Articles – Producing


Wisdom Wednesday: Chris Weitz’s 21 Golden Rules of Filmmaking
by Chris Weitz

This week, our Wednesday Words of Wisdom come from the Hollywood jack-of-all-trades that is Chris Weitz. The consummate professional reminds fellow moviemakers to avoid clichés and always mind their manners on set. Writer. Director. Producer. Actor. Chris Weitz has done it all. The New York-born, Cambridge-educated Weitz started his career working alongside his brother, Paul, [...]

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When History and Cinema Collide: Fictionalizing Truth In Lee Daniel’s The Butler and Other Films
by Kyle Rupprecht

We’ve all seen those stately biopics (usually with Oscar aspirations), in which renowned actors portray real-life historical figures (Patton, Queen Elizabeth, Gandhi, etc). They are often interesting as history, sometimes less so as fully-realized movies. But a fascinating sub-genre exists when a real historical figure interacts with a fictional character. What happens when a make-believe [...]

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2 Guns

Wisdom Wednesday: Randall Emmett’s 13 Golden Rules of Producing
by Randall Emmett

Born and raised in Miami, Randall Emmett started his long and prolific producing career in the unlikely position of Mark Wahlberg’s assistant. Since then, he has produced, amongst countless others, films like Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans, End of Watch, Wicker Man, The Amityville Horror, Righteous Kill, 88 Minutes, King of California, 16 Blocks, Lay the Favorite, 2008’s Rambo and The Contract ­— a list [...]

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[Dogfish] Accelerating Independence: The world’s first film production accelerator is accepting applications
by James Kaelan

Back in 2005, Paul Graham and Trevor Blackwell, two tech pioneers who’d made fortunes in Silicon Valley, founded a company called Y Combinator. The business model was based on publicly funded business incubators, where the government gives research and development grants to private companies in order to facilitate research and innovation in a given field [...]

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The MovieMaker Manifesto: A document for an oppressed majority
by James Kaelan and Timothy Rhys

f French film in the 1950s was a convalescent in a hospice, as Godard and Truffaut claimed, the Nouvelle Vague euthanized the patient in his sick bed. Fifty years later, and 6,000 miles west, American multiplex movies are not a patient withering on an operating table, but an occupying army of investment bankers with nothing [...]

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We Make Movies (Better): Five steps to making your movie with zero money
by Tara Samuel

Prologue This is the article you’ve been waiting for. You have a movie that you’re aching to make but you can’t, because you have no money. This is nonsense. I’m here to tell you that actually, you can. Read this article, then go make your movie. “Pft.” “Shaa.” “Whatever.” I can hear you. “Come on, [...]

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The Happy Hustler: A lesson in creative budgeting
by Sam Mestman

If the rules don’t make sense, a hustler (and every independent moviemaker must be a hustler) knows to disregard the rulebook. The film industry stacks the odds against you, especially if you’re working outside of the system. So if you want to get your film made and then distributed with modest resources, you’re going to [...]


Successful Crowdfunding 2.0: Ways to stand above the crowd when crowdfunding
by Valentina I. Valentini

As far as fundraising for your film goes, we all know that a decade ago you couldn’t reach a woman in Calgary who had some retirement money laying around that she just felt like giving to a struggling artist. You used to have to go door-to-door and beg money from heart surgeons and dentists. Now [...]

WE MAKE MOVIES (BETTER): Giving FCPX another chance

It’s become one of the film world’s great pastimes to sit around and hate on what Apple did with Final Cut Pro X. Upon its launch, you would have thought Apple had come in and kidnapped every editor’s first born child. And, let’s be honest, the FCPX launch was not Apple’s finest moment. I still [...]

We Make Movies (Better): Please Don’t Have the Following Conversation About Your Movie with Anyone

When I talk to filmmakers, way too often I have a version of the following conversation: Sam Mestman (Me): What’s your movie about? Filmmaker (FM): Well, it’s a love story. Sort of a When Harry Met Sally meets Casablanca. Me: What’s your demographic? Have you thought at all about what type of person will want [...]