Jun 07

Filmaka members Varda Hardy and Ian Allen Lim have been selected for SHOOT magazinesNew Directors Showcase.” They flew to New York to participate on a Panel with other up in coming directors and Varda tells us all about it!

varda-new-directors-panel1

New Directors Showcase Directors Ian Allen Lim, Oliver Power, Bill Bruce, Alex Beh, Varda Hardy and Lora Schulson, co-executive director of content production for Y & R New York

I noticed Filmaka’s Jason Haikara’s Facebook Posting announcing Shoot Magazine’s “New Director’s Showcase”. Filmaka member, Jonathan Newman had been selected to be showcased last year and good things came to him from this honor, so I paid attention to Jason’s posting. I submitted two of my projects “Race to the Sky” and “What Kind Of Planet Are We On?” just making SHOOTS’s deadline by the skin of my teeth.

Two weeks later, when checking my e-mail, I discovered a note from Roberta Griefer, publisher of SHOOT Magazine. When I read it, I actually gasped. Roberta was congratulating me on being selected for SHOOT’s New Director’s 8th Annual Showcase. Wow! “SHOOT” is a highly respected advertising/commercial production industry magazine and since I very much want to make commercials, I found this honor especially exciting!

I flew to New York for this event and was accompanied by LiveTribe Productions Executive Producer Karen Lavender and Producer Jamie Bullock both of whom play key roles in many of my projects including “What Kind Of Planet Are We On?” which was screened as part of this event. Kate Salvino representing Current Content Creation (whom I’ve recently signed with) also flew in from L.A.. Between the three of them, I was surrounded by smart & beautiful company.

…Stay Tuned for Part 2!

May 14
Jonathan Newman and Deepak Nayar

Jonathan Newman and Deepak Nayar

Cannes 2010 marks a historic achievement for Filmaka as our first film SWINGING WITH THE FINKELS will be screened twice for potential distributors. FINKELS, based on a short film submitted to our FX Comedy Competition, is written and directed by award-winning (Ford Mustang Stories) Filmaka member Jonathan Newman and produced by Filmaka co-founder Deepak Nayar (BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM). The romantic comedy stars Martin Freeman (UK’s THE OFFICE), Mandy Moore, Jonathan Silverman, Melissa George and comedy legend Jerry Stiller.

Immediately after FINKELS, Jonathan and Deepak reteemed on the just-wrapped feature FOSTER, also based on one of Jonathan’s short films (pre-Filmaka). FOSTER has an amazing cast: Emmy-award winner Toni Collette (THE UNITED STATES OF TARA), Ioan Grufudd (AMAZING GRACE, FANTASTIC FOUR), Richard E. Grant (GOSFORD PARK) and Oscar-winner Hayley Mills.

Both FINKELS and FOSTERS are repped by Simon Crowe and SC Films International. For Simon’s contact info and everything you need to know about FINKELS, check out SwingingWithTheFinkels.com

Congratulations, Jonathan! We are very proud of you!

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.

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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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

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

Oct 12

Filmaka Jury member, Bill Pullman, opened on Broadway last night in David Mamet’s play OLEANNA.

Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles on Broadway

Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles on Broadway

Pullman’s open demeanor, a countenance that morphs into desperation, is just right for this professor, whose world — academic, financial and personal — is unraveling around him.

Read More of this review here…..


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Oct 05

Hey everyone!

This Thursday, October 8th, Director Azhur Saleem and Producer James Boyle will give a talk about their experiences as independent filmmakers. Come and join the discussion at:

Mac store

1248 Third Street Promenade

Santa Monica, CA

6-8 pm

Also, here is a sneak peek at their new film:

The Marionette Unit – Inception Trailer from Fun Size Studios on Vimeo.

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Oct 05

poppiesRagbrai is so vast, how on earth do we capture it? To tackle this dilemma, I adopted a notion I have always embraced–every moment is like a piece of a hologram containing within it the whole–meant that, we could cover a “piece” of each key element and it would reflect the whole. With this approach, things started looking somewhat more manageable. We would choose those “pieces of the hologram” or in some cases, they would choose us.

blowfish-riderProducers Susie Gorrell and Talia Shakur-Rodriguez focused on narrowing down the list of riders. Steph Cambell, our head DP along with consultant Chris Blanch worked with me to narrow down sections of the 400 mile route that we would focus on based on beauty, clear passage, diversity of “look”, and unique interest (animals, barn, etc.). And I narrowed down what town elements and town people we would cover along with who we would cover to set the groundwork of the ride.

Here a list of the hologram pieces we collectively chose to focus on:

10 primary riders (5 of them where part of a team called Team Gnarley–we felt it was important to cover a team as well as individuals)
8 secondary secondary riders
20+ sections of road
9 various town “elements” including pie making, cement pouring, ballooning, light weight airplanes flyers, safety preparations, trains passing, hometown bands, etc.
5 or so towns’ spokes people
John Karras, co-founder Ragbrai
T.J. Juskiewicz, coordinator of Ragbrai
Unique & quirky people “catch as you can”
Vast Landscapes
Tiny moments: a bird flying by, an insect landing on a flower

I conferred with our head DP Stephen Cambell who is stationed in Florida and was shooting on a feature during our 0a2v3893prep. We determined that we would need and array of cameras strategically assigned. We would have three fully equipped camera units with camera crew, sound and a PA. We would have lipstick camera mounted on helmets, handle bars, and various other moving pieces. I thought it would be cool to give some of our subjects consumer cameras to document their own stories when we couldn’t be with them.

Our line producer Bernie Cassar struggled to bring all these pieces together within our budget, but I really felt this was the bare minimum we needed to get the kind of coverage we needed and Steve and I did our best to come up with cameras that would serve our needs and fit within the budget. We ended up with four different type of cameras all to be used for very distinct and specific purposes. The camera units would also be assigned distinct and specific purposes. And as it turned out, this was a fantastic strategy.