Saturday, March 5, 2016

Documentary Filmmakers Lose the MacArthur Documentary Fund

The MacArthur Foundation has ended its documentary fund. The grant, which topped $200,000, was one of the largest for documentary filmmakers. The Foundation stated that by ending the grant, it hopes to support documentary filmmaking through its partners. Its open letter states:
For many years, we have witnessed the powerful ways in which organizations like Sundance Institute and Firelight Media provide comprehensive support to filmmakers and new media artists, deploying MacArthur's financial resources with razor sharp intentionality, while serving many more filmmakers and artists than we possibly could directly. As a result, we have decided to reinforce and expand the Foundation's support of documentary filmmakers and nonfiction media producers through partner organizations. In fact, we have been steadily increasing grant levels to Sundance Institute, Firelight Media, POV, Kartemquin and others, and we plan to establish new relationships with additional partners that fund nonfiction film and new media projects, provide training and mentorship, and assist with distribution, engagement and impact. By 2017, MacArthur's total investment in the documentary community is expected to be larger than ever.
I feel that this is part of the democratization of filmmaking. As technology becomes cheaper and films are produced for almost nothing, the foundations and organizations that fund independent filmmaking see less use for funds. It is a blessing and a curse, as filmmakers are forced to do more with less. Unfortunately, this may mean less films produced, as well as a less diversity among films, as those films who can afford finishing funds will be from a small demographic.

Happy Filmmaking.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

5 Things to Check Before Shooting.

I have nothing to add to the following video except, "great advice."

Happy Filmmaking!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Pretentious Filmmaking Aside, A Film Shot on a Prius Backup Camera Would Be Weird

A feature film on a car's backup camera? Well, these filmmakers asked "what if?". The results are about as much as you'd expect. My AD senses scream at the safety concerns of such a shoot. It's not like the camera is anything special. It's a backup camera. On a Prius. Very pretentious indeed, down to the Euro "auteur."

Of course, the BOS video is actually a parody. But imagine the limitations that this camera would display. Most actions will take place in streets and parking lots. It's a great laugh at the latest gimmicky camera trend. Of course, if I were to use a gimmicky camera, like a GoPro, I would prefer it to be a to carry.

Happy Filmmaking!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Rocky Start to the New Year

Like many filmmakers, I have goals I want to accomplish for the new year. But also like many filmmakers, I have had setbacks that literally started at the beginning of the year. My husband and I are still adjusting to a Nebraska winter. Nebraska is a beautiful state with big open skies and lots of filmmaking potential. However, unlike the sunny days of California or the 80 degree winters of Alabama, Nebraska stays blanketed in snow for most of the winter, which may cause some logistical problems. Native son Alexander Payne seems to work in the snow just fine. For some of us that lived our entire lives in warmer climates, it's quite an adjustment. I'm actively trying to shake seasonal affective disorder by practicing exposures in the snow.

I also have been plagued with unexpected medical problems, which has slowed down my progress on many projects and creative activities. I spent first few days of the new year in the hospital, including New Years Eve and Day. I'm still in a recovery stage, and I'm slowly building back my strength.

Me trying to stay positive through illness and hospitalization.
2015 was such a stellar year for me, that 2016 seems dull by comparison. But, the year is still early and there is so much to do.

Happy Filmmaking!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Stills from the Trailer for "Descent!"

Just thought I would share some recent set shots from a new project called Descent!

The project is directed by Vincent Alston. I am 1st-ing this Nebraska project. We will be fundraising for finishing funds soon. Please support us, if you can.

Happy Filmmaking!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Do Other Industries Work for Free or "Exposure"?

With Will Wheaton telling The Huffington Post off a few weeks ago, fair pay for creative services is back in the news again. The Star Trek: TNG actor clearly doesn't need "the exposure," but HuffPo tried. As much as HuffPo makes, the news site can pay Wheaton and other contributors.

Well, someone made a video! Toronto-based ad agency Zula Alpha Kilo approaches actual non-creative small businesses with the same requests creatives receive on the daily basis. Results were not good.

Just a little perspective.

Also, in case you need a reminder what "spec" is...

Happy Filmmaking!