Award Winning, Independent Filmmaker, Paul Plett, shares lessons learned making several science fiction films. From story to costumes, props, sets and locations, Plett discusses every aspect of filmmaking with an eye for fully realized sci-fi that keeps under budget. Plett draws from his experiences making shorts and his newest full-length release, Rama.
Sharon Lewis is the creator behind the indie sci-fi film Black Girl Begins. In her debut piece for The Independent, Lewis writes about how she drew on energies of the under-served community of Afropunk women to market and distribute her film. She offers valuable advice to filmmakers on how to use social media and crowd funding as marketing and research tools, how to choose festivals wisely, and how to “re-define” a theatrical release. Brown Girl Begins is based on the award-winning novel Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson.
Filmshop is a New York City-based filmmaker collective founded on the idea that all filmmakers can benefit from constructive feedback and from thinking critically about the work of others. Members meet weekly to workshop everything from treatments to fine cuts in a range of formats and genres. Hillary Nussbaum, Co-Leader of the South Brooklyn Chapter of Filmshop, provides tips that she’s learned about giving and receiving effective feedback from ten years of experience as a workshop leader.
Metal Missionaries is the new documentary by Director/Producer Bruce Moore that takes an in depth look at the place of Christianity in the metal music scene. It is a surprising work that gets close and personal with many of today’s leading metal musicians. When Screenwriter Colin Jones teamed up with Moore to create the film, the two had hardly any budget to work with. In this piece, Jones offer tips to burgeoning filmmakers facing similar odds.
Gloria Muñoz of Pitch Her Productions shares industry tips for emerging female filmmakers. Muñoz and her production company has just released Keep Me Posted, a comedic web series written and directed by Hillary Nussbaum. The series, which stars Maya Deshmukh, Terra Mackintosh, and Kim Blanck offers an unforgiving look at social media, notably the complexities of balancing online personas with authentic, real-world intimacy.
New York filmmaker Ben Garchar writes in insightful and instructive detail of his filmmaking process on the new short Jake. Ben shot over twenty percent of this deeply emotional movie on 35mm film, a decision that had big payoffs. Jake featured at Filmmakers NY and Video Revival in Brooklyn; the film was shot entirely in Berlin, where its lead actor, Kellen York, resides.
David Zimmerman, CEO of LC Technology, has helped many filmmakers resolve problems related to file corruption and data loss. In this informative “How To” piece, Zimmerman offers specific tips for preventing damage to storage cards and for protecting valuable footage.
There are a growing number of options for schools that aspiring screenwriters may choose from to better fit their goals and needs. The nation’s top choices routinely offer small workshop-style classrooms, industry experience, and a working portfolio—as well as a diploma.
Over the years many labs and funds have been established to help documentary filmmakers hone the necessary skills and provide access to the resources (money) to navigate the obstacles associated with bringing a film from idea to distribution.