Tuesday

The DIY Film Festival Gala 2015

THE DIY FILM FESTIVAL GALA

The 2015 DIY Film Fest had a full house in Silver Lake at the Lyric Theater on Hyperion Avenue on March 6th.


The DIY cafe/theater in Hollywood

The Lyric Theater is a great setting for the DIY Film Festival, as everything that goes on within its walls is created, produced and put together by those who rent the space.  Appetizers and drinks were served to the crowd, which included all age groups, all aspects of filmmakers, from child actors to film distributors.



A mixed-aged audience on hand for some excellent films.
DIY Convention's and DIY Film Fest co-founder Bruce Haring in black.

Rich Martini DIY Fest co-founder
DIY Film Festival co-founder Richard Martini introduced the filmmakers as well as their winning shorts and animated films.  Clips were shown of the feature length films and trailers of the other winning entries. 

Dash Arnott and Jillian Armanante of "Kittens In a Cage" which won Best Comedy Feature


Film Director Jillian Armanante introduced members of her crew, including producer Dash Arnott who was joined by actors Rebecca Mozo and Erin Anderson.  Jillian spoke of the journey her film has taken, from inception to screen and how it's currently an ongoing online series. Their film won BEST FEATURE COMEDY.

The winner for BEST DIRECTOR and BEST FILM was Camille Delamarre, for his entry "LAST CALL" and intense look at the last moments of a US GI who has stepped on a land mine.



video

A message from Best Film Producer and Star of "Last Call" David Atrakchi came in from Paris. Camille is directing a feature film, the reboot of the "Transporter" series, and David sent a text from Paris that the festival had "made his day."



Billy Redieck, Jeremy McGovern of "Sweet Dreams"
Producer and Director of BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY "Sweet Dreams" Director Billy Redieck and writer Jeremy McGovern told the story behind their winning film. They went off to film the unlikely story of two brothers trying to break the world record of ice cream flavors, only to see all their film equipment stolen.  They dusted themselves off and stayed with their story, just as the two crazy brothers stayed with her mission, which was successful in making the most ice cream flavors in Guinness Book History.



Trent Dion Soto Director of "Among the Discarded"
Artist Trent Dion Solo told the powerful story of how a year earlier he had come out to Los Angeles, and begun his film which was based on a simple premise.  What would it be like to arrive in LA with only a toothbrush and a gopro camera and live on the streets of LA for a month?  He found a home in skid row, and as he put it, his desire to make a change resulted in the people of the street changing him. His film won the JURY PRIZE BEST DOCUMENTARY.

Riley and Jimmy
Young filmmakers Riley Beres and Jimmy Deschler accepted an award for "Hope For Their Own: An LA Story." It also deals with the subject of homelessness in Los Angeles, and examined it from the aspect of average families who are forced into homelessness for a variety of economic reasons, and how they're trying to cope.  17 year old Riley is still in high school, and this was her first award as a filmmaker. Their film won BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY.



Terra Forbes spoke on behalf of "Buffalo"
Michael McCallum's sister Terra spoke about how her brother had been using their father as a bit actor for a number of films, and finally got him to star in the best dramatic feature "Buffalo" the story of an aging cab driver who tries to reconcile his path and journey with a new driver he's supposed to train.  Weather prevented father and son from making the ceremony, but their presence was felt. "Buffalo" won BEST DRAMATIC FEATURE.



The team behind "Kevin, Take Two"
Alex Wroten spoke of the genesis of his film "Kevin, Take Two," making it as part of the "five minute film festival."  Film examines what it would be like if you could come back from the future and alter the past.  It's one in a clever style, and the starring actor Steven Krimmel (pictured above) was on hand to explain how he did the "split screen" dialog having a conversation with himself. His film won BEST COMEDIC SHORT.


Finally, Roger Jackson from Kinonation.com, an online distribution company spoke of how all the winning films are eligible for digital distribution with his company. Roger mentioned how impressed he was with their work, and how not to devalue their efforts by taking whatever first deal is offered to them; their work as artists continues on in trying to get their work into the world.  He pointed out that the world market has opened up considerably because of the Internet, and what might be popular in Eastern Europe or Asia, might have a completely different audience than expected.

Roger Jackson of Kinonation.com
All winning films are eligible for distribution from Kinonation.com and received editing software packages from Pinnacle Systems, a Division of Corel Inc.  

Pinnacle Video Editing SoftwareThank you Pinnacle and Kinonation!!! 



Various pix:

Riley Beres and Tren Dion Soto - both made films about LA streets.
Rebecca Mozo in "Kittens in a Cage"
"Sweet Dream" filmmakers
Tyne Daly in a cameo in "Kittens in a Cage"



Fest Goers


Filmmakers of "Among The Discarded" Producer/Editor Joshua Dragge, Director Trent Dion Soto
Congratulations to all the filmmakers!!!!

Monday

And the Winners Are....


The DIY Film Fest is pleased to announce this year's WINNING ENTRIES for the 2015
DIY FILM FESTIVAL

BEST FILM and BEST DIRECTOR:


"LAST CALL" Directed by Camille Delamarre, Produced by and starring David Atrakchi  Trailer: 

  

Young French film director uses the latest techniques in digital filmmaking to help tell this powerful short story that's shot in the vein of "American Sniper." Camille has gone from his role Director Second Unit to Directing Feature films. David Atrackchi sent us his regards from Paris:

video


BEST DRAMATIC FEATURE

BUFFALO Directed by Michael McCallum

Moving story about an elderly Cab driver who has demons of his own that he must come to terms with while training a new cab driver.  Disarmingly simple, with the Director's Father in the title role, this story weaves a tale of heartbreak from the point of view of an old cab driver who doesn't have much reason to get up every day.  Role is reminiscent of Robert Duvall's work in its simplicity and honesty. Directed by Michael McCallum Trailer: 

 

Trailer: 

 
HONORABLE MENTION DRAMA:

"Saturdays or Sundays" by Ethan Knecht
Improvised feature film about a filmmaker and a teacher. His complaint is that “during the week she turns into this educational monster” but it just so happens that she cares deeply about her students, and those scenes are directed and shot in a way that we can't tell if these amazing children are acting or not.  Directed by Ethan Knecht:  Film Trailer. 

"BLACK AND BLUE" by Vincenzo Bertillo. 
A close up R rated look at a complex relationship between two young adults. A chat with filmmaker Bertillo. 

"RAIN" by Shimon Machida
What if in the future our memories were place in the Internet Cloud? How would it affect who we are? Bio for Shimon Machida

"VALIANT" by Shyam Sundar Sengupta
An epic adventure helped with the use of miniatures.
 Trailer:
  

 


 BEST DRAMATIC SHORT 

 "FIXATION" – by Jak Kerley
The trials and tribulations of love that borders on fixation. The ten minute film.


   
Fixation - Short Film from ShibbyPictures on Vimeo.



BEST STUDENT FILM:


"STASHBOX" by Isaac Burns and Simon Lansberg-Rodriguez
Two friends out in the desert looking for a box.  Why? Brings memories of Breaking Bad and includes a surprise ending.
Stashbox Film
 
 

 

BEST COMEDY FEATURE:

"KITTENS IN A CAGE" from Stoic Entertainment
Directed by Jillian Armanante. Starring Rebecca Mozo.


Hilarious comedic sendup of the B Movie "Girls in Prison" films. Trailer

  15. 
 


BEST COMEDY SHORT FILM

"KEVIN, TAKE TWO" by Alex Wroten

What if you met yourself walking on the street?
 Film

  



HONORABLE MENTION:

"Die Gstettensaga: The Rise of Echsenfriedl" by Johannes Grenzfurthner 

Off beat world cinema comedy that takes place in the future, with "The Prisoner" meets "Sleeper"


  

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

"SWEET DREAMS" from Mattoid Entertainment

Two ice cream makers attempt to break a world's record. Documentary Feature.  Trailer:


    




BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY

"Hope For Our Own : An LA Story" by Riley Beres and Jimmy Deschler 

Two students take a trip with their cameras into homelessness in L.A. trailer  
 

  39. 



HONORABLE MENTION DOCUMENTARY:
 
"White Rock Boxing" by Laura Voltorta

Documentary feature about a boxing gym and its affect on all of those who train within it. Trailer


  


"THE EDGE OF THE WILD" by Gail Mallimson

A local community fights on behalf of a tiny butterfly in the San Bruno Mountains.  Trailer 

 



JURY PRIZE FEATURE DOCUMENTARY

"Among The Discarded" by Trent Dion Soto

An artist decides to film his experience living 30 days in downtown LA's skid row among the homeless. Trailer



AMONG THE DISCARDED - Trailer from Among The Discarded on Vimeo.


HONORABLE MENTION:


"Dukha in Summer" by Cameo Wood

Filmmaker travels to Tuva to document every day life among the Tuvan people. Trailer:


"Expect Resistance" by Shane Burley

A journey into one man's battle with the bank over losing his home, expanded to the wider picture of the "Occupy WallStreet" movement that swept the nation. 


Expect Resistance Trailer from Shane Burley on Vimeo.


BEST NEW DIRECTOR
 
"BASTA" by Gary Bergeron

Powerful indictment of the Catholic Church in Boston by one of its abuse victims. Trailer:

    6123 

 

BEST ANIMATION:

"MONSTER" by Patrick Fatica

Animated short film using only paper cutouts about a mysterious creature in the woods. Trailer

   
Trailer for MONSTER from Patrick Fatica on Vimeo.


HONORABLE MENTION:

"THE LAST LEAF" by Gwyneth Christofell

Ah, to be the last leaf of summer. A short animated film.  Here is GC's "thank you."

  5. 6096 


"THE STAR FISHING BOY" by Chuanshu Shi

Animated fairy tale about a boy who falls to Earth. Trailer

   
The Star Fishing Boy trailer from Chuanshu Shi on Vimeo.


Congratulations to all you DIY Filmmakers!!!!  We salute you and appreciate your entering our festival.  Good luck to all of you filmmakers with your films, and keep the DIY Flag waving high!

The Finalists Are Announced!!!!

The DIY Film Fest is pleased to announce this year's FINALISTS for the 2015
DIY FILM FESTIVAL


THE FINALISTS....

BUFFALO Directed by Michael McCallum

Moving story about an elderly Cab driver who has demons of his own that he must come to terms with while training a new cab driver.  Disarmingly simple, with the Director's Father in the title role, this story weaves a tale of heartbreak from the point of view of an old cab driver who doesn't have much reason to get up every day.  Role is reminiscent of Robert Duvall's work in its simplicity and honesty. Directed by Michael McCallum Trailer: 

 

"Saturdays or Sundays" by Ethan Knecht

Improvised feature film about a filmmaker and a teacher. His complaint is that “during the week she turns into this educational monster” but it just so happens that she cares deeply about her students, and those scenes are directed and shot in a way that we can't tell if these amazing children are acting or not.  Directed by Ethan Knecht:  Film Trailer. 

"BLACK AND BLUE" by Vincenzo Bertillo. 

A close up R rated look at a complex relationship between two young adults. A chat with filmmaker Bertillo. 

"LAST CALL" Directed by Camille Delamarre Trailer: 

  

Young French film director uses the latest techniques in digital filmmaking to help tell this powerful short story that's shot in the vein of "American Sniper."

"RAIN" by Shimon Machida

What if in the future our memories were place in the Internet Cloud? How would it affect who we are? Bio for Shimon Machida


"STASHBOX" by Isaac Burns & Simon Lansberg-Rodriguez

Two friends out in the desert looking for a box.  Why? Brings memories of Breaking Bad and includes a surprise ending.
Stashbox Film
 
 

"VALIANT" by Shyam Sundar Sengupta

An epic adventure helped with the use of miniatures.
 Trailer:
  

 


"KITTENS IN A CAGE" from Stoic Entertainment

Hilarious comedic sendup of the B Movie "Girls in Prison" films. Trailer

  15. 



"KEVIN, TAKE TWO" by Alex Wroten

What if you met yourself walking on the street?
 Film

  


"Die Gstettensaga: The Rise of Echsenfriedl" by Johannes Grenzfurthner 

Off beat world cinema comedy that takes place in the future, with "The Prisoner" meets "Sleeper"


  


"SWEET DREAMS" from Mattoid Entertainment

Two ice cream makers attempt to break a world's record. Documentary Feature.  Trailer:


    


"Hope For Our Own : An LA Story" by Riley Beres and Jimmy Deschler 

Two students take a trip with their cameras into homelessness in L.A. trailer  
 

  39. 


"White Rock Boxing" by Laura Voltorta

Documentary feature about a boxing gym and its affect on all of those who train within it. Trailer


  


"THE EDGE OF THE WILD" by Gail Mallimson

A local community fights on behalf of a tiny butterfly in the San Bruno Mountains.  Trailer 

 


"Among The Discarded" by Trent Dion Soto

An artist decides to film his experience living 30 days in downtown LA's skid row among the homeless. Trailer



AMONG THE DISCARDED - Trailer from Among The Discarded on Vimeo.



"Dukha in Summer" by Cameo Wood

Filmmaker travels to Tuva to document every day life among the Tuvan people. Trailer:


"Expect Resistance" by Shane Burley

A journey into one man's battle with the bank over losing his home, expanded to the wider picture of the "Occupy WallStreet" movement that swept the nation. 


Expect Resistance Trailer from Shane Burley on Vimeo.



"Basta" by Gary Bergeron

Powerful indictment of the Catholic Church in Boston by one of its abuse victims. Trailer:

    6123 


"THE LAST LEAF" by Gwyneth Christofell

Ah, to be the last leaf of summer. A short animated film.  Here is GC's "thank you."

  5. 6096 

"FIXATION" – by Jak Kerley

The trials and tribulations of love that borders on fixation. The ten minute film.

   
Fixation - Short Film from ShibbyPictures on Vimeo.


"THE STAR FISHING BOY" by Chuanshu Shi

Animated fairy tale about a boy who falls to Earth. Trailer

   
The Star Fishing Boy trailer from Chuanshu Shi on Vimeo.


"MONSTER" by Patrick Fatica

Animated short film about a creature in the woods. Trailer

   
Trailer for MONSTER from Patrick Fatica on Vimeo.

Congratulations to all you DIY Filmmakers!!!!  We salute you and appreciate your entering our festival.  The Finalists have been notified, and the Winners will be announced on the night of March 6th.  Good luck to all of you filmmakers with your films, and keep the DIY Flag waving high!

Tabulating the Results!!!! Congratulations DIY Film Festival Entrants!!!

We've reached the end of this cycle of the DIY Film Festival... which means if your film hasn't arrived by the deadline (yesterday), it WILL roll over to next year's selection of films.  So no stress! No worries!

But we have a mountain of films to go through, and we first and foremost want to thank all of you DO IT YOURSELF filmmakers for finishing your films!!!!

Emails will go out soon to FINALISTS for the film fest gala, and announcing where and when our annual party will be held so you have enough time to plan to come and attend and bring friends and family.

Thanks again for considering us for your film!  We honor and salute you!

Emails will go out to all possible finalists later this month, but with enough time to plan for the gala.

BUT IF FOR SOME REASON YOU SUBMITTED A FILM AND WEREN'T NOTIFIED BY WITHOUTABOX THAT YOUR FILM SUCCESSFULLY ARRIVED, SEND US AN EMAIL AT DIYFILMFEST (AT) YAHOO (DOT) COM AND LET US KNOW.  

SNAFUS HAPPEN, BUT IF YOU CAN EMAIL US A LINK TO YOUR FILM ON YOUTUBE, OR VIMEO OR SOME OTHER SITE, WITH A PASSWORD, WE WILL CONSIDER ANYONE WHO HAS ALREADY GOTTEN A WITHOUTABOX.com NUMBER OF ENTRY.  THANKS!!!


 As the award season heats up, just a reminder that theDIY Film Fest accepts entries up until Feb 15th.. So if you haven't popped it into the mail and were planning to, please do so. 





We also accept vimeo or online submissions, but only through withoutabox.  So once you've signed up for submission with them you can send us an email with the link and you're entry number.




The awards and DIY Film Fest banquet will be held in March this year.  Venue to be determined, but it's always a fun adventure.  The finalists will be announced towards the end of February, and if you can make it to the banquet, a good time is always had by all. 

Tuesday

The Deadline Approacheth

Hope all you DIY Filmmakers had a fantastic New Year celebration.  Welcome to 2015!!!!!



Or maybe you were bent over your edit bay, suffering over that last edit in time to get your film out to the festival circuit....

Our DIY FILM FESTIVAL deadline is fast approaching!!!!!  We will be accepting films postmarked by Feb. 14th, Valentine's Day, which is a Saturday this year.  We will announce the finalists soon after, and the gala will be in early March to announce the winners. If you're a FINALIST you will be NOTIFIED ASAP!



  Pinnacle Editing software, is again offering editing software as prizes to the award winning films, their software is an excellent tool for the DIY Filmmaker, and Kinonation is offering distribution for the winning films; they have an excellent distribution model for the DIY film.


So hurry!  Time to get your entry into withoutabox.com and into the mail!!!






Filmmakers sad to have missed the deadline for the film fest....

 






Meanwhile....


Was just reading about the journey of film director Jonathan Demme in the latest DGA magazine (written by Rob Feld) who began his career working for prolific move producer Roger Corman...  and how he went from a DIY Film Director to a studio maven.... and back.


DGA Quarterly Jonathan Demme Manchurian Candidate
BRAINWASHED: Demme directs a scene from The Manchurian Candidate. When you have someone like Denzel Washington, Demme says, you want to do close-ups. (Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

Here are some excerpts from his interview in the DGA Magazine: 

ROB FELD: Looking at how you first got started making movies, it’s nothing you could have planned.

JONATHAN DEMME: It’s true. My dream was to be a veterinarian, but I flunked out of chemistry. I was an obsessive film buff and completely broke. When I went home to Miami and resumed working in animal hospitals, I found a little paper needing a film critic. I couldn’t have been happier and I then had the opportunity to become a publicist. Now I was inside the movie industry, meeting amazing people, and I didn’t want to do anything else—until I got a call to be Roger Corman’s unit publicist. 

On my first meeting with him, he said, ‘You write good production notes. You’re hired as the publicist, and listen, do you know how to write a script?’ I went, ‘Yeah, sure.’ It wasn’t like a dream come true. It was just an extraordinary thing. So Roger buys the script and says, ‘Jonathan, you would probably be a good producer. You can produce it.’ And, again, I never had any dreams of producing movies.

Q: And how did that lead you to directing?
A: Later on we made The Hot Box [1972]in the Philippines and encountered monsoons. We went way behind schedule and it became necessary to have a second unit, so I became the second unit director to shoot these battle scenes. What the hell? I went out to shoot and fell instantly in love with directing. And Roger gave me an opportunity to direct. He said, write a women’s prison movie, which was Caged Heat. I never had dreams of doing that sort of thing, either. To be a publicist in the movie business was as good as it gets.

Q: What were some of the things you picked up from the Corman playbook?
A: I’ll never forget having my directorial one-hour luncheon at a spaghetti joint on Sunset Boulevard, around the corner from New World Pictures, where Roger gave me all the rules. There were a number of things that struck me hard. He said you have to think in terms of the human eyeball at all times. It’s a visual medium and our eyes are what keep our brains engaged in the movie. 

If you start boring the eye, then the brain will get bored. So try to get a variety of angles and not fall into the same kinds of angles and compositions scene after scene. Try to have different close-ups for every scene. Whenever you’ve got the motivation, move the camera, because the human eye loves that element of surprise. Where are we going? What are we going to see next? That’s before the brain even gets involved.

He also said you don’t have to do a lot of fancy moving, either. Roger felt that the best shot in cinema is dollying slowly down a hallway toward a closed door. You can’t beat that shot. I’ve done it a million times and it’s always great—the introduction of Dr. Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. It signals that something important is going to happen on the other side of that door. It may be a surprise party or it may be Linda Blair in The Exorcist.

Q: Can you remember the first film where you did a camera move and went, ‘Oh, that really works’?
A: Totally. Caged Heat, the first movie I directed. I had a 20-day schedule, not knowing what the hell I was doing, thinking, ‘Are we really going to take the time to set up a dolly shot?’ But [cinematographer] Tak [Fujimoto] and I set up this elaborate dolly shot to introduce all the women confined in the cellblock. We gave everyone a little business and, to me, it seemed as great as anything in Doctor Zhivago.
......

Q: Even from your earliest films you were getting strong performances. How has your method of working with actors evolved?
A: At a certain point a giant light bulb goes off in a new director’s head, if they weren’t smart enough to get it from the outside, which I wasn’t. The actors have been preparing for tomorrow’s scene, so not only should I not come tell them where to sit and when to stand up to go get the water, I should just shut up and trust that this wonderful actor I’ve cast is going to bring fabulous stuff. The beauty of shooting digital is that you can say, ‘On this next take, let’s just do four straight runs; we won’t come in and touch you up. I’m not going to say anything.’ 

I’ve seen it happen so many times; no one is going to have a better idea for Meryl Streep or Anne Hathaway on their next take than Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. They’ve just done it, now give them a chance to do it again. After three or four runs you just see what starts happening, and if I have any requests, then I can make them. That to me is the great breakthrough in technology, giving the actors an opportunity to do these repeated shots unencumbered by cut, makeup, little adjustments, all that stuff.

Q: But you are having discussions with the actors beforehand?
A: The part gets offered to them and we meet and talk about the script. The one thing I want to know for sure is, ‘Is there anything in here that you’re not comfortable with, that you don’t buy, or do you feel it’s missing something?’ Because that’s when we have to figure out if we’re on the same wavelength. I make a deal with actors: You will try anything I request, whether you think it’s good, bad, or ugly, and I will always make sure that you never leave a scene feeling you didn’t get a chance to have what you wanted to do captured on film. 

I don’t think there’s any right or wrong, just what ultimately works best for the story scene by scene. Sometimes people will say, ‘Oh, I love the performance you got out of so and so.’ I didn’t get anything out of anybody. I encouraged, I protected, I helped create an open, positive atmosphere where the actors know that we are all there to support and capture the magic they create. I hopefully tossed in a couple of good ideas, but that’s their performance.
.....

Q: How do you decide when to use more subjective POV shots instead of over-the-shoulder shots?
A: The most powerful shot of all is when you put the viewer right in the shoes of one of the characters so that they are seeing exactly what the character is seeing and, ideally, having the same response that the character is having because they’re so identified with them. How do you get into that POV shot? We’ve discovered you have to have tight over-the-shoulders in order to get there invisibly. 

Of course, you don’t want your audience to realize your actors are staring into the camera. You want them to be so immersed in the moment that it’s their reality, so you need that tight, tight over the shoulder to get in and out of the subjective camera. We felt like that shot was made for The Silence of the Lambs because, in their confrontations with each other, Dr. Lecter [Anthony Hopkins] and Clarice [Jodie Foster] are going deep inside each other’s heads. The more you back off and loosen the over-the-shoulders, you’re just moving away from the goal of the intensity of the sequence, becoming more and more objective. I love pushing the subjective side of things whenever possible for the viewer.

Q: How does that apply to the shot where you introduce Hannibal Lecter?
A: Again, that’s from Corman’s dollying down a hallway. We dollied down a cellblock to reveal this guy standing there. We knew we were going to push the POV aspect of things in every scene that Jodie was in because she’s the one that we’re going to identify with. In our shot list, our close-ups were always super tight, over and into the lens. 

And we knew that whatever she did, whatever walk she took, we’d have a moving POV there. We’d have a record of everything she saw throughout the course of the story. We could go to her point of view whenever we wanted, would have the matching shot to tie us in with it, and we would have the overs to get us into that delicious little duet of POVs.

Q: So, when do you shoot what we’re seeing and when do you shoot what we’re feeling?
A: The feeling part is super important, isn’t it? So it really becomes a question of how do we translate what we want the feeling to be through what we see? Very often that brings us back to the character’s face and what they’re presented with in the moment, their POV of things. I knew the end of The Silence of the Lambs would work great, when Buffalo Bill runs away from Clarice in the dark, because a lot of it was like the endless variations on dollying down the hallway to the closed door. 

We’re dollying through this scary basement and there’s so many doors. If you’ve got Jodie Foster or Meryl Streep or Denzel Washington, you really love those close-ups of them. So what about a close-up where they’re looking at the audience and the audience now sees what they’re seeing? POV is just so vital. I’m surprised it isn’t used more often.
....

Q: How much of a practical business head do you need to have as a director?
A: Corman always says that a director has to be 40 percent artist and 60 percent businessman, and then he’ll quickly point out that 40 percent is a strong percentage. I really think that’s true. I’ve made documentaries that I shot myself, on my own little cameras. When I’m doing that, I can do anything I want because I’m paying for it. 

But as soon as you take a job as a director and someone’s going to entrust you with a certain amount of money, your job is to give them their money’s worth and more. Whether it’s $171,000 for Caged Heat or huge amounts, it’s our job to justify that investment. That’s a profound responsibility. Now, you need to unleash your artistry inside of that, but part of the 60 percent means lining up a cast that’s going to be extraordinary, getting the best crew imaginable, making sure that the script is as strong as it possibly can be. These are all business decisions on a certain level. 

And I think that’s fine. You may have to fire people sometimes, just to keep things going in the best possible way. Charlie Okun, when he was my AD, once encouraged me to kick a writer off set because he was complaining to the actors about how a scene was going. That put me in touch more than ever before with the tremendous responsibility I had as a director, and it made me realize a director might have to be ruthless sometimes for the sake of the picture.....

Monday

DIY Wishing You Happy Holidaze

This post is like the old holiday ornaments that are stuffed in the closet... it's that time of the year to dust them off and hang them on the tree, put them in the window, light the candles, do whatever it is that puts you in a better mood.  The world is a complicated place, and your camera is something you can pick up and use to change the world... so don't hesitate to do so...  meanwhile, here's some sound advice from a previous post.. reposted like an old ornament.........



We at the DIY Film Festival wish y'all a wonderful holiday season.
DIY Santa


We're getting closer to the deadline for submissions - and we will be announcing the finalists in February for the awards ceremony in March.

First, sit back and congratulate yourself for having finished your film!  Not everyone does that.  Many folks want to start a film and never get around to it.  So you've won that battle.  And now that you've done all that work and have started to submit it to festivals worldwide, also consider the most logical and best ways to market your film, as well as to consider how to distribute your film.

We here at the DIY Film Festival are fans of do it yourself distribution as well.  If you've entered it into festivals and gotten great feedback from friends and the viewing public, all the better. But if you want to find your audience online, there's no better way to do that than doing it yourself.

One method we've seen work is to:

1. Consider creating a method for distribution through Amazon.com - they're the largest online retailer, and posting your film on their website is a logical way to do reach people you never considered reaching.  How to do that? Easy.  Use Createspace.com - they're the aggregator for Amazon, don't charge you anything to create and build your own catalog.  You follow their easy instructions, submit your film in the way required, submit your artwork to their easy to design covers, and within a few days you could be looking at a sample copy of your film.

Once the film is on their site, it automatically becomes linked to Amazon.  Then make sure all your friends check out your film, and if possible get them to write a review of what they thought of the film. It's a way of building interest.

Also, the film automatically is offered as a DVD, as a streaming video and a download on demand. Amazon keeps a percentage of the money collected, but it's worth checking into.

2. Consider putting your film onto itunes.com - another giant retailer.  However, it's a bit harder to do so, as you must go through an aggregator to get them interested in your film.  And the aggregator has to be able to format the film in the way that apple will accept it - and sometimes they will charge money to do so.  However, KinoNation.com offers a simple and easy alternative - they will format and put your film onto all the major outlets, and retain a percentage of what the film earns.

3. Then its up to you to consider how to create public awareness and interest.  That would be offering your film to colleges and universities to review, getting yourself onto radio shows or television outlets, or having public screenings at your local library - which usually cost very little to do.  The only thing preventing the filmmaker from creating their own tsunami of publicity is themselves.  So get to work!

And good luck with all your festival entries, including ours!
Monty Python wants you to have Holiday Fun


Wednesday

Call for entries!!! And a word from one of our sponsors...

DIY FILM FUTURE

Everything seems back on track with WithoutABox - other than a couple of snafus, everything seems to be working fine. If you submitted a film a couple of weeks ago and haven't heard a confirmation, please let us know.

And now a word from our sponsors:

Corel has released some new editing software.Pinnacle 16 is a PC based editing system that seems designed for DIY filmmakers and filmmaking. Although why they name things "ultimate" is a bit loopy, as it's usually "the ultimate" until it's not.  That being said, if you're not a MAC based editor, Pinnacle is worth looking into.  Not expensive, but has the bells and whistles of Avid software backing it up.

Our sponsor Avid dealt Corel their Pinnacle division, so it remains to be seen how that will affect Avid's foray into the low end (DIY) editing world.  Currently they're focusing on Media Composer, a professional editing system that handles the higher end material, in a Final Cut Pro fashion.

Where there's a will, there's a way - there are free editing solutions and opportunities in every platform, whether windows "movie maker" or "ifilm" from Mac.

There are many camera platforms to consider, from Canon single lens reflex series that also shoot HD, to the standards of Sony, Panasonic and other versions.  With feature films using the RED digital film systems for their big budget pictures, it's a matter of time before these systems become prosumer.

Lighthouse to the DIY future
In terms of DIY film distribution, what appears to be the easiest to navigate, is the createspace.commodel - where you submit your DVD to their service, they digitize it, copy it, and make it available on Amazon.com in return for a percentage of your profit.  Once you've created the DVD or the streaming video, it's up to you to promote and sell and make it worth the effort to make it.  Itunes requires an aggregator to be the go-between between filmmaker and their sales outfit - and that can cost the filmmaker thousands of dollars in order to format it in their system.

 In that vein, KinoNation is a new company that will act as an aggregator, but takes their cut from the profit of the film.  Worth looking into.  It's a matter of time before DIY production, distribution becomes a larger share of the creative workplace. 

It seems to be the DIY way of the future.

And now back to the show!  Click on some of the films along the side panel to get an idea of the kinds of DIY winning films we've had the pleasure of honoring over the past 12 years!!!! Keep up the good work and thanks.