Feb 12

Neil LaBute explains what lead to his involvement in the industry.

NeilLaBute

I started hearing all these stories about these guys who had done these sorts of outlandish things to get money to make movies. You know, Robert Townsend with his credit cards, and Kevin Smith, who was working in the convenience store at night; and Robert Rodriguez doing some kind of chemical testing on himself, you know, medical experiments, and some other guy taking his money and putting it on red in Atlantic City — crazy ways that they raised 25,000 bucks.

The reason I’m that here today is complete stupidity, which was that I believed wholeheartedly those stories.

Read the whole article HERE at thewrap.com

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Feb 04

Varda Hardy tells us about her film making process for Rock for Equality:

blog-varda1

Varda on set

The Rock For Equality Campaign

Craig Miller CEO and Founder of MZA Events (and founder of the AIDS WALK) came up with the idea of holding a national event addressing the issue of the Social Security System’s discrimination against elder Gay & Lesbian Americans. Most Americans receive the social security benefits of the higher earner when their life partner dies, but Gay & Lesbian Americans are denied these benefits (even though they must pay into the system just like everybody else!).

The Rock For Equality event
to be held in the spring of 2010 here in Los Angeles and in Washington DC, will both inform the public of this unfair Social Security policy and raise funds to change the law.

MZA Events hired me to create a suite of videos that would bring life & poignancy to what may be perceived as a rather “dull” issue: social security. Once I came on board, they informed me that the decision to move forward with the event hinged on the success of the videos. (That’s when I started grinding my teeth at night–just kidding!)

Craig and his team wanted a “viral” video, a compelling “elevator pitch” video, and the third video that would give the public a sense of the suffering that elder Gay & Lesbian Americans experience when their life partner dies and they are denied benefits which they paid into. I addition, I suggested they needed a fourth video, an animation that would give potential participants a “visual” of the Rock For Equality event which is very original and new to the public.

For the viral, I came up with the sci-fi idea which at the time felt so “out of the box” that I was nervous to pitch it. Luckily, the MZA Events team really got it. Karen Lavender and Jamie Bullock of LiveTribe Productions came on board to produce the videos. My friend, Taylor Negron co-write the sci-fi script with me. Jimmy Ahlander (also a director at LiveTribe Productions) created the animation, and a team of truly creative crew members including DP: Daron Keet, Art Director: Robert Fox & Make-up Artists: Maya Murakami & Dan Kaplan and editor John Irwin joined forces with me to create what emerged as “From Another Planet” and three other videos.

The “elevator video” and long form inspirational video feature real people who have suffered the inequities of social security discrimination. I wanted to give these videos a “heightened” but uncluttered visual quality so that no elements in the frame could distract from the subjects and their compelling stories and at the same time, I wanted to make them visually compelling to engage the viewer.

I hope you can check out the videos and let me know what you think. AND go to www.rockforequality.org to support equal rights for Gay & Lesbian Americans.

Thanks much,

Varda

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Jan 20

Did our last Reed Martin interview have you begging for more? The wait is over!! We have another amazing interview from Reed Martin. This time he tackles the questions of working your way up the industry ladder, the difference between television and film, and ‘making it’ in Hollywood.

For more advice buy Reed Martins book on Amazon.

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Jan 19

Hello Filmaka’s

Filmaka founders Thomas Augsberger and Deepak Nayar are about to launch their new film Tucker & Dale vs Evil at Sundance! Tucker & Dale are two hillbillies are accused of being killers by a group of college kids camping near the duo’s cabin, starring Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk and Katrina Bowden.  The film is directed by Eli Craig (The Tao of Steve).

The First screening will be Friday, January 22, midnight – Library Center Theater, Park City. For those lucky filmmakers who are heading to Sundance themselves click here for the full schedule.

Cant get enough Tucker & Dale? Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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Jan 11

Ready for more advice from author Reed Martin (“The Reel Truth”)?    This time, he answers several more of your questions - Should you go to film school?   Do screenwriters need agent?   How important is networking?  


 

Reed’s “The Reel Truth: Everything You Didn’t Know You Need to Know About Independent Film” is a great resource for independent filmmakers (as well as an entertaining read) and can be purchased wherever books are sold, including Amazon where it is on sale. Keep on checking the Filmaka blog as Reed will be answering more of your questions.

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Jan 07
You know you want me.

You know you want me.

Hey Everyone,

We got a huge response for the Werner Herzogs new book Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the makings of Fitzcarraldo. Congrats to the lucky winners: Alan Flurry (Georgia), Jussi Rautaniemi (Finland), Oivind Klungseth Zahlsen (Norway), Sergio C. Ayala (London), Spike McKenzie (Australia), George Keates (ENGLAND), Carlos Duran (Mexico), and Rinaldo Quacquarini (London).

For those who did not get the book, don’t fret! The book is available on Amazon. Pick up your copy and peer into the complex mind if Werner Herzog.

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Dec 21

“Pitching” is the subject of part two of our interview with author Reed Martin (“The Reel Truth”). His advice for how to improve your pitching skills to land financing for indie films includes watching Robert Altman’s “The Player.”

Reed’s “The Reel Truth: Everything You Didn’t Know You Need to Know About Independent Film” is a great resource for independent filmmakers (as well as an entertaining read) and can be purchased wherever books are sold, including Amazon where it is on sale. Keep on checking the Filmaka blog as Reed will be answering more of your questions.

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Dec 15

Congrats to Colin Firth for his Golden Globe nomination for A SINGLE MAN!  Well done.....we bet this is the first of many nominations to come this season.

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Dec 15

Author Reed Martin recently stopped by the Filmaka office in Los Angeles to answer questions Filmaka members submitted about independent filmmaking, everything from creative and castng to financing and marketing.   Those are among the topics of Reed’s new book “The Reel Truth:  Everything You Didn’t Know About Making an Independent Film.”   Reed, who is also a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business, spent several years interviewing such filmmakers as Darren Aronofsky, Danny Boyle, Jim Sheridan, Lee Daniels, and Filmaka’s own Werner Herzog about the lessons they learned while making their indie films.   Here’s the first in a series of videos in which Reed answers questions submitted by Filmaka members. 

We received hundreds of questions from all over the world and 20 filmmakers received free copies of “The Reel Truth.” Kevin Miles,   Kevin Royce,   Maria Martinez,   Tsenat H,   Davey Morrison,  Nadarajah Ramalingam, Michael Newman,  Hodges Usry, David Richards,  James Lingwood, Ryan A. Markle,  Travis Seppala, Lucas Smith,   Matt Schuman, Ian Nicholson, Eriq Wities, Will Brooks, Gretel Sophia, Dennis Abad, and  Xonrad

“The Reel Truth” is a great resource for independent filmmakers (as well as an entertaining read) and can be purchased wherever books are sold, including Amazon where it is on sale.   Keep on checking the Filmaka blog as Reed will be answering more of your questions.

by author Reed Martin

by author Reed Martin

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Dec 11

Exciting news! Fellow Filmaka Member Sammi Lau’s film “Train Republic” has been selected for official competition at the GuangZhou international Documentaries film festival.

Sammi

Sammi

If you are planning to visit the festival:

Screening locations (GuangZhou)

Dec 8th, 11:30, China Plaza Theatre
Dec 11th, 12:20, Sapphire Art Space
Dec 13th, 13:20 Galaxy Cinema

If you want to check it out from your own home:

On Discovery Channel (Asia only)
On-Air : Dec 31st, 8pm
Rerun : Jan 7th , 8:30pm

Congratulations Sammi!!

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