All posts filed under: filmmaking

9 Writing Tips from Neil Gaiman

1.   The world of your story should always feel real to your readers. 2.   Use the following tools to make your characters, setting and scene stronger: – Give specific and concrete sensory details (Are your details specific enough? Can you make your details sensory?) – Use familiar alongside the unfamiliar. – If you are writing about the real world and real technology, avoid technical mistakes at all cost. – If something doesn’t feel right for you in the world you have created, let your character notice that because most likely it won’t be right for them either. 3.   Pay attention to your character’s behaviour and their responses, which need to be in line with their personality. 4.   The purpose of truth in fiction is to convert emotional truths in such way that is entertaining, helps a reader understand challenging times, makes them think differently about the world; and sometimes it can even change their lives. 5.    Persona is the voice that tells the story and can be any narrative point of view. But it’s …

Ron Howard’s Filmmaking Tips

As a filmmaker, you ought to feel emotionally, not intellectually, connected to the story. You should live, breath and dream the story. If you ask your audience to invest their time and money in your film, you need to be certain that the story has something different and exciting to show. Always look for powerful moments in the story.  Once you find them, you can build scenes based on those moments. It’s easy to fall in love with the story, but part of your job as a filmmaker is to step back, evaluate the story objectively, and find its strong and weak points before you commit to that story. Ron advises his fellow filmmakers to learn how their collaborators work. That helps to create an environment, which allows everyone on the team excels at their craft while giving their best. If anyone Ron works with (it means that he respects that person enough to hire them) has an intuitive suggestion regarding the scene, he will test that suggestion. He believes that this rule allows people …

7 Filmmaking Tips From Martin Scorsese

1. You should always think carefully about your camera choices. 2. There are no manuals, no shortcuts and no secrets to finding your own way. You learn everything by doing the work. 3. As a director, you will always have to make some hard decisions, and in the process, kill some of your darlings while editing. 4. As a director, you are the core decision-maker, which is your most important responsibility on the set. Always be truthful to your vision. Sometimes you will have to remind yourself of that vision and block everything and everyone from entering your inner space. 5. Go and spend time in the location you will be shooting. Don’t just trust stills and images; it’s important that you know how your location looks like during the different times of the day. 6. As a director, you should try acting too to see how it is like to hit your mark, interact with another actor or get a sense of how it feels like to be filmed. 7. Casting is 85-90% of …

6 Tips on How to Approach Decision Makers

1. Do your research correctly, so that you know exactly who you are approaching. Approaching the wrong person, or the wrong company with your request is counterproductive because after putting all your efforts and energy out, you will never hear back from them. If you are looking for a distributor or a sales agent, make sure the person you are approaching is indeed a distributor or a sales agent. 2. You only get one chance to introduce yourself and your project. Give yourself enough time to work on your longline, synopsis and pitches before you start sending that out. 3. Be 100% certain of what you are looking for. Everyone in the industry specialises in a different field, so make sure you know exactly what you are looking for and what your current needs are: is it a representation, a sales deal, production funding, production advice? 4. Work on your online strategy. I firmly believe that being able to find supporters and fans online can only make your project more attractive for the decision-maker to …

9 Tips That Will Help You Work with the Sales Agent or the Distribution Company

1. Always research the agency and distribution company you want to work with. There’s a lot of cowboys in this industry, and you don’t want to be a victim of one of them. 2. Before you start negotiating with either the sales agent or a distribution company, you should check what films they have successfully represented and what type of marketing and the promotional campaign they run for those films. 3. Both sales agents and the distributors may have hidden marketing, and promotional costs or representation/packaging costs (packaging is an umbrella word for so many different services, so watch out for that) added to your bill. This way, the sales agents and distributors often try to offset their general expenses. 4. Well established companies will not try to trick you into signing a dodgy deal. It’s the aforementioned cowboys you need to be aware of and always have someone else (preferably a lawyer) check the contract for you. If something in the agreement doesn’t feel right or there is something you don’t understand, ask for …