Features

The Doc Doctor's Anatomy of a Film: "Billy the Kid"

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About this column: Many filmmakers ponder in anguish, How do other people—celebrated people—do it? Am I taking too long to make this documentary? Does everybody spend as much money as I am spending, or am I spending too little? And when filmmakers share their lessons learned in interviews in the glossy trade magazines, their tales… Read more »

Funding the Festival Fantasy

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Earlier this year, on a self-described “quixotic whim,” Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton rented an old Victorian ballroom named the Ballerina and set out to bring a film festival—complete with a quirky sense of imagination, beanbag chairs, and an unconventional lineup—to the seaside town of Nairn in the North East of Scotland. The Ballerina Ballroom website boasts… Read more »

With or Withoutabox?

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Film Festivals. Whether it’s Sundance or Cannes, or something more obscure, the phrase conjures images of red carpets, artsy auteurs, and late night parties… for fans. But to filmmakers, and the often-unpaid program coordinators, film festivals are linked to getting organized, getting seen, and selling either your film, or enough tickets to do it all… Read more »

From Box Office to Ballot Box

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With days left until the 2008 presidential election, images are flooding airwaves and video streams, vying for position as the lasting impression conjured just moments before pulling the lever. Perhaps David Bossie’s meticulously edited footage capturing Barack Obama as a radical while rap lyrics issue a chilling call to “paint the White House black.” Or,… Read more »

Money Issues: Funding an Independent Film

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Long before filmmakers begin production, they face the daunting task of scraping together enough money to get their film off the ground. Choosing the right method of funding relies on many factors, including the type and subject of the film, and the experience behind the cast and crew involved in the project. Funding can come… Read more »

Let’s Make A Deal: SAG Strike Looking More Likely

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The continued standstill between the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) to re-negotiate a new contract makes a strike look increasingly likely. The previous contract expired June 30, 2008. On October 1, SAG’s negotiating committee asked its 120,000 members to vote to allow strike authorization for its… Read more »

The Doc Doctor's Anatomy of a Film: "Soy Andina"

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About this column: Many filmmakers ponder in anguish, How do other people—celebrated people—do it? Am I taking too long to make this documentary? Does everybody spend as much money as I am spending, or am I spending too little? And when filmmakers share their lessons learned in interviews in the glossy trade magazines, their tales… Read more »

Download This: The Future of Distribution is Just a Click Away

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Video blogs, vodcasts, YouTube — in many ways it seems that independent filmmakers have taken the internet by force.  But what about independent films picked up for distribution?  In many cases, they are notably missing from the online arena.  Companies like Zipporah Films, Women Make Movies and Davidson Films still stick with their tried-and-true model… Read more »

Watch Clips from the Oscar-winning Docs, Shorts, and Animated Shorts

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BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE No End in Sight (Magnolia Pictures) A Representational Pictures Production Filmmakers: Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs The story: Former Bush administration officials drop a film’s worth of dimes on their former bosses, outlining what went wrong in Iraq. To learn more, click here. To watch the trailer, click here. Operation Homecoming: Writing… Read more »