Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bully for Her - Making an Invitational Short

Julia Camara (website) has shot her entry for the alumnae invitational, Bully for Her. I hope the rest of you are thinking about making something for this year. Remember, there's no entry fee and you're guaranteed a slot. What better workshop for your craft?
The Making of a Short Film
I’m the process of editing my invitational short for the 2009 Broad Humor film festival. This was my third experience directing a short and I couldn’t be happier with what we’ve accomplished so far. Our two-day shoot went very smooth. We had no personality clashes, no brokenequipment, no damaged property or bruised egos. We were a well-oiled filmmaking machine.

The only set back I had was losing my location a week before the shoot. I actually didn't lose the location, my contact just stopped returning my calls and emails. But as my husband and filmmaking partner, Tim, said, it turned out to be for the best. The location we ended up using was beyond perfect.

I also had my first experience directing children. It surprised me to see what great instincts they have. Toward the end they were telling each other to match their actions from take to take and where their "marks" were. They also fully got how sometimes you cheat they way you look at the camera and where your eye-line should be.

They are natural born actors and I really hope they get signed to an agency very soon. As much fun as it was, the scene called for the kids to get pretty loud and crazy, so at the end of the day we were all exhausted. As, I'm sure, was their mom, who doesn't really allow them to get that rowdy very often. These are the best behaved kids I've ever seen, and I'm not just saying that. Stay tuned for their screen debut this summer in my short film entitled “Never Odd or Even.” (Notice how the title is a palindrome.)

Directing adults was much easier. I ended up with a pretty talented bunch, I must say. I asked two of my friends who are actresses and one of them found my third actor.

Everything has fallen into place for this project. Before I had a shoot date and a location, I was goofing around on Craigslist and found an ad from a DP looking to partner up with a writer. Later, I posted an ad on Craigslist looking for a location, and got several answers. The owner of the office I ended up using, a production company in Hollywood, told me she also runs a Mexican restaurant and was on Craigslist looking for a Margarita machine for her restaurant when she saw my ad. Our lunch on the day of the shoot came from the exact same Mexican restaurant...

Now, I’m talking to a musician, recommended by one of my actresses, and almost ready to lock in the picture. I have a feeling my female bully will be a crowd pleaser this summer.

This process has really reminded me of how much of a collaborative medium film is. To get something in the can, you have to get out there and meet people. You’ll be surprised how many people are willing to help you just for the fun of making a movie with you. Bottom line is, no bad economy can stop you from being creative. Creativity is one of the few things that are still free, and for everything else there’s Mastercard.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Moviemaker Writing and Promo Opportunities

Moviemaker Magazine has three ways you can contribute to the magazine or website, sharing your experiences and promoting yourself through their magazine and blog at the same time. The Moviemaker blog, with entries written by indie filmmakers and entrepreneurs who share their stories and lessons, looks to be a good read.

And you can be a part of it in a number of ways. (Notice that for the festival writing, we are not one of the festivals they will be featuring, but many of you have been to some of the other ones. And you can always point out to them that we are unique and fun and should be written about!!)

So here's the info on contributing to the Festival Beat, the Tales from the Trenches, and Coming Attractions.
Working the Festival Beat
MovieMaker Magazine is looking for a few moviemakers to help us revamp our always-extensive festival coverage by letting us know, firsthand, what the festivals were all about. If chosen by our editorial staff, you will be asked to write a short piece about the festival, detailing the festival winners, noteworthy screenings, most memorable events and general atmosphere. We want those who couldn't make it to the fest to feel like they did.

If you—and your movie—have attended any of the following festivals, drop us a line at and let us know which festival(s) you'd be interested in reviewing for us. Be sure to include a short writing sample—no matter how informal.

Upcoming festivals to be profiled in MovieMaker include:

AFI Dallas
Ann Arbor Film Festival
Appalachian Film Festival
Black Maria Film & Video Festival
California Independent Film Festival
Crossroads Film Festival
Cucalorus Film Festival
Florida Film Festival
Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
Haydenfilms 4.0 Film Festival
Indie Short Film Competition
International Family Film Festival
LA Comedy Shorts
Magnolia Film Festival
Poppy Jasper Film Festival
Red Rock Film Festival
Sedona International Film Festival & Workshop
Starz Denver Film Festival
Trail Dance Film Festival
Whistler Film Festival

If you have/are planning to attend any of these fests with your film, we want to hear from you. And we're adding new fests all the time!

If selected and published, your contribution will be noted in our Festival Correspondents section, where we will include a short bio of you and mention of your movie as well as your e-mail and URL information.

Submit your request today to Be sure to include the title of your film, the festivals you've attended and a brief explanation as to why we should pick you as one of our Festival Correspondents. We look forward to hearing from you!

Don't Forget!
We're still accepting submissions for our new Tales From the Trenches and Coming Attractions features at

Tales From the Trenches
MovieMaker wants to hear your production nightmares—your struggles with cast and crew, your technical pitfalls and (most importantly) the steps you've taken to reign the project back in—for an all-new weekly feature called Tales from the Trenches. Submit your story today (no more than 1,000 words) to Who knows, you just may be the next featured writer at, reaching out to our more than one million readers!

Coming Attractions
Speaking of publicizing your movie, we're also looking for your help with our new Coming Attractions section. We want to keep our readers up to date on all the hottest upcoming movies—including yours! Send us a few choice photos from the movie you're working on right now along with all the pertinent info (director, actors, synopsis, completion/release dates, etc.) and you may just see it posted on for all the world to see. Send all photos and information to (and be sure to include any photographer credits).