Make Your Movie: Creating a Business Plan for Your Film

With crowd-funding being the go-to source of income for most short and feature films these days, it’s easy to forget how crucial a detailed business plan can be to the success of any film. However, many indie filmmakers are often puzzled as far as where to begin, let alone how to complete, a thoughtfully drafted […]

Robert Rodriguez Says I’m Lazy

I’ve been reading the Robert Rodriguez book “Rebel Without a Crew” and I am feeling both excited and depressed. The guy grew up with many siblings (10 if I remember correctly). His father, a salesman, bought a video camera to enhance his business. Robert started shooting his family and everything else within a 12” radius, […]

Make Your Movie: The Casting Process

When producing a narrative, whether it’s a short or feature-length film, one of the utmost critical moments in pre-production is going to be the casting process. It can be especially trying if you are an independent filmmaker who doesn’t have the budget to hire a proper casting director. A few years ago a good friend […]

The Five C’s of Cinematography

There are many great books on filmmaking. From those interviewing legendary directors about their craft to the ones sharing DIY tips and tricks all the way to the books covering complex technical aspects like grading or movement. I’ll write about my favorite books in a later post, but today I’d like to mention one particular […]

Make Your Movie: The Duplass Brothers Tips on Filmmaking

Above: Mark and Jay Duplass. Photo by Daniel Bergeron The Duplass brothers, Mark and Jay, have had a hell of a year already. They just signed a four-movie deal with Netflix and their show, “Togetherness”, on HBO will see another season. Not to mention they completely rocked at Sundance, screening three films and a TV pilot. […]

My Absolute Worst Experiences On Set (And What They Taught Me)

I’ve worked on a few sets over the years and, as it tends to happen, you get some wonderfully inspiring as well as absolutely horrible, makes-you-rethink-your-career-choice type of experiences when you’re first starting out in the biz. Not that you’re immune to them as you gain experience and begin to work with more seasoned directors but, for […]

Make Your Movie: How Do You Know Your Script Is Ready For Pre-Production?

We’ve talked about getting your script started, working through that second draft, what you should look for when acquiring a script, and even how to get started with pre-production. But if you’re a writer/director-type, like most of us are, how do you know for sure that the script you’ve been working on is ready to be […]

Notes From the Field

Folks often ask me how I prepare for a shoot. While there are a multitude of ways to get ready (and therefore many ways to answer this question) I do have a system in place. This system assumes that you have more than one active role in the project. Here’s how it breaks down: 1. […]

Make Your Movie: Adding Foley to Your Film

As an indie filmmaker you’ve certainly heard of Foley Sound and possibly even had to create some of your own. No great film can go without this integral part of the filmmaking process. Without Foley, a film sounds empty and hollow – the actors seem to be talking in a vacuum. The sound recordist, if […]

9 Cinematography Tips For the Aspiring Filmmaker

If you’re just starting out behind the camera or just always looking to improve your craft, there’s no better way to gather knowledge than by looking to those who have been down that road before you. Cinematographers like Roger Deakins and Darius Khondji and filmmakers like Joel and Ethan Coen are great people to turn […]