Just MAKE FILMS and stop bitching!

[Mike’s Comments:] Here’s a great rant/call-to-action for indie filmmakers from Amir Masud. Rather than sit on the sidelines and cry about the economy and lack of funding et al, get up off your camera bags and SHOOT! Make films any way you can.

Indie Filmmaking isn’t about hanging out in coffee shops wearing mismatched clothes and a three-day beard, bitching about the world. Indie Filmmaking had its birth in the 70’s and 80’s BECAUSE things were crummy all around. Indie Filmmakers made movies any way they could. They were the voice that held a spotlight on topics that the huge corporate studios wouldn’t. Hence the moniker INDEPENDENT FILM!

Your legacy my newbies is to pick up the gauntlet, exploit all the new cheap technology and JUST MAKE FILMS! If they’re good people will find you, if they’re bad people will give you all the free feedback you need to improve!

Read Amir’s comments here


ATTENTION: For Indie News and Behind the Scenes stuff, Check out ScreenPens.com

VA Indie Film Fest Accepting Entries

Comments:] They say that Virginia is for Lovers but this month, VA hosts its annual Indie Film Fest.

The competition, created by the Virginia Film Office, showcases the talents of Virginia’s homegrown independent filmmaking community and is open to all Virginia residents and students attending Virginia schools. Enter your short film, independent feature or documentary to win cash prizes and a chance to have your film screened with other finalists in Richmond, Virginia.

Entries are accepted in three categories:

1) Features (submissions over 20 minutes in length)

2) Shorts (submissions under 20 minutes in length)

3) Documentaries

Entries with a completed registration form MUST be received by the Virginia Film Office by 5pmNovember 24th or postmarked by that date. Finalists will be selected from the submissions and screened in early Spring 2010. Winners in each category will be announced at the screening.



ATTENTION: For Indie News and Behind the Scenes stuff, Check out ScreenPens.coms website

#Paranormal Activity goes wide (world)

Variety.com – Front Page

Sorry my newbies, this is just a repost from variety. No comments from moi except, wud ja expect?

via Extracurricular Activity for film.

Netflix vs Hulu: Round 1

We’ve all had the major scare last week with Murdock’s News Co, fledgling Hulu Chief Deputy CEO announcing to our shocked readers that they would “soon consider” charging fees for the Hulu service as early as 2010. Rest assure my newbies, someone over at Hulu has since thrown a net around this guy and now they’ve retracted that statement. Phewww!   The blogosphere was in an uproar and I think the cry was heard by the Hulu execs, “WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ FEES!”


Sorry Hulu!

Sorry Hulu, you’ve made your own bed and now you have to sleep in it. You’ve got millions of viewers hooked on your FREE service and now, with no value add whatsoever, you’re considering charging!? Smells like a bait and switch to me and it seems the REST OF THE WORLD!

Netflix got it right. Provide an original value-added service, charge a flexible reasonable fee structure and PEOPLE WILL PAY for it.  Now Netflix provides on demand streaming of over 10,000 TV shows and films, direct to your TV, Desktop, I-phones and just about any device you wish to consume content on. And if they’re smart over at Netflix (and I believe they are) they’re just biding their time, waiting for the smoke to clear around their rivals.

Continue reading

HowTo: Pick the Right Screenplay – Part 3

Of Loglines, High Concepts, Premises and Themes; What are they and why are they vital to the Right Script?

“So…Whats it about?”


So... What's it about?

It’s the first question you hear from a producer or investor when you mention your hot new project. The answer you give in the first 30 seconds will determine whether or not your project gets picked up.  Make sure you know what he or she wants to hear. Make sure you know the difference between Logline, High Concept, Premise and Theme and how to use them correctly. If the project you’re working on does not have these basic tenants, go back and re review your choices or dig them out of the story.

Let’s start with the answer to the first question, “What’s it about?”  This is the place most screenwriters,directors, actors or anyone pitching a film idea, trip over their own tongues. This is where you start babbling incoherently, spitting out whole scenes out of context, character descriptions, plot turns and surprise “twists” that you are in love with from the script. And this is why your project will FAIL with big capital letters. The Right Script has all four of these tools.

When a producer (or potential investor) asks you, “What’s it about?”, this translates roughly into human terms as,  “Tell me how I’m gonna make a million bucks if I back your project?”.  They really don’t want to hear what it’s about, they want to know WHY they should back it. If your script has the right logline, high concept, premise and theme it will fare much better in the market (and your success). Make sure every project you work on has these four major  sound bytes and that they are crafted well. Here’s how to tell the difference.

(NOTE: For the purposes of this article we’ll use a new project of my own that is getting fantastic response from a variety of producers / investors entitled ONCE MORE EDEN. We’ll examine each of the elements mentioned above and show how and when they are used effectively)

Continue reading

HowTo: Death of the Indie Film?— NOT!

[Mike’s Comments:] Check out this great video from Fox Business News featuring Ted Hope, Marina Zenovich, Reed Martin and Peter Guber discussing the future of Indie films. The bottom line is that it’s up to the Indie filmmaker to invent creative new ways to aggregate audiences BEFORE the beginning of prinicipal photography and develop alternate channels of distribution IN ADDITION to the traditional methods.

Neil Lebuffe vs Peter Fonda on the scene.

Death of the Indie Film?.

Cinedigm Launches Largest All-Digital Indie Film Release

[Mike’s Comments:] ScreenPens has long been a vocal proponent of digital films and theater projection conversion. This move by industry leader Cinedigm, along with its recently inked deals with Warner, Sony and the like means greater access opportunties for indie filmmakers and virtually eliminates the cost of 35 mm film conversion! 

Most indie filmmakers shoot in HD video today finding an easier, less espensive work flow. DV can quickly and safely be uploaded into todays digital on line / off line production systems to produce the finished cut. Eliminating the cost of conversion from digital HD to 35 mm removes a huge barrier in cost and opportunity for distribution into mainstream theaters around the world.

Continue reading