Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Master shots are not sexy or glamorous, but they can become a lifeboat for a movie director when it becomes clear in post-production a camera move just did not work. On an indie film budget it is important for a movie director to cover all the scenes as much as possible. Indie filmmakers that cover a scene one way reduce their options. Do not ever shy away from shooting a “wonder shot”, but balance it with a master shot to cover your rear in post-production. This is indie filmmaker Sid Kali typing JUMP CUT. http://ping.fm/Vc6EF

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Entrepreneur Film Producer/Director

I have spent the last three years or so researching, studying and trying to understand why we as artiste don’t do well in business. I found out that as artiste we think as artiste not as business people. I went really deep into understanding entrepreneurship and I found the answers. Now these answers will take some time for anyone to master but they will definitely change the way you do business as a filmmaker or as an artiste

As a result of my findings I a started a TV programme called “Man and Woman Unusual”. It is an entertaining half-hour Program that explores the art and discipline of business creativity, leadership and inspiration.
The program showcases the innovators and individuals that have "what it takes" to succeed in today's challenging business environment. It illuminates how leaders, from traditional corporate executives to young trend-setting entrepreneurs, surmount the difficulties of our peculiar business environment and manage to create fresh approaches to business and make a success of it.

It was dedicated to inspire entrepreneur “wannabes,” people of all ages, backgrounds and experiences, achieve the ‘SUCCESS DREAM’

The researching and the interviewing of several successful business men and woman involve in putting the programme together and transmitting in over 20 countries has changed the way I see filmmaking business or any other business for that matter.
So here is just some of my thoughts and I hope they are useful.

The strategy is simple but not so simple. First you have to reinvent yourself and start thinking like an entrepreneur/investor. This means thinking in terms of figures. While an artiste sees money in terms of great artistic idea, an entrepreneur or an investor see great ideas in terms of return on investment (ROI).
Successful entrepreneurs come from all sorts of backgrounds and experiences. Age, gender, marital status, and education levels do not seem to be significant factors for success. But successful entrepreneurs share certain skills. As you look through the following list, determine the areas in which you excel and identify the areas in which you need work.

* What skills and experiences do you have that are key to the success of the filmmaking business you want to own? Successful entrepreneurs have skills to sell.

* Are you responsible? Do you do what you say you will do when you say you will do it? Can people count on you? Entrepreneurs are responsible.

* Do you have good social skills? Do you say what you mean? Do you listen well?Entrepreneurs must be able to sell themselves.

* Are your financial and personal situations stable? Entrepreneurs need to be in good shape financially and emotionally to be able to concentrate on their new business without crisis in their personal lives.

* Are you optimistic? Entrepreneurs think positively.

* Do you have a strong motivation to achieve? Entrepreneurs are doers.

* Are you a hard worker? Do you work hard for others? Entrepreneurs often work more than 40 hours per week.

* Do you have problem-solving skills? Do you enjoy solving problems? Entrepreneurs are problem solvers.

* Are you independent? Entrepreneurs are leaders, not followers.

* Are you afraid of making decisions? Do you have a take-charge attitude?Entrepreneurs make all of the decisions for their businesses.

* Do you accept responsibility? Entrepreneurs accept responsibility for their own businesses.

Planning Your Film Business Is Critical
Many people float aimlessly through life, taking its ups and downs as they come, just getting by and living from day to day. If they become successful, or even comfortable, it’s more by accident than by plan. This approach rarely works for any business talk less of a film business. Proper planning allows you to try out your film business on paper with no financial risk. Your plan is your road map: It tells you where you should be at any given time, when you are succeeding, when you need to make adjustments, even when it’s time to get out. It’s impossible to know everything you need to before going into any business. The sheer amount of information is staggering. But you should figure out what you need to know before starting the film business and then plan to continue learning.

Your Best Bet Is to create a strong Business Plan. Remember that filmmaking is a business and most investors, unless they are looking to fund the arts, are looking to generate a profit from their investment. Investing in a film is an extreme risky endeavour, so presenting the project in a professional format will be the first step in generating great interest. If you have spent any time researching self-employment, you probably have encountered the concept of a business plan. And if you are like most people, the more you read about business plans, the more confused you became. There are several different outlines to choose from, all with different sections. Some outlines use questions, some use big business words. And the main thing many people draw from these “helps” is that a business plan is very complicated. But it doesn’t have to be. A business plan can be a simple, effective tool for planning, financing, and growing your filmmaking business.

Before we discuss what a filmmaking business plan should look like, take a look at why a business plan is critical to your success:

● A business plan can give you the confidence to start your business, or it can help you realize that your movie idea is not a good one. Before you make the final decision, you need to think through the answers to many questions about your movie product, your customers, your pricing, your marketing, and your potential cash flow. Your business plan gives you a process for answering those questions in an organized and logical way.

● After you start your business,you can refer back to your business plan to keep
you focused on the next task. A business plan is never finished. It changes as circumstances in your business change. You can use it as a guide to build and manage a successful business.

● A business plan is a filmmaker’s best tool for raising money. Most financial
institutions will insist on a business plan to evaluate your idea. Your business plan gives the investor information about you and your idea and allows him or her to evaluate your business’s creditworthiness.

● A business plan can be a marketing tool. As you write your business plan, you will have a clearer picture of your business. This will help you explain what kind of movie you should make, who your audiences will be, and what your goals are for the business.

A Filmmaking Business Plan should include but not limited to:
1). The story. What is the film about?

2). How well have films in a similar genre done? If an investor is looking at your business model refer to past success stories and demonstrate how you will achieve similar result.

3). What is the experience of the cast and crew?

4). Who is the audience? Your target market. All production must target a certain audience.

5). Try secure distribution deals first. Contact distributor to see how they will approach the sales of your film. Or draw up marketing plan to distribute yourself.

6). The director’s past credit.

7). How much will it cost? How will the investor’s money be spent?

8). What will the investor stand to profit from the film. (ROI)

9). Draw up a list of people you can present your business plan to. E.g. family members, friends, co-workers, professional business groups, private investors etc

10). Now don’t just stop at the business plan level, create a website that includes allthe story information and the people involved in the production. If the cinematographer for the project has a good demo reel, put that reel on the website as an example of the quality of cinematographer. Also include actors bios and experience.

11). Instead of just finding one investor to finance your film project, try getting more than one person to invest a small amount. Offer double the money back if the movie makes a profit, or other incentives to invest. The terms are always negotiable.

12). Form a company. When managing investors money, it will benefit you to form a company which will keep the movie’s financing, legalities and liability separate from you.

I will stop here for now to await any questions so far.

Solomon Mac-Auley


Failure is indeed the route to success.
Yes, fail as many times as it takes you to know how not to, and discover success. The secret is your ability to know what you did wrong when you failed, know what changes to make and then go ahead and try again and again until you get it right. Have you seen a child trying to walk for the first time? Can you count the number of times the child fell; failed before eventually mastering the act of walking? Imagine you have a child that is old enough to walk, tries walking once, and falls so badly and refuses ever to try again. Imagine millions of babies like that. Wouldn’t the world be filled with babies who could have walked but are cripples for lack of trying?
Please picture this very clearly, think upon it, before you continue reading. How do you feel? What you feel won’t be very different from what your creator feels when you are afraid of going out there to make something of your life. As a Filmmaker Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. The greatest calamity is not to have failed, but to have failed to try. To all you "wannabe" filmmakers who are afraid to take the first step, Failure is not the end of the world. At some point in our lives we have all come face to face with failure. Simply put, anyone who has been successful has also experienced failure. Great successes are molded out of the clay of past failures.

Why are you afraid to fail? You need it. If you say you can’t then you can’t. If you say you can then you can. What ever you believe of yourself is what I am going to agree with you right now. If you say you can’t make it because you come from a disadvantaged background, I agree totally with you, you will never make it. The truth is I believe in you. The point however is, do you believe in yourself? The world may believe in you, if you do not believe in yourself, you’d never make a Film. If you believe in yourself and no one else believes in you, you can move mountains and in time, the world will be forced to give you a hand and help propel you forward. ‘The believing’ has to start with you. Fact and truth are not the same thing. The fact is; you failed today. The truth is; you are not a failure. The fact that you are broke today does not mean that you are poor. My friend I will be frank with you; it will only take a minute to change your life. The moment you decide and move in the right direction is the moment your life changes.

Yes, you may not reach your destination in a minute but you can change the direction your life is heading in a moment; the moment of positive decision. Stop being afraid of failing. Know that the time for change is always now. You can’t change the kind of person you are later. There is no later. It’s always now or never. You can’t be kind later. And you can’t learn later. You may never learn. Now is the time. But even when you don’t succeed with starting your life over, keep this one Truth in mind: You can always start over again. The time to decide to change your destiny is Now!

We talk too much, day dream too much and act very little. It is time to decide and act. Get up I say and shake the dust of idleness, indecision and inactivity from your life. Turn your so call ‘bad situation’ around and take your place in the pride of life. Will you believe me if I told you, you CAN’T succeed at anything this year? Of course you will not. So why do you believe that lying voice inside of you telling you you can’t do that, you can’t get there, you can’t achieve that dream, you can't make films, you will fail, and all the other tanks of balderdash you have cramped your brain and mind with? SHUT THAT VOICE UP FOR GOD SAKE! Kill that thought now! Make failure a teacher, not an undertaker. Wake up my friend, go out there and fail, fail, fail, until you learn from your failures and know how to succeed. The length of time will be dependent on how fast you learn. Your time has come. Get up, get your gun of decision, load it with bullets of the four Cs; Curiosity, Confidence, Courage, and Constancy, pull the trigger of action and sentence those lying voices telling you you can’t make it, to life in hell.

Embrace your failures; failure is life's greatest teacher. It is through facing and tackling them, that takes you one step farther from them and many steps towards success and the realization of your dreams!

Before I go, let me live this with you; ALWAYS SAY WHAT YOU WANT, NOT WHAT YOU HAVE. For example, stop saying I do not have money because that is what you will have. Say, I have money, money comes, I am rich…Say it, believe it and act. It is the repetition of a positive statement or declaration of the truth that leads to belief. Once that becomes a deep conviction, a dominating thought in your mind, things will begin to happen. Start by saying to yourself what you would love to be; and then do what you have to do to become that person. "I am a Filmmaker and make Bankable Films"
Drop a word and let me know how well you are doing.
I believe in you!
Solomon Mac-Auley


Are You Insane? I know this sounds strange but this year’s Filmmaking Business Building TIP is a question that I want you to start asking yourself on a daily basis, because it will change your business and change your life! Everyone hopes for a better year every year, but alot of people are not ready or made up their minds to do the unusual to get what they are hoping for. if you keep doing the same thing, the exact same way and expect different results then that’s insane, in fact it is lunacy! Unfortunately, that is exactly what some people do! some people keep doing the same thing, the same way and expect different results. We must be willing to change if we want different results! As a little child if you keep doing dose things mummy does not like, you will keep getting spanked until you figure it out that if you don’t want the spanking anymore you have to change.

At that point you would have learnt that if you want a different result then you must do some different things. Friends, this is a phrase that I think we must all remember and continue to ask ourselves; “Am I acting insane today? Do I really want different results in my life and my Filmmaking business? Am I willing to try some different things? Am I willing to CHANGE?” Friends, I ask you again, “Are You Insane?” If the answer is no, then make a decision to get busy this year and do some different things, and do some things differently… so you can get some different results!

A New Day, A New You!
Would you like to make this the best year
ever? If you answered, yes, then the next step is to figure how.
Stuff will happen that you cannot control. Success, ultimately, is a matter of choice. The key to stopping that lunacy is first to decide. In anything in life, the first thing you must do is decide. Unfortunately, most people refuse to choose and therefore choose to lose. Either you will decide for your life or life will decide for you. Its either you continue the insanity or you will decied the spanking is enough and you want change. Now know that decision without action is insanity. You must act on your decision. It takes only a minute of desicive action to change your life and make the rest of your life the best of your life.

You’ve Got To Have A Dream
Every day is a brand new day, a day unlike any other day, a brand new
opportunity to make your filmmaking dreams come true. But in order for your dreams to
come true, it is necessary for you to have a dream. You’ve got to have a
dream, a goal. Not just a resolution that you make on the first of January
and forget by the fifteenth, but a goal, a target, a destination that you have
made a commitment to. It is critical that you have a dream. It has been said, “It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in not having a goal to reach for...”
Ladies and gentlemen, most people have low aim or no aim and make little
resolutions that they don’t stick to. If you aim at nothing, this is probably
what you will hit. Aim high, dream big dreams, set big goals, and remember all things are possible if you can just believe. Lets look at 12 things you must do this year starting right now to stop the insanity and build your dream filmmaking business:

1. Decide what you want. If you don’t have a dream, how are you
going to have a dream come true?

2. Write it down and be specific. Until it’s written, it’s not serious and
the more specific, the better.

3. Read it 3 times a day. Once in the morning, once at noon, and again
before bed.

4. Set the date of accomplishment. If you don’t set a date, you will
procrastinate. Tomorrow has been postpond. Act NOW!

5. Think of it often. Take time daily to think and ask yourself, “What
else can I do to achieve my goals?

6. Dream and imagine. See yourself enjoying it. If you can see it, you
can be it.

7. Develop a plan of action. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!

8. Do three things everyday towards the goal. Three consistent things
are better than 100 inconsistent things.

9. Stay Positive. Remember, your input determines your output! Read
and listen to positive motivation daily. Highly recommend, visit this blog always.

10.Act as though you have achieved it. Sometimes you must fake it
until you make it!

11. Go on a mental fast for seven days. In the those seven days decipline your mind to only think positve thoughts no matter what happens. If you find yourself driffting stop and retrace your steps.

12. Read, read, read. You must read book that will help you achieve and empower you for your dream. Leaders are readers. Also watch video tutorials for those of you who are very visual.