While shooting Losing Control, director Valerie Weiss discovers that the right support system can trump location changes, technical difficulties, and anything unexpected.April 7th, 2010 | Valerie Weiss
Lights fall and break, talent doesn't show, locations fall through. The process of making a film can be stressful. So, as director Valerie Weiss points out, it's helpful to surround yourself with a supportive family—both on-set and off.
In my last installment of my film journal, I wrote about the importance of pre-production for laying the groundwork for principal photography.
In surveying more than a year of films and filmmaker interviews, Randi Cecchine decides that yes, funding streams can influence form, and the difference between the US and foreign models may surprise you.March 4th, 2010 | Randi Cecchine
US docmakers may feel pressed by funders to change the world with every film. The Independent's Randi Cecchine asks how is that mandate influencing docs' form, and what happens when funding models drastically differ, as they do abroad?
Over the past few years, I've had the pleasure of attending a number of film festivals and conferences, some with a press pass blogging for The Independent, some as a filmmaker; and each time I watch films, attend panel discussions, and most importantly, speak to documentary filmmakers to learn about their creative practice and the realities of producing.
Chicago has served as a backdrop for a number of films...but as Jennifer Sheffield found out, Illinois has a lot more to offer than just a pretty skyline.February 22nd, 2010 | Jennifer A. Sheffield
In the third installment of The Independent's Film-Friendly State series, we explore the indie ins and outs of Illinois, including tax breaks, the infamous skyline, and why Central Illinois is the next cinematic hot spot -- no, really.
In her role as managing director of the Illinois Film Office, Betsy Steinberg spends a lot of time talking with filmmakers on both coasts and overseas. “In Chicago, and around the state, the abundance of looks is never-ending,” she says. “Every filmmaker says it is the most under-photgraphed place in the movies.”
Social media is free, can reach a large audience, and did we mention it's free? Two filmmakers share pointers on how they used social media to their advantage.February 17th, 2010 | JBlair Brown
Let's face it...social media is quickly taking over the world. With everyone and their mother – literally – on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, how can independent filmmakers use social networking to find and build an audience?
Your film has all the elements of an underground hit: tears, laughter, intrigue, love, hate, betrayal… audiences will love it! But you spent your entire budget on production.
So the question remains: How can you effectively spread the word so that your film is viewed by as many people as possible, particularly when you lack adequate funding?
What Is Social Media?
The Independent's Angela Wu takes an in-depth look at why shooting your next film in the mountains might not be such a bad idea.January 22nd, 2010 | Angela Wu
In the second installment of The Independent's new Film-Friendly States series, Angela Wu explores why, if you're an independent filmmaker, Utah offers much more than Sundance.
From New Hampshire’s “no filming permits” policy to Michigan’s 42 percent tax credit, states are fighting to stay competitive with low-cost international filming locations — and each other. For filmmakers, this means a slew of incentive programs that might make financing your next film a bit easier.
Pre-production is one of the most vital aspects of filmmaking. In the third installment of her journal, Valerie Weiss discusses how she laid the groundwork for a successful film.January 5th, 2010 | Valerie Weiss
Filmmaker Valerie Weiss shares her experiences of financing, planning, and producing her first independent feature film Losing Control in this monthly film journal. In her third installment, Weiss writes about the trials and triumphs she experienced during pre-production.
In my first two installments of my Film Journal for The Independent, I wrote about the philosophy behind the $200,000 independent film. In this installment, I will talk about laying the groundwork to make our film at this budget, the period known as pre-production, and how the making of Losing Control reinforced the film's theme that faith is more valuable than proof.
The Independent's Randi Cecchine interviews Mercedes Stalenhoef, the Dutch director of the documentary, "Carmen Meets Borat."November 23rd, 2009 | Randi Cecchine
Filmmaker Mercedes Stalenhoef thought she was filming a young woman with dreams of escaping her poor Romanian hometown for a better life. But then another film crew descended on Glod, Romania, to shoot scenes for Borat, forever changing the villagers' prospects and not necessarily for the better. The Independent's Randi Cecchine interviews Stalenhoef about the process of making and distributing her documentary, Carmen Meets Borat.
I had the pleasure of seeing Carmen Meets Borat at the International Women’s Film Festival in Seoul, and was deeply moved. Carmen tells the story of a young Romanian woman with big dreams but who lives in a poor town.
In the second installment of filmmaker Valerie Weiss's film journal, she offers advice on an ever-important, much-talked-about topic: how to successfully finance your independent film.November 4th, 2009 | Valerie Weiss
Filmmaker Valerie Weiss shares her experiences of financing, making, and marketing her first independent feature film Losing Control in this monthly film journal. In this installment, she writes about how she raised financing – a topic that is likely on every independent filmmaker’s mind.
In the last installment of my film journal for The Independent, I wrote about the various circumstances that facilitated the raising of $200,000 to direct my feature film, Losing Control, a quirky romantic comedy about a female scientist who wants proof that her boyfriend is “the one.” In this install
The Independent examines the top 30 books every filmmaker should add to their library, and why.October 6th, 2009 | Goldy Moldavsky
Ever wonder what, exactly, independent filmmakers – both aspiring and established – should be reading? Look no further than The Independent's 30 Quintessential Books for Independent Filmmakers. Here, we list the top must-owns, including Independent Feature Film Production, The Filmmaker's Handbook, Sidney Lumet's Making Movies, and From Reel to Deal.
Ever wonder what, exactly, independent filmmakers – both aspiring and established – should be reading?
From freelance work to virtual tip jars, The Independent examines the different ways that filmmakers can put their creativity to use for financial survival.June 29th, 2009 | Sean Jones
The Independent's Sean Jones investigates some innovative and useful ideas to help cash-strapped filmmakers survive through difficult times. From free distribution for films to virtual tip jars, The Independent examines the different ways that filmmakers can put their creativity to use for financial survival during the recession.
As the recession continues to cast a shadow on the American economy, Hollywood studios are emerging as one of the few success stories. Audiences seeking an entertaining reprieve from layoffs and pay cuts are bringing theaters increased ticket sales and revenue and giving the film industry a "recession proof" reputation.