Film Method Extravaganza!

September 7, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under news

September 7, 2011

This is an exciting week for Film Method! We’ve got tons of new stuff for you including a new episode with director Varda Hardy, new photos from our latest photo shoot, contests and more! A new feature, Writing Method with Aydrea Walden starts this week as well. Poke around the website- we’ve got some new images and new features that you won’t want to miss!

Film Method’s Support from Start to Finish feature focuses on Varda Hardy’s Kickstarter campaign for her musical documentary Big Voice this month.

The contest to win Eve Light Honthaner’s book The Complete Film Production Handbook starts this week as well as the race to get 1,000 Facebook followers. The 1,000th follower will win a 2 hour consult with co-host and producing advisor Jenna Edwards!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and tell your friends about us, too!

Q: When dealing with distribution, is it smarter to try to find a “post-house” before you start your project?

August 9, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under Mail Bag

Q: When dealing with distribution, is it smarter to try to find a “post-house” before you start your project? Or is it more common to get a deal after you’ve finished the film?

Stuart S., New Holland Pennsylvania

I am a big believer in planning.  Therefore, I would interview your editor as one of the first crew members you want to bring on the project.  They are going to be able to give you great script notes and you will be able to plan a post-production schedule with their input, which they will appreciate.  Whether you have a large enough budget to go to a “post-house” or you have to piece your crew together individually (which some people prefer), get quotes and interview that post house/individuals in pre-production.  If you can, bring on a post-production supervisor as they will be able to help you figure out what your work-flow should be on-set in order to make post run more smoothly.  If you do not have a lot of funds for post-production, then you will need to do even more planning so make sure you are thinking of post-production early on during pre-production.  It will save you time and money in the end, not to mention making everyone’s life easier.  Remember, post-production is one of the most costly parts of making a film and good post can make or break your project so please budget accordingly.

Have you noticed a trend in filmmakers making a trailer…?

August 7, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under Mail Bag

Q: Have you noticed a trend in filmmakers making a trailer for their film as a tool to raise money?

Paul C., Minnesota (via the Film Method mail bag)

Go Minnesota!  (OK, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way)

I’m not sure “trend” is the right word, but yes, I have met many filmmakers who find this a viable option for raising money.  With technology being so much more readily available, making trailers or promo videos for a specific project is a great way to show your vision to your investors.  Before this technology boom, people made short films as “calling cards” to show investors and consumers what they were capable of doing.  Now, if you don’t have a short film of the same genre that you’ve already shot or there is something visually specific you want to get across to your investors, shooting a promo video or a trailer is a great way to make sure the investor understands what you can do as well as the specific look and feel of the project you are raising money for.  As I’ve stated above, raising money is one (if not thee) most challenging parts of making a film and if you can stack the deck in your favor and make it so that your project stands out, then by all means go for it!

Episode Seventy-Eight: Writing with Julie Gray

July 6, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

Behind every great film is a great script and behind every great script is a great writer or team of writers. The month of July is dedicated to the topic of writing as it is a crucial part of the filmmaking process. Writer and script consultant Julie Gray and writer Aydrea Walden join us to discuss the importance of writing good characters.

Julie Gray- Writer

A regular contributor to the Huffington Post, Julie directs the Just Effing Entertain Me Screenwriting Competition and The Golden Age of Television Competition. Julie consults privately with a variety of writers all over the world and has taught at the Oxford Student Union at Oxford University, The West England University in Bristol, Wilmington University in Delaware and San Francisco University in Quito, Ecuador.

Julie teaches screenwriting classes at Warner Bros., The Great American Pitchfest, The Creative Screenwriting Expo and the Williamette Writer’s Conference in Portland, Oregon.

A volunteer at the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, Julie is co-founder of Stories Without Borders, a non-profit organization committed to fostering the creative voices of students and women through the medium of film. A resident of Los Angeles, California, Julie’s book, Just Effing Entertain Me will be available as an audio and E-book in August, 2011.

Julie’s Website- www.justeffing.com

Aydrea Walden- Writer

Aydrea has written for The Seattle Times, the Now Write! Screenwriting book series, The Second City Los Angeles, iO West, Hawaii Film Partners, NBC/Universal, Highlander Films, Nickelodeon, and Disney. She also runs the satirical blog, The Oreo Experience–My Life and Times as a Super White Black Person. For more information about Aydrea or to contact her please visit her website at www.theoreoexperience.com

Episode Seventy-Seven: Director-Actor Relationship

June 22, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

The relationship between the director and actor in any medium is a very special one. Trust is of the utmost importance and when established early on can give the actor a freedom to explore and create in such a way that can help serve the story and the film. Chasing Eagle Rock is veteran TV and film actor Erick Avari’s directing debut. He also stars in the indie film opposite Michael Welch of Twilight fame. Producer Larry Laboe also joins us to talk about the film.

Erick Avari- Director-Producer

During his 30 years as an actor, Erick Avari has consistently turned in finely crafted performances, from grand opera to soap opera, with stops on and Off Broadway, in regional theaters, in some of the highest grossing films in the past two decades, on hit television series and in award-winning independent films.

Avari is instantly recognizable from his roles in blockbuster films ranging from the comedic Mr. Deeds, opposite Adam Sandler; to sci fi epics such as The Mummy, with Rachel Weisz and Brandon Fraser; Stargate, with Kurt Russell and James Spader; Independence Day, starring Will Smith, and Daredevil, as Jennifer Garner’s father. He has also lent his talents to critically acclaimed dramatic roles in film festival favorites American East, with Tony Shalhoub; Dark Matter, starring Meryl Streep; Three Days of Rain, with Peter Falk and Blythe Danner; and Choose Conner, with Steven Weber.

Since his Hollywood debut in Kevin Reynold’s The Beast of War, he has been fortunate to work with some of the most honored film directors of the time, including Mike Nichols, Tim Burton, Lasse Hallström and Satyajit Ray.

Born in Darjeeling, India, Avari attended European boarding schools before attending university in the US. He launched a distinguished career on the New York stage that included leading roles in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” (directed by Tony winner A.J. Antoon), “Tis Pity She’s a Whore” (directed by Mabou Mines founder Joanne Akalaitis) and “A Map of the World” (written and directed by David Hare) at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, as well as the classic musical “The King and I” on Broadway.

He has appeared at some of the country’s most prestigious regional theaters, including the Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, the Goodman Theater in Chicago and Shakespeare and Company in the Berkshiers, and played leading roles in Mozart’s “Abduction from the Seraglio” at the Portland Grand Opera, and in “Rasputin” at New York City Opera.

Among his scores of television roles are Chandra Suresh on NBC’s breakout hit series “Heroes,” as well as recurring roles on LA Dragnet, Stargate SG-1 and Felicity. Avari’s recent television appearances also include Dirty Sexy Money, opposite Peter Krause and Law and Order: Criminal Intent.

Versatile, dedicated and dynamic, Avari has been a trailblazer for a generation of South Asian actors in Hollywood. In his fight against stereotypical casting, he has played more than two dozen different ethnicities with authority and believability.
Chasing Eagle Rock marks Avari’s Directorial debut.

Chasing Eagle Rock on Facebook

Michael Welch- Actor

At 23, Michael Welch has worked in every aspect of the entertainment business including film, television, voice-over, and stage. Michael is the recipient of two Young Artist Awards.  First for his performance in Star Trek – Insurrection at age 10, and the second for his work as Luke Girardi on the hit television series Joan of Arcadia, which ran for two seasons on CBS.  Welch won best actor at the 2011 First Glance Film Festival in Hollywood for his portrayal of a troubled young man in Unrequited.

Michael completed filming The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn recently, the fourth in the series of best-selling novels by Stephenie Meyer. He has enjoyed wide exposure for his role as the popular Mike Newton in the Twilight series and much acclaim from within the industry and his many fans.

In the last few years, Welch demonstrates his intense depth and commitment to his craft by assuming challenging roles as the leading man.  Independent films such as Born Bad, Unrequited and Lost Dream are just some examples. In  Chasing Eagle Rock, Michael plays the role of J.R opposite Erick Avari.  Welch can be seen in award-winning festival favorites such as My Suicide, An American Crime, United States of Leland, American Son, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, and The Cover-up.

Welch is familiar to television audiences for his many starring roles on Emmy Award-winning shows, most recently Criminal Minds and Bones.   During the past few years he appeared on CSI, an arch on The Riches, CSI: Miami, Numb3rs, Law & Order: SVU, Crossing Jordan, NCIS, Cold Case, and Without a Trace. His earlier years included performances on Stargate SG-1, Judging Amy, The District, Touched by an Angel, Malcolm in the Middle, The X-Files, The Pretender, 7th Heaven, Chicago Hope, and Frasier.

In spite of his busy schedule, it is essential to Michael to give back. He received the 2005 Star Innovative Award for environmental causes and has been active with the charity Kids With a Cause since 1999.  During 2010, Welch was invited to Germany by the USO for their first educational tour for young people. Recently, Welch was Co-Chair for Walk on The Horizon, an event to raise awareness and resources for adults with disabilities.  Just last year, Michael created the $5.00 Buck Club for The Thirst Project.  His goal was to prove to young people that $5.00 can make a difference.  He raised $20,000 and is looking forward to going to South Africa, Kruger National Park and Swaziland with The Thirst Project in December, 2011.

Michael on Twitter

Larry Laboe- Producer

Larry Laboe began producing film, television, commercials and new media projects with international production and distribution company SXM. His first network series was NBC’s ‘Ctrl’ starring Tony Hale and Steve Howey. Mr. Laboe more recently began work as a producer on Comedy Central’s series Matumbo Goldberg starring Anthony Anderson, Jenna Elfman and Oscar Nominee Michael Lerner, Directed by Oscar nominated Rob Pearlstein and NBC’s FCU: Fact Checkers Unit starring Pauley Perrette, Luke Perry, Jon Heder, Donald Faison, Alex Trebeck and more. Mr. Laboe also produced two series, Disney Kitchen Jam and Diagnosis Stories for Disney Interactive and the feature film Chasing Eagle Rock starring Erick Avari, Michael Welch and Mary-Margaret Humes.

In 2007 Mr. Laboe co-founded the non-profit 501(c) 3 organization NewFilmmakers Los Angeles with partner and Program Director Susie Kim. In an effort to bring opportunity to independent filmmakers, film goers and entertainment industry professionals in Los Angeles, Mr. Laboe works as Executive Director of the group and coordinates NFMLA film screenings on a monthly basis, along with an on-camera filmmaker interview series distributed by MovieMaker Magazine.

Jenna Edwards- Producer, Film Method Co-Host

For more information about Jenna Edwards please visit the About page.

Producing Sunflowers Website
Burbank International Film Fest

Episode Seventy-Six: Production Sound

June 15, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

Believe it or not, having good sound is about as important to your production as having a good quality picture. Low quality sound will make your film seem cheap and unprofessional. Zsolt Magyar joins us this week to talk about being a production sound mixer on set. Brian McQuery also joins us to discuss the relationship between the sound mixer and the 1st A.D. The fabulous Aydrea Walden ten Bosch fills in as co-host for Jenna.

Zsolt Magyar- Production Sound Mixer

Zsolt Magyar is a Hungarian born, Los Angeles based Production Sound Mixer. In Budapest, at the age of 18, he starts his study in electric engineering and joins the rock band, “Azok A Fiuk” (Those Guys). They release two albums with great success. In 1993, he opens for U2. The same year he forms another band, “Bang Bang.” They release an album that is produced by Polygram Records. From 1992 to 1998, Zsolt is a celebrity spokesperson for Roland Musical Instruments in Hungary. From 1993, Zsolt works as a music composer for commercials, movies, brand image shows and fashion shows throughout Europe.

In 2000, Zsolt moves to Los Angeles and finds a new career. He gets into the sound mixing world of the Hollywood film industry. Since he started, he has mixed many feature films, shorts, commercials and television shows. In 2004 he gets nominated by the Cinema Audio Society for outstanding achievement in sound mixing for the TV film The Hollow (2004) (V). He has a multi-channel hard disk recording system, plus a number of high-end wireless and boom microphones, and everything needed for recording sound in the most demanding locations.

Zsolt’s Website- www.productionsoundmix.com
Zsolt’s Email- productionsoundmix@yahoo.com

Brian McQuery- 1st A.D.

Born and raised in Chicago, Brian has always had a love for movies.  He wrote his first feature-length screenplay shortly after graduating high school and has since written original screenplays in the genres of crime, drama, action, thriller, comedy, horror and western.  Brian skipped college and jumped into the workforce, with jobs in insurance, sales, customer service, and telemarketing.

Brian left his job as Director of Telemarketing in 2000 because he wanted to direct motion pictures, not telemarketing.  He threw himself into Chicago’s indie film scene, built relationships with local actors and filmmakers, and in October 2002, he completed a low budget DV short, Debt, which he wrote, directed and executive produced. Debt was Brian’s first experience with professional equipment and a crew and it screened at several film festivals.  Over the next three years, Brian wrote, produced and directed the DV short films: Commitment, Snare, and Three Couples, the 16mm short film, Everybody Sins, the 35mm short, Promise, and the DV 24P shorts films, Let Go and Vacant.

Brian has a well-rounded view of feature film production and has worked as a 1st Assistant Director on over a dozen independent features and numerous short films, Web series, and other projects.  He has also worked as a 2nd AD on half a dozen independent features.  His strong organizational and management skills enable him to keep the crew moving efficiently to make the most of limited resources on independent films.  He has lived in Los Angeles since 2006 and several of his short films played the film festival circuit and won awards in 2006 and 2007. And since 2009, he has arranged for actors and filmmakers to appear at screenings of their films at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles.

Brian’s Website- www.brianmcquery.com

Aydrea Walden ten Bosch- Writer

Aydrea has written for The Seattle Times, the Now Write! Screenwriting book series, The Second City Los Angeles, iO West, Hawaii Film Partners, NBC/Universal, Highlander Films, Nickelodeon, and Disney. She also runs the satirical blog, The Oreo Experience–My Life and Times as a Super White Black Person.

For more information about Aydrea or to contact her please visit her website at www.theoreoexperience.com

Episode Seventy-Five: Eve Light Honthaner

June 8, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

Since the time the Film Method podcast began we have been talking about Eve Light Honthaner and her amazing book The Complete Film Production Handbook! Eve has worked on many films including Titanic, Just Married and Tropic Thunder. She joins us to give some helpful tips for producers for the day that your film finally reaches principal photography. We briefly touch on many topics including working with animals, working with children, using purchase orders and hiring the right people for the job.

Eve Light Honthaner- Producer/Author/Teacher

Eve’s career in the entertainment industry spans many years, primarily in the field of production management.  She’s worked in every capacity from PA to line producer and as a staff production executive, most recently for DreamWorks.  She’s worked on shows budgeted anywhere from $1 – $250 million and on projects that have been shot throughout the U.S. and internationally, including Titanic, Just Married and Tropic Thunder.

She’s the author of The Complete Film Production Handbook and HOLLYWOOD DRIVE: What it Takes to Break in, Hang in & Make it in the Entertainment Industry.  And since 1998, she’s combined her many years of practical experience with a love of teaching to help others succeed in this fiercely competitive business.

In addition to the six-week course she teaches at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts each summer, schedule permitting, she does one- and two-day workshops throughout the country.

Eve’s Website- http://evehonthaner.com

Jenna Edwards- Producer, Film Method Co-Host

For more information about Jenna Edwards please visit the About page.

Producing Sunflowers Website
Burbank International Film Fest

Lynda Lopez- Producer

Lynda Lopez started her career in film as a Production Designer working on student films with friends from art school where she was a Graphic Design major. She then went on to assist some very talented Production Designers on studio films while still working in various capacities on short films and indie films. Due to her fascination for all aspects of filmmaking, she has become more involved with the Production side of things working as a Director’s Assistant and Producer.

Lynda is currently working on a charity project for All Hands Volunteers, a non-profit organization that provides hands-on assistance to survivors of natural disasters around the world. For more information about Lynda’s project to help this organization please visit Film Method’s Facebook page.

For more information on All Hands Volunteers visit their website at http://hands.org/

Episode Seventy-Four: Costume Designing for Film

June 1, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

Susan Nininger started out in the field of fine art creating sculpted ceramic pieces and then realized that she liked “sculpting costumes”. Her big break was in the 90′s when she was given the job costuming Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard. Susan talks to us about working on that film and she also shares with us exactly what her union says she’s allowed to do as a costume designer. We also learn about some other tasks of the costume department and about what it takes to organize the clothes for a film.

Susan Nininger- Costume Designer

Susan Nininger was raised in the Northeast ‐ Connecticut, Boston, and New York. She began her studies as a Fine Art Student at Rhode Island School of Design. By the time she received her Masters Degree in Seattle in 1976, her work was incorporating a variety of materials ‐sculpted ceramic pieces, found objects and fabrics‐and she, and others, were wearing her ‘Costume Sculpture’. The body of sculptural work that Susan produced during the late 70′s in Seattle displayed a unique and imaginative use of mixed materials, as well as a strong sense of storytelling. Some of the pieces she produced during this time were not wearable, however, they were always about Costume ‐ evoking her deep rooted interest in not only the physicality of garments chosen as costume, but also in the Storytelling Ideas that go into the development of character through Costume Design. She received Scholarship Awards and Grants during this time from the National Endowment for the Arts and other prestigious organizations. Her work was exhibited in both galleries and museums, nationally.

Susan made the transition from working as a Studio Artist to designing Costumes for Stage and Moving Pictures in the late 70′s.  Collaborations with Performance Artists and Choreographers in Seattle, lead to being invited to design costumes for several Stage Productions. Finding that designing costumes fit perfectly with her passion for storytelling, she made the choice to pursue a career as a Costume Designer, and moved to Los Angeles in 1981. Susan’s range of work as a Costume Designer, to date, includes Costume Design for Feature Films, Television, Theatre, and Music Videos. She is perhaps most well known for her Costume Design for The Bodyguard with Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. She has designed for, and collaborated with, award winning Commercial Directors, and continues to maintain a high profile as an imaginative and prolific Costume Designer. With a continued  interest in Education within the field of Costume Design, Susan is a member of the faculty at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in  downtown Los Angeles, where she teaches in the Film & TV Costume Design Program.  She is a member of the Costume Designers Guild, and served on the CDG Board of Directors from 2005‐2010.

Susan is based in Los Angeles, where she lives with her son.

If you’re looking for a costume designer for your film, please contact Maril Delly at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Maril’s email address is mdelly@fidm.edu.

Lynda Lopez- Producer

Lynda Lopez started her career in film as a Production Designer working on student films with friends from art school where she was a Graphic Design major. She then went on to assist some very talented Production Designers on studio films while still working in various capacities on short films and indie films. Due to her fascination for all aspects of filmmaking, she has become more involved with the Production side of things working as a Director’s Assistant and Producer.

Lynda is currently working on a charity project for All Hands Volunteers, a non-profit organization that provides hands-on assistance to survivors of natural disasters around the world. For more information about Lynda’s project to help this organization please visit Film Method’s Facebook page.

For more information on All Hands Volunteers visit their website at http://hands.org/

Jenna Edwards- Producer, Film Method Co-Host

For more information about Jenna Edwards please visit the About page.

Producing Sunflowers Website
Burbank International Film Fest

Episode Seventy-Three: Script Supervisor Veda Semarne from The Office

May 25, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

The script supervisor has one of the most important and difficult jobs on set: making sure what’s in the script ends up in the can (or in the case of The Office, the plastic tape case). The script supervisor, also known as the scripty, rarely has a free moment on set as she or he is constantly taking notes for each take, timing each take, and supervising the continuity of the script including actor’s lines, props, wardrobe and much more! Join us as we discuss the duties and responsibilities of this valuable position with Veda Semarne of The Office.

Veda Semarne- Script Supervisor

Veda Semarne received a Ph.D. in Art History from Yale, writing her dissertation on the Lumière brothers and the first films in France.  She taught film history, theory, and screenwriting at Yale University, Trinity College, and Long Island University until 1996, when she moved to L.A. to explore the world of film production first hand.  In 1997, she took a script supervising course at the American Film Institute and has been working as a script supervisor ever since, on feature films and television series.  She has worked in many genres, but comedy is her favorite.  She just completed her seventh season on the NBC’s The Office.  Her feature projects include Cedar Rapids and License to Wed.  She has had the honor of working with many fine directors, among them Ken Kwapis, Paul Feig, Miguel Arteta and Harold Ramis.

Veda’s Facebook Page

Lynda Lopez- Producer

Lynda Lopez started her career in film as a Production Designer working on student films with friends from art school where she was a Graphic Design major. She then went on to assist some very talented Production Designers on studio films while still working in various capacities on short films and indie films. Due to her fascination for all aspects of filmmaking, she has become more involved with the Production side of things working as a Director’s Assistant and Producer.

Lynda is currently working on a charity project for All Hands Volunteers, a non-profit organization that provides hands-on assistance to survivors of natural disasters around the world. For more information about Lynda’s project to help this organization please visit Film Method’s Facebook page.

For more information on All Hands Volunteers visit their website at http://hands.org/

Jenna Edwards- Producer, Film Method Co-Host

For more information about Jenna Edwards please visit the About page.

Producing Sunflowers Website
Burbank International Film Fest

Episode Seventy-Two: The 2nd A.D.s

May 18, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

The role of the 2nd A.D. is an extremely important one and is very different from that of the 1st A.D. While the 1st A.D. spends all of his or her time on set, the 2nd A.D. is primarily in the production office, working with the producers to make sure that the production is running smoothly and planning the next day’s shoot. Holden Hume and Meredith Corrado join us to discuss both the 2nd A.D. and the 2nd 2nd A.D. positions in depth and explain how their jobs fit in to the grand scheme of a film production.

Holden Hume- 2nd A.D.

Holden was born in Sterling, Colorado and lived most of his life in Sidney, Nebraska.  He gained a love of film at an early age, watching everything he could, which was at times difficult given the fact that the nearest movie theater was 30 miles away. When the local theater opened back up some years later, Holden began writing movie reviews for the local paper. He later went on to earn his degree in Film and Video studies at the University of Oklahoma. After graduation he moved to LA to pursue a career
in film production. He started out in LA as an intern for a small production company on the back lot of Universal Studios by day, and a night Auditor for a motel on Hollywood Blvd by night (an experience that was about as far removed from small town Nebraska as you can get). Holden’s first industry job was as a PA for 300 dollars a week on a small Horror Movie called DARK RIDE. He and went on to become a 2nd 2nd AD a 2nd AD and eventually a 1st AD for non-union productions Film and Television. He met his wife Meredith Corrado (also an AD), on a film set, and they now have a 1 year old son named Homer. They are both currently ADing, producing and writing. They live in the San Fernando Valley.

To get in touch with Holden or Meredith you can email them at hume8617@yahoo.com

Meredith Corrado- Producer, 2nd 2nd A.D.

I was born in Albany, NY, raised in Mexico, MO, and went to college at Hendrix College in Conway, AR.  After college, I moved to Chicago, IL for a few years, and at some point realized I wanted to make movies.  I volunteered my help at Movieside Film Festival and quickly fell into working on a documentary.  Around the same time, my twin sister was graduating from special effects school and wanted to move to Los Angeles, and here we are.  Finding a job in Los Angeles wasn’t easy, as I found out, you need to know someone.  I went from Production Assistant to Craft Services and eventually up the Assistant Director ladder to now Producing.  With my own production company, Corrado Studios, my husband and I get to work together doing what we love.

Jenna Edwards- Producer, Film Method Co-Host

For more information about Jenna Edwards please visit the About page.

Producing Sunflowers Website
Burbank International Film Fest

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