May 2009

How to Film Abroad: An Interview with David E. Simpson

Filmmaker David E. Simpson, director of Milking the Rhino, describes what you need to know about filming abroad.


A still from David E. Simpson's documentary <i>Milking the Rhino</i>, shot in Africa.

The modern filmmaker has no fear of flying. From the blue whales of the Galapagos to the Bhangra dancers of Punjab, it seems there’s nowhere a camera can’t go. But what do you need to know to film overseas, and how is it different? The Independent caught up with producer, director, and editor David E. Simpson, whose film Milking the Rhino (view the trailer here), shot entirely in Africa, recently screened at the Boston International Film Festival.

The modern filmmaker has no fear of flying. From the blue whales of the Galapagos to the Bhangra dancers of Punjab, it seems there’s nowhere a camera can’t go. But what do you need to know to film overseas, and how is it different?

Feverish Ambitions: Northern Ireland's First Independent Film Festival

Filmmaker George Clarke starts Northern Ireland’s first independent film festival—and sets out to change his country’s attitude towards independent filmmaking.


A still from Clarke's <i>Battle of the Bone</i>, the film that led him to pursue YFIFF.

The Independent goes behind the scenes of a start-up film festival in Northern Ireland as the director tries to revive independent filmmaking in the country. The Yellow Fever Independent Film Festival is the first independent festival in Northern Ireland, and founder and filmmaker George Clarke (view the trailer for his kung fu zombie film Battle of the Bone here) faces some large hurdles to get the festival up and running for its August debut. The Independent's Dante A. Ciampaglia discovers Clarke's motivations and hopes for YFIFF and how it can bring change to the indie-deprived nation.

Kung fu zombies are rarely catalysts for film festivals. Rather, they’re the stuff of cult canons and film student fever dreams. Rarely seen together, the two B-movie genre standards are a mother lode of midnight movie possibility and it’s amazing more filmmakers haven’t mined it.

Doc Doctor's Story Strategies: Story versus Marketing

Doc Doctor Fernanda Rossi debunks myths of good stories v. good marketing.


<i>The Blair Witch Project</i>, good story or good marketing?

Doc Doctor Fernanda Rossi discusses how to find an audience for your film. Is it the story that grabs viewers, or is it all about the marketing? Using her expertise as a story consultant for over 300 documentaries, scripts and fundraising trailers, Fernanda breaks down the statistics on just how much is in the directors hands, and how much is just good marketing. Don't miss out on the Doc Doctor's structure and trailer workshops coming up this month. Learn more about it at her website, www.documentarydoctor.com.

Myth #3

“A good story will find its audience no matter what.”

or

“Good marketing can make any story succeed.”

The myth in all its glory

Filmmaker Q&A: "Con Artist" Director, Michael Sládek

A conversation with the director, who attended the world premiere of his film at the Tribeca Film Festival this month.


Director Sládek and <i>Con Artist</i> subject, Mark Kostabi, at the Tribeca world premiere of the film.

Brooklyn-based filmmaker Michael Sládek directed and produced, as well as shot and co-edited the film Con Artist. The riveting, hilarious portrait of '80s art star Mark Kostabi, whose addiction to fame hit its extreme with his kitschy public access TV show Title This, where contestants vie for the chance to title his paintings. Con Artist (view Con Artist trailer) had its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this month and The Independent's Vicki Vasilopoulos caught up with the director to learn more about Kostabi and the story behind the film.

Brooklyn-based filmmaker Michael Sládek directed and produced, as well as shot and co-edited the film Con Artist. The riveting, hilarious portrait of '80s art star Mark Kostabi, whose addiction to fame hit its extreme with his kitschy public access TV show Title This, where contestants vie for the chance to title his paintings.