Friday, November 13, 2009

YouTube to upgrade to HD 1080p by Next Week!

As HD becomes a possibility for the average consumer-Joe, YouTube sees the need to upgrade to 1080p! This is a great opportunity for filmmakers who have made HD material in the past and had to downgrade, or for those who are just beginning to dabble in High Def to showcase their stuff of newly improved (technical) quality to a broad audience. Take advantage of this new capability to update your own channels, re-advertise and ride the wave.
Full article can be found here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

“Avatar”: A Film Made With A Little Help From Our Friends

Film is such a collaborative effort. The needier you are the more you rely on people helping you out, and as indie filmmakers we can really push the envelope of neediness.

It was in a similar vein, I suppose, that Paramount lent James Cameron a hand with marketing and tech help for his new behemo-film, “Avatar”. The plot of the film consists of humans invading a planet with indigenous blue people for our own benefit. In return for Cameron in return will be helping out Paramount’s new 3-D home theatre system project with his acquired 3-D expertise. You scratch my back, I scratch yours.

This is just one of the ways that Cameron, vision-driven to make his epic, used models of funding usually associated with indie and student films to cover his projected $500 million budget, according to Michael Cieply’s article in Nov. 9th’s New York Times. In addition to Paramount’s services-swap, Imax lent the “Titanic” director a hand by getting theater owners to screen a 15-minute preview last summer as an in-kind donation.
As the price of production flew over $300 million, Cameron had to defer his share of the revenue until all the different contributors, which included not just Fox, but Dune Entertainment and Ingenious Media, got their investment back. One more way to reassure them that their collective half a billion dollars is money well spent.

And with Cameron’s track record at Fox, the odds that this SciFi will be a blockbuster are pretty good. But still, it just goes to show that at all levels and budgets, films are made with a little help from friends.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Straight From the Studios to Your TV...a Future With Less Middlemen

If you've been listening to any of the 30+ hours of free filmmaking advice we've been doling out every week on The Double Down Film Show, then you are already well aware that as I've been predicting and preaching on this blog since it started sveral year ago, the Hollywood middlemen of old (cable companies, networks, satellite providers, etc.) are being slowly, but surely, edged out of the picture.

Most of these operations produce very little if any original content. HBO and Showtime are the primary exceptions, but even their slates are heavily dependent on other people's products. Essentially, the biggest thing they bring to the table is an efficient delivery system..."the tubes" that get the product there to paraphrase kooky Senator, Ted Stevens.

Well now everyone has affordable access to these supply "tubes" in the form of the Internet and their old school distribution isn't nearly as valuable as it was when they were the only way to get your project out to a mass audience. It's an incredibly turbulent time for television and filmmaking right now...which means it's ripe with opportunities for independents if we pay careful attention.

Peep out Sony's latest gangster move to bypass some of those profit-skimming "tubes" to get product directly to the people. Direct to consumer film/tv distribution isn't the future anymore. It's the HERE AND NOW...

Monday, November 9, 2009

It's All About the A.D. on the Next Double Down Film Show

On the next Double Down Film Show this Wednesday, November 11th we’ll rap to Assistant Director, Greg Staley, who has helped to shepherd a dozen plus independent films through production over the years.

One of the unsung heroes on any set is the A.D. Hiring a good and experienced Assistant Director can be the difference between making the day and busting the budget or the difference between a well-functioning crew and a chaotic set. Few positions on set can have the impact to make or break a production the way the A.D. does, so understanding their role is vital to your project’s success.
  • What little production secrets do A.D.’s know that you don’t?
  • What type of temperament does an A.D. need?
  • Who’s on the typical A.D.’s team?
  • What type of logic goes into scheduling a big day?
  • When should you bring an A.D. onboard?
…The answers to these pressing questions and more will all be revealed on the next Double Down Film Show. Straight answers to real filmmaking problems from some of the best artists and craftspeople in the industry delivered straight to your ear every Wednesday night. Listen and learn.

The Double Down Film Show...Filmmaking Reality Starts Here!

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*PS - If you can't tune in live, you can still stream the show or save the podcast to your iPod later at the site above.