Posts tagged #film industry

Happy 40th Birthday, Heath Ledger!

Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger

April 4, 2019 would have been actor Heath Ledger’s 40th birthday. His tragic death left a huge scar on the film industry, and many were left wondering just how career would have progressed had things been different. Ledger was just becoming recognized for his talents in a significant way: his performance as 'The Joker in The Dark Night was all the buzz in Hollywood in the months leading up to his death, and the Aussie heartthrob even earned a posthumous Oscar as Best Supporting Actor that year.

But while we may never know what could have been, we can still take a look back on a few most memorable films that earned him such a place in all our hearts and celebrate the man who went from teen idol to a major source of inspo for many actors.

10 Things I Hate About You

Oh, Patrick Verona. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. 10 Things I Hate About You is a modern take on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew and Ledger’s first real breakout role. His bad boy charm won over hearts everywhere, and tweens and teens taped-up poster inserts from Seventeen magazine all over their rooms just to catch a glimpse of that perfect smile whenever they wanted.

The Patriot

Ledger plays a defiant son who just wants to fight in the American War of Independence. He and his father, played by Mel Gibson, eventually team up as rebels in this epic film that had entire audiences sobbing in their seats. It was the first time Ledger had showed us what he could do when cast in a more serious role.

Lords of Dogtown

In Lords of Dogtown, Ledger plays Skip Engblom, a mentor to a group of young and rebellious Santa Monica skater bros. After his death, a journalist wrote of Ledger’s performance:  “He’s almost eerie in how precisely he nailed not only the mannerisms, cadence and physical presence of Skip, but also how he raises Skip’s spirit.”

The Dark Knight

2008 brought us the highly-anticipated blockbuster The Dark Knight, a film for which truly no one was prepared. Ledger went above and beyond preparing for that role, blurring the lines between himself and the character of the Joker a little too closely perhaps. Whatever he did, it worked, and earned him an Oscar even after he’d left us.

It speaks to the type of actor he was— the type of person, father, and human being we grew to know — that we still rave about him to this day, eleven years later. It seemed he made an impact on everyone he worked with, and I think we can all be in agreement that had he never passed away, we’d still be watching him on the big screen and applauding when he won awards.

So once again, Happy Birthday, Heath Ledger. We were lucky as heck to have you in our lives as long as we did.

6 Films & TV Shows That are Shooting in Georgia in 2019

Jumanji.jpg

Happy holidays, guys and dolls! 2019 is right around the corner, which means PILOT SEASON is right around the corner which means big production companies are also gearing up to shoot their features in good ol’ GA. Here’s a list of films and TV shows that are shooting in Atlanta and the surrounding areas in the new year:

Jumanji 3

Filming for the blockbuster will take place in Atlanta from January 21st - April 26th, and reports are that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan will all be reprising their roles. Keep an eye out on the casting boards - especially if you’re good at running through jungles.

The Glorias: Life on the Road

Filming in Savannah from January 14th, 2019 - March 30th, 2019, this film is an adaption of Gloria Steinem’s memoir, My Life on the Road. Hot tip: read the book before you audition for bonus points!

Zombieland 2

That’s right - the zombies are back, and they’re hungrier than ever! This horror comedy is filming in Atlanta January 28th, 2019 - March 15th, 2019.

Echo Boomers

A Bling Ring-esque romp, this film is about a group of twentysomethings who steal from the rich to give to themselves. Filming in Atlanta January 20th, 2019 - March 15th, 2019.

Limited Partners

I am a big Tiffany Hadish fangirl, so I was stoked to read that she and Rose Byrne (also a fan of hers!) are filming Limited Partners, a film about two women from a beauty company that gets bought out by a big tech company. Filming in Atlanta starting on June 28th, 2019.

Watchmen

Now in pre-production, this show is filming in Macon, GA in 2019. Starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Adelaide Clemens , Frances Fisher, Louis Gossett Jr., Jeremy Irons, Rgina King, Don Johnson, Andrew Howard, it’s sure to be a superpowered dream.

What are you most looking forward to auditioning for in 2019? Let us know in the comments!

Posted on December 17, 2018 and filed under Filmmaking, Filming.

2 Ways to Create Indie Film Magic With $0 in the Bank - Without Using Credit!

Making an independent film ain't easy. I've been there - several times. There's not always pay involved, even for above-the-line crew ("above-the-line" or "ATL" means the creative forces behind the production - so, a screenwriter, a director, a producer, etc.). For some creative endeavors, you may have to accept working for free - especially if you're just starting out in the industry.

But if you're a thrifty person - or even if you're not - you can figure out a way to make ends meet without worrying about trying to get a loan, paying back investors, or opening up another line of credit. Where there's a will, there's a way, and who has more WILL to get their dreams to become reality than filmmakers? Read on to discover our best tips and tricks to creating your next masterpiece for free or virtually no money.

Friendship is Magic

As The Beatles once sang, "[you] get by with a little help from [your] friends" (yeah, yeah, we edited it a bit for our purposes!). Take their advice, and ask your friends and family for help. Do you have a friend who knows how to sew and can make your much-needed 18th-century costumes? Do you have a cousin with an amazing property you can use for a location? Do you have any hair/makeup artist friends, or do you know someone who can cook and be in charge of crafty? The best advice I can give to folks - no matter WHAT industry they're in - is to think strategically, i.e., think smart! Utilize all the resources you have at your disposal - you'll be surprised by how many folks actually want to help you make a movie!

There's No Shame in Being Broke

This is a hard one for me - I truly need to take my own advice. I hate asking for money, unless it's pretty common practice in a certain field, like filmmaking. You'd be hard-pressed to find any independent filmmaker that didn't ask for money in some form or another, whether it's from investors who have the liquidity, or by simply holding a crowdfunding campaign on websites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter (hint: I like Indiegogo better, because you can keep all the money you raised vs. Kickstarter, where if you don't meet your goal, you don't make ANY money). According to Lifewire, "Kickstarter applies a 5-percent fee to the total amount of funds collected as well as a 3 to 5-percent payment processing fee...Indiegogo charges just 4 percent in fees on the total money you raise if you end up meeting your goal. But if you don’t met your fundraising goal, you are charged 9 percent of the total money raised." The only boone with Kickstarter - to me, anyway - is that it's more well-known. 

You can also fundraise in other ways - ways in which no one takes a cut, but you! However, if you hold a fundraising event with entertainment, food/drinks, etc., keep in mind that the money you spend on the event will need to be worth it, i.e., you should make SOME sort of profit off of your fundraising event for your film, AND be able to pay yourself back for the money you spend on the event itself. 

So, that's it! Those are our two quick tips that should help you be well on your way to making your first-ever (or second-ever, or third-ever...) independent film! Tell us in the comments the thrifty ways or methods you've discovered you can utilize for filmmaking!

Posted on July 29, 2018 and filed under Investment, Filmmaking.

Hobnobbing With Atlanta's Film Sharks at The Ivy Buckhead - a Studio 27 Experience

Ritz Group Entertainment logo

Ritz Group Entertainment logo

 

On Thursday, June 21, 2018, I had the privilege of attending Ritz Group Entertainment's 2018 Shark Attack event with Cheryl Harris, owner of Studio 27 Talent Development. Shark Attack is a film industry networking and pitching event, designed for filmmakers, theatrical groups, and other industry pros to pitch their film, television, and other ideas for funding.

The "sharks" included: Erin Bethea of Fireproof fame; John Adcox, President of Gramarye Media; Stan Shklinyl; and Chris Helton.

This was an invaluable learning opportunity that taught me a lot about how to pitch my future film and TV show ideas to investors - namely, the below:

It's all about story and money.

Pitch your story first, then talk about how that story is going to make your investors money, and what kind of ROI (Return On Investment) they can expect if they provide funding for your project. Even if the folks in attendance at your pitch meeting are solely money guys (and gals), they're going to want to hear your story, why it matters, and why people will want to see it and spend money on it. The short version of all this information is, "How can this film/TV show/theatrical production monetize?" 

Shark quote: "Lead with your story, not numbers. The film market is shot right now - don't focus on variables. What sells now? Why are you asking for it, and how are you gonna make the money back?"

Pitch decks.

Make your pitch deck as visual as possible. If you're pitching to a roomful of investors, have a laptop, playing your visuals in the background while you're speaking. Naming your talent and crew always helps - what are the people on your team doing? What have they done? Investors need to feel confident in their investment, and names help with that. On that note, if you're looking to hire named talent, you can bet that you'll likely need over $5 million for your film.

Be sure to also flesh out fully dimensional characters. What is/are your character(s)' arc(s)? How does the character change? Again, it all links back to story. We're all human - even investors! - and we all want to hear a good story. 

Shark quote: "Too many moving parts are not appealing." 

Think international.

One of the sharks kept talking about international sales, i.e., what kind of ROI will you get on this film or show domestically and overseas? He also noted that he would like to know who would represent the film that is being pitched, and that it's important to know that films based on certain cultures are hard to sell overseas. So, make your film or show accessible! 

Shark quote: "For international sales, a [film] needs to be 80 - 90 minutes long."

The money stuff.

There were a lot of phrases being thrown around during the pitch process, like "ROI," "tax credits," "soft and hard money," "GAP financing," "equity," - and more. Do, do, DO your research before heading into a meeting like this - if you can't talk money, you simply should not be pitching. You have to speak the same language as your potential investors, even if you're not a numbers person. Google is free! And we've already done quite a bit of the legwork for you by simply writing this blog post, wink

Have you financed your own film or sought money from investors or sponsorships? Let us know what worked and what didn't! 

Click through the slideshow below to see photos from the event, taken by yours truly!