My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” – My 2003 Business Plan & Financial Projection for EVERYBODY SAYS GOODBYE


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.

My Bumpy Road through “Hollywood” — THE BLENDED SCREENS: WHY SHORT FILMS?


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 bumpy road through “Hollywood” – PALLION THE YOUNG STALLION spec script for BoJack Horseman


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

My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — Starting Over. Again.


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.

My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — HOT CAR


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

My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — CONSUMED BY A PASSION PROJECT


  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

My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — WHEN PRINCE WAS KING


[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

Equity Crowdfunding is dead for us. What’s next?


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?

Corporate Conglomerates Battle to Regain Gatekeeper Status


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

The independent filmmaking industry needs a new relationship with investors [UPDATED]


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]

My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — CROWDFUNDING SUCKS.


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.

From the Ivey Business Review: “Arrested Economics — Assessing Netflix’s Original Content Business”


Story-makers, the shift in the independent film industry includes new opportunities in what is commonly called "television." The new creative opportunities are exciting. Here's the second of two discussions about these new opportunities. Arrested Development and House of Cards aren't designed to deliver the metrics Wall Street expects, and this means a lot about how … Continue reading From the Ivey Business Review: “Arrested Economics — Assessing Netflix’s Original Content Business”

From the Ivey Business Review: “Original TV Series — The Illusory ‘Silver Bullet'”


Story-makers, the shift in the independent film industry includes new opportunities in what is commonly called "television." The new creative opportunities are exciting. Here's the first of two discussions about these new opportunities. Streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon see original TV series as the path to success. It's not. But consumers win. Reposted … Continue reading From the Ivey Business Review: “Original TV Series — The Illusory ‘Silver Bullet'”

There’s a fine line between exploitation and opportunity in the film industry. [UPDATED AGAIN!]


There has been a battle going on in Hollywood for a while now that threatens to upset one of the premises of the entire film industry. You might think it must be about digital disruption, but it's not. Is it about 3D? No. Maybe it's about lack of creativity in an industry swollen with sequels, … Continue reading There’s a fine line between exploitation and opportunity in the film industry. [UPDATED AGAIN!]

From Slated.com: “The new ‘soft’ money” for making indie movies


This is very important information for filmmakers seeking funds for their movie projects, and explains the approach that has been surprising and frustrating for those indie filmmakers who are not interested in ROI ("Return on Investment") or the investment aspect of filmmaking. (See my earlier blog, "Crowdfunding and 'Hey Zach Braff STFU and pay for … Continue reading From Slated.com: “The new ‘soft’ money” for making indie movies

Crowdfunding and “Hey Zach Braff STFU and pay for your own movie” [UPDATED January 2014]


Why is there controversy about projects such as Rob Thomas's VERONICA MARS and Zach Braff's WISH I WAS HERE going to crowdfunding for the money to make their projects? The surge in Perks-based Donor Crowdfunding over the past few years was primarily built on the concept that creative projects dreamed up by common folks with … Continue reading Crowdfunding and “Hey Zach Braff STFU and pay for your own movie” [UPDATED January 2014]

THIS IS THE SECOND ‘GOLDEN AGE OF TELEVISION.’


When looking at what I've termed "The Blended Screens" -- the destruction of all the different ways that used to define what we were watching (it was a "movie" because it was shot on film and shown in a movie theater; it was a "TV Show" because it was shot on tape and broadcast by … Continue reading THIS IS THE SECOND ‘GOLDEN AGE OF TELEVISION.’

“Story-making”


Production is morphing into ... what? Is it "filmmaking" if there's no film? Are we "taping" a program if there's no tape? Are they "films" or "movies" it they are viewed on a smartphone? Is it "Television" if it's streaming online on demand? The technology of production and the delivery methods are no longer pertinent … Continue reading “Story-making”

The JOBS Act of April 2012 is a Failure for America.


THIS IS A MAJOR JOBS PROBLEM AND NEEDS OUR ATTENTION:America needs good jobs. Joblessness and low-wage jobs have crippled the survival and prosperity of millions of Americans, and are a drag on our entire economy.The promise of the JOBS Act, signed into law a year ago and supported by the most bi-partisanship effort in recent … Continue reading The JOBS Act of April 2012 is a Failure for America.

FILMMAKERS, IT’S 2013. DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR JOBS ACT IS? Part 1


1 FILMMAKERS, IT’S 2013. DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR JOBS ACT IS? Part 1 of 2 Written by Michael R. Barnard Michael R. Barnard is a writer and filmmaker who has been researching the American JOBS Act since it was first proposed. Barnard is currently working on creating an independent feature film, A FATHER AND … Continue reading FILMMAKERS, IT’S 2013. DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR JOBS ACT IS? Part 1