UPDATE: Today is Friday, June 12, 2020 and California and the County of Los Angeles have opened up cinema/TV production in "Hollywood." The "Reopening Protocol for Music, Television and Film Production: Appendix J" is now published.
The indie film world was very different than it is today. This was before the near destruction of indie film caused by the triple disasters of the Writers Strike, Digital Disruption, and the Great Recession a few years later. The excitement around "cheap digital filmmaking" was centered on the Canon XL1 mini-DV standard definition camera. If you were cool in Hollywood in those days, you had to carry around an XL-1.
Above the common question “How long is a short film?*” should be the more significant question, “Why a short film?” Good short films are enjoyable and moving, with stories that can have an impact as strong as good feature-length films or powerful TV series. You can laugh, cry, and be inspired watching a good short … Continue reading My Bumpy Road through “Hollywood” — THE BLENDED SCREENS: WHY SHORT FILMS?
My favorite show on Netflix is BoJack Horseman, which reveals a lot about me, since it’s a show about an emotionally dysfunctional has-been in Hollywood. So, back in January 2018, I was motivated to write a spec script for the show. I thought maybe I could replay the events decades earlier, described in “My Bumpy … Continue reading My bumpy road through “Hollywood” – PALLION THE YOUNG STALLION spec script for BoJack Horseman
I worked on a Paramount Television production from the team responsible for the hit 1980s series MIAMI VICE. It was a pilot starring Edward James Olmos for a proposed TV series called “Hollywood Confidential.”
Before Bruce Willis was BRUCE WILLIS, and when Cybill Shepherd was CYBILL SHEPHERD, there were only three TV networks, a couple independent TV channels, and cable TV was mostly just rebroadcasts of old shows and movies (HBO wouldn’t get an Emmy nomination until more than a decade later). One of those three networks – ABC, … Continue reading My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” – THERE ONCE WAS MOONLIGHTING
This is my stream-of-consciousness report about production experience these days.
Since Middle School, I have been a writer, and was the editor of my school paper in Ninth Grade. I began in television in high school and became producer and writer for the New Year’s Eve variety program “CELEBRATION” which aired on network affiliate TV stations in Minneapolis for several years. I then helped build … Continue reading My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — Starting Over. Again.
If you follow business issues, particularly corporate entity structure and how the existing incorporation laws require companies to ignore the common good in favor of shareholder profits, then you may have applauded the recent creation of a new corporate entity form: the Benefit Corporation (also referred to as a "B-Corporation"). The popular current corporate structure … Continue reading KICKSTARTER steps up for corporate responsibility, becomes new Benefit Corporation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5zfhD2GSo4 I said to myself, for quite some time now, "I gotta do SOMETHING." Tired of projects failing, hating the junior high cliquishness of crowdfunding, realizing it's been too many years. I sought the Holy Grail of indie filmmaking: two people, one room, one day. So, at Thanksgiving time 2014, I took an inventory of … Continue reading My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — HOT CAR
WHAT IS THE THREAT TO NET NEUTRALITY? Millions of American citizens have flooded the FCC website with comments to let the agency know our demand for Net Neutrality. Many citizens are intimidated by this wonky and technical issue, knowing they do not fully understand the complex issues or its importance and urgency. The threats to … Continue reading The Present Threat to the Internet
Observations of life.
Two decades ago, I bought a book. In producer-speak, that means I acquired the rights via option to make a movie from a book. I knew a TV news reporter, and she had made contact with a reclusive author who wrote a book she thought I might be interested in. Actually, “reclusive” is too weak … Continue reading My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — A VENOM IN THE BLOOD
How Is a Filmmaker Consumed by a Passion Project? The following is a guest post from Michael R. Barnard, who is in the final days of an Indiegogo campaign for his film, Everybody Says Goodbye: The Story of a Father and Son. For many years, I have been chasing a motion picture project that … Continue reading My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — CONSUMED BY A PASSION PROJECT
I spent a lot of time on the mean streets of Hollywood. I lived there, worked there, had friends there, I walked them a lot. My screenplay for the feature film EVERYBODY SAYS GOODBYE—The Story of a Father and Son is set there, in 1998. The sketchy stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard between La Brea … Continue reading My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — THE MEAN STREETS
(originally published April 22, 2010) There was a recession in 1991. Not as big as this Great Recession, but big nonetheless. A hallmark of the 1991 recession was that, for the first time ever, a recession had a negative impact on "Hollywood" [Entertainment Weekly, 2/22/91: "How will the recession affect Hollywood?"], [Den of Geek, 8/18/14: … Continue reading My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — THERE WAS A RECESSION IN 1991
The NAB Show 2014 in Las Vegas is showing many new and innovate products and processes for indie filmmakers. Colors are becoming important, including black. How much of the image you create is black? Black cannot be projected. It exists in media by turning off light of any color. (Consider as an example that your … Continue reading FILMMAKERS: BLACKER IS ‘THE NEW BLACK’
[UPDATE: This was written long before my friend Prince passed away. I still miss him and am still shocked.] A friend just now found and sent to me this post from Prince.org, the Prince fan site that described how I pulled off the production of Prince's ALPHABET STREET video on impossible notice! It is from … Continue reading My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — WHEN PRINCE WAS KING
THE INTERNET NEEDS TO BE FREE Yes, free. That’s not a statement about pricing, it’s a statement about democracy. This is what is commonly referred to as “Net Neutrality." The following blog post keeps evolving since its original posting in 2010, because the concept of "Net Neutrality" (or the attempt at a more popular term, … Continue reading The Internet needs to be free. [UPDATED APRIL 23 2014]
If you remember that there once was a glimmer of hope for more sustainable financing for innovative small business (and, for my concern, an indie film industry) through "Equity Crowdfunding" as demanded by the JOBS Act of 2012, the fact is that it's not going to happen. It's already far past the Act's imposed deadlines … Continue reading Equity Crowdfunding is dead for us. What’s next?
Nice compilation of things sometimes overlooked.
When it comes to film work, actors have it the easiest. Don’t argue. You know it’s true.
In case you need a bit more convincing, consider this:
- We’re the last ones called and the first ones wrapped.
- There is a team on set whose sole job is to make us look beautiful.
- They tell us where to stand, where to walk, and what to say, and they even put down little pieces of tape for us and print out our lines on little pocket-sized sheets to make it extra easy.
- We get to stay warm in the trailer while they’re out there in a snow storm setting up the shot.
- We usually get paid better.
- We get all the credit.
Don’t get me wrong, acting is extremely difficult (especially when you…
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The merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable is a powerful situation that has broad negative implications for society and for filmmakers specifically. It's not simply a business issue, it's a democracy issue. The merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable is another deliberate attack on Net Neutrality. By assaulting Net Neutrality, GATEKEEPERS -- and … Continue reading Corporate Conglomerates Battle to Regain Gatekeeper Status
Dismantling Net Neutrality means that the major movie studios will rule the Internet, while access to the digital distribution that indie filmmakers believe to be the future WILL BE CRIPPLED.
Prolific indie film producer Ted Hope, who spent the past year as Executive Director of the San Francisco Film Society (as of June 2015, a Production Executive at AMAZON STUDIOS), recently posted "Towards A Sustainable Investor Class: Accessing Quality Projects" as a call to build a healthy independent filmmaking industry. As always, he makes an … Continue reading The independent filmmaking industry needs a new relationship with investors [UPDATED]
CROWDFUNDING SUCKS. In the past two days, I've had some conversations that remind me that there is no "fun" in crowdfund. It is a necessary evil, borne of the collapse of the economy, possibly the only chance for the art of filmmaking to continue. That's versus the marketing channel that is the current Hollywood studio … Continue reading My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — CROWDFUNDING SUCKS.