Episode Ninety-Nine: Signing Off

June 21, 2012 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

Photo by Ashley Ruskiewicz

Join Cindy Freeman and Jenna Edwards for the last Film Method episode. It’s been an incredible run these past few years as they’ve covered everything from raising money for your film to hiring crew members, running an efficient set, marketing your movie, and much much more. After 99+ episodes it’s time to sign off.


Cindy Freeman – Host/Producer

Cindy Freeman moved to Los Angeles from San Diego in 2009 to pursue a career in the film industry. Upon her arrival in LA she immediately began working with producer Jenna Edwards to create behind-the-scenes content for Jenna’s feature film April Showers. Cindy also directed the behind-the-scenes content creation for Jenna’s film In the Darkness. It was while Cindy was working with Jenna that she was inspired to create the Film Method podcast.

Cindy has worked on a number of independent films as a production assistant and 2nd A.D while in Los Angeles and in July of 2010 she began working at Dreamworks Animation as a production coordinator.

Prior to moving to LA she produced a travel documentary, See Girl Go and a short film, Drips through her production company Soonami Productions.

To contact Cindy you can write to her at info@film-method.com.

Jenna Edwards- Co-Host/Producing Advisor

Jenna Edwards began her film career in Minnesota where she was signed on as talent with Easter Hailey. Quickly after being signed Edwards was hired by the agency as a full time employee giving her a head-start on her Hollywood education. After two years of rising through the Minnesota film community Edwards made the move to Los Angeles.

Soon after Edwards moved to Los Angeles she was hired by Agent Jamie Ferrar. It was while Edwards was working for Ferrar that she developed an interest in the casting process, before long she had moved from talent agencies to working in casting with such industry leaders as Sally Steiner (Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Boy Meets World), Barbie Block (JonasPepper Dennis) and Allison Jones (Super Bad, The Office). During this time Edwards was also able to gain valuable production experience working on shows such as Buffy the Vampire SlayerMalcolm in the Middle, and working with studios like Disney, MTV, FOX and CBS.

After several years of successfully navigating her career through the Hollywood studio system Edwards made the leap to independent film with her first feature April Showers. After her success with April Showers, Edwards formed Mattoid Entertainment with partners Jeremy McGovern and Andrew Robinson where they made, In the Darkness, the first narrative feature to ever premiere on Hulu.com.  Most recently Edwards made her way back to Nebraska, where she shot April Showers, to team up with some new filmmakers on a comedy film called Trunk’d.

To contact Jenna you can write to her at info@film-method.com.

Let’s (not) Talk About Sex, Baby or: 4 Types of Sex Scenes We Don’t Really Need to See Again

March 13, 2012 by cindy  
Filed under Writing Method

If the kids are around, you might wanna send them out of the room for a minute.  I’ll wait.

Hmmhmm, dooduhdooo….did I turn off the—

Hey! You’re back!

Okay, so sex and sexuality are part of the human experience. We all got to Earth thanks to some very special hugs and chances are that at some point in our lives, we’ll do some hugging ourselves. Thus, it makes sense that sex and sexuality will turn up in screenplays. But there’s a way to do it so that it makes sense and there’s a way to do it that is creepy, alienating and ineffective.

Here are 4 types of sex scenes that tend to miss the mark and what you can do to fix them.

The scene where the lame/mean/jerky guy says something inappropriate or embarrassing to a woman but she decides that there’s “just something about him” and so she pounces on him anyway.

What people intend to show with a scene like this: That despite his shortcomings, the hero is not a bad guy and this unnaturally attractive woman sees that.

What people really show with a scene like this: That their female character is desperate and/or has no self-esteem and isn’t someone the audience is going empathize with or respect.

But, Aydrea! This totally happens in real life! Girls hook up with crap dudes all the time! Yes, you are correct. But films aren’t real life. And while we may hold each other to flexible standards, audiences generally do not give such lenience to characters in film. If someone is attracted to someone in a movie, we want there to be a real reason why. Something beyond “I dunno, he’s cute. There’s just something about him.”

The person who gets pounced needs to give the pouncer something that they truly want or need. The guy can act like a bit of jerk, but if he displays a genuine soft spot for his cat or grandmother or war orphans—then he might be pounceable. But when a woman in a movie offers herself as some sort of taming device without getting anything in return, it makes both characters look weak.

The scene where the super powerful businessman/politician has incredibly rough/graphic…playtime with his assistant/secretary/wife’s friend then walks away and goes into a meeting or event like it’s totally no big deal, leaving the impossibly attractive nude lady to gather her things and get out.

What people intend to show in a scene like this: That the businessman/politician is so impressive that he can have whatever he wants and that he’s so detached from it all that he can’t even enjoy it and we should ultimately feel bad for him.

What people actually show in a scene like this: That they couldn’t think of something creative or new to show this character trait.

But Aydrea! This totally happens in real life! Powerful people sometimes have crazy affairs and don’t show remorse! Yes, you are correct. But jerky powerful people also do lots of other things that show that they’re unempathetic. Ebeneezer Scrooge was the quintessential mean ol’ rich guy and there’s nothing sexy about his story.

Also, sex isn’t the only way to show that a character doesn’t care about something of value. Spending bazillions of dollars on a car, just to wreck it seconds later and not care about the little Honda Fit he destroyed in the process because he’ll just pay everyone off would get the same point across. Flushing diamonds down the toilet or having a house full of amazing gadgets that never get used, children who never get hugged and pets who never get walked could also communicate the same idea.

But Aydrea! I’ve watched movies where people use women like playthings and we still kinda want to be like them! Yes, you are correct. But in movies like that that work, those characters usually balance out their misogyny with many other likeable traits. Also, yes, there are some filmmakers who tend to be pretty exploitative when it comes to this sort of thing, and if you are Michael Bay, then what on earth are you doing reading this blog? If you’re not Michael Bay and can’t write your own ticket, then you should be trying to impress readers, studio execs and producers with substance over style.

The scene where the guy really wants to have sex, but the girl doesn’t, so the guy kinda just goes ahead and starts doing sex to her anyway and she eventually comes around and has an amazing time about it.

What people intend to show in a scene like this: That the girl really is actually into this guy but that she’s just shy or something.
What people actually show in a scene like this: That the characters are kind of okay with sexual assault.

But Aydrea! This totally happens in real life! Sometimes girls just play coy and are totally okay with getting busy if you convince them! Yes, you are correct. However, films are not real life and on screen, a guy who coerces sex out of a woman comes across as a creep. And the woman who can’t stick to her point of view long enough to get to sleep comes across as weak.

(Also, let’s be honest, if someone is really not intent on any hanky panky, someone prodding them annoyingly while they’re trying to rest up for their big presentation the next day is more upsetting than seductive.)

A scene like this can work if it’s clear that the characters really do care about each other and if there’s a clear reason for the woman’s reluctance. A scene where an exhausted Dad reminds an exhausted Mom that they’re going to make more of an effort to make a go of it could be informative and sweet. A post-therapy scene where a concerned boyfriend reminds his girlfriend that she doesn’t need to be afraid of closeness anymore can be compelling and transformative.  But to show a guy just being greedy and inconsiderate and a woman finding that hot is insulting to everyone.

The scene where the woman uses nothing but her tight dress and low cut shirt to distract/disarm the powerful dude.

What people intend to show with a scene like this: That everyone has an Achilles’ heel.

What people actually show with a scene like this: That they think men are simple automatons who have no ability to control themselves if they see lady skin.

But Aydrea! Some guys really don’t know how to control themselves when they see lady skin! Yes, you are correct. But in a film, this type of scene diminishes the stakes and gets boring. If all the woman needed to do was flash some flesh to get whatever McGuffin she’s after, then why are we watching an entire movie? Why doesn’t she just prance through life in a bikini taking money from stunned bystanders’ wallets, walking out of stores with unpaid merch, and slowly but surely rising to the rank of Supreme Ruler of all the World! By letting sex or sexuality be the secret weapon, characters don’t have to think, plan or grow. And that’s boring.

In summation:

A sex scene is just like every other scene in a movie. It should show us new information about the characters and it should directly affect the plot of the film. It should motivate character to new action and they should be changed, if even slightly, by having experienced that scene.

If a sex scene is inserted just to seem edgy or cool, it will feel flat, unnecessary and exploitative.

Just like actual sex, when it comes to writing about sex, the tension is often more interesting than the release. While it’s titillating (pun intended) to see nudity on screen, if you’re trying to evoke the kind of emotional reaction that will make a movie really resonate with audiences, not giving it all up is really the way to go. Enter a scene (pun intended) just before or just after the act and you’ve got a lot more to work with in terms of exploring character, defining relationships and maintaining momentum.

All right, you can bring the kids back in the room…

No, Wait!

Okay, what’s up?

But Aydrea! You really like Wedding Crashers and there’s unnecessary boobs in that movie! What gives?? Yes, you are correct. First, I think the boobs in that movie are totally unnecessary, but here’s why they’re not a total turn off. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn are good guys in that movie. They have a silly game of crashing weddings, but they don’t do it to be malicious and they help everyone have a fun time when they’re there. In fact, in the opening sequence of that movie, the guys help a fighting couple reconcile. Yes, they help them ultimately so that they can get off of work for the day, but their help is sincere. Because they are well-intentioned guys, their playtime with the girls feels fun and playful, not manipulative, gross or creepy.

But Aydrea! You liked Blue Valentine and that movie is totally graphic! Yes, you are correct. That sequence, however, falls into the “we know this couple is really trying to work on their relationship” category. The whole film is pretty much about them trying to work on their relationship. That sequence is full of personality and fun (Future Room? Awesome) and we learn things about the characters based on their interactions.

But Aydrea! I don’t agree with anything you’ve said. I think these kinds of scenes are awesome and I want to write them anyway. I think you’re just being sensitive. Maybe because you’re a girl! Yes, you are correct. But you know who else is a girl? Many of the people you’re hoping will read, pass along and green light your scripts.

Whatever! There are movies with nudie scenes and I wanna put one in mine! There’s a myth about town that says that nudity gets you an automatic distribution deal. I can’t confirm what I’m about to say, but this cannot possibly be true.

But even if it is, nudity will likely also get you an R-rating. R-rated movies are a harder to monetize because fewer people can go see them and so fewer people pay for tickets to them. So being a bit more modest can actually help your box office.

Episode Ninety-One: Super Post

November 2, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

When tackling post-production you want to have someone on board that knows the ins and outs of managing your post-production team and who is familiar with working with a number of different film formats. It’s also extremely important to work with a supervisor who is an expert in film deliverables in order to handle all the requests you will receive should you be lucky enough to work with a domestic or foreign distributor.


Anthony Gore-Post Production Supervisor

I have been the Executive in Charge of Post Production for the independent film production company, The Bubble Factory for over 11 years.  Most notably on the films: Playing Mona Lisa (2000), Bad Girls From Valley High (2005), The Devil’s Tomb (2009) and Creature (2011).  My other post production credits include the Adult Swim hit TV series Childrens Hospital and the cult classic television show, Sordid Lives: The Series, as well as the critically acclaimed independent films, West Of Brooklyn and Revolution Green. Currently I am supervising the independent film For The Love Of Money starring James Caan. I am a graduate of Rutgers University and I am an active member of the Motion Picture Editor’s Guild and Producer’s Guild of America.

Film Method Hosts

For more information about the Film Method hosts, please visit the About page.

Episode Eighty-Five: Look of Picture

September 21, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

Have you ever thought of everything that goes into creating the whole look of a film? We’ve brought in three experts to tell you all about it. From the placement of the actors, to the set dressing, props, costumes and make-up- all of these matter when deciding what’s going to be in frame.

Oneita Parker- Costume Designer

Oneita Parker has been designing costumes for film, television, commercials, music videos, and theatre productions for more than a decade with zeal and excitement found in everything she creates.  Oneita got her start in Hollywood designing costumes for several award-winning short films that toured the festival circuit. Oneita has gone on to design costumes for several award-winning features that have also received theatrical release all over the world.  Many times she has been blessed to work with such amazing talents as Samuel L. Jackson, Mink Stoll, Angela Bassett, Jazmine Guy, Courtney Vance, Don Cheadle, Corbin Bernson, Piper Perabo, and Catherine Heigle to name a few. She has worked with such great directors as Mark Webb, JJ Abrahms, Jamie Babbitt, Q. Alan Brocka, and Rosser Goodman among others. Oneita Parker got her start in the rag trade catapulting herself into college a week after high school, to pursue her dreams of being a fashion designer at FiDM in San Francisco.  After a year of straight A’s it was either Los Angeles or New York.  She chose New York and continued her education at the Fashion Institute of Technology majoring in fashion design and  textiles. Oneita Parker currently lives in Los Angeles with her lovely wife and three cats.

Oneita’s Website

Charles Haine- Director of Photography

Charles Haine is a filmmaker/entrepreneur who has been working in the motion picture industry since 1999.  After completely his MFA from USC in 2005, he has worked as a freelance director, cinematographer and colorist.  Since founding Dirty Robber in 2008, he has worked tirelessly to grow the company, expand it’s infrastructure and provide cost effective resources including arrange the deal behind their no-cost office space, and recruiting talented staff. As a colorist he has worked with Radical Media, 47 Pictures, Boxer Films, Arclight films and many others for clients including Ford, Jeep, Honda, Mcdonalds, Burger King, AMC, St. Jude’s Hospital, and many others, including several feaures, and numerous music videos.  As a director of photography has has shot three feature films, his most recent receiving distribution through Lion’s Gate, and has shot commercials, music videos, industrials and several short films. He also is an associate professor at Los Angeles City College teaching cinematographer and editing, and he teaches color grading, visual design and stereography at Columbia College Hollywood.

Dirty Robber Website

Michael Fitzgerald- Production Designer

After growing up in theater in Santa Cruz, California, Michael Fitzgerald moved to LA to attend UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, & TV. One of his first jobs was creating Cuba in LA for Josh Evan’s “Che,” where only a theater nerd would make with a tobacco plant out of lettuce, rope, paint and palm leaves.   Michael has created visual stories for directors including a hippie commune and teen punk world for Adam Sherman’s “Happiness Runs,” skate ramps, clubhouses, & a con man abode in Cosmo Segursons “Nic and Tristan, Go Mega Dega,” a bachelor pad loft and Seattle News station for Slamdance 2009 hit Blayne Weaver’s “Weather Girl,” Paris apts, Drag bingo, & and Silverlake artist duplex, in Jason Bushman’s “Hollywood Je T’aime,” a creepy house and a game that comes alive for “The Black Waters of Echos Pond,” and the comic book reality for a high school of jocks and geeks in “The Secret Life of Dorks.”  Michael had the challenge of building two entire New York apartments from scratch on stage for Slamdance 2010 hit “Four-Faced Liar”.  Currently Michael wrapped a 3D version of Fred Figglehorn’s next adventure for Lions Gate and Varsity Pictures and Maya Entertaiment’s “Without Men,” where he created a whole village from scratch starring Eva Longoria and Christian Slater.  Michael has also worked on two web series with Rob Pearlstein “Matumbo Goldberg,” with Anthony Anderson and Extreme Office for Samung Galaxy Tabs.  And spent the last year on Michael Kristoff’s “Live at the Foxes Den,” with Jackson Rathbone, Elliot Gould, Brian Doyle-Murray, Bob Gunton, and Jocelyn Donahue where he got to create an entire den/lounge from scratch..the Foxes Den!

Michael’s IMDB Page

Film Method Hosts

For more information about the Film Method hosts, please visit the About page.

What happens in your movie? Both TO the character and IN the character?

September 20, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under Writing Method

What happens in your movie? Both TO the character and IN the character?

When developing a story for a screenplay, you need to make sure that you’re considering both the physical action of the story and the character’s emotional arc. It can be easy to favor one over the other or to neglect one altogether.

I had these conversations with clients recently. Some specifics have been changed to protect the property, but apart from that, here’s how it went.

#1

Me: So tell me about your movie.

Client: Well, it’s set in 1715 on the coast in Japan. It’s about these four women. One’s an acrobat—she has a famous father, one’s an immigrant—her parents were killed in a car crash, one’s an architect—she also loves poetry and one’s a domestic worker who’s about to get engaged.

Me: Okay, so what happens?

Client: Well, they all deal with their lives and they learn to be stronger people.

Me: But what happens?

Client: Well, like the acrobat wonders if she should be following in the family business. The domestic worker wonders if she should really marry this guy—

Me: Okay. But what happens?

#2

Me: So tell me about your movie.

Client: Well, this guy finds out that the material that will save his cat is under the ground in his neighbor’s yard. So first, he calls up the vet, but the thing is the vet is actually a “vet”—like he went to war—so he gets all weird and says that he’ll help him, but only if the guy first helps avenge the death of his fellow soldiers. So the guys go and do that and it turns out that the guy who the vet wants the guy to kill is actually his neighbor, so the guy thinks that’s great because now he can get the mineral that’s in the neighbor’s yard, but the neighbor paves over the entire yard and then the guy’s wife is dying, so the one guy can’t kill the other guy unless he kills the wife too, so he has to go track her down so that he can get them both in the same place and he and the vet go on the road together. So it’s like a buddy comedy with an assassin angle.

Me: Okay. So what happens?

Both of these pitches leave out a key element. The first told us quite a bit about the characters…but lacked plot. The second had the opposite problem.

When developing an idea for a script, your story should have both elements. There should be action and events that your character initiates and deals with. There should also be an emotional transformation as well. Ideally, these two threads are related.

Here are some wildly random examples from real life:

Wall Street

Plot: An up and coming stock broker gets a chance to make millions working for his idol.

Emotion: Once after money, fame and power, Bud learns that what he really wants is his moral fiber and his father’s respect.

The Shawshank Redemption

Plot: A man escapes from prison.

Emotion: A man used to just taking life as it was dealt to him learns to stand up for himself,  takes charge of his life and escape physical as well as emotional captivity.

The Change Up

Plot: Two men switch bodies.

Emotion: Best friends come to respect each other while more deeply appreciating their own lives.

The King’s Speech

Plot: A man hires a tutor to fix his speech impediment.

Emotion: A prince who believes he does not deserve the honor of being king overcomes his lack of confidence to accept the throne and lead his country during its most difficult hour.

Inception

Plot: A man is hired to go inside a someone’s dream and change his mind.

Emotion: A man must come to terms with the death of his wife…while still seeing her spirit every day at work.

Without the emotional layer, the plots sound kind of boring. And without the action of the plot, the emotions sound kind of schmaltzy. But put them together and you have movie magic!

Well, maybe not with The Change Up, but you get what I’m saying.

Here’s how the first pitch might sound if a plot were added.

Client: Well, it’s set in Japan, 1715. Four women decide that since the country still has a ban on Western literature, they’re going to form an underground book club. They work to smuggle books across the country, teach other women English and hide their meetings from the authorities. The work affects them all differently and as they read stories, they each begin to rewrite the story of their own lives. One realizes that her family’s business is a worthwhile career choice. One realizes that she must break off her wedding. One finally gets up the nerve to publish her own book. And one adopts a child to create the family she didn’t think she deserved.

Now we know the plot of the story: Four friends form a secret club.

And some sense of the emotional through line: By taking a risk, stifled people learn to open up.

The second could be helped like this:

Client: Well, it’s about guy who’s afraid to interact with people so he loves his pet cat more than anything else. In fact, he hates humanity as much as he loves his cat. He hates people so much that when he learns that the only way to save his cat’s life is to kill 2-3 people, he’s willing to do it; so he plans and trains to be hit man. But when he begins to develop relationships with his tutors (the girl who teaches him how to fire a weapon, the guy who helps him get fitted for Kevlar, etc.) he learns that people aren’t so bad after all and faces a tough choice between his cat and his new friends.

Plot: Angry guy becomes a hit man to save his pet’s life.

Emotion: Shy guy learns to connect with people.

Your script will need both of these elements in order to register with audiences. Explosions and plot twists are fun, but it’s the emotion tying it all together that makes it meaningful and memorable.

Support from Start to Finish: Mother’s Red Dress

June 4, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under Support from Start to Finish

Mother’s Red Dress, a tragic love story, is the third feature film in three years for No Restrictions Entertainment, an independent filmmaking partnership between writer/director Edgar Michael Bravo and producer John Paul Rice. The team is known among its fan base and those in the micro-budget indie community for making compelling dramatic films that deal with challenging topics in the realm of social issues.

Over the past four years, they’ve built a strong following starting with their first feature, the critically acclaimed, One Hour Fantasy Girl, (based on a true story) a poignant story of a runaway girl from the mid-west living in Hollywood who works as a no-sex call girl to pursue her dream of investing in real estate. The audience’s strongest reactions came from a majority of women who sympathized with a guarded yet vulnerable young woman making her way through a dangerous world to achieve her goal of financial independence – finding an emotionally engaging female empowerment movie. These reactions propelled the team to partner up with charities and organizations, showing the film in theaters to raise awareness and funds for abused runaways.

Now with their third film just weeks away from a locked picture edit, the team is raising finishing funds for Mother’s Red Dress via Kickstarter – one of the more popular crowd-funding platforms available to filmmakers – and combining the fundraising with charity as 10% of every dollar pledged will be donated to an organization that helps victims of domestic violence and child abuse.

Mother’s Red Dress is the story of a young man, Paul, who leaves home to start a new life after seeing his mother kill her abusive boyfriend and threatens to kill her son if he tells anyone.  Paul moves to a small town in Southern California where he meets Ashley, a young woman who also comes from a broken home yet is unaware of Paul’s troubled past with his mother. Ashley inspires Paul to apply to a local community college. All is going well until Paul gets a call from his mother who is dying of cancer and wants to see him one last time.  She offers to reunite Paul with his estranged father who disappeared during his childhood – his father, wanting to meet and convince Paul he is a changed man. Paul decides to travel back home with Ashley following the next day but the truth of what actually happened in the house and to Paul is waiting for both of them.

Mr. Bravo and Mr. Rice talk about their current crowd funding campaign, effective strategies and more on the Film Method podcast with Cindy Freeman and Jenna Edwards.

To learn more about MOTHER’S RED DRESS and their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

You can also follow the project on Facebook or connect with John Paul Rice on Twitter.

John Paul Rice- Producer

Mr. Rice attended Georgia State University in 1997 with a focus on Business. In 1999, while at college, Mr. Rice was given a rare opportunity to work on Jerry Bruckheimer’s Remember the Titans. Following three months on the film, John directed his studies toward learning the history of cinema. Mr. Rice gained hands-on production experience by working on a handful of micro- budget independent films between courses before moving to Los Angeles January 2001 to pursue a career in film production. By mid 2001, John landed a position at the Los Angeles division of the German distribution company Senator International (which later became Mandate Pictures) lead by industry veteran Joseph Drake (Juno, The Grudge, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, 30 Days of Night, American Psycho). Under Joe’s mentoring, John developed an interest and dedication to producing feature films. John left Mandate to form No Restrictions Entertainment LLC with filmmaker Edgar Michael Bravo. In 2008, Mr. Rice produced his first feature One Hour Fantasy Girl with Edgar Michael Bravo directing. The following year, he and Mr. Bravo produced the supernatural thriller The Magic Stone, set for release in 2011.

Edgar Michael Bravo- Writer/Director

Latino writer/director Edgar Michael Bravo has explored the residual effects of the North American and Latino culture clash in several of his films. During his studies at the UCLA graduate school of film (MFA, 1993) Mr. Bravo’s film Mi Casa, which dealt with Latino immigrants in L.A., won the grand prize at the A&E national film competition. This prestigious award helped launchhis directorial career and Edgar took on his next challenge:Mi Hermano which was the first drama to deal with the ramifications of AIDS and Latino immigrants. This poignant, edgy film garnered Mr. Bravo a Cine Eagle Award and was broadcast nationally on Univision and PBS. After receiving his Masters of Fine Arts from UCLA with honors, Mr. Bravo wrote and directed the feature I’ll Love You Forever…Tonight, which won national rave reviews including Kevin Thomas (L.A. Times) & Steve Holden (N.Y. Times). The project co-starred Thomas Jane (The Punisher, Dreamcatcher, Boogie Nights). Phaedra released the film nationally. Video distribution was handled by BlockBuster and Hollywood Video. Lila Cazes (producer of Leaving Las Vegas) saw I’ll Love You Forever…Tonight and hired him to complete Venus Rising, a feature that required a re-write and re-shoots. Lila was so pleased with Mr. Bravo’s take on the material, that they hired him to write the feature The Perfect Husband.
Mr. Bravo’s film Mi Hermano was viewed by Columbia-Tri-Star and Telemundo and led to his first directorial stint in television. Mr. Bravo shot an hour long episode of Reyes y Rey (1998), a popular police drama based in a fictional Latino border town. The episode received such high ratings that he was contracted to direct two episodes of their other co-production Angeles, a Latino version of Charlie’s Angels. Edgar’s following project, The Preacher’s Son received a Houston World Fest Award (2000). His next script which he collaborated with another writer The Closing Bell, received a Zide/Perry finalist award (2002) and won the Telluride Indie Fest Award chosen as one of the “best indie scripts (2002).” After reviewing his body of work, the award winning San Francisco writers Bob Vickery and Dale Chase granted Mr. Bravo rights to their stories. The result was the script The Three Stages of Stan produced in 2003. In 2008, Mr. Bravo partnered with producer John Paul Rice on their first HD feature film One Hour Fantasy Girl, set for limited theatrical release in 2010. The following year, the team produced the supernatural thriller The Magic Stone, set for release in 2011. Mr. Bravo’s great dream is to direct his script, The Conquest of Mexico, which depicts the beauty of Mexico before the treachery of Cortez and the European diseases he brought which devastated a highly developed indigenous culture.

Episode Sixty: Pre-Production in a Nutshell

December 8, 2010 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

You thought this day would never come, but it’s here! The release of the last episode of our Pre-Production Season! For this episode we recap the previous season in all of its glory. Producers Jenna Edwards, Aydrea ten Bosch, and John Paul Rice join me to revisit the season and discuss just how important pre-production is and how to lay the best plans to make your film a success!

Aydrea ten Bosch- Writer/Producer

Aydrea, a former news reporter, has been a freelance writer for Nickelodeon and Hawaii Film Partners, a staff writer for Disney and currently has a feature film in post production with Highlander Films. Aydrea has been a finalist in the AAA Creative Screenwriting Contest and while at Disney, one of her scripts was chosen to represent the network before the Emmy Nominating Committee. She also runs the blog The Oreo Experience.

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

Jenna Edwards- Producer

Jenna Edwards began her film career in Minnesota where she was signed on as talent with Easter Hailey. Quickly after being signed Edwards was hired by the agency as a full time employee giving her a head-start on her Hollywood education. After two years of rising through the Minnesota film community Edwards made the move to Los Angeles.

Soon after Edwards moved to Los Angeles she was hired by Agent Jamie Ferrar. It was while Edwards was working for Ferrar that she developed an interest in the casting process, before long she had moved from talent agencies to working in casting with such industry leaders as Sally Steiner (Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Boy Meets World), Barbie Block (Jonas, Pepper Dennis) and Allison Jones (Super Bad, The Office). During this time Edwards was also able to gain valuable production experience working on shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Malcolm in the Middle, and working with studios like Disney, MTV, FOX and CBS.

After several years of successfully navigating her career through the Hollywood studio system Edwards made the leap to independent film with her first feature April Showers. After her success with April Showers Edwards formed Mattoid Entertainment with partners Jeremy McGovern and Andrew Robinson where they made, In the Darkness,  the first narrative feature to ever premiere on Hulu.com.  Most recently Edwards made her way back to Nebraska, where she shot April Showers, to team up with some new filmmakers on a comedy film called Trunk’d.

Mattoid Website

John Paul Rice- Producer

John Paul Rice attended Georgia State University in 1997 with a focus on Business. In 1999, while at college, Mr. Rice was given a rare opportunity to work on Jerry Bruckheimer’s Remember the Titans. After working almost three months on the film, John returned to school and directed his studies toward learning the history of cinema. He moved to Los Angeles in January 2001 to pursue a career in film production. By mid 2001, John landed a position at the Los Angeles division of the German distribution company Senator International (which later became Mandate Pictures) lead by industry veteran Joseph Drake (Juno, The Grudge, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, 30 Days of Night, American Psycho). Under Joe’s mentoring, John developed an interest and dedication to producing feature films. John left Mandate in the fall of 2005 to form No Restrictions Entertainment LLC with filmmaker Edgar Michael Bravo. In 2008, John produced his first feature One Hour Fantasy Girl with Edgar Michael Bravo directing, Levi Obery co-producing.  In 2009, the team produced formed a new production entity, Bravo-Obery-Rice Productions, producing their second feature film now in post production, (psychological thriller) The Magic Stone, a journey into the mind of a homeless man who is trying to stay connected with reality as he struggles to protect a runaway boy and a girl he loves. John Paul Rice produced his third feature, Mother’s Red Dress, an unusual love story, last summer.

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Episode Fifty-Eight: S3LA Event with Film Method Part 1

November 24, 2010 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

On November 11th, 2010 Film Method and Mental Eclectic held their first joint Shorts ‘N Spirits Showcase together. The event featured many different web series and shorts and included industry speakers as well. Film Method was there to capture it! This is part one of the interviews we conducted at the event with speaker Diahnna Nicole Baxter of Web TV Workshop, filmmaker Scott Baker with his film Cub and writer/creator Steve Silverman and actors Sam Pancake and Stacy McQueen of the hit web series Pretty.

Scott Baker-Filmmaker

Scott Baker, a native of Northern California, received a degree in History from Sonoma State University and served in the United States Peace Corps from 2000-2001 in Turkmenistan.  He co-founded Vegan Cannibals Productions with Philip Stimmell in 2002.  Their first film, Brunch of the Dead was a feature-length zombie-comedy. Since re-locating to Riverside they have done several award-winning short films, including Rationed which screened at this year’s Cannes Short Film Corner and 2 episodes for their new series Findings (think Ghosthunters meets Reno911!).  You can find out more at www.VeganCannibals.com
Scott’s film Rationed was 2nd runner-up in the world finals of 48 Hour Film Project, aka, Filmapalooza as part of the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The film was also selected for a showcase at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival (Short Film Corner Marche du Film).

Steve Silverman-Writer/Director/Executive Producer

Steve Silverman is a critically-acclaimed playwright, with over twenty plays and musicals produced nationwide, including the three years running smash hit 15 Minutes of Fem, and Slideshow , which the LA Times proclaimed “Downright Magical,” now in it’s fifth year of monthly shows at the Fake Gallery in Hollywood. Steve is also a multi-award winning writer-producer in the world of On-Air Promotions, with stints at ABC, CBS, NBC, Bravo, The WB, and the CW under his belt, he presently spends his days (and some nights) at the FOX Broadcasting Company – you know those commercials you see that try to get you to watch American Idol and The Simpsons? He makes those. Pretty is Steve’s first swim in the vast ocean that is the ‘interwebs’ as a writer-director.

Stacy McQueen- Actor

Stacy McQueen attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and earned her BFA from Webster University Conservatory of Theater Arts where she was one of twelve (out of the nation) recipients of the prestigious Irene Ryan/ Kennedy Center Award. She moved to Los Angeles and studied with the late great Roy London (with the likes of Brad Pitt, Geena Davis, Kristen Davis, Framke Jenson…yeah, what happened there?) She was saved by Dolph Ludgren in I Come in Peace, served a two and half year stint on General Hospital playing nurse Sheila Cantillion and portrayed a whore with a heart of gold on Quantum Leap. She got her big break when she was reunited with Dean Stockwell as a series regular on the sitcom In the Mood. Unfortunately, it wasn’t picked up. She worked on the short lived Maybe this Time along with Craig Ferguson in his first TV role in the US. He went on to become a star of late night and she went on to be one of the few clothed women in HBO’s Breast Men.  She’s performed in many plays around town. Some of her favorite roles were Princess Leia Magdalene in Jesus Christ Super Star Wars and Annette, the retarded Asian baton twirler in The King and I Know What You Did Last Summer. Stacy most enjoyed Vangsness/McQueen, a show she co-starred/co-created with her dear friend Kirsten Vangsness. You can find lots more on Stacy at www.stacymcqueen.com.

Sam Pancake- Actor

Sam Pancake is an actor, improviser, and sketch comedian who hails from Romney, WV. He first came to the attention of film and television casting directors in the late ’90′s as a member of the award-winning sketch comedy troupe, Margot’s Bush, and not long after that he found himself being called, well, a “cunt” by none other than Larry David in the notorious “The Shrimp Incident” episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. That inglorious moment led to numerous high-profile recurring and guest starring television roles on many popular series, including Pushing Daisies, ‘Til Death, Friends, Arrested Development, Will & Grace, Life with Bonnie, Fat Actress, Charmed, West Wing, NYPD Blue, Without a Trace, and many more. Sam was also a regular on back-to-back critically acclaimed series, FOX’s Kitchen Confidential, created by Darren Star, and Lifetime’s improv-based sitcom, Lovespring International. Sam has also appeared in a slew of films, including Ready? OK!, Over Her Dead Body, Straight Jacket, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, Legally Blonde 2, Girls Will be Girls, and the upcoming Falling Up and Barry Monday. In addition to his film and television appearances, Sam has also been an active member of the Los Angeles theatre community for years. He has graced many production on local stages, including the “Real Live Stage” spoofs of the films Foxes and St. Elmo’s Fire, as well as the TV shows CHiPS and The Facts of Life, in which he made a lovely Blair Warner. Sam has performed his autobiographical one-man show The Head is Not Reliable: Stories from a High-Strung Appalachian Boyhood on stage many times over the last few years. And, yes, it is true: Pancake is indeed his real last name. He will be more than happy to tell you how THAT all happened!

Video

September 16, 2010 by bmcclure  
Filed under Video

Video courtesy of Brooklyn Girl Productions.

Episode Fifty: Icons Panel #4

August 25, 2010 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

The Icons event was held during Comic Con and showcased different types of pop culture including art, film, music and fashion. Film Method conducted a total of four panels at the event. Here is the recording from the fourth panel of the day with 10 year old film critic Perry Chen, Director Kevin Sean Michaels and the director of How to Train Your Dragon, Dean DeBlois.

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Click to view the Icons Photo Gallery

Perry S. Chen- Film Critic/Animator

At 10 years old, Perry Chen is the most influential and award-winning child film and entertainment critic, speaker, TV personality, radio talk show host, reviewing movies and family-friendly entertainment with his unique, kids-friendly starfish rating system on a multi-media platform on TV, radio, print, and web. He is an entertainment critic for the San Diego Entertainer Magazine and was the first child film critic invited to present at the prestigious Annie Awards for animation, the youngest blogger on Animation World Network (AWN), the youngest member of Asian American Journalist Association (AAJA), and San Diego Press Club, and the youngest honoree of Cox Communications annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Perry has been a frequent star on the red carpet and credentialed journalist interviewing filmmakers and stars at major film festivals, movie premieres, and press junkets. He is a speaker at a TEDx conference.

Perry has become an authoritative spokesperson for his generation about movies with his insight and humor from a child’s perspective, combining entertainment and education for kids.  Perry is also an award-winning artist, filmmaker and animator, partnering with Oscar-nominee Bill Plympton to create a new animation short, Beyond the Forest, about a young Jewish girl’s survival during the Holocaust.  Perry became a national sensation on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric and NPR with Liane Hansen.  He has been extensively featured on regional, national and international media.  Perry’s Previews webseries is slated to launch in the summer of 2010. Visit http://www.perryspreviews.com for details.

Kevin Sean Michaels- Director

Kevin Sean Michaels was born and raised in New York City. He started making films at age thirteen with a Super 8 home movie camera in the style of silent movies. Michaels was the Art Director for Troma Entertainment for three and a half years, working closely with filmmaker Lloyd Kaufman on Troma’s film Poultrygeist! Night of the Chicken Dead,  as well as numerous DVD extras. He founded his own production company, Vamp Productions in 2005.

Michaels is known for his documentaries, Vampira: The Movie was his first documentary released on Alpha Video in 2008. Since then, he has produced The Wild World of Ted V.Mikels, about the grind-house filmmaker, due in stores March, 2010 also on Alpha Video. In 2008, Michaels met David Lynch and is producing a documentary, Beyond The Noise about a teenager’s journey learning Transcendental Meditation.

He is working on a project with horror legend Ingrid Pitt on an animated short on her experiences in the Holocaust with 10 year old art prodigy Perry Chen and two-time Oscar nominee Bill Plympton.

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