I was at a seminar this week that purported to be about the new EQUITY CROWDFUNDING, but sadly, the panel was populated by finance professionals whose disdain for those of us who are not “high end, high net worth” made the panel useless.

These types of professional fundraisers, coming from the status quo investment community, are not willing to acknowledge that the true value of EQUITY CROWDFUNDING is the escape from the expense, time and headache of pursuing Reg D exemptions and PPMs (“Private Placement Memorandums”). They collect monstrous fees to create those, so they have no respect for those who pursue crowdfunding as an entry to the financial world. Continue reading

URGENT UPDATE for filmmakers regarding the Crowdfunding Act of the JOBS ACT

The Securities and Exchange Commission is accepting comments on how it will formulate rules for the new equity CROWDFUNDING act that was included in the JOBS ACT. (See my story on ReelGrok.com at http://www.reelgrok.com/jobs-act-crowdfunding)

This is important for indie filmmakers, since the ability to reasonably raise up to $1,000,000 from investors could reinvigorate the indie film biz.
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2012 NAB Show Abuzz with 3D & High Tech

This week, the fabulous NAB Show (http://NABShow.com) has taken over Las Vegas. The convention of The National Association of Broadcasters (see http://www.nab.org and http://www.museum.tv/eotvsection.php?entrycode=nationalassob) has been one of the largest events in the city for decades. The organization is for radio and television broadcasters and at the convention are nearly 2,000 venders showing all the equipment, business opportunities and techniques for creating, transmitting and distributing radio and television.

As digital cinema has taken over the filmmaking industry, the television camera, production and post-production areas have exploded and grown to include filmmakers (see http://www.nabshow.com/2012/event_highlights/for_filmmakers.asp), which now are 12% of the nearly 100,000 attendees.

== CLICK HERE to read MORE on ReelGrok ==

President Obama signs JOBS ACT; its Equity Crowdfunding may rebuild indie film biz.

Written by Michael R. Barnard for ReelGrok.com “Where Filmmakers Get It!”

ReelGrok.com "Where Filmmakers Get It"

ReelGrok.com “Where Filmmakers Get It”

President Obama  signed the JOBS ACT into law on April 5th, 2012. Called the ‘‘Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act,’’ the goal is to increase American job creation and economic growth by improving access to the public capital markets for emerging growth companies. It will make it easier for small businesses to raise money so they can create jobs and rebuild the American economy by amending the Securities Act of 1933. It can have a profound impact on the independent filmmaking industry.

President Obama said, “We are a nation of doers. We think big. We take risks.  This is a country that’s always been on the cutting edge. The reason is, America has always had the most daring entrepreneurs. When their businesses take off, more people get employed.”

That’s a boost the independent filmmaking industry needs. “I think we’ll see the $1 million range and down to $100,000 or so flourish with this new model,” says entertainment attorney Gordon P. Firemark.

The American Jobs Act

The American Jobs Act

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The latest on NATE AND KELLY the novel

NATE AND KELLY is a love story from a century ago, about today.

The novel has a strong, interesting narrative structure (essential for all media and what audiences now want). It is an interesting combination of fiction and non-fiction that works well with both the broad subjects of historical significance and its very specific, illuminating love story.

  • By NaomiA: “…a well-written book”
  • By CurtisB: “…captured my interest from the very beginning!”
  • By Mouse: “A story of hope, betrayal, survival, and love…shocking truth about evil and prejudice.”
  • By Phyllis L. Hinkle: “So well penned…makes you ponder the problems of society we live in today.”

NATE AND KELLY is a striking story of the type that has waned from our memories, the type of story destined for a massive resurgence –- a new take on old stories.
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3D is here to stay. Links to 3D PRODUCTION information.

3D is a story-telling tool, an advancement in production just like sound (from scratchy monaural to high-fidelity 7.1 and beyond), lighting, a variety of film stock types, digital cinematography, CGI, motion-capture, rotoscoping, etc., etc., etc.

If you’re interested in delving deeper into 3-D production issues, here are some links about 3D that you might find informative and interesting:
(updated October 5, 2012)
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Our chance to rebuild the independent film industry.

FILMMAKERS, this is very important:

The house has passed the Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act which offers a tremendous opportunity to rebuild the independent film industry. The Act is designed to allow businesses to raise capital through crowdfunding. Under current securities laws, filmmakers can only ask for donations, and donors support the film without any participation in its potential profit.
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Here’s a macabre exercise, which could be intellectually stimulating:

Consider that France and Germany are slapping around Greece, and Greece reacted with a strong nationalistic response. (Today, Greece may rescind its own referendum on the bailout, but maybe not.)

How might historians in the future look back on today and consider this the trigger that started WWIII?
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How to Start Writing a Screenplay

TYPEWRITER Photo by Florian Klauer

Photo by Florian Klauer

There are a lot of screenwriting gurus. That’s because there are so many people who want to write screenplays and are scared to death about doing it wrong. It seems that, for every 100 people who are afraid of the number of brads that must be in a script (two), the typeface that must be used (Courier 11 or 12), the right software (FINAL DRAFT for $$, CELTX for free), and every other element that they think is the key to the magic kingdom of screenwriting success, there are at least a couple gurus who have all the answers.

That’s all good, but it seems to me, from the comments I always hear from people who want to start writing screenplays, the ‘take-away’ is always wrong. The wrong “rules” are assumed to be the most important.
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My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — THE MOVIE THAT NEEDS TO BE MADE

After working in television, radio, and video since high school, I eventually pushed myself into the indie film biz, which suited my creative and entrepreneurial nature. That involved me acquiring scripts and novels of other writers and trying to make them into movies. [UPDATED, see end of blog posting.]
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Civil Rights Act of 1964

The following discussion started with this FACEBOOK post from Carey Borth:

July 2, 1964, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs into law the historic Civil Rights Act in a nationally televised ceremony at the White House. In the landmark 1954 case Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in schools was unconstitutional.

The 10 years that followed saw great strides for the African-American civil rights movement, as non-violent demonstrations won thousands of supporters to the cause. Memorable landmarks in the struggle included the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955–sparked by the refusal of Alabama resident Rosa Parks to give up her seat on a city bus to a white woman–and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I have a dream” speech at a rally of hundreds of thousands in Washington, D.C., in 1963.
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My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — MOVIES IN A BAD ECONOMY

Front cover illustration for the official souv...

Image via Wikipedia

You know that your favorite movies, and even ones you don’t like, exist in an uneasy alliance of art and commerce. Movies have the potential to be both emotionally and financially powerful; sometimes one, sometimes the other, sometimes both. They brew in a caldron of artistic expression, profit potential, and career possibilities. Some movies find life solely because of demand for profit, and some find life solely because of someone’s passion for storytelling. Some come together for any number of reasons between those two ends of the spectrum.

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Filmmakers and Email versus Social Media

As filmmakers, we need to grasp how to reach our audience and let them know our film exists, and communicate how the film might interest them. This used to be the jurisdiction of distributors, but that old world is in turmoil and may be dead. With filmmakers scrambling to figure out the theoretical pathways of DIY, DIWO, rent-a-distributors, four-walling, etc., they find themselves needing to grasp some basic marketing concepts.
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Online piracy became a phenomenon about a decade ago with music—triggered by smaller files via MP3 and faster downloads via broadband.

The record companies jumped on it with the “big stick” approach to the problem, tossing consumer piracy to their Legal Departments, which led to lawsuits that destroyed the companies’ credibility and goodwill. Handing the problem to Legal Departments proved the old saying, “To a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.”
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Indie filmmakers and BRANDING


Most people don’t think much about branding, and when they do, they take a look at a logo, think of it as “a brand,” and move on.

But a brand is so much more than a logo. It is the entire perception, the emotional feeling evoked, of a company, person or product. The brand is a product of diligent, consistent and focused marketing efforts.
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Just what the hell IS an “Indie Film?”

Everybody talks about “INDEPENDENT FILM” but it means different things to different people. There is not a consistent, clear definition for the concept.

How do you define “INDIE FILM?”

Aside from the famous definition used for porn—”I know it when I see it,”—what specific qualities define a full-length motion picture as “independent?”

Please answer the survey questions. They are about several different elements about movies that may or may not be part of your definition.

To help us understand how you determine that a full-length motion picture might be an “indie film,” please answer how each element may affect your opinion about a movie.

AND if you have comments, please post them here so we can start discussions.


More…“Indie Film” Survey

Movie Industry Slouches Toward Digital Future

Republished with permission from eMarketer.com

The past few years have been bruising for the movie industry. After more than a decade of growth, the DVD began stalling in 2007. For the first time in its history, the industry saw its primary revenue source shrink without a new format coming along to take its place in the driver’s seat.

Logically, Blu-ray and digital formats should have stepped in to fill the revenue gap, but this has not happened. And at least two forecasts suggest it will be at least five years before these formats can lift Hollywood out of its doldrums.
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My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — Crowdfunding reveals vibrant new class of citizen funding.

Crowdfunding has great promise. And, it has exposed a vibrant new class of citizen funding.

In the spring of 2010, in comments on Jeff Steele’s Film Closings blog at http://filmclosings.com/2010/04/new-method-indie-financing/, I publicly assessed crowdfunding as having the potential to generate a normal maximum of, say, $5,000 if one spent all one’s time on it. Then, that leapt forward to the potential normal maximum of $15,000 to $20,000. Now, this year, there have been reports of reasonable numbers of fundraisings over $50,000. This is merely an anecdotal assessment, but those are numbers I now see reported.
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My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — Further Clarification of the PMD and Economics, by Jon Reiss


“This from the man himself, Jon Reiss, in response to the many wonderful posts this week from Michael R. Barnard, Lucas McNelly and Dennis Peters regarding the PMD.” ~ Sheri Candler Marketing & Publicity

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