HowTo: Screenwriters will use the iPad for Pitching

[Mike’s Comments:] Excited about the new Apple I-Pad but not really sure why? Take a read of John August’s review on the new (old) technology and you’ll really get turned on. August denotes almost a dozen new ways the I-Pad will be used in the filmmaker’s arsenal. My personal favorite is “The multi media Pitch Session”.

Imagine walking into that big producer’s office to pitch your film concept and WHAM! you whip out your I-Pad touch where you’ve carefully cobbled together a hot multi media presentation with script excerpts, location shots, story board excerpts and bio’s of your perfect cast suggestions… all accompanied by a smoking musical score!

Check out the rest of the great new ideas, here at

via How screenwriters will use the iPad.

STC! Beats Out “Avatar”

Blake Snyder’s Website

[Mike’s Comments:] For those of you who have not already read the late Blake Snyder’s “Save the Cat” (STC) tome on profitable screenwriting take the time to pick it up or even steal it from a friend. STC lays out the structure and technique for Hollywood’s most popular genres. And while this may rub the cutting edge Indie Filmmaker the wrong way remember that before you can break the rules, you must understand the rules. STC and it’s companion books do just that. They show writers, producers, directors (et al) they way it should be done. Once you’ve mastered the structure of a genre, you can then go off and cobble up your own imaginative story lines.  Pick up a copy of STC here in the ScreenPens “Resources – Screenwriters” page and get it right the first time!]

via STC! Beats Out “Avatar”.

HowTo: Get Your Project Featured on IndieGoGo

IndieGoGo: Blog

[Mike’s Comments;] Here’s a great article from our friends at IndieGoGo, (a comprehensive site for indie filmmakers to post your project and generate funding for your work. Check it out at the link below]

via How To Get Your Project Featured on IndieGoGo.

American Kidney Fund PSA in Production Distribution

ScreenPens, Ltd partnered with one of our talented Post co producers to create and produce the highly successful American Kidney Fund’s PSA for their annual New York Golf Classic fund raising event which raised over $103,000.00 in a single day!

One of the largest problems faced by Small and Medium sized businesses as well as Non Profits is that they often do not have the budget to create wide scale, high impact marketing and fund raising assets.

ScreenPens specializes in working with SMBs (small and medium sized businesses) and Non Profit Organizations to design, create and deliver high impact, high quality digital marketing assets at little or no cost to it’s clients.

View the American Kidney Fund PSA by clicking here

Digital Asset Projects include:

  • Public Service Announcements (PSAs) DVDs featuring “A” list talent.
  • TV and Web Commercials and Social Networking Programs
  • Dynamic Website design /development and copy
  • Marketing and News Video and Real Time Event Web Casting
  • Audio Pod Casts and Website interviews
  • Seminars, Client and Membership acquisition programs.
  • And More.

If you’re working with an SMB or Non Profit that could benefit by low cost, high impact digital fund raising and marketing assets, contact us today at

To discuss your needs and budget limitations.

New York Tax Credits Bottom Out

In a recent conversation I had with representatives from the New York State Film Commission I was dismayed to discover that the $350 million film tax credit fund, originally planned to extend through 2011, has been exhausted for the time being. Additionally the tax credit fund for NY City, has run out back in September of 2009.

Hugely successful, the fund has contributed to hundreds of film, commercial and TV projects and brought 1,000’s of jobs and billions of dollars in tax base contributions to the state.

It is estimated that for every $1 that the tax fund extends in credits to filmmakers working in NY State and NY City, as much at $3 is returned in tax revenue and ancillary income over the life of the projects.  An extremely worthwhile investment.

Currently there is a bill before NY’s Governor David Paterson to renew the Film Credit fund to the tune of $450 Million. This bill will be voted on and is expected to reach a decision by April 2010.  However with budget cuts and the State in deep debt, it is unlikely that the fund will be renewed without your help.

If you live and work in NY State or live outside the State but conduct production business in NY, I urge you to contact your local senators and or NY State Representatives and pepper them with your demands to renew the Film Credit Fund for 2010 and beyond. With a 3:1 return ratio of investment to revenue, the NY State Film Tax Credit Program is one of the most productive use of funds the government can provide.

Go to the links below to find out who to contact in your areas.

Tell ’em ScreenPens sent you! – MP

And the data from 2009 says…


[Mike’s Comments] Here’s a great chart published in the Wall Street Journal today about how Americans spent money on movies in 2008 and 2009. As you can see Theatrical, DVD rentals and DVD sales are tops by far. When planning your distribution and marketing (in advance of your shoot) keep these figures in mind.

via And the data from 2009 says….

Audition Strategies: Actor’s Workshop from Producer’s POV

Join us in the widely popular Audition Workshop!

When Sean Young, donning a leather costume, mask, and a whip, stormed into the studio demanding an audition for the role of Catwoman in Batman Returns, director Tim Burton hid under his desk. Case-in-point: Persistence vs Pestering

When asked to read for a role, Shelly Winters once slammed down her two Oscars and asked the casting director, "Ya still want me to audition?" She got the part. Case-in-point: Confidence vs Cockiness

The night before his audition, Mel Gibson got a broken nose and disconnected jaw in a bar brawl. Director George Miller loved the look and cast him as Mad Max. Case-in-point: Looking the Part vs Being Yourself

AUDITION STRATEGIES is a one-day, intensive workshop for actors who want to learn simple and effective techniques, facts, and tips that will get them the parts they want.

Who Should Attend: Aspiring actors who have talent, passion, discipline, and even agents, but hit a wall every time they audition, never able to pinpoint exactly what goes wrong.

Why This Class: This workshop is NOT an acting class. It is not conducted by an acting teacher, a coach, an agent or even a casting director. Instead, it is conducted by the casting DECIDER, aka the producer/director. He is the one who actually sees what mistakes actors make and knows the dos and don’ts of auditioning.

What You Learn: In this 1-day, intensive, hands-on workshop, actors will go through each step of the audition process and learn fast, simple and effective ways to build your portfolio, your confidence, and your chance to get the part. Participants will quickly become adept at handling real-world situations through lectures, Q&A’s, and demonstrations, providing them with the tips and tricks necessary to capture the audience- the Producer

For more info visit our website

Audition Strategies Workshop runs on 2/06/10 (Saturday), 10:30 am-1:30 pm.


Solar Productions
632 Broadway
New York, NY10012

To Register:

Please email solarvideofilm with your name, contact info, and acting experience.
$50 General Registration
$45 Early Birds Specials. Register before 1/25/10
$40 Students with Valid ID
Pay by check, cash, or send payment via to solarvideofilm

Contact Solar Workshop:

Tel: 212-473-3040
Fax: 212-473-3091