How To

Health Insurance for Artists

By

As freelancers, many members of the creative community — writers, artists, and filmmakers — often struggle to find the best health insurance for themselves and their families. Since artists typically do not work as employees, they are not eligible for insurance through a company. And it’s not always an option to tag onto a partner’s… Read more »

Party Like a Doc Star

By

Filmmakers increasingly need to seek funds from as many sources as possible. A fundraising party may seem like a fun way to raise much-needed dough, but they are a lot of work.  Still, securing the right host, making a personal connection to the guests, and laying the groundwork for future “asks” can have pay-offs far… Read more »

Take a Trip, Make a Film: A Look at Study-Abroad Programs

By

When it comes to taking filmmaking classes abroad, the question is not so much “Why?” as it is, “Why not?” As anyone with a passion knows, procrastination and perfectionism are barriers to creativity, and they can become all the more pernicious when you’re stuck in an unchanging daily routine. You tell yourself that some day… Read more »

The Doc Doctor's Anatomy of a Successful Film: "Divan"

By

About this new 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… Read more »

The Many Meanings of “Fair Use”

By

So your documentary has commercial interest and high revenue earning potential. And you’ve secured all of the agreements, releases, and licenses for the film, except for one piece of vintage footage that’s not quite in the public domain (material which can be used freely by anyone because it was created before 1923), but it’s “pretty… Read more »

I Blog….Therefore I Am

By

Freak boy and Festivus poles. Gutted tuna auctioned in Tokyo. And Thanos-the-PR-man singing “Feelings” at karaoke. Whoa-oh-oh. I’m a blogger, but the existence of blogs isn’t news. What Freak Boy (a home-movie role I have twice played) wants you to know is how the use of iMovie, Apple Computer’s low-end, low-cost movie editing software for… Read more »

What Rolled Up Must Come Down

By

Written by? Created by? Screenplay by? Screen credit can define a writer’s career—in fact, the exact words that rolled up the screen after his/her last project often determines a writer’s next gig and salary. Given the time and high stakes involved in writing for film and television, especially when little compensation is involved, credit becomes… Read more »

Making Room

By

I’m the director of the low-budget psychological thriller Room (2005), which premiered at Sundance and had its international debut in the Directors Fortnight at Cannes in May. Room was produced by The 7th Floor along with Jim McKay and Michael Stipe’s C-Hundred Film Corp. Our four-week, twenty-four-day production was equally divided between two weeks in… Read more »

Acing the Deal

By

Distribution. The Deal. That’s the goal of any independent producer after finishing production within budget and on schedule. Ideally, a filmmaker would want to have the film or program distributed by a single company with a reputable track record that would handle distribution in every market. However, although major distribution companies deal in both the… Read more »

Networking 101

By

Everyone knows the value of networking, right? It can get you a job, it can get you a great DP, it can get your film into the hands of a first-rate distributor. The right network can even get your movie an audience—if you’re producer Gill Holland. Holland himself was an important part of the promotion… Read more »