Archive for June, 2010

Filmmaking 101 Part 2 Social Netowrking

In part 1 of our Filmmaking 101 series, we talked about affordable printing options and the importance of posters, postcards, and business cards for the promotion of independent films, shorts, and webseries.  Today I’d like to briefly discuss how you can use Social Networking to get your film seen.

Using your personal Facebook page is the easiest and most important Social Networking site that you can use to get people to see your film.  Post the link to your film’s website and trailer. Create a photo album and add behind the scenes still images of you working on the film. Your friends and family are always your first (and usually biggest) fans.  They will go to the links you post (as long as you don’t post a new link every 30 seconds). Not only will they go to your links, but they will comment on them. They will share them to others and help you promote your work. When you are comfortable and have a finished piece, it is a good idea to make a specific page for your film on Facebook. On it you’ll add as much info as humanly possible, including a ton of images, videos, links, etc. You’ll have to do the leg work and link this page on your profile and send it to friends. Even ask them directly to “like” it. Every person that “likes” it is like having a free ad to all of their friends, and than their friend’s friends. This is the easiest and cheapest form of advertising that you’ll be able to do for your film.

This social networking site has become key to getting your film “followers” and getting people to see your trailer and become aware of your project.  In my opinion it is better to have a personal Twitter account, as opposed to an account for your film or production company. People don’t want to follow companies, they want to follow people.  Sign up for an account and start by using Facebook to get your Twitter URL out there (just as you’ll do for your film’s website and trailer).  To help increase followers, you can add a twitter business card or similar logo to your website and your film’s website.  Follow your friends and family member’s accounts and make sure they follow you back. Then go further and start following other filmmakers, journalists, and even websites you enjoy. Everyone will not follow you back, but some will. Send them messages. The more back and forth you have between people, the better. Finally, when you are ready to announce your film project or link your film’s trailer, they will not only click on that link, but they retweet it and leave a comment.  You don’t just want people to watch your work, you want them to talk about it.

What’s Myspace? Remember, it is that website you used before Facebook where you had a goofy nickname and a lot of glittery logos and cheesy pictures.  Well, it still exists and there are still people on it. Sign up for a filmmakers/video account and create a page for your project. There is a chance that your trailer or short film can get spotlighted, which could lead to thousands of views. Create some exclusive content for Myspace, just as you should create specific videos for YouTube (which we’ll go over in another part of this series). This content could be videos, behind the scenes photos, teaser posters, press releases, or even just updates about the film and where it will be playing.

These are the three big sites, but they are only the start of making an impact Online.  In future articles we’ll be posting about the importance of message boards, blogs, and entertainment websites to the success of your film.

Remember, the more pages you make for your film across Social Networking sites means that you’ll have that many more pages people can get to from search engines that you control.

Posted on June 10th, 2010 by ThePit | Leave a Comment
Filed Under Filmmaking Resources

I’m sure that Marvel Comics is going to release a ton of these types of teaser posters for the upcoming X-Men #1 and the universe wide vampire crossover, but this one is really cool. I love the noir yet romantic style of it, and Emma Frost works perfectly as a vampire.

X-Men, Poster

When I first read the preview for X-Men #1 I was annoyed. It reads: “MUTANTS VERSUS VAMPIRES PART 1 – When a suicide bomber strikes in downtown San Francisco, it gets the immediate attention of the X-Men. But this is not your garden variety terrorist – and he’s not acting alone. Vampires from around the globe are descending en masse on the City by the Bay, staking a brutal claim for the patch of land the X-Men call their home. What is their agenda? Who is their mysterious leader? The X-Men are about to find out, as they brace themselves for a war of the species that will wrack the Marvel Universe.”

If there is only thing that superheroes (and the X-Men) don’t mix well with, it is vampires. And now, we have the beginning of a large vampire crossover likely inspired by the success of Twilight and True Blood, which makes it even more disturbing.  If you want to do vampires right, you have to make them a threat. You can’t have people turned into vampires and than cured, you have to make turning them count. You’ll have to up their power level to even be able to stand toe to toe with people like Wolverine and Colossus.  In a world where mutants can go out in the day and destroy cities in the blink of an eye, how are vampires scary?

“Second Coming” has gone a long way to make the X-Men enjoyable again. I just really hope that it isn’t wasted by pitting mutants vs vampires.

Check out these X-Men related products…

Posted on June 10th, 2010 by ThePit | Leave a Comment (1)
Filed Under Entertainment

This post is brought to you by your friends at

RepairPal is a website that strives to “take the mystery out of auto repair”! I don’t know about you, but when my car breaks down, I have no idea what to do. I don’t know where to look under the hood and I’m completely blind as to what might be wrong with my car. When I take my car to the repair shop, they could tell me fake parts and say that more is broken than actually is an charge me an arm and a leg. I recently took my car in for a brake job and I think I might have been taken advantage of.

RepairPal was created in 2007 by a group of automobile enthusiasts and the site allows you to get a rough estimate of how much a repair should cost for your particular car, another link lets you find a repair shop in your area, can get detailed reviews and car info (more on this below), there is a car encyclopedia, you can manage your car and repairs directly online, and you can search through a ton of different car models and repairs. You need to find a Dallas auto repair shop? Just click on the link and search.

I want to spotlight the Car Info section of the website. Here is an example page from it: Chevrolet Silverado . Each info page includes ratings and reviews, questions and answers, common problems, recalls and TSBs, and owner reviews. RepairPal has pages like this for every car that you can think of. Thinking of buying a new or used car? It might be a good idea to look it up here first.

Site sponsors help to defer the costs of running My Hollywood Dream.

Posted on June 10th, 2010 by admin | Leave a Comment
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This actually looks like it would be an incredible movie. It’s nothing like the original movies, which is a good thing. It’s dark and gritty with the gore from the games. Mortal Kombat doesn’t have the popularity it once had, but this movie could bring it back.

The video was directed by Kevin Tancharoen, who helmed the remake of Fame, and stars Michael Jai White (Jax), Jeri Ryan (Sonya Blade), Ian Anthony Dale (Scorpion), Lateef Crowder (Baraka), and Matt Mullins (Johnny Cage).

What is this video for? According to a Jeri Ryan tweet, “It’s not a game trailer. Actually was made for the director to sell WB on his vision for a reimagined MK film.”

Filmmaking 101 Part 1

It has been a while since we have done articles on filmmaking tools and resources. With the summer starting, we thought it would be nice to have a new weekly feature, Filmmaking 101, and the first multiple part column will be focused on how to get your film seen.

Part 1: Affordable Print

There are a lot of things that you’ll have to do to get your film seen (and seen by the right type of people).  Finding local places and sites online that offer affordable printing are key.  No matter how much Online advertising and message board posting you do, good old traditional print will still be needed to get your films out there. Here are a few key pieces that you’ll need.

I know that I don’t have to stress how important this is. Independent films used to get financed on their pre-sales posters alone (especially b-action flicks), and while that financing avenue has closed, your poster is still key for advertising (both online and off).  Find a key still image that represents the film, get a logo typeface that you’ll use throughout the process (websites, banners, programs, etc), or get a friend to whip up a slick looking teaser image. You’ll need to make the image so it can be printed, and it is good to have the option of black/white and color versions of the poster.  If your film is screening at a festival, it will be key to print out a couple dozens of these suckers. To save cash, you can have a version of your poster sized 11 by 17. These are big enough to call attention to your film and give away, but not so big that they will burn a hole in your pocket.   Plus, it will look great framed on your wall.  You should also print out posters if you get invited to a Q&A, talk at a college campus, and depending on the genre of the piece get your local comic book, book, and video stores to put up the poster in their window. Every extra pair of eyes that notices your film is a good thing.

Posters are a perfect segay to my next recommendation, get yourself a postcard.  It can be as simple as having one size be your movie poster and the other keeping a traditional post card format. The left half is a short message and the right includes your addressee and postage. Having postcards is one of the best ways to keep in contact with people you meet and to give them a visual reminder of your film. Very important, I do not recommend making a 1000 of these and sending them all around Hollywood. Chances are they’d get thrown in the trash by interns or assistants and never even be seen by those executives you are trying to reach. The best thing to do with postcards is to send them to people you meet at festivals, conventions, screenings, and conferences.  Hand write a message in the message section instead of having them pre-filled out.  This will make it more personal while reminding them your film exists. Have the website URL in big letters on both sides of the postcard. Getting an affordable postcards is easy, and just takes a simple online search. Plus for postcards, postage is only 28 cents, so this will not cost a lot to mail out and it is much more memorable than just an e-mail.

Business Cards
It is important to have a set of these for you and a set for your film. You’ll want thousands of them, so you can give them to everyone you meet at any industry event, coffee shop, workplace, party, garage sale or where ever you happen to meet people. Everyone knows someone in the business or has a friend of a friend who is a producer/director/actor. It is through one of these random people that word of mouth will take your film to someone who is actually important.  Thankfully, simple business cards can be as cheap as 8 bucks for a 1000, or you can even get a couple 100 free online.  For your personal business card, keep it simple. Write your name, contact info, industry position, and a website if you have one. I hate personal business cards that are flashy. For your film’s business card, feel free to put the poster on one side and the film’s contact info and website on the other side. Make the best use of the space available. Crop into a picture or the poster if the image doesn’t look good so small. These will be a contant reminder to the people, so you want to lead with a great first impression.

In the next Filmmaking 101 column, I’m going to take a look at what you can do Online to get your film seen.

Indiana Jones 5

File this under rumor for now, but Stuff is reporting that work is underway on the latest (and possibly last) big screen adventure for Indiana Jones.  The site says that the production will begin shooting next year and will be centered around the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle in the Atlantic Ocean. They report that Shia LaBeouf’s Mutt Williams will join Indiana, but don’t make mention if Karen Allen will return as the feisty (and lovable) Marion Ravenwood (but I think it would be a safe assumption if this pans  out to be true).

I’m not sure how I feel about the Bermuda Triangle angle. There is a lot they could do with it. It could be a portal to an alternate reality, or just a place stuck between time. Could Indiana meet anyone from historic Triangle disappearances? Could he meet the crew of the USS Cyclops or the guests of the Connemara IV?  What would take Indiana to the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean? Would be be investigating the disappearance of a friend? Or would he be on a completely different adventure (or honeymoon/vacation) and get stucks in the Triangle and it is up to Shia’s Mutt WIlliams to find his father and help him escape?

There was a lot I liked in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and there was a lot that didn’t work. The pieces that worked made it worth seeing Indiana back, and I’d love to see more of that. So I hope they make this. I’d like to see where they go from here.

Guest post from Patty Summers.

I looked very long for good direct tv deals, and I’m glad I did. I signed up for it and haven’t looked back since. I will admit it, I am a sucker for reality shows. I’m not proud of it but, it is my guilty pleasure. My Digital Video Recorder and my satellite TV service is all I need to spy in on the lives of people losing weight, a family with eight kids and washed up celebrities trying to get back in the public’s eye.

I thinking having a DVR increased my addiction since I can easily skip the commercials. Now when they go to a commercial just before some big event in the show I can just zoom past the them in a few seconds. I guess my favorite show right now is Biggest Loser. It’s probably the one reality show I don’t fee so guilty watching. Of course, you can’t sit and eat a snack when watching it! The transformations the contestants go through in just a few weeks is amazing.

I just finished watching the Celebrity Apprentice, another of my favorite shows. I didn’t give the show a shot at first because I’m not really a fan of Donal Trump but over time the show has grown on me and I watch it every week now.

So now that I have confessed my love for reality TV it is time for me to go set my DVR to record TLC’s Kate Plus Eight

Posted on June 8th, 2010 by admin | Leave a Comment
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