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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

Wonder Woman Storyboards

When My Hollywood Dream begin, it was a mix of entertainment opinions and reviews and filming tips. For the most part we ended up going in the full entertainment side and filmmaking tips became more scattered (never forgotten, but less of the site’s focus).

Back in 2009, I posted my personal storyboard template that I used for my own (at the time) short movies (now I am proud to say I also have a feature under my belt). I have two variations of this storyboard template (full screen and wide screen) and because of “popular demand”, I am more than happy to post these again. Feel free to download them and modify/use them however you want (if you repost them anywhere, please credit and link back to MyHollywoodDream.com). These files are a very basic template image that you can open and print in preview, word or any photo program.

Storyboard Template Full Frame   storyboardtemplate-wideframe

Click on either of the above images to download a full-size version of the file for printing. And you can read all of our Filmmaking Resources here.


Today’s Daily Filmmaking Tip is a bit different. Sometimes, to hype your completed film, the best thing to do is to party! Attend screenings, networking events, social gatherings, and the like. You have to get yourself out there and make as many contacts as humanly possible. Get to know other filmmakers, film groups, vendors, theater owners and employees, local businesses, etc. Everyone will be the key to getting a good word of mouth for your new film or webseries. Go back to your college or high school and see if they would be interested in screening your movie (or a few scenes) with a Q&A. Talk to the local theater to do pre-screenings and events.

Not only should you attend other people’s parties, but you should also throw your own party. Get creative. Have you ever been to any themed parties? Not only are they a lot of fun, but it sticks with people. I once went to a release party for a horror film DVD and all of the waitresses were dressed as “sexy zombies.” This caught a lot of people’s attention and gave strangers something to talk about.  I know people who have held decade parties, where everyone had to dress in the particular styles of a decade and all of the music and movies they had on fit the time. One of my personal favorite ideas was someone that held a “Heroes and Villains” party where everyone had to dress as a superhero or villain from movies, comics, or video games.

Anyone can gather people together and screen a film at a local bar or apartment. It is what you do to set your screening apart that people will remember. And they will not just remember your party, but also your film.

Posted on December 2nd, 2010 by ThePit | Comments Off on Daily Filmmaking Tip: Party! …?
Filed Under Filmmaking Resources

One of the most important parts of a film is its production value, which is achieved through the film’s designs, props, locations, costumes, and picture cars. Today I’m going to focus on the last one I mentioned, picture cars.

Picture cars can be used to tell the viewer what year the film takes place, to make the background seem a lot more busy than it actually is, and show the audience something about a character that they might not have known before (their social/wealth status, how cool they are — or their lack of cool, etc). The right picture car can elevate a film to a higher level. Could you imagine Back to the Future without the DeLorean?

Picture cars can be very expensive. Especially if you need a lot of them, and even more so if they have to be from a specific time period. So, what can you do to get cheap picture cars for your independent features and shorts? First, it is key to ask around. A friend or a friend of a friend could have the exact car that you need. Hit up your email contacts and send a message on Facebook to everyone that you think would be willing to help out. If that doesn’t work, you could put an ad on Craig’s List, but in my personal opinion the people that answer those ads tend to be shady. So if you don’t know anyone personally that would help you, I’d suggest going to a local used car dealership that has nice cars that might fit what you need.  Avoid chain stores and look for what that is personally owned. In exchange for a thank you credit or for filming a short commercial for the dealership they may be willing to let you borrow a car for your shoot. A buddy of mine did this for one of his shorts and got a slick BMW for his film. You might hear the word used and think that all of the cars they have must be falling apart and old, but that is far from true.

When you are looking for picture cars, think outside the box. And if you need a specific car, go on the hunt, I’m sure you’ll find it.

Posted on November 22nd, 2010 by ThePit | Comments Off on Daily Filmmaking Tip: Picture Cars for Indies
Filed Under Filmmaking Resources

One of the hardest parts of working in a highly creative industry is keeping the creative juices flowing.  Even if you are doing something that you truly love doing, after working seven day weeks and eighteen hours a day, it feels like work. Exhausting… tiring… never ending… work.  So, how do you keep going when your butt is being kicked? You have to remember why you are there and even more importantly, you have to stay inspired. This goes for working on set, writing, editing, fundraising, and every other part of the “business”. If you don’t find your inspiration and love what you are doing regardless of how much work is involved, than you will likely not “survive” working in the industry. You can make more money in less hours elsewhere (and have an actual life).

But you know what is funny? Inspiration can truly come from anywhere. In your office you might have a special coffee mug, or a cool wall clock or poster. It can be as easy as popping a favorite movie into your DVD player while you are writing or listening to music as you edit video. For me personally, in my office is a framed Superman poster that I have had since I was little.  It isn’t a really special poster, just a painting of Superman in the middle of a volcano trying to hold back the lava flow. Just seeing it puts a smile on my face and takes me back. It inspires me to keep writing, even when I have no idea where I am going with a story.

Find what keeps you going, because when your career is making films, you’ll need it.

Posted on November 17th, 2010 by ThePit | Comments Off on Daily Filmmaking Tip: Find Your Inspiration
Filed Under Filmmaking Resources

daily filmmaking tips

We talk about a lot of different (and at times unrelated) topics. From online advertising, to trailers, costuming, and different crew positions to general filmmaking and behind the scenes elements you wouldn’t think are that important. Today, I want you to think of your favorite movie studios and production companies. Think really hard. What do they all have in common? A really darn impressive logo and opening slug before all of their movies and television shows.

If you want to play with the big boys, then it is important to brand yourself and your company with a totally kick-ass and professional looking logo design. When people see that logo on movie posters, trailers, and finished movies/television shows, you want them to think of you. You want them to become familiar with your high quality brand. Which brings me to another point, be careful what you attach your company logo too. If something is very vulgar or racist, then that is how people will view your company and in turn you.  When you are ready to make your company known, make sure that you know what you want your company to be known for.

We have a few more Daily Filmmaking Tips coming up this week and we will be bouncing all over the world of filmmaking. Soon we are going to make an effort to talk with a few industry professionals and showcase different crew positions. Stay tuned!

Posted on November 16th, 2010 by ThePit | Leave a Comment
Filed Under Filmmaking Resources

daily filmmaking tips

Okay, so I know I have shared plenty of tips for websites. We’ve talked about their importance in advertising (both your movie, company, and you as a filmmaker), link exchanges to network, and how they can make you look more professional. When someone is checking up on you, you can be sure that they will google search you and find your website.

There are a few key aspects that we have talked about to putting together a good website, including domain names, site design, and hosting.  Recently, one of my movie sites had a surge of visitors and while I thought everything was good [behind the scenes], the site crashed and then the interest in the site died.  What happened? I made a mistake by not monitoring my stats and monthly bandwidth. And because of this I did notice when I ran out of space and the site was taken offline by the host.

How can you fix this?  By finding the perfect web host. Your host is so important to not only keeping your website online, but also to keep it loading fast and with no missing images/glitches. A good web host will be easy to navigate and find all of the information that you need. You have to know how to control access to your website and its FTP, you need security and to know that no hackers will be getting in, you need multiple stats counters that break down your visitors along with their IP addresses and browsers they are using to get to you, easy access to a file manager, easy online bill pay with automatic reminders. It is also nice to find web hosts that offer a lot of perks, like full libraries of codes, CGI scripts, and advertising tools. Don’t just settle for any one, find the perfect host for the space you need and the visitors that you think you’ll be getting.

Posted on November 12th, 2010 by ThePit | Leave a Comment
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