Category Archives: film school

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Craig Knitt & WildWood Film Festival 2/17

Criag Knitt WildWood Festival Co-Founder

Join Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat guest Craig Knitt Wednesday morning 2/17 at 10:30am ET, 9:30am CT 7:30am PT. Craig will discuss movies, movie making and the upcoming WildWood Film Festival held in Appleton, this Friday 2/19 and Sat. 2/20. Be sure to attend!
Be sure to listen to Craig. We may even get his to talk about graphic novels and his art.

Join Us As We Broadcast Live Wednesday Feb 17, 2016 10:30 am EST, 9:30 am CST, 7:30 am PST: To Listen Live OR To Listen to the recorded archived show click the bolded link below:

Craig A. Knitt is an award winning artist, filmmaker, teacher, performer, writer and creator who is currently employed with a national Arts-based pilot between the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Green Bay and the Wallace Foundation.

Craig is a founder of the Wildwood Film Festival, a festival dedicated to Wisconsin film talent. The past three years Craig has also been a volunteer for the Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival.

When Craig is not busy teaching visual art, he is busy creating film projects or performing Improvisational Comedy with ComedyCity – DePere and DinnerTime Comedy.

He has many short and feature length concepts in the works and he hopes to develop a TV series that will be completely created using the resources of our fine state. 

Craig was the male lead in last year’s “Secrets of the Dead” which was premiered at the Gerold Theater in Weyauwega.

Wildwood Information:

The Wildwood Film Festival’s purpose is to promote Wisconsin film talent (actors, directors, writers, composers, editors, etc.). The festival strives to educate high school students and adults in film basics – script writing, story boarding, filming, lighting, sound, editing and marketing.

History

From its humble beginnings, the Wildwood Film Festival has been consistently dedicated to Wisconsin film talent. With its fifteenth event it will have showcased over 500 films that all have connections to the state.

The very first Wildwood Film Festival was held at the Historic West Theatre in Green Bay in 2001. The three-day event showcased ten films (including “The Hunt”, a full-length dark comedy created by the festival’s founders).

The weekend was a great success and sparked a second event that played for a sold-out crowd at the Crescent Theatre in downtown Shawano. 

Aspirations grew from there, and the festival found its roots in Appleton. Events have been held at the Performing Arts Center (PAC) and the Big Picture Theatre.

The Wildwood Film Festival continues to grow each year and the commitment to Wisconsin filmmakers and film talent is just as strong.

2016 The WildWood Film Festival is held in Appleton, Wisconsin. Coming up this Friday 2/19 and Sat. 2/20. Be sure to attend! For more information use the link below:

For More Information WildWood Film Festival

Remember to visit the official Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat at

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat

Hope to see you all at the festival! Help Spread the word!

Weyauwega International Film Fest Aftermath: Movies, Director And Class

casting call clap board

It was a great festival. Nov 11-14. Ian Teal and Kathy Fehl, Holly Martin and staff and volunteers put on another great film festival. Number 5. If you missed it you missed another one you should have attended.

Great films and great people. Good hanging out, good conversations, good food and drink. All in all – a time well worth it.

We left, after the closing night party. I drove Jacob, Marie and Louis back to the Green Fountain Inn B & B in Waupaca. We were all pretty beat. Said good night and went to our rooms.

Sunday 11-15. I wrote my, daily inspiration and gratitude blog, as always starting about 3 am. Finishing up I went down for breakfast and to work on computer at table around 6:30. At this time I also loaded my car. I discover my tire looks a bit flat. Hmmmm

I had to leave by by 7:30 to make it back for a morning event. Later, I would film my role in, ‘Two Sides Of The Street’, a SAG short subject I was asked to appear in. Barb delivers breakfast around 7 for Jacob, Marie and I. After finishing a delicious meal Marie and I say goodbye to Barb, one of the owners of the B & B, and to Jacob. Louis slept in.

I drove Marie to Milwaukee’s General Mitchell Airport where she caught a plane back to Los Angeles. It was an enjoyable time talking all the way. I did stop and buy an emergency tire inflation canister and put that into the tire. We made it.

I left her at airport went to my morning meeting. From there my friend Jill accompanied me to the location for filming. My darling daughter dropped by, briefly, too. We finished filming some hours later. When I got to my car I discover a lovely note, my daughter left, on my windshield. Awesome girl!

Filming was fun, lighthearted, fast and easy. It was a very nice time. Special thanks to director Scott Covelli, Brian and Mike Hendricks and Matt Hudson. They were a lot of fun and made things easy. When completed Jill and I dined on delicious Mexican food. I felt as if I had consumed a small child when finished. It was tasty.

Recently, the Pro Cinema Society and I sponsored a SAG/Aftra workshop presented by Kathy Byrne of Chicago SAG/Aftra. During our time together she addressed how easy it is to utilize professional SAG/Aftra talent in student films, shorts and Ultra Low Budget contracts. It was a good session.

I asked the film crew on ‘Two Sides Of The Street’ the SAG short I appear in how easy it was to make it union so I could be in it. They stated they were amazed and delighted how easy and pain free it was. Paperwork was nothing and they were glad they did. I am glad they did too.

POINT- investigate, find out and you too can go SAG/Aftra. It isn’t worth it. Even some filmmaker friends of mine have been skittish because of contracts or paperwork. Don’t be. Read it and make your movie or short.

I arrived home early evening but it seemed late, after midnight. I relaxed, said hello to those I had left behind and enjoyed the company.

7:25am (present) Monday 11-16: I got some sleep. Woke at 3am and began writing blog again.  I will leave shortly for the university.

I have a guest coming to class. Director Michael O. Sajbel. Michael worked Visual Effects in movies, ‘Hot Shots’, ‘Lawnmower Man’, ‘Broken Arrow’ and others.

He writes and has directed, ‘The Ride’, ‘One Night With The Kind’, and ‘The Ultimate Gift’ and others. I am looking forward to his talk with my students.

Class was great. Michael come accompanied by his daughter Anastasia, and his assistant Sean. He spoke about how he got his start writing in Hollywood. He encouraged students to follow their passion.

He reminded them to remember basic survival skils while pursuing a career. Discover where you want to live, rent don’t buy a house, the need for a car, where to meet people and emphasized networking.

He told stories of working with actors and the importance of good communication skills. This is a must. Then, he shared some stories of working with difficult stars. He was candid and fun and added value to the class. This continued later.

When finished, he offered to stay and continue to speak with students who could stay. A group of students and the four of us went to the Student Union and chatted for hour or more. More tales and more sound advice.

From there the four of us went to Soup Bros for lunch. Enjoyed more conversation and good food. After another hour or so we parted ways. I returned to the computer to publish this post.

So that wraps up Weyauwega time and a short while after. Life returns to normal for a time being. I am so glad I had the opportunity to again make this festival. It was my forth year and it gets better each time. Next year, perhaps, I’ll meet you there.

Meanwhile, make your movies and complete your projects. Join me on my Inet radio show and podcast Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat – Visit INTERVIEW at the official website: Rex Sikes Movie Beat . There are over 400n hundred hours of pro filmmakers sharing their expertise. Listen and learn.

Also join me at ‘Inside The Film Business’ at  my Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat channel on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. I am video recording, via skype, my professional filmmakers who address my class. Watch, listen and learn and in both shows, RSMB & Inside The Film Business.

Enjoy!

Weyauwega International Film Festival Day 4 – Nov 14

the bar at weyawega opera

The final day of the Weyauwega Film Festival begins. Jim Breckenridge, script consultant launched the day with a presentation of what makes good screen writing.

He addressed, first, the business side of spec screenwriting, and the likelihood of selling your screenplay. From there he traversed the area of structure, subtext, events, dialogue and how to write good stories.

Other areas covered were conflict, internal meeting external conflict and depth of conflict, events, white space and closed endings.  There is a deep need for humans to bring order to their experience and have closure.

He suggest writers consider this when writing because readers, buyers and movie goers unconsciously are seeking. He proved to be a wonderful storyteller, which illustrated his approach to storytelling in screenplay form.

Hurt them then heal them. Create a character audience can identify with. Hurt them in some fashion. Then provide the opportunity for the character to heal.

He stated that while the film is written three times the script you use to make the movie must be well written to begin with. A very delightful and informative presentation.  A great Q & A followed.

Back in time, breakfast at the Green Fountain Inn, our B & B. a lovely place in Waupaca, began at 8am. Louis, the director from NY I mentioned yesterday in Day 3, Marie, Jacob and I dined on a delicious breakfast of, fruit, french toast, bacon for meat eaters, coffee, juice and conversation.

We took back roads to the Gerold Opera House to recreate the walk Marie and Jacob made yesterday. Deciding they would like to, they trekked 10 miles to the festival, stopping for a Wisconsin Fish Fry, nearby, for lunch.

The Upcoming panel on filmmaking includes, actors filmmakers Dan Davies, Craig A. Knitt, Kathy Fehl, Ian Teal, and me. Even cooler, the panel evolved into a round table which included filmmakers from Wisconsin, England, NY, Florida and more. Jim Breckenridge joined as well. A nice time around the table with cool people.

Popcorn is popping. Movie goers appearing. Movies begin shortly. It was good to be able to chat up with Craig Knitt and Dan Davies, both of whom I have not seen in a half a year perhaps. It was really nice to listen to Jacob and Marie discuss their film in the Q & A.

One of the commenters addressed a peculiar aspect of the film “The Family and the Animals’ by Marie Hobson and directed by Jacob Hesmondhalgh. There is no narration, there are no subtitles, the viewer is thrown into the same world the filmmakers were, however, as the commenter pointed out, which is accurate, the story is still very clear and easy to follow from the visuals alone. You get it.

Dan Davies, Florida actors, director and more presented a 3 minute preview of ‘Heartland Blues’ a feature to be premieres January 23 at the Marion TWin in Ocala, Florida. Directed by Sarah Ashley. In attendance are film’s producer, star Anthony Gilardi. Actors Joshua Holt and Alex Quinn.

All the shorts in this first block were interesting fare. Again, programming here at Weyauwega is something these festival presenters can be quite proud of.

The afternoon features are the post apocalyptic ‘Embers’ directed by Claire Carre and the Hollywood made, comedy dating romp, ‘Dirty Beautiful’ directed by Wisconsin native Tim Bartell.

Lot’s of good food. People coming in throughout the day. It was great to catch up with Cody Klimmer. We worded on the Hollywood Feature filmed in Appleton, ‘Bucky And The Squirrels’ directed by veteran television writer director Allan Katz.

Katz accompanied the film to Weyauwega #4 for a sneak festival screening of the feature prior to it’s premier in Appleton April, 2015.Since we finished the film and last saw each other Cody has been back and forth adventuring in the Far East. Glad to see him!

A stat not presented in the movie, or at least not yet, is that 80 percent of the brandy consumed in the world is consumed in Wisconsin. AND a whopping 80% of that brandy is consumed in Marathon County. Anyway, a tasty sweet drink you can absolutely lose count on.’Old Fashioned’ director Holly De Ruyter in attendance will address the movie afterwards. Old Fashions were served and plentiful here, brandy being a Wisconsin favorite booze after beer.

The Supper Club and the Doggy Bag was originated in Beverly Hills by Laurence ‘Lawry’ Frank and Walter Van De Camp on La Cienega. Embraced by Wisconsin hundreds sprung up. This movie is fascinating and well done. My cocktail is too! I have eaten many times at Lawry’s Prime Rib and had no idea.

I lived in Los Feliz and drove through Atwater nearly daily and never knew this tidbit I discovered on the Inet. Frank and Van de Kamp founded the Lawry’s company and created the Tam O’Shanter Inn restaurant in the Atwater Village in 1922. It claims to be the oldest restaurant in Los Angeles still operated by the same family in the same location.

From the movie: The old fashion come from a line of drinks created in the 1700’s. Sweet drinks originated during prohibition when rot gut alcohol was difficult to drink so soda, fruit, and other sweeteners were added to be able to swallow them. Brandy drinks are known world wide as a Wisconsin drink. Other areas make whisky or bourbon old fashions.

A relish tray, veggies, cheese spread,and bread comes first. Soup salad. Definitely steak, prime rib, fish or chicken. Choice of potato. Desserts optional. Often an ice cream drink finishes up the meal. A grasshopper or pink squirrel.

Signage had to be big, bold, Neon and colorful to attract drivers hurtling down the highways at high speed. Specials include; the traditional Friday night fish fry. Saturday night prime rib.

A movie point: Wisconsin is bordered by the Mississippi to the West, Lake Superior to the North, Lake Michigan to the West and tens of thousands of lakes and rivers so Wisconsin was ripe for the rise of the fish fry.

Having a large Catholic population who could not eat meat on Friday for many years PLUS prohibition combined to make the fish fry a Wisconsin Phenomenon. You must see ‘Old Fashioned’ and visit remaining supper clubs when visiting Wisconsin.

A supper club tradition is fresh and the best food ingredients; home made was/is the rule of the supper club. ‘Made from Scratch’. High quality; no frozen, pre-measured, packaged, precooked, just add liquid food staples that chains are known for.

Yes, I have given this topic a lot os space but it is a huge part of Wisconsin history, even if it did originate out west. The supper club is unique, and delightful.

Another facet of the S.C. is the social element and relationship with the owner and their family. Connections and friendship, community is what drives the supper clubs appeal. People liking people, hanging together.

Holly did a great job answering questions and made books and dvd’s available in the back of the room. Quite a popular topic at this festival as people lined up for drinks, product and to be put on Supper Club mailing list.

Since we are at a Wisconsin film festival I thought you ought to know.

Again, all the movies shown at this year’s festival were excellent selections. One or more may not be my cup of tea, but all were very good for a variety of reasons. Had you been here I am sure you would have enjoyed the program selections.

UP next ‘Frame By Frame’ follows four photo journalists navigating modern day, dangerous Afghanistan. Directed by ALexandra Bombach and Mo Scarpelli. A fascinating film.

The film concludes as does the picture portion of the 5th Weyauweyga International Film Festival. Now begins the thank you, awards and a reception party.

Festival Spirit Award goes to ‘Polyfaces’. USA/Australia
Outstanding Foreign Language Film goes to Austria, Germany ‘Everything Will Be Okay’.
Best Animated from Germany ‘Daewit’.
Best Narrative Feature, “Dirty Beautiful’USA
Best Narrative Short, ‘Beverly’, from England.
Best Documentary Feature goes to ‘Frame By Frame’, Afghanistan
Best Documentary Short goes to “The Family And The Animals’. England/Zimbabwe

Live Music, jazz band ‘Waiting For The Train’, drinks, cheese, crackers and camaraderie round off the evening. I had an delightful time closing the evening with the Florida filmmakers and Dan Davies I mentioned earlier.

When finished, the Gerold Opera House will close for the evening. I will drive Marie, Jacob and Louis back to the Green Fountain Inn.

Early breakfast before we part ways. Marie will accompany me back to Milwaukee to catch her flight to L A later on Sunday. Louis and Jacob will fly out to NYC and England, respectively, later in the day. Nice people all of them. I am glad I got to dine and know them a bit during our time here.

It will be ‘so long’ to Weyauwega and to Green Fountain Inn until the next time. If you are in the area check out the shows and happenings at the Gerold during other times during the year. Visit the website and Fb page.

Also be sure to book a night or two at Green Fountain Inn when traveling this way. All good. All good people, times, films and fun. Until the next time.

Hope you enjoyed this. I sure enjoyed the festival!

Weyauwega International Film Festival – Day 3 Nov 13

film reels weyauwega window

The 3rd official day, as I report, begins with breakfast conversation with Marie, Jacob, director Nathan Deming and myself. Food and coffee is marvelous at our wonderful B&B. I posted an awkward angle photo of a portion of my room on Facebook, just because.

Conversation was great. We learned a lot about Nathan’s project, screened yesterday and a feature he is currently in production on. Plus, lots about the Zimbabwe culture, and our filmmaker’s  stay there. Fascinating morning talk.

It is now after 1pm and the afternoon, Friday the 13th horror shorts and features began. Since Wednesday I haven’t seen a film I haven’t enjoyed. I don’t review movies, as a filmmaker, I prefer to enjoy other’s work because I know the effort that goes into projects.

I will point out one I did just enjoy. From Switzerland, the short film ‘Alekto’, was impressive in scope and effects for a 20 minute short. The afternoon horror shorts definitely creepy so far. Good stuff all around.

Nelson Oliveras, director of ‘A Dubious Night’, and his writer producer Mark Koch just arrived. Nice to say hello.  I happen to be in the short film so it is fun to be at the festival have some work shown too, this year. Nelson, Mark and I were called up for Q & A.

Question and Answers with documentary director Michael Brown followed his film, ‘Haunted State: Whispers From History Past’. Both shared haunting experiences while filming and investigating haunted historic buildings in Wisconsin.

Producer David Williams shared tales as well. They have a twelve person team of filmmaker investigators. Some of the locations included, The Pabst Brewery in Milwaukee,

The Stone Cellar in Appleton, as well as locations in Wisconsin Rapids and Merrill, Wisconsin.  The used a number of high tech investigator tools.

They point out that the film comprises the greatest hits, so to speak. They may sit in a room for over eight hours and end up with 20 minutes of material they then edit into a film. Lot of waiting and wondering during that time. Film fan s benefit from the editing.

Both filmmakers seem quite adamant about their experiences and not screwing around with these things. Both explained that they have been genuinely frightened while looking into these matters.

Spoke briefly with the director Brown and turned to see long time friend R. Michael Gull and son sitting at table. Michael appears in the Wisconsin made narrative feature ‘The Scarapist’ written and directed by Jeanne Marie Spicuzza who also stars. Based on a true story.

Michael received deserved audience accolades and answered questions at the film’s end. A disturbing movie to say the least! I got to chat again with Michael on the way to grab some food between flicks.

Then, I met, said hello to New York film director, M. Louis Gordon, just prior to the start of his short ‘Girl In The Chair’ shot on 16mm.

HIs film opens,  oddly reminiscent of Speilberg, Harryhausen, and ‘The Sound of Music’ if you can imagine such a blend. Clever, and fascinating mix of live action and animation.

Based on a true story, Louis stated he did not want to make a standard biopic. His blend, I described above, he said was inspired by and an homage to the Quay Brothers. I’ll say no more it is up to you to see it.

The narrative feature, ‘In The Dark’ directed by David Spaltro followed. Well acted possession horror. Wisconsin’s  Slasher Studio, ‘Dimembering Christmas’ directed by Austin Bosley was next in line.

I very much enjoyed the camera work in this feature. NIcely entertaining. Three of the filmmakers answered questions afterwards. Kevin Sommerfield, Marla Van Lanen and Zachary Allen.

They addressed shooting in winter, surviving the cold, the steadicam and actors on ice and more. One steadicam shot/scene was 5 plus minutes, timed and rehearsed; took 4 takes to get right. Fun film and good Q & A. I enjoyed chatting with Kevin and Zachary afterwards.

Closing the evening films is a Canadian feature ‘Luciferous’. Profoundly disturbing. It is after midnight and the festival resumes 10am tomorrow with panels and more!

Keep checking back – use this link – I will post updates throughout the day. Enjoy!

Weyauwega International Film Festival Day 2 – Nov 12

compulsion

Year five, day two of the Weyauwega International Film Festival is underway.

The day began with breakfast at the B &B with English Documentary filmmakers Jacob Hesmondhalgh and Marie Josephine Hobson. Their film ‘The Family and The Animals’ was filmed in Zimbabwe.

The we went super market shopping so they could by snacks and enjoy local flare, Wisconsin cheese and more.

It is now 1pm and the Gerold Opera Hostel is bustling. This afternoon starts off with a presentation from film historian Dr. Jack Rhodes. He presents the 1959 movie ‘Compulsion’ starring Orson Welles, Diana Varsi, Dean Stockwell and Bradford Dillman.

Directed by Richard Fleischer, Compulsion is set in 1924 Chicago and is based on the historic Leopold and Loeb murder trial. I saw it as a child and many times since. I am looking forward to the presentation.

Lot’s of food, snacks, drinks, popcorn and candy sold as film fans and filmmakers make their way into the theater.

Dr Rhodes stated he wanted to include this movie showing because his area of expertise in film is from the 20-60s. Edgy, different, studio releases from the classics period. Plus, it is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kenosha, Wisconsin native Orson Welles.

Cannes Film Festival divided best actor among the three, Welles, Stockwell and Dillman. Welles appears at about 67 minutes into the film and has one of the longest uninterrupted courtroom speeches in film history.

Similar to television series, Law and Order the first half of the film is about the crime, ‘the crime of the century’; the second half ‘the trial of the century’ the trial. Film also includes recently passed Martin Milner as a featured character in the movie. Other notables include E.G Marshall and Richard Anderson and Gavin McLeod.

Made during the era of the production code filmmakers had to find alternative ways to let audience know that the criminal partners were life partners.

Watch for the oval cupids in background during the staircase scene, or the dutch angels meaning tilted, and in one scene one literally exists the closet, meaning coming out of the closet. Dialogue, ‘are you ditching me for some girl?’ ‘Well, I couldn’t find you for three days.’

Daryl F. Zanuck producer chose black and white purposefully and recreated old world Chicago. Checkout the Art Direction and Production Design.

The Art Director, Lyle Wheeler,  won 5 Academy Awards out of 24 nominations. These were, ‘Gone with the Wind’, Anna And the Kind of Siam’, ‘The Robe’, ‘The King and I’, and ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’.

Willian C Mellor, Academy Winner, for Place in the Sun and Anne Frank. Check the credits for all the notable filmmakers who made this film. Among his notable credits is George Steven’s ‘Giant’.

Knock yourself out looking everyone up on IMDB.com Then, make sure you check out the film. A wonderful introduction by Dr Jack Rhodes.

Dr Rhodes conducted a fun post movie Q & A with other great tirvia coming forth. Welles, admits at his age he could not remember all the dialogue so he used a teleprompter. The difficulty keeping the prompter off camera. Proudly, Welles, asserts, ‘I did it in one take!’

That plus much more made it a fun afternoon of vintage movie watching. Short program begins in a bit!

Just met Milwaukee area author, director Ron Faiola and his producer John Prudlow prior to the screening of their short ‘Tilt-A-Whirls, Cowbells and Beer’ an exploration of Milwaukee area church festivals.

Slogan seems to be ‘Drinking for Jesus!’ This is Wisconsin and no one needs a reason to drink OR any reason will do. But ‘drinking for Jesus’ will now remain close to my heart.

Faiola is also known for ‘Wisconsin Supper Clubs’ film and the book and ‘Fish Fry Night Milwaukee’. Ron has become known as the filmmaker chronicling Wisconsin and unique Wisconsin happenings and rituals.

Ron and Jack fielded questions after the shorts segment. They discussed topics in the film; cost of festivals, weather, safety, dwindling numbers of festivals as a result, drinking, feeding, gaming. and more.

Wisconsin has it’s own way of entertaining itself. 10 years ago there were over 200 festivals. Today, that number is down around 120. What is next?

The USA/Australian Documentary feature ‘Polyfaces’ features one of the world’s best farms in action.  Workers from the farm answered questions during the Q & A. Great discussion on nutrition and sustainable farming practices.

These people now have relocated to a new farm in Princeton, Wisconsin. They have a much smaller farm and follow the tenants of Polyfaces. They cater special events and weddings with healthy food.

Today represented the 2nd US showing of Polyfaces. It is the first showing since it’s premiere and they chose Weyauwega. It is  a fascinating film and following discussion about how we could be eating healthier more often if more farms had conscientious healthy practices.

Shorts followed. Director Nathan Deming was in attendance answering questions about his short ‘Dog Days’. The film was his thesis project for the London Film School, in England. Crew working on Dog Days  came from Wisconsin, California, Norway, Spain and Lebanon.

Deming, graduated the film school and is now working on his first narrative feature about a young man caught up inn a religious organization.

Closing the evening will be the documentary feature ‘Peace Officer’ about the increasingly militarized state of American police, as told by former sheriff Dub Lawrence.

Lawrence established and trained his rural state’s first SWAT team who later shot and killed his son-in-law 30 years later. A sad, disturbing film on the use or misuse of deadly force.

The film ends. Conversation ensues as people make their way out of the Gerold which ends day 2. My English companions Jacob and Marie and I make our way back to the B & B. Turns out Nathan is staying there as well. Perhaps, all four of us will have breakfast tomorrow. I’ll report day 3 tomorrow, similarly as I have today.

Tomorrow, Friday the 13th brings out the Spooky movies at Weyauwega International Film Festival and begins the weekend.

Come and join the rest of us filmmakers and fans if you can!

I’LL UPDATE THROUGHOUT THE DAY SO CHECK BACK IF YOU’D LIKE TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH SOME OF THE HAPPENINGS HERE.

 

Riley Dayne & Rex Sikes Inside The Film Business: making movies, money, and marketing

the abundance factor

Riley Dayne & Rex Sikes Inside The Film Business: making movies, money, and marketing

New Filmmaker Video: Inside The Film Business: Riley Dayne​ is the writer, producer & host of the hot new documentary ‘The Abundance Factor’.

The Abundance Factor Takes You On An Unprecedented Journey into The Minds of The Worlds Most Knowledgeable Experts on the Subject of Abundance and Prosperity.

Dayne’s and Sikes’ discussion is filled with valuable information for today’s filmmaker business person!! Watch it today! IF you are interested in Abundance you want to watch to this too!

To watch click the bolded link below:

Riley Dayne & Rex Sikes Inside The Film Business

Riley has produced and directed numerous short films and independent documentary projects during his brief time in the feature film world.

Riley’s love of film started in the 5th grade when he shot and directed his first comedy film, “The Blair Ball Project” – a parody of the well-known 90’s found footage film, “The Blair Witch Project.”

Shortly after graduating high school with several academic rewards in both the theatrical arts and multimedia production, Riley’s career in the entertainment business began in Los Angeles, where he spent his time studying at the world renowned New York Film Academy.

Having graduated from the Digital Filmmaking program (Learning Cinematography, Direction, Screenwriting and Photography), Riley has continued working on his craft by producing & directing various independent  film projects.

How To Work with Professional Performers on your ULTRA LOW BUDGET Feature Film and Short Films

sag logo

Have you ever wanted to Work with Professional Performers on your  ULTRA LOW BUDGET Feature Film and Short Films?

Come down University of Wisconsin Milwaukee – Mitchell Hall Room B91 on Sunday November 8th to find out how you, can have SAG actors in you’re projects! All filmmakers and filmmaking students welcome!

This Workshop presented by SAG-AFTRA Chicago and Kathy Byrne, (Director, SAG-AFTRA Chicago) will show how you, yes, you, can afford to use professional actors in your low budget feature film!

“There is a contract for every budget level. Feature films made for under $250,000 are covered under the SAG-AFTRA Ultra Low Budget Agreement – come find out how easy it is to work with this contract. We also have simple agreements that you can sign to use professional actors in your short films and webisodes as well! If You’ve ever wanted to work with SAG-AFTRA and Equity actors this is a can’t miss event!” Kathy Byrne.

UWM campus in Mitchell B91 on Sunday, November 8th at 2 PM. Mitchell Hall is the large building on the NW corner of Downer & Kenwood. Free Street parking or pay parking at UWM Union Parking Structure on Campus.

This FREE workshop will provide you a service to highlight the benefits and ease of casting professional actors.

SPACE IS LIMITED! Please RSVP by Wednesday, November 4, 2015 to Kathy Byrne at kathy.byrne@sagaftra.org.

QUESTIONS? (312) 867-5508

SAG/AFTRA 1 E. Erie, #650 Chicago, IL 60611

Join Us! RSVP Today!!!

Weyauwega International Film Festival November 11-14, 2015

WIFF LOGO 2015 WEB

The Weyauwega International Film Festival will be returning November 11-14 to the Gerold Opera House in Weyauwega for it’s fifth year of films from around the globe.

This year the festival presented by Wega Arts will be screening forty-three films representing seventeen different countries. Many of the films were either made in Wisconsin or have Wisconsin connections.

This year Friday at the festival happens to fall on the 13th of the month which of course invites an opportunity to screen horror films.

Use Bolded Link Below To Listen

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with festival co-director Ian Teal

The Weyauwega International Film Festival (WIFF) has seized this opportunity to satisfy the horror hounds in Central Wisconsin and will be screening horror films and thrillers all day on Friday the 13th in what they are calling a “Friday the 13th Fright Fest”.

Most notable in this line up is the world theatrical premiere of the new feature film DISMEMBERING CHRISTMAS by local filmmakers Steve Golz and Kevin Sommerfield of Slasher Studios. They will be on hand to present their twisted Christmas tale at 9pm.

Another Wisconsin film screening on Friday is HAUNTED STATE, a blood chilling documentary which explores the hauntings of several locations in Wisconsin including the Stone Cellar Brew Pub in Appleton, the Pabst Mansion in Milwaukee and locations in Wisconsin Rapids and Merrill. The filmmakers including director Michael Brown of Appleton will be in attendance for the screening of HAUNTED STATE at 3:30pm on Friday.

The other Wisconsin film is the psychological thriller THE SCARAPIST which tells the tale of a distraught women who is let astray by a very demented therapist. The writer, director and star of the film, Jeanne Marie Spicuzza is expected to be in attendance for this entertaining thriller which screens at 5:15pm on Friday.

For those looking for a good possession tale there are two offerings. IN THE DARK by New York filmmaker David Spaltro offers a very spooky and original demonic possession tale featuring a mostly female cast which screens at 7pm.

At 10:30pm LUCIFEROUS promises to raise the chill factor with it’s story about a family that is being tormented by a very nasty entity. This unique tale features a real couple and their daughter as the onscreen family. This especially creepy film has lately been honored with several awards on the festival circuit.

Of course WIFF is not all about horror films. Some great feature films and documentaries as well as a wide variety of short films will be screened this year.

Wednesday’s lineup includes the documentary THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO CHARLIE at 5pm about outsider artist Charlie van Ness who started out making a wide variety of art objects featuring phalluses. The filmmaker follows Charlie for several years and his persistence pays off as there are some very unexpected and harrowing developments in Charlie’s life.

At 7:30pm on Wednesday the Sci-Fi film EMBERS screens. EMBERS is set in a post apocalyptic world where a global virus has wiped out the memory of everyone it infects. This is no zombie or Mad Max marauder flick, it is a very thought provoking and touching existential tale of identity and what it is to be human.

The films follows several characters as each morning they awake with no recollection of the day before or who they are. This film is a real conversation starter and is also beautifully filmed. EMBERS has an encore screening on Saturday, November 14th at 2:15pm.

Thursday features the classic 1959 court room thriller COMPULSION about the Leopold-Loeb murder case starring Orson Welles screening at 1:30pm.

The film will be introduced by noted Film Historian Dr. Jack Rhodes and it is also a free screening. The documentary POLYFACES screens at 5:15pm and examines the unique and highly sustainable farming practices at the Polyfaces Farm in Virginia.

This film is a real eye opener about the potential of sustainable farming and should be a must see for anyone environmentally or agriculturally minded.

At 8pm the extremely timely documentary PEACE OFFICER examines the results of the recent surge in the militarization of our police forces.

In Utah, a crime scene investigator offers clear and insightful examinations of several extremely violent cases involving SWAT teams. In a sad note of irony, this examiner’s family also becomes the victim of an SWAT raid gone wrong.

This film is one of those ‘Must See’ films for anyone who is a citizen of this world.

Saturday starts with a filmmaker seminar with local filmmakers Dan Davies, Craig Knitt and Rex Sikes at 10am.

An encore screening of the previously mentioned EMBERS screens at 2:15pm. The very entertaining romantic comedy DIRTY BEAUTIFUL screens at 4pm.

The documentary about Wisconsin Supper Clubs, OLD FASHIONED screens at 6pm with the filmmakers Holly L. De Ruyter & Brian Risselada will be in attendance and of course Old Fashioneds will be featured at the Gerold Opera House’s full bar.

The closing night film is a documentary about the state of photojournalism in Afghanistan. During the Taliban regime all photography was banned and women were severely oppressed. FRAME BY FRAME follows several young Afghani photojournalists who are again facing the threat of another uprising by the Taliban.

This film shows a truly beautiful side of Afghanistan that is rarely seen while simultaneously illuminating the dark reality and horror of oppression in a society that seems to be forever doomed.

This is an outstanding film and festival director Ian Teal states that this is a ‘must see’ of the fest. FRAME BY FRAME screens at 7:30pm and will be followed by an awards ceremony and reception with complimentary appetizers and of course, conversations about film.

The historic Gerold Opera House is celebrating it’s one hundredth year in 2015 and is only about a 25 minute drive West of the valley in Weyauwega and is conveniently located off of HWY 10. There will be soup and sandwiches available for purchase as well as fresh popcorn and a full bar so plan to make a day of it.

Tickets are $12 for a day pass which are good for any one film or a whole day of films. Festival passes are $30 and are good for the whole festival and also include a free large popcorn!

The full schedule can be found at wegaarts.org. Festival passes can also be found online and at the Book Cellar in Waupaca & at Rural Relics Antiques in Weyauwega. The box office can be reached at 920-867-4888. See you at the Gerold!

Flyway Film Festival – Day Two – A Maiden Rock Voyage

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SPECIAL POST FLYWAY NOTE: PLEASE READ!!! – AND COMMENT

Those who attended the festival this year – PLEASE share your experience. What is/was your favorite memory, film, conversation, moment, etc. Let us all share with each other. I really want to hear from attendees. When I post I can only post what I experience, but if we each take a moment we can create a fuller living memory of the event. Leave comments in the comment box!

Plus, those from past years who couldn’t make it this year can share what they liked from the time/s they did attend. In this fashion we can all enjoy and support flyway even after the festival. SO please start sharing everyone!!!

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DAY TWO began, for me, at 3:30 am. I write my other blog Daily Inspiration and Gratitude. I wrote and worked until 7:30 am this morning knowing I would then make the gorgeous drive to Maiden Rock during breaking morning light on the Mississippi.

I’d arrive in time for 6 Street Sling to open and I’d meet Jake and Colette, Kristjan and gang, David Potter and others for breakfast. I arrived earlier than I thought I would by about 15 minutes. Though a grayer day, not the golden dawn of yesterday, the drive to the restaurant was still spectacular.

From there workshops today will be on Location Scouting and Management and Crowdfunding. Flyway is firmly underway and a wonderful fest it proves to be again this 8th year.

AGAIN I WILL UPDATE THROUGHOUT THE DAY SO CHECK BACK OFTEN AND ENJOY:

It sprinkles and it is lovely. Jake and Colette arrive. Don and Jerry from Minneapolis join us. David Potter just strolled in. Breakfast is being served. More peeps are coming. We discuss living on houseboats in the Great Loop, nearly 30,000 miles of waterway. Not everything we discuss is film.

Breakfast delightful. Conversation centered around saving the world, but we didn’t. Now at venue for workshops. Delightful getting to know the panelist contributors prior to the start of the program.

First Workshop: Location Location Location: What does a location manager do? What does a location manager do? How do you become a location scout? How does a location become a character in a film? What should you know when filming on location in a foreign country? Moderated by L A producer Kelly Nathe.

Click Here For Panelists & Workshop Leaders

Twin Cities-based location manager Charlotte Ariss and Pepin-based location scout Steve Anderson; Danish/English Filmmaker Kristjan Knigge who will shoot a feature in FLyway area at the conclusion of the festival; Emily Ting , who shot her recent narrative in Hong Kong; and Norah Shapiro, who shot her documentary in India; will discuss the roles location played in their films and what they learned from shooting abroad.

These experts and location-conscious filmmakers will take you through the ins and outs of finding and getting the most out of your location. They will show examples of shoots they’ve managed in rural Wisconsin and will discuss the roles location played in their films and what they learned from shooting abroad.

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LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION – Panel 10:30 am Oct 23 What does a location manager do? To give everyone on crew a drama  free production. No surprises. Primary liaizon between location owner and production company. Always mind reading because they may received descriptions of room size and footage for dolly runs and type of equipment planned to be used.

The Location Scout receives story board, mood photos or description from producers and tries to match up with real world locales. Finding the location is part of the process. Gaining permission is the job of the location manager.

Charolette and Steve showed slides of samples of their work. Also must make sure location is returned not damaged and returned to its prior state when shoot is concluded. The L.M. notifies police and neighbors that film crew is shooting so everyone is aware.

From director Kristjan the location is not merely a place where things happens but also a character in the movie. Always visit location prior to shoot, between scout and shoot, to see what it is like in real life. How does it speak to you? It isn’t just for knowing benefits and issues of location but to get a feel for it.

Emily discussed permits and paperwork options in different cities and countries and addressed location schedule based on budget. Her recent film shot in Hong Kong which required government permissions and permission from the Triad. Her inspiration was to present Hong Kong through loving eyes as opposed to who it traditionally portrayed in film.

Nora spoke to shooting with low budget and keeping the story riveting. Here recent documentary was shot in India. She spoke about shooting in India without insurance or permits and how after these agreements were made, the producer tried to shake her down for money not agreed on. Filming always carries with it risks and caveats especially in other countries.

All in all a robust discussion from all panelists on making your location choices work for you. A fun and informative discussion with enjoyable visual samples.

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Lunch at noon. We are back at 6 String. Tasty. After lunch is the afternoon workshop.

Crowdfunding To Build An Audience with Erica Anderson

Whether or not you have had crowdfunding success; or you haven’t tried it yet; the ability to crowdfund has become a fundamental piece of many independent film financing plans. Funding campaigns built upon audience-built connections can last an entire career. This seminar can help you create the action plan most likely to create a lasting, flourishing, direct relationship with your audience.

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Crowdfunding To Build An Audience – UPDATE 1:30 pm Oct 23 with Erica Anderson

Focuses on crowdfunding but provides you the skills to build a sustainable career. Materials available for free on the Seed & Spark website.

Seed & Spark is a Crowdfunding and Integrated Distribution Site.

Seed & Spark wants better stories on the screen. In order to have better stories make it to screen you need to be a better business person. The workshop is to help you become a more successful independent business person filmmaker with an engaged crowdfunding audience.

Some points from the workshop follow. Time to think about:

 1. What things cost. You must consider cost in advance or needing the funds.

2. Who is your audience? Where are they? How do you get their email address?

3. Your audience must know and understand what your end goal is. Your end goal is the film project. They need to know that is why you engage them.

4. You can survey your followers and social media friends and followers. Crowdfunding begins long before your campaign begins.

5. You set the tone and must be consistent. Persist. You must create momentum and keep going for it. Need to ask realistic budget questions – how much will project cost? how much will incentives cost?

6. It is important that you succeed in your goal so you can deliver the film you promised you are going to make.

7. Think hard about incentives that matter to your audience. Have first day only incentives to start your campaign off with a bang. First week incentives, 2nd week etc.  Incentives can be delivered from the start of campaign until after the campaign.

8. People want to see the movie. How will you get it to them? When, where and how. Figure it out early on because people want to see your movie

9. Pitch video: The first 15 seconds are for your movie’s audience. Tease your audience with 15 seconds of what you movie is like. Comedy, horror, thriller, action. You have 90 seconds to say everything. Personal appeal is important.

10. Schedule your campaign in advance of it. Stick to your schedule.

Remember, this is a business. Learn the business approach and treat everything with that in mind.

There were many more important points that Erica made. Questions were answer. A valuable approach that filmmakers can utilize.

Great steak and mead dinner in Red Wing. At St James Hotel as festival evening continues. ‘Pictures of Lilly’ premiered to an enthusiastic audience at 7pm.  Afterwards, it was to the Minema for food, drink and hanging out. More people have arrived since the weekend is here. I have adjourned to finish this blog post.

I have been here for two and a half days and it seems like six or more. The experience has been filled constantly by activity. Day 2 concluded successfully. I am eager for tomorrow.

Listen To festival director Rick Vaicius and me discuss this years program:

Rick Vaicius On Rex Sikes Movie Beat Live

Visit Flyway Film Festival Official Website:

Visit Rex SIkes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Enjoy! I will!!! AND I did, very much!

I INVITE Festival Attendees to post comments in the comment section about what their favorite parts of Flyway Film Fest are. Who they saw, films they saw, panels they attended, what they did, where they ate, how drunk they got… you know all the good stuff! Leave some comments here and enjoy!

Weyauwega Int’l Film Fest, Year Four, 2014: Aftermath

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Sunday morning after the 4th Annual Weyawega International Film Festival 2014 had concluded Allan Katz and I met for coffee about 8:30 at The Green Fountain Inn where we each had rooms. Around 9am Kathy, Ian and Holly arrived to join us for breakfast. It was a delicious breakfast and fascinating conversation about movies, and making movies and the future.

About 10:30 Allan left for Chicago, Kathy, Holly, Ian and I headed to the Gerold Opera house where (Anne joined us) we continued our conversation about future plans and screened their fascinating feature film ‘Mint Julip’ on the large screen. They made the movie a few years ago and among the cast members are James Gandolfini and David Morse.  It was good to see it again ON the big screen.

Shortly, after the screening completed and we chatted for a while we headed out. I returned so I could get to Chicago on Monday. I again want to thank everyone at Weyauwega Film Festival for their hospitality and dedicated hard work. I thank each for making my stay as pleasant and comfortable as possible – it was a delightful stay. Great people all around and I miss them all already!

weyawega opera house 2014

Thanks to Cynthia, Barbara, Dottie and Sahara at The Green Fountain Bed and Breakfast in Waupaca. It was marvelous to stay there again and was great to see each of you again! Thanks for everything.

KUDOS to the filmmakers who submitted and the people I know and those I met for the first time, and all the fans who attended, it was wonderful. Glad to have met up and caught up. It was good fun to be all together in one place and celebrate film and filmmakers and the people for whom we tell stories for – the audience. Kudos to the filmmakers who submitted but could not attend.

weyauwega film fest 2014

Bottom Line the festival was another good one this year. I am pleased to have been a part of it again, saw some good films and met some wonderful people. I look forward to 2015 and for making all the plans we made a reality in between.

The award results forThe 2014 Weyauwega International Film Festival are as follows:

Best Animated Film: BIG BAG from Spain Directed by Ricardo Martin Coloma $100

Best Documentary Feature: OLD MAN Directed by Dan Schniedkraut $250

Best Documentary Short: THE KING OF SIZE Directed by Peter Dowd $100

Best Narrative Feature: PROUD CITIZEN Directed by Thomas Southerland $250

Best Narrative Short: REJECTED Directed by Craig Knitt $100

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Outstanding Foreign Language Film: MOUSSE from Sweden Directed by John Hellberg

Outstanding Acting Ensemble: WHEN THE KING TILTS Directed by Drew Britton

Outstanding Screenplay: BOY MINUS GIRL Written & Directed by James Lawrence

Festival Spirit Award: BUCKY AND THE SQUIRRELS Written & Directed by Allan Katz

And there you have it. Come join us next year.

Here is the Weyauwega International Film Festival Facebook Page

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OH By they way some of my upcoming guest on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat include; producer Rocky Lang, director Bill Rebane, director Peter Marshall, writer, producer Michael Frost Beckner, Actors Michael Spears and Eddie Spears, Allan Katz and others. So be sure to stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted.

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog, at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site