12 semi-weird/unpopular points again about filming an indie project ..that no one tells you (from a guy who has been on all sides & all positions over the last 20 years)

12 points off the top of my head no one tells you.

1. Rehearse more than a day or two (weeks of rehearsal..the idea it gets old or “un-reactionary” by rehearsing is short-sighted & simply wrong). Spend time with your actors letting them do their thing. Let your actors do their jobs… but rehearse more than a day or two. Help them find the emotion of the scene above everything else, long before you get on a set. (Again, let THEM find the emotion of the scene.. and let them REACT to what and whoever has been brought in with them). Indie needs this …we do not have the $$$ to rely on not getting it right.

2. 1st time film actors – note #1 … blinking is bad on film. Silly as it sounds.. huge in delivery. Note #2 dialogue should be memorized to be like typing. Words should “fall” out of your mouth without any conscious awareness outside of pure reaction. Lines should be to the level of your name, or typing on a keyboard, or the words to Happy Birthday. Memorization memorization memorization. Reaction is never instinctual if you are remembering what you are going to say.

3. Do not underestimate this.. “sound is more important than light.” (Light is important but sound, especially for indie.. is critical) Along those lines… Do not overlight. If you are not shooting yourself… I have seen too many indie films overlight themselves into looking like a high school stage production.

4. Feed your crew well. Get someone who is good at getting free stuff for your crew. Lots of good food..not just pizza. Go to high end restaurants and put them in the credits. (You need a good salesperson to do this, be it you or someone else).

5. Have 1 person at least that fully no holds barred believes in you..and treat them as they duly deserve. (If you can’t get one single person to believe in you… then you need to take a look at why)

6. Do a DOD schedule. (Day out of Days) and rely on it. (If you do not know what one is…find out. Make sure it includes things like light of day, int/ext, props, set ups etc.)

7. STORYBO-A-R-D It does not matter if you do not like to stick to them. To do #6 … you need to do this. It will remove many of the problems you (and the rest of your cast & crew) shouldn’t be worrying about when you get on a set/location.

8. Get an understanding of the HTML5 debate… and where interactive is going to play in how people view your project.

9. Make sure you have a backup roof over your head. Make sure you can eat. If it means taking a year to film… then take the freakin year to film.

10. Do projects that don’t make you hang from a limb to get a single shot you will never be able to hang from again… (If you have a project that needs a big production… do a smaller one first. It’s okay to be 80 years old and still making films.) That way …If it sucked go back and reshoot it.

11. Plan when scheduling… to shoot the shit out of it. Even if you think you got it..prepare your actors (and crew) ahead of principal that there will be many many takes, from as many angles as you can. A film is made in the editing room… bring as many “paints” tools and materials as you can by having an inordinant amount of footage. (We have the ability to do this now with digital..in my starting days we did not).

12. Stay close to the ground, crawl and (Interpret that how you want). Work with what you have…just make it beautiful. When I say beautiful , I mean inside the audience’s head..not in front of them.

Tu-Is and the coming Internet of Things

With the addition of an infrastructure of storage and delivery (temporary and long term ) from retail market partners.. Tu-Is (Transmedia User Interface system) has suddenly become something I never saw coming.

(We will temporarily duplicate some of infrastructure and virtual infrastructure on the backs of a few behemoths.. But it has the ability to rewrite the current social structure of the Internet and the “Internet of Things”…via mapping hyper video layering [Hyv] and AR through a ubiquitous content interface.)

@Om and @PeterFenton my opinion on Netflix deal .. (kinda in my wheelhouse)

@Om and @PeterFenton my opinion on Netflix deal .. (kinda in my wheelhouse)
http://gigaom.com/video/netflix-a-beautiful-castle-on-quicksand/

Kind of in my wheelhouse so… The actual issue with Netflix is more about the inherent structure of Film/TV as a medium, it’s production and individual linear/planal format is about to change. Which changes the model in such a vast way to allow for an unobtrusive and wholly different $ model … That/but all of the scaled deliveries of content and social engagement are about to have a very difficult pivot problem. Content architecture and contractual (first in first out) “virtual&cubic real estate” it will create for retail & interface is going to change the game.

None of the scaled behemoths .. From Netflix, to Facebook, to Google … To even Amazon have laid the groundwork to handle signatory behemoth status that their scale and content production will force them to address skillfully or the inherent knowledge of unobtrusive storyflow & inertia ( the lack there of ) will cause in a convergent format …especially in long form interactive TV (serial) and film formats that are and will be the meat of the vast majority of consumption and social narrative and journalism markets. Never mind content /story that is pervasive and ubiquitous to life. We will move away from social networks and toward town squares based off augmented, eventful content architecture and daily ubiquitous utility.

We are about to see a shake up/paradigm shift that no one in the Internet has yet seen.

Why did Sondheim say writing a musical was tougher than writing an Opera? Those who can answer with nuance are those to watch in the evolution of transmedia.

I often ask the students I work with this question in my first meeting with them.. “Why did Sondheim say writing a musical was harder than an opera?” ..and that their answers will inform me of their skills to write a cubic screenplay/transplay and create a multi-platform story. ..because it speaks to their understanding of whether story moves across platforms ..or platforms move across each other.

“The kids” just showed me the new interface to integrate “crowdwrite” for the future architecture of Liberty Square ep.s & credit for involvement. Future of interactive TV plot.

“The kids” just showed me the new interface to integrate “crowdwrite” for the future architecture of Liberty Square ep.s & credit for involvement. Future of interactive TV plot.

When I wrote the first 16 episodes of Liberty Square 11 years ago when I was still under contract with NBC, I had set up a structure and a character development for future shows I had in my head.

When I left NBC and Spelling contracts behind I went and shot the independent pilot spec and did a few rewrites.  At this time is when we started talking about hypervideo interface and what we could do with it.  Tragically two of the actors in the pilot passed away.  Life introduced itself into my creative process in ways that I had to remodel everything I already wrote.  From those tragedies I learned how to allow others’ lives to mold the direction of the characters.

We realized we could come up with a model for creation that would balance allowing the audience to have more input.  It was then (in 2005) that I started looking at ways to allow that to happen.  Not like a hokey “let the audience randomly write the episodes” or “choose your adventure” but an architecturally designed way to bring story builders in without destroying or weakening the overall structure of the show bible.

Last year I started discussing this with students I was working with to teach about the “storycube” concepts.  I asked them to start developing under my direction a process and software to allow audiences (via the hyv -hypervideo system) to come into a backend community of workers.  A way of staged reveal that would not give up the magic of the front end world.  We are almost there with it.

12 points off the top of my head no one tells you when you are a filmmaker with nothing. My response to Christopher Boghosian’s post “I am a nobody filmmaker”

Ted Hope had a post on his blog today from Christopher Boghosian, titled “I am a Nobody Filmmaker” in which he mentions that most advice from “gurus” and panels is given with the assumption of “leverage” … I put this together… this was my response..

From somebody that has gloried in keeping himself a “nobody filmmaker” (no matter who I worked for or what festival I got accepted by)… bravo.  …& from your note about filmmakers who give notes that don’t help a struggling indie…a couple of silly but important notes that help me when I am focused on making that “best film we can make”.. when you are indie.  Take them or leave them..these are not the notes of some bigwhig..but someone who has had some success with dirty hands.

12 points off the top of my head no one tells you.

1. Rehearse more than a day or two (weeks..the idea it gets old or “un-reactionary” by rehearsing is short-sighted & simply wrong). Spend time with your actors letting them do their thing. Let your actors do their jobs… but rehearse more than a day or two.  Help them find the emotion of the scene above everything else, long before you get on a set.  (Again, let THEM find the emotion of the scene.. and let them REACT to what and whoever has been brought in with them). Indie needs this …we do not have the $$$ to rely on not getting it right.

2. 1st time film actors – note #1 … blinking is bad on film. Silly as it sounds.. huge in delivery. Note #2 dialogue should be memorized to be like typing.  Words should “fall” out of your mouth without any conscious awareness outside of pure reaction. Lines should be to the level of your name, or typing on a keyboard, or the words to Happy Birthday. Memorization memorization memorization. Reaction is never instinctual if you are remembering what you are going to say.

3. Do not underestimate this.. sound is more important than light. (Light is important but sound, especially for indie.. is critical) Along those lines… Do not overlight.  If you are not shooting yourself… I have seen too many indie films overlight themselves into looking like a high school stage production.

4. Feed your crew well.  Get someone who is good at getting free stuff for your crew.  Lots of good food..not just pizza.  Go to high end restaurants and put them in the credits. (You need a good salesperson to do this, be it you or someone else).

5. Have 1 person at least that fully no holds barred believes in you..and treat them as they duly deserve. (If you can’t get one single person to believe in you… then you need to take a look at why)

6. Do a DOD schedule. (Day out of Days) and rely on it.  (If you do not know what one is…find out. Make sure it includes things like light of day, int/ext, props, set ups etc.)

7. STORYBO-A-R-D  It does not matter if you do not like to stick to them.  To do #6 … you need to do this.  It will remove many of the problems you (and the rest of your cast & crew) shouldn’t be worrying about when you get on a set/location.

8. Get an understanding of the HTML5 debate… and where interactive is going to play in how people view your project.

9. Make sure you have a backup roof over your head.  Make sure you can eat.  If it means taking a year to film… then take the freakin year to film.

10. Do projects that don’t make you hang from a limb to get a single shot you will never be able to hang from again… (If you have a project that needs a big production… do a smaller one first.  It’s okay to be 80 years old and still making films.)  That way …If it sucked go back and reshoot it.

11. Plan when scheduling to shoot the shit out of it. Even if you think you got it..prepare your actors (and crew) ahead of principal that there will be many many takes, from as many angles as you can. A film is made in the editing room… bring as many “paints” tools and materials as you can by having an inordinant amount of footage. (We have the ability to do this now with digital..in my starting days we did not).

12. Stay close to the ground, crawl and  (Interpret that how you want). Work with what you have…just make it beautiful.  When I say beautiful , I mean inside the audience’s head..not in front of them.

Who is “king”? – a design we have not seen yet…but we are building. A design that takes a very specific understanding of traditional media and new interface delivery.

If good content is offered in a free manner… very few paywalls will exist for long.  If retail integration works with a very specific system for implementation within production systems ..all the other platforms will have a very tough time with their revenue plans.  It is a very difficult and intricate industry architecture… but when it is done it will be THE powerhouse structure/architecture.

It doesn’t matter how a company is involved in delivery…
In the new world all companies have to have a hand/relation in the actual production of complex content. It is no longer about searching the internet (or for that matter “tools” for gathering… outside those tools that are both purposeful for production & distribution simultaneously.)… ..or random placement in the dark reaches of the web… but “virtual real estate” within, around and near “the idea”, “the emotion” ..the “the state”. Thus again (drum roll) engaging content architecture is king.

..and an FYI- Retail integration is not placing a product in the middle of content like a VitaVetaVegimin advertisement, but architecture of emotion and flow of story, where the retail serves a purpose for the audience experience as much as the reverse.