feedback is important to me
because they will help me decide on the content I will add to
this blog.

RSS – http://filmdirectingtips.com/wp-rss.php
FEEDBURNER – http://feeds.feedburner.com/FilmDirectingTipsAndResources

Here are the latest 5 blog entries as of Jan 12, 2010.

1. Filmmakers Thank Movie Piracy for Popularity

2. Indonesian Cinema comes out of the dark ages

3. Frugal Film-making vs. How Not to Do It

4. Theatrical Distribution, DIY Style

5. Film Making Finance – 12 Points To Keep In Mind


Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging
service that allows users to send and read other users’
updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based
posts of up to 140 characters in length.

Twitter is one of the best and quickest ways for friends,
family or people with common interests to stay in touch.

It’s also becoming one of the best ways to promote yourself
and your films on the Internet!

If you have a Twitter account, let’s follow each other. You
can follow me at http://twitter.com/bcfilmmaker.

I also suggest you follow my partner Trilby Jeeves at

15. FILMMAKING WORKSHOPS – Peter D. Marshall

I have worked in the Film and Television Industry for over
35 years – as a Film Director, Television Producer, First
Assistant Director and Series Creative Consultant. I’ve been
asked many times to share my Film and TV production
knowledge with others. As a result, I developed several
workshops that I have successfully presented over the past
15 years.

To find out more about these workshops, just click on the
link below. If you are interested in any of these four
workshops for yourself or your organization, please contact
me to discuss how we can bring these workshops to you.


To read back issues of The Director’s Chair, visit:


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Peter D. Marshall
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