The Film Business

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Testing For Documentary Values – Six Vital Questions

by Michael Rabiger

To distinguish a documentary from other nonfiction forms, or to check whether you have strayed beyond the pale, see how you answer these six vital questions: 1. Does it depict actuality— that is, real people in a world that exists, or did exist? 2. Does the film arise from a belief of some kind? Documentaries…

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Art Departments and the Importance of Research in Pre-Production

by Michael Rizzo

Gathering visual research is a powerful way to define the visual concept. Within the first several weeks of pre-production, the walls of the art department quickly become plastered as a repository of photocopied and color printed images: icons, indexes, symbols, and metaphors of the visual concept for the film. We surround ourselves with these images…

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Seven Deadly Sins of Self-Distribution

by Elliot Grove

Getting your film made is easy, compared to the struggles filmmakers have in getting their films distributed. At Raindance Film Festival we work with countless filmmakers trying to get their shorts, features and documentaries screened to as wide an audience as possible. Of course the filmmaker’s wet dream is to have their film picked up…

Producing for TV and New media

Top Ten Helpful Hints for Creating a Short Film from Sharon Badal

by Cathrine Kellison

SHARON BADAL is Tribeca Film Festival/Short Films Programmer; NYU Professor/Producing for Film; and author of Swimming Upstream: A Lifesaving Guide to Short Film Distribution Navigating the film festival labyrinth…for most new producers, entering their project into the film festival circuit represents their first foray into the “real world” of the entertainment industry. Most of these…

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Three Ways the Film Industry Will Change

by Elliot Grove

I ask every single filmmaker I meet the same question: why did you want to make your film? The answers vary from filmmaker to filmmaker, from film school to no film school and from film to film. The most common answer is to make money. Next is fame (or to use the film as a…

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Free-to-View Film & Postproduction eBooks!

by Mastering Film

At Focal Press, we believe that learning, improving your skills, and enhancing your careers is often a team effort. We are dedicated to helping animators of all skill levels take their next professional step. As part of this commitment, we are have made a selection of our books freely available to view during the month…

Filmmaking and Financing

Film Markets – Advice from a Filmmaker

by Louise Levison

Knowing how to attend and network at film markets is critical. You do not want to be carrying around business plans, handing them to everyone who says, “I can get you a deal.” Common sense will stand you in good stead in attending markets. There is no trick to meeting and greeting, no secret handshakes…

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Trimming that Budget

by Arthur Vincie

The first drafts of the budget are likely to be horrifying. You trimmed out the fat, kept your crew size down, compressed the schedule until it hurts, and you’re still 30 percent over budget. Or 300 percent. At this point, you have five steps to take: Give it another go. You may have missed a…

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VIDEO: Elliot Grove Interview – Film Festivals, Independent Filmmaking and Social Media

by Elliot Grove

Elliot Grove founded Raindance Film Festival in 1993, the British Independent Film Awards in 1998, and Raindance.TV in 2007. He has produced over 150 short films and 5 feature films. He has written eight scripts, one of which is currently in pre-production. His first feature film, TABLE 5 was shot on 35mm and completed for…

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Ten Tricks and Traps of Producing

by Elliot Grove

Producing feature films is an occupation fraught with danger, mishaps and misfortune. As Shakespeare said: many a slip twixt cup and lip. Here are the ten areas where new producers trip up. 1. Measure Success by More Than a Theatrical Release The times are a-changin’. The costs and associated risk factor of releasing a film…

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about MasteringFilm

MasteringFilm, powered by bestselling Focal Press authors and industry experts, features tips, advice, articles, video tutorials, interviews, and other resources for aspiring and current filmmakers. No matter what your filmmaking interest is, including directing, screenwriting, postproduction, cinematography, producing, or the film business, MasteringFilm has you covered. You’ll learn from professionals at the forefront of filmmaking, allowing you to take your skills to the next level.