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Discussions – The Filmmaker’s Lounge

Meet Other Filmmakers – Discuss Filmmaking

Welcome to the Filmmaker’s Lounge.  Join the discussion below.  Share your thoughts.  Ask Questions.  Meet other filmmakers in your area. Make sure to subscribe to automatically get notified of new comments added to this discussion.

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Be sure to include your Location / Contact Info at the top of your comment so other people can find you

  • Timothy Plain

    Timothy / San Francisco / http://www.spindryproductions.com
    Welcome to the Filmmaker’s Lounge. What’s on your mind? What are you struggling with? Include your name/location and info on where others can find you.

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  • Peter

    I’m in Calgary and would love to connect with dedicated filmmakers, crew, editors, writers.

    • Hi Peter. Tell us more. Are you a writer, director, producer? Do you have a website? And where can people reach you?

      Is there anyone else out there in Calgary that needs a filmmaker buddy?

  • Matt

    Hi everyone. My name is Matthew Scott and I’m an emerging filmmaker from Toronto, Canada. Almost a year ago I released my first feature film, “Remember To High Five The Salesman”, for free online. I made the decision to release my film for free as an audience building tool and to help build some momentum as I develop my next project.

    If anyone’s interested, you can screen “The Salesman” at http://www.famousmotionpictures.com and I’m always enthusiastic to answer any questions anyone might have about my process, technical stuff, or filmmaking in general. You can reach me at famousmotionpictures@gmail.com or on Twitter @famousmotionpix

  • My name is James Madara, I’m a writer/filmmaker from Rockford, IL. I served as DP on two indie features still in production and plan on filming my own shorts in the spring.

    One question I have for Timothy and Arlis is how do you find people you can trust to give you notes on your screenplays?

    • Hi James, welcome to the Filmmaker’s Lounge! Rockford, represent.

      We’ll probably answer your question on an upcoming episode, too, but here’s my quick answer: I’ve found that the best people to give me notes are filmmakers or writers that are making films that I admire and respect, and are similar to the kinds of films I’d like to make. These writers and filmmakers not only speak the same language as me but if I choose correctly, they are also smarter than me. And hopefully by choosing writers/filmmakers that I look up to, they’ll have already solved some of the problems I’m still struggling with and give me extra insight into what I’m working on.

      • Hey James, Arlis here! (har har)

        So I’d say all notes are probably useful in some way as long as you know how to approach them. For instance, if a non-filmmaker gives you notes but they are an avid reader of fiction (especially if it’s the same genre your working in) they might be the perfect person to take notes from. I share my work with pretty much anyone I trust (and even some I don’t) and just try to gauge what I think of the feedback based on what I know of the feedback giver. So basically if I give my drama loving friend a sci-fi script, and I know they don’t particular like sci-fi, I know that I should be taking their feedback in a certain way. I think it is actual very helpful to get people with different backgrounds/focuses/interests to read your work just as long as you know how to receive that particular feedback from that particular person.

        Any who, not sure if that makes sense but that’s how I like to approach it.

        Thanks for listening and sorry it took me so long to respond!

    • My philosophy with feedback is the more the merrier! Most of my writer friends are selective with who they give their scripts to but not me. I get feedback on my first draft from almost anyone who will read it! Filmmakers, friends, people outside the industry and in. Some of the feedback is crap, you know, you just ignore it. But the more ideas and perspectives you can get, the better your 2nd draft will be. At least that’s how I feel about it.

  • Rafael Omar Cruz

    Hi, fellow filmmakers. My name is Rafael Omar Cruz I’m a filmmaker from San Diego. I’ve been grinding away making films for the past ten years mostly shorts and some experimental films. It’s something I’m very passionate about I find that making short films are a good way to practice your craft. I guess the struggle that I’ve been going through lately is trying to get my first feature film off the ground. I think we all can relate to that one. I’m happy to know that this platform exist and we can share our experiences and our struggles making independent films.

    • True that! Features require a lot more funding! Funding is always my problem, I’m guessing it’s most people’s problem lol

      • Funding is up there. Also, writing a good script has been a challenge for me.

  • Rafael Omar Cruz

    Do you think every film regardless of it’s good or bad will always have a fan base? Example: The Room which now has a cult following. What do you guys think?

    • I think every film has an audience, but I don’t think it necessarily has a fan base. Meaning, I think you can get people to watch your film regardless of if it’s good or not, but you can’t necessarily expect anyone to like it.

      • Yeah, dude. Paul Blart got a sequel. People will watch anything.

  • Hello everyone! I’m Alex Kellerman, Los Angeles-based comedy short film and web series writer, director, producer, actor, editor… Would LOVE to just write or act but since I don’t have money or good contacts, I’ve been producing low budget short films and web series for my youtube channel (youtube.com/kellermankomedy) and my partner’s youtube channel (youtube.com/i8athumbtack) — But I’m always looking for new people to collaborate with! So if you’re reading this and in the LA area – Hit reply!

    • whoa… weird that it embedded that video?

    • Nice! You’re our first LA Filmmaker, in the Lounge. We really got to read these posts on the show and try to match people up with one another.

    • Yeah yeah, Kellerman in the house! What kind of projects are you interested in making? Maybe there are some other like minded comedy folks out there you can connect with??

      • I am interested in making escapist comedy! I have written a ton of feature films but without the ability to shoot them or sell them… I turned my focus to writing short films and TV pilots! My specialties are situational comedy and dialogue, but I also write sci-fi, horror, drama, action, and blend those genres at every chance! High concept situations with grounded (or sometimes slightly heightened) characters.

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  • Helder Pedro

    Hey guys, I just want to say thanks to Alrik for mentioning me and my film, The Someone, that will also be playing in Oakland for the Oakland International Film Festival!! Looking forward to seeing you there!

  • Derek

    You guys should discuss Shane Carruths movies if you haven’t already

    • We’re recording an episode tomorrow where we’ll talk about Shane Carruth. Neither Alrik or I are huge fans, so we’ll be a little out of our element, but we’ll give it a try.

      • Derek Johnson

        Yeah for some reason i keep coming back to Primer and the idea that he could get that made using only the bare minimum needed to tell the story. And a sci-fi story at that. Its just a reminder of how much you can get away with if you structure a story right. In his case it was two dudes talking the whole time.

        • Derek Johnson

          Also i heard you guys touch on voice over and how you had mixed feelings. And i think theres alot to be said about it.
          Theres so many different ways to use it and i dont think you can generalize it and says its cheating or lazy writing. It probably just depends on what its trying to accomplish in that particular film. But yeah most if the time when we hear it we wonder if its really necessary.

          • I’m a fan of voice over. I can’t imagine Fight Club or Goodfellas being half the movies they are without the voice over. I also enjoy the twist on VO with the fourth wall breaks in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. If you have a main character with really interesting inner thoughts, I think VO is $$.

          • Derek Johnson

            Yeah and maybe its a tool better to use for character purposes and not story purposes.
            Its interesting to think where movies are headed when you consider how much our expectations as viewers change.

        • Agree. There’s a lot to be learned by looking at what he did with Primer. Alrik doesn’t love it because there is more talking than doing, but the talking is what allowed him to make the movie so cheaply.

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  • Derek Johnson

    There’s this indie filmmaker named Neil Breen and all three of his movies are on youtube…this is something you have to just see for yourself

    • Interesting. Am I going to be scared of the Internet after I finish watching them?

      • Derek Johnson

        Lol lets just say he does everything himself. But unfortunately it shows. Alot lol. Hes spose to be the next big cult following since The Room.

  • adam

    HELLO, my name is Adam Skorupskas. I’m a writer and my younger brother is a director. We’re just a couple of guys trying to make it out of Detroit to the big show. So far was have made two cool short films. One starring Lawrence Fishburne’s son. We thought we would send them to festivals and boom! instant success. Of course, that did not happen.

    The first one was Valhalla Blues.

    The follow up was Tiny Ocean.

    Would be honored to hear some fellow film makers, or anyone’s opinions.

    Also I wrote a short story called Invisible Graffiti that was published in the Burnt Tongues anthology, edited by Chuck Palahniuk of Fight Club fame. Check that out if you’re looking for a cool book to read. Also Tiny Ocean is sort of a adaptation of the story.

    Also, anyone got advice on how to get your movies out there a little bit? For the life of me I can’t figure out how the game works.

    Anyway, great site and podcast and people here.

    • Hi Adam,

      Thanks for sharing your films. I watched Tiny Ocean last night. On the plus side, the film was well put together. You got a lot of bang for your buck. So from a technical standpoint it looked great. I also liked seeing Detroit as a backdrop. And I thought Langston did a terrific job.

      I think your greatest weakness is the screenplay. It was filled with a lot of tired indie film cliches: eviction notices, lottery tickets, the mute character, the struggling artist. These elements made this feel like a student film.

      Also, I didn’t buy in to the world of the characters. Filmmakers like Tarantino or Wes Anderson get away with these cinema-universes by treating them in whimsical and over the top ways. It’s a heightened dramatic artifice that winks and nods at the audience with “you know it’s a movie, we know it’s a movie, let’s just have fun with it.” But your film is treated dead serious, gritty and down to earth, so the fantastical elements didn’t seem to fit. I don’t think you and your brother have figured out how to combine those two things yet.

      Keep going. You obviously have what it takes. You’ve proven you can make a film, now focus on your unique voice as a filmmaker. As for getting your film out there, not an easy task. We did an episode about it early on, but in releasing several films ourselves, we’ve discovered some films hit and other don’t. The best thing to do is push it out there however you can. Try for Short of the Week and Film Shortage, as well as reaching out to blogs and websites that might be interested in helping you get the word out. Tweet, Facebook, email. Film Festivals, too, if you can afford them.

  • Virus Audio Design

    Hi my name is Nic and I am an Audio designer/musician, I am just starting out and trying to build my portfolio and was wondering how aspiring film makers source their audio/soundtracks for their projects? I would really like to work on a short movie for one of you guys for free to get a better understanding of how the industry works and also help build my portfolio, @audiovirusdesign, virusaudiodesign@gmail.com, regards Nic

    • Hey Nic. Hopefully someone will see this and hit you up for some help. As for me, I’ve found music and sound help through my professional relationships. I work as a producer in advertising, so I’ve tapped the same talent I use for commercials to get my films done.

      • Virus Audio Design

        Appreciate your reply Tim

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  • Seth Yergin

    Hey guys! I just heard about this discussion page on the latest podcast. Timothy and Alrik, you guys have already checked out my short film, but I figured I’d post it here to see what some of the other listeners here think. It was recently selected as a Film Shortage Daily Pick, which is pretty cool. Here’s the link! Glad to join the discussion!

    • Seth Yergin

      Also, I’m a filmmaker from Akron, OH and you can reach me @ seyergin1@gmail.com for anyone who might want to collaborate.

  • Kyle McCauley

    Colin Levy shared this on twitter: http://wordplayer.com/columns/wp55.Time.Risk.html

    Insanely detailed analysis of everything involved in screenwriting and being paid to do it. Relevant to anyone making movies on any level.

    • Wow. Intense article. I didn’t get through the entire thing. But I get it. I liked this part the best.

      “it’s not that you make a short film to prove to the world that you should be allowed to make films. You make a short film to prove — to yourself — if you should not be allowed to make films.”