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Archive for August, 2009|Monthly archive page

What makes a good pitch? I

In Before the production on 28/08/2009 at 8:12 pm

I did the first pitch of my life today. It was horrible! Even I had thought that I had prepared and I knew my story inside out I still made absolutely no sense. 

Good thing about was that it was an exercise and not a real life failure and now i just have a recording reminding me of this awful first attempt.

Since pitching is the only way to get your films out there for financing, coproduction, etc it’s probably one of the most important skills that a film producer can have.

 

We did not have any kind of special training for pitching, but our teacher did give us some keywords to keep in mind:

PASSION – you have to be passionate about your idea , if you are not  then who is?

INTRO  – you got the story told all right, but for some reason the person on the other side of the table is looking at you a bit suspiciously… maybe you forgot to say…. your NAME? the NAME OF THE COMPANY? or NAME OF THE PROJECT?

CONCLUSION – do they have questions? when will you meet next time?

REPETITION – you have already mentioned the name of your film 3 times? Go for at least another 3 times. Make your listeners remember it.

 

 

Here are some guidance videos from YouTube:

 

 

Or…. how to not pitch!

 

 

And to close the chapter….

 

So he said…

In En general on 25/08/2009 at 5:21 pm

For me cinema is not

a slice of life,

but a piece of cake!


Alfred Hitchcock

 

I’m taking my time to study for the test in financing tomorrow morning and prepare slate of project proposal about my future veryvery successful films for thursday.

 

Certainly…. I’m not amused!

What to wear to a filmshooting?

In Production on 24/08/2009 at 7:06 pm

 
For people, who work on the set all the time, this topic might sound a bit tedious, but for people, who do not dot his often, it might be very helpful. Having worked on quite some feature films by now I would like to share the “art” of dressing on set with you!

 
To start with. When going to a set you should always wear clothes that can get dirty and ripped – I have seen countless visitors, investors, coproducers doing this mistake over the years! Either they wear brand new white sneakers to a shoot in a swamp or a fundmanager sitting in a suit to a fresh painted chair on the set….. And these are actually the people, who should know the rules of dressing for set visits for years!

 

Special note should be made about the shoes – they should be definetely not open. And when there is a chance of your feet getting wet  – they will! Wear the most comfortable waterproof shoes that you have. There is nothing more annoying than suffering because you have either hurt or wet legs and there are still at least 5 hours until wrap.

 

When you are working on a set it is obvious that the clothes worn are for working – I once saw a very bloody scene preparation done by makeup girls in white skisuits. Well. They were not white after that! Artificial blood is already very hard to remove from the skin(trick actually is that it’s only doable with lukewarm water and regular soap), but when the stains have dried on the clothes, it’s almost impossible clean.

 

Another rule of thumb is layered dressing – this works for both summer and winter. The shooting days are long and quite often in places with exreme conditions . In the summer it can vary from extremely hot to +10 during night time. Most of the time crew is waiting and standing, but when it’s busy then everybody is running.Therefore the clothes should be very light and breathing.

 

Winters are of course more extreme and minus degrees combined with wind and standing for hours demand wind and waterproof upperlayer together with the best long woolen underwear you can find from ski shops.

 

In case you work on the set, one of the good rules kept in mind should be also that people working around the camera should be dressed either in black or dark clothes. The reason behind it are the reflections from the windows and glass surfaces visible in the shot and also the reflections of light from the bright colors.

 

One great thing to have while working on the set is a tool belt, like the ones that the builders wear! It does not matter if you are a clapper loader, set wardrobe, builder, 1 AD, director or line producer – when you are working on the set, you always need to have certain tools almost always in hands. Ofcourse you can go for the specialized belts for each department, which can be super expensive, but  the regular toolbelts found in departments stores and hairdressers shops are as good but probably cost 3 times less that the specialized ones.

 "Vasha" crew working

So where do the film people get their workclothes?  Surf & ski clothes very often match the qualities that the film people are looking for. There are also companies, who make special workclothes for filmcrews. And quite often the producers also make special shirts or sweatshirts with the logo and name of the project and give these as gifts for the crew members, which are often used as workclothes on other projects!

nettworking! 21.08.2009

In En general on 22/08/2009 at 1:27 am

My links page needs desperately some work – I have already started working on it, but the results will be visible next week. 

The week has been crazy – I’m attending MEGA plus course in Ronda this summer and it definetly has been worth a lot more than I could have ever imagined. Fridays in general are like the step between serious workwork time and weekend playtime. So all kinds of linklove seems especially good on this occation! 

I’ve been doing a lot of research lately about logos – they are very important part of the external image of the company. The company that I have with my friends does have a logo,  but we are all not 100% happy with it and are all trying to find some alternatives. Choosing a logo, finding an idea for the logo and finding a good person to work on your logo are all difficult tasks. But it somehow starts to make much more sense after a little extra information about the logo business! And although the logo should be timeproof it’s quite interesting to find out the trends that are happening now!

After watching the trailer for Avatar I searched for some info about the techniques James Cameron has used to produce it. Everybody knows that it’s in 3D, but the truly amazing factor is that a lot of the characters that are in the film are computer generated and do not exist in the real world. In the beginning Cameron wished to create the whole film like this, but in the end he changed his mind(14 years is indeed a long time for thinking and rethinking and again rethinking). I also found some bits about the storyline.

“One more layer of the suspension of disbelief will be removed. All the syn-thespians are photo-realistic. Now that we’ve achieved it, we discovered CG characters in 3D look more real than in 2D. Your brain is cued – it’s a real thing not a picture – and discounting part of [the] image that makes it look fake,” says Cameron about the new technique. Without experiencing it probably hard to imagine what he actually means with that. Although we had a lecturer from the game industry a couple of weeks a go who did predict a futuristic idea of making films without using any actors anymore. The scary part is that the game industry can produce real looking character already today…

 

And at last, but not least…. tadaaa! A little bit of bad humor, but some of it is actually quite amusing! Happy weekend!

Avatar’s trailer…

In En general on 20/08/2009 at 6:34 pm

 

avatar_james_cameron_guy

   ….. is out! I downloaded it from apple page and although it took a while, the picture is very good and it runs smoothly! I’m looking forward to seeing the film in December!

On a thursday afternoon…

In En general on 20/08/2009 at 9:33 am

…. the first posts to blogs are always a bit vague and veryvery similar – most of them try to explain why the person has decided to write. My reason is simple – I made a decision to become a film producer more than 2 years a go and since then I have tried different ways to get closer to my goal. I started from scratch as they say – I had no film background at all (except that I had just started working on a feature film). All I knew on that decisive moment was that this is the closest thing I can get as a modern storyteller. A lot of people might argue me in this point, saying that the producers work only with finance and lawyers and have nothing to do with storytelling at all. The directors, screenwriters and actors are considered to be the big artists in our industry. But then it actually comes down to money  and the people who actually decide which stories will be told and how are the producers. Creative producers. And this is what I am aiming for too – this blog is just a tool to document the way and ideas, information, contacts, news and every single piece of information that would make this path for the beginners easier. The range of topics will vary from production tools to new media, from distribution strategies to information how to find development funding. And although I am an european citizen myself – the discussions around the topics should be universal. 

Enfin, it’s all about telling stories…