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How to Know When a Project is the Right Project

From the outside, producing a movie appears to be glamourous, fun and exciting. It is an adventure that may afford you the opportunity to work with famous personalities, travel the world, and have experiences that most people only dream of. The process of producing a movie is rarely as engaging

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Does Your Film Need to be Rated by the MPAA?

A common question asked many many independent filmmakers is, “Does my film need to be rated by the MPAA?”  The MPAA, which stands for the Motion Picture Association of America is an independent board comprised of parents and clergy that view and rate movies. The rating system, G, PG, PG-13,

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Prepare Your Film for Distribution From Day 1

The process of making a movie is the same as the process of manufacturing any other product, and preparing your film for distribution from day 1 will save you a lot of pain when it comes time to sell it. Research the market, the audience, and what the distributors are

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How to Effectively Work With Your Editor

The editor holds a very special position in the filmmaking process. An artist in his own right, the editor is tasked with assembling the rough footage in a way that fulfills your vision. However, whereas you have been involved with the film for months, possibly years, the editor has an

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Shoot for the Edit

Believe it or not, the editing of a movie begins well before you shoot the first frame. Filmmaking is a tedious process of shooting a scene numerous times from many angles using only one camera, and it’s important to consider in pre-production, how these shots will be edited together. In

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Setting Up a Low Budget Soundstage

The art of creating a believable world starts by creating a believable environment for your story. While shooting on location may be ideal, some shoots require a built set.  The challenge facing every filmmaker is how to get the most for money.  Building a set doesn’t have to be expensive – creative thinking

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The Power of Light and Shadow in Cinematography

It would make sense that lighting a subject would involve aiming a light at the subject and turning the light on.  While this rather direct approach works some of the time, it often makes harsh shadows and creates a very unnatural look, especially when that light is the key light.

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The Actor’s Responsibility

We often think of the director as the master storyteller, guiding the cast and crew towards one unified vision.  While much of the responsibility of crafting this vision falls on the director, the line can be come blurry between the director’s work and the actor’s responsibility. For the actor, much of his

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How to Hire the Best Cinematographer For Your Film

The cinematographer, also known as the director or photography (DP) is one of the three key people responsible for the look of the movie. With the production designer crafting the look of the environment, and the director responsible for the actor’s performances in that environment, the cinematographer photographs the action, creating

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Pre-Production on Low Budget Movies

The process of preparing to shoot a movie can be pretty frustrating because of how many different tasks you as a producer have to juggle. It’s even more challenging when you don’t have a lot of money to spend and you’re wearing multiple hats. After I wrote a 60-minute period mystery

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How to Find a Writing Partner and Keep Your Sanity

Writers tend to be stronger in either structure or dialog and character, so finding a writing partner who complements your skills can lead to a much better script. Finding a competent writing partner can be as easy as contacting local writing organizations, colleges, or university programs with writing courses or

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Get Off Your Ass and Start Writing Your Screenplay

I’ve always hated writing… it requires discipline, focus and a willingness to go back and rewrite something again and again.  I know that I’m not the only person who feels this way. Lots of my writing friends agree that writing the script is one of the most difficult parts of

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