The Director's Chair Issue #67 – June 20, 2006 (Producing Films for the Internet)
THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR
Free Monthly Ezine for Film and Television Directors
June 20, 2006 Scene 7 – Take 6
Published once a month.
Publisher: Peter D. Marshall
Web Site: http://www.actioncutprint.com
You are receiving The Director’s Chair because you (or
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PRIVACY STATEMENT: This Subscriber List is a private mailing
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individuals. I value every Subscriber and respect your privacy.
2. How to Create a Movie for Your Class or School
3. Film Directing Blog
4. SHAPE – Health and Safety in the Workplace
5. “Outtakes” – Film and TV Humour Ezine
6. 201 Things You Wouldn’t Know Without Movies or TV
7. 51 Tips for Winning Screenplay Contests
8. Subscriber Shameless Self-Promotion
9. Subscriber Links of Interest
10. Feature Article – “Producing Films for the Internet”
11. Monthly Business and Entertainment Law Tips
12. Filmmaking Tip of the Month
13. Film and Television Industry Events
14. In the News
15. Movie History
16. Back Issues of The Director’s Chair
17. Subscribe & Unsubscribe Information
18. Copyright Information
Welcome to Issue #67 of The Director’s Chair (June 20, 2006)
1) FILMMAKERS IN 83 COUNTRIES READ THIS EZINE – I would like
to say hello to all my subscribers from 83 countries around
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, Bangladesh,
Barbados, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia,
Canada, China, Cocos(Keeling)Islands, Croatia, Cuba, Czech
Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Estonia,
Ethiopia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana,
Greece, Haiti, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India,
Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan,
Kenya, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon,
Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Nambia,
Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan,
Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russian
Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain,
Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand,
Trinidad and Tabago, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates,
United Kingdom, USA, Uruguay, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe
2) FILMMAKING WORKSHOPS AND PRODUCT PROMOTION – From time
to time I will contact you by email to inform you of certain
filmmaking workshops or film products 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.
3) FEATURE ARTICLE – This month’s Feature Article is called
“Producing Films for the Internet” by Billy Schwarz. “Lets
get into what it takes to produce a good video for the
internet. Like any movie you make, first you will need a
script, you will need good audio. All the basics.” (see
below to read article…)
4) 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:email@example.com
5) SHARE THIS EZINE – Share this Ezine by email and forward
it to your friends and associates.
6) SUGGESTIONS & COMMENTS – Send any comments, suggestions,
questions or advice to: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
7) REPRINT THIS EZINE – This Ezine may be reprinted with
permission. Email me at: mailto:email@example.com
Peter D. Marshall
2. CREATE AN ENTERTAINING MOVIE FOR YOUR SCHOOL OR CLASS
“A TEACHER’S GUIDE TO FILM MAKING” – Ivan Clements
Do you want to shoot a movie with your kids and don’t know
where to start? Creating an entertaining video for your
class or school is quite a daunting undertaking and there
are many questions you need answered before starting.
With online tutorials, professional film Producer Ivan
Francis Clements will take you step by step through this
process in an easy to understand guide.
To view the the first 7 pages of “A TEACHER’S GUIDE TO
FILM MAKING” and to discover some questions you need to
answer before making a class video, Click Here:
3. FILM DIRECTING BLOG
Do you have film directing questions?
If you do, check out this new blog of mine where you can
post your film directing questions and I will answer them as
soon as I can. It is also an online discussion forum for
filmmakers so we can keep in touch and share information.
4. SHAPE – Health and Safety in the Workplace
“Safety first – it’s only a movie.”
Safety on a film set is everyone’s job and it is important
that you have a working knowledge of industry guidelines for
production safety in the motion picture and television
A good place to get lots of free information is from SHAPE –
Safety & Health in Arts Production & Entertainment.
SHAPE is a not-for-profit association dedicated to the
promotion of workplace health and safety in the motion
picture and performing arts industries in Vancouver, Canada.
Their mandate includes providing health & safety information,
education, and training for the performing arts and film
industries in British Columbia.
Check out their website at: http://www.shape.bc.ca
Safety Guidelines for Motion Picture/ Video Production
5. “OUTTAKES” – Free Weekly(?) Film and TV Humour Ezine!
Did you know that the second most visited page on my website
for the past 5 years has been the film humour and movie joke
Which just goes to show you how important a sense of humour
is in this business:-)
So to celebrate this fact, I created a NEW weekly film and
television humour ezine called, “Outtakes.”
“Outtakes” is a free weekly (mostly) humour ezine that is
full of movie jokes, television bloopers, film quotes, video
clips, movie cliches, film cartoons, movie mistakes, spoofs
& goofs and…a whole lot more stuff I can’t mention here!
Every Monday (well…most Monday’s) you will receive this
film humour ezine in your INBOX. (I think Monday is the best
day of week to get a little smile…or a grin…or even a
In each issue, you will get to chuckle at a film or TV
related joke, cartoon, quote, cliche, or mistake. You might
even get a chance to laugh at a funny video clip, television
blooper or commercial.
So what are you waiting for? Read some back issues and Sign
Up now for this weekly humour ezine at:
6. 201 THINGS YOU WOULDN’T KNOW WITHOUT THE MOVIES OR TV
Grab your Free copy of this humorous pdf ebook, “201 Things
You Wouldn’t Know Without Movies or Television.” I have also
included 4 additional BONUS lists for you enjoyment:
1 – Actual English Subtitles Used in Hong Kong Films
2 – A Dictionary of Hollywood Terms
3 – The Top 28 Movie Lies
4 – The Hot Air Balloon (a very good film joke)
And don’t forget to pass this ebook on to your friends.
Putting a smile on someone’s face is one of the most
gratifying things in life.
So please, FORWARD this ebook to a friend, family member or
associate. It could be the highlight of their day – as long
as they have the same sense of humor you do! 🙂
7. 51 TIPS FOR WINNING SCREENPLAY CONTESTS
Want to know what contest winners do to win?
ScriptForSale.com interviewed contest winners, readers, and
contest directors and came up with a list of 51 must-know
tips that will increase your chance of winning a contest.
The 51 Tips include:
– The Basics that you must not blow.
– 7 Winning Story Tips
– 5 Ways to Create Unforgettable Characters.
– 6 Tips on Writing Outstanding Dialogue.
– 5 Steps to Building Entertaining Scenes.
– 7 Methods for Turning a Win into a Career!
– And others.
It’s yours FREE as a gift from Final Draft and
8. SUBSCRIBER SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION
Each month, I give two subscribers an opportunity to promote
themselves, their company or their productions in this
section. If you are interested, send an email to
Please limit your promotion to less than 200 words. I also
reserve the right to edit the promotion for length, spelling
1) “13 Strange Tales”
Production has just begun on 13 Strange Tales, a series of
13 x 24 minute short films inspired by productions like “The
Twilight Zone, Tales From The Dark side, Tales of the Crypt,
One Step Beyond, The Outer Limits.” The show is geared
towards “Baby Boomers” and Adults who enjoy a thrilling
mysterious story to escape the world if only for a half
Using the latest technology and classic stories from the
past, Steve Bishart, the show’s creator, aims to amuse you
and confuse you through Television, DVD, Internet Streaming
and Pay Per view.
Actors will perform on elaborate digital sets by use of
extensive special effects and green screen techniques.
You can watch or even participate in the creation of these
13 shows by visiting http://www.13strangetales.com or send
an email to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
2) Bruce Lucas Productions Inc.
Bruce Lucas has won critical acclaim for his independent
dramatic short film entitled “A Walk in the Dark” starring
Mike McGlone (The Brothers McMullen, Hardball, She’s the
One, The Bone Collector) and Tertia Lynch, (The Sopranos,
Guiding Light, Hank Williams: Lost Highway) where he served
as both Director and Executive Producer.
Bruce received the WRITEMOVIES.COM – 2003 “Award for
Outstanding Achievement as a Director” and “A Walk in the
Dark” has screened in over 20 film festivals in the USA,
London, Russia, India, and Thailand and won the EUROSHORTS
2004 Audience Choice Award in Poland.
9. SUBSCRIBER LINKS OF INTEREST
“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.
10. FEATURE ARTICLE – Producing Films for the Internet
“Producing Films for the Internet” by Billy Schwarz.
Hello my name is Billy Schwarz and I am the Executive
Producer for High Tec Productions. Before I get into
producing a film for the internet let me give your some
background on myself and High Tec Productions. When I
started 7 years ago, I didn’t know which end of the camera
to point. My expertise is in computer engineering. My wife
Carol is a writer, she writes educational material. “Spanish
for Mission Trips”, “Spanish for Newcomers”, “El/Civics”,
“English Right Now”. She can spell!
First we started with the audio for “Spanish for Mission
Trips” using an 8 bit sound card and a 486 I recorded the
audio, edited it with a program call sound studio that came
with the sound card. In 1998 we purchased an old seed
warehouse in Mercedes, Texas and built the audio recording
studio. In 1999, purchasing a Canon XL1, we started out
making music videos and mixing them on CD-ROMs that played
The first internet web site which is still operational was
“Musictownusa.net”. Video was still not very good because
most people had dialup but we did encode some at 56kbs, they
were blurry and played in a very small screen.
So much for that. Lets get into what it takes to produce a
good video for the internet. Like any movie you make, first
you will need a script, you will need good audio. All the
Video cameras shoot at 30 frames per second which give a
smooth action. The problem is that when you encode for the
internet your frames per second drop to 20. You have just
lost 1/3 of the frames. It doesn’t matter if you are
encoding for streaming video or download.
Lets look at the difference between streaming video and
download. Streaming video requires a streaming server such
as the Real Audio Helix server. This allows your movie to
be shown on the computer screen as it comes in. The speed
of your stream determines the quality of the video. I used
this method at first thinking the stream would allow my
customers a better quality. I soon found that the stream
would breakdown and cause buffering as the bandwidth opened
We now encode all our video for download, using a 3 second
buffer before playing starts. The technology allows
downloading and playing at the same time. We encode at 240
kbs this gives a good quality video and allows the viewer
who has a limited bandwidth, lower DSL to get the quality
without the buffering.
In our “EL/Civics” course the 3 videos are 20 to 30 minutes
in length, they will play on a DSL line with no buffering,
blurring. There is a video on hightecproductions.com, it is
a tour of the City of Brownville Texas, and it was filmed on
location, with real people and no actors. The camera was
our Canon XL1 shooting at 24 fps. Edited with Adobe
Premiere and encoded for download play with the Microsoft
Windows Media Player 9.
Want a good quality movie for the internet?
1. Use good production and directing
2. Make sure that your movie plays smooth when played over
the internet. (encode for max viewers)
3. Shoot your video at 24 frames per second, this way you
only loose 4 fps after encoding.
4. Make sure that your movie starts within 17 seconds from
the time the viewer clicks the start button.
5. You video must start clear and end clear; sometimes
internet videos will start blurry and clear up as they
progress. If your attention-getter is blurry you have lost
The internet is a new media. Internet commercials, movies
and documentaries are just beginning. There are many
internet TV stations now. High Tec Productions is producing
Worship services in Spanish for First Baptist Church Santa
Maria, Texas. These will be used by other churches as
worship services for there Hispanic outreach.
Thank you for your time
Executive Producer High Tec Productions
11. MONTHLY BUSINESS AND ENTERTAINMENT LAW TIPS
“Co-Productions & Joint-Ventures: Issues” by Jindra Rajwans
B.A. (Hons.), M.A., LL.B., M.B.A., LL.M.
NOTE: The information in this article is not intended to be
legal advice and is of a general nature. Consult a lawyer
for advice for any specific situation.
Producers often realize that a co-production or joint
venture is a useful method to develop a film project because
of the complimentary skills and resources that each party
brings to the table and some of the benefits derived from
international and inter-provincial co-production treaties.
Whether the co-production or joint-venture is simple or
complicated, a number of important issues should be
determined in advance so the parties understand the nature
of their relationship, rights, obligations and potential
liabilities involved in the project.
One of the first issues that arise in a co-production or
joint venture is the appropriate business structure that the
parties will use to carry out the project. Generally, there
are four kinds of business structures that can be chosen:
– Limited Partnerships; or
– Limited Liability Companies (in the United States).
Although each structure has its specific advantages and
disadvantages, two common issues that many parties are
concerned about are potential liabilities and tax
implications. In view of these concerns, a corporation or a
limited liability company is often utilized as the business
legal structure to carry out the project.
In a co-production or joint venture where the parties use a
corporation as the legal structure to carry out the project,
the parties will usually become shareholders of the
corporation and will have to decide the appropriate
corporate structure and shareholding options (e.g. voting
and non-voting stock, and dividends).
Where one party may be providing the financing while the
other party may be contributing all the technical and
administrative skills necessary to carry out the project, or
where both parties contribute capital and services, the
parties should consider a number of further issues which
should be included in a written co-production or joint
venture agreement, including but not limited to the
What services and/or resources will be provided by each
If a third party producer is required for the project, do
both parties have to agree on an acceptable third party
Should one party no longer want to be involved in the
project and desire to carry out another project alone or
with other parties, should the corporation have a first
right of refusal to undertake the development of that
project? Is there an exclusivity clause?
Who has authority to decide important business and
financial, legal, and creative elements of the project? For
example, in the case of a financier partner, one may not
think that he or she is in the best position to determine
creative elements pertaining to the project.
What rates of remuneration, if any, shall be provided to the
Shall producer fees and executive producer fees that either
party may be entitled to, and general overheads, be shared
Shall all distribution decisions be made jointly?
What happens if one of the parties passes away or becomes
Are there management contracts? What do such contracts say
about confidentiality and non-competition?
What happens if one of the parties breaches the agreement?
Although the above points are not meant to serve as an
exhaustive list of things to consider when entering into a
co-production or joint venture, they serve as a sample of
some of the important issues that producers and filmmakers
should consider prior to carrying out their project.
Jindra Rajwans is a business and entertainment lawyer in
Toronto, Canada. The entertainment area of his practice
focuses on providing legal services to writers, directors,
producers, actors, musicians or other professionals, and
companies in the entertainment industry.
12. FILMMAKING TIP OF THE MONTH
I am presently working on a new TV series for ABC called
“Masters of Science Fiction.” I just had the privilege of
watching our first director, Mark Rydell (“On Golden Pond”)
direct Judy Davis, (“A Passage to India”) and Sam Waterston
(“The Killing Fields”).
As I was watching the actors work, (from the cast read
through, to the first blocking on set to the last take of
the last scene) it occurred to me that the process I have
been teaching in my film directing workshops is still one of
the best ways to get a performance from an actor.
As a director, if you know the intent of the scene and the
objectives of the characters, you have the tools that will
help you to get a performance from actors who have very
little experience as well as the tools to feel secure (re:
not intimidated) when directing very experienced actors.
The process is the same for both.
Your most important role as a director is to listen. Give
the actors the freedom to express themselves first. Let them
show you what they have in mind. Give them a safe place.
Blocking with actors shouldn’t be about fitting them into
your shot plan first. It should be about how do your shots
enhance the performance. By letting the actors show you
their blocking first, you will get more ideas for camera
positions than you ever will of had before.
And when you need them to fit certain parts of their
performance into your shot plan, you will find it easier to
talk with actors once they know you have listened to them
13. FILM AND TELEVISION INDUSTRY EVENTS
1) The Scriptshark Insider Screenplay Competition
ScriptShark Insider is not just about winning awesome
prizes, it’s about really moving your career forward. With
the final judging conducted by reputable industry producers,
this contest puts you right in the middle of the real,
– $15,000.00 in cash and prizes…
– PROFESSIONAL Judging by people at high levels in the
– Manager Colin O’Reilly to guide Grand Prize Recipient as
they develop and shop a pitch…
– Grand Prize Recipient to receive one-on-one pitch coaching
from Good in a Room.
– Finalists distributed to Hundreds of agencies, management,
and production companies…
– All entrants to receive a 6-month Spec Market Posting
COMPETITION ENDS JUNE 30, 2006
The best on-line source for pitching your scripts to Hollywood.
With Virtual Pitch Fest you can email query letters to
Producers, Agents and Managers on-line. Best of all, you are
guaranteed a response back to all of your pitches within 5
business days of each submission. Our per-pitch prices are
inexpensive and our venue is extremely convenient. With VPF,
you don’t have to spend hundreds or even thousands of
dollars for the lodging, travel, and conference fees
associated with live pitch events.
3) Cine Gear Expo,
Cine Gear Expo, in its 10th year, has grown from a one day
social event with a hands-on equipment display at the
Paramount Theatre to become the premiere Film, Video and
Digital Media Expo, networking event and seminar series for
the entertainment production and post production community
Cine Gear Expo continues to draw a focused audience of top
notch industry professionals. Many exhibiting companies
choose Cine Gear Expo to introduce new and ground breaking
equipment and services to professionals in the community.
The Premiere Seminars and the Master Class Seminar Series
are constantly expanding and are hosted by leaders in their
Cine Gear Expo 2006 will be held at the Wadsworth Theatre
and Grounds in West Los Angeles, California on June 23-24,
2006. Master Classes take place on June 25, 2006 in Los
14. IN THE NEWS
1) “The interest in television programming hasn’t declined
significantly over the years, but what has changed is how,
when and where the content is viewed. Here are six examples
of how we’re watching TV in 2006 — and none of them are
MSN – May 31, 2006
2) It’s a Wonderful Life ‘most inspirational film’ ever.
Guardian Unlimited – June 15, 2006
It is a story about depression and disillusionment,
alcoholism and attempted suicide. And yet for all that,
Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life has just been voted the
most inspirational film ever made.
15. MOVIE HISTORY
“The Man Who Made a Legend.”
Matt Hurwitz – The Standard – June 15, 2006
In 1939, while shooting the seminal western Stagecoach, John
Wayne got his first taste of director John Ford’s biting,
often cruel, sense of humor.
16. BACK ISSUES OF “THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR”
To read back issues of The Director’s Chair, visit:
17. SUBSCRIBE & UNSUBSCRIBE INFORMATION
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18. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION
Copyright (c) 2000-2006
Peter D. Marshall
All Rights Reserved
Copyright (c) 2000-2009 Peter D. Marshall / All Rights Reserved