The comedy short film “The MURDER of James Dean”


We are filmmakers; actors, director, cinematographer, crew members, producers. We are coming together from across the country – New York City, Fresno, Los Angeles – to make a smart, entertaining short film that you and Hollywood will enjoy. Join us on Indiegogo at https://igg.me/at/TheMURDERofJamesDean

I’m Michael Barnard.

The rest of our cast and crew are experienced in their field, as actors, cinematographer, crew, and need this opportunity to move up in Hollywood. As soon as you give us the green light, we will make commitments, schedules, and go into production on “The MURDER of James Dean.”

With your greenlight, we will produce a high-quality short film to submit to film festivals and share online. We have the right screenplay, we have the right people, we even have the right equipment. We need you to give us the greenlight so we can go into production and make “The MURDER of James Dean.” We hope to keep you entertained and happy, both with your participation in the production, and with our gifts of appreciation for your support. The film’s message of inclusion and struggle will touch people. And when fame comes, you’ll be with us.

It’s a comedy short film about real human emotions. In “The MURDER of James Dean,” Michael, a down-and-out, over-the-hill screenwriter struggles to regain his footing and the life he knew in Hollywood. It’s the struggle everyone fears.

At the same time, Raymond, a young wannabe film producer struggles to finally open a door of opportunity and a career in Hollywood. It’s the struggle everyone goes through.

Michael and Raymond are from different backgrounds, different ages, different cultures. Both strive to make their own future, using the other as a stepping stone to their goals. That’s the game everyone plays in Hollywood.

A wild conspiracy theory about the death of James Dean brings these two together. There are lots of conspiracy theories in the world, and both recognize this one as a great story that could be made into a great movie.

They have a unique connection to an elderly lawyer who was in Dean’s circle of friends long ago and claims to have proof of the conspiracy. He wants to finally spill the beans, and will tell only Michael and Raymond.

But, it doesn’t go well.

As they struggle to make it work, then watch the opportunity slip away out of their control, they battle each other. Anger, frustration, and fear boil to the surface as their Hollywood game unravels.

In the end, they finally recognize the human relationship that’s more important than the Hollywood games.

Michael is older, a white guy in his late 50s, treated like an over-the-hill has-been writer by Hollywood. Michael is stuck in Fresno after everything falls apart for him.

Raymond is younger, an Hispanic guy in his early 20s, treated like a silly kid from the wrong side of the tracks by Hollywood. Raymond is trying to get out of The Bronx.

Lucy is Michael’s older sister, and she’s just not having his failed ass hanging around her family home in Fresno.

Pat, black, 30ish, and filming partner B.J., black, 20ish (any gender M/F/T to be cast), get sucked into pursuit of the story when asked to film an interview of the man with the conspiracy theory.

And there’s that guy with the conspiracy theory…

Short films are calling cards, door openers for the film/TV business. Commercial and profitable opportunities for short films are still quite rare; the purpose of short films is to entertain audiences and to introduce the filmmakers, cast, and crew to the film/TV industry. A well-done short film can prove to the Hollywood gate-keepers, producers, distributers, and money people that the people who crafted a good short film can be trusted to make a bigger production. That’s the goal for those of us crafting the short film comedy The MURDER of James Dean.

(From “Short of the Week’s Andrew Allen on How to Make the Most of Your Short Film“)

The screenplay has already attracted awards-attention, which is rare for short film scripts. The people involved in the project have experience in production and need to expand their opportunities to go further. With The MURDER of James Dean, we will make an entertaining film that can be competitive on the film festival circuit and online. If the film attracts attention at film festivals and online, as the screenplay itself already has done in contests, we can expect audiences to enjoy it and Hollywood gatekeepers to open up to us. (Filmmaker Michael R. Barnard is in post-production, doing audio fixing, on his current short film “THE CAMERA,” and his previous short film, the ‘no-budget, one-day, one-location, two-people’ “HOT CAR” – consider it R-rated – has been viewed on YouTube more than a quarter-million times.)

For talented actors, a lead role in a well-made and popular short film can open up big opportunities in larger films and TV, expanding careers.

For talented crew in positions such as Director of Photography, Makeup, Sound, and other positions, proving themselves with excellent work using minimum resources can boost a career in film/TV production.

The MURDER of James Dean is likely to be published on IMDb, which is the de facto standard for film/TV credits, making the cast and crew visible and validated to the industry.

These are the reasons for cast and crew to volunteer as a labor of love and an exercise of their artistry to make a good short film. We offer a stipend to each member of the team. The size of our stipend depends on the success and over-funding of this crowdfunding effort.

Filmmaker Michael R. Barnard already owns the production gear necessary for good production of a short film. The equipment package is efficient and good quality; a Sony A7 full-frame mirrorless camera with 50mm f1.8 and 28-70mm f3.5-5.6 lenses plus various adapters and filters, coupled to an Atomos Ninja 2 4:2:2 ProRes recorder and monitor; a Comodo VB-1850 Orbit camera cage for shooting action on the run, a Rhino 48” camera slider, Tascam DAR with boom and microphones, various LED lights, and lightweight camera support and grip equipment. The filmmaker also already owns an editing system running Adobe Premier Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, and more for post-production.

Of course, we have an award-winning screenplay.

Filmmaker Michael R. Barnard has years of experience in film/TV production, including low-budget run-and-gun production. Research the filmmaker’s résumé, LinkedIn, and IMDb. (To be very frank and personal, my career got very bumpy after the triple-whammy of the Writers Strike, the Great Recession, and the death of my passion project. The Writers Strike destroyed my job on a new FOX TV Network series; the Great Recession destroyed signed contracts for me to produce three more feature films; and, my passion project, the feature film screenplay “EVERYBODY SAYS GOODBYE—The Story of a Father and Son,” died after more than a decade and a half of many ‘almost there’ efforts.)

Support us. This is the time.

We are now in an era when human relationships collapse under the shadows of differences and games played, and we need to return from that, to see the humanity in the relationships that surround us.

Spread the word, please. Indiegogo has great tools to help you share this.

In the practical sense, the deadlines for submission to top-tier film festivals, such as Sundance, where I’ve worked for a decade, SXSW in Austin, and others, are rapidly approaching in September. We need to have The MURDER of James Dean completed as soon as possible to submit to those festivals. That gives us only a few weeks to gather the green-light funds for production. It’s very doable, if this crowdfunding campaign succeeds.

This is the process for good short films. They are a work of love, a work of artistry, a work for opportunity for the future. Short films are not made to pursue commercial success. Crafting a short film that audiences love is the sure way to gain new audiences, career opportunities and potential for success with feature films and TV shows.

Your support will help create a wonderful movie and new careers. The fundraising campaign will be on Indiegogo soon. You can preview the campaign right now by clicking here.

Thanks!

 

#CASTING CALL

#ACTORS NEEDED for “The Murder of James Dean” shooting in early September in #Hollywood and #Fresno.
See https://igg.me/at/TheMURDERofJamesDean

ALL ROLES: Volunteer work for career advancement (short will submit to top-tier film festivals). Daily cash stipend depends on success of crowdfunding campaign, plus transportation/lodging, meals, IMDb credit.


MICHAEL, lead.

Experienced #male actor, 50ish white male, distressed about being an over-the-hill screenwriter now ignored by Hollywood, stuck in Fresno California after everything falls apart for him. Scenes will shoot in Hollywood and Fresno in early September, probably 4 days of shooting.


RAYMOND, lead.

Experienced #male actor, early 20s, ethnic (*not* looking like James Dean), distressed about being treated like a silly kid trying to get out of The Bronx and into Hollywood. Scenes will shoot in Fresno in early September, probably 2 days of shooting.


PAT, secondary lead.

Experienced actor, 30ish African American any #gender, thuggish-appearing wannabe filmmaker brought in to videotape an in-home interview. Scenes will shoot in Hollywood and Fresno, probably 3 days of shooting.


B.J., secondary lead.

Experienced actor, 20ish African American, any #gender / #genderfluid / #transgender, working with PAT to videotape an in-home interview. Scenes will shoot in Hollywood and Fresno, probably 3 days of shooting.


LUCY, day player.

Experienced actor, 50ish white #female, Michael’s older sister not having his failed ass hanging around her family home. Scene will shoot in Fresno. probably 1 day of shooting.

 

Submit headshot/resume to Casting ( AT ) TheMURDERofJamesDean ( DOT ) com

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The comedy short film “The MURDER of James Dean”


We are filmmakers; actors, director, cinematographer, crew members, producers. We are coming together from across the country – New York City, Fresno, Los Angeles – to make a smart, entertaining short film that you and Hollywood will enjoy.

I’m Michael Barnard.

The rest of our cast and crew are experienced in their field, as actors, cinematographer, crew, and need this opportunity to move up in Hollywood. As soon as you give us the green light, we will make commitments, schedules, and go into production on “The MURDER of James Dean.”

With your greenlight, we will produce a high-quality short film to submit to film festivals and share online. We have the right screenplay, we have the right people, we even have the right equipment. We need you to give us the greenlight so we can go into production and make “The MURDER of James Dean.” We hope to keep you entertained and happy, both with your participation in the production, and with our gifts of appreciation for your support. The film’s message of inclusion and struggle will touch people. And when fame comes, you’ll be with us.

It’s a comedy short film about real human emotions. In “The MURDER of James Dean,” Michael, a down-and-out, over-the-hill screenwriter struggles to regain his footing and the life he knew in Hollywood. It’s the struggle everyone fears.

At the same time, Raymond, a young wannabe film producer struggles to finally open a door of opportunity and a career in Hollywood. It’s the struggle everyone goes through.

Michael and Raymond are from different backgrounds, different ages, different cultures. Both strive to make their own future, using the other as a stepping stone to their goals. That’s the game everyone plays in Hollywood.

A wild conspiracy theory about the death of James Dean brings these two together. There are lots of conspiracy theories in the world, and both recognize this one as a great story that could be made into a great movie.

They have a unique connection to an elderly lawyer who was in Dean’s circle of friends long ago and claims to have proof of the conspiracy. He wants to finally spill the beans, and will tell only Michael and Raymond.

But, it doesn’t go well.

As they struggle to make it work, then watch the opportunity slip away out of their control, they battle each other. Anger, frustration, and fear boil to the surface as their Hollywood game unravels.

In the end, they finally recognize the human relationship that’s more important than the Hollywood games.

Michael is older, a white guy in his late 50s, treated like an over-the-hill has-been writer by Hollywood. Michael is stuck in Fresno after everything falls apart for him.

Raymond is younger, an Hispanic guy in his early 20s, treated like a silly kid from the wrong side of the tracks by Hollywood. Raymond is trying to get out of The Bronx.

Lucy is Michael’s older sister, and she’s just not having his failed ass hanging around her family home in Fresno.

Pat, black, 30ish, and filming partner B.J., black, 20ish (any gender M/F/T to be cast), get sucked into pursuit of the story when asked to film an interview of the man with the conspiracy theory.

And there’s that guy with the conspiracy theory…

Short films are calling cards, door openers for the film/TV business. Commercial and profitable opportunities for short films are still quite rare; the purpose of short films is to entertain audiences and to introduce the filmmakers, cast, and crew to the film/TV industry. A well-done short film can prove to the Hollywood gate-keepers, producers, distributers, and money people that the people who crafted a good short film can be trusted to make a bigger production. That’s the goal for those of us crafting the short film comedy The MURDER of James Dean.

(From “Short of the Week’s Andrew Allen on How to Make the Most of Your Short Film“)

The screenplay has already attracted awards-attention, which is rare for short film scripts. The people involved in the project have experience in production and need to expand their opportunities to go further. With The MURDER of James Dean, we will make an entertaining film that can be competitive on the film festival circuit and online. If the film attracts attention at film festivals and online, as the screenplay itself already has done in contests, we can expect audiences to enjoy it and Hollywood gatekeepers to open up to us. (Filmmaker Michael R. Barnard is in post-production, doing audio fixing, on his current short film “THE CAMERA,” and his previous short film, the ‘no-budget, one-day, one-location, two-people’ “HOT CAR” – consider it R-rated – has been viewed on YouTube more than a quarter-million times.)

For talented actors, a lead role in a well-made and popular short film can open up big opportunities in larger films and TV, expanding careers.

For talented crew in positions such as Director of Photography, Makeup, Sound, and other positions, proving themselves with excellent work using minimum resources can boost a career in film/TV production.

The MURDER of James Dean is likely to be published on IMDb, which is the de facto standard for film/TV credits, making the cast and crew visible and validated to the industry.

These are the reasons for cast and crew to volunteer as a labor of love and an exercise of their artistry to make a good short film. We offer a stipend to each member of the team. The size of our stipend depends on the success and over-funding of this crowdfunding effort.

Filmmaker Michael R. Barnard already owns the production gear necessary for good production of a short film. The equipment package is efficient and good quality; a Sony A7 full-frame mirrorless camera with 50mm f1.8 and 28-70mm f3.5-5.6 lenses plus various adapters and filters, coupled to an Atomos Ninja 2 4:2:2 ProRes recorder and monitor; a Comodo VB-1850 Orbit camera cage for shooting action on the run, a Rhino 48” camera slider, Tascam DAR with boom and microphones, various LED lights, and lightweight camera support and grip equipment. The filmmaker also already owns an editing system running Adobe Premier Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, and more for post-production.

Of course, we have an award-winning screenplay.

Filmmaker Michael R. Barnard has years of experience in film/TV production, including low-budget run-and-gun production. Research the filmmaker’s résumé, LinkedIn, and IMDb. (To be very frank and personal, my career got very bumpy after the triple-whammy of the Writers Strike, the Great Recession, and the death of my passion project. The Writers Strike destroyed my job on a new FOX TV Network series; the Great Recession destroyed signed contracts for me to produce three more feature films; and, my passion project, the feature film screenplay “EVERYBODY SAYS GOODBYE—The Story of a Father and Son,” died after more than a decade and a half of many ‘almost there’ efforts.)

Support us. This is the time.

We are now in an era when human relationships collapse under the shadows of differences and games played, and we need to return from that, to see the humanity in the relationships that surround us.

Spread the word, please. Indiegogo has great tools to help you share this.

In the practical sense, the deadlines for submission to top-tier film festivals, such as Sundance, where I’ve worked for a decade, SXSW in Austin, and others, are rapidly approaching in September. We need to have The MURDER of James Dean completed as soon as possible to submit to those festivals. That gives us only a few weeks to gather the green-light funds for production. It’s very doable, if this crowdfunding campaign succeeds.

This is the process for good short films. They are a work of love, a work of artistry, a work for opportunity for the future. Short films are not made to pursue commercial success. Crafting a short film that audiences love is the sure way to gain new audiences, career opportunities and potential for success with feature films and TV shows.

Your support will help create a wonderful movie and new careers.

Thanks!

 

The comedy short film “The MURDER of James Dean”


We are filmmakers; actors, director, cinematographer, crew members, producers. We are coming together from across the country – New York City, Fresno, Los Angeles – to make a smart, entertaining short film that you and Hollywood will enjoy.

I’m Michael Barnard.

The rest of our cast and crew are experienced in their field, as actors, cinematographer, crew, and need this opportunity to move up in Hollywood. As soon as you give us the green light, we will make commitments, schedules, and go into production on “The MURDER of James Dean.”

With your greenlight, we will produce a high-quality short film to submit to film festivals and share online. We have the right screenplay, we have the right people, we even have the right equipment. We need you to give us the greenlight so we can go into production and make “The MURDER of James Dean.” We hope to keep you entertained and happy, both with your participation in the production, and with our gifts of appreciation for your support. The film’s message of inclusion and struggle will touch people. And when fame comes, you’ll be with us.

It’s a comedy short film about real human emotions. In “The MURDER of James Dean,” Michael, a down-and-out, over-the-hill screenwriter struggles to regain his footing and the life he knew in Hollywood. It’s the struggle everyone fears.

At the same time, Raymond, a young wannabe film producer struggles to finally open a door of opportunity and a career in Hollywood. It’s the struggle everyone goes through.

Michael and Raymond are from different backgrounds, different ages, different cultures. Both strive to make their own future, using the other as a stepping stone to their goals. That’s the game everyone plays in Hollywood.

A wild conspiracy theory about the death of James Dean brings these two together. There are lots of conspiracy theories in the world, and both recognize this one as a great story that could be made into a great movie.

They have a unique connection to an elderly lawyer who was in Dean’s circle of friends long ago and claims to have proof of the conspiracy. He wants to finally spill the beans, and will tell only Michael and Raymond.

But, it doesn’t go well.

As they struggle to make it work, then watch the opportunity slip away out of their control, they battle each other. Anger, frustration, and fear boil to the surface as their Hollywood game unravels.

In the end, they finally recognize the human relationship that’s more important than the Hollywood games.

Michael is older, a white guy in his late 50s, treated like an over-the-hill has-been writer by Hollywood. Michael is stuck in Fresno after everything falls apart for him.

Raymond is younger, an Hispanic guy in his early 20s, treated like a silly kid from the wrong side of the tracks by Hollywood. Raymond is trying to get out of The Bronx.

Lucy is Michael’s older sister, and she’s just not having his failed ass hanging around her family home in Fresno.

Pat, black, 30ish, and filming partner B.J., black, 20ish (any gender M/F/T to be cast), get sucked into pursuit of the story when asked to film an interview of the man with the conspiracy theory.

And there’s that guy with the conspiracy theory…

Short films are calling cards, door openers for the film/TV business. Commercial and profitable opportunities for short films are still quite rare; the purpose of short films is to entertain audiences and to introduce the filmmakers, cast, and crew to the film/TV industry. A well-done short film can prove to the Hollywood gate-keepers, producers, distributers, and money people that the people who crafted a good short film can be trusted to make a bigger production. That’s the goal for those of us crafting the short film comedy The MURDER of James Dean.

(From “Short of the Week’s Andrew Allen on How to Make the Most of Your Short Film“)

The screenplay has already attracted awards-attention, which is rare for short film scripts. The people involved in the project have experience in production and need to expand their opportunities to go further. With The MURDER of James Dean, we will make an entertaining film that can be competitive on the film festival circuit and online. If the film attracts attention at film festivals and online, as the screenplay itself already has done in contests, we can expect audiences to enjoy it and Hollywood gatekeepers to open up to us. (Filmmaker Michael R. Barnard is in post-production, doing audio fixing, on his current short film “THE CAMERA,” and his previous short film, the ‘no-budget, one-day, one-location, two-people’ “HOT CAR” – consider it R-rated – has been viewed on YouTube more than a quarter-million times.)

For talented actors, a lead role in a well-made and popular short film can open up big opportunities in larger films and TV, expanding careers.

For talented crew in positions such as Director of Photography, Makeup, Sound, and other positions, proving themselves with excellent work using minimum resources can boost a career in film/TV production.

The MURDER of James Dean is likely to be published on IMDb, which is the de facto standard for film/TV credits, making the cast and crew visible and validated to the industry.

These are the reasons for cast and crew to volunteer as a labor of love and an exercise of their artistry to make a good short film. We offer a stipend to each member of the team. The size of our stipend depends on the success and over-funding of this crowdfunding effort.

Filmmaker Michael R. Barnard already owns the production gear necessary for good production of a short film. The equipment package is efficient and good quality; a Sony A7 full-frame mirrorless camera with 50mm f1.8 and 28-70mm f3.5-5.6 lenses plus various adapters and filters, coupled to an Atomos Ninja 2 4:2:2 ProRes recorder and monitor; a Comodo VB-1850 Orbit camera cage for shooting action on the run, a Rhino 48” camera slider, Tascam DAR with boom and microphones, various LED lights, and lightweight camera support and grip equipment. The filmmaker also already owns an editing system running Adobe Premier Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, and more for post-production.

Of course, we have an award-winning screenplay.

Filmmaker Michael R. Barnard has years of experience in film/TV production, including low-budget run-and-gun production. Research the filmmaker’s résumé, LinkedIn, and IMDb. (To be very frank and personal, my career got very bumpy after the triple-whammy of the Writers Strike, the Great Recession, and the death of my passion project. The Writers Strike destroyed my job on a new FOX TV Network series; the Great Recession destroyed signed contracts for me to produce three more feature films; and, my passion project, the feature film screenplay “EVERYBODY SAYS GOODBYE—The Story of a Father and Son,” died after more than a decade and a half of many ‘almost there’ efforts.)

Support us. This is the time.

We are now in an era when human relationships collapse under the shadows of differences and games played, and we need to return from that, to see the humanity in the relationships that surround us.

Spread the word, please. Indiegogo has great tools to help you share this.

In the practical sense, the deadlines for submission to top-tier film festivals, such as Sundance, where I’ve worked for a decade, SXSW in Austin, and others, are rapidly approaching in September. We need to have The MURDER of James Dean completed as soon as possible to submit to those festivals. That gives us only a few weeks to gather the green-light funds for production. It’s very doable, if this crowdfunding campaign succeeds.

This is the process for good short films. They are a work of love, a work of artistry, a work for opportunity for the future. Short films are not made to pursue commercial success. Crafting a short film that audiences love is the sure way to gain new audiences, career opportunities and potential for success with feature films and TV shows.

Your support will help create a wonderful movie and new careers.

Thanks!

 

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 Road Through “Hollywood” – There once was MOONLIGHTING, but hoping for a better result this time.

I wrote the spec script (“spec” is short for “speculation,” which is what writers do when they are not hired to write a specific story) about a new emotional roller coaster for BoJack. I threw into his life a gay young dancer who wants to become his friend. BoJack has to sort out the whole idea of being friends with someone who is gay.

Download the spec script PALLION THE YOUNG STALLION episode for BoJack Horseman here: https://app.box.com/s/lutsrnn8xh77nl9kk7c8r0ljkv885f3k

Download the spec script PALLION THE YOUNG STALLION episode for BoJack Horseman here: https://app.box.com/s/lutsrnn8xh77nl9kk7c8r0ljkv885f3k

Ironically, it turns out my sense that this would be an interesting topic for BoJack was later supported by the New York Times when they published the article, Welcome to the Age of the Twink“.

Not only is it a good script, it’s timely as hell, too!

But, sadly, nobody at the BoJack Horseman production company would, as usual, read it. I couldn’t get around the rote “no submissions” policy. So, here it is for you to enjoy. Click here to share it on Twitter if you enjoy it.

 

My bumpy road through “Hollywood” – That time I designed the Hollywood sign


About a quarter century ago – my, how time flies! – 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.” Olmos played a former L.A. cop who now runs a top-flight private detective agency catering to spoiled Hollywood types. (This pilot helped launched the acting career of Charlize Theron.)

Continue reading

My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — On set for LAW & ORDER TRUE CRIME: THE MENENDEZ MURDERS


As I wander through Hollywood throughout my life, I occasionally work as a background actor, also known as an “extra.” Here is a story about my experience lately when I was a “featured extra” on an NBC mini-series.

This is my stream-of-consciousness report about production experience these days.

The TV mini-series “Law & Order True Crime: THE MENENDEZ MURDERS” was in production in September and October of 2017 and aired as eight hour-long episodes on NBC on Tuesday nights at 10:00 pm from September 26 to November 14. It was produced by prolific producer Dick Wolf’s Wolf Films, based at Comcast’s NBC/Universal lot in Universal City, California. NBC, the “National Broadcasting Company,” is a prominent broadcast network that was one of the original television broadcasting companies.

Continue reading

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 and put on the air a new broadcast TV station, Channel 29, and became its Operations Manager as well as Writer, Producer, and Director for in-house programs and clients’ productions. Continue reading

ACTORS NEED TRAINING IN HOLLYWOOD


I pulled together a list of contacts for various acting schools and teachers in “Hollywood”. It’s a list of about 80 contacts, and none have been vetted. I do not vouch for or know the quality of any of these.

The list is for YOU to start looking into, to discover who might be valuable for you as you move your career forward. All actors have different needs for training, so this is for you to figure out which opportunities might be valuable for your career. Continue reading

My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — HOT CAR


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 what I had:
-A living room where I’m housesitting.
-An old car.
-A creepy old man.
-A couple storylines that had been ‘backstory’ for my failed passion project EVERYBODY SAYS GOODBYE–The Story of a Father and Son.
-Zero dollars.
-Some connections in the acting community in Fresno.
-The upcoming SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL.
-A pathetic old computer that almost runs Adobe Creative Suite (I’ve used Adobe since 2001).

The result: HOT CAR. I finished it yesterday (damn pathetic computer!) and am bringing it with me for the fun of it when I head to SUNDANCE tomorrow.

“The worlds of an old man and a young man collide as each faces the end of his own life.”

It’s MATURE (language, nudity, sexual situations) and NSFW.

http://youtu.be/P5zfhD2GSo4

I hope you find it interesting and involving.

http://imdb.me/michaelrbarnard
http://linkedin.com/in/michaelrbarnard

My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — Consumed by a Passion Project


FILMMAKER Magazine

FILMMAKER Magazine

Michael R Barnard photo 500 px

 

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 has completely consumed me. It’s called Everybody Says Goodbye: The Story of a Father and Son, and I first began writing the screenplay in 1998. Having come so close to making the movie a few times, I keep referring to this project as “a fish-hook in the eye” because it’s impossible for me to ignore and walk away from.

[read more…]

http://imdb.me/michaelrbarnard
http://linkedin.com/in/michaelrbarnard

 

 

 

My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — When Prince was king


PRINCE

PRINCE

[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 the book, Possessed: The Rise and Fall of Prince by Alex Hahn. Funny that I’ve never seen this before.

I remember Prince stopping me in the hall outside his apartment at Paisley Park Studios with a big grin on his face, saying “All the people in Hollywood are freaking out. They say, ‘Prince went and made a garage video!'” He enjoyed that, especially since it was a full three-camera shoot with a complete crew inside his brand-spanking-new mammoth sound stage at Paisley Park Studios.

The video of ALPHABET STREET, which premiered on MTV way back in 1988, is now available on YouTube.

 

Here’s the story, from Prince’s manager at the time, Alan Leeds:

On the ‘the New P♥wer of L♥vesexy’ thread from March 30, 2012: Continue reading

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


DEAD CAR Photo by Kristian Karlsson

DEAD CAR Photo by Kristian Karlsson


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 because the concept is anathema to the entrenched and self-interested bureaucracy.
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Corporate Conglomerates Battle to Regain Gatekeeper Status


CITY Photo by Oleg Chursin

CITY Photo by Oleg Chursin


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.

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Crippling Digital Distribution for Indie Filmmakers: the Death of Net Neutrality


BLANK COMPUTER Photo by Alejandro Escamilla

BLANK COMPUTER Photo by Alejandro Escamilla


On my way to Sundance Film Festival 2014, news broke (see “Federal appeals court strikes down rules protecting net neutrality” at http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-net-neutrality-federal-appeals-court-20140114,0,2138188.story#ixzz2qlsuWDSC) that made two problems painfully clear, and they will have a huge impact on filmmakers:
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The independent filmmaking industry needs a new relationship with investors [UPDATED]


LONELY INVESTOR Photo by Alejandro Escamilla

LONELY INVESTOR Photo by Alejandro Escamilla


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 astute and excellent comment about the big picture of indie filmmaking. We engaged in a conversation, and here’s my comment about the industry and investors: Continue reading

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 approach, where a “movie” is whatever can be marketed.
A crowdfund campaign is all work, a harsh referendum on the person, spiritually debilitating and, of course, a death knell for a movie project more often than enabling. (Literally.) There is no fun in crowdfunding. It overtakes one’s life for a month or two.

BUT YESTERDAY…

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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 Netflix views its future.

Reposted by permission from Ivey Business Review

(Originally posted June 9, 2013)

A Netflix New Season: ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT

May 26th was a uniquely exciting (and perhaps exhausting) day for TV lovers. At midnight, Netflix released a brand new season of Arrested Development – more than seven years after the show was cancelled by Fox. The show’s return represents a key component of Netflix’s emerging original content strategy and is the fourth show released by the over-the-top streaming service this year (at a total cost of more than $150M). As such, I thought it would be a good opportunity to pause and evaluate the economics of this strategy and hypothesize what success might look like. In doing so, we can also better understand the role of original content (is it intended to drive net adds, reduce churn, stabilize content costs etc.) and the impact of their controversial decision to release entire seasons at once. This will also tell us about Netflix’s future and management’s POV on this future.

The Value of Netflix to the Consumer

Though inexpensive on the whole, Netflix’s service does not offer materially cheaper entertainment than that of traditional cable TV, costing approximately $0.0024/minute versus cable’s $0.0035/minute. alt="NFLX3"

This is interesting for two reasons

1. Despite being commercial-free and infinitely more flexible than live linear TV (in terms of time, content and screen), Netflix is unable to command a price premium for its entertainment service

2. Average time spent watching Netflix per user is up more than 10% year-over-year. However, with prices still $7.99 a month, Netflix has not benefited from this increase in customer value (directly, at least, as it would improve word-of-mouth and perceived value). Increases in both the quality and size of its content library content quality is no doubt a major driver for increased usage, but this has contributed to a 16% increase in quarterly licensing costs ($1.355B in Q1 2013).

This matters because it means Netflix may have limited means to raise prices – and when it does, they will still lag customer value growth. As the instant decapitation of Qwickster demonstrated (among many other lessons), Netflix’s customers really do control the relationship.

MORE … click here to continue reading.

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 by permission from Ivey Business Review

(Originally posted April 30, 2013)

A Netflix Original Series: HOUSE of CARDS

It is a great time to be a lover of television. Content, for one, has never been better. Not only have many declared today the “New Golden Age of Television”, some such as Vanity Fair’s James Wolcott, have gone as far to ask questions such as if “anyone thinks The Artist (which had recently won the Academy Award for Best Picture) is better than Mad Men?”. The rise of digital distribution and portable, media-focused devices has also fundamentally increased potential “demand” for this content. The ability to watch content whenever (and wherever) we want means that we can watch more shows than was realistically possible when we were tethered to 2-3 hours of “appointment TV” per night (and we could watch only one show per primetime slot). Not only does this save older shows, such as The Sopranos, from irrelevancy after airing, it opens up the creative medium. Hyper-serialized shows such as LOST and Game of Thrones would not be possible without the ability for viewers to easily catch-up on a missed episode (or “marathon” past seasons). Digital-only distribution (such as Netflix’s House of Cards) has further freed creatives to pick scene lengths or runtimes based on the needs of the story, rather than the need to cut to a commercial break every 4-7 minutes or fill out an hour-long timeslot.

Market behavior clearly illustrates the New Golden Age hypothesis. Movie stars are increasingly moving to the TV screen (from Ewan McGregor or Zooey Deschanel) and many TV stars are bigger celebrities than most movie actors (such as Kim Kardashian, regrettably). TV budgets have also exploded. Game of Thrones costs upwards of $60 million for a 10-episode season and many hour-long dramas at the Big Four broadcasters can cost $40-75 million per season ($2-4M/episode). Content has also become an increasingly important differentiator for cable networks such as HBO and AMC, which traditionally focused on films and one-off specials, but are now defined by and dependent on hits such as Girls and The Walking Dead.

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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, prequels, and comic book heroes. Nope. Is it about Steven Spielberg’s prediction that a few mega-flops will likely destroy Hollywood? Nope.

It’s all about who will get coffee for the producers. The unpaid intern.

If you have a driving passion to break into the industry (and who doesn’t? You wouldn’t be reading my blog if you didn’t.), there are few ways to do it. The Number One best, most reliable, undeniably greatest way to break into Hollywood? Become an unpaid intern.

(It used to be “work in the mailroom at an agency,” but that’s no longer true. Who sends MAIL anymore??) Continue reading

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 your own movie’“)

This article, “The new ‘soft’ money,” is from the investment funding site (not crowdfunding site) http://Slated.com, a closed environment for experienced filmmakers and investors interested in filmmaking.

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The new “soft” money

They may not have realized this but more than forty-six thousand individuals – many of them ordinary Americans with no prior film industry knowledge – had a direct bearing on what has been happening this past week thousands of miles away at the Cannes Film Festival. Not so much on the rain-sodden red carpet action, as on the business dealings that went on in the makeshift offices of the French film sales company Wild Bunch just a short distance away from that nightly fusillade of flashbulbs. For it is here that Zach Braff’s WISH I WAS HERE, a project only made viable by the $3.1 million that this multitude of individuals have pledged towards his total production costs, was being pitched to territorial distributors from around the world.

VIEW INFOGRAPHIC

Without that Kickstarter-enabled contribution, Braff’s long-gestating project would have remained stunted by the same market forces that have conspired to prevent him from directing a follow-up to his 2004 indie darling GARDEN STATE for close to a decade. “I have almost no foreign value,” he explained recently to the L.A. radio station KCRW. “I had done a TV show for ten years that doesn’t count. Garden State did well overseas. But not numbers that are going to show up on their algorithm.”

But throw in $3.1 million of non-recoupable crowd donations and the business calculus becomes so much more attractive. What would have been a reported $5.5 million package requiring quantifiable box office stars to make the numbers work, is now transformed into one costing less than half that amount and with a cast of characters played by actors Kate Hudson, Anna Kendrick, Josh Gad and Mandy Patinkin that could be chosen on creative grounds, rather than their overseas economic values. A ten-year lost cause has, in the space of just 31 crowdfunding days, flowered into one of the hotter projects pitched on the Croisette – a feat made all the more astonishing when you consider there were a total of 3,340 new projects unveiled for the first time at this year’s Cannes film market.

continue reading this valuable article on Slated.com

 

FILM/TV Job Search Tools


JOB LISTING PERIODICALS

BASELINE Studio System / $1,500 per year (discounted rate)

BTL News’ Find Film Work / $10.00 per month

Mercury Report / $52.00 per month

Producton Alert / $130.00 per quarter

Production Leads  / $299.00 per quarter

Production Weekly / $59.95 per month

Worldwide Production News / $50.00 per month

ENTERTAINMENT JOBS WEBSITES

The following list of websites may help you with job searching. 

Craigslist (New York or Los Angeles, under “jobs | tv/film/video/radio jobs”)
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Do you know of a site that would be helpful and could be added to the list? Have you found a bad link or a problem? Post a comment below with the information.

 

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


STFU ZACH BRAFF

STFU ZACH BRAFF

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 more ideas than money could go to each other rather than impenetrable banks or brokerages. The popular site Kickstarter (one of many) started in 2009 with the premise that such ideas, ones that were still good ideas even though they didn’t have a promise of likely profitability, could be brought to the public to allow the average person to help make the ideas into reality by donating money. This is a broad concept akin to what wealthy benefactors would do in ages past, when they became “patrons of the arts” by providing money so artists could create works of art.

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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 a TV station; it was “Home Video” because it was burned to VHS tape or DVD or Blu-Ray and shown on a machine in the living room; it was a “Web Series” because it was carried over the Internet and watched on a computer; etc., etc., etc.) — it becomes clear to me that THIS IS THE SECOND ‘GOLDEN AGE OF TELEVISION.’ Continue reading

“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 to defining what creators do. We create. We no longer create things clearly defined as “TV shows” or “Movies” or “Web Series.” What we create is now going out on all of “The Blended Screens.” Some have called it “content” but I think that term is weak and too broad.

For me, I’ve decided it’s all “story-making” and that’s what I choose from now on.

MICHAEL R BARNARD PRODUCTIONS logo

MICHAEL R BARNARD PRODUCTIONS logo