Article by Sara L. Gordon
I was recently visiting a very popular website focusing on funding a movie. At this site, an aspiring filmmaker videotapes himself calling different production companies in a quest to get independent film financing.
A few people watched this video and commented in response “how did you get those phone numbers?” As it turns out, this particular filmmaker had direct contact information for some of Hollywood’s biggest production companies including Harvey Weinstein, Jerry Bruckheimer and others. So where did this filmmaker get the phone numbers for these big Hollywood production companies? Is it possible for filmmakers to effectively find this kind of contact information?
Calling and pitching big studios might not be so crazy when you consider that sometimes taking the most direct path is the best way to success. Oftentimes, it is making the most direct and obvious decisions that lead to getting things done effectively. Calling a production company to pitch a script maybe isn’t such a long shot when you consider that many aspiring filmmakers either don’t have the nerve, or are frightened to take such a big step. Therefore, filmmakers who do just go ahead and pick up the phone to call in their quest to get film financing might be in a league of their own, so to speak. Plus many filmmakers, who do indeed have the nerve to call a production company, might be simply dialing the wrong number and not getting to talk to any real decision makers.
So how do filmmakers find out real and accurate contact information to get directly in touch with the actual decision makers at production companies? If this filmmaker just has a phone number that reaches an answering machine or a low-level receptionist, often he or she is simply wasting his or her time. Additionally, many receptionists are directed not to take new inquiries and not to listen to pitches, no matter how good they may be!
Without a great personal connection to give you good contact information for film production companies, where does a filmmaker turn to find accurate contact details? Again a simple solution is the answer. There are indeed books anyone can – these books are catalogs and directories of film studios. These books are not even terribly expensive as they range between $ 20-$ 40 per book and have hundreds of leads per book. However, the concern from independent filmmakers is that any phone numbers that are published in a book anyone can easily buy might not be the secret “insider numbers” that really get results.
However, again I say that the direct path is sometimes the best way to success. These books have hundreds of phone numbers, so there are indeed Hollywood players in these books that you may not have heard of already. These people do work in Hollywood and can help with independent film distribution effectively, even if they aren’t household names like Jerry Bruckheimer or Mel Gibson. I am exploring this issue and other related issues facing filmmakers at http://www.squidoo.com/Independent-Film-Financing-Info
Sara L. Gordon is currently working in the film industry. She studies independent film making and film distribution. http://www.squidoo.com/Independent-Film-Financing-Info
Question by Sandy R: What is a good inexpensive camcorder for independent filmmakers?
I’m looking for a camcorder to buy, something that will not give me the whole ‘home movie’ effect and feel to it. I will also need a tripod so it won’t be shakey and all that but could you just tell me some good inexpensive camcorders that will give me what i’m looking for. I don’t know much about camcorders and lenses but i’m looking into it. If anyone can help me with brands and prices of camcorders to look into I will be very thankful.
Answer by evilgenius4930
By “something that will not give me the whole ‘home movie’ effect and feel,” I think your talking about the film-look. It can be replicated, through either software or in-camera. However, both these options are pretty expensive, and it doesn’t sound like you have that much money right now. I’ll get to that later, but for now I’m going to talk about cameras.
I dont know your budget, but from what you said, Im guessing you want a camera probably $ 800 or below (correct me if I’m wrong, and I’ll re write this). In that price range, I cant recommend any particular camera, but follow these rules and you should have a pretty good beginner filmmaking camera:
1. Get miniDV- pretty obvious isn’t it?
2. Look for a lot of manual functions- every cam has auto functions, but look for the ability to switch to manual focus, iris, shutter, etc.
3. 3ccds are better than 1
4. The newest isnt always the greatest- not really a rule but basically dont go and get the newest thing that just came out
Other plusses are mic ports, headphone ports, hot shoes, and optical image stabilizer.
If you get a tripod, get one with a fluid head. I’m not recommending a particular one, but look around on google. To tell you the truth, Im not exactly a pro on tripods. But a useful trick that you can do with your tripod is screw on your camera, and instead of opening up the legs, hold the legs together and walk with it. If you do it right, the tripod will absorb the shake from your hands giving you a very cheap steadicam effect.
I hope this helped, and I’m a filmmaker as well, and I always like meeting other filmmakers so feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!
1timstreet.com Indie Filmmaker Matt Koval talks about giving up on Independent Film to make money in Online VIdeo. Distributed by Tubemogul.
Video Rating: 5 / 5