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nofilmschool Special
Mar 2nd, 2017 by paul peditto

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I say it every year, THE best single blog for film-makers and screenwriters is nofilmschool.

Only ones in the same ballpark are John August, Indiewire, Script Magazine and Go Into The Story. Do yourself a favor and check them out. Funny name considering the free education they provide. I could spend a full week on that site (and probably have). Here’s a sampler of some of recent articles and links they published that you might want to know about.

  • 20 LIFE-SAVING TIPS ON INDIE FILMMAKING

From Dan Mirvish, co-founder of Slamdance, comes this funny and excellent article giving some tips for making your own low-budget Indie. Plenty on the business side which is essential. Great, unconventional list…

“1. Always prepare a Chain of Title agreement

Use the WGA’s free collaboration agreement on their website. You don’t even have to be a member of the WGA.

Even if you don’t have a contentious relationship with your co-writer, at some point you might. (Think of the Stairway to Heaven lawsuit: your co-writer might die in 30 years and her kids might sue you.)

But more practically, you’ll need a proper Chain of Title if you ever hope to sell the film, since all distributors require Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance, and all E&O insurance requires a proper Chain of Title.

11. Find the goat

Find the most annoying person on your crew…and don’t fire that person. You want the crew to hate/cringe/eye-roll them rather than you.

15. Arrive early, bring donuts, and wear tape

On an indie shoot, be sure to be the first one on set in the morning and last to leave. From time to time, bring donuts (or more efficiently, donut holes) even before craft service gets set up. Wear a role of tape on your belt to say to the crew that you’re willing to work with them, not above them. (Even if you never use it.)”

  • MASSIVE LIST OF GRANTS

Who doesn’t need free money? Check out this can’t miss list.

“I need money, you need money, we all need money for our films. Below find all the cash that autumn has to offer. As usual, for scriptwriters, contests reign supreme; documentary is abound with funds for socially relevant stories; and narrative film funds lean heavily on pitches and labs (If you’re a narrative filmmaker, don’t forget to follow this up with our breakdown of where to shoot for the best tax incentives to boot!)

The following grants, labs, and pitch opportunities are organized by deadline from September through early December, and by category for documentaries, narratives and screenwriting. If you’re looking for a head-start on a different granting season, we also have our most recent spring grants here, summer grants here, and winter grants here.”

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The Biz: 2016: Part 1
Nov 27th, 2016 by paul peditto

showbizAs 2016 winds down, I’d like to dedicate this post to recent trends in the business of TV, screenwriting, web series, changing trends, etc. Here are some of the best articles I’ve read on the subject during the course of 2016.  With apologies to all my Columbia College students, this is dedicated to your ongoing edification in the screenwriting trade without incurring film school tuition debt! I mean….screw that. Vamos!

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  • AMAZON VIDEO DIRECT

From the ever-great nofilmschool comes this article about Amazon Video Direct, a new video service that allows anyone to download content and get paid directly per hour. Nofilmschool (writer V Renee) considers if this is game-changer for content-creators in how they bring their product to market:

“If you have spent any time researching what Amazon Video Direct is all about, you’ve most likely seen it touted as a direct competitor to YouTube, in that it allows anyone to upload their own content, whether it’s feature films, shorts, web series, or music videos, and lets them decide whether or not to make viewing that content free.

However, what’s different about Amazon Video Direct is that it gives users four options on how to earn royalties from their work. According to Amazon, this is how that breaks down:

Buy or rent: Content providers can allow viewers to buy or rent their work and receive 50% of net revenue.

Included with Amazon Prime: Providers can make their content available on Amazon Prime and earn $0.15 for every hour their content is streamed.

Free with ads: Providers can make their content free with ads and receive 55% of net advertising revenue.

Add-on subscriptions: Providers can make their content available only to those with add-on subscriptions and receive 50% of net monthly revenue.

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  • HOW MUCH DO SCREENWRITERS REALLY MAKE?

Thanks to ScreenCraft for this article on the realities of what a writer who ISN’T Shane Black or Max Landis can’t expect to make when selling a script. Printed toward the end of 2015, it uses the WGAA 2014 chart, but still very informative.

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  • REMAKES AND REBOOTS

In case you needed visual confirmation of the edgy originality of what Hollywood has planned for you in the coming months, here’s an article that gives you 109 projects in the works for rebooting and/or remaking. Oh boy! Who needs gritty, honest, and challenging movies of the 70’s when we’ve got a remake of The Blob slated for possible 2017 release!

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