Sunday, October 30, 2011

FREE MOFILM WORKSHOP/COMPETITION FOR LA FILMMAKERS ON NOV. 12TH!!


On November 12th, Filmmakers Alliance will be the first film collective to host "MOFILM Live LA." A workshop/competition that will allow you to create branded entertainment in a single day!

The event will give the first 100 FA members and LA filmmakers who sign up at http://mofilm-live-la-fa.eventbrite.com a full day with MOFILM advertising experts, and a top-name brand (to be named on the day of the event). FA Members and LA filmmakers who sign up in time will then be given a project brief as well a cameras and laptops - to create/finish a spec commercial for the brand. At the end of the day, the spots will be screened for the experts and the winning team will each receive an HD camera. Judges at previous events have included the producers of Titanic and Avatar, Iron Man, and Pretty Woman.

The winning spot for all nine participating LA colleges and organizations will receive two tickets to the South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival - complete with air, hotel and VIP treatment.

Sign up at http://mofilm-live-la-filmmakers-alliance.eventbrite.com now, to participate in this workshop/competition with MOFILM in Los Angeles. Remember that space is limited. The first 100 to sign up only. It's FREE, equipment provided, just bring or buy lunch.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 24, 2011

VISIONFEST 2011 Pictures posted!






Here's some VisionFest 2011 pictures.

Check them out HERE and HERE!

See ya next year!!






Jeff Orgill on “Anatomy of a Prescreen Launch”


Reposted from a guest post on Ted Hope's blog by Jeff Orgill

JUNKIE NURSE: Anatomy of a Prescreen Launch

We’ve all been wondering if somebody would figure out a way to successfully release films online. Shari Candler’s recent article on this site mentioned that Prescreen was taking a stab at it. I sent in our movie Junkie Nurse (Boppin’ at The Glue Factory).

Lee from Prescreen called and said they wanted JUNKIE NURSE. I was jazzed about being featured. I’d been mired in some contractual BS and this was the kick in the pants I needed to get back into the groove. I had an attorney review the contract, he gave me the thumbs up, and I got to work.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

“What One Learns About Film Financing From Film Financing Conferences”


“What One Learns About Film Financing From Film Financing Conferences”

reprinted from a guest post on Ted Hope's blog by Gary Baddeley.






Friday, October 21, 2011

What's one thing you'd change about movies?


The Black List (twitter: @blcklst) and Focal Press (@focalpress) want to know the ONE thing you’d change about movies. $500 prize pack for best answer! http://bit.ly/nm6cmk



Thursday, October 20, 2011

VISIONFEST 2011 ROCKED!!


Just want to send a BIG THANKS to all who attended VisionFest 2011 and all others who helped create a truly amazing night. We were honored to have Semih Kaplanoglu and Christine Vachon with us and they certainly did not disappoint. All else was equally superb! The feedback has already been tremendous and it's because of the community that came out to support us and the work many of you did on the screen and off.

Pics and video to follow soon.

Cheers to you all. And deep gratitude.

See ya next year!!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

VISIONFEST 2011 IS OFFICIALLY BEYOND CAPACITY!


VISIONFEST 2011 IS OFFICIALLY BEYOND CAPACITY!


http://visionfest-2011.eventbrite.com/


However, that doesn't mean that seats won't be available (this is L.A., after all, so no guarantee all confirmed will indeed show up).

Nonetheless, whether you bought a ticket or are on the guest list, please make sure you get there as close to 7:00 p.m. as possible to insure a seat. Anyone arriving after 7:45 cannot be guaranteed a seat.


Beyond that, should be a fantastic night!


SEE YOU THEN!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

One Week Away - VisionFest 2011: Films, Food, Drink, Fun and Christine Vachon




REMINDER:

VisionFest 2011 is ONE WEEK AWAY!

Don't miss this amazing event on October 19th! Details below...

Tickets are now on sale. There are a limited amount of discounted tickets available for our FA Family. Please go here: http://visionfest-2011.eventbrite.com/. Enter the discount code: FriendsofFA

See you all there!


Filmmakers Alliance Presents

VISIONFEST 2011

2011 will be our 14th Year of VisionFest, Filmmakers Alliance annual screening and celebration bringing together the best of LA’s independent film community and regularly attended by overflowing audiences and press.

The evening begins with the presentation of the NILSSON AWARD, curated and presented by the award’s namesake and inaugural recipient, ROB NILSSON. The award acknowledges and celebrates bold, direct, honest and aesthetically challenging filmmaking that is often unrecognized by the mainstream independent film community. This year's Nilsson Award recipient is Turkish filmmaker Semih Kaplano─člu.

Next is the presentation of the VISION AWARD to an established filmmaker whose artistic ambition and consistent filmmaking excellence provides artistic inspiration to emerging filmmakers all around the world. Past recipients include MIke Figgis, Terry Gilliam, Wim Wenders, Allison Anders, Alexander Payne, David O. Russell, Werner Herzog, Mark and Michael Polish, Kevin Smith, Ted Hope and last year’s recipient, Nicolas Winding Refn.

2011 Vision Award Recipient
CHRISTINE VACHON

Independent Spirit Award and Gotham Award winner Christine Vachon co-founded indie powerhouse Killer Films in 1995 with producing partner Pamela Koffler. Based out of New York, Killer has produced more than 45 acclaimed independent films including Todd Haynes' Venice Film Festival Award-winning I'M NOT THERE and last year's Best Canadian Feature at TIFF, CAIRO TIME. Over the past decade and a half the two have produced some of the most celebrated American indie features including Academy Award-winning films FAR FROM HEAVEN, BOYS DON'T CRY, ONE HOUR PHOTO, HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, HAPPINESS and SAFE. In television, Vachon executive produced the Emmy-winning program, This American Life, for Showtime and more recently the two have collaborated on the upcoming miniseries Mildred Pierce for HBO. Killer Films was honored with a 10 year retrospective at the New York Museum of Modern Art in 2005.


The presentation of awards will be followed by a program of some of the best short films produced in the previous year. We are pleased to announce the following films:

Inside This World of Mine (3:59) by Sean Morris

The Wanderer (14:30) by Aaron Garcia

The Director (1:30) by Destri Martino

Debutante Hunters (12:42) by Maria White

White Knuckles (3:46) - 3D Director Eric Kurland

Abigale (16:00) by Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck

All Is Not Lost (3:24) - 3D Director Eric Kurland

The Legend of Beaver Dam (12:00) by Jerome Sable, Produced by Michael Blaha

Total program length: 68 mins.

And we will have a special Public Service spotlight on Tamika Lamison's Make A Film Foundation with a screening of the org's new film Deep Blue Breath directed by Patricia Cardoso.


The evening finishes with a high-energy party on the rooftop of the Downtown Independent Theater catered by some of Los Angeles' best restaurants. Lots of delicious food and drink until late into the night.

VISIONFEST 2011 SPONSORS INCLUDE:
HBO
Focal Press
SAGIndie
Kodak
Zooppa
International Film and Television Alliance
WGA
Singha Beer
Tres Sietes Tequila

Monday, October 10, 2011

Genre Hacks: Amazon Studios: An Interview with Roy Price


Read my friend/collaborator Sean Hood's post about Amazon Studios.

In 2010 Amazon.com launched Amazon Studios and promised to "develop movies in a new way." They had strange new ideas about mass collaboration, a focus on original content from unknown filmmakers, and lots and lots of money to spend on prizes, test movies, and eventual script purchases. So how's that working out for 'em? Read here:

Genre Hacks: Amazon Studios: An Interview with Roy Price

Sunday, October 9, 2011

“WE ARE ALL SCABS”: Some Contradictions in U.S. Independent Film Culture


Thought-provoking article from my buddy Donal Foreman...


“WE ARE ALL SCABS”: Some Contradictions in U.S. Independent Film Culture
by Donal Foreman
(reposted from The Brooklyn Rail)

Attending the five-day Filmmaker Conference at this year’s Independent Film Week, organized by the Independent Film Project and held at Lincoln Center, I was reminded of the synopsis for an Abel Ferrara film that has yet to be made. It’s a film that playfully pivots on the mythologies and contradictions of the American independent filmmaker:

In a parallel universe, where independent filmmakers literally wage battle against the studios in a war-torn Hollywood, a 24-year-old former indie actress-cum-underground war hero decides to join the studios to direct her first film.

Hollywood cinema has always explored scenarios of individual struggle against systems of power and control, and there has been a romantic discourse of independent film using this archetype to describe its struggle against Hollywood. But in the decision “to join the studios to direct her first film,” Ferrara intimates the more pragmatic instincts of many filmmakers: to make their film at any cost, even if it means collaborating with forces that are politically and culturally destructive. As producer and social media powerhouse Ted Hope put it on one conference panel this year: “We are all scabs. We’re all willing to undercut each other [to get our film made].”

Acquiring studio financing for a first feature is an extremely rare privilege. But in the past decade, even the once-prevalent model of independent film financing—a mixture of private investment, foreign pre-sales, and, at the other end, depending on the endorsement of A-list festivals and critics, an all-rights buyout by an established distributor—has become both a rarity and oftentimes a financial loss-maker. In its place there has been a flurry of experimentation in fundraising and distribution, for which the internet has been pivotal: if you’ve already come across terms like D.I.Y. distribution, crowdfunding, and transmedia, then you know the terrain. These new models have become home to the kind of contradictions Ferrara plays with above. The mini-industry of talks and panels which has emerged alongside this experimentation is perhaps the best place to observe these contradictions in action—and IFP’s Filmmaker Conference, which exists alongside the market and workshop stands of Independent Film Week, is one of its foremost iterations.

Among these emerging models, “cutting out the middlemen” is an enduring theme. In a key polemic on his blog three years ago, Hope wrote that we were on the verge of a “truly free film culture” which would bypass the influence and interference of “those that control the apparatus and the supply.” Hope’s implication was that film had not been truly free or independent up until this point: despite the “demystification of production” since the ’90s, most films still needed to be filtered through corporate distribution outfits in order to be seen widely. Peter Broderick, a D.I.Y. distribution guru and consultant presenting at the conference this year, speaks of a shift from distributor control to filmmaker control and from “anonymous consumers” to “true fans.” Both Hope and Broderick use mythic language—Hope calls for us to “fight for our independence,” and Broderick speaks of emigrating to the “New World of Distribution”—to suggest a vision of a radically democratized film culture in which autonomous creators and audiences engage with and support each other directly.

They were joined at the conference by another key theorist, Jon Reiss, who launched a book, co-written with the Film Collaborative and marketing strategist Sheri Candler, entitled Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul. Their conception of soul-selling seems to be epitomized in the all-rights distribution deal, in which filmmakers relinquish control in exchange for a flat fee that often barely covers their costs and a percentage of revenues that rarely materializes. Instead, they cite filmmakers who customized and managed their own distribution and marketing, mobilizing social media-generated fanbases to earn revenue through a mixture of theatrical screenings, direct and third-partner DVD and VOD sales, and crowdfunding.

This discourse has not gone unquestioned in the filmmaking community. One rebuttal came in the form of last year’s “Take-Back Manifesto,” posted by filmmaker Michael Tully on his indieWire blog. The manifesto repudiates the fashion for pre-production marketing, asserting that “the final product is all that matters,” and “all of this talking about ‘finances’ and ‘connecting’ and ‘publicity’ is the insidious language of a corporate, numbers-before-content mindset.” Around the same time, producer Mike Ryan, another of this year’s panelists, wrote a piece for IFP’s own Filmmaker Magazine, warning that “in the rush to embrace new methods of promotion and distribution…worthy yet seemingly unpromotable films will be completely ignored.” Ryan even went so far as to say that the reason that many great films are “having a hard time finding an audience” is because of the influence of the “corporate consumer-entertainment machine” on audience tastes, not poorly devised social media campaigns.

Tully raises a key point about the pervasiveness of corporate marketing strategies within models that are supposedly radical because of their evasion of corporate mediation—and in fact there are several filmmakers, such as Hunter Weeks, one of the subjects of Reiss and Candler’s book, who use their self-built fanbase as leverage in making deals with corporate brands. Ryan is also acute in recognizing audience taste as a contingent, social construction rather than a reality to be catered to. But Tully ends with the plea, “Can we get back to talking about movies, please?” And while he’s right that, in the rush to discuss these new models, questions of formal innovation in cinema seem to end up all but ignored—retreating into cinephilia doesn’t address the central problem.

Jon Jost, a brilliant and long-suffering stalwart of U.S. cinema, is probably the grouchiest detractor of the D.I.Y. marketing discourse. Commenting on a post by Hope listing 20 things “we must all try to do before shooting,” Jost lists a ream of great auteurs who he doubts “ever gave 10 seconds of thought to the above. This is not about filmmaking, it is about marketing. This is 100 percent bought and sold into the Great Market Economy mentality, and there isn’t a milligram of ‘truly free’ about it at all.”

The mentality Jost identifies isn’t going to just disappear by ignoring it—and for any filmmaker who wants to create his or her work full-time and find a way for people to see that work, it’s very difficult to escape it entirely. Any attempt at sustainability or distribution inevitably involves building and trading various forms of social and symbolic capital. But that doesn’t mean these processes need to be acquiesced too unquestioningly either.

In a presentation entitled “How to Design a Winning Distribution Strategy,” Broderick spoke of changing the world as one of the primary goals of most filmmakers he meets. He argues that persuading corporations is the most effective way to do so because of the great difficulty of achieving anything through legislative, electoral, or grassroots campaigns. Instead, he says, “if you can persuade corporate decision-makers that the change you are seeking is in their interest, hundreds of thousands of consumers can be affected.” The unexamined assumptions here are too numerous to mention, but let’s at least point out the treatment of consumer identity and corporate power as a priori universalities, which apparently can be harnessed for change but are in themselves immovable. The apparent ubiquity of these views in the media world (look at most TED Talks for further evidence) may go some way towards explaining why the rhetoric of democratization and filmmaker control has so easily obscured the ways in which capitalism is extracting value from these new experiments.

The middlemen haven’t gone away. Out of over 100 panelists speaking at the Filmmaker Conference, it was striking how few were filmmakers and how many were agents, publicists, distributors, and festival programmers—reminding me of the quip that the most lucrative consumer base in the indie film world is indie filmmakers. The impression was that the New World hadn’t made these roles redundant so much as forced their renegotiation. Several of this year’s distributor-panelists stated that they weren’t interested in acquiring a film unless its makers had already “built” their audience and achieved a powerful social media presence, effectively offloading a layer of their marketing duties as a positive externality.

Whereas in previous times films were offered up to the distribution circuit to be either rejected or accepted as viable commodities, their makers are now being asked to lead that process of commodification themselves, to integrate it into their art and sometimes package themselves along with it. In a way, this “democratization” of the commodification process creates an opportunity for filmmakers to think more critically about how their work functions in, and serves, current social and economic arrangements—and ask how they might be able to interrupt and challenge these arrangements rather than feed them.

Simultaneous to the opening of Independent Film Week, Occupy Wall Street began its intervention in downtown Manhattan. Strangely enough, some of the same questions posed at Lincoln Center have been posed in this ongoing occupation. Questions like, “How can we spend more of our time doing what we love to do?” But while downtown the emphasis was how to free ourselves from monetized work, uptown it was how to turn our love into monetized work. And yet we all know that independent cinema wouldn’t exist without networks and affinities of cooperation, friendship, and trust—and new models of distribution do create new possibilities in this regard.

There are old possibilities, too. Director-producer Antonio Campos talked on a panel entitled “Paying the Bills” about how, for the past 10 years, he and his collaborators have split every paycheck three ways, rotating work-for-hire duties so that at least one of them could be dedicated to creative work at all times. Another panelist interjected, “Are you saying we should all become communists?” To which Campos replied, “Yeah, well, essentially that’s how it works: you’re a communist until you’re a capitalist.” I wonder about the inevitably of that “until.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DONAL FOREMAN is an Irish filmmaker, critic, and programmer living in Brooklyn.

Friday, October 7, 2011

"Boppin' At The Glue Factory" on Prescreen


My buddy Jeff Orgill's movie "Boppin' At The Glue Factory" is premiering today at https://prescreen.com/movie/Junkie-Nurse - it's awesome. Jeff is a talented, long-time FA member and I'm proud to support him!

Also, I don't know much about Prescreen, but sounds interesting and something filmmakers might want to be investigating/tracking.

You can start by watching "Boppin' At The Glue Factory". Check it out if you like dark comedies. Or weed....

https://prescreen.com/movie/Junkie-Nurse

VISIONFEST 2011 LINE-UP ANNOUNCED!


VisionFest Tickets Available NOW! - http://visionfest-2011.eventbrite.com/

A limited amount of discount tickets are available for our FA family. Enter the discount code: famember.

We're excited to announce the line-up of films for VisionFest 2011!!

But first, we want to congratulate ALL of the filmmakers who submitted films. Filmmakers Alliance is about making films and those of you who are making them keep FA rocking along. We are deeply grateful to you!!!

Here is the program line-up:

Inside This World of Mine (3:59) by Sean Morris
The Wanderer (14:30) by Aaron Garcia
The Director (1:30) by Destri Martino
Debutante Hunters (12:42) by Maria White
White Knuckles (3:46) - 3D Director Eric Kurland
Abigale (16:00) by Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck
All Is Not Lost (3:24) - 3D Director Eric Kurland
The Legend of Beaver Dam (12:00) by Jerome Sable, Produced by Michael Blaha

And we will have a special Public Service spotlight on Tamika Lamison's Make A Film Foundation with a screening of the org's new film Deep Blue Breath directed by Patricia Cardoso.

It will be a GREAT program and an amazing night!


2011 will be our 14th Year of VisionFest, Filmmakers Alliance annual screening and celebration bringing together the best of LA’s independent film community and regularly attended by overflowing audiences and press.

The evening begins with the presentation of the NILSSON AWARD, curated and presented by the award’s namesake and inaugural recipient, ROB NILSSON. The award acknowledges and celebrates bold, direct, honest and aesthetically challenging filmmaking that is often unrecognized by the mainstream independent film community. This year's Nilsson Award recipient is Turkish filmmaker Semih Kaplanoglu.

Next is the presentation of the VISION AWARD, given each year to an established filmmaker whose artistic ambition and consistent filmmaking excellence provides artistic inspiration to emerging filmmakers all around the world. Past recipients include MIke Figgis, Terry Gilliam, Wim Wenders, Allison Anders, Alexander Payne, David O. Russell, Werner Herzog, Mark and Michael Polish, Kevin Smith, producer Ted Hope and filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn.

2011 Vision Award Recipient

CHRISTINE VACHON

Independent Spirit Award and Gotham Award winner Christine Vachon co-founded indie powerhouse Killer Films in 1995 with producing partner Pamela Koffler. Based out of New York, Killer has produced more than 45 acclaimed independent films including Todd Haynes' Venice Film Festival Award-winning I'M NOT THERE and last year's Best Canadian Feature at TIFF, CAIRO TIME. Over the past decade and a half the two have produced some of the most celebrated American indie features including Academy Award-winning films FAR FROM HEAVEN, BOYS DON'T CRY, ONE HOUR PHOTO, HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, HAPPINESS and SAFE. In television, Vachon executive produced the Emmy-winning program, This American Life, for Showtime and more recently the two have collaborated on the upcoming miniseries Mildred Pierce for HBO. Killer Films was honored with a 10 year retrospective at the New York Museum of Modern Art in 2005.

The presentation of awards will be followed by a program of some of the best short films produced in the previous year. We are pleased to announce the following films:

Inside This World of Mine (3:59) by Sean Morris

The Wanderer (14:30) by Aaron Garcia

The Director (1:30) by Destri Martino

Debutante Hunters (12:42) by Maria White

White Knuckles (3:46) - 3D Director Eric Kurland

Abigale (16:00) by Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck

All Is Not Lost (3:24) - 3D Director Eric Kurland

The Legend of Beaver Dam (12:00) by Jerome Sable, Produced by Michael Blaha

Total program length: 68 mins.

And we will have a special Public Service spotlight on Tamika Lamison's Make A Film Foundation with a screening of the org's new film Deep Blue Breath directed by Patricia Cardoso.




The evening finishes with a high-energy party on the rooftop of the Downtown Independent Theater catered by some of Los Angeles' best restaurants.



VISIONFEST 2011 SPONSORS INCLUDE:











VisionFest 2011

October 19th at 8:00 p.m.

Downtown Independent Theater

251 S. Main St.

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Map to Downtown Independent Theater:


View Larger Map

NOTE: Parking is not free. There are several parking structures near the theater. $9 parking is available right next door to the theater on the north side. However, $5 parking is available at the Los Angeles Times parking structure at 213 South Spring Street.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

VisionFest Kickoff and FA Meeting On Streets of downtown LA!!

That's right, FAers and Friends of FA!!

We are having a VisionFest Kickoff party and VERY informal FA Meeting right on the street in downtown L.A. THIS Saturday at 6 p.m. SHARP!! Don't be late!!

Why? Because the amazing Mexicali Taco Co. roving food grill will be set up there at 6 p.m. and the line forms very fast. After we grab some grub and drinks (drinks provided by us, of course), we'll go over the VisionFest plans and then some brief talk about FA. Then, we'll hang and drink and eat more, if we like. Or go do something else fun together.



It will be our most unusual meeting (and our last before VisionFest), so we hope as many of you as possible can attend. Especially those of you who are helping with VisionFest.

Finally, I am only in L.A. for the month of October, so I'd love to see as many of you as possible!!

See ya Saturday!!


FA Meeting/Hang and VisionFest Kickoff
Saturday, Oct. 8th at 6 p.m. (sharp!)
1820 industrial St. (downtown LA off of Alameda)
Los Angeles, CA 90021