We used to post Daily Filmmaking Tips and we also love to spotlight small businesses. Here we want to highlight some things that you can do when you’re off the set to help the process of filmmaking in different ways. These are things that you might never think about! When you work long hours in the film industry, every aspect of your life is affected by it. A big part of being a filmmaker is having the confidence to put yourself out there. If we want to admit it or not, a lot of the time our willingness to do that is impacted by how we look. 

The Right Style
This is one of those funny things you might have noticed about directors, writers, and actors. So many of the talents that stand out, do so because they have formed their own “trademark” look. Think of writers with their big brim glasses, or a quirky director who always wears a full suit (I can’t imagine wearing that in the summer heat on set). Now, I’m not saying that you should shave your head into a mohawk and dye your hair purple, but be conscious about the image you are putting together and what you are telling the world about yourself because people do notice it. And it sure is one way to stand out in the crowd. 

Keeping Up with Grueling Days
Staying fit may not jump right out at you, but as you get older it is more and more difficult to keep up with 12+ hour days (and that is a short day!) 5 to 6 days a week. Depending on the size of the project that you are working on, the days (or nights) can be brutal on your body. It is so important to try to eat well (which is difficult with the craft services table and buffet style lunch) and to stay in shape (which is difficult having very little time off set). The best advice I have for this is that when you are in production, you should integrate a short workout into your morning routine (10 – 20 minutes goes a long way) and when you are developing or in post-production, expand it into a fuller workout (20-40 minutes). Find what works best for you. Some people need a monthly program or gym, others prefer doing their own thing. As long as you are getting your body to move and work, there is no wrong way to do it.

Controlling Your Look
Balding, skin conditions, and a variety of other external factors can hit our confidence hard. For actors and hosts it can be even more impactful because their appearance is one of their main tools. Having control over our look and how we are perceived is crucial. So let’s talk about Picasso Scalp Micropigmentation, a company founded by Jeff Villenas, that aims to help you feel like your best self. Sometimes the image of us in our minds, doesn’t exactly match how we look. Picasso gives you back control of your look by utilizing a process of microdot tattoos, so “your head is given the appearance of healthy hair follicles in the pattern of a regular hairline.” Just because balding is unpredictable, doesn’t mean that you have to lose full control over your look. The company offers scalp micropigmentation in the Los Angeles area. You can click on the above links for more details on the process and the different looks that they offer.

Finding Peace
The long days, keeping up connections and appearances, taking care of your body and health, the constant stress, it ALL adds up. You really need to find something that gives you a break and lets you find some peace in the craziness that is Hollywood. The good thing is that this can really be anything! You need to have something outside of work that makes you happy and gives your brain some much needed time off. It can be as simple as reading a book, going on hikes, or doing a daily meditation. Or it could be something off the wall like rock climbing, sky diving, or taking a monthly trip to a theme park. The key thing is that you find something that makes you happy outside of work. Otherwise you will burn out and that does not let you be the best director, writer, or actor that you can be.

What do you do to take care of yourself? How do you find peace outside of your production work?

Posted on August 19th, 2021 by MHD | Leave a Comment (1)
Filed Under Filmmaking Resources, Sponsorships

This post brought to you by Grand Marnier. All opinions are 100% mine.

Over on Facebook Grand Marnier is celebrating the Holidays with a very giving spirit! Facebook fans have the chance of getting 1000 bucks just for “liking” their page and hanging an ornament on their Grand Giving Tree app and an additional thirty thousand dollars will be given to three great charities; Best Friends Animal Society, Earth Day Network and Surfrider Foundation.

How it works is that fans choose an ornament from their favorite charity and place said ornament on the giving tree. I picked the Best Friends Animal Society because I have seen first hand the great work that they do with pet donations and caring for strays. All three truly are worthwhile charities that deserve the donations. I love that Grand Marnier has figured out a way to have fun with their Facebook fans and give money to charity at the same time. Which charity would you choose to give the extra money to? Earth Day Network is the driving force behind the environmental movement. They have worked in over 190 countries to educate and pass laws to protect our environment. The Surfrider Foundation works hard to protect our beaches and the world’s oceans.

Over on the Grand Marnier Facebook page they have a bunch of fun stuff, including photos, deals, cocktail recipes, and more. After you enter the contest, you should check out their other stuff.

Posted on January 10th, 2013 by Spark | Leave a Comment
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I honestly can’t believe that it is already December 3rd. I am usually well into Christmas shopping by now (and I’ve usually begun writing our yearly Geektastic Wishlist by now). At the moment I’ve done neither.


Thankfully I was pushed forward a little bit by Wine dot com on both counts. They gave me a dozen gift ideas and gave me the well needed push I needed into writing this article and starting the column back up. I mean, what makes a better gift for friends, family and work aquaintaines than Wine Gift Baskets?

How does this fit on the Geektatic Wishlist you ask? A list that is usually filled with karaoke machines, goofy t-shirts, and DVDs. Well, wine has played a big role in a lot of movies over the years. Lets take a look at two of them in particular:

We have to start with Alexander Payne’s movie about two middle aged friends, portrayed by Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church, that take a week long road trip through California’s wine country. The movie had heart and laughs and introduced audiences to a variety of wines. In the movie Giamatti’s Miles was a big fan of a 1961 CChateau Cheval Blanc. This particular wine is a bit expensive, a 2003 Chateau Cheval Blanc will set you back more than 400 bucks. If you can’t shell out that much, you can buy a fan of the movie the Blu-Ray and a gift basket with Pinot Noir, one of Mile’s other great passion wines, or even a California Wine Tour Wine Gift Basket for just 99 bucks.

The Silence of the Lambs
Okay, I bet this wasn’t a movie that you’d expect to see on a list about movies that wine plays a role in. And sure, wine doesn’t shape this movie like it did for Sideways, but I feel like this movie has arguably the best line of dialogue ever: “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” So, do you know a big fan of The Silence of the Lambs? Why not get them a copy of the DVD or Blu-Ray with a bottle of a nice Chanti. Wine.com has a wide selection of Chianti’s to choose from, with prices that range from 20 bucks to more than a 100 bucks. It gives you a ton of bottles to choose from.

This post is brought to you by Wine.com

Posted on December 3rd, 2011 by admin | Comments Off on Geektastic Wishlist: Wine?
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This article is brought to you by Blue Sky Scrubs.

I know, as comfortable as it looks, and as awesome as it would be… most jobs don’t let us come in wearing scrubs. You only get that pleasure if you are a doctor, nurse, surgeon, physician… or if you play one on television (like the cast of Grey’s Anatomy to the left of this article).  Everyone else has to wear normal clothes (or… ugh… a suit and tie). In my honest opinion, every job should allow workers to wear nursing scrubs.

I’m serious.

No, really, I am. Lets think about it for a moment. If everyone was wearing ultra comfortable scrubs everyday there would be a ton of benefits. Number one: Productivity would rise as comfortable people get more done and concentrate better (I’m sure I can find an internet poll to back me up on this). Number two: Out goes the worry about what to wear tomorrow. You’ll know just what to wear, now the only decision will be what color of awesome scrubs do you wanna wear or mix and match? Number three: Think of all the money you’ll save on work specific clothes. Honestly, do you need more than three reasons to want to go to work in scrubs? No? Neither do I, I think I’ll try it out tomorrow.

This article was inspired by Blue Sky Scrubs, you can check them out at http://www.blueskyscrubs.com/categories/Scrubs/Scrubs-for-Women/.

Posted on August 25th, 2011 by admin | Comments Off on All Jobs Should Allow Scrubs
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This post brought to you by Diageo. All opinions are 100% mine.


Are you a fan of smooth premium dark rum? Than I am sure that you are familiar with Zacapa premium dark rum. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the brand, it began in 1976 in an eastern Guatemala town of the same name. As they celebrated their centenary, they used locally grown virgin sugar cane honey to develop a new kind of rum and aging process. More than 2300 meters above sea level are the Quetzaltenango highlands, which are home to one of the world’s highest ageing facilities. The process is called Sistema Solera and it is based off a process that was developed some 500 years ago by Spaniards to age sherry. Every drop of Zacapa run passes through several casks that originally housed American whiskey, Pedro Ximenez wines, and Oloroso sherry. As it passes from cask to cask is picks up flavors from each of the original occupants, which helps give Zacapa its own distinctive taste.

The fine folks at Zacapa have formed a new society for rum lovers, it will offer visitors exclusive details on the brand along with specials, gifts, and contests. To join the Zacapa Society, simply register your interest at Zacapa premium rum.

Personally, I love a fine aged rum. It is a perfect drink to celebrate an occasion with friends and family. It is also a good drink to spotlight at an event. For your next movie premiere or web series showcase, why not serve Zacapa run in your VIP section or use the rum in a special made drink just for your movie (you can even name the new drink after a character in the film or even the film’s title).

Visit Sponsor's Site

Posted on August 23rd, 2011 by Spark | Comments Off on A society for premium rum drinkers!
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So, you put in months and months of hard work crafting the perfect independent/no-budget movie and it is time to showcase your work. There are lots and lots of avenues for you to go, but there is nothing like seeing your movie on the big screen. And if your work is good enough, there is no better way to get the word out about your movie than hosting a successful screening.

One thing that people might not know about having a successful screening to add hype to your movie is just how important it is to use your crowd to your advantage. You’ll need to pick up/rent velvet rope and barricades to do this right. Most movie theaters allow people to rent out theaters for personal screenings. Make sure in your deal with the theater that they will let you do it right, with a red carpet, lines, and the works. If this is a small movie on a low budget, there is no reason to waste money on a 400 person auditorium, a smaller theater will be easier to fill and still do the ob of getting the movie on the screen.

First off invite the cast and crew, so right off the bat you have some audience members that are partial to the movie. Let them invite friends and family. Invite local bloggers (I know how much we love being invited to screenings and Q&As, trust me, they will come and talk about your movie). Also take a chance and invite bigger press, in NY? Try the Times and the Post. They likely will not come, but hey, you never know. Have a contact at a radio station or with a podcast? Give them a certain amount of free tickets to give away. Their hype will go a long way.

Now that you have everyone invited. Make sure you have the manpower to make the screening seem a lot bigger than it is. Have lines for general audience, press and VIPs. Don’t let anyone in right away, let the crowd gather and form. Make sure that people passing on the street or in the theater wonder and ask what is going on. “What movie is this?” “Who is in it?” One perfectly planned screening can cause your movie’s hype to snowball into something a lot bigger than you ever imagined.

Posted on June 29th, 2011 by ThePit | Comments Off on Hosting a Screening? Use the crowd to your advantage!
Filed Under Filmmaking Resources, Sponsorships

Today we were asked to take a look at and review the website and services of The Steam Team. They are located in Austin Texas and are a full-service cleaning and restoration company, that specialize in carpet cleaning, upholstery, refinishing, air duct cleaning, water extraction, and a lot more. Lets start by taking a look at their front page:

The layout of the website is very clean and very clear. There is a column of links to the left that include all of The Steam Team’s services, including the ones listed above along with stuff like marble polishing and there are additional pages for stuff like activated charcoal for odor removal and affordable carpet cleaning austin. On the top of the page there is a bar of links that include testimonials, about, special, FAQs, contact and their guarantee. The meat of the front page includes a picture, information about the company, and links for call us today, order online now, and get a quick quote.

The services page list some brief details about what they do, but does not include any prices. Each job gets its own quote (but that is easy enough to get to with links on the front page). The website’s design is consistent and well throughout.  There is nothing on it that stands out, but nothing that would make me click off the page either. For a company website it gets the job done. The website also includes different pages with details and helpful tips for some of their services, including car carpet cleaning tips and car upholstery cleaning tips.

Posted on March 19th, 2011 by admin | Comments Off on Review of TheSteamTeam.com
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