Thursday, December 3, 2009

'Avatar' Director, Stars To Talk To Fans In MTV News Live Stream Event - TODAY!

In little over two weeks, James Cameron's sci-fi epic "Avatar," which the director has been working on since 1995, will arrive in a burst of 3-D-enhanced splendor. Before then, MTV News readers will get an unprecedented opportunity to pick Cameron's brain as we partner with Facebook to present "Avatar Live: An MTV News/Facebook Forum."

This Thursday at 3 p.m. ET, [MTV] will stream this live online show, in which viewers get to interact with the folks in front of the camera, asking the questions they really want answered...

Click HERE to read the full article By Eric Ditzian on


Click HERE to listen to the Double Down Film Show's exclusive interview with Avatar co-star Zoe Saldana who plays an alien in the movie.

Green Productions: A New Wave in Eco-Consciousness pt. 1

Green productions, or green film is a concept that has gained a lot of ground in the past few years. The idea is that a film or video production does not have to be as wasteful and environmentally damaging as they usually are.

At first, your knee-jerk reaction might be “But green is so much more expensive and I am already on a shoestring budget!” Here is one solution that, while helping the environment, will also help your pocket!

Film Biz Recycling has committed itself for the past year and half to keeping leftover or unwanted prop, building materials and other waste from film productions from ending up in landfills.

On the one hand, FBR has a prop-house, located in Long Island City, where hoards of props are accumulated from film and theater productions large and small. The contents of their display room are for rent and for sale and include all kinds of one-of a kinds, antiques and knick-knacks. They get all these props by cleaning out film sets for a small fee and they can keep select props for re-sale.*

This helps reduce, reuse and recycle. If you built a set or bought a bunch of props, it is not only cheaper for you but also more green to ask the dedicated volunteers at FBR to come in and clean it all up. They keep what can be used and recycle the rest.

The catch? The catch is that they then donate most of the raw materials to charities and organization’s*, give back 10% of any profit they make to the film industry to keep prop prices low, and help the environment. Can you really call that a catch?


Monday, November 30, 2009

Film Festival Guru Chris Gore on the Next Double Down Film Show!

Audio Crash Course Screenshot

On the next Double Down Film Show we'll be going over film festival survival tips for indie filmmakers with our special guest, Chris Gore. Chris is the founder of the Film Threat magazine and website and also author of the wildly popular film book, The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide, which has just been released in a new and updated fourth edition.

· What are the best film festivals that you've never heard of?

· How should you network at a festival event?

· What should you be prepared to do the moment you're accepted?

· Which festivals do distributors attend?

· What should be in your festival press kit?

The insider answers to all these questions and more will be laid bare in our no-holds-barred interview with the very frank (and funny) Chris Gore. We give you straight answers to pressing questions, for filmmakers by filmmakers, every Wednesday night...Listen and learn.

WARNING: This particular conversation contains some adult language not suitable children under 18.

Precious: too raw and real or the perfect catharsis?

One thing all books and filmschool agree on is that in order to have a story worth watching, you need to have CONFLICT. Conflicts come up all the time in every day life and everyday life is a fantastic source for inspiration.

Often, life experiences translated into film hail a big hurrah! from moviegoers and critics, for what better a way to incite a real emotion than to portray stories inspired by real emotion? Sometimes, however, that reality can be too much for some people’s taste.

In this Saturday’s New York Times, Felicia R. Lee la brings attention to the controversy that “Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire” is causing, especially amongst African American communities. Long story short, some people, such as Armond White, the chief film critic of The New York Press and the chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle, believe that it is not right to depict black Americans in such “demeaning” ways and to enforce such stereotypes, even if these are representative of the realities of some, (not all), black Americans.

The film’s director, Lee Daniels however admits in an interview with Vanity Fair to drawing the inspiration to make the film from his own brushes with abuse, as he was taunted and teased as a young man for his homosexuality. This might also represent a minority of black Americans, and yet the facts remain true. The potential to unite an audience with emotional stories is proven by Precious’ continued success at the boxoffice, having made $22 million thus far despite its very limited release.

If the film had not so compassionately, even angelically, portrayed Precious, and if it had been made by all white people for cold calculated profit, maybe the accusations that the film was insensitive might ring true. However, from the author to the screenwriter to the director to the cast, this movie was made by people intending, not to condescend on an a race or a economic class, but to express universal emotions and experiences with this one life-like story.

Related Topics: "Precious" Smashes The Indie Mold