Category Archives: producing

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Rex Piano on making TV movies – Thursday 10/2

rex piano directing

Rex graduated from NYU School of the Arts in 1981 as a film major – concentrating on writing, producing and directing. While there, he worked on several films and commercials, most notably: “Ms. 45” for director Abel Ferrara and “Mother’s Day” and “When Nature Calls” for director Charles Kaufman. Upon graduating, Rex worked as a 1st A.D. on dozens of commercials and films until he took a full time position at a NY Commercial Production Company.

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Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Rex Piano PT 5

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Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Rex Piano

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Rex Piano PT 2

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Rex Piano PT 3

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Rex Piano PT 4

In 1985 Rex became Head of Production for O’Quinn Productions where he produced numerous videos for Fangoria Magazine (O’Quinn’s creation) that were distributed by MPI and Paramount Home Video.

In 1987 Rex moved to Los Angeles and was Head of Production for Associated Television International. While there, Rex wrote, produced and/or directed several TV specials and numerous travel videos. Rex also co-wrote and line produced the feature film “Chill Factor,” starring Paul Williams, Patrick Macnee and Andrew Prine.

Rex line produced “Severed Ties” in 1991 for Fangoria Films and continued freelance production work until 1995 when he was hired to produce the syndicated TV show “High Tide,” starring singer Rick Springfield. Rex also directed two episodes that season which lead to him becoming one of the series’ rotating directors.

Rex continued directing episodic TV shows, including “Mike Hammer, Private Eye”, “Silk Stalkings”, “Born Free”, “Air America” and “Nightman.”

In 2000 Rex produced and directed the multi-award winning romantic comedy feature film “The Month Of August.” The film garnered nine Best Picture awards and ten Official Designations at various film festivals around the country.

Rex followed that film with the highly viewed and critically acclaimed TV movie “Hope Ranch” for The Animal Planet channel. Rex then began directing TV movies that aired on PAX and Lifetime Television.

To date, Rex has directed or produced 21 movies that have either aired on television, gone straight to DVD or have had limited theatrical distribution.

In 2007 Rex was the primary director on “ROME – The Rise and Fall of an Empire,” for the History Channel.

Rex continues to produce and direct TV shows and Independent films; the most recent being “The Littlest Angel,” an animated Christmas movie that comes out in 2011.

Rex is currently attached to direct/produce several films including “Storm Front”, “Pizza Face” and “Phylicia’s Final Fling,” to name a few. Rex continues to write screenplays, his most recent a comedy called “In A Gadda Da Vida,” is currently making the rounds in Hollywood.

Rex Piano Official Website

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*** 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

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Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Producer Director Gil Cates Jr

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Director Producer Gil Cates Jr will be attending the Milwaukee Film Festival Premiere of ‘The Surface’ shot entirely in Milwaukee on Lake Michigan. The movie stars Sean Astin, Chris Mulkey (both will be in attendance) and Mimi Rogers. Tickets are on sale now for the Thursday October 9th Premiere at the Oriental Theater on Farwell Avenue.

GIL CATES, JR. , Director / Producer  has produced and directed many films and documentaries.  His motion picture directorial debut was the 1997 short film Screening. With an ensemble cast including Morgan Freeman, the film played at numerous film festivals and was subsequently purchased by Showtime and The Sundance Channel.

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Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with producer director Gil Cates Jr.

Following up on the success of the short, Gil wrote and directed his debut feature film $pent, a serio-comic look at life, love, and addictions. The film stars Jason London (“Dazed and Confused”) and was distributed by Regent Entertainment in the summer of 2000.

In 2002, Gil wrapped the twisted comedy The Mesmerist, based on an Edgar Allan Poe short story. The film, released by Seventh Arts Releasing, stars Neil Patrick Harris and Jessica Capshaw, and was Executive Produced by Barbara De Fina (“Casino”).

In 2003, Gil completed the ensemble A Midsummer Night’s Rave, released by THINKFilm. “Rave” features Andrew Keegan (“10 Things I Hate About You”), Chad Lindberg (“The Fast and The Furious”), Sunny Mabrey (“XXX 2”), and Carrie Fisher.

In 2005, Gil shot the documentary feature Life After Tomorrow, which follows the girls that were in the original productions of Annie on Broadway. The film won Best Documentary and Best Director at the Phoenix Film Festival and had its premiere on Christmas Eve of 2006 on Showtime.

In 2006, Gil directed the feature Deal, which he co-wrote with Marc Weinstock. The film stars Burt Reynolds as an ex-gambler who is sucked back into the popular game of Texas Hold’em. The film, shot in New Orleans, also stars Bret Harrison, Shannon Elizabeth, and Charles Durning, and was released by MGM in the spring of 2008.

In 2008, Gil produced the indie feature Order of Chaos, starring Rhys Coiro, Milo Ventimiglia, Samantha Mathis, and Mimi Rogers. The film, directed by Vince Vieluf, was released February 12th, 2010.

In 2010, Gil directed the feature Lucky. The film, a dark comedy about a serial killer who wins the lottery, stars Colin Hanks, Ari Graynor, Ann-Margret and Jeffrey Tambor and was released by Phase 4 Films in the summer of 2011.

In 2012, Gil co-produced the feature film Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher, Matthew Modine, Josh Gad, Dermot Mulroney, and J.K. Simmons. The film, which tells the story of Steve Jobs’ ascension from college dropout into one of our most revered creative entrepreneurs, was released by Open Road in the summer of 2013.

In 2013, Gil directed the feature The Surface, starring Sean Astin, Chris Mulkey, and Mimi Rogers. The indie drama, about two strangers who meet in the unpredictable waters of Lake Michigan, recently completed post-production and will be released in the winter of 2014.

Gil also made his TV directorial debut in 2007 with an episode of the NBC comedy, Joey,starring Emmy winner Matt LeBlanc.

**** NEWS NOTE: Gil will be attending the Milwaukee Film Festival Premiere of ‘The Surface’ shot entirely in Milwaukee on Lake Michigan. The movie stars Sean Astin, Chris Mulkey and Mimi Rogers.  Tickets are on sale now for the Thursday October 9th Premiere at the Oriental Theater on Farwell Avenue.

Subscribe and Follow Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Blog!  Visit often & please share with others!

*** 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

Behind The Scenes Of “Full Circle” – reprinted from Project Famous

Full Circle Slate

BEHIND THE SCENES OF “FULL CIRCLE”

Written by Karla S. Bryant | Photography by Peter Langeness

It may be the only time someone at the Déjà Vu Martini Lounge in Appleton, WI was in conversation with another person when the words that popped into their head were, “This may be the priest I’ve been looking for.”

But that’s what happened when I was talking with actor, producer, and broadcaster Rex Sikes. My short story, “Full Circle,” had recently been published in a literary quarterly. The film production company I’m involved with, Madison-based Living Storm Productions, was planning on adapting it as a short film. Jeff Blankenship, who had been directing films for them, was on board from the start to direct it.

Director Jeff Blankenship discusses a scene with Rex Sikes and Gail Hafar.  Assistant Director Craig Olson looks on.

But there was one thing that worried all of us to varying degrees: whoever played the lead character of Fr. Kmichik would have to carry the film. Its success, to some degree, would depend on who was cast in the role. There were a few people in mind and we knew we’d hold auditions, of course. But at the moment, a number of Living Storm Productions members were at the Déjà Vu Lounge after-party for the Wildwood Film Festival, where their film, Freud (also directed by Blankenship), had been an “Official Participant.”

As I sipped my neon blue martini, I listened more closely as Rex talked. In my mind, he was already wearing a priest’s collar and making the no-nonsense, yet empathetic character come to life. I knew the casting decision wouldn’t be up to me, the writer. Still, a writer knows the characters she’s written better than anyone else.

But, that’s in the middle of the process of my story becoming a film. I’d initially meant to write “Full Circle” as a traditional ghost story. But, as the story and characters developed, it turned into something else. It turned into a story focused on forgiveness and redemption, not necessarily in the strictly religious sense, but still on a deeply spiritual level. In fact, in the story, the spiritual world behaves like an attention-seeking toddler… moving objects and throwing things and making noises to catch the attention of those currently living. Or, at least, the attention of one person currently living. I firmly believe that the truth always has a way of fighting its way to the surface. That, perhaps, is at the core of the story.

Joette Waters, Susan Rathke, Rex Sikes, and Chris Seurer get set up for another shot.

Just before moving to Madison last September, I received word that “Full Circle” had been accepted for publication in Dappled Things, a literary quarterly. I knew it was primarily a visual story and, with one short story already optioned by a film studio, I thought this one would also work well in a film adaptation. Things began to dovetail. Not everyone is aware that I went to high school with Blankenship in Eagle River, WI. The shy guy who sat next to me in American Lit and Drama class noticed on Facebook that I did some screenwriting and was moving to Madison. He had lived in the area for some time and was directing films for Living Storm Productions. He suggested I meet some people from the group.

Thirty-some years since we’d last seen each other, Jeff and I met and spoke about “Full Circle.” He was very interested in the story and he told me he’d love to take it on. As a director, Jeff wanted to know more and more about the characters’ back stories and motivations and, over the fall, we spent hours in discussion over it. Finally, he was satisfied that it all pieced together for him in a way that he could now envision just how the film would feel and look.

Blankenship and Sikes on set

By spring, because of the unique situation I was in as a new member of Living Storm Productions, I was fortunate to sit in on the auditions. For the first time I heard strangers speak the words I’d written for characters whom had been my imaginary friends for months. As different actors auditioned for the roles, I was fascinated by the varied interpretations of the characters. Really? I wondered. The paralegal had that kind of a personality? Well, she could and it could actually make her a more interesting character. It is eye-opening and humbling to see your characters develop beyond your own imagination.

We had a number of video submissions as well. One actress, Joette Waters, was so convincing as the elderly Helen Waldowksi that when we were making arrangements for her to take the bus from Chicago, I cautioned it shouldn’t be too late in the evening because of her age. Glancing then at her head shot, I was shocked she wasn’t elderly at all, just a very talented actress who had excellent make-up on for her audition tape. Yes, she got the role. We were fortunate to find gifted actors and actresses for all the supporting roles.

Props set the scene

And then came the auditions for Fr. Kmichik, the lead actor. In spite of my instinct about Rex Sikes being the man for the role, I tried to keep my mind open. In particular, there was another wonderful actor who auditioned, but he was much better suited for a role as an Anglican vicar in a BBC drama. Fr. Kmichik, the main character, is a Polish-American, earthy priest with a strong insight into people. Not a priest who would be troubled by protocol or talk about the weather. Not a priest who would be frightened by something unexplained, but a man who would take on the challenge to find the reason behind supernatural events.

When Rex auditioned via Skype, we ended up with one technical problem after another. Jeff’s audio didn’t work. At one point, he had to communicate with hastily written Post-It notes held up to the screen. Rex had a difficult time hearing me. Fortunately, we had no problem hearing or seeing him. Still, it was frustrating and distracting for everyone. Just as we were wondering if we should set something else up, Jeff gave Rex specific direction and, when he read the lines again, in spite of all the technological problems, Rex’s expression, pacing, and inflection were spot on. My gut instinct had been correct.

Blankenship and Director of Photography Steven Dean film a poignant scene.

Early scenes for a teaser trailer were shot in June and right now, most of the filming is done for the actual film.Living Storm Productions co-owner, actor, and producer, Bryan Royston, is juggling multiple roles throughout the production, along with managing the IndieGoGo campaign (which is bringing us much-needed funds for fixed expenses). Kelly Lajter is working tirelessly and creatively as Project Manager and Script Supervisor, along with Craig Olson as Assistant Director. Another Living Storm Productions co-owner and producer, Alex Contreras, is keeping everyone updated on details through emails and weekly meetings. Steven Dean brings his formidable talent as a cinematographer to the project. Experienced lighting expert, Justin Propp and audio technician, Ryan Meunier, are also on board. The production is fortunate to have a gifted make-up and hair artist, Joshua Harrison, to transform young actresses into elderly women and have it look completely believable.

What I’m learning as a writer on set for the first time is that, just as they say at award ceremonies, there are too many people in the cast and crew to thank them individually… each one of them is critical to the success of the film.

MakeUp Artist Joshua Harrison preps Joette Waters for a scene.

Getting a few peeks at the monitors, I saw for myself that Full Circle is beautifully shot and the acting is outstanding.  Right now, even though there are a few scenes that remain to be filmed and the post-production work lies ahead, I’m restless to see the finished project.

Full Circle

The last of filming is being scheduled.  Full Circle will start post-production work this fall.  The release date is currently TBD.  Keep up with Full Circle and Living Storm Productions on Facebook.

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Subscribe and Follow Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Blog!  Visit often & please share with others!

*** 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

Milwaukee Film Festival: Marshall Curry; Debra Granik; Wesley Morris; Zucker, Abrahams, & Zucker, In Attendance

Winters Bone01

It makes a film festival much more enjoyable when one can listen and learn from the filmmakers. This year Milwaukee Film Fest is bringing in some fine filmmakers for panel discussions.  Marshall Curry; Debra Granik; Wesley Morris and Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker will be present to discuss some of their films. You will not want to miss out. I know I will be there.  Read on to learn more.

Two award-winning directors, a Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic, and Hollywood comedy legends will be in attendance!!!

The 2014 Tributes lineup: two-time Oscar-nominated documentarian, Marshall Curry (Racing Dreams, Street Fight), Oscar-nominated director and writer, Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone), Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic, Wesley Morris, and the three Hollywood comedy kingpins who originally hail from Milwaukee, David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker (also known as “ZAZ”).

The Milwaukee Film Festival’s annual tributes celebrate the work of individuals who have contributed greatly to film culture through efforts in differing areas of the film world. Each tribute includes both a live appearance from the tribute’s recipient(s) and a screening of a film. In the case of Granik and Curry, their latest film is paired with a past one, exemplifying the scope of their work.

Each honoree will participate in an extended question and answer session following their featured films(s). Granik will also lead the panel “Working with Actors” in which she will discuss and demonstrate her process for auditioning and working with actors on set.

“We have a spectacular group of diverse honorees this year: two of the greatest film storytellers of our time–Marshall Curry and Debra Granik–whose documentary and narrative films have been vastly influential, along with the Pulitzer Prize winning film critic and presenter of our State of the Cinema keynote lecture, Wesley Morris, and finally, the legendary comedy team Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker,” explains Jonathan Jackson, Artistic and Executive Director for Milwaukee Film.

Returning to the Milwaukee Film Festival this year with his outstanding new documentary Point and Shoot, is director Marshall Curry. Curry’s Racing Dreams was the Opening Night film at the first Milwaukee Film Festival in 2009. Both Curry and Granik come to Milwaukee having just received major awards at two of the nation’s best film festivals: Curry’s Point and Shoot won the Best Documentary Award at the Tribeca Film Festival while Granik’s Stray Dog received the jury award for Best Documentary at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

Jackson continues, “It is exciting to have such a high-profile filmmaker as Marshall Curry return to our festival. We have grown quite a bit since that 2009 film festival and I can’t wait for him to come back and see what he helped inaugurate.”

2014 MILWAUKEE FILM FESTIVAL TRIBUTES

MARSHALL CURRY

MarshallCurry

Marshall Curry is one of the most important documentary filmmakers of our time, and he is an important person to Milwaukee Film. In 2009, his film Racing Dreams was the first to grace our festival screens on Opening Night at the inaugural Milwaukee Film Festival. Curry made his directorial debut in 2005 with Street Fight, a documentary that followed the campaign of the then-unknown Cory Booker, garnering his first Oscar nomination. Since that time, Curry directed If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front which tells the story of a radical environmentalist who faced life in prison for burning two Oregon timber facilities and won Curry his second Oscar nomination. Point and Shoot, Curry’s latest offering, is a documentary about a young Baltimore native who sets off for adventure and finds himself as part of the Libyan rebel army fighting dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Of Curry’s films, S.T. VanAirsdale (Movieline) said, “From vérité campaign-trail flashes in Street Fight to intimate dinner-table powwows in Racing Dreams to the candid, point-blank interviews in If a Tree Falls, his films take keen and unique advantage of both access and timing… getting down to the business of communicating without distraction, discrimination or guile. At heart, the films seek to detail the spectrum of grace.”

Marshall Curry is scheduled to attend selected screenings.

Point and Shoot

(USA / 2014 / Director: Marshall Curry)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/k8DUYyl1ods
Matthew VanDyke’s incredible personal odyssey from restless Baltimore native to Libyan rebel taking up arms against dictator Muammar Gaddafi is chronicled in the newest film from Oscar-nominated director Marshall Curry (Racing Dreams, MFF 2009). From his status as a young man diagnosed with OCD fresh out of graduate school, to his momentous international travel (a self-described “crash course in manhood”) that led him on a motorcycle trip across Northern Africa and the Middle East, to his eventual placement smack in the middle of the Arab Spring and Libyan revolution, VanDyke’s camera was always on—up until his capture and terrifying half-year spent in solitary confinement. This is a remarkable, sweeping story Curry tells in full.

Street Fight

(USA / 2005 / Director: Marshall Curry)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/fNrT2utrpAA

One of the greatest political documentaries of all time, Street Fight chronicles the very first political campaign of now-U.S. Senator Cory Booker as his grassroots campaign takes on the deeply entrenched political might of four-term incumbent Sharpe James for the mayoral seat in Newark, New Jersey. With the poverty-stricken streets as their battleground, 32-year-old Rhodes scholar/Yale Law School grad/Star Trek nerd Booker remains decent and straightforward despite the intimidation tactics and dirty politics (including claims that Booker’s background somehow makes him “less black”) employed by Sharpe. An edge-of-your-seat thriller even if you’re familiar with how this race ends, Street Fight is a wildly entertaining, modern-day Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

 

DEBRA GRANIK

DebraGranik

Debra Granik is the Academy Award-nominated director and co-writer of Winter’s Bone, which was

nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture, and won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Granik’s first feature film, Down to the Bone, was awarded the Best Director prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. She is known for her amazing work with actors, essentially launching the careers of both Vera Farmiga and Jennifer Lawrence. Her work is known for an instinctive, collaborative style that Granik describes as “late-breaking global neorealism.” Granik’s most recent offering, the documentary Stray Dog, began with a chance encounter while scouting and casting Winter’s Bone. Granik met Ron “Stray Dog” Hall in the Biker Church of Branson and cast him as the film’s estranged father, Thump Milton. Of her work she says, “The question I’ve had for most of my life is, ‘How are you coping?’ Some people have these small, positive schemes for survival, a kind of strength that I am attracted to, maybe because I’m prone to the blues.” In Hall she found a worthy subject—one whose humor and lack of self-consciousness had the potential to make the plight of Vietnam vets accessible to a broader audience.

Debra Granik is scheduled to attend selected screenings and events.

Stray Dog

(USA / 2014 / Director: Debra Granik)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/5UKrOhJ0NRw
Ron “Stray Dog” Hall, Harley-Davidson biker, Vietnam veteran, husband, and father, receives a portrait every bit the equal to his substantial personality from Debra Granik, director of the Oscar-nominated Winter’s Bone. Defying expectations at every turn, Stray Dog tells a story of rough edges that give way to an expansive and tender heart as we see Ron equally at home shooting the breeze with his battery mates as they sip moonshine as he is opening up to his therapist or traveling to military funerals to pay respect to those he never met. A welcome corrective to rural stereotypes, Stray Dog is a slice of unforgettable Americana.

Winter’s Bone

(USA / 2010 / Director: Debra Granik)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/5O8F8JtSVmI
Winter’s Bone is an Oscar-nominated pitch-black slice of Ozarks noir following a young woman’s journey to protect her family no matter the cost. Seventeen-year-old Ree (Jennifer Lawrence, in her breakout role) discovers that her father has skipped bail, threatening the house he used as collateral, and leaving them homeless. Armed only with the knowledge of his involvement in the local crystal meth trade, Ree and her Uncle Teardrop (the mesmerizing John Hawkes) aim to find him despite the ever-increasing resistance to their inquiries. Told with incredible authenticity, this tale of family loyalty features a heroine for the ages, with minimalist setting and dialogue that add to its mythic flavor.

***(I think anytime a filmmaker has the opportunity to explore the casting process and working with actors in set the filmmaker should take it. Auditioning and working WITH talent is one of the most critical aspects of a director’s job. It is equally important for others to understand and appreciate as well. I will see you there – Rex)***

Working with Actors
Access the process of one of today’s foremost directors as Oscar nominee Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone, Stray Dog) discusses and demonstrates her process for auditioning and working with actors on set. This is not to be missed by any filmmakers who plan to cast actors or actors who want to get into films.

 

WESLEY MORRIS

WesleyMorris

In 2012, upon winning the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, Wesley Morris explained his attraction to film as an artistic medium with the following words: “Movies are visual, aural, they involve people, and life, and ideas and art, they are so elastic. They can hold anything, withstand everything, and make you feel anything. Other arts can do that, but movies are the only ones that can incorporate other media into cinema.” With those words, one can see easily why Morris earned this award—his writing is effortless, yet whip-smart, exuberant, yet precise. He is able to write about mainstream films as well as art house cinema, always compelling the reader toward a more nuanced understanding of the work at hand. Since 2013, Morris has been a cultural critic for the website Grantland; prior to that he wrote film criticism for The Boston

Globe (where he received his Pulitzer), San Francisco Chronicle, and San Francisco Examiner and contributed to Slate, Ebony, NPR, and Film Comment. Milwaukee Film is honored to present this tribute to Morris for his distinctive voice and remarkable career as a critic. As part of his visit, Morris will deliver our annual keynote address on the “State of Cinema,” followed by a presentation of Michael Haneke’s film Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys.

 Wesley Morris is scheduled to attend the following:

 State of Cinema

Join us for our annual lecture on the “State of Cinema.” Each year we host a distinguished member of the cinematic community to reflect on the current position of the industry and possible futures for the medium. This year we host Wesley Morris, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism while at the Boston Globe, who now writes on film and culture at Grantland.com. The panel will conclude with a brief Q&A, after which patrons are invited to join Morris for a screening of Michael Haneke’s 2000 romantic drama, Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys.

 

Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys

(France, Germany, Romania / 2000 / Director: Michael Haneke)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/lNnwk7DSKb8

One of the many masterpieces created over the course of Michael Haneke’s career (Caché, Funny Games, the Oscar-winning Amour), Code Unknown chronicles the fleeting intersection of lives on a bustling Paris street corner. We see the fallout from this brief connection through an actress (Juliette Binoche), her photojournalist boyfriend, a young teacher of African descent, and a Romanian illegal immigrant. Able to wring unbearable amounts of tension from his frequent long takes, Haneke spins an emotionally complex tale of the simple ways in which we misunderstand one another on a daily basis. He spells nothing out and challenges viewers to decode these stories for themselves. Our 2014 Critic Tribute recipient, Wesley Morris, has selected this film to screen at our festival and is scheduled to participate in a Q&A with the audience after the screening.

 

ZUCKER, ABRAHAMS, ZUCKER

ZuckerAbrahamsZucker

The filmmaking team Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker began their fortuitous union at Shorewood High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After college at UW-Madison, David Zucker, his brother Jerry, and their friend Jim Abrahams created the Kentucky Fried Theater in the back of a bookstore in Madison with a borrowed videotape deck and a camera. In 1972, they moved the show to Los Angeles, where the trio that would come to be known as ZAZ became the most successful small theater group in Los Angeles history. Their groundbreaking style of outrageous sketch comedy was later immortalized in their film The Kentucky Fried Movie, and a new brand of comedy was born. This style featured hairbrained dialogue delivered by dramatic actors with deadpan sincerity and would earn the trio recognition as Hollywood comedy kingpins. In their illustrious careers, the ZAZ team has worked with actors such as Lloyd Bridges,

Robert Stack, and Leslie Nielsen, to name a few, and cultivated a whole new genre of film. Together, they have been responsible for ‘80s comedy cult classics Airplane!, Ruthless People, and The Naked Gun. Their streak of successful movies included the secret agent spoof and now cult classic Top Secret! starring Val Kilmer. This year Milwaukee Film honors these local legends by screening this 1984 film and welcomes them home with a tribute. The trio recently returned to their native roots by creating commercials in their signature style with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism in conjunction with Laughlin Constable.

Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker are scheduled to attend the following screening:

Top Secret!
(USA, United Kingdom / 1984 / Directors: David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/mKHLPtH2I30

After the wild success of their comedy classic Airplane!, the anarchic trio known as ZAZ (David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker) set their sights on spy films and rock’ n’ roll musicals with the outrageous spoof Top Secret! In this film boasting the screen debut of Val Kilmer as a young secret agent tasked with crossing the Iron Curtain to rescue a scientist, ZAZ packs the proceedings with terrible puns, absurdist sight gags, and all the anachronism and political incorrectness that a breakneck 90-minute run time could contain. We proudly present this comedy classic on its 30th anniversary, in celebration of a film every bit the equal of its predecessor.

Note: All screening and panel times will be announced Saturday, September 6 at the Program Book Launch located at Cathedral Square Park from 9am-6pm.

The 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival runs September 25 – October 9, 2014 at the Landmark Oriental Theatre, Landmark Downer Theatre, Fox-Bay Cinema Grill and Times Cinema. Passes and ticket 6-Packs for the 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival are currently available at discounted rates exclusively online at mkefilm.org/tickets.

Tickets for individual screenings will be available through Milwaukee Film Festival Box Office starting September 10 for Milwaukee Film Members and September 11 for the General Public.

 

Subscribe and Follow Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Blog!  Visit often & please share with others!

*** 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 blog.

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

To Crowdfund Or Not To Crowdfund? Is That The Question? Part 3

“…Consider this: Movies get funded and made every day. I repeat: MOVIES GET FUNDED AND MADE EVERY DAY!Sure, it is tough but it happens. Projects get green lit from the  studios, independent films find their funding, crowdfunded pictures get their money to move forward, and more. These happen all the time.  It all boils down to a simple thought: If others can do it so can you! Keep the faith.”

Crowdfunding Part 3

“In my book the single most important ingredient for hoping to get a project launched IS to have a great movie to make.  It makes it much more likely you will be able to move ahead when you start with something that has incredible value. You should have an excellent script. Top of the line!

First and foremost here is what you need to consider and ask yourself: Do you have a film project worth investing your time, money and energy in? Do you have a film project worth another person investing their time, money and energy in? Do you have a film project worth an audience investing their time, money and energy in? Well, do you? Be honest.

These are important questions. Do you have something great that is worth making? If you can honestly answer yes, you may be on your way. If you cannot, keep looking for a great project.

No one wants mediocre or just okay? Everyone wants to be captivated, they want their attention grabbed and they want to go on a two hour roller coster ride. They want to laugh or cry or both. They want to be involved and live through the characters.

Movies are supposed to be for escape so people can forget the drudgery of their circumstances for a while and be transported somewhere more fun, enjoyable or even terrifying. They want to be entertained and not wonder why they wasted minutes of their life. Make sure your film project is worthy of you, your funders and the people it is intended to please – your audience.

It is true that even with the best script, the best director and the best available cast, the movie still may not get made.  There are many factors in getting a movie produced and all need to line up for it to go. That is the art of juggling a production. There are so many things to work on all at once it IS  like trying to keep a number of balls in the air. Some  productions will make it some will not. This is critical whether crowdfunding or using more traditional methods.

It is important to put together the best possible project so start with. You start with the best script. You seek the best producing team, the best cast and the best crew. You may or may not need any of these ‘attached’ to seek funds but ultimately you want to have the best to work with regardless. Often, you raise seed money first to be able to launch your LLC, set up a bank account and hire on the others.

It is important to have a good entertainment attorney who can advise you when and how to certain things. For example, when DO you launch you LLC,? Some say that should come first, (as I just described) get some money and incorporate.  Others advise that you wait, you don’t need to set up an LLC until you have funds coming from your sources. Investors understand the LLC will follow.

Savvy investors know the all the steps you should too. Seek wise, legitimate, experienced legal counsel. This is not an area you want to skimp on.

Even though some movies do not get made  the money out there for movies is still plentiful.  The proof that there is more than enough money to go around  IS this: even mediocre and terrible movies get funded and released. Haven’t we all wondered, ‘how on earth did this ever get made?’

Whatever  the reasoning behind the financing of a ‘bad movie’, which may have reasons, (often  tax shelters) the movie still got made and released. Most of us like to think that filmmakers don’t set out to make a bad movie but that is simply not the case, there are those who do.

My point is funds can be found! Money is plentiful! Bad movies are part of the  proof that the money is available if the conditions are right.

What are the right conditions that got the movie made regardless of whether  it was a good or bad. It was the ‘deal’,  the tax shelter, a vanity project, it was for any other reasons that some people invested. Apparently, it was to make money or to lose money but it was not to release a great movie. Funny, you wouldn’t think it to be the case but bottom line rules. Good or bad movies are financed because the investors saw fit to invest.

Funds exists. You just have to tap into them.  You are better served if you do everything smart and right from the get-go. Aim high! Make a really good movie. Make a great movie. If you are going to put all this time and work into it you should absolutely love it.

The attitude a filmmaker needs is to maintain is a positive attitude. You should have a great script you are passionate about, that you believe in 1000 per cent.  If you absolutely believe in it and are passionate about it others can jump on board because the believe in you and trust in your commitment. If you have a great script and great package it makes it more likely others will be interested too.

So chose something you will still be passionate about years from now because it could be a long road. It can be easy but it usually isn’t. Raising money is an art and a science that you should learn to do well if you want to produce your own projects.

Once you have  your budget and your producer package together you need to plan how to get financed either by traditional means, crowdfunding, both or by some new novel approach.

The bottom line is that you will have to be dedicated and you will have to know where to look. Fund raising can begin anytime you have a legitimate project to fund raise for.

You will need to know where to look for your money. Perhaps, your investors will be those who are in the field, or interested in the field you movie is about. Perhaps, they are medical people. law enforcement, attorneys, scientists, bankers, who have money and are interested in your topic. Perhaps, they are financial people who have no actual interest in your topic but like a well put together project that has potential.

You could piece them together from all over or it could mostly come from a few or even from one source. You will have to do the leg work to find out who and from what walks of life your investors come from. This is another area where a smart entertainment attorney may be of some help. Sometimes attorneys know people whom they can put you in touch with who are looking for investments. The entertainment attorney may be a useful resource in this area.

Besides a great script/project you REALLY need to know and understand people. You need to understand why and how people invest.  You want to get inside the investor or contributor mindset. You need to understand them to know how to approach them, to pitch them and to sell them. You not only have to know how to do these things you have to know when and how to close them.

Your first thought should be about getting to know these people and understanding their wants and needs. You need to learn how to create rapport with others and how to add value to them.

If you know why they invest and in what they invest you help yourself out in many ways.  As a producer you will spend more of your time raising money than making movies so you ought to understand how the people think that you are trying to get money from. This may be more  important than anything else for you to appreciate and know.

Savvy investors, if they even give you the time of day, will see you coming miles away. They will size you and your project up within seconds of first contact. This is the world of finance! It is not art. This is the world of business. No one cares about you as much as they care about their bottom line. So be prepared. Be professional!  You must have something they want. Be able to speak to them in the language that they speak (finance – not their native tongue) and in the world they understand.

At the very same time understand if you have a great project you may have something of value others will want. YOU also have to qualify investors just as investors will qualify you. Not everyone you approach or who approaches you is worth your time. You will want to learn how to separate the legitimate investor from the person who will waste your time because it makes them feel good to act the big shot around town. Getting legitimate investments is a two-way street.

You have to understand the laws and the rules too. You do not want to violate any in this area. Trust me, you don’t.  Do your homework.

As filmmakers we all want to just make films. In order to do that and make and pay living wages we need to finance our projects. You would be best served to read everything you can. Find someone who will mentor you in the art of financing or fund raising.

Today, filmmakers may be better off getting an MBA and going to business school than going to film school.  At the end of the day it is the business part of show business that rules and that determines who is successful and who isn’t.

Crowdfunding, at least for the time being, may be a way around all the legalities of traditional investing. Still, you have a responsibility to the funding platform, your ‘funders’, your team to be ethical, honest,  and completely above board. Be transparent so people know who you are and what you are all about.

Remember, HOWEVER, you raise funds it takes an enormous amount of energy, planning and working the process.  It is a lot of hard work. The people best suited for it may be the people who already have a passion for it. Perhaps, if this is not an area that you are drawn to you can partner up with someone who is. It requires dedication, passion, know-how and commitment. It requires being both smart and wise.

DO NOT EVER use the funds except as specified and when specified. They should be in escrow or considered escrowed in the case of crowdfunding. You owe perks to you funders always make sure you raise enough for what you intend to do and then some.

So when it comes to getting funded you have to do your homework More about all this next time.” Rex Sikes

Enjoy your day!

(Disclaimer: I do not purport to be an expert in crowdfunding or traditional means of financing. Nor am I able to dispense legal advice. Filmmakers are best served by finding a qualified entertainment attorney to work with and guide them in these areas. I bring up the topic to share a viewpoint and to encourage thinking and discussion).

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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 blog.

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Persistence is the key to success.

I decided to republish a blog from my other site Daily Inspiration and Gratitude here: I have included the link to my other blog and I invite you to visit there and check it out if you haven’t yet. There are a lot of blog posts applicable to anyone in filmmaking.     Persistence is the key to success..

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It is the consistent, persistent, daily actions that bring success in all things, you family, your health, your wealth and career, your life. Daily dedication to doing something positive that moves you closer to your goal makes all the difference.

You start with a clearly, well stated ‘burning desire’, the mental images of your ultimate goal. You envision it daily (as often as possible, but at least for sometime in the morning and before going to sleep) and infuse it with positive energy and enthusiasm. You keep at it no matter what. You do not give up! You keep at it until you get it. This IS your daily regime. Your mental nutrition.

Keep your goal alive and in sight. Keep it burning and stay passionate about it. Believe in your heart and know in your mind that you will have it, YOU will ATTAIN it, as long as you never give up. Once you quit it is over, so you must not stop. You keep the faith and keep going no matter what is going on or not going on around you. You do not let present circumstances distract you from getting the end game that you want.

Keep this goal burning hot in your mind each moment. Focus on things to be grateful for and feel good about because when you do you are opening up your mind to discovering greater opportunities, events, situations and people that can help you reach your goal.

Your mind awakens and you can think more clearly and easily about how you will make it happen. You form plans using your creativity, your intuition and you smarts. You may have to adjust the plan as you go along that is just part of the process. Each day you move forward and you make adjustments as necessary but no matter what you keep moving forward toward your ultimate destination.

YOU WILL GET THERE as long as you keep going toward it. No matter how long it takes or how many detours there happen to be you will get there if you just never stop.

Persistence means you keep going even when you may not feel like going.

That is why it is important to find things you appreciate, small and large miracles and good and new discoveries, and the best thoughts and feelings along the way, so that you stay inspired and dedicated.

The person who succeeds is the person who ‘wills’ it to happen not who wishes it to happen. You make all the changes inside of you to be better equipped to handle all those aspects outside you you, the challenges and opportunities that come your way. You make all the changes inside of you to better manage the inside of you so you are optimistic, positive, powerful and committed to your outcome. You won’t do it if you wimp out.

Yes, occasionally someone lucks into it but frankly, most people who ‘make it’, who succeed in their personal or professional lives do so because the go after it relentlessly until they succeed. These people pursue health, wealth and well being because it is the most important thing to them. They don’t let circumstances dictate or prevent them from prevailing. ‘When the going gets tough the tough get going’.

You must stick with it no matter how impossible it seems. Whatever hardship comes your way learn to overcome it. Go through it. You will find a way if you are determined to find a way.

Manage you mind and you emotions. Manage your time and your efforts. You will do it, when you believe you can. As Napoleon Hill stated, ‘If you can conceive it and believe it you can achieve it’. Just don’t stop.

If it is truly worth it and it makes your life better and the lives of those around you better and it does not harm anyone of prevent others from fulfilling themselves, go for it. Get on course, stay the course and find out how to make the journey most delightful. Whether you get closer by leaps and bounds or inch by inch you are getting closer. Stay positive and stay focused. It is completely UP TO YOU! So do it! Just do it!

What can you do today to keep yourself on track? How many marvelous feelings might you discover as you look into finding these within you frequently during this day? How much fun can you stand as you continue to pursue your dream? Hmmmm, I wonder… ” Rex Sikes

Find those special moments in this day and have an incredible one!

via Persistence is the key to success.. at Daily Inspiration and Gratitude. Subscribe to both blogs and enjoy.

Subscribe and Follow Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Blog!  Visit often & please share with others!

*** 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

Brian Herskowitz Producer, Director, Screenwriter, Author ‘Process To Product’

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For the last twenty years Brian Herskowitz has taught screenwriting, first with WRITER’S BOOT CAMP, then with UCLA EXTENSIONS, and for the last five years he has held the post of Lead Faculty for the prestigious BOSTON UNIVERSITY in LOS ANGELES WRITER IN HOLLYWOOD graduate degree program.  His script writing textbook, PROCESS TO PRODUCT: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO SCREENWRITING, is available on Amazon.com and in bookstores.

As a writer, Brian has completed well over a dozen feature films. His first screenplay KAMI HITO E (THE THIN LINE) was based on his experience as an international Judo champion training in Tokyo.

TO LISTEN CLICK THE BOLDED link below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Producer, Screenwriter, Director Brian Herskowitz

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Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Producer, Screenwriter, Director Brian Herskowitz PT 2

From there he continued to write and his first produced feature was a low budget slasher titled DARKROOM. He wrote and directed the award winning short film ODESSA OR BUST starring SEINFELD’S Jason Alexander, ACADEMY AWARD WINNER Red Buttons, and RUSHMORE’S Jason Schwartzman. Brian wrote, directed, and produced the documentary 1736: SOMEWHERE TO TURN – about a family crisis center for domestic abuse victims, and the short film JOANNE – the story of a woman going through hard economic times and a mid-life crisis.

As a voice over artist he’s been heard in hundreds of films, games, and commercials including, FORREST GUMP, TOTAL RECALL (with Colin Ferrell), X-2, WOLVERINE, the hit video games DILBERTS DESKTOP GAMES, and MEDAL OF HONOR:AIRBORNE, as well as national commercials for Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Beringer Wine.

His voice has been heard in hundreds of hours of TV including the classic horror shows BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and TRUE BLOOD.  Brian recently took on the duties of Voice Director for the new Animated Children’s series ANNIE SUNBEAM produced by Debbie Margolis-Horwitz.

Brian’s theatrical directing credits include the world premieres of I.A.N. (THE ITALIAN AMERICAN NETWORK), CONFESSION AND AVOIDANCE (based on the book of the same name written by his father, prolific biographer Mickey Herskowitz), JESSICA AND THE COUCH POTATO, the west coast premiere of  SHUFFLE OFF THIS MORTAL BUFFALO, and the recent hit CIRCLE OF WILL.

As a writer in TV his credits include a staff writing position on the NBC sit-com BLOSSOM, multiple episodes of the syndicated series HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS, and ACAPULCO HEAT, the HBO hit comedy DREAM ON, CBS’s RENEGADE, THE EXILE, MURDER, SHE WROTE, the TV movie MURDER OF MY AUNT, the FOX Network’s YOUNG HERCULES, and CBS’s critically acclaimed was series TOUR OF DUTY (associate producer).

Brian co-wrote the FOX pilot MANTIC with Jason Alexander. In addition, he worked as a punch-up writer on BOB PATTERSON, and LISTEN UP.

Working with Co-Op Productions in New York (THE GUITAR, THIS REVOLUTION), Brian line produced Candace Bushnell’s web series THE BROADROOM, which starred JENNY GARTH, JENNIFER ESPOSITO, and TALIA BALSAM.

As a feature film producer Brian just finished principal photography on UNTIL SOMEONE GETS HURT (co-writer), and BUCKY AND THE SQUIRRELS a comedy from director-writer Allan Katz (M*A*S*H*, BIG MAN ON CAMPUS),  MUSICAL CHAIRS, directed by Susan Seidelman (DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN), TIO PAPI directed by Fro Rojas, which he co-wrote.  He will producing the feature films SUSPENDED and AN INVISIBLE MAN for Scatterbrained Media.

In addition, Brian has several producing/directing duties on the boards including the slacker comedy MARTY AND VAHE TAKE A RIDE, and the HEF supported projects SHE FEEDS, THE WHANGDOODLE, and CREATURE FEATURE:THE MOVIE MUSICAL.

In his personal life, Brian is married to actress Gina Hecht (Mork and Mindy, Seven Pounds), and has two amazing daughters.  A fourth degree black belt in Judo, Brian continues to compete in the martial arts and is the 2014 U.S. National Masters Champion in Judo and 2013 Pan American Champion in Jujitsu.  Brian is thrilled to be a part of the HEF team.

Subscribe and Follow Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Blog!  Visit often & please share with others!

*** 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

To Crowdfund Or Not To Crowdfund? Is That The Question? Part 2

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“… reality is more like this, you make your movies and get them honestly funded, however you are  able to, without breaking the bank. Your bank, your parents or relatives bank, or your real life investors bank.”

Part 2  Attitude is Everything!

Crowdfunding takes an inordinate amount of work for most everyone.  Funding of any kind takes massive effort and requires time and care. It is as time consuming (if not more) and as difficult (if not more) than making  and releasing the actual movie.

Some celebrities may have an easier go of it but then, remember, they had a career path to celebrity-hood that they finally are able to utilize. As a celebrity they are now able to cash in and draw attention to charities or projects. I do not begrudge them their success or that they crowd fund. Let them, it brings more attention to the process.

As filmmakers we need to believe there is room for everyone.  We need to believe that there is enough of everything for everyone.

We should not think that what we do is for a select few. Anyone may make movies. Whether they succeed depends on their talent and commitment, the gatekeeping mechanisms and whether or not the public embraces them. Everyone is welcome to try.

We should not think that there is only one correct way to do anything. There are many roads to the same destination. We should not let our thinking limit us from finding new ways and means and forging ahead as pioneers. Only a brave few will forge ahead and create new roads for the rest of us but we should celebrate those who are willing.

We must not think that money or resources are limited. They aren’t. Look around you there is plenty of money. Money is everywhere! You may not have access to it yet but it is out there. There is more than enough money! There is money available for you!

Sadly, some people think they have to divide up the pie. They think there is only so much and they have to fight to get their share. These people  believe  that when it is used up it is all over. They think in terms of finite resources.  They usually have an ‘us against them’ mentality. In actuality, there is enough for all.

This limiting frame of mind comes from focusing on ‘lack’. They concentrate on what they do not have. It is poverty thinking. People with this mindset see resources as scarce instead of as plentiful.  In the midst of the most difficult depressions and recessions millionaires and billionaires are made. It is not that there isn’t money out there, there is tons of it.

You can’t expect to climb up the hill if all your thinking is down hill thoughts. If you are focused on what is broken, or not working, or what you don’t have you will be missing what is actually potentially available. If you are thinking you won’t succeed failure is assured. If your time is spent feeling jealous or criticizing others when they succeed your success is so less likely.

Some people encounter a problem and all of their energy and thoughts go into ‘having a problem’. They think about the problem day and night, they wonder ‘why me’ and resent that there is an issue. This person is focused on the problem so guess what they see most of the time. The problem AND it looms large in their mind.

What a person needs to do is recognize when there is a problem and then focus on the solution. How can I solve this is a better question than why do I have this problem? What can I begin to do to move forward is a better question than remaining stuck. What resources do I have, who do I know who can help me through this, what do I need to learn are all better ways of thinking.

Once we truly realize that there IS plenty of money to fund our project, and that we can find it when we look for it, no matter what it takes, we operate from a position of power. We have a positive mind set and we think positive thoughts which lead to positive actions.

Since many of us already engage in limiting thinking we need to turn our thinking around. We need to free ourselves from what ‘can’t be’, and move into what ‘can be’.  We have to manage our thoughts and our feelings so our energy is freed up to do whatever it takes to get the job done. So we put the poverty, limited, scarcity thoughts out of our minds.

What we really need to do is make more pies. We need to create and keep creating and demonstrate there is enough for everyone. We need to maintain a positive focus and continue to work to make our dreams come true.

Success leaves clues. One way to set yourself up to succeed more readily and easily is to learn from others who have already done what you want to do. Study the successful people to know what they did and what you might do. Study the failed campaigns to know what not to do. You will learn from both.

Seek people who can mentor you and advise you. Learning means gathering useful and accurate information and acting on it appropriately. It means enlisting others who can work with you and help you accomplish your goals. Read whatever you can, talk with others, become an intern, go to work fundraising for charities or other concerns. Learn everything you can about the world of finance and business because that IS what the motion picture ‘business’ is truly about.

Movie making is all based on commerce. It is a commercial venture. It is the creative manufacture of a product for sale in the marketplace. It is about raising money, spending money, making and losing money.

Hey, I get it. You want to make movies. You consider yourself an artist. You don’t want any part of the money side. Yes, I know. All I want to do is make movies too.

Well, if that is ALL you want to do, get your friends and a video camera, film your story and edit it. Show your friends and family. Congratulate yourself for having made a movie. If it is good and you enjoyed making the movie do it again if you like. You are a filmmaker.

If you want to compete in the marketplace of movies and media that is all about business. Movies are made, marketed and positioned in the same way a detergent is so that it ends up eye level on a super market shelf. Product is made and distributed  TO MAKE SOMEONE MONEY!

So your mind set is definitely important! Define yourself and your career. Are you a carefree artist? Would you be happy making movies to show to a few in the desert or a you filmmaker attempting to break into the commercial world of filmmaking? Whichever it is, pursue it. One choice is much easier than the other, unless you decide as an artist, that you need to raise money to make your movie. Then BAM you are back in the world of finance.

When you take money from people, UNLESS it is a NO STRINGS ATTACHED GIFT (rarely if ever IS that the case) YOU have a responsibility to return their money and them some (or at the VERY LEAST make every reasonable attempt to) if they invested  or you have to deliver on the perks and promises of your crowdfunding campaign. Either way you OWE those who supported you.

So mind set and attitude is important. Having the proper confident mindset will see you through the easy times and the difficult times. Having a winning attitude, a can do attitude means you have learned the ability to stay focused on what you want and seek solutions when the going is tough or everything around you is crumbling.

Because raising money, by whatever means, takes a lot of work you have to go into it believing you will succeed. You should be optimistic and expect good results. You should expect it to be tough and take time but you should know that it IS possible and that you can do it. You have to believe in yourself and be confident. If you don’t know what you are doing be assured you can learn how to do it and do it well. One thing about people that is certain is that we can learn to do anything if we will apply ourselves and seek out useful resources.

You want to be certain you put together the right team for your fundraising project. Everyone should be on the same page about what you are attempting to do and this requires excellent communication skills. You need to make certain everyone understands what your plan is and agrees on the plan. It is ok for people to have alternate ideas and  to sort through them.

You want to get positive input from people. You want people to suggest reasonable ways that work. You do want to be able to think outside the box, as well.  You want to put everything on the table and sort it out prior to implementing your plan. Once you come up with a good plan you work the plan. You want everyone understanding what the plan is all along the way and working the exact same plan.  Likewise, you want everyone making the same movie, when it is in production, not the versions they have of it in their heads.

Not all plans work so you may need to adjust along the way. Since raising money is a lot of work you want to make sure your team is loyal and committed and that each does what is required of them so that everything goes smoothly.

If you go into this expecting to divide the work evenly among committee members and then everything ends up on the shoulders of one or two people no one is going to be very happy. You don’t want skirmishes to rip your team apart once you begin so do everything you can in the beginning to make sure you have all the right team members. No one ever actually succeeds alone.

So you want to be careful about the ‘bad apples’. For whatever reason some people can create an awful lot of discord and you want to maintain a positive team and frame of mind. If you have to let someone go, if a person or two is not a fit or a good team player,  let them go respectfully. There is never a reason to create enemies. Keep goodwill.  You may suggest that you work together at another time on a more suitable project for both of you.

Fundraising is tough but if you focus only on how tough it is, it will only be tougher. This is why you need to be dedicated and committed, educated and confident that you are able to succeed. Stay cheerful in both the good times and the not so good times. Keep your eyes on the end goal when times are tough. Attitude is everything so keep your chin up. Investors can tell when you are low or if you don’t fully believe in yourselves or your project. You need to believe your project is worth making and that you can get it made.

Work on developing a powerful positive mindset. There  is more to a positive mindset than a’rah rah’ cheerleading squad type motivational shout up. You should learn what you need to do, learn how to do it, be confident that with the right mentors and practice you will get better and that you will be able to reach your goal.  Remember always that you can do it when you work at it. Work smarter not harder.

As you inch closer and closer to making it happen it is natural and good to be enthusiastic. Don’t lose sight of what you are working to achieve. Make it happen and enjoy it.

A good team leader has the right mindset all the time. A good leader needs to be able to be enthusiastic when times are tough so that the team is not discouraged. A good leader needs to be understanding, compassionate and a great motivator. A truly great leader leads by example not by orders. When people are around someone who walks the talk they want to walk it too. Bottom line, if your goal is to add value to all and be an inspiration to all you will be working well whether the team leader or a team member. Again, attitude IS everything.

Believe that you can do it. Henry Ford said, ‘Whether you think you can or you think you can’t you are right.’ No sea captain starts a voyage thinking they won’t get to their destination and neither should you. It doesn’t matter how difficult it is if you keep at it, if you are open to feedback and adapt your plans as may be necessary, you can make it happen.

Some projects don’t get funded right away, some do and then lose funding. Any number of things can happen that can make the going tougher than one imagined but don’t you quit if this is truly important to you. When you stick with it, with the right attitude, you will find another way. Stay focused on the goal, the solutions and believe in yourself, your project, your team and that you will prevail.

Consider this: Movies get funded and made every day.

I repeat: MOVIES GET FUNDED AND MADE EVERY DAY!

Sure, it is tough but it happens. Projects get green lit from the  studios, independent films find their funding, crowdfunded pictures get their money to move forward, and more.

These happen all the time.  It all boils down to a simple thought: If others can do it so can you! Keep the faith.” Rex Sikes

Next time well will discuss what I believe are some important factors in launching your projects and determining how to move ahead to fund it.

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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

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UPCOMING: Milwaukee Film Festival: Late-night film program expands

dr-strangelove-1 riding the bomb

It seems there may be a little something for everyone Late Night at Milwaukee Film Festival. It runs from September 25 to October 9, 2014. Perhaps, I will see you there. Enjoy! Rex

2014 Milwaukee Film Festival Announces Cinema Hooligante Films

Late-night film program expands to include more science fiction, fantasy, and comedy

MILWAUKEE – Thursday, August 21, 2014 – The 6th Annual Milwaukee Film Festival, presented by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, announces its lineup for Cinema Hooligante. Now in its third year, the popular late-night film program expands to include more science fiction, fantasy, and comedy, alongside its traditional repertoire of horror, gore, and cult films. Embracing the mantra “where grown-ups come out to play,” Milwaukee Film adds variety to the mix through a more balanced offering of genres.

“Our vision for Cinema Hooligante this year was to focus on films that in some way pushed the boundaries of reality, with genres ranging from science fiction to oddball comedy. Two films that I’m especially excited to show are Mood Indigo and Patema Inverted, both of which are charmingly fantastical. They also both illustrate growth in the programming, one being Hooligante’s first romance film, and the other being its first anime film,” shares Kristen Coates, Operations Director and co-programmer for Cinema Hooligante.

Milwaukee Film Programming Manager and co-programmer for Cinema Hooligante, Jaclyn O’Grady adds: “We took the movies that live somewhere on the edges and outskirts of the festival and found a place for them with Cinema Hooligante. Wetlands is an example of such a film and one I’m really excited to show this year. It’s a really great story with excellent acting and it really pushes the envelope. If it wasn’t so disturbing at times, it could easily fit within another program at the festival. You’ll love it as long as you can get through it without throwing up.”

Also in the lineup this year are two classic films screening in 35mm. John Axford presents Stanley Kubrick’s satirical comedy, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb in celebration of its 50th anniversary, (Axford presented Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey at MFF 2013). Rob Reiner’s acclaimed rockumentary, This is Spinal Tap, will also screen in celebration of its 30th anniversary.

For those Hooligante fans still recovering from the previous night’s midnight screening, the Milwaukee Film Festival and Milwaukee Record present Bloody Sunday at The Hotel Foster–a hangover party filled with specials on Bloody Marys, free cold pizza, and non-stop horror films on Sunday, September 28 from 11am to 3pm.

Media Sponsor: Milwaukee Record

2014 MILWAUKEE FILM FESTIVAL

CINEMA HOOLIGANTE
Each of these films will push the boundaries of reality, playing with the rules on fantasy, horror, science fiction, comedy, and the very best of cult cinema. Cinema Hooligante is where the grown-ups come out to play.

Dr. Strangelove01

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (USA, United Kingdom / 1964 / Director: Stanley Kubrick)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/1gXY3kuDvSU
Not just a great black comedy, but one of the greatest films of all time, Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove is vicious and hilarious, a political satire that feels no less fresh and relevant now than it did upon its release 50 years ago. With the Soviet Union and U.S. on the verge of nuclear war, it only takes one loony general (Sterling Hayden) who believes that the Commies seek to destroy our “precious bodily fluids,” a Pentagon war room populated by maniacs (including an unhinged George C. Scott, with Peter Sellers playing both the president and a Nazi scientist), and a patriotic B-52 bomber pilot carrying an atomic payload (the iconic Slim Pickens) to assure our mutual destruction.

Mood Indigo01

Mood Indigo (L’ecume des Jours)
(France / 2013 / Director: Michel Gondry)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/dh3V-dFlmyk
Visionary director Michel Gondry returns to the visually spectacular surrealistic love story setting wherein he’s found his greatest success (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep) with Mood Indigo. Colin (Romain Duris) engages in a whirlwind love affair with the beautiful Chloe (Audrey Tautou) only to find Chloe afflicted with a strange malady—a water lily growing in her lungs—that challenges both her health and their relationship. No director is capable of marrying the visually poetic with melancholy as effectively as Gondry, who captures the ecstatic highs and manic lows of love through a series of boundlessly creative sequences.

Patema Inverted

Patema Inverted (Sakasama No Patema)
(Japan / 2013 / Director: Yasuhiro Yoshiura)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/RQZAXLAV63s

This stunning anime revolves around a botched scientific experiment that has led to two dramatically different societies: the inverts who have lost their gravity and must live deep underground so as not to fall into the sky, and those who live above and are forbidden to look up for fear of these inverts. Underground princess Patema and rebellious surface-dweller Age refuse to believe in the totalitarian government’s status quo and find one another in this dynamic and intelligent sci-fi allegory. Intelligently exploring ideas about fear of the unknown and prejudice, the film follows Patema and Age as they look to bridge these upside-down worlds and discover the beautiful equilibrium that can come from coexistence.

The Raid 2 04

The Raid 2
(Indonesia / 2013 / Director: Gareth Evans)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/MG9uFX3uYq4
An unrelenting exercise in bone-crunching action, The Raid 2 is manna from action-lovers heaven. Undercover cop Rama infiltrates a burgeoning gang war between Arab and Japanese crime syndicates by befriending the son of crime boss Bangun while in prison, insinuating himself into an increasingly dangerous game of cat and mouse. The perfect antidote for anyone who thought The Departed could’ve done with more face-kicking, director Gareth Evans’ crime epic is packed with action sequences of exquisite intensity. The symphony of mayhem culminates with a nearly 30-minute finale that is among the best ever filmed—it practically demands to be seen on the big screen.

This Is Spinal Tap01

This Is Spinal Tap
(USA / 1984 / Director: Rob Reiner)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/N63XSUpe-0o

Turn it up to 11 at this year’s MFF with Rob Reiner’s all-time great rockumentary following the exploits of David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest), Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer), and an endless succession of deceased percussionists that form Spinal Tap. With the assistance of eerily accurate details supplied by real-life metal bands, we watch the hilarious exploits of this group on the wane as their misfortune begets smaller and smaller venues (including Milwaukee’s then-fictitious Shank Hall) and larger and funnier insults. An inspiration to every comedic mockumentary that has followed in its footsteps, This Is Spinal Tap hasn’t lost an iota of its verve and energy in the 30 years since its release.

Time Lapse 2014 movie pic5

Time Lapse
(USA / 2014 / Director: Bradley King)
Trailer: http://vimeo.com/88809713
Three friends (including MFF 2011 alum Matt O’Leary, Natural Selection) discover a remarkable machine that photographs events exactly 24 hours into the future in this twisting science-fiction action thriller. Found inside an abandoned neighboring apartment, this machine opens up a world of possibilities for the trio to cash in on, but their friendship is tested by an unstable criminal looking to exploit the machine for his own gains. In the proud tradition of past (or is it future?) time-traveling indies such as Timecrimes and Primer, Time Lapse is a film as much about ideas as thrills, combining action, humor, and philosophy with aplomb.

Wetlands

Wetlands (Feuchtgebiete)
(Germany / 2013 / Director: David Wnendt)
Trailer: http://vimeo.com/72133858
A film as unapologetic as the main character it portrays, Wetlands is the adaptation of a novel once thought unfilmable. We follow the explicit exploits of Helen, our skateboarding 18-year-old protagonist whose brazen interest in bodily fluids and female sexuality finds her sharing used tampons, masturbating with vegetables, and exploring all other manner of debauchery. An unfortunate shaving mishap lands her in the hospital with an anal fissure, so she whiles away the hours by scheming to reunite her divorced parents and engaging in ribald flirtation with her handsome male nurse. Unashamed and uncompromising, but filled with infectious energy and a show stopping lead performance, Wetlands is an unforgettable film experience.

Witching And Bitching

Witching and Bitching (Las Brujas de Zugarramurdi)
(Spain, France / 2013 / Director: Álex de la Iglesia)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/ISqG3zjZZVk

Alex de la Iglesia (The Last Circus, MFF 2011) is back with his latest go-for-broke genre mash-up, following a group of robbers who hide out in the Basque countryside in the aftermath of an audacious daytime robbery. Little do they know they’ve happened upon the infamous village of Zugarramurdi, home to a coven of vengeful witches—and the robbers happen to be just in time for an ancient ceremony that requires the ultimate sacrifice from its unwilling male participants. Iglesia fills his madcap supernatural spectacle with copious amounts of sex, gore, and comedy, living up to his reputation as Spain’s preeminent master of gonzo filmmaking.

The 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival runs September 25 – October 9, 2014 at the Landmark Oriental Theatre, Landmark Downer Theatre, Fox-Bay Cinema Grill and Times Cinema. Passes and ticket 6-Packs for the 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival are currently available at discounted rates exclusively online at mkefilm.org/tickets.

Tickets for individual screenings will be available through Milwaukee Film Festival Box Office starting September 10 for Milwaukee Film Members and September 11 for the General Public.

 

Subscribe and Follow Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Blog!  Visit often & please share with others!

*** 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

Daniel Veluzat | Executive Producer | Director | Actor | StuntMan | Studio Manager | Movie Set | Ranch Owner

daniel veluzat

Daniel Veluzat is an entrepreneur like no other. He started off in the entertainment business over 30 years ago. As a young boy Daniel grew up on movie / television sets such as 1941 starring John Belushi, Baba Black Sheep starring Robert Conrad, McMillian and Wife starring Rock Hudson, and Maverick – The Lazy Ace starring James Garner.

Daniel has had such unique opportunities as visiting “Fantasy Island”, spending the day on “Gilligan’s Island”, and cruising the streets of Hazzard County in his family owned General Lee’s from “Duke’s of Hazzard”. His family built many vehicles for television and movies. He rode in General Lee’s, Army tanks, Kit from “Knight Rider” and even the “A-Team” van.

TO LISTEN CLICK THE BOLDED LINK Below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with producer Daniel Veluzat PT 3

TO LISTEN CLICK THE BOLDED LINK Below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with producer Daniel Veluzat

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with producer Daniel Veluzat PT 2

As Daniel Veluzat became a young man his experiences in the film industry continued to grow. He owns and helps run The Veluzat Motion Picture Ranch and Melody Ranch Studios located in the Santa Clarita Valley area.

Both Motion Picture Ranches have been the backdrop where countless movies, television shows, commercials and music videos have been filmed. Daniel has worked on the ranches as a location liaison on many television shows. Daniel has a great love for music seeing how he fronted his own Heavy Metal band “Untaymd” and he has been able to continue being around music as he has been able work on music videos for many artists.

Daniel has been part of working on some of Hollywood’s biggest films. He has been a part of over 150 film and television productions and has also had the privilege to work alongside many of Hollywood’s most famous people.

He has worked as a Executive and Co Executive producer, Director, Actor, location liaison, studio manager, Stage Manager, stunt man, production designer, art director, set dresser and more! Daniel has also provided equipment to the industry such as motion picture vehicles, water trucks, production trailers, props and set dressing.

Official Veluzat ‘s Melody Ranch Studios Website

Veluzat Motion Picture Ranch Official Website

Veluzat’s Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studios FaceBook Page

Veluzat Motion Picture Studios FaceBook Page

Yellow Rock Official Website

Director Nick Vallelonga Yellow Rock interview on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat

Yellow Rock Co-stars Eddie & Michael Spears Interview on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat

Yellow Rock Producers and Writers Lenore Andriel & Steve Doucette Interview on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat

Subscribe and Follow Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Blog!  Visit often & please share with others!

*** 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