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/

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 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-One: Lighting a Set

May 11, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

For obvious reasons, lights are some of the most important elements on a film set. Without light, you wouldn’t see what’s in the picture and without the picture, you wouldn’t have a movie! The lighting department is filled with many peculiar sounding crew member titles like best boy, grip and even a griptrician (what you get when you cross a grip with an electrician). Chris Lewis joins us to talk about motivating his department on set and the proper etiquette for running a well-oiled G&E team.

Chris T. Lewis- Lighting Designer, Chief Lighting Technician


Chris started his career in the entertainment industry in 1982 while living in Phoenix, Arizona. He got his basic training by working with a Phoenix corporate and trades production company and learned all the basics of production from the beginning of design concept stages to the end of deep storage wrap. They had a small staff and everyone was cross trained with a hands on approach. Chris then moved to Page, Arizona where he worked on commercials and videos being shot at Lake Powell including the Sports Illustrated 25th Anniversary Swimsuit Video and his first feature film Highway to Hell.

In 1992 he was offered a position on Babylon 5 and he made the decision to move to Los Angeles, California, to work full time in the electrical department. Since then Chris has moved up through the electrical ranks and is now a successful Lighting Designer and Chief Lighting Tech. He owns his own business, Corsair Lighting, which rents electrical equipment.

Chris also stays up to date with his US Passport, is Padi Certified, and Dan Insured. He’s worked all over the world including Africa, Costa Rica, and Prague. He is local to Los Angeles, CA and Kaneohe, Oahu. Currently (2011), Chris is still employed as a Lighting Designer and Chief Lighting Technician.

He has just finished Season 14 on The Ultimate Fighter television series and has upcoming underwater projects being shot at Fantasy II Film Effects in Los Angeles.

Written by: Christina Christensen Lewis

Corsair Website
Chris’ 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

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 (Superbad, The Office).

During this time Edwards was also able to gain valuable production experience 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 and has since successfully produced 4 feature films as well as co-hosting the Film Method podcast and teaching producing classes at New York Film Academy.

After her success with April Showers Edwards formed Mattoid Entertainment with partners Jeremy McGovern and Andrew Robinson where they produced the first ever made-for-internet movie, In the Darkness, which premiered on Hulu.com. Mattoid has recently made the leap to distribution, where they have acquired three feature documentaries to be released in 2011.  The first, Adopting Haiti premiered as the #1 documentary on Hulu.com.

Aside from continuing to work at Mattoid, Jenna is busy working on budgets for several independent films, producing 2 feature films and developing projects for television as well as teaching producing at New York Film Academy.

Producing Sunflowers Website

Burbank International Film Festival

Episode Seventy: The Hierarchy on Set

May 4, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

When you’re on a film set, like in any business, there is a certain structure that should be followed in order to finish your day and ultimately to finish your film. Of course on a film set, just like in any business, things don’t always go according to plan, and this is when the members of the crew need to get creative. The 1st A.D. is the eyes and ears of what goes on during principle photography and most of the decisions that are made on set go through him or her. Frank Caridi joins us to talk about the hierarchy on set, set etiquette, and who can fire who.

Frank Caridi- Film Worker

Frank started his film career in Chicago in the mid 90′s, first in industrial videos, then in the fast paced, insanely challenging indie film scene.  In Chicago in the 1990′s, being an indie film worker means you are comfortable wearing several hats on set, and possibly a bartender’s apron off set.  He became an integral part of a film production team headed by Christina Varotsis, and known for its resourcefulness and stretching budgets to the breaking point. That reputation landed that crew the first season of HBO’s Project Greenlight.

After a the minor notoriety and Hollywood Awakening of Project Greenlight, Frank decided to move to Los Angeles.  Although he left the bartender’s apron behind, he did manage to bring both his love of rough and tumble low budget film making as well as his solid, Midwestern work ethic.  The rush of overcoming the challenges of making a film happen without the comforts and resources of an ample budget became addictive, and a niche as a low budget 1st AD was found…then abandoned for the paycheck of commercial production.

After years of working in commercials in Los Angeles, Frank returned to independent production to make music videos as head of production for both Propeller Productions and then for Highway 114.  Producing music videos employed the creative problem solving of indie film production, but also introduced the creative freedom that is unique to short format videos.  Everything about music video production is short, including the business model of a music video production company.  When Josh Tickell of the Veggie Van Organization approached Frank to build and promote a sustainable vehicle to promote the theatrical release of his film, FUEL, Frank became a builder and green engineer.

Frank’s Email Address: madcap1314@gmail.com

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.

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 (Superbad, The Office).

During this time Edwards was also able to gain valuable production experience 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 and has since successfully produced 4 feature films as well as co-hosting the Film Method podcast and teaching producing classes at New York Film Academy.

After her success with April Showers Edwards formed Mattoid Entertainment with partners Jeremy McGovern and Andrew Robinson where they produced the first ever made-for-internet movie, In the Darkness, which premiered on Hulu.com. Mattoid has recently made the leap to distribution, where they have acquired three feature documentaries to be released in 2011.  The first, Adopting Haiti premiered as the #1 documentary on Hulu.com.

Aside from continuing to work at Mattoid, Jenna is busy working on budgets for several independent films, producing 2 feature films and developing projects for television as well as teaching producing at New York Film Academy.

Producing Sunflowers Website

Burbank International Film Festival

Support From Start to Finish with Steve Everson

May 1, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under Support from Start to Finish

This new feature from Film Method will highlight different crowd funding campaigns each month. Producer Steve Everson is our guest blogger this month as we focus on the Indiegogo campaign for his short film A Midsummer Nightmare.

In the early pre-production of Midsummer, our goal was to avoid two pitfalls of many of the short films that we had seen or worked on, in the past. First, we decided it is important that the story have an extremely strong hook that incorporates elements that are new to viewers. The other main pitfall to avoid, as we saw it, was to stifle the film’s creative efforts by attempting the film unprepared.

To address the former, it was decided, rather than create a typical horror film with a faceless killer stalking the cast until the end, the main inspiration is drawn from William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The latter became one of the primary reasons for the crowd funding campaign for A Midsummer Nightmare – The Betrayal.

As fans, we know that the popularity of both the horror and fantasy genres are strong, but the tie-in of Shakespeare opened the door to fans that may not have donated to a horror or fantasy film.

Writer & Director Josh Siegel did a great job with this and really ran wild with the story to create something both scary and fantastical. He put all the characters that you would expect to see in Shakespeare’s play, including King Oberon and Queen Titania of the Fairies’ court, and, of course, the mischievous Puck. But then, we turned the whole story on its ear. (Including an appearance by William Shakespeare.)

The Story: England, 1596. The Brotherhood of St. George uses William Shakespeare to trap the Faerie Court within an enchanted book, sparking a secret war with the pagan Feyists. 250 years later the book is opened and the magical beings are freed in a California forest.

Lord Oberon and Queen Titania are not happy after their long imprisonment, unleashing their wrath upon mankind. Three cowboys fight to survive long enough to stop the vengeful faeries and the murderous prankster called Puck.

Once the film is complete, the film will go on the festival circuit. We have a lot of confidence in its ability to perform and compete in the festivals we have targeted. These include about 30 of the top festivals in the US and Europe that are horror and fantasy themed.

When it has completed its tour, we are working on making the film available for download from a variety of outlets via the Internet (most are still in the preliminary stages) and of course, DVDs will be available with supplemental content including concept art, cast and crew bios and interviews and much more.

On behalf of the entire cast and crew, we would like to invite the listeners of Film Method to join us at any of the following links (hopefully all of the links) to keep updated on the progress of the film, help boost the word of mouth or even throw in a few dollars, if possible.

And thank you so much to Cindy Freeman and everyone at Film-Method.com!

To checkout our crowd funding campaign

Indiegogo:

http://www.indiegogo.com/A-Midsummer-Nightmare

Keep updated with all developments

The Blog:

http://midsummerfilm.blogspot.com/

Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/AMidsummerNightmare

Twitter:

@midsummerfilm

A Midsummer Nightmare – The Betrayal

Produced by Steve Everson, L. Jeffrey Moore and Joshua Siegel

Steve Everson- Producer


Steve holds a degree in Communication Design, Media Arts from CSU, Chico. He spent three years as a commercial producer for Charter Media. Following that, Steve was hired as the Cinematographer and a Post Producing Consultant for the feature film Bloodwood Cannibals. The next year, he was hired as a Assistant Director and Co-Producer on the feature film Lesser Miracles. As a MFA student at the Academy of Art, Steve has served as a Producer twelve short films and a music video.

Episode Sixty-Nine: Producing Challenges Big Budgets Vs. Small

April 27, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

Having unlimited resources at your disposal while making a movie doesn’t mean that you’ll make a great movie, but it sure helps. What luxuries do you have on a larger budget production? What must you sacrifice to make a smaller budget work? Producer Scott Fort joins us to discuss what it’s like to make features ranging from half a million dollars to 5 million dollars. In this episode we also kick off our new feature Support: From Start to Finish, in which we’ll highlight a different crowd funding campaign every month. Steve Everson joins us this month to talk about the Indigogo campaign for his film A Midsummer Nightmare.

Scott Fort- Producer


Robert Scott Fort has been a working professional in the film industry for over 20 years.  During the first stage of his career, Mr. Fort worked as a Director of Development at Walt Disney Studios for Stuart Gordon, the director of RE-ANIMATOR, developing projects such as DYNOTOPIA, AMERICAN PSYCHO and the sequel to HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS.  He also worked with Indie film producer David Lancaster on various Showtime projects, and later with writer/producer, Jim Kouf, also at Walt Disney Studios.

Mr. Fort began working in physical production as a Production Coordinator and Production Manager for Full Moon Pictures, where he supervised over 25 low budget horror films.  From there Mr. Fort worked on numerous television pilots and movies of the week at such studios as Warner Bros, Paramount Pictures, Sony Television, Showtime and Lifetime.

Mr. Fort has also worked as a UPM or Line Producer on numerous independent features with directors such as: Ken Loach, Christopher Coppola, Andy Fleming and Joe Dante.  He has worked in locations as diverse as Utah, Arizona, Missouri, Mississipi, New Mexico, Louisiana, Texas and North Carolina, and has developed an expertise in putting together budget scenarios for film financing packages.

Most recently Mr. Fort Line Produced THE COVER UP based on an infamous Iowa crime case and directed by Sundance winning director, Brian Jun, and Production Managed ACT OF VALOR for Legendary Pictures slated for release in 2011.  He recently Line Produced the teen action thriller, BIG BAD for Eye Vox Entertainment, and is currently prepping a psychological thriller titled CHAINED to be directed by Jennifer Lynch.

Mr. Fort is an alumnus of California State University of Fullerton, graduating with a degree in Communications, with an emphasis in TV & Film. He is a member of the Producer’s Guild of America.

Credits include: THE THACKER CASE, MARK BURNETTE’S GOLD RUSH, KISS KISS BANG BANG, WAITRESS, and LOVE SPRING.

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 (Superbad, The Office).

During this time Edwards was also able to gain valuable production experience 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 and has since successfully produced 4 feature films as well as co-hosting the Film Method podcast and teaching producing classes at New York Film Academy.

After her success with April Showers Edwards formed Mattoid Entertainment with partners Jeremy McGovern and Andrew Robinson where they produced the first ever made-for-internet movie, In the Darkness, which premiered on Hulu.com. Mattoid has recently made the leap to distribution, where they have acquired three feature documentaries to be released in 2011.  The first, Adopting Haiti premiered as the #1 documentary on Hulu.com.

Aside from continuing to work at Mattoid, Jenna is busy working on budgets for several independent films, producing 2 feature films and developing projects for television as well as teaching producing at New York Film Academy.

Producing Sunflowers Website

Guest Blogging Series with Jason Brubaker: How To Sell Your Movie Checklist

January 10, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under news

If you’ve made a feature film, congratulations! As an independent filmmaker, you’ve just accomplished a feat that many find impossible. You’ve put together a cast and crew, refined your script, found some financing and in the process, you’ve even figured out how to ignore all your significant other’s not-so-subtle hints that a career selling life insurance wouldn’t be that bad.

But behind all the excitement, you and I both know there is one nagging question on your mind. And it is the same question asked by every independent feature filmmaker. You’re wondering: “How am I going to sell this thing?”

That is a good question. And if you’re crossing your fingers for a huge paycheck and a three-picture Hollywood deal, what I’m about to tell you is going to be very different than what you had hoped for.

Thanks to technology, any person with a thousand dollars can grab an HD camera and create a backyard indie. And while this does not guarantee quality, it does create a market flooded with cheaply produced movies. Couple this with a decline in traditional sales channels and your odds of finding a profitable deal have become increasingly challenging.

For most filmmakers, this revelation comes as a shock. After all the work you put into making your movie project a reality, the prospect of putting a no-deal DVD onto a bookshelf and failing to get a return on investment is discouraging. And if it wasn’t for the internet, I’d probably tell you that a career selling life insurance wouldn’t be too bad.

But I have good news! Like you, our first feature was met with empty distribution promises and crappy deals. So by necessity, we started selling our title on Amazon as both a physical DVD and a video on demand download. At first, none of the producers liked that idea. I mean, even if a traditional deal sucks, at least there is still validation of seeing your title on the shelves at the local video store…

Then we made our first sale. We thought it was an anomaly. How could we possibly make money with our movie? We had no stars. We had no formal distribution. And most people on earth had never heard of our title (including you.) But then we made another sale… And then a third… And then a dozen…

That was 2006. Since that time, our movie has sold in ways we never imagined. As a result, every four months I get a nice check. And while it’s not enough money to buy my retirement, I can’t complain.

This success was enough to convince me that making money as an indie filmmaker is no longer about the BIG pay day. These days filmmakers need to create good work, find their target audience and focus on selling movies consistently over time. As a result, I now believe the modern moviemaking model is to eventually create multiple streams of movie income.

For many filmmakers, this sort of talk might be crazy.

Think about it. In years past, filmmakers only self distributed their movies when they had to. It wasn’t a choice! But these days, filmmakers can choose to self-distribute, because 9 times out of 10, making your title available on Amazon and iTunes and other popular VOD marketplaces can potentially pay more than a traditional deal. Because a deal that pays zero is not a deal. (Of course I’m expressing my opinion.)

The following “How To Sell Your Movie” checklist will provide you with a broad overview of how to market and sell your movie without the middle-man.

This checklist should be considered a good start – but many of you will want further information. For that, check out: www.howtosellyourmovie.com

Wherever I thought it would help, I’ve mentioned partner companies and affiliates. This means, if you follow my suggestions and use one of these services, I’ll get a commission. The folks I mention are good people. But you are welcome to ignore my links at will. I won’t be upset. As with all things, take what works for you and ignore the rest.

That said, let’s get started!

How To Sell Your Movie Checklist:

1. Create a website specific to your movie. Go to www.moviesitehost.com and grab hosting for your site and reserve your domain name there. When you purchase your hosting, a domain name is usually included in the purchase price.

2. Branding is the marketing equivalent of matching your belt with your shoes. Don’t make your marketing complicated. Make sure your colors, logos, posters and fonts are consistent.

3. Most filmmakers make a crazy website with all sorts of bells and whistles. Your website should be simple. You should have a trailer, an about page, a buy now button, links to your social networks and an audience list.

4. Out of everything I mention, getting people onto your audience list is most important. An audience list will allow you to collect a name and email address of your visitor. To build an opt-in list, which is FREE for the first 500 subscribers, check out: http://www.aweber.com/

5. Take a moment to think about your target audience. Hopefully you have a marketable hook for your movie, and a plan for reaching your target demographic. If not, figure it out!

6. Get your movie selling as a Video on Demand rental and download. To do this, upload your movie to the many VOD marketplaces, such as iTunes, Amazon and NetFlix. For an easy way to accomplish this, try www.moviesalestool.com

7. You can sell DVDs too. Amazon’s Create Space makes this easy. And even though it’s more expensive, I advise you to stay out of the shipping business. Let CS manufacture your DVDs and fulfill your orders on demand. This way, you can focus on increasing your sales, as well as your next movie projects. Not shipping.

8. Your trailer is your sales tool. Upload your trailer to YouTube as well as other, popular video sites. Make sure your trailer mentions your website. Put your focus on optimizing YouTube. Why? Because YouTube is both a social network and the second largest search engine on earth (also owned by Google.) It’s worth it!

9. Write press releases related to the availability of your movie. Include back links to your site. Send the release out via one of the online press release submission sites. In addition to this, don’t be afraid to call magazine editors and journalists who write for your target audience. As they say, if you don’t ask – you don’t get!

10. Join online forums related to your target market. Create a profile, complete with a signature link to your website. Now, whenever you join a conversation, you’ll spread your links.

11. Just because you’re in a forum doesn’t mean people care about you or your movie. If you join conversations without adding value – or if you become one of those spam happy people who talk about your movie and fail to add value to the discussion, you will be seen as a spammer.

12. If the idea of contributing to forum conversations annoys you, then just pay for advertising on the site. The whole point is to increase awareness of your movie and get prospective audience members to your site.

13. Create a Facebook page, a Twitter account and join the popular social networking sites. Again, you’ll want to build a fan base for your movie. And to manage it, try www.ping.fm This tool allows you to update all your social networking sites at once, which is cool!

14. The purpose of using social networks is to connect with your target market, spread word about your movie and once again, lead people off the networks and onto your Audience list.

15. The reason you can not rely solely on social networking for your audience list, is because many of those sites have gone out of vogue. I lost 10K “friends” on one of them. As a result, I estimate this tip is worth $100,000.00.

16. Additionally, have your webmaster put a button on your website so people can tweet, bookmark, and share your movie website with friends on their social networking sites. (Can you please click the tweet button at the top of this article?)

17. If you have the budget, purchase some offline advertising in publications related to your movie. To find related publications, go to a book store and look for magazines. Also, try Google.

18. All of these methods are intended to get people back to your website. The purpose of your site is to get people to watch your movie trailer and click the BUY NOW button. Anything that distracts these visitors must go!

19. You’ll soon realize that most people will not buy your movie on their first visit to your website. If they don’t click, then at least try to get them to opt into your audience list. Then you have a chance of getting them to buy later.

22. Out of all the people who click the BUY NOW button, many won’t buy. But some will!

23. Consider using that money to purchase more advertising and then repeat the cycle. The goal is to keep investing and reinvesting the money until you produce a self sustaining machine.

24. Sales will tend to level off after a few years. This is the normal. When this happens, find some other filmmakers with a movie geared towards the same target audience. Offer to promote their movie to your audience list. If these other filmmakers have an audience list too, ask them to promote your movie. Be willing to pay them a cut of your profits.

25. Time for your next project. But unlike before, you’ll have a strong mailing list at your disposal. And as a result, you can now ask yourself the following magical questions: “How many VOD downloads do I have to sell to recoup my investment? And how am I going to sell them?” Answer those questions, and you’ll also be talking the talk with your investors.

- – -
Jason Brubaker (IMDB) is a Hollywood based Independent Motion Picture Producer and an expert in Video On Demand distribution. He is focused on helping YOU make, market and sell movies more easily by growing your fan base, building buzz and creating community around your title.

You can find more of Jason Brubaker’s articles at www.filmmakingstuff.com

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