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” — 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” — A VENOM IN THE BLOOD
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
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
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
Crippling Digital Distribution for Indie Filmmakers: the Death of Net Neutrality
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.
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]
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
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.’
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.
Review of Budgeting and Scheduling programs for Indie Filmmakers
Norman Berns of ReelGrok, the website "Where Filmmakers Get It," has reviewed several of the programs available for indie filmmakers to schedule and budget their movie projects. He reviews Movie Magic, Showbiz, Gorilla, Hot Budget, and scenechronize. MOVIE MAGIC Despite its advanced age, Movie Magic (https://www.reelgrok.com/review-detail.cfm?rid=8) remains the feature film budgeting/scheduling choice at most studios. … Continue reading Review of Budgeting and Scheduling programs for Indie Filmmakers
THE UNIVERSAL FILM ACCESS POINT
How will independent filmmakers fully embrace digital distribution for maximum value? It's a new world, and the old methods cannot be squeezed and twisted to work in it. There will be a new approach to bringing indie films to the audience. I call it the UNIVERSAL FILM ACCESS POINT. The old world existed because of … Continue reading THE UNIVERSAL FILM ACCESS POINT
EQUITY CROWDFUNDING RULEMAKING APPROACHES SOON.
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, … Continue reading EQUITY CROWDFUNDING RULEMAKING APPROACHES SOON.
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 … Continue reading URGENT UPDATE for filmmakers regarding the Crowdfunding Act of the JOBS ACT
2012 NAB Show video reports from Reelgrok.com
Here are my video reports from the 2012 NAB Show in Las Vegas, reporting for ReelGrok "Where filmmakers get it." EPISODE 1: FROM REELGROK.COM: The 2012 NAB Show in Las Vegas just concluded, and here is EPISODE 1 (of 5) reported by Michael R. Barnard for ReelGrok "Where filmmakers get it." (http://reelgrok.com) See the forthcoming … Continue reading 2012 NAB Show video reports from Reelgrok.com
My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — MOVIES IN A BAD ECONOMY
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 … Continue reading My Bumpy Road Through “Hollywood” — MOVIES IN A BAD ECONOMY
Why Make Movies?
Read about the making of the independent feature film NATE AND KELLY here: "Why Make Movies?" Has a movie ever touched your life?
The cost of asses-in-seats
Here's what I think specifically about MARKETING LOW-BUDGET INDIE FEATURE FILMS (NARRATIVE FICTION). This is an effort to help visualize the numbers needed for this new world of filmmakers becoming responsible for their own direct distribution. For a successful low-budget indie feature film, it is reasonable to expect an audience of approximately one million people … Continue reading The cost of asses-in-seats
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 … Continue reading Just what the hell IS an “Indie Film?”