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The Director's Chair Issue #48 – Nov. 22, 2004 (Don't Let Budget Choose Your Format(Pt.1)

Free Monthly Ezine for Film and Television Directors

November 22, 2004          Scene 5 – Take 8

Published once a month.

Publisher: Peter D. Marshall
Email: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com
Web Site: http://www.actioncutprint.com


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1.  Introduction
2.  Action-Cut-Print!
3.  Filmmaking Tips Forum
4.  Special Interest for Filmmakers
5.  Feature Article – Don’t Let Budget Choose Your Format(Part 1)
6.  Featured Film Book
7.  33 Ways to Break Into Hollywood
8.  Back Issues of The Director’s Chair
9.  Share This Ezine
10. Suggestions & Comments
11. Subscribe & Unsubscribe Information
12. Copyright Information


Welcome to Issue #48 of The Director’s Chair (November 22, 2004)

1) This month’s Feature Article is the first of a 3-part series
exploring the tips A.J. Wedding put into practice in order to
make his 35mm short for the same cost as DV.  The series is
divided into pre-production, production, and post production.
Ths month’s article is “DV or Film? Don’t let cost be a
deciding factor.”

2) If you are a subscriber to The Director’s Chair, I have
created a Special Interest section in this ezine for you to
promote your films, videos, websites, workshops, festivals,
books or other film related information that filmmakers from
around the world would be interested in. If you would like to
promote something that others would find interesting, please
email me at mailto:promote@actioncutprint.com

I will evaluate all submissions and pick the ones I feel will
be beneficial to other filmmakers.

3) VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – 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:



Peter D. Marshall

2. ACTION-CUT-PRINT! –  A Website for Filmmakers

If you are a Film or TV Director; a working professional who
wants to Direct; a film student who wants to learn more about
Directing; or a “student of film” who just wants to know more
about Filmmaking from the pros, Action-Cut-Print! is for you!

Take a moment now to visit http://www.actioncutprint.com where
you will find over 1200 Online Resources for Filmmakers, a Film
and TV Bookstore and Film Directing Workshops.

3. FILMMAKING TIPS FORUM – http://filmmakingtips.blogspot.com

Share Your Production Experience!
Ask Filmmaking Questions!

I have personally worked in the film and TV industry for over
30 years, and I know that there are many industry professionals
out there who have a lot of production experience and are just
aching to share this knowledge with others!

Well here’s your chance!

I have created the Filmmaking Tips Forum at
http://filmmakingtips.blogspot.com This Forum needs volunteers
like you who can contribute filmmaking tips and also help
answer filmmaking questions.

So how about it?

=> What little tricks and tips have you learned over the years
that you can share with other filmmakers from around the world?

=> What special production knowledge do you have that the rest
of us would like to know?

This is what the Filmmaking Tips Forum is all about: the
sharing of Film and Television production knowledge. And with
the rise of the New Media (HDTV, Web Broadcasting, Digital
Video) there is just too much for one person to experience and

Check out this Forum now, and ask a question…or answer a
question. The Filmmaking Tips Forum is for you.


“Top Ten Tips to Film Distribution”

Mark Steven Bosko, a leading independent filmmaker, author, and
rep, today announced the “Top Ten Tips to Film Distribution”, a
free industry guide to assist independent filmmakers and
producers who are seeking deals, audiences and sales of their
film to better understand the business and methods of
distribution in today’s busy media marketplace.

“Distribution is regarded as a black art aspect of the
filmmaking process,” said Bosko. “While filmmakers can obtain
the knowledge, gear and financial resources to create a film,
they always get stuck when it comes time to selling what
they’ve made. This guide provides a good footing for filmmakers
to learn what it takes to find buyers, prepare their film for
sale, land a distribution deal, or successfully independently
distribute their film.”

The “Top Ten Tips to Film Distribution” guide also leads
readers on exercises that help identify the most appropriate
and receptive markets for their projects, create a film
festival strategy, profit from online sales and successfully
self-distribute a movie to its niche audiences.

Woven throughout the guide are key tips and advice from a host
of top experts in the independent film community, including
Chris Gore, FilmThreat founder; Eduardo Sanchez, co-creator of
The Blair Witch Project; Gill Holland, famed indie film
rep/producer; Harris Tulchin leading entertainment lawyer; Doug
Schwab, CEO of prolific direct-to-DVD distributor Maverick
Entertainment, Tom Emma, president of Reliant Digital Media and
former Artist View Entertainment and AFMA executive; Arik Ben
Treston, Vice President, Home Entertainment of Cinema Libre.

The Top Ten Tips to Film Distribution is written by Mark Bosko
in association with CustomFlix. The guide is also supported by
a wide range of leading independent film industry companies and
organizations, including: Film Threat, indieWIRE, AIVF, IFP,
MovieMaker, Indie Slate, Michael Wiese Productions film books,
IndieClub.com, Film Arts, Roy W. Dean Film and Grants
Association, and CustomFlix.

As the tools and technology of filmmaking becomes more and more
accessible, more films are being produced. Many of these
projects have commercial distribution potential, yet the
producers and filmmakers involved lack knowledge and direction
on how to go about the process. The information included in
Mark Bosko’s “Ten Top Tips to Film Distribution” guide is
especially timely and appropriate for these producers,
filmmakers, distributors and others in the media/entertainment

The guide is freely available to subscribers at:

Subscribers will automatically receive the following chapters daily:
Tip 1 – A Stranger is Watching… Your Film!
Tip 2 – It’s a Big World. Learn how to find the folks that want your film!
Tip 3 – Getting Your Film Prepared for Its Markets
Tip 4 – Getting Ink – Secrets on Gaining Media Coverage for Your Film
Tip 5 – Negotiating the festival gauntlet – picking the right events for your film
Tip 6 – It’s a Big World – Part II: Learn how to find an audience of millions online
Tip 7 – Staying Independent – How to Find Buyers in a Self-Distribution Scenario
Tip 8 – Distributors Speak Out – A Roundtable Discussion on Getting Distribution
Tip 9 – Handling the Sale – Making the Goods and Getting Them Shipped
Tip 10 – The Rolodex. A must-have list of industry contacts

About Mark Bosko

Mark Steven Bosko, author of “The Complete Independent Movie
Marketing Handbook,” works as a distribution representative,
public relations and marketing professional, assisting the
sales and promotional campaigns for filmmakers’ product through
his company The Bosko Group. Recent work includes the
reality-based horror feature, “June 9,” a documentary, “One
House At A Time” and the dramatic features “Bloody Boy,” “Unto
Thee” and “Insanity.”

Mark Bosko
330/608-7395 – cell
330/297-6395 – fax

5. FEATURE ARTICLE – DV or Film? Don’t let cost be a deciding factor.

Part One:
“DV or Film? Don’t let cost be a deciding factor.”
By A.J. Wedding

A director with a great project shouldn’t be limited in his
choice of formats because of budget…and you don’t have to be.
This feature story will discuss several ways you can shoot on
film for the same budget as DV, and remain true to your vision.

Having just directed my first 35mm short film, I have recently
put these tips to the test.  My original plan was to shoot on
DV, but in my heart was the dream of film…a dream that was
not as far off as I thought…

When I finished the script that I planned to make, I started
looking into the ways I could make the project look like it was
shot on film.  I researched cameras like the Panasonic DVX-100,
I looked at video lighting tips, and learned sandbagging tricks
that make your camera moves feel heavier and more film-like.
(Which we can discuss in another article!)  The thought of
actually shooting on film never crossed my mind, as I simply
assumed it was out of my reach.  But I believed very strongly
in this project, and knew that it’s true medium was film…even
if it meant I had to sell my first-born.

With a passionate plea, I finally convinced my co-producer Bill
Ross to help me look into the cost of shooting on film. Our
findings were absolutely shocking. There was a way.  There were
actually several possibilities available, and none required the
sale of my yet-to-be-conceived child.

First off, let’s talk equipment.  There are many people that
purchase camera packages for their own projects, and are happy
to let you use them for a few hundred bucks.  This can be a
great deal, since $100 looks pretty good to someone who would
otherwise let their camera sit on a shelf.  And normally,
people who own cameras can also operate them, and might want to
work with you for free if they believe in your project.

Camera rental houses have their set prices, but they are always
willing to deal with rising artists.  They know that if they
treat you well while you are struggling, they will benefit when
you hit the big times.  In my case, Panavision was the hero
that gave me the best deal in town.  Free.

Big houses like Panavision have “experimental filmmaker”
programs which allow you to get on a waiting list for use of
free equipment.  The list can be quite long, but they will
notify you with enough time to get your production up and
running.  I suggest calling right now and getting on the list.
If you aren’t ready when they call, they will offer you the
next available slot.

If you can’t wait for the list to come around, you can always
get a DP with a relationship to a rental house.  When they call
and plead about how good your script is, you are guaranteed a
better deal, if not a free package.

Another possibility is to look into the 8mm format which has
gained so much popularity in the anti-digital community.  The
quality of the film makes for an interesting style, something
that could work well with a dramatic piece.  And the price is
actually less than most digital camera rentals.

If you do use a rental house, they will want proof of
production insurance before they let you use their equipment,
whether you are paying for it or not. You can call around to
find the best rate, just make sure you have the amount of
coverage that the rental house requires.  One interesting way
to get inexpensive insurance is to sub-lease it…

Online communities like www.craigslist.org are great places to
find crew, people with equipment, and production companies with
long-term insurance.  Often times, a production company will
purchase long term insurance to cover several projects
throughout the year, but have down times that they still have
to pay for.  These companies sometimes look for small
productions that can sub-lease their insurance…and since
they’ve already paid for it, the deal you get is as good as
your finagling skills.

Now on to film stock.  Everyone has heard of places like Dr Raw
Stock and Short Enz, who sell re-cans and unused studio film
that has been bought up by these companies at a great low rate.
There are other alternatives.  Along the same line as
Panavision’s experimental film maker program is that of Kodak.
The prices are about the same as re-cans, but you are getting
brand new film. If you aren’t a part of any film artist
networks, you should look into them.  Getting together with
other film makers and discussing the tips and tricks that they
use is the best resource you will ever have.  Often times, you
will find a friend amongst your group that will give you their
leftover film, or sell it to you for less than you can purchase
it anywhere.  Just make sure you take it to a lab and get it
snip-tested to ensure it is usable.

Once again, I found an ally in Fuji.  They are struggling to
survive with the development of digital movie making, and being
in the wake of Kodak who owns the corner on the market.  Many
film makers will tell you that Kodak has far better color, but
that is simply untrue.  We tested a 500ASA Kodak against the
Fujifilm rival, and were astounded at the difference in
quality.  Fujifilm makes a fantastic product, and will do
whatever they can to meet your budgetary needs. We were able to
get the film half-off, by buying 2000 ft rolls, used in special
sitcom cameras.  The film is rarely ever purchased, so Fuji has
a lot of it sitting around.  All you have to do is go and have
it cut to fit your camera magazines, for about $3 per cut.

The studios always order more film than they need, and then
sell off the excess every few months.  If you are a part of a
film artist network, you might want to pool your money and put
in a bid for the studio’s leftovers.  That can be a great deal
for everyone involved.

The decision you need to make is this: Is film what you REALLY
want?  In many cases, such as the television pilot I co-wrote
and directed, digital was the way to go.  But use it because it
looks right for your project.  “Blair Witch” wouldn’t have
worked if it was shot on film.  Just be true to your vision.
Don’t compromise on issues of format because it looks
impossible on paper.  Use your passion for your project as a
catalyst for allies.  Everyone wants to work with someone who
has a strong creative vision and a deserving project.

Next month we’ll look at ways you can save money during the
production phase, in part two of this three part series.

A.J. Wedding is a writer/director who recently completed his
first 35mm short film that hopes to premiere at the Sundance
Film Festival. His past writing and directing work includes a
back-door TV pilot called “OB-1” and a mock-umentary digital
feature titled “Pop-Fiction”, which won an honorable mention at
the Canadian International Film Festival.

6. FEATURED FILM BOOK – “The Director’s Journey”


“The Director’s Journey: The Creative Collaboration Between
Directors, Writers and Actors” by Mark W. Travis

As a director, you are in the centre of a creative team of
actors, writers, designers, producers, cameramen, special
effects co-ordinators, editors and composers. How do you draw
all these talented artists together to share a single vision?
How do you express the writer’s intentions? And how do you keep
the actors’ performances fresh?

Mark W. Travis takes the mystery out of directing. His
refreshing approach will enhance and broaden your directing
skills and help you deliver powerful performances and
well-conceived cohesive films.



Got a script you want to sell to Hollywood? Good. Then you need
a map that will guide you through the relentless obstacle
course designed to keep 99% of the screenwriters on the planet

“33 Ways to Break Into Hollywood” is divided into five categories:

A. The Standard Routes — Do these first.
B. The More Aggressive Routes that can get you through back doors.
C. Outrageous Routes that have produced surprising results.
D. Networking Your Way to Success .
E. High Probability Methods — Strategies Top Writers Use.

You’ll get solutions, links to articles and sites that can help
you, and strategies that you can use today to increase your
chance of breaking in.

There’s no charge. We’re simply introducing our site to you.
Go to http://www.scriptforsale.com/33ways/signup33.htm to download.


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


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Peter D. Marshall
All Rights Reserved


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