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The Director's Chair Issue #97 – May 3, 2009 (Metamorphosis Filmmaker)

Free Monthly Ezine for Film and Television Directors

(April) May 3, 2009                  Scene 10 – Take 4

Published once a month.

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


Dear Friend,

You are receiving “The Director’s Chair” because you (or
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1. Introduction
2. Two Free Bonuses for Subscribing to The Director’s Chair
3. Listen to my Interview on Blog Talk Radio
4. BLOG – Film Directing Tips
5. Are you on Twitter?
6. Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling Online Course
7. FEATURE ARTICLE – Metamorphosis Filmmaker
8. Is Your Passion to Direct Movies?
9. Write an Article for The Director’s Chair
10. Subscriber Shameless Self-Promotion
11. Subscriber Links of Interest
12. One Filmmaker’s Journey
13. Filmmaking News, Websites, Articles and Events
14. The Director’s Chair Filmmakers Discussion Forum
15. Filmmaking Workshops
16. Back Issues of The Director’s Chair
17. Subscribe & Unsubscribe Information
18. Copyright Information


Welcome to Issue #97 of The Director’s Chair (May 4/09)

NO APRIL ISSUE – I must apologize for not sending you an April
issue. I was so busy creating my new film scheduling course
that I just didn’t have the time to write that issue.


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, 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, 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, Switzerland,
Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tabago,
Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom,
United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yugoslavia,
Zambia, Zimbabwe

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

2) FEATURE ARTICLE – the feature article this month is called
“Metamorphosis Filmmaker” by Keith Aronowitz.

“My name is Keith Aronowitz and I am one of those insane
people that decided to fund their own film. Okay, maybe not
insane, but it was just something I decided to do, or rather
felt I had to.

I am glad I decided to follow my heart and my passion because
this is one of the most difficult things I have ever done.
I’ve put myself in the position where I have risked everything
financially but I wouldn’t have done it any other way, because
I wanted creative control and didn’t want to compromise my
vision.” (See below to read entire article.)

3) 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.

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:comments@actioncutprint.com

7) 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.”

3. Listen to my Interview on Blog Talk Radio

Derrick Muhammad of “Muhammad on Film” interviewed me for his
Blog Talk radio show on March 23, 2009. Click below to listen
to his show and to my 15 minute interview.

4. BLOG – Film Directing Tips

Thanks to subscribers like yourself, my filmmaking blog,
http://filmdirectingtips.com has been on the first page of
Google for several months using the keywords, “film

Please take some time to look through the many blog postings
on the site 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 some of the latest blog entries I have made:

– “Very Quiet on the Set” with Clint Eastwood: The Set

– Nestor’s Light – The Lighting Style of Cinematographer
Néstor Almendros.

– Can a True Independent Filmmaker Beat Out Faux-Indie
Corporate Goliaths at Festivals?

– What’s the Truth About Objectivity in Film Documentaries?

– Filmmaking in the Internet Age


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!

My partner, Trilby Jeeves, wrote an article called “What the
Tweet?!?? A Rookie’s Guide to Twitter” for The Art of the
Business blog that gives you some insight on how to use
Twitter from a creative person’s point of view. You can
check out her article at: http://snipurl.com/6tege

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

You can also check out our Social Networking blog called
“Creative People – Social Networking and Internet Marketing”

6. NEW ONLINE COURSE: “Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling
Online Course for Independent Filmmakers”

“This information is invaluable. Based on your outline, I
believe you’ve covered all those “I wish I knew then what I
know now” sort of questions. And man, I wish you were around
when I was starting out 10 years ago! Back then, I had no idea
what I was doing. And I could have really used this advice!!!
Jason Brubaker – Producer www.filmmakingstuff.com

The “Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling Online Course for
Independent Filmmakers” is my 137 page manual that takes you,
step-by-step, through the proper process of breaking down a
script and creating a realistic film shooting schedule.

This course is not just for Assistant Directors or Production
Managers. It was also created for Directors, Producers and
other filmmakers who want to have in-depth industry knowledge
of the entire pre-production stage of making an independent
film or television series.

Here’s the website link where you can find out all the
details about this 137 page Online course including the
content list, support materials and free bonuses.

(Instant Download – No DVD’s – No CD’s – No Shipping)

“I Just finished reading your book Script Breakdown and Film
Scheduling. It’s an amazing and meticulous resource. Worth
every cent. The blocking section was one of the most
resourceful chapters for me. I have always been reluctant to
take the initiative when it comes to blocking. It’s imperative
when working with first time directors. Getting more
information on production boards was invaluable.” Jesus
Sifuentes, San Antonio, Texas USA

7. FEATURE ARTICLE – “Metamorphosis Filmmaker”

My name is Keith Aronowitz and I am one of those insane people
that decided to fund their own film. Okay, maybe not insane,
but it was just something I decided to do, or rather felt I
had to.

Let me back up to give you some history. I have been
professionally involved in the film and television industry
for over 20 years, mostly as an editor working in network TV
for companies like ABC News, MTV, Sony, Disney, etc. Having
worked in TV for all these years, I have also had the
misfortune of working on some pretty mindless stuff, i.e.
reality shows and infomercials.

In 2006 I had pretty much decided I had had enough, and I
started exploring other opportunities that were far removed
from the industry. I decided I was going to go to Vietnam and
train there to become a master diver and then move on to some
idyllic location in the South Pacific where I would live out
my days taking people scuba diving when I wasn’t relaxing on
the beach.

Before I was to make this journey, however, I decided to go
down to Peru to try something called Ayahuasca which I had
read about in National Geographic Adventure Magazine. I won’t
go into too many details here, but Ayahuasca is a medicinal
plant that has been used by Shamans for thousands of years to
heal people of all sorts of ailments.

Long story short, I go down to the jungle, where I participate
in 5 incredible (and sometimes harrowing) ceremonies that had
a profound effect on me. I also happened to take my camcorder
and interviewed some people and recorded some of the process.
I did this only because I had my camera and it was something
to do.

When I get back to the states, I quickly put my footage
together and send out the mini-doc to the other participants
that I had met while drinking Ayahuasca.

This is where it starts to get interesting.

I start getting back some really positive responses to what I
filmed and the wheels start spinning. I swear I’m finished
with the business, but maybe before I head out the door I
should give it one more shot and produce a full-fledged
documentary on Ayahuasca. I feel this way because of the
response and the fact that I feel this is a fascinating
subject and would make a great story, one that hadn’t really
been told before.

I also quickly realize, being somewhat unconventional, that I
would never take the practical route of trying to secure
finances because I don’t have grant writing experience, etc.,
I don’t have the patience, and I don’t want to wait for a few
years in hopes that I might get some kind of funding.

So I dive right in, and after convincing (and a little
begging) the Shaman who I worked with in the Amazon to allow
me to come down for a few months to shoot, I start making

As I mentioned, I have worked in the industry for 20 plus
years, but as far as documentaries, I have cut one feature
documentary and that’s it. So early in 2007, before I was to
return to the Amazon to film, I decided to immerse myself in a
crash course on doc filmmaking.

Over the next few months, I read anything and everything I
could on how to make a proper doc. (For example, don’t fund it
yourself, good advice like that.)  I also watched about 50
docs, including all the major award winners from the last 10
years or so. I wanted to immerse myself in that world to
figure out what docs resonated with me and worked for me from
a storytelling sense.

I came to the conclusion that I wanted to tell a character
driven story while also explaining the process of an Ayahuasca
ceremony which can be a little complex.

After purchasing about 15 grand worth of equipment and
fighting off the nagging, doubting voices in my head that were
screaming “what the hell are you doing, we were on our way to
paradise, this is a pipe dream!” I was headed back down to
Peru in May of 2007.

After somehow weaseling my way past customs, explaining that I
have all this equipment and over 100 tapes because I “really
like to shoot stuff in the jungle.” I was on my way.

As far as the shooting itself went, there were minor
challenges here and there, but considering I was in a somewhat
unforgiving environment (i.e., extremely humid) things went
pretty well. (Except for when I tried to kill two birds with
one stone and drank Ayahuasca, which kind of makes your limbs
somewhat useless, and then tried to film.)

It took a few months of filming, but I felt confident that I
had captured the story and all the elements needed to tell it.

One quick word of advice for those who want to film in the
rainforest – wear long sleeves and plenty of insect repellent,
it sucks when you’re trying to do that cool slow pan of a
jungle vista and 30 mosquitos are snacking on the side of your

Jump ahead to the present.

After a few more trips to the jungle for a little more
shooting and about 15 rough cuts, here I am. It took about
half a year to really flesh out a coherent, compelling story
and another few months to cut it down to a good running time.
(95 minutes)

I am glad I decided to follow my heart and my passion because
this is one of the most difficult things I have ever done.
I’ve put myself in the position where I have risked everything
financially but I wouldn’t have done it any other way, because
I wanted creative control and didn’t want to compromise my

I have also learned a great deal about independent filmmaking,
including how to overcome the problems and challenges that
will come your way when you are basically a one-man band in
the wilderness (literally and figuratively).  I have had to
wear many hats, from the obvious ones like director and
cinematographer to the less obvious (to me, anyway), like
accountant and press agent. (not to mention my own P.A.)

I am now in the process of submitting to festivals and
preparing for self-distribution, which has been a whole new
learning process in itself.

I actually had a distribution deal, but decided that since
this project is so close to my heart, that I have to see it
through to the end. (Plus I ‘ve heard too many stories of
distribution deals where the filmmaker never sees a dime, even
if there’s a profit, and that scares me.)

Up to this point, I have had several private screenings, and
the response has been very encouraging, which helps a great
deal, because this is such a long road, and it never hurts to
get a little validation for all your hard work.

I have also been invited to screen the film at the 5th
International Amazonian Shamanic Conference in Iquitos, Peru
this July, which I plan on doing since the Amazon is the
birthplace of this medicine, and it feels fitting that the
film should premiere there.

After that, I hope that it has a decent festival run in the
states and if I’m lucky, sell a few dvd’s.

I doubt that I’ll be able to re-coup what I’ve invested in the
film, in that I’ve worked on it exclusively for the past 2 +
years, but I will have lived a dream in that I got to make a
film in the Amazon and learned a great deal about true
independent filmmaking and myself.

How many people can say that?

By the way, the name of the film is “METAMORPHOSIS”.


“I bought your amazing course this week and am working
through Day 1. The course is AMAZING and extremely useful
and I’ve recommended it to a friend and all over the
internet!” Daniel Avery, Johnstown, Colorado, USA.

Do You Want to Become a Successful, Working Film and
Television Director?

“The Art and Craft of the Director” is a 201 page
multi-media Online course created by Peter D. Marshall that
demystifies the process of directing and fast tracks your
way to becoming a working film and TV  director. (Instant
Download – No DVD’s – No CD’s – No Shipping)

This 10-Day audio course will help demystify the filmmaking
process and increase your confidence to be a successful,
working film and television director.

I am very proud of this film directing course and I
guarantee that anyone who listens to the audio files and
reads all the support material will discover many of the
tools a working film director needs to survive today.

All the information about the 10 Day “The Art and Craft of
the Director Audio Seminar,” including the content list,
audio files, support materials, free bonuses and how to
order, is available now. Just click on the link below.

(Instant Download – No DVD’s – No CD’s – No Shipping)

“I’m really enjoying the audio seminar. I think its great and
will be a valuable resource for years to come. I have all
the audio clips on my phone and can’t stop listening. Thanks
again for sharing your wealth of knowledge.”
Tasha W. Ottawa, Canada

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:


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) John Gaskin – Film Accounting Workshops In Michigan – this
course could also be called Line Producer 101. It has all of
the essential cost-control and budgetary functions required of
Line Producers and Production Managers. Managing Film Budgets
and managing the Weekly Cost Report starts with an
understanding of the Film Accounting System. Have a look at
the workshops available and on-line courses available in these
areas at http://www.talkfilm.biz

2) CKreations brings you The Crazy Horse Chronicles…a light
hearted drama chronicling the adventures of Crazy Horse and
his band, through misunderstandings, slapstick and a desire to
conquer the world (well Yorkshire, initially), they face
adversity together, united against owt that would stand in
their way.. Part one is out now, and part 2 will follow at the
end of March 09. See it at http://www.ckreations.co.uk


“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.


As I sit down to write this I think back to four years ago
when “South of Heaven” first became a reality. Little did I
know at that time it would become one of the most joyous and
hardest attempts to making a feature film I might encounter. I
had began by making these short little action movies over the
course of many years.  When I felt the time was right to make
a feature the martial arts action genre came to mind.

I didn’t want just the flashy signature moves of Hollywood I
wanted something with hard hitting fights, fast and brutal.
Brandon was a favorite character of mine from a series of
short films I had done and years later I wanted the
character to have more than just a presence I wanted a man
who was torn up from what he once was to what he now is.

A once lethal assassin to a man who is forced to confront
every little act he ever did in order to restore some kind of
justice, some balance in his life.  When the film opens the
story would be set back to 1995 and as it progressed into
and through the opening credits would stop at Christmas
1999 where the movie would eventually would play out.

From the beginning the movie would not just be some sort of
action vehicle but a truly action packed moving film that
focused on action/drama with horror, love story and family
elements. It seamed simple enough, but go and try to be
truthful to all those out there that love these sort of
pictures and yet remain truthful to yourself and create
something challenging for actors and in the process not
alienate any possible audience by mixing genres. I soon
realized it just wasn’t going to be that easy.

For the action sequences I thought going with a more hand
held look would put you in the middle of the action and I am
please to inform you that it did. To build suspense with
grabbing climaxes, the slow gestures would come and end with
a bang leaving you wanting more.

Rounding out the story came characters that were not going
to be just some sort of fodder for the battle sequences but
would contribute to an ever growing story that suddenly
involved every level of government world wide.”South of
Heaven” is my first full length feature. I am now finishing
up post and preparing to submit to the Atlantic Film


13. Filmmaking News, Websites, Articles and Events

1) Film Accounting Workshops In Michigan. The influx of film
production into Michigan has created an opportunity for local
Line Producers, UPM’s, Film Accounts, AD’s, etc, These
workshops introduce the basics of cost control systems, film
budget management and reporting to the financiers – essential
knowledge for beginning filmmakers. Out of towners welcome.
See http://www.talkfilm.biz/MichiganWorkshops.htm

2) Movie Outline Software is delighted to introduce you
to Hollywood Script Express!

HSX is an online script submission service that allows you to
upload your script for printing, binding and shipping to any
destination.. without leaving your desktop.

Your script is printed in US Letter format, bound with
industry standard three-hole punch and then shipped via FedEx
or Same Day Courier from one of our Printing Partner shops in
Los Angeles. This is especially beneficial for out-of-state or
overseas writers, directors, producers and agents who can now
get their scripts in the right hands FAST!!

HSX also hosts a suite of powerful services and tools for
screenwriters and creatives who not only want to send their
scripts but also want to track their submissions, log
responses, manage contacts and collate feedback.

3) HUMTOO is a site for film-makers who are looking for music
for their films. Film-makers can create a project on
HUMTOO and find suitable music by posting a project that our
music making community bids for by pitching their tracks. When
the project closes, the film-maker chooses the track they want
to use for their film.

HUMTOO is currently running HUMFEST, a new project development
contest offering a $650 prize for the best film (or part
thereof) that sources music from HUMTOO and the same amount
for the best music pitched for that film.

The site is at http://humfest.humtoo.com – it’s totally free
to sign up, create a project and to pitch music.

4) How I Got That First Job In Television – A few people have
written in to ask how, specifically, I landed an office PA
job. Usually I’d blow ’em off with a canned platitude before
returning to my self loathing and scotch highball.

Then I received this letter…

5) Film Independent champions the cause of independent film
and supports a community of artists who embody diversity,
innovation, and uniqueness of vision.

6) Free Soundtrack Music provides an online library of
royalty-free stock music for use in films, video games,
YouTube videos or multimedia productions. The recordings
labeled as “FREE” do not require any payment or registration:
these tracks may be edited and mixed into media productions
without specific authorization or subscription.

7) Film director – A director is a person who directs the
making of a film. A film director visualizes the script,
controlling a film’s artistic and dramatic aspects, while
guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfillment of
their vision.

8) Low Budget Filmmaking: Getting Down to Basics – Low budget
filmmaking is a process that can at times be arduous, but the
pay-off is one of the most creative forms of fulfillment that
can be achieved by a modern day storyteller. It is with this
concept that we will cover some of the most basic steps of low
budget filmmaking. Keeping these rules in mind will prove to
be a savvy move.

9) Film Directing: Meditation #2 – The director has two jobs
in a film. First, he has to create the world in front of the
camera. Second, he has to decide how to show it.

To create the world he must visualize locations, characters
and the ethical, moral, physical rules that govern them. It’s
a very difficult job and it requires a real visionary since
these are created from a blank.

10) Top 7 fool-proof indie film marketing tactics – Marketing
your independent film is the toughest, most time-consuming and
most expensive part of the filmmaking process. You think
making the movie was tough? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

14. The Director’s Chair Filmmakers Discussion Forum

The Director’s Chair Filmmakers Discussion Forum.

Ask film directing questions, submit your website for
review, post film and television directing links, share film
making tips and special events or just keep in touch with
other filmmakers from “The Director’s Chair.”

This forum is for subscribers of “The Director’s Chair”
only, so you will have to register in order to post
questions, give answers or add links. All you can do without
registering is read the posts.

Please visit this new forum now, sign up and take a look
around. http://snipurl.com/6xw2f

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
All Rights Reserved


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