It’s always been about Hybrid

Distributing pictures and making a decent return has always been a multi-diciplinary project. In the 80’s it was about making ancillary-products, 90’s VHS and DVD and now? This online game has thrown everybody and so the innovators try and fail, the cynics sit on the fence and say it will never work and alot of us hope for the best.

From a great new site I found called Magnet Media. I’ve used again only excerpts so check it out for yourself.

The Panel was: Efe Cakarel, Graham Leggat, Peter Becker, Sara Pollack

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Branded Content

Branded Content - remember those BMW ads that came out a couple of years ago. Suddenly the idea of films made by brands became real. The explosive nature of the internet and so the death of many newspapers and magazines further drove brands to seek new ways for their audiences to know and think about them. We have seen AD banners on Youtube videos, overt branding in films and also television series and the holy grail, the artful product made with the mounds of money from a corporate - the branded content.

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What does a Producer Do?

Here’s a nice little vid on what various producer roles mean and where they fit into the title sequences…. talking mostly from the perspective of TV but there is crossing over.

TALK - From Here To Awesome

Production has become democratized while digital distribution is quickly becoming commoditized thus fragmenting the marketplace and resulting in little to no revenue. The problems that the independent film industry faces are well documented but where do we go from here? What are the new models of discovery and distribution? How are storytellers going to fund, create, distribute and sustain from their work? ARIN CRUMLEY (Four Eyed Monster, As the Dust Settles) SCOTT MACAULAY (film producer & editor of FILMMAKER MAGAZINE) NOAH HARLAN (film producer & mobile app developer), SCOTT KIRSNER (journalist and author), DON ARGOTT (ROCK SCHOOL)

Interview with the Producers of NIGHTDRIVE

The Producers of NIGHT DRIVE: James Carroll and C.A. van Aswegen

Hi guys, thanks for doing this interview/questionnaire for ReadWrite. I am very excited about this for two reasons; one: this is the third Film Factory endeavor followed by your first hit Bakgat! and two: Horror movie.

Lets start with the basics shall we… What is NIGHT DRIVE?

Night Drive is a South Africa horror / thriller set in the bush. Sean Darwin (Chris Beasley) used to be a maverick undercover cop with the Endangered Species Protection Unit, but after an operation involving a smuggling syndicate goes bad and results in the death of an innocent woman, Sean is kicked out of the police. Feeling disgruntled and shell-shocked, Sean tries to find comfort in a bottle, but it does little to stop the constant bombardment of haunting flashbacks to the tragic incident.

A dying wish is about to change Sean’s life forever. His terminally-ill mother (Jennifer Steyn) asks him to scatter her ashes back home at Nyari Game Reserve, where the escalation in poaching has resulted in an all out war between Sean’s estranged father - the jaded ex-special forces soldier now turned game ranger, Jack Darwin (Greg Melvill-Smith) – and a band of ruthless poachers.

On arrival in Nyari Game Reserve, Sean is forced to join a group of tourists on a night drive safari. For married couple Karen (Corine du Toit) and Ian (Brandon Auret), it’s a chance to escape the traumatic memories of a home invasion that left Karen feeling suicidal, and turned her husband Ian into a trigger-happy cocaine addict. For golden oldies Rodger (David Sherwood) and Mary (Clare Marshall), it’s a chance to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in Africa – a lifelong dream. For Tumi (Matshepo Maleme) and Denzel (Antonio David Lyons), it’s another opportunity to continue their steamy love affair.

Africa has often been thought of as The Dark Continent, but for Sean Darwin and this eclectic mix of people, it’s about to get even darker. It’s not long before they make a gruesome discovery: the poachers are now hunting people for their body parts to be sold on the black market! The evidence is left behind by a refugee woman’s mutilated body - the work of a gang of muti poachers who extract their victims’ organs while they’re still alive. Hell-bent on tracking them down, Jack leaves the group in the care of his timid, superstitious tracker, Akani (Yule Masiteng).

Sean becomes the group’s only hope for survival, but if he’s going to keep them all alive he’ll have to confront his own inner-demons before they drive him to the brink of insanity…and everyone else to their graves!

Why did you guys choose to go Horror as a follow up to Bakgat? Considering Bakgat! was a comedy and did amazingly for you do you think audiences will follow you into this genre?

The success of Bakgat! was due to carefully developing a film that would attract the largest possible Afrikaans audience. The fact that it has spilled over into a non-Afrikaans market only serves to prove the strength of the script and genre. Local audiences like seeing themselves represented in a way that’s attractive, proud and endearing. Night Drive is our first English language film and again, we want to attract the largest possible market segment. Horror/thriller films do decent money in South Africa and Night Drive is something audiences locally or internationally haven’t seen before. It isn’t about monsters attacking people or mutant wildlife – it’s about the scariest monster of all - man. It has a basis in reality in terms of the muti murderers. In recent history poachers out towards the border have been found with human body parts.

The response from media regarding the film has been amazing – and they haven’t seen a single frame yet! The film looks incredible, it has the who’s-who of South African performers and the subject and context are seriously thrilling. Night Drive was developed to be our calling-card to an overseas audience whilst giving local audiences a film they have been waiting for.

I was on your website and noticed a couple of your sponsors. Are these people involved as executive producers / investors? How have you incorporated other businesses into Night Drive regarding your investment needs?

The sponsors who’ve come onboard to support us have been fantastic. While they haven’t provided us with cash, the product and services they’ve offered have made the film possible. Proaction provided all of Chris Beasley’s outfits as well as loaning us a KTM 990 bike for his specialist training and the shoot. Guess have dressed the majority of the leading cast – a massive saving considering all the triples that were required. Face to Face did all of the extensive prosthetic make-up and gore as well as providing students to work as crew. Conrad from Skinbling did all the hair for the shoot and publicity. Jaded Ink did tattoo designs and applications for several of the actors. When audiences see Chris or Chang’s (Kenneth Fok) tattoos, they will be convinced they are completely real.

We had brilliant support from service companies like Media Film Service, Motion Picture Effects, Nate’s Audio Visual and Digital Film. They are just as passionate about the feature film industry in South Africa as we are. Our primary location host Pelinduna Adventures in Broederstroom helped tremendously by also catering, housing and transporting us while we were shooting.

With all our projects, The Film Factory is always first in on the investment front. Some people say we’re crazy to do this, but we view it as a show of good faith to both our investors and the people we work with. We have, at best, conservative budgets and pay our crew and cast a fraction of what they are worth but they understand where we are coming from and we all want to make good films.

How did you guys decide on director and cast for this film? The cast all look great and have a real sense of normality to them, they gave me the feeling that they are all real, normal people. Was that intentional?

We’ve worked with Justin Head (director/writer) before and pitched the story outline to him in the middle of 2008. He loved the idea and we immediately went into development with the film. He’s also the first writer we know to deliver quality material early. He’s really professional and loves what he does. The casting was completely intentional. We had over 150 people read for Chris’ role before casting him. Again, it makes such a difference working with experienced, talented people. We’re really proud of our cast and think audiences are going to be blown away at what they see.

I noticed in your production stills on Facebook that you have built a camera rig for a CANON DSLR. How are you using technology in shooting this film?

As far as we can tell, we are the first feature film worldwide to shoot completely on Canon 5D Mark II cameras. We’re definitely the first in SA. It’s completely bizarre shooting on what is essentially a stills camera but for the purpose of Night Drive, the look we required, the budget we had, it was the best choice. Trevor Calverley, our DP, pitched us the idea and we did extensive tests before deciding on this format. He was spot on.

Our grip Justin van Zyl built us several different rigs that are used in the film including a body mount rig, a shoulder rifle rig and even what we’ve termed ‘panga-cam’! The results are terrifyingly good and it gives the film an epic feeling. The world that we’ve created feels massive and real. We had to build these as there simply are no rigs for the gear! Getting the camera onto a jib was a challenge, especially with a tiny follow focus, but the results are worth it.

For productions on a small budget like this, the 5D levels the playing field. We have 35mm ‘weight’ on a DV budget. Yes, we’ve had to find workarounds for sound and post, but these ‘hindrances’ have actually helped us. All our sound is recorded separately as opposed to running through a mixer back into the camera – this gives our sound designer, Bibi Segola, four channels of quality material to work with.

We developed a workflow for converting the 30p HD footage to a workable 25p HD format. It took a little while to work this out and the conversions are tedious, but the system is no more difficult than working RED or D21 footage.

Have you found using social media in the pre-marketing for the film to be useful and actually convert to selling tickets? And how are you guys involved with your audience prior to cinema release?

Social media is essential – the Bakgat! group is standing on 45,000 fans. That’s insane when you think that we haven’t advertised our group – people have actively sort it out and joined. It becomes a very powerful direct marketing base for a willing and receptive audience. The sequel to Bakgat! happened because of public demand.

It’s very important to continuously update the groups – on Night Drive for example we had a Twitter feed giving the public a timeline of our progress. The majority of our behind-the-scenes will be available first online followed by traditional broadcast.

We pay attention to what audiences are saying online and don’t take their praise and criticism lightly.

You are almost done shooting now. How has it been going and where can we keep up to date with the picture?

Yes, principal photography wrapped on Friday. It was an incredible, exhausting experience. Lots of night shoots, lots of gore, lots of pyros and stunts. We were incredibly lucky with weather and the film gods blessed us with a talented, motivated crew and cast.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and on our website. We’ll be releasing promo material consistently over the next couple of months leading up to festivals and eventually our cinema release in South Africa in the middle of 2010.

When are you looking at opening the film and can you tell us anymore about your distribution strategy for NIGHT DRIVE?

We’re looking at releasing the film country wide in the middle of 2010 through our local distributor Ster-Kinekor. We’re also talking to sales agents at the moment to get the film into markets overseas.

What is your take on making films for local audiences VS making films for international audiences?

It’s a difficult divide. Local audiences are very supportive of local content – if it’s in their language. English language films battle because they are competing with major studio films; films with budgets, films with stars and films with production values that people are used to. Our advantage comes from the improving quality of films that have come out of South Africa in recent years – Jerusalema, District 9, White Wedding. Audiences are responding positively and they are seeing real value. Time will tell if Night Drive performs well locally – we think it will.

Well, thanks so much for your time and making this film! Please send the trailer when you have one so we can post it on ReadWrite!


And so to their las tpoint here are some still frames from the actual Film . Horaa!


Cronenberg Filmmaker for today

Controversial visionary David Cronenberg sees technology, mankind, sexuality merging in ‘eXistenZ’

Todays film maker is another director and I chose him because I accidentally watched The Fly again a couple of nights ago (I think it was on SABC 2). I love his films, eXistnZ was one of the first I watched of his (this interview was done during the time of the film) and I remember feeling like I was watching something other worldly but awesome! Seeing how malleable he is as a film maker is also astounding. The madly erotic to the strangely deviant and even the Hollywood mainstream, Cronenberg can do it all and that’s why he is one of my bestests….
Instead of a straight up biography I chose to give you this interview, it gives a more personal feel to David and if your still keen, I added a link to a biography anyway.
Enjoy the madness!



I don’t know what I was expecting exactly when I met David Cronenberg, arguably the most bizarre, eccentric and even grotesque auteur in North America.

A visionary and controversial director with a penchant for ingenious, violent and sexual metaphors, he’s been responsible for a half dozen of the most admired (by film aficionados) and abhorred (by many others) movies of the last 20 year, including “Videodrome” (a violent and sexualized allegory on thought control) “The Fly” and “Dead Ringers” (considered the height of the art house-horror hybrid), and hallucinogenic, autobiographical adaptation of William S. Burroughs’ “Naked Lunch.” In 1997 his adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s novel “Crash,” about car-crash fetishists, was shelved for several months by New Line Cinema owner Ted Turner, who didn’t want anything to do with the twisted tale.

Was I meeting a human deviant? A demented genius with “straight jacket” written all over him? I didn’t know, but for the first time in years, I was feeling intimated about an interview.

Then I was lead into the conference room of San Francisco’s Prescott Hotel and shook hands with a congenial, bespectacled fellow with salt-and-pepper hair and a benevolent smile. It turns out, David Cronenberg - the envelopepushing circus freak of independent cinema - is a cheerful, deepthinking, mild-mannered college professor type. Go figure that.

Today he’s here to talk about “eXistenZ,” the first film since “Videodrome” that he both wrote and directed. A forward-looking, somewhat cautionary vision of the future of virtual reality, the film stars Jennifer Jason Leigh as the inventor of a bio-engineered game, played by plugging a living game pod directly into the central nervous system through a fleshy umbilical cord inserted into an orifice carved in the player’s back.

In the near future created for “eXistenZ,” anyone who hasn’t been jacked with one of these bioports is considered a square in most circles. It takes place in a world where the game and reality are disturbingly intermingled. In Cronenberg’s vision, technology and the human organism have begun to merge — something the director considers inevitable.

I see technology as being an extension of the human body,” he says. “It’s inevitable that it should come home to roost.”

But before we discussed to his new movie, his fixation with sexuality and the organic form, we talked about Hollywood and why he’s fed up with being perceived as a horror director.

I never thought I was doing the same thing as directors like John Carpenter, George Romero, and sometimes even Hitchcock, even though I’ve been sometimes compared to those other guys. We’re after different game,” Cronenberg says. “The filmmaking process is a very personal one to me, I mean it really is a personal kind of communication. It’s not as though its a study of fear or any of that stuff.”

SPLICEDwire: Your films are more deeply psychological, where many of those directors are often just trying to make you jump out of your seat.

David Cronenberg: True. Even Hitchcock liked to think of himself as a puppeteer who was manipulating the strings of his audience and making them jump. He liked to think he had that kind of control. I don’t think that kind of control is possible beyond a very obvious kind of physical twitch when something jumps out of the corner of a frame. I also think the relationship I have with my audience is a lot more complex than what Hitchcock seemed to want his to be — although I think he had more going on under the surface as well.

But you can’t control all of that. Anybody who comes to the cinema is bringing they’re whole sexual history, their literary history, their movie literacy, their culture, their language, their religion, whatever they’ve got. I can’t possibly manipulate all of that, nor do I want to. I’m often surprised - I expect to be surprised - by my audience’s reactions to things.

SPLICED: Do you consider any of your movies horror movies?

Cronenberg: No. I don’t. “The Fly” was, technically, a horror sci-fi film, and this is technically a sci-fi film. But to me that’s not a creative category. That’s a marketing problem or possibly a critical problem, a journalistic preoccupation. But it doesn’t function on a creative level.

It doesn’t mean anything. Each movie generates its own little biosphere and has its only little ecology and its climate, and you’re attune to that more than anything else. So when people say “is there anything you wouldn’t show on film?” or “would you draw back?” I say, if I do it’s only because of that biosphere. What is appropriate? What works within the ecology of that movie? So in one movie sex and blood would be very up front, like in “Crash” because it’s sort of the subject of the movie. But in another movie, like “The Dead Zone,” it would not be appropriate. It would be disproportionate.

There’s no sex really in “eXistenZ,” except metaphorically. There was an opportunity to have sex scenes, and we were all willing to do that. But as the film evolved, we thought it would be wrong. It would take away from the metaphorical sex, which is all this plugging in and that sort of stuff. That’s more interesting. It has more resonance than if you suddenly saw a real, naked sex scene in the middle of all that. It would unbalance all that — almost invalidate it. So if you wait, the movie gradually tells you what it wants to be, and you have to sort of go on with it.

SPLICED: There seem to be connections between “Videodrome,” which you also wrote and directed, and “eXistenZ.” The way you’re plugging in a pre-programmed videotape or a game into your body. Was “Videodrome” on your mind?

Cronenberg: No. You have to remember I haven’t seen it in 15 years. You might well have seen it more recently than I have. It is true this is the first script I’ve written since “Videodrome,” so I’m sure that connects somewhere. But when you’re writing a script - for me anyway - you have to sort of create an enforced innocence. You have to divest yourself of worrying about a lot of stuff like what movies are hot, what movies are not hot, what the budget of this movie might be. You have to stop worrying about what people might expect from you because of the last thing you did…you have to stop worrying about your other movies. I mean, I just know they’re all going to be interconnected. People have asked me to do a sequel to “Scanners,” or they’ve asked, very recently, to do a remake of “Shivers.” And that would feel like a horrible place to put myself. I wouldn’t want to go back there.

SPLICED: Have you ever considered doing a big budget, schlocky studio film? Has anyone has pitched you anything like that?

Cronenberg: Oh, heavens yes! Recently? “The Truman Show” and “Aliens 4,” and in the early days things like “Witness” and “Top Gun.” Oh, and “Flashdance.” Dawn Steele, for some reason, kept bugging me to do “Flashdance”! And I kept saying “No.” and “You won’t thank me! I would destroy this!” So, yes, I do get offered stuff. And, like, “Alien 4” is tempting for a minute because they’re begging me to do it, and I think to work with Sigorney Weaver and Winona Ryder would be great fun, and so on.

SPLICED:…and it has some of the same kinds of themes, body themes, that you often work with…

Cronenberg: Yeah, because the original “Alien” took stuff from “Shivers.” It was obvious that happened. I know how it happened, too, but we won’t get into that.

The problem with doing a schlocky or big budget studio film is that it wouldn’t actually be fun for me. It wouldn’t be exciting. My rule of thumb is this: You’re six months into it, you’ve got six months to go. It’s February. It’s winter. It’s dark. Am I suicidal, or am I really excited and happy? And the answer with those projects would be, “I’m suicidal.”

SPLICED: You originally wrote “eXistenZ” three years ago. I imagine you had to make changes to update the technology, since such things change so rapidly.

Cronenberg: That didn’t change. The technology I sort of side-step in this movie. It’s the metaphor. It’s the drama and the meaning of it and all of that which is interesting to me.

We don’t have any computers in this movie. It’s a different technology. I’m certainly aware that the big chip makers have all done heavy, heavy research into using protein molecules as a basis of their chips, and protein molecules are the basis of organic life. I read an article recently about experiments done to try to use DNA strands as electrical wiring.

Since I see technology as being an extension of the human body, it’s inevitable that it should come home to roost. It just makes sense. I mean, I literally show that in the movie with the pod plugged into central nervous system.

Technology is us. There is no separation. It’s a pure expression of human creative will. It doesn’t exist anywhere else in the universe. I’m rather sure of that. But we’ll see if the spaceships come. And if it is at times dangerous and threatening, it is because we have within ourselves we have things within us that are dangerous, self-destructive and threatening, and this has expressed itself in various ways through out technology.

(Modern technology is) more than an interface. We ARE it. We’ve absorbed it into our bodies. Our bodies, I think, are bio-chemically so different from the bodies of people like 1,000 years ago that I don’t even think we could mate with them. I think we might even be, in other words, a different species, we’re so different.

(This) technology, we absorb it, it weaves in and out of us, so it’s not really an interface in the same way people think about a screen or a face. It’s a lot more intimate than that.

SPLICED: Is that why in many of your films there’s some type of orifice through which a person is connecting?

Cronenberg: Yeah. I mean, technology wants to be in our bodies, because it sort of came out of our bodies. In a crude way, that’s what I’m thinking. It wants to come home and that is its home. First of all, in the obvious ways - the eyes with binoculars, the ears with the telephone - technology had to be an advancement of powers we knew we had. Then it gets more elaborate and more distant from us. More abstract. But it still all emanates from us. It’s us.

SPLICED: And it’s a theme in almost all of your movies.

Cronenberg: It’s more than a theme. To me it’s kind of like a living presence, an understanding, that is behind all of the movies.

SPLICED: How does the idea of the technological meshing of man and machine, how does that connect to the reoccurring theme of sexuality?

Cronenberg: Well, I think, with “Crash” it was getting very focused on the idea that we are re-inventing sex. We are at a major epoch in human history, which is that we don’t need sex to recreate the race. You can have babies without sex. This is the first time in human history that has been true, and it means, for example, we could do some extraordinary things.

It’s becoming disconnected from what it was initially, just in the same way we’ve taken control of our evolution. We are no longer subject to the laws of survival of the fittest in the gross physical way that Darwin articulated. Even though we’re not quite aware of it, we don’t know how to deal with it, we are messing around with our evolution at the genetic level.

So, I think, in the same way, sex is up for grabs, for reinvention. There have always been elements of politics, fashion, pleasure, art, in sexuality. But now those things are, in a weird way, almost the primary part of sexuality. So why not say, OK, how about some new sexual organs? They don’t have to reproduce. They don’t have to do all that complex chromosome splitting and stuff that goes with real reproduction, so why not have direct access to your nervous system and create new orifices that do god knows what?

In a way, you’re seeing new sex, neo-sex, in this movie. Or do you even want to call it sex? It’s obviously inducing some kind of pleasure the way sex does, but what is it?

I think that is happening. You see a lot of body modification. In the same way, we’ve never accepted the environment as it was given to us, we’ve never accepted the human body, either. We’ve always been messing with it to the full extent of whatever the technology at the time would allow us to do. But then there’s also the other element of body modification that are not medical. It’s social, it’s political, it’s sexual, it’s cosmetic, it’s fashion. Just what people will do now - with scarring, tattooing, piercing and all that, and performance art as well - it would have been unthinkable, at least as mainstream as it is now, not very long ago.

SPLICED: To what do you credit your fascination with organic form and the mutation of the human body?

Cronenberg: I got bored. That was traumatic.

I think it really has more to do with the perception and an understanding than the whole idea that it’s something that happened to you in your childhood. I’m just observing the world. I was born into it, like you were, and then I found out there were some really disturbing aspects to being alive, like the fact that you weren’t going to be alive forever — that bothered me.

Do you remember when you found out you wouldn’t live forever? People don’t talk about this, but everybody had to go through it because you’re not born with that knowledge. That’s the basis of all existentialist thought, which, of course, is an underpinning of this movie. It’s not called “eXistenZ” for nothing.

For me, the first fact of human existence is the human body. But if you embrace the reality of the human body, you embrace mortality, and that is a very difficult thing for anything to do because the self-conscious mind cannot imagine non-existence. It’s impossible to do.

So not only can you not imagine dying, you can’t really imagine existence before you were born. So, I think, for example, that’s one of the reasons people believe so strongly in reincarnation. They kind of assume that somehow they were there. You can’t imagine things going on without you. That’s just the nature of our self-consciousness.

So I observed these kinds of things as a kid and then I’m gradually expressing this and talking to myself through my movies about all of this stuff. Then I’m really inviting the audience to have that conversation with me. You’re seeing me develop, not only as a filmmaker if you’ve seen my earlier films, but you’re seeing me kind of learn how to be a human, how my philosophy has evolved.

So that’s why I think, for example, this movie cannot be like “Videodrome.” All the other connections aside - that was what, 17 years ago? - I’m different now.

SPLICED: So all of your movies together are like a biography.

Cronenberg: Well, they should be. They’re almost like chapters in an ongoing book.

a nice biography here

D9 at The Comic-Con


This week saw the Comic-con take place in San Diago and saw a host of movies being screened, promoted and talked about there. To name a few: Iron Man2, 9, Avatar, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Where the Wild Things Are, Zombieland and Sherlock Holmes. For a more comprehensive list go here and cry a little.

Anyways, I’ve done my crying a little and decided to try and find out more. I am really interested in D9 (as you may already know) and knew that Sharlto was going to be on a panel discuss with Peter and Neill all about D9. The bastardo’s had a full on screening of the movie - aargh - adn this panel was done right after the film. I have here for your enjoyment all four parts, download them from youtube at work and watch them at home later. That way you don’t use your bandwidth, your not skimping on your work and you have them to share them with your friends later…





Then, jsut for fun, here’s a little vlog from Slashfilm doing a review of the movie and some hints of what to expect on Assassins Creed. Go Here

Scott Kirsner and Dan Bricklin

Scott Kirsner (Friends, Fans and Followers) interviews Dan Bricklin on how content will be monetized in the future, how creators (whether musicians, filmmakers, or software developers) ought to deal with piracy, and how Dan is promoting and selling his new book, Bricklin on Technology.

Listen Here

38518413.jpg Interview Project endorses and showcases Austin Lynch and Jason S. Interviews. The interviews are created through Road tripping through the United States and finding (along the way) interesting characters. I have only watched the first episode and found the interview to be very touching albeit melancholy or sad. Broken characters have very little playtime in mainstream media; I guess due to the fact that (according to marketing research) people want to see happy TV and idealistic movies. You really don’t want to see a down and outer when you’ve just lost your house in a recession, or so they say. But why not?

Isn’t there a saying “worse than some and better than others”? Being able to someone who is worse off than you should make you feel better about your own reality. Come to think of it, if I had to loose it all and then be forced to watch Brad Pitt be all he can be I would hate that pretty faced SOAB! The somber tone of the interview has really made me some what introspective and appreciate what I have in my life and get excited about the possibilities that lie ahead.

This all happened in 3minutes, give it a watch here!

All my Friends are Philanthropic

The richest media people meet to talk about the “worlds NEEDS” behind closed doors. Probably that, and “how-to” take over the world. Say hi to Ted, Oprah and Bill….Media conglomerates…

Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger

Some advice from Mr Scorsese himself and this his video clip which includes collaboration with Mick…

John Cassavetes once told me to stop wasting my time and get down to making the films I wanted to make, as opposed to the ones I could make.

It was an excellent piece of advice, which led to Mean Streets. Film what you want to film, what you need to film, not what you can film.

Mick Jagger joked that Shine a Light was the first of my movies in a long time that didn’t include “Gimme Shelter.” Believe me, it wasn’t for lack of trying.

Exclusive Clip


Future of Independant film

Scott Kirsner interviewed Independent film makers at a breakfast about the future of Independent Film.
The recording is not great because of the background noise, if you can take it you may hear some pearls about distribution, business models and where are we going….

Eight folks who were in Austin this week for the SXSW Film Festival sat down yesterday morning to have breakfast and talk about the one big idea or big challenge or big shift that we’ve been thinking about most these days. We recorded the conversation so you could listen in, but be forewarned that there’s a lot of background noise; the restaurant was noisier than is ideal for audio recording. (It gets better as the recording goes on, as the restaurant empties out.) The order in which people speak in the recording is:

producer Ted Hope
filmmaker Lance Weiler
conference organizer and producer Liz Rosenthal
technologist Brian Chirls
outreach guru Caitlin Boyle
filmmaker Brett Gaylor
producer and Filmmaker Mag editor Scott Macaulay

Listen Here

Fahrenheit, Fries, Fox, & Fairness: The New Political Documentary

A small piece from a great conversation between great film makers on the topic of documentary. Take your time as its quite a lengthy piece but it has great insights and stories about getting films made and more importantly getting them out!

This interest has really brought to the fore what people expect of documentary. And it’s triggered a conversation that I’ve been having more and more, and that I believe we’re going to have today: What is it that we expect from a documentary and of documentarians? What do we think that is? What a great place this is now to ask these four different people to think about that with us: Julia Bacha, who edited Control Room, Jeff Gibbs, producer and composer of Fahrenheit 9/11, Robert Greenwald, the director and producer of Outfoxed, Morgan Spurlock, the director of Super Size Me.

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BBC Storyville Editor, Nick Fraser.

An excerpt of an interview with BBC’s Storyville Editor Nick Fraser. I have attached a link to the full interview and also to the top 50 Documentary earners.Nick is an insightful exec and has introduced many new directors onto the documentary scene. Always looking for something fresh and entertaining he was part of the Why? Democracy series and many other very successful documentaries.
He also has been to South Africa a couple of times and loves Swazi Land.

BBC Four: Is this explosion of documentaries that are getting into cinemas a trend you think will continue, and is it something that the BBC and Storyville can be part of?

Nick Fraser: Opinion is divided over whether this is a blip in popular entertainment or something that is likely to continue. I’m cautiously saying that it’s a long-term trend. Like I said, it started in America. Documentaries are shown in European cinemas, but they are heavily subsidised and, with some exceptions, they haven’t got large audiences. The breakthroughs come with films like Michael Moore’s, which have started to perform very well outside America.

You’re starting to find more and more people interested in the possibility of showing documentaries in cinemas. I don’t think you’ll necessarily have as many high-scorers in American cinemas as there have been this year, but I think you can expect a more steady flow of more moderate successes.

Instead of taking $60 or $120 million they may take $10 or $15 million, or even over $5 million. In Britain it’s slower, but you’re already starting to see cinema chains getting used to the fact that among all the homogenised offerings in the multiplex it’s good to have a documentary here and there. And the documentaries can be quite odd because that’s what people like to go and see.

As far as the BBC goes, I think the BBC has always been a patron of documentaries. It commissions its own documentaries and has a huge archive of its past successes. I think the BBC should not only come to terms with this development but embrace it and encourage the production of ambitious documentaries that go first into cinemas, or indeed are shown in cinemas at the same time as they appear on the BBC. It seems to me that the BBC is prepared to do this and I’m very happy about that.

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