Sunday, December 7, 2014

FA Screening At The Echo Park Film Center on Monday, December 15th!

Films and Filmmakers - that's what it's all about!

EPFC crowd pic

Filmmakers Alliance screens amazing short films by LA-based filmmakers who are always in attendance at the Echo Park Film Center.


Come out and see the incredible work being done by our amazing LA filmmaking community and support the great work that the EPFC people are doing, as well. The center is a volunteer run organization that offers fantastic super 8mm film classes, youth classes, and much more, so we do ask that you donate $5 on the RSVP page or make a donation at the door to help keep the Center going.

There is a brief Q&A after each film, not to mention complimentary food & drinks. So come on out and watch, eat, drink, connect and enjoy!


The Line-up:

9 min., color
Director: Diffan Sina Norman
While pursuing his late wife, a botanical professor encounters a divine presence that will transform him forever.

I'm A Mitzvah still
I'm A Mitzvah
19 min., color
Director: Ben Berman
A young American man spends one last night with his deceased friend while stranded in rural Mexico. Starring Ben Schwartz (Parks and Rec, House of Lies) and with music by Stephin Merritt!

Me+Her still
Me + Her
13 min., color
Director: Joseph Oxford
When Jack and Jill of Cardboard City are separated by Jill's untimely death, Jack goes on a journey to mend his (literally) broken heart.  

Catherine still
13 min., color
Director: Dean Fleischer-Camp
Catherine returns to work after a hiatus.

Cruising Electric still
Cruising Electric (1980)
2 min., color
Director: Brumby Boylston
The marketing department green-lights a red-light tie-in: 60 lost seconds of modern movie merchandising.

Person to Person Still
Person To Person
18 min., color
Director: Dustin Defa
A man tries to get rid of a stranger who won't leave his apartment.

Total Running Time: - 74 Minutes


Hope to see you all there!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Criterion's "All That Jazz: Fosse Time" - Several years of film school in 14 minutes

My buddy George Zaverdas sent me Criterion's excellent appreciation/analysis of Bob Fosse's - and editor Alan Heim's - editing/filmmaking style as realized most fully in their under-appreciated film "All That Jazz" - one of my personal favorites. Check it out. It's several years of film school in 14 minutes.

I remember when I first watched the film, thinking "This is f#@*ing brilliant!!....And Sandahl Bergman might be the sexiest thing I've ever seen!!" :)

The film is out now on Criterion: I couldn't recommend it more highly. Oh, and I LOVE Criterion!!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Digital Bolex Grant for Women Cinematographers Now Receiving Applications

My friend, Elle Schneider works for this company and is probably behind this fabulous idea. Support your women in filmmaking! The gender bias in filmmaking is embarrassing (as is the racial one) . Props to Digital Bolex for taking a step to do something about it!

Digital Bolex Grant for Women Cinematographers Now Receiving Applications
Reprinted from Indiewire By Inkoo Kang 

Cinematography is one of the film industry's least equal fields. In the last five years, women accounted for just 3% of all cinematographers among the 250 top-grossing films.

In what might be the only current effort from a film tech company to address gender disparity behind the camera by offering female-specific grants, the Digital Bolex Grant for Women Cinematographers is now accepting applications.

To read the full story, click HERE.

To go directly to the Digital Bolex grant page, click HERE.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

FA Seminar Series: Oct. 18th - Demystifying Camera Technology

Canon and Samy's Camera Present The Filmmakers Alliance Seminar Series:

Demystifying Camera Technology

with Alex Buono

Saturday, October 18th
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Canon Hollywood Professional Technology And Support Center
6060 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90028


Noted cinematographer/lecturer Alex Buono (SNL, Bigger Stronger Faster) presents a seminar geared toward a general, non-technical filmmaker audience to help us better understand how to make the right camera choice for our projects and best utilize the technologies available to us.  Subjects covered include:

• bit depth

• color subsampling

• compression codecs

• dynamic range

• dual-pixel focus assist

• image sensors & debayering

• 4K versus 2K

• 4K workflow

If you're terrified by or ignorant (or both) of any of these terms, this is the seminar for you. All of the info will be presented to you in a way even your grandmother can understand (assuming your grandmother is not the former Larry, now Lana, Wachowski). Give yourself the gift of deeper insight into arguably the single most important tool in succcessfully developing and executing your film's visual strategy.

The day's schedule:
11:00 a.m. - Doors open (networking, refreshments)
12:00-12:15 - An overview of Canon in cinema with Tim Smith
12:15-1:15 - Alex Buono Demystifies camera technology
1:15-1:30 - Q&A
1:30-2:00 - Networking, Wrap-up

All attendies receive a $50 gift card from Samy's Camera to be disbursed at the end of the seminar.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Attendance is free, but space MUST be reserved in advance!! In fact, due to LA's notorious RSVP attrition, we've intentionally opened up more seats than are available, so seating can ONLY be guaranteed to the first 75 who arrive - even if you RSVP'd.

Parking is on street, but there should be plenty of it!

See you all there!!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Win An Executive Pass To AFM 2014!


September's Filmmakers Alliance competition is dedicated to the American Film Market.

Win An Executive Pass to AFM 2014!

Here's what the pass gets you:

  • Access to Show Floor & Screenings
  • Tickets to the AFM Conference Series
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the Loews Hotel
  • One year membership to AFM365™, the AFM's Online Community
  • Access to the AFM Filmmakers Lounge at Le Merigot Hotel
  • Access to the Industry Conversations Series (until full)
  • Invitation to an AFM Orientation with AFM Managing Director

Here's how you win:

1. Simply post a single-paragraph essay of why you MUST be at the AFM this year on the Facebook Competition Page. No longer than 100 words (but shorter is always better) - NO EXCEPTION.

2. Include the following hashtags #FilmmakersAlliance, #AFM in your post (does not count against your 100 words). 

3. Generate likes for your post.

4. The top ten posts with the most likes by Midnight, October 10th, 2014, will then go to a judging committee and the best essay among them WINS!!

Simple as that. So, the sooner you start, the better.

NOTE: YOU MUST BE A BONA FIDE MEMBER OF THE FILMMAKERS ALLIANCE TO PARTICIPATE (Facebook "membership" does not count)! If you aren't a member yet, sign up HERE!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Win A Screenwriter's Package!!

July's Filmmakers Alliance competition is dedicated to SCREENWRITING.

The month's prize is a Screenwriter's Package including the following :


* A copy of FINAL DRAFT 9 (the latest version of Final Draft - $249 value).

* A copy of DRAMATICA story development software ($269 value)

* A professionally organized TABLE READ of your completed script utilizing top-notch actors.

Here's how you win:

1. Simply post a single-paragraph synopsis of your feature film idea on the Facebook competition page. No longer than 100 words (but shorter is always better) - NO EXCEPTION.

2. Include at least one or all of the following hashtags #FilmmakersAlliance, #GenreHacks, #FinalDraft and #Dramatica in your post (does not count against your 100 words). 

3. Generate likes for your post.

4. The top ten posts with the most likes by Midnight, August 15th, 2014, will then go to a judging committee and the best synopsis among them WINS!! 
(Additional information/material may be requested prior to committee's final decision)

Simple as that. So, the sooner you start, the better.

NOTE: YOU MUST BE A BONA FIDE MEMBER OF THE FILMMAKERS ALLIANCE TO PARTICIPATE (Facebook "membership" does not count)! If you aren't a member yet, sign up HERE


- Get $80 off the full copy of Final Draft and $31 off the upgrade (32% off both products). 

- Also, get Dramatica Story Expert, Dramatica Pro, or Movie Magic Screenwriter for $99 (up to $150 savings per product).

Discount code is available for all products on the FA's community page. Offers good until close of competition: August 15th.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sundance's NEXT FEST Line-up Announced!

Check it out here!

New Zooppa Brand Competitions!

We’re excited to share a few fun filmmaking opportunities with the members of the Filmmakers Alliance.
Zooppa is an online platform that connects brands with creative users. The way it works is, brands post their creative briefs on the Zooppa site for Zooppa members, at which point they may enter as many videos as they would like to win cash prizes and represent huge brands in online and broadcast advertisements. Ultimately, Zooppa is an online crowd-sourcing platform where brands turn to for refreshing and relevant user generate content. Signing up for the Zooppa community is 100% free and allows you access to all of our campaigns at any given time. This is a cool way to exercise your filmmaking skills and boost your portfolios!

As a fellow filmmaking community, Zooppa would like to share with the Filmmakers Alliance a few campaigns going on right now. Here they are!
Fun and Flavor with Lindsay Olives
Produce the next film advertisement for Lindsay Olives by submitting a video to the “Fun and Flavor with Lindsay Olives” Campaign!”
Lindsay has been bringing joy to people’s lives for over 100 years and is a staple in the American kitchen. The thing about olives is -- you either LOVE them or you don’t.
Lindsay’s California Black Ripe Olives is looking for 15 second or 30 second videos showcasing their product. Use your imagination to create an entertaining and humorous scene! To participate in this project, pledge now and receive $25 in product coupons that you can use in your film. Head to the brief to learn more!
Submitting a video is easy! Simply sign up for free at and upload your video.
Stats: The contest closes on July 14th at 4:00 PM PDT with $15,000 in total awards. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000.
Help Create a Brighter Future for Our Children
Project Sunlight is a growing movement of people who believe it is possible to build a world where everyone lives well and lives sustainably.
Faced with an increasingly apathetic an unengaged world, Unilever wants to stress the need for a positive outlook and willingness to act. Together, and through small actions everyday, we can begin to achieve the unprecedented possibilities of our world. The purpose of this campaign is to inspire others to join Unilever in making sustainable and informed decisions each day.
Through a compelling video (up to 90 seconds) or a series of 3 prints, show us an uplifting piece that inspires our society, especially parents, to create a brighter future for our children. Check out the contest brief on Zooppa’s website to learn more!
Your piece should be heartfelt and informative that ignites social change and a positive discussion surrounding how children will have a better, brighter future.
To participate in this campaign go to to create an account and begin submitting your work.
Stats: The contest closes on July 28th at 4pm PST with $70,000 in total awards. The grand prize winner will receive $20,000.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Filmmakers Alliance Celebrates LA MUSE at the LA Film Festival!

Broad Green Room / Filmmakers AllianceSamy's Camera and Section 101 invites FA members, filmmakers, film lovers, festival friends, industry mavens, creatives, and culture vultures to a special celebration of the LA MUSE film series at The LA FILM FESTIVAL.

Join us on June 15th for a pre-Father's Day Dinner toast at the historic Variety Arts Club on 940 S. Figueroa St., - a gorgeous 1920s landmark theatre in the heart of the downtown festival scene. Come celebrate the fest, it's LA MUSE film series and connect with LA's expansive filmmaking community with complimentary beer, wine, and cocktails - in an amazing space created by Broad Green Room.

The event is free for FA Members and invited guests. You should have received a promotional code. Otherwise JOIN FA! :)
Event pic

Variety Arts Club
940 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Sunday, June 15

Broad Green Logo   FA logo     S101 logo

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Los Angeles is "Cine City" in June!!

Lotsa cine-stuff happening in Los Angeles this month and you will probably see me at ALL of it!!

Here's what's up in scheduled order:

Dances With Films - May 29th (TOMORROW NIGHT) thru June 8th
Los Angeles Greek Film Festival - June 4th thru June 8th
Cinegear - June 5th thru June 8th (don't worry, you can do both!) Exhibits are 6th and 7th
NALIP - June 5th thru June 8th
New Media Film Festival - June 10th and 11th
Los Angeles Film Festival - June 11th thru June 19th

And, I'm certain there's a much more that I'm forgetting - or simply not aware of. And, of course, there's also great stuff like LA Film Forum and Cinefamily, that happens on a regular basis.

Since I am an associate programmer of the LA Film Festival - as well as Filmmakers Alliance being a participating org - you will be hearing a lot more about that fest from me in the upcoming days. But I urge you, if you're in LA, to support your filmmaking community - and yourself - and get out to as much of this as you can!!

See ya there!!

In July:
Downtown Film Festival LA - July 9th thru July 19th
Outfest - July 10th thru July 20th

Friday, May 23, 2014

Interesting BFI Report on "Borrowed Time"

Here's an interesting case study on the British film "Borrowed Time", which was done more like an American Indie than the kinds of foreign films that hit our shores. Much to be learned from it.

Check it out!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

LAST DAY to Join FA Super Cheap! Join. Connect. Get Stuff. Make Films.

Hey All

Today is the final, final LAST DAY to take advantage of  Filmmakers Alliance's extended pre-launch  membership offer of $10 per year (normally $19.99) or $100 for a LIFETIME membership. Or  sign up ten filmmakers and receive a complimentary LIFETIME membership.

Not only will you get all the advantages of  membership, you'll be eligible to win one of the following perks*:
  • A NEW PERK: A free AFM 2014 BadgeIt includes access to Show Floor & Screenings, tickets to the AFM Conference Series, free Wi-Fi throughout the Loews Hotel, one year membership to AFM365™, the AFM's Online Community, access to the AFM Filmmakers Lounge at Le Merigot Hotel, access to the Industry Conversations Series (until full), invitation to an AFM Orientation with AFM Managing Director.
  • A free, one-year subscription package of key cloud-based filmmaking tools. That includes IMDbProSection101CeltxRemark and more.
  • A free one-hour screenwriting consultation from screenwriter/filmmaker (and founding FA member) Sean Hood.  
But again, you must  sign up  by MIDNIGHT TONIGHT to be eligible.

Upon launch of site, regular competitions will be held for each perk . One perk per member per year.

Filmmakers Alliance: Connect. Get Stuff. Make Films.


The NEW Filmmakers Alliance website is launching in July 2014, but we are offering an April-only “pre-launch” membership offer of $10 PER YEAR (regularly $19.99). Yes, per year! We are offering this to current and former FA members and others who are part of the FA family.  Sign up anytime between now and midnight TONIGHT for just $10 for membership lasting until May 31st, 2015. Connect with your filmmaking community, get access to amazing resources and  win a free trip to The Sundance Film Festival 2015!! 

Here’s what membership in Filmmakers Alliance gets you:
  • Member connectivity. Hook up with your filmmaking comrades. Get info, support and crew. Go make films together.
  • Profile pages. Detail who you are, what you’re making and what you need. Upload pics and videos. Create groups, forums and events.
  • Downloadable info, education and resources. Actor, crew and vendor databases. Instructional videos. Production forms. Production Software and more.
  • Key links to sites, blogs, tools and other great filmmaking stuff!!
  • Access to donations, discounts, promotions and other partner offers. That includes equipment, software, site subscriptions, Org memberships, festival/competition submissions, event fees and much more.
  • Eligibility for competitions and giveaways. Including cameras, software, insurance packages and more. Our first competition will earn you a free trip to The Sundance Film Festival 2015!
  • Automatic enrollment in FA’s “Frequent Filmmaker Program”. Earn points for ANY online activity (posts, responses, click-thrus, purchases, etc.) which you can then redeem for tons of GREAT filmmaking stuff. Join NOW and get 1,000 points! That’s an awesome jumpstart on your free filmmaking reward.
We will also be brokering new discounts for FA members throughout the year to such things as festivals, seminars, workshops, rental houses, insurance packages and more. 

So, come be a part of the filmmaking community that Filmmaking Stuff called " one of the ten best filmmaking websites". You’ll get the connectivity, information, resources and support you've always needed, but now you'll also get an immense package of benefits that will make your filmmaking life cheaper and easier - freeing you to be the filmmaker you were born to be. 

For just $10 per year.

ALSO, the first 100 filmmakers will get a free gift card from one of these 4 partners*:

*gift cards or codes will be delivered within 8 weeks of launch.

Give yourself the gift of Filmmakers Alliance membership.  NOW.

Connect. Get Stuff. Make Films.

Filmmakers Alliance
1317 N. San Fernando Blvd, #366  
Burbank, CA 91504-4236 
310-568-0633 office

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Make A "Connection" with me THIS Wednesday!!

Hey All,

As you probably know I'm making a film. It's called "Connection".

In support of the film, I'm doing a one-day fundraising webathon on Wednesday, March 26th starting at 7 a.m. and going until Midnight (PST). All the details are HERE.

I know you are probably as tired of crowd funding solicitations as anyone else, so we're keeping a very short promotional window and doing it all on a single day!!

And on top of that we're going to host a really fun, informative and engaging show for 17 HOURS!! If you are not a fan of filmmaking, not a fan of the subject matter or not a fan of me, personally, :)…then hopefully the show will earn your support. PLEASE TUNE IN!

We'd love for you to be a part of it, too. During the show, post to us anytime on our Facebook page or Skype (connectionthefilm) us directly during our call-in segments and breaks in the show. Would love to feel the love from those of you I see all the time, would love to hear from those of you I haven't heard from in awhile, and would love to meet those of you I haven't met.

As some of you know, I've done this webathon thing before and it was a huge success. Our goal is to break our own single day record. And we can do it with YOUR support! Donate whatever you can and/or spread the word via email, Facebook, Twitter, whatever. Ideally, you will support and then let the world know that you did.

This film means a lot to me, being my first feature film as a director in over 12 years. So, I DEEPLY appreciate your support and consideration.

Hope to "Connect" this Wednesday!


Monday, March 3, 2014

A Few Questions About The Creative Process For "Connection"

My good friend Sean Hood, who has his own blog (Genre Hacks), asked me to write something about "Connection"'s creative journey that he could post on his blog. He asked a number of questions, much of it about screenwriting/filmmaking, in general. But since it includes"Connection", I naturally had to post it here, too. Enjoy!

How is writing an independent, micro-budget movie different than writing traditional spec script?
The main difference is that in writing an indie, micro-budget feature,  you MUST write within the bounds of your resources. Meaning, you have to consider, with each scene/location/prop/stunt/etc. how you are going to shoot it and how much it will cost. It sounds restrictive, but it actually forces you to come up with imaginative ways to realize things that money can't simply buy. With a traditional spec script, your imagination is unhindered by such things.  The difference between the two kinds of scripts, however, are minimal for me, since even with an unlimited budget, I would be drawn toward telling the same kind of stories, in the same kind of way, that I am doing on a micro-budget: Character-driven pieces set in a compelling dynamic. I make lower budgeted films, not simply because I have to, but because I choose to.

How is your story, in structure and content, different from a "Save The Cat" screenplay?
The main difference is that in my story, people are too busy having sex (or trying to) to even notice the cat. I actually am not too familiar with the whole "Save The Cat" thing and not very motivated to understand it too deeply. My loose understanding is that a "Save The Cat" screenplay follows all the traditional Hollywood story-telling paradigms, including having the main character "Save The Cat" early on to build audience sympathy for them. Real people are more complex than any standard paradigms and that I'm vastly more interested in exploring that complexity than smoothing it out for entertainment value. My story doesn't answer questions. It asks them and leaves the audience to consider them.

How do your plans as director inform your choices in the writing process?
I actually tend to try to separate the two. Of course, I can't help but visualize the film and think about directorial issues while I'm writing, but I try not to let that hinder me in any significant way. I simply focus on what the characters and circumstances are telling me as I make creative choices. Is there tension? Is it compelling? Is it authentic? Is it working on multiple levels? These are my four main general concerns while I'm writing. Then, when I direct, I "bury" the writer. The script becomes nothing more than a blueprint that I am free to re-interpret based on visual style, pacing, location, casting, quality of performance and many other real-world factors once we are actually committing it to film (or HD video, as is usually the case these days).

Why did you decide to fund this film through kickstarter and other fundraising campaigns rather than through a traditional production company or studio?
Two reasons. Well, three actually. The first is that the budget I saw for this film was in that zone between self-financing (or raising money just from people you know) and traditional production company or studio financing. I couldn't have done the film the way I want to do it on a smaller budget. Of course, I could've gone the other direction and simply done the film for a larger budget, but that leads to the second reason I didn't go the traditional route: the film itself. The subject matter is challenging and I want to explore it in a challenging way. It will not be typical Hollywood fare and I don't have faith that traditional funding entities are interested in funding anything that doesn't have commercial appeal and/or serious star power. The third reason is that I don't know many people in the traditional production company or studio world, nor do I have much interest in developing those contacts. For the most part, I'm not at all a fan of the films they often choose to do.

How can people follow the making of this film, either as fans and fellow filmmakers who may involved in the same process?
Given the ubiquity of social media, there are numerous ways to "connect" with CONNECTION. Here are the ones we have thus far:
Our Crowd Funder:
Our website:
On Twitter:
On Facebook:
On YouTube:
On Tumblr:
On Instagram:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

"Connecting" You....

...with "Connection"

Yes, it's me and my damn movie, again. To be totally straightforward, I'm making a last-ditch crowd funding effort - looking for $10 (or more, if possible) from each of my friends, family, acquaintances, filmmaking colleagues, social media contacts, ex- best friends, ex-girlfriends and one-night stands who have yet to support my first feature film in over 12 years. Can you do it? We are at a critical time, now, as we race toward production, so trying to see if this crowd funding thing can truly work and finally get us to our goal of $100k. 

Why is it a critical time? Because "Connection" is live!

Meaning, we've officially launched into pre-production for our April shoot. Offers have been made this week for the lead couple. Can't say their names right now but they are one of the many listed at the bottom of this note. Would love to get your thoughts. Who we get is partially dependent on how much we can afford to pay - and we have to be able to make an offer asap (funds are typically put in escrow for high-visibility actors). We've raised $100k for production (trying to get more, of course) and now immediately need funds to back the offers to our actors without challenging our production budget.

We've also launched out site: Would love to get your feedback on that, as well.

I know there are more important social, environmental, health and other issues to support out there and, perhaps, lots of other creative projects (don't know about you, but I get inundated with Kickstarter requests), so just hoping that I am in the mix in terms of things you choose to support. And hoping that your contribution will not only be small and painless….but rewarding. 

Please go here for more info/details:

And go here to directly show your support:

Cannot thank you enough for your encouragement and support!!!

With DEEP appreciation,

Jacques Thelemaque
President, Filmmakers Alliance
Co-President, FA Productions
1317 N. San Fernando Blvd, #366 
Burbank, CA 91504-4236 
310-568-0633 office
323-397-2164 cell

Actors under consideration for "CONNECTION":

Maggie Gyllenhaal
Julianne Nicholson
Keri Russell
Elizabeth Moss
Kelly MacDonald
Elizabeth Banks
Kate Beckinsdale
Katie Holmes
Amy Adams
Rebecca Hall
Bryce Dallas Howard
Jessica Chastain
Sara Paulson
Diane Kruger
Emily Blunt
Abbie Cornish
Rachel McAdams 
Rachel Weisz
Kate Winslett 
Marion Cotillard
Vera Farmiga
Lena Headey
Anne Heche
Hilary Swank
Reese Witherspoon
Christina Ricci

Peter Sarsgaard
Matthew Rhys
James Badge Dale
Mark Duplass
Alex Karpovsky
Corey Stoll
Ewan McGregor
Bill Hader
Jake Johnson
Mark Feuerstein
Justin Kirk
Stuart Townsend
James Tupper
Michael Vartan
Bryan Greenberg
Jon Heder
Jack Davenport

John Hawkes