Feb 272011
short film
by vancouverfilmschool

Video shorts are the newest video production style

Video shorts are the new format to promote a business on TV, online or DVD. It is one of the most cost effective video productions and usual produced in a very short time. Video production editing or also called post production for shorts is not anymore as time consuming as it used to be and the hard-software for editing is getting less and less expensive.

Corporate shorts in TV production provides innovative videos to capture the essence of a story or product, and give a personal touch to help connect with the viewer. Shorts in any video production can be used for a range of needs: branding, sales, awareness, promotional, political, educational and informational uses. A video short intends a specific purpose in a corporate or B2B environment and watched by a targeted audience.

They can help craft the right message to promote and push a brand – and make it stand out visually.

Video production and post production editing for shorts aim to inform the audience, give more insight and a greater understanding about the world and its subjects. It becomes true: A great story starts with imagination.

Some of the first pioneers of video shorts and film TV production are the German born Director and cameraman Max Skladanowsky who built one of the first film cameras in 1890. For his first film, Bioskop, he used to loops of 54mm film, one frame being projected alternately from each. This made it possible to project at 16 frames per sec, sufficient to create the illusion of movement.

Video production editing was done linear to this time therefore it was very limited and time consuming.

Also the man who has been called the “father of the documentary film production, Robert Flaherty,” born in 1884 (Michigan U.S) produced short films. Flaherty produced Nanook of the North, A Story Of Life and Love In the Actual Arctic, the first feature length documentary film production, in 1922.

Not to forget that his video production editing was still done linear, in compare to today’s much faster non-linear video editing suites.

Another pioneer work in video and film production was the earliest known feature length narrative film in the world, an Australian production called THE STORY OF THE KELLY GANG (1906).

Or did you know that one of the world’s first film studios, The Limelight Department was operated by The Salvation Army in Melbourne, Australia, between 1897 and 1910. It produced about 300 films of various lengths, making it the largest film producer of its time.

Since then workflow of video production, post production editing and equipment of a cameraman has changed tremendous. As well the platforms it screens and the aims it is targeting.

Strong believes are that in the common years 70% of all web based content will be bundled in video shorts, vodcast (podcast video).

Therefore every company and individual should start to think in this direction to stay effective and promote their business online with a podcast video.

Corporate Shorts provide innovative podcast videos for a website to capture the essence of a business, and give a personal touch to help connect with the audience. An effective online podcast video presence is the future promotional and informational vehicle.

Today most TV channels stream their video content on the web because people like to follow up shows and programmes they missed or just want to be more flexible with viewing times.

What is anyway the difference between PODCAST and VODCAST?

Podcast is Audio for web only

Vodcast is Video and Audio for web

By that post production or non-linear video production editing becomes highly increased and has changed dramatically as well.

In compare to film production 50 years ago, today’s video editor can edit your video footage at points that are both creative and logical. Video production editing can be done in very short time in house or on location with a mobile video editor and edit suite. Using digital video footage, they can create sophisticated animated text effects, special effects and combine movies with still images.

With original or existing digital footage the video editor can animate, transform and composite multiple movies and images, apply colour correction, improve audio quality and add animations.

Video editor can use video footage to combine green-screen interview footage with customized virtual sets while adding convincing effects like virtual shadows and reflections in your video production edit.

This was not possible in the early stages of film and video production! A TV or film producer, director or cameraman needed many hours of work and post production was very limited.

But there is more! Video production soundtrack editing is one of the big advantages of today’s technology.

Different soft- and hardware is used to compose loop-based soundtracks in any musical style for a video production, or to provide and edit a stock music soundtrack.

Video shorts are the way to go.

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Feb 272011

Some cool hollywood film images:

Hollywood Cemetery
hollywood film

Picture taken at Hollywood Cemetery – Kodak BW400CN film, EOS Rebel, 35mm f/2.0 lens.

The shutter was toast on the camera – there were about 10 salvageable shots out of 2 rolls of film. This is from negative scans of the first roll.

Hollywood Cemetery
hollywood film

Picture taken at Hollywood Cemetery – Kodak BW400CN film, EOS Rebel, 35mm f/2.0 lens.

The shutter was toast on the camera – there were about 10 salvageable shots out of 2 rolls of film. This is from negative scans of the second roll.

Hollywood Cemetery
hollywood film

Picture taken at Hollywood Cemetery – Kodak BW400CN film, EOS Rebel, 35mm f/2.0 lens.

The shutter was toast on the camera – there were about 10 salvageable shots out of 2 rolls of film. This is from negative scans of the first roll.

Copied from SQLJ » Film Images

Feb 262011

New York, NY (PRWEB) November 28, 2007

Film Movement (www.FilmMovement.com), U.S. film distributor for award-winning, independent and foreign films, is offering 3 and 6 month Gift Subscription Packages, with the option of adding on ‘bonus films’ and specialty film “DVD Packs,” that bring selected award-winning films from different categories right to the doors of your friends and loved ones this holiday season.

The Subscription Packages are 3 or 6 months long. Each package provides 2 DVD a month, 1 feature-length film and 1 short film.

With award-winning films from around the world, a Film Movement subscription is like having an entire film festival delivered to your door. Also, there is the option of adding on 3 or 6 “bonus films.”

In addition, Film Movement introduces DVD Packs for both subscribers & non-subscribers. With the DVD Packs, film lovers will receive a set of 3 award-winning films from the following categories: Sundance Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Spiritual, Documentary, Celebrity, Spanish-language, French-language, Italian-language, Asian and English language.

Choose from the following DVD Packs, just $ 29.95 for subscribers and $ 39.95 for non-subscribers. Synopses of all films can be found at www.FilmMovement.com.

Sundance Film Festival DVD Pack (All films won awards at the Sundance Film Festival):

Ali Zaoua

Manito

Monster Thursday

Cannes Film Festival DVD Pack (All films won awards at the Cannes Film Festival):

Who’s Camus Anyway?

Raja

Road to Koktobel

Spanish-Language DVD Pack:

Carol’s Journey

Viva Cuba

Madeinusa

French-Language DVD Pack:

Hop

Viva Laldjerie

Dreams of Dust

Italian-Language DVD Pack:

Agata & the Storm

Ginger and Cinnamon

Light of My Eyes

English-Language DVD Pack:

A Simple Curve

Morlang

The Rage in Placid Lake

Asian DVD Pack:

A Peck on Cheek

Drifters

Be With Me

Spiritual DVD Pack:

Let the Church Say Amen

Le Grand Voyage

The Island

Films with Celebrities DVD Pack:

‘Wilby Wonderful’ with Sandra Oh

‘The Rage in Placid Lake’ with Ben Lee

‘The Party’s Over’ with Philip Seymour Hoffman

Documentary DVD Pack:

Our Town

The Party’s Over

Let the Church Say Amen

In addition, consumers can also choose from the following Film Movement DVD-of-the-Month Club Subscription Packages:

6 Month Subscription + 6 Bonus Films + DVD Case – $ 119.95

    6 monthly films with free shipping (1 feature length film & 1 short film a month)
    6 Bonus films: Be With Me, Hawaii Oslo, Something Like Happiness, Inch’Allah Dimanche, Campfire, How I Spent the End of the World
    Film Movement 24 DVD Carrying Case
o    6 month subscription without bonus films – $ 67.95

6 Month Subscription + 3 Bonus Films + DVD Case – $ 95.95

    6 monthly films with free shipping (1 feature length film & 1 short film a month)
    3 Bonus films: Be With Me, Hawaii Oslo, Something Like Happiness
    Film Movement 24 DVD Carrying Case

3 Month Subscription + 3 Bonus Films + DVD Case – $ 67.95

    3 monthly films with free shipping (1 feature length film & 1 short film a month)
    3 Bonus films: Be With Me, Hawaii Oslo, Something Like Happiness
    Film Movement 24 DVD Carrying Case
o    3 Month subscription without bonus films – $ 35.95

About Film Movement: Launched in 2003, Film Movement is a full-service North American distributor of award-winning independent and foreign films based in New York City. Film Movement has released more than 100 feature films and shorts from 27 countries on six continents, including top prize winners from Sundance, Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Berlin, Tribeca and other prestigious festivals. Film Movement releases its films through many different distribution channels including theatrical, non-theatrical, home video, television outlets (such as Sundance Channel, IFC, & Showtime) and can also be seen on In-flight Entertainment on Continental Airlines. For more information, please visit www.filmmovement.com

Media Contact: Loren Pomerantz: (212) 583-0338 /

Company Contact: Meghan Wurtz (212) 941-7744 x 201 /

# # #



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Feb 262011

Houston & Los Angeles (PRWEB) May 27, 2008

Gatecrasher Films is pleased to announce that the feature film “Mutants” will be screened at this year’s Marché du Film at the Cannes Film Festival. In addition, it will be submitting its short film “First Date” to the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival. Gatecrasher Films and AV1 Productions also recently completed filming a music video for hip-hop superstar Lupe Fiasco.

The feature film “Mutants” will be screened at this year’s Cannes Film Festival’s Marché du Film, currently taking place in Cannes, France. The horror/science-fiction film stars Michael Ironside (“Top Gun”, “Starship Troopers”) and Steven Bauer (“Scarface”); directed by Amir Valinia of Gatecrasher Films / AV1 Productions, produced by George Kostuch and Matt Keith of K2 Pictures and co-produced by Ron Finberg of Gatecrasher Films. The film is being distributed by Spotlight Pictures. Amir also recently directed the films “Lords of the Street”, starring Kris Kristofferson, and “Lockjaw: Rise of the Kulev Serpent”, starring hip-hop superstar DMX.

The Marché du Film is the key business counterpart and heart of the Festival de Cannes, and it is the most important motion picture gathering in the world where, every year, cinema and dealmaking are at their best. More than 8,000 participants from 93 countries from the film industry, including producers, international sales agents, distributors and investors, are expected to converge in Cannes for the Marché du Film making deals for tomorrow’s films.

On a separate note, Gatecrasher Films will be submitting its short film comedy production “First Date” to the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival. The plot is about a couple on a blind date and what happens when they become too honest with each other. The film was directed by Amir Valinia and produced by Ron Finberg and Ming Wang. Accredited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences the LA Shorts Fest is the largest, most recognized short film festival in the world.

Lastly, Gatecrasher Films / AV1 Productions recently completed production on the music video “Hip-Hop Saved My Life” for rap and hip hop superstar Lupe Fiasco. Directed by Dr. Teeth, the video also features singer/songwriter Nikki Jean.

Gatecrasher Films is full-service motion picture production company, specializing in films, music videos and commercials, using cost-effective strategies and efficient processes and techniques resulting in beautiful motion pictures at ultra-competitive rates.

###



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Feb 242011
short film
by vancouverfilmschool

Video shorts are hot!

Video shorts are the hottest new format to promote a business on TV, online or DVD. It is one of the most cost effective video productions and usually produced in a very short time. Video production editing or also called post production for shorts is not anymore as time consuming as it used to be and the hard-software for editing is getting less and less expensive.

Corporate shorts in TV production provides innovative videos to capture the essence of a story or product, and give a personal touch to help connect with the viewer. Shorts in any video production can be used for a range of needs: branding, sales, awareness, promotional, political, educational and informational uses. A video short intends a specific purpose in a corporate or B2B environment and watched by a targeted audience.

They can help craft the right message to promote and push a brand – and make it stand out visually.

Video production and post production editing for shorts aim to inform the audience, give more insight and a greater understanding about the world and its subjects. It becomes true: A great story starts with imagination.

Some of the first pioneers of video shorts and film TV production are the German born Director and cameraman Max Skladanowsky who built one of the first film cameras in 1890. For his first film, Bioskop, he used to loops of 54mm film, one frame being projected alternately from each. This made it possible to project at 16 frames per sec, sufficient to create the illusion of movement.

Video production editing was done linear to this time therefore it was very limited and time consuming.

Also the man who has been called the “father of the documentary film production, Robert Flaherty,” born in 1884 (Michigan U.S) produced short films. Flaherty produced Nanook of the North, A Story Of Life and Love In the Actual Arctic, the first feature length documentary film production, in 1922.

Not to forget that his video production editing was still done linear, in compare to today’s much faster non-linear video editing suites.

Another pioneer work in video and film production was the earliest known feature length narrative film in the world, an Australian production called THE STORY OF THE KELLY GANG (1906).

Or did you know that one of the world’s first film studios, The Limelight Department was operated by The Salvation Army in Melbourne, Australia, between 1897 and 1910? It produced about 300 films of various lengths, making it the largest film producer of its time.

Since then workflow of video production, post production editing and equipment of a cameraman has changed tremendously. As well the platforms it screens and the aims it is targeting.

Strong believes are that in the common years 70% of all web based content will be bundled in video shorts, vodcast (podcast video).

Therefore every company and individual should start to think in this direction to stay effective and promote their business online with a podcast video.

Corporate Shorts provide innovative podcast videos for a website to capture the essence of a business, and give a personal touch to help connect with the audience. An effective online podcast video presence is the future promotional and informational vehicle.

Today most TV channels stream their video content on the web because people like to follow up shows and programmes they missed or just want to be more flexible with viewing times.

What is anyway the difference between PODCAST and VODCAST?

Podcast is Audio for web only

Vodcast is Video and Audio for web

By that post production or non-linear video production editing becomes highly increased and has changed dramatically as well.

In compared to film production 50 years ago, today’s video editor can edit your video footage at points that are both creative and logical. Video production editing can be done in very short time in house or on location with a mobile video editor and edit suite. Using digital video footage, they can create sophisticated animated text effects, special effects and combine movies with still images.

With original or existing digital footage the video editor can animate, transform and composite multiple movies and images, apply colour correction, improve audio quality and add animations.

Video editor can use video footage to combine green-screen interview footage with customized virtual sets while adding convincing effects like virtual shadows and reflections in your video production edit.

This was not possible in the early stages of film and video production! A TV or film producer, director or cameraman needed many hours of work and post production was very limited.

But there is more! Video production soundtrack editing is one of the big advantages of today’s technology.

Different soft- and hardware is used to compose loop-based soundtracks in any musical style for a video production, or to provide and edit a stock music sou

Now Pay Close Attention –

Using Video Testimonials to increase your websites sales and revenue is simpler than you’ve been told. Everyone with a website faces the same two problems:

[Problem #1] How To Build Credibility With Potential Customers

[Problem #2] How To Obtain Testimonials Which Have Been Proven To Improve Sales

Fast Video Testimonials has been solving these two problems for hundreds of satisfied customers. Fast Video Testimonials has been tried and tested and known to produce excellent results.

First: Visit Fast Video Testimonials
Fast Video Testimonials always supplies REAL VIDEO TESTIMONIALS created specifically for your website and business.

Second: Order Your Video Testimonials Package of 1, 5 or 10 original Video Testimonials for your website.
Your new Video Testimonials will arrive within 7 days and all Video Testimonials are done by REAL PEOPLE and are guaranteed to boost your sales by up to 30%. Buy Buy Video Testimonials today and boost your businesses online presence overnight.

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Feb 242011

Some cool British film images:

BFI Southbank

BFI Southbank

BFI Southbank

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Feb 222011

New York, NY (PRWEB) November 28, 2007

Film Movement (www.FilmMovement.com), U.S. film distributor for award-winning, independent and foreign films, is offering 3 and 6 month Gift Subscription Packages, with the option of adding on ‘bonus films’ and specialty film “DVD Packs,” that bring selected award-winning films from different categories right to the doors of your friends and loved ones this holiday season.

The Subscription Packages are 3 or 6 months long. Each package provides 2 DVD a month, 1 feature-length film and 1 short film.

With award-winning films from around the world, a Film Movement subscription is like having an entire film festival delivered to your door. Also, there is the option of adding on 3 or 6 “bonus films.”

In addition, Film Movement introduces DVD Packs for both subscribers & non-subscribers. With the DVD Packs, film lovers will receive a set of 3 award-winning films from the following categories: Sundance Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Spiritual, Documentary, Celebrity, Spanish-language, French-language, Italian-language, Asian and English language.

Choose from the following DVD Packs, just $ 29.95 for subscribers and $ 39.95 for non-subscribers. Synopses of all films can be found at www.FilmMovement.com.

Sundance Film Festival DVD Pack (All films won awards at the Sundance Film Festival):

Ali Zaoua

Manito

Monster Thursday

Cannes Film Festival DVD Pack (All films won awards at the Cannes Film Festival):

Who’s Camus Anyway?

Raja

Road to Koktobel

Spanish-Language DVD Pack:

Carol’s Journey

Viva Cuba

Madeinusa

French-Language DVD Pack:

Hop

Viva Laldjerie

Dreams of Dust

Italian-Language DVD Pack:

Agata & the Storm

Ginger and Cinnamon

Light of My Eyes

English-Language DVD Pack:

A Simple Curve

Morlang

The Rage in Placid Lake

Asian DVD Pack:

A Peck on Cheek

Drifters

Be With Me

Spiritual DVD Pack:

Let the Church Say Amen

Le Grand Voyage

The Island

Films with Celebrities DVD Pack:

‘Wilby Wonderful’ with Sandra Oh

‘The Rage in Placid Lake’ with Ben Lee

‘The Party’s Over’ with Philip Seymour Hoffman

Documentary DVD Pack:

Our Town

The Party’s Over

Let the Church Say Amen

In addition, consumers can also choose from the following Film Movement DVD-of-the-Month Club Subscription Packages:

6 Month Subscription + 6 Bonus Films + DVD Case – $ 119.95

    6 monthly films with free shipping (1 feature length film & 1 short film a month)
    6 Bonus films: Be With Me, Hawaii Oslo, Something Like Happiness, Inch’Allah Dimanche, Campfire, How I Spent the End of the World
    Film Movement 24 DVD Carrying Case
o    6 month subscription without bonus films – $ 67.95

6 Month Subscription + 3 Bonus Films + DVD Case – $ 95.95

    6 monthly films with free shipping (1 feature length film & 1 short film a month)
    3 Bonus films: Be With Me, Hawaii Oslo, Something Like Happiness
    Film Movement 24 DVD Carrying Case

3 Month Subscription + 3 Bonus Films + DVD Case – $ 67.95

    3 monthly films with free shipping (1 feature length film & 1 short film a month)
    3 Bonus films: Be With Me, Hawaii Oslo, Something Like Happiness
    Film Movement 24 DVD Carrying Case
o    3 Month subscription without bonus films – $ 35.95

About Film Movement: Launched in 2003, Film Movement is a full-service North American distributor of award-winning independent and foreign films based in New York City. Film Movement has released more than 100 feature films and shorts from 27 countries on six continents, including top prize winners from Sundance, Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Berlin, Tribeca and other prestigious festivals. Film Movement releases its films through many different distribution channels including theatrical, non-theatrical, home video, television outlets (such as Sundance Channel, IFC, & Showtime) and can also be seen on In-flight Entertainment on Continental Airlines. For more information, please visit www.filmmovement.com

Media Contact: Loren Pomerantz: (212) 583-0338 /

Company Contact: Meghan Wurtz (212) 941-7744 x 201 /

# # #



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Feb 222011



Seattle, WA (PRWEB) September 16, 2010

On September 26 IndieFlix will bring Film Festival in a Box to America’s biggest living room: Times Square. Film Festival in a Box ($ 14.99) is the new interactive movie game where friends watch, judge and rate real films, filmmakers and actors. The launch takes place on the mammoth JumboTron screen where players and passers-by will watch four light-hearted and romantic short films, vote on their favorite and be entered to win prizes including a 3-day 2-night stay in the private villa Casa Soleado in Cabo San Lucas and copies of the Film Festival in a Box game.

Film Festival in a Box creator and IndieFlix CEO Scilla Andreen says, “On September 26 we’re bringing the game, and a whole lot of love, to the pedestrian mall at 47th Street with the intent to have fun, spark conversation, and awaken a new generation of audiences to the joy of independent film.” Flash mobs, schwag and more will mark the game’s launch at the “Love in Times Square” event. Details are at www.IndieFlix.com– look for Love in Times Square to learn more.

The new game featuring the works of indie film talents brings the fun of a film fest into players’ homes and parties: “meet ‘n greets”, Best Picture awards and all. Players of the Film Festival in a Box game watch four short flicks on DVD, grouped by genre (such as Love, Comedy, Pottymouth, or Zombie) then discuss and debate. Players make their decisions then go online to IndieFlix.com where they join the buzz of the virtual film festival by voting for Best Picture, Best Performance and Best Original Story. The actual filmmakers and crews can meet the Film Festival in a Box players right there online, making for a vibrant game experience with all the behind-the-scenes connectivity that’s best about a truly great film festival. The Film Festival in a Box game ($ 14.99) is available online at Drugstore.com and at independent retailers like Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store in Brooklyn, Fred Segal (Zero Minus Plus) in Santa Monica, and NuBe Green in Seattle.

IndieFlix www.IndieFlix.com is a multi-platform film distribution company founded in 2004 to help independent filmmakers take advantage of new media and connect with their audience. IndieFlix promises to build a fair and open market to empower filmmakers to be the engine of their achievement and audiences to be a vital part of a movie’s success. IndieFlix is launching the movie game, Film Festival in a Box, to remind the world that independent film is more than just unique, visionary and honest: it’s also a lot of fun.

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Feb 212011

This particular movie genre is often confused and misrepresented. While it has many fans across the world, several films which fall in different categories are placed under the “horror” label and they are accepted by the general public. Sites which should provide a good definition of horror, such as the site with the same domain name, features movies such as “Pan’s Labyrinth” in such genre which is absolutely erroneous. Movies such as Pans’s Labyrinth fall within the “Fantasie/Sci-Fi” genre which has nothing to do with horror.

To have a better idea of what this particular genre involves we can define horror films such as: “films that are designed to elicit fright, fear, terror, or horror from viewers. In horror film plots, evil forces, events, or characters, sometimes of supernatural origin, intrude into the everyday world.”

Keeping this definition in mind, the best horror movies tend to leave a certain impression in the viewer. Movies such as “Hostel” or “Saw”, while they are very cool in their own “gory way” fail to deliver the after effects of a good horror movie, for instance, after watching any of the previously mentioned films, an average horror movie fan would go to bed like nothing ever happened, however, if the same viewer were to see a good foreign horror movie such as “The Ring – AKA Ringu” or “Dark Water”, right at the time to turn off the lights and go to bed, an overwhelming feeling of fear takes over; and that’s exactly the way we know that the movie we have seen is a great “horror” movie.

Films which show a great deal of killing are “disturbing” but we all know that if a killer were to attack any of us we’d have a way to fight back, after all, regardless of how twisted a killer might be, he/she is still human. On the other hand, films which portray evil spirits, ghosts, apparitions and demons are a whole different story; what is really frightening to us humans is the fact that if we were in the actor’s shoes we’d realize that “There is absolutely NO way to fight back against these forces”, and relying on a sacred object is not as reassuring as having a weapon which we know is going to injure or vanish whoever or whatever is after us, of course this is all figurative speech, we are just illustrating a point!

Asian horror movies tend to deliver the right blow as far as horror movies go. Since not much is invested in “special effects” they focus their efforts towards ‘the story’ which is way more effective and leaves a stronger impression. All of the movies mentioned below were so good that each had an english remake, which had visual effects improvements in the remake but as many hardcore-horror movie fans can tell, the story might have been ruined which fails to deliver the horrifying effects (in the viewers) compared to the original. Good examples of such movies are:

Ringu: This is also known as “The Ring”. The story revolves around a girl’s death story and the way she was apparently killed by her own parents, then thrown into the depths of a well where she now lives, and escapes into the real world through a cursed video tape in order to take revenge and kill people.

Dark Water (Honogurai mizu no soko kara): This is a particularly exceptional Japanese production which shows bone chilling scenes of a little girl who all she ever wanted was to have a mother, even after death! The title describes part of how she died and the element she used to haunt people.

Ju-On: The title translates to english as “The Curse of the Grudge”. This particular movie has no happy ending compared to American movies where the vengeful spirit is exorcised at the end. The story revolves around a house where a mother and a child were murdered by the father, and the way that these spirits come back to hunt whoever who lies within the walls of this residence.

Very few american movies have taken the horror movie making factors into their own productions. The very best example we have of a good english horror movie is “Silent Hill” which was derived from a video game but had a terrific story and amazingly frightening special effects. Besides such rare movies, asian films know how to deliver bone chilling productions relying mostly on good story telling rather than gory scenes and visual effects. Other Asian movie recommendations are: A tale of two sisters, Phone, Premonition, Uzumaki, The Cure.

Algerian resistance with gangster feel
Outside the Law, an Oscar-nominated foreign film from Rachid Bouchareb, is a gripping French-Algerian coproduction that makes Algeria’s epic struggle for independence from France look like a gangster movie.

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Feb 182011
short film
by k-ideas

In this film marketing guide What do you do if you have little or no budget to promote the film? Some case studies I’ll be using: The Blair Witch Project; Desperado (Robert Rodriguez -Sin City/Spy Kids) which are worth mentioning, and I’ll discuss how you can use casting as a PR opportunity. I hope some of these tips will help, both up and coming, established filmmakers, as well as those at film schools. Remember one golden rule, don’t be afraid to be pushy and persistent on the self-promotion front!

Rule 1 – You can’t PR if the story isn’t worth telling

Before we begin I would like to reiterate the above rule because I can’t stress it enough. You will never be able to PR something if it does say something worth saying.

PR- The Short Film

I am going to deal with a short film first, and I am going to assume that you have a day job, but film making is your passion. You have assembled a crew and have a script you are happy with, and actors to play the roles. Word of mouth is one of the most effective tools in this whole scenario, so if you are able to invite any of your local press to the set to watch some of the filming, do try. They will generally pop along if there is a local angle for them.

If it is appropriate, and you need ‘extras’ it might be an idea to approach the local Scout/Girl Guide troupe, or a local Youth Club. Or, if you require older people, don’t be afraid to try and recruit your ‘crowd’ from a Darby and Joan Club/parents’ friends, or even your local pub. Something this simple could provide a local angle for your friendly local journalist – and you could even give them a walk on role if it can be written in and make them part of the story.

Quick Tip: Use Casting of your talent as part of the story. Hire (or borrow) a small theatrical venue for a few hours. Invite the journalist along to see some of the talent auditioning. Get some friends around so that the audition queue seems longer than it is, and take some stills of the busy audition room – allow them to interview some of those auditioning who are likely to be on your short-list. Publicize (through an ad in the local paper/ facebook/ twitter/onefatcigar) the audition to get more people along. Immediately your low budget film has budding actors clamoring to be in it, and the journalist has another angle to their story.

Rule 2 – Get local news coverage

I’ve got news for you – writers and editors of national papers read the local press, and most of these papers have online versions, so this would be a very good place to start. You obviously don’t have the money to pay your ‘extras’ but as long as you promise them endless supplies of hot tea/coffee and sustenance, they will be thrilled and willing to participate. After all, it’s something to tell friends and family – again spreading word of mouth.

All films are different, so all PR campaigns will be different. It really is up to you, the producer, to find the angle. I really do believe that a set of stills that grab people’s interest is the most important promotional tool. With no or low-budget filmmaking you cannot be expected to hire one of the top UK unit photographers. But you could approach a local University or college to see which students might aspire to shooting film stills. Chances are he or she would jump at the opportunity of coming to your set for the experience, rather than the money.

Quick tip: Facebook is also a great tool for this – I just ran a quick search for ‘photographer’ and ‘photography’ and came up with 62,000 results. I’m in London today so I pinged in London and filtered down to over 500 people, finding out that a number had mutual friends. You might ask to see a portfolio from them and perhaps get introduced through a friend.

Rule 3 – Always get a great stills photographer and invite to the most important day of the shoot!

It is vital to choose a key day in the schedule where the photographer can grab as many great shots as possible. You will know what they are, and they should be iconic and not just a picture of an isolated scene. If you are shooting a film about a bank robbery for example, something simple but effective might just be a close up shot of two eyes looking through a balaclava: something stark and eye-catching.

Taking stills is an art in itself. Tell the photographer what you want and how you want to use the images and then leave them to it. If they are good they will give you plenty of options.

Case Study 1

I was reminded while writing this of the brilliant poster for The Blair Witch Project which was so intriguing it had everyone talking about it for weeks before the film actually came out.

Producers of The Blair Witch project succeeded in creating huge pre-hype for their low budget horror flick which centered on students being murdered in a forest. Blurring the boundaries between fact and fiction was key to the early buzz that surrounded the movie. Allegedly the film makers had circulated tapes to colleges which were presented as ‘real video diary footage’. Clips that were presented as ‘documentary’ rather than fiction were shown on the Independent Film Channel. This was one of first feature films to use online and viral PR to build hype. The buzz ensured that Blair Witch was a major success which took over 0 million at the box office.

If your film is in the horror-genre, then go for something a bit edgy and mysterious, rather than an in-your-face close up of a bloody figure. The images must tease and suggest rather than give the whole plot away.

A romance or love story could very simply be a shot of the lovers in an unusual angle. A shot that will make people stop and look, and try to work out what the story might be about.

Tactics and Techniques

Two things to consider: What generates word of mouth? What makes something viral? The answers: Great PR – is about building a backstory of interest; Great Trailers – about visually selling that story.

The Press Release

To start with, write the press release (we’ll deal with how to right a great press release in my next article). As mentioned earlier, there is nothing wrong with sending out three releases to cover the one film. Here are my key steps:

1. Build a Database

Start building your database, with friends, family and friends of friends; posting the title and a ‘Look out For’ and updates posting on Facebook, Twitter, One Fat Cigar.com etc.

2. Get some great still photographs and footage early in the shoot

3. Try to cut a short teaser trailer

If you are able to cut a short teaser trailer early on in filming, post it on You Tube and MySpace and send the link to everyone you know. If it grabs them, whether it shocks them, or makes them laugh or cry, the chances are they will pass it on…..but don’t rely on them, make sure they do.

4. Learn to write an engaging press release – aim for 3 press releases:

The first press release will announce the start date, include a short synopsis, and list the actors and their brief credits, the producer and the director. Here you can mention locations if appropriate. The title should be eye-grabbing and short.

The second press release could relate to what I was saying earlier, about hiring ‘extras’ or ‘crowds’ from a local organization. This could well make local news, and don’t be afraid to call the local TV or radio station either and invite them down. You are now slowly starting to build awareness of your movie, and little by little you will find the word spreading.

Your last press release could be about the completion of filming on time and on budget, and should be sent out with an image. Important to note that some behind-the-scenes pictures – pictures that contain cameras and lighting rig – are the best ones to use here. You may well be limited to the number of actual film stills you have, and you don’t want to start using them yet. Save them for when you are promoting the film in earnest. But just keep up the flow of information, in any innovative (and free) way you can.

Case Study 2 – Bend the rules

Desperado by Robert Rodriguez. Having made El Mariachi in 1992 and winning at Sundance with a budget of only ,000 Rodriguez realized the importance of a good trailer. He had a relatively low budget of m, but did some great promotion behind the scenes. His key elements to sell the film:

1. Talented and ‘hot’ cast in Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek – made sure there were scenes in the film where they ‘looked good’ – which he could use as publicity, especially on the back of El Mariachi

2. Attention grabbing Trailer http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi3315663129/ which although now dated made sure that if you loved action films you would want to see this.

3. Added interesting extras, such as his Robert Rodriguez 10 minute film school to help with the DVD sell – where studios make most of their money – built an immediate affinity with filmmakers

4. Robert Rodriguez told everyone he could find that he was operating outside the Hollywood system – Fantastic PR again, everyone likes a loose cannon, an underdog!

Your angle might be, the studios wouldn’t fund it so you mortgaged your house, stole from friends, sold your pet dog on eBay, to make this film happen, because, naturally its a story that just had to be told.

Rule 4 – The most important point of the whole process – you should be thinking all the time about the marketing angle

There has to be an interesting angle somewhere, after all if your film isn’t interesting why are you making it? Exploit that.

And if I had only 0 to spend on UNIT PR?

1. Hire the best stills photographer I could afford

2. Design a ‘Sell’ Poster – don’t print the poster and give it out – just use it in emails to journalists (it costs too much to print and look good)

3. Set up a Twitter, Facebook Page and One Fat Cigar Account – invite your friends – and put the poster on the front

4. Get a Business Card, and put your name, telephone number and email on it. You’re a Producer.

5. Write attention grabbing press releases and at the bottom direct then to your accounts

6. Get local journalists involved. Give them your business card, an access to the set.

7. Make a trailer that makes people want to know more and do it early as a teaser.

A few quick notes on how to use Twitter/Facebook and One Fat Cigar to PR your film:

Twitter – Tweet from set, what are you doing now? Did something interesting just happen? Tell people. Just done seen our first stills photos, why not come take a look. What do you think of our new trailer? See it here…

Facebook – A more meaningful engagement with the public. At the beginning you’re going to know most of your fans, filter your twitter feed into your Facebook fan updates, and upload images and stills, invite people along to screenings or to be extras – you’ll soon have more fans and word will spread so that when the film goes out there they can be part of it.

One Fat Cigar – Although very new this site is for everyone like you who loves film or are filmmakers/actors/writers. They’re keen to follow your production from day one, and you can cast and crew through the site and build a fan base. Blog about your film here, do video updates from set, release the trailer, exclusive interviews with key team members, engage with fans who can comment and be involved in your production. I recommend signing up to the mailing list if you haven’t already to find out more when it launches and reading the blog which has a lot more information about the site.

Three different mechanics- but all equally valuable to build word of mouth.

For a larger scale production/ feature film

Exactly the same rules apply for a short film and for a larger production, it just means that the range and scope of possibilities are different – you can approach more easily national journalists and it is possible to achieve more press with a feature film. PR is, of course only half the battle – the film also has

 

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