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The Director's Chair Issue #60 – Nov. 19, 2005 (What is a Pro?)

Free Monthly Ezine for Film and Television Directors

November 19, 2005          Scene 6 – Take 11

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.  Filmmaking Workshop
3.  Subscriber Question
4.  “We Need Your Help”
5.  The $50,000 John Templeton Prize
6.  Feature Article – “What is a Pro”
7.  Action-Cut-Print
8.  Filmmaking Resource Center Blog
9.  Back Issues of The Director’s Chair
10.  Share This Ezine
11.  Suggestions & Comments
12.  Subscribe & Unsubscribe Information
13.  Copyright Information


Welcome to Issue #60 of The Director’s Chair (Nov. 19, 2005)

This issue is a big one!

1) FILMMAKING WORKSHOP – I am going to present a 3 day film
directing workshop called “The Art and Craft of the Film
Director” in Vancouver, Canada in February, 2006. And I need
your help with a quick survey. (See below for details)

2) SUBSCRIBER QUESTION – David Hughes from the UK needs an
answer to his production question. Can you help him out?
(See below for details)

3) FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  – State of Grace Productions
Announces 2006 Paralympics Film Project Michigan-based
filmmaker plans trip to Torino, Italy, to film the 2006
Winter Paralympic Games (See below for details)

4) $50,000 JOHN TEMPLETON PRIZE – for Spiritually
Uplifting Screenplays (See below for details)

5) FEATURE ARTICLE – This month’s Feature Article is called
“Filmmaking – What Is A Pro?” by Sam Longoria. This article
seeks to answer the question: “What is a “Professional” – a
word that is often bandied about by indy filmmakers.

6) FILMMAKERS BLOG – Want to ask other filmmakers a
question? I have started a Filmmaking Resource Center blog.
Check it out at: http://www.bloglines.com/blog/PDM

7) 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: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com



Peter D. Marshall

2. FILMMAKING WORKSHOP – Vancouver, February 2006

(NOTE: You will also receive the following Workshop message
in a separate email from me in a few days.)

I have worked in the Film and Television Industry for over
32 years and 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.

In January, 2006 I have been invited to Dubai, UAE to teach
a 3 day film directing workshop. I am also teaching several
directing courses at the Vancouver Film School in December
and January as well as organizing several filmmaking
workshops for the Director’s Guild of Canada in January and
March, 2006

So what does this mean to you?

Over the last few years, many subscribers to “The Director’s
Chair” have emailed me about their interest in taking my
directing workshops. Therefore, I have decided to organize a
international 3 day workshop called “The Art and Craft of
the Film Director” to be held in Vancouver, Canada in
February, 2006.

I am currently working on the details of this event and will
send you all the workshop information shortly.

But I need a favour from you – a very quick survey. All I
need to know right now is this:

Would you be interested in coming to Vancouver, Canada (one
of the most beautiful cities in the world!) to meet with
other filmmakers like yourself and participate in a three
day, intensive workshop to discover the art and craft of the
film director?

Here are some of the details I can share with you now:

1.    the three day workshop will be held in Vancouver,

2.    the dates will probably be February 10,11,12, 2006

3.    the class will be limited to 25 filmmakers

4.    Day One and Day Two will be a combination of lecture,
class discussion and viewing movie clips

5.     On Day Three, you will get a chance to block and
stage a small scene

If you are interested in participating in this workshop,
could you please reply to this email as soon as possible.

Again, I will send you more details within two weeks. All I
need to know now is if you are interested.


If you respond to this survey, and you end up signing up for
the February workshop, I will take $50.00 off your
registration fee as a way of saying “thank you.”

TESTIMONIALS – From previous workshop participants

“Your class has taught me that film production isn’t as
complicated as I thought it was. Lots of film fans and
students talk about shots. Now I know that shots are
overrated. Directing isn’t about cool shots but how simply,
efficiently, and interestingly you tell your story working
with the actors. I’ve also developed more confidence in
talking to actors. I’ve learned that it ain’t about telling
them what to do every step of the way but bringing out a
performance in them with very little directing (words) as
possible.” Charles Kim – Singapore

“Very in-depth class with a great way to express the
director’s role. The role playing was a fantastic way for me
to learn to compose a scene, deal with actors and understand
what is needed for the story, Peter, you have obviously put
a lot of work into preparing and delivering this workshop. I
learned a lot. Thank you.”
Alexandra Pacheco – Burnaby, Canada

“Valuable insights into not only the mind set of the
director, but also the actor, the character and the value of
interpreting the story. I learned a lot about the director’s
strategy about how to connect with the actors to bring
vision to the story. Thanks Peter for sharing your
excitement about directing. Fun, Fun, Fun! Great film clips
– really felt as though we all grew from your constructive
criticism and allowing and encouraging us to go for it!”
Julie Slater – Vancouver, Canada

(NOTE: You will also receive this Workshop message in a
separate email from me in a few days.)


David Hughes, from the United Kingdom, needs an answer to the
following question. If you can help him out, please email
him directly at mailto:rowlands@blueyonder.co.uk

“Hi I am a new film maker. At the moment I am about to shoot a
10 minute short. In the past I have used a Sony PD 170,
however I would like to buy a camera of my own. I have a
budget of approx £3000.00 sterling($4900.00) I have looked
at several models but would welcome feedback from your
readers. I am considering HDV. Can anybody help?”
Kind regards
David Hughes


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  – October 18, 2005

State of Grace Productions Announces 2006 Paralympics Film
Project Michigan-based filmmaker plans trip to Torino,
Italy, to film the 2006 Winter Paralympic Games

Dearborn, Michigan:  State of Grace Productions has begun
efforts to raise funds in order to travel to Torino, Italy,
to film the Paralympic Winter Games in March of 2006.
Meghann Mealbach, a 19-year old filmmaker with cerebral
palsy, completed her first film project last May about
disability activist, Tony Filippis, Sr., and is now focusing
her efforts on increasing the amount of media attention
given to athletes with disabilities.

Inspired by Filippis’ accomplishments throughout more than
70 years of serving the disability community, Mealbach now
wants to become an activist for all people with disabilities
by using her filmmaking skills.  Filippis, a double
below-the-knee amputee as the result of a childhood train
accident, recently celebrated his 90th birthday.  He is the
co-founder of Wright & Filippis, founder of the Athletes
with Disabilities Hall of Fame, the recipient of countless
awards, and was appointed by Michigan Governor, Jennifer
Granholm, to the Michigan Commission on Disability Concerns.
Mealbach considers Filippis a friend and mentor.

“Tony taught me that you can accept obstacles, or you can
create opportunities.  I choose opportunities.”

Mealbach is supported by another friend and mentor, Duncan
Wyeth.  Wyeth, who also has cerebral palsy, is the Executive
Director of the Michigan Commission on Disability Concerns,
and has been a consumer advocate for disability issues for
over 30 years, serving in a wide range of professional and
volunteer roles in both the State of Michigan and
nationally.  He has served on the Board of Directors of the
United States Olympic Committee, the National Association of
Protection and Advocacy Services (NAPAS), the American
Association of People with Disabilities, and United Cerebral
Palsy Associations. He co-founded the Coalition on Sexuality
and Disability and was Chair of the Michigan Commission on
Handicapper Concerns.  Inducted into the Michigan Athletes
with Disabilities Hall of Fame in 2001, he is a tireless
proponent of athletics and people with disabilities. In
1995, he co-authored a chapter on cerebral palsy for Sports
and Exercise for Children with Chronic Health Conditions.

Wyeth states, “The Torino Games will provide an excellent
opportunity for us to network with the International
Paralympic Committee leadership and athletes to further our
mission of bringing public and media recognition to the
Disabled Sports Movement here in the USA.”

Mealbach is seeking financial sponsorships and will
fundraise to offset equipment and travel expenses.

To help support her cause, or for more information, please
email mailto:Stateofgracefilm@aol.com or contact Bill or
Meghann Mealbach at 313-563-4084, or Christine Allen at

5. The $50,000 John Templeton Foundation Kairos Prize

The $50,000 John Templeton Foundation Kairos Prize
for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays


Early Deadline: November 25, 2005 / Late Deadline: January
6, 2006


Grand Prize Winner: $25,000 / 1st Runner Up: $15,000 / 2nd
Runner Up $10,000 / PLUS additional considerations.

Latest News:

Dreamworks‚ Jeffrey Katzenberg and Disney‚s Dick Cook have
agreed to read the winning scripts.  In the coming weeks we
will have similar confirmation of virtually every major

Competition Objective:

To further the influence of moral and spiritual values
within the film and television industries.  Seeking to
promote a spiritually uplifting, redemptive worldview that
will help inspire first-time screenwriters to produce
compelling, entertaining, spiritually uplifting scripts.


Quarter-Finalists will be notified by February 1, 2006.
WINNERS will be announced at the 14th Annual MOVIEGUIDE®
Awards and Report to the Entertainment Industry on March 2,
2006 in Beverly Hills, CA

For more information please visit http://www.kairosprize.com

6. FEATURE ARTICLE – Filmmaking – What Is A Pro?

“Filmmaking – What Is A Pro?” by Sam Longoria

The word “Professional” is often bandied about by indy
filmmakers, and I’ve heard and read many things I just
wouldn’t expect a “Pro” to say, though the person writing or
saying them claims to be one.  Time for a definition of

Question: What qualifies a person to be a Pro?

Answer: Paycheck.

That’s the short answer, but anything longer is just
embellishment. It’s one thing to make movies. It’s a whole
different animal to get somebody to cut you a good check,
for the work you’ve done.

Paycheck is more important than anything to a Professional,
because you have to eat and pay bills, or you can’t
function, much less create pleasing Art.

Question:  How does a person become a Pro?

Answer: By adopting a Pro attitude.  The Pro attitude is “I
work in the movie business.  I do good work, and I must be
paid for it.”  This is regardless of the budget of his
current Project, whether it is high or low.

Some don’t become a Pro until many paychecks, but you can
have a Pro attitude right now, even if you’ve never been
paid for doing your art.  If you adopt the Pro attitude now,
you multiply your effectiveness many times, and shorten the
time until those paychecks come in.

A person with a Pro attitude has aligned his brain cells and
unconscious mind, so every action and thought is geared
toward one outcome – to be paid for his work, what his work
is worth.  This has many benefits, chiefly the quality of
his work improves.

You can take years to get a Pro attitude, or you can do it
right away.  I recommend you read a book with a funny name
by Stuart Lichtman, an expert on the human brain from MIT.

Another great book on developing a Pro attitude is Napoleon
Hill’s classic “Think And Grow Rich.”  It’s free in the
library, or get it here online. http://snurl.com/hlk4

They are both good books. Stuart’s is like a series of
games, so it’s almost effortless, and it will improve every
aspect of your life.  Napoleon’s classic book takes a while,
and you have to muscle it through by will power, but it’s

Once you’ve adjusted your attitude, your unconscious mind
will steer your every action and memory, every skill you
have, and those you need to learn, toward delivering what
you need to do your job, and be paid your paycheck.

Once you do, your natural love of your Art has a chance of
being fulfilled. Until you do, you’re just floundering.

You may disagree with my brutal bottom-line assessment of
what a Pro is. You may feel a Pro isn’t defined by a
paycheck.  To you a Pro might be merely a person with a lot
of experience in a certain area, or a person with a natural

Well, “Professional” is defined,

“Pro*fes*sion*al, n. A person who prosecutes anything
professionally, or for a livelihood, and not in the
character of an amateur; a professional worker.” —
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA,

Unless he has a paycheck, his “lot of experience” just makes
him a hobbyist. By definition, a hobbyist is not a
Professional anything.  There is nothing wrong with being a
hobbyist, or an “amateur,” (which means you do something
“for the love of it”), but generally, amateur quality is not
up to a Pro standard.

It’s common to say, “You have so much talent, you’re a real
Pro,” but even natural talent, practiced and refined, won’t
be Pro until one’s work quality is good enough to motivate
another to pay him for it.

While skill and/or talent certainly are important, the
defining quality of a Professional is payment.

Think “paycheck.” May you earn many big ones.

Sam Longoria is a Hollywood producer, working in film since
1970, in a variety of jobs.  His work graces several
Oscar-nominated films, and one Oscar winner. Sam teaches
Independent Producing at http://hollywoodseminars.com

© 2005 Sam Longoria, All Rights Reserved.  You may forward
this in its entirety to anyone you wish.  Hollywood
Seminars, Box 2449, Hollywood CA 90078 USA

7. 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 1500 Online Resources for
Filmmakers, Filmmaking Tips and Articles, a Film and TV
Bookstore and Film Directing Workshops.


I have started a Filmmaking Resource Center blog at:

Check out the Blog for filmmaking tips, articles, movie news
and film reviews. Please use this resource center to ask
questions (and answer questions;) to read daily film and TV
news; and to submit your own filmmaking tips and stories.

Filmmaking Resource Center – http://www.bloglines.com/blog/PDM


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


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Peter D. Marshall
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