Independent Filmmaking

Day05

From The Lens: 9 Visual Styles In One Shot

An important lesson I’m sure many film and videomakers have come to learn is that no matter how simple a shoot seems… It’s never really simple. I’d like to share my recent experience on a seemingly “simple” sketch comedy video I did for Ariana Seigel and Emma Tattenbaum-Fine, which is available to watch on...

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TV Writer Podcast 082 – Amy Berg (Caper, Eureka)

The TV Writer Podcast is back, better than ever! Host Gray Jones has moved permanently to LA, and the podcast now features exclusive in-person video interviews with Hollywood TV writers and producers. This week’s fun episode is with Amy Berg, co-creator of the new web series Caper, and producer/writer for Person of Interest, Eureka,...

woman casting papers

Writers on the Web: Casting a Web Series, Part Deux

So you’ve hired a casting director or decided to cast your web series yourself, written some killer breakdowns, made your decisions about going union or not, booked your audition space, narrowed down your selects, sent out audition times and sides, and you’re ready to rock. Now what? (Check out Part One of my discussion on casting if...

Editing Screenplays

From The Lens: Editing A Screenplay

As a kid, I sometimes thought: Isn’t it unrealistic that the characters in nearly every film never take a break to go to the bathroom? Maybe they aren’t drinking enough water? For that matter, I never see them drinking water either! Later I realized that would be far too much information for the audience....

Three People at Casting Call

Writers on the Web: Casting a Web Series, Part 1

Casting is one of my favorite subjects to discuss, because I have worked professionally in casting in the past and have also been the casting director on all of my own independent projects.  Your words on the page are the blueprint, but you need talented and well-cast actors so your words soar off the...

I wrote my first film to direct, "Vivienne Again," specifically to the free & unique location I had -- a funeral home.

Write, Direct, Repeat: Selecting Your First Project to Direct

I talked recently with two screenwriters about their plans to direct their first films this year. One of them has already moved from “wishing for it” to “going for it” and the other is right on that cusp. They both sound committed to getting their films made, and I’m excited to watch their progress...

music in film

Legally Speaking, It Depends: Music in Film

Since before films had dialogue, they’ve had music to accompany the pictures. Music in some form or another has been integral to the cinema experience. And so it should come as no surprise that there are complex and very evolved business and legal issues when dealing with music and movies in all of the...

cindy baer

Writers on the Web: Crowdfunding Advice from Award-Winning Filmmaker and founder of POTA, Cindy Baer

Befuddled by financing? Confounded by crowdfunding? Perplexed by… okay, I’m going to quit while I’m ahead. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to interview Cindy Baer, a critically-acclaimed filmmaker and co-founder of Patron of the Arts (POTA), a non-profit organization that believes that art and film are vital parts of a healthy community, and offers...