April 2009

Funder FAQ: Roy W. Dean Film & Video Grants

Carole Dean answers questions about how her nonprofit supports independent filmmakers.

Founder Carole Dean, giving a consultation.

Somewhat different than many filmmaking grants, the Roy W. Dean Film & Video Grants provide goods and services, rather than funding, with the goal of helping filmmakers not only complete their film, but gain connections within the independent filmmaking community. The Independent's Enette Ngoei talks with foundation founder, author, and producer Carole Dean to find out exactly what Roy W. Dean grants have to offer independent filmmakers.

Carole Dean, founder of the the Roy W. Dean Film & Video Grants and From the Heart Productions, talks with The Independent about her foundation.

What are the Roy Dean Film & Video grants?

These grants are designed to support documentary and independent filmmakers by giving them the goods and services to get their films off the ground.

How the Recession Hits Independent Film

In this economy, "filmmakers have to stop being afraid of the money side," says Carole Dean of From the Heart Productions.


Director Becky Smith of the acclaimed "16 to Life" (above) is planning to make her next film on a tighter budget.

The recession presents an interesting paradox for independent filmmakers: While tough times often inspire creative projects, funding and distribution resources are much harder to come by even for established filmmakers. The Independent's Peter Hoy approached a broad cross-section of the independent-film community to cover the ramifications of the current economic situation from all angles. Hear the opinions of Becky Smith, director of the award-winning film 16 to Life (view the trailer here), Tribeca Film Festial executive director Nancy Schafer, a recent film school graduate, and others, as they consider the fate of future projects—not to mention their own income—in this challenging environment.

A weak economy is often said to be good for Hollywood. Movie going is cheap entertainment, so ticket sales typically rise in a recession. But what about the world of independent film? Film festivals are scaling back, indie directors are being forced to do more with even less than usual, and producers are finding that grant-giving institutions are strapped for cash.

Shorts at the Aspen Shortsfest

Three short interviews with filmmakers from the Aspen Shortsfest.


A still from David Cooke's <i>The Morse Collectors</i> at the Aspen Shortsfest this year.

Aspen Shortsfest holds a special place in the hearts of many independent filmmakers. Though it has its share of international prestige due to its selectivity and Oscar-qualifying status, it most distinguishes itself for its focus on short film directors. Feature film directors and big name actors step aside to celebrate a medium that often heralds the industry’s up-and-coming visionaries. As a result, Aspen is a place where young film school grads rub shoulders with established veterans. The Independent's Sean Jones catches up with Aspen filmmakers Martina Amati, Destin Cretton (view the trailer for his film Short Term 12 here) and David Cooke.

The Independent caught up with a few of Aspen’s featured directors to talk briefly about their films, careers, and Aspen experiences.

Martina Amati, director of A’Mare

The Sarasota 350: Reject This!

Independent filmmakers band together after being publicly rejected by the Sarasota Film Festival.


Producers of Calypso Dreams, Michael Horne and Geoffrey Dunn, with calypso singer Lord Superior.

You spend years writing a script, story boarding, filming and editing -- putting all of your blood, sweat and money into a film, and finally sending it out to festivals in the hope that friends, family and the public will get a chance to see what your hard work and talent has created, but next thing you know, you've been rejected in front of hundreds of your peers. Sounds like a nightmare, but it happened to more than 350 filmmakers who applied to the Sarasota Film Festival this year. But, instead of letting it get to them, they went ahead and made the best out of a bad situation, creating their own Facebook group, laurels and even a fringe festival. The Independent's Dante A. Ciampaglia talks to several filmmakers that were part of the 350 and gets their opinion on what went down with Sarasota.

“I don’t think we should see each other anymore.” “It’s not you, it’s me.” “I just want to be friends.” “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Doc Doctor's Story Strategies: Keep at it and the Story will Arrive, Right?

Doc Doctor Fernanda Rossi debunks the myth: “If I keep shooting or editing, the story will come to me, eventually.”


Coninuous filmming will not always lead to a solid story, says the Doc Doctor.

In the second installment of her latest column for The Independent Doc Doctor Fernanda Rossi breaks down the common myth that continuous shooting and editing will eventually lead to a story and highlights common ruts that all filmmakers fall into at some point in the career, from following a stale formula to spotting the difference between story and storyline.

Myth #2

“If I keep shooting or editing, the story will come to me -- eventually.”

Practical?

The myth in all its glory

"16 to Life" Trailer

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"Short Term 12" Trailer

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Original trailer

screening at Tribeca Film Festival 2009

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screening at Tribeca Film Festival 2009

Off and Running trailer

screening at Tribeca Film Festival 2009

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screening at Tribeca Film Festival 2009

Entre Nos Trailer

screening at Tribeca Film Festival 2009

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screening at Tribeca Film Festival 2009

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