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The Director's Chair Issue #98 – June 22, 2009 (Prodding the Drunken Elephant)

Free Monthly Ezine for Film and Television Directors

June 22, 2009                  Scene 10 – Take 5

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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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. BLOG – Film Directing Tips
4. Are You on Twitter?
5. Amazing Opportunity for Writers and Producers
6. Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling Online Course
7. FEATURE ARTICLE – Prodding the Drunken Elephant
8. Write an Article for The Director’s Chair
9. Subscriber Shameless Self-Promotion
10. Subscriber Links of Interest
11. Filmmaking News, Websites, Articles and Events
12. The Director’s Chair Filmmakers Discussion Forum
13. Filmmaking Workshops
14. Back Issues of The Director’s Chair
15. Subscribe & Unsubscribe Information
16. Copyright Information


Welcome to Issue #98 of The Director’s Chair (June 22/09)


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
“Prodding the Drunken Elephant” (The Film Editor’s World) by
Rick Benwick.

“What we learn as Editor’s of movies is that we develop a very
close relationship with the film image. Each movie production
shoots and hands us many hours of material. We look at this
material first as independent shots of different sizes and
angles.  We look again as it is being digitized onto the hard
drives.” (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. BLOG – Film Directing Tips

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 some of the latest blog entries I have made:

– Film Distribution: Pressing On Towards The Mark

– Adventure Film 101: Risk, Tragedy, and Filmmaking

– The World As We Know It Is Over? 10 Insights on Today’s Film

– So You Wanna Work in Movies?

– The New Rules: An Indie Film Digital Policy


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.

5. Amazing Opportunity for Writers and Producers

NOTE: This opportunity is from Nancy McBride of

I am currently working with a new Television Network which
will launch July 1st.  This Network is looking for Quality

Here is a basic concept. This truly is an amazing opportunity!!

1) Submit any of the following shows:  Talk Shows, EPISODICS,
kid shows, Soaps etc.

2) Please make sure your idea is WGA’ed before submitting to

3) I need the following things once your work is WGA’ed.

– Script of first episode

– breakdown

– synopsis

– first filmed episode, either a link or I will send you an address to
send a DVD. (that is if you have filmed it)

4) Once we have received this we will review your docs and see
if you think your show has a good flair for the network.

5) If we like your idea we will schedule a meeting with you
about your show.

6)  Please understand that you may have to recast your show if
we feel your talent isn’t up to syndicated standards, this is
a standard procedure.

This process has never been done before and My Client is
looking at Launching completely New Talent, New Shows, New
Concept ideas!!!

Email me at: mailto:Namcbride@gmail.com

Subject Line will be your project name:

Please send me all your links, First episodes, Character
breakdown and Synopsis.





Nancy McBride
“Working with All budgets from Students- Feature films”
Reel Kasting

6. “Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling Online Course for
Independent Filmmakers”

“Wow! If only I had your guide in hand when I started! I am
impressed with the content, the pacing of it, the amount of
coverage you give to each chapter and the stories… oh yes,
the stories are a perfect place to cut to for a moment of
entertaining and informative levity.” Greg Fawcett, Los
Angeles, CA. USA

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,
audio and videos and free bonuses.

“Peter D. Marshall’s ‘Script breakdown & film scheduling course’
is worth its weight in gold as it gives Indie filmmakers like
me a very clear and detailed information. I can blindly follow
his schedule and I will be ensured that the end product is a
very good quality short film. I recommend it to students of
cinema and indie filmmakers.” Hrish Thota, Bangalore, India

7. FEATURE ARTICLE – “Prodding the Drunken Elephant”

“Prodding the Drunken Elephant” (The Film Editor’s World) by
Rick Benwick.

What we learn as Editor’s of movies is that we develop a very
close relationship with the film image. Each movie production
shoots and hands us many hours of material.  We look at this
material first as independent shots of different sizes and
angles.  We look again as it is being digitized onto the hard

We absorb the way that this actor reacted toward an insult, or
that actor struggled to deliver his lines in a believable
manner.  How the light hit her face perfectly.  How his sneer
could overpower the scene.

We know that the power of the image in drama is in the close
ups.  That eyebrow screams “I don’t believe a thing he’s
saying”.  Those squinting eyes hint at a potential explosion.

The relationship between editor and image becomes intimate.
The editor starts cutting the scenes together.  It’s a matter
of like and dislike.  The way the camera moved up her dress to
her face, opens the scene in a tender moment. The editor pops
the shot into the recorder.

He decides on the next shot.  It flashes in his mind first.
It is transmitted down through his finger tips into the
console/keyboard. The cut is made. The two images are bonded
together instantly.  The editor reviews the cut; fine tuning
the flow of the movement.  Only 5,000 more cuts to go and the
movie will be ready for the Director to view.

Editors of movies, who decide to become Directors of movies,
calculate that we know what shots are needed; what shots cut
together; and what performances are worth circling.  What
Editors soon realize is that we are not in a ‘one to one’
(Editor and Image) relationship any more.  We are in a ‘one
and many’ relationship.  The Editor/Director and the Crew.

The Crew needs to know many things.  They have a thousand
questions, all at the same time.  Their questions are endless
and overwhelming.  “Where’s the location?  What’s the camera
position? Lens size? Lighting look?  Color scheme?  Costume
ideas? Hair colour?  Shooting schedule? Blocking? Motivation?”

Personality clashes. Ego inflations. The relationship is
physical. It’s psychological. It’s emotional. But above all
it’s ponderously slow.  We answer, we compromise, we plead, we
push, but the drunken elephant won’t perform.  It leans and
sways and stumbles and dumps. Where is the intimate bonding?
Where is the flow? Where is the editing room?

So we return to that climate controlled suite soothed by the
hum of the computer.  We expel a sigh of relief. We enter
again into that world inside the screen where the images react
instantly to our every whim.  What a wonderful world; no
straining; no grinding; no pleading; no drunken elephant.

Rick Benwick is a film editor who lives in Vancouver, Canada
and has been editing films for over 35 years.

8. 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) Matheus Siqueira – Flying Kebab is a independent
collaborative internet web series (that’s quite a big
description…it’s easier to understand watching it
at http://flyingkebab.com. We’re students in Brazil passing
one year working here in Beirut and in the mid-time making a
web series for the sake of experimentation. The internet is our
main platform, from the collaboration of people who watched it
and liked it we got our script writer, producers, funding and
music to use.


“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.

11. Filmmaking News, Websites, Articles and Events

1) Free Stuff: Making Movies for Nothing – Welcome to one of
the best authorities on free software! My point in starting
this blog in the summer of 2008 was to prove whether or not
you could do all sorts of media-related tasks (specifically
video editing, special effects and 3D animation) for free with
good, reliable software. I think I’ve proved my point: YES,
YOU CAN. http://videomaker.com/community/blogs/freeware

2) B Movie Celebration – Announcing Film Lineup For This
Year’s B Movie Celebration

3) Encounters Short Film Festival – Now in its 15th year,
Encounters Short Film Festival is firmly established as the
UK’s leading short film festival. It is a key date in both the
film industry and in the region’s cultural calendar,
attracting huge local and national press attention. Encounters
is a dynamic forum for the media industry and many
high-profile professionals make their way to Bristol to
discover new talent and see the very best in short and
animated film from around the world.

The festival provides an integral platform for both new, up
and coming filmmakers and for the more established
practitioners; it showcases a diverse range of screenings from
the International Panorama series to NAHEMI Student Shorts.
Presenting not only a culturally varied program but a wide
selection of work encompassing all genres of filmmaking, see
the festival website for further details.

4) I’ve Seen Films 2009 – in addition to being featured on the
Internet for many months (beginning in May) with its online
Contest, I’ve Seen Films 2009 will run for ten days, from the
end of September into October, in the following three venues
located downtown Milan: Centre Culturel Français, (September
24, 26 and October 1); THECA (end September); Gnomo Milano
Cinema  (September 29-October 3). www.icfilms.org

5) Hollywood eyes $70 zombie movie! – For those of you who
still don’t believe that you can make a movie for little to no
money…check out this CNN report about the new Zombie movie
that is causing a stir at Cannes! Director Marc Price talks
about how he was able to pull off his feature with only $70 in
production expenses! Check out the article here!

6) The Great American Pitchfest is just weeks away! In
addition to the 30+ free classes, we are excited to offer the
opportunity to pitch your script to some of the best companies
in the industry. http://www.pitchfest.com

7) Big Vision Studios in Burbank, CA – I am contacting you to
share a few fabulous offers within the  – Big Vision Studios
in Burbank, CA. For your users, we are offering up to 5 hours
free at our Cyc/Stage, they can email
mailto:Susan@BigVision.com for details.  We offer 40% off our
HD and RED Cameras, and lens rentals when used in house. We
are a film friendly private facility, allowing you to bring
your own equipment, and have no hidden charges!

12. 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

13. 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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