Category Archives: television business

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!!!

Flyway Film Festival – Day One – Thoughts Along The Mississippi

rickvaicius-by photologic

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!!!

*********

Oct 22. Early morning: I’m watching the sun come up over the Mississippi in Maiden Rock, WI. A beautiful morning it is. I am sitting in my car for the past hour working on my blogs. The restaurant, I thought opened at 6 am, opens at 8. Silly me.  That is fine it is a gorgeous sunrise in a gorgeous location. I can use the two hours next to the river for work.

Flyway Film Festival, one of the most delightful festivals I attend, and one coming up in the world of important film festivals, takes place this year in Pepin and Stockholm, Wisconsin as always. Last year Maiden Rock was added. This year includes the incredibly quaint riverside city of Alma and Red Wing, Minnesota. Flyway has spread its wings.

Three world premiere movies take place here this festival. These are Pictures of Lily, by British director Mark Banks; Remittance, by Patrick Daly and Joel Fendelman, and Second Honeymoonby Dutch filmmaker Kristjan Knigge.

It is great to see Kristjan again. He and his cast and crew joined Jake Stetler, his lovely wife Colette and me at our table, last evening. David Potter joined us as well. Later, Jeremy Wilker did too. Non stop people visited and chatted too. Kristjan will be shooting a new feature in the Flyway area after the festival.

Great to see Vince Columbo and his wife, Frederick Thornton and Sean Hackett. Terry Reed showed up.  Kevin Pontuti and University of Stout friends, Alison Lisk (dare I mention, who gave me a nice kiss on the cheek while getting our photo taken), Diana Vaicius, Sarah Moua, Lu Lipold and many others.

Villa Bellezza Winery, again, hosted last night’s kickoff gala.  A  staple of Flyway, the Gala features one of the most impressive feasts of food and flowing drink anywhere. More impressive than some of the larger name famous festivals elsewhere.

Each year Flyway food specialists seem to out do themselves. I always out eat myself.  It is a fun time as people catch up from around the states and the world. I saw many wonderful friends last night and made some new ones.

The evening began with the feasting, then a stimulating keynote talk by Full Frame Documentary Festival’s Deirdre Haj, followed by awards and live music. Festival founder Rich Vaicius presented awards and made the opening greeting.

horizon flyway 8

Whether indoors or sitting outdoors in the courtyard after the ceremonies the place rocked with filmmakers happy to once again be together.

Late night sees us all down at the river front for continued festivities. Next to the Flyway Film Office is the breakout room or party palace The Minema. Open until 2am there is plenty for partying filmmakers to do and partake of. Many may have had to drag their butts out of there at 2pm. People party well here.

The morning workshop is in Maiden Rock at 10:30 am. ‘The Art Of The Pitch’ led by Erica Anderson of Seed and Spark. This workshop will cover building the tools you need for a successful pitch meeting: identifying your end game, crafting the story, and conveying confidence.

The class covers the basics of pitching for anything: film, tech, non-profit, to brands, Filmmakers can come prepared to pitch your current or next project!

****

THE ART OF THE PITCH – UPDATE – 10:30 am.  Workshop with Erica Anderson. Main points, whether pitching for attaching director or cast, TV or film project, or financing:

  1. Stand for something. Care about it. People respond to your passion.
  2. What is your end game? Where is it going? Where will it end up?
  3. Who is your audience? Pitch differs according to who you are pitching. Tailor it to whom you are pitching.

Erica covered many excellent points. What are you offering the people you are pitching? Research the people you pitch. What have they done? Know who they are and their interests so that your offer is meaningful. Practice your pitch and hone it.

Four Needs. Why are you qualified? Why should you be doing this project?  Why is this project important? Why should it happen right now? Bottom line – Why should they get involved.

She covered the basics of a ‘money’ or ‘project’ pitch. She discussed elements of body language and how to conduct yourself  as a professional during the pitch.

Workshop attendees then had the opportunity to construct and practice pitches with Erica so that by the conclusion of the workshop they each had at least 1, 1-2 minute pitch, they could use in the real world. All in all an excellent workshop. Well worth the time.

****

Lunch Oct 22 noonish: We gathered back at 6 Street String. Food there is tasty.

For many years I have maintained that one of the most productive things storytellers can do is make a television or web series. It keeps you working much longer as opposed to a one off. It can bring money into your community and be good for economic development.

There are many additional reasons and advantages to telling your stories in a series format. So, I am eager to attend the following program.

The Afternoon  Workshop 1:30 pm is called “Make a Series, Damn It!” Julie Keck and Jessica King, of Chicago’s King is a Fink Productions, have had great success in making series and will share their advice on today at 1:30. I am excited to notice that more filmmakers are thinking along these lines and I am looking forward to attending.

****

MAKE A SERIES DAMN IT! – UPDATE – 1:30 pm workshop with Julie Keck and Jessica King. Julie & Jessica have produced approximately 20 niche web series. Covered during the workshop:

  1. How to develop a series concept for the web.
  2. How and why to target an audience.
  3. Options for funding and distribution.

The workshop started off with a discussion of successful comedic web series. First Rule is to put your audience first. Know your target audience. Understand your audience so you know how to market to them.

They suggested you consider whose stories are being told in mainstream film and television. People gather online to discuss topics and these are ripe for story development. What haven’t you seen? What can you blend or mix that would be new and unique? Is there a place online for these?

Second Rule is think small. You aren’t a studio production. Keep it small. Use Only a few characters and a few locations. Keep it simple. Consider, too, the different platforms the consumers watch on; phones, computers, notebooks, tablets.  Rule Three how easy is it to share? Spread it through social media. You want it to be cool enough that people share it.

Discussion followed on funding options: Independently funded; Sponsored and product placement. Hand in hand with knowing your audience is knowing companies who are interested in or cater to your audience. Then Crowdfunding was discussed.

Jessica and Julie spoke to distribution methods. Direct Distribution means you release your product through established channels. Do It Yourself (DIY) release to your own audience in a variety of ways.

It proved to be an informative workshop for filmmakers on creating, financing and distributing web series. Great questions and answers followed.

****

There is much camaraderie at Flyway and I’m looking forward to all the good times ahead.

Soon, my breakfast spot will open and friends will appear.  I will report back during the festival highlights and tidbits. I may broadcast a live show here as well.

This area of Western Wisconsin is called the “Driftless Area,” where the river bluffs were left untouched by glaciers.  The opening night film tonight, Thursday, (7pm) stars John Hawkes and Zooey Deschanel star in a neo-noir romance titled ‘The Driftless Area’.

For now the sun is up but behind the hillsides. The steam rises from the Mississippi. The birds are chirping  and people are beginning to go to work. My dark spot behind the restaurant next to the water is coming to life. It is absolutely wonderful. AS is the Flyway Film Festival.

8 am: The restaurant 6 Street Sting is open. I step in for coffee and breakfast as friends begin arriving. I will add to this post and share in social media for you to vicariously enjoy Flyway. Hopefully, you will join us all someday soon!

BTW I have a new love in my life. The city of Alma, Wisconsin on the eastern side of the Mississippi. What a beautiful riverside’ village. The drive up the eastern side of the river from LaCrosse is outstanding. Going to be a staple drive for me in the future, I can tell.

In the not too distant future too, as it looks like I may be coming back to help out on Kristjan’s feature. That is an exciting new possibility.

If you have not yet attended, keep it mind for the ninth year next year. You will keep coming back each year after that. I promise you.

Check Back because I will update this page during the day.

UPDATE – post workshops.

The drive back from Maiden Rock along the bluffs and hillside decorating the Mississippi is glorious. I drove to Mineva and joined director and producer Sean Hackett and Fred Thornton, from L A and writer directors Andrew and John from NYC on the roof top overlooking the river. A wonderful time for an hour or more.

Then downstairs into the Mineva for complimentary ‘Happy Hour’ cocktails and hor ‘dourves  and great conversation with Alison Lisk and others. Alison and I adjourned around 5 pm to sit outside, eat and drink and talk look at the river. People come and go.

I leave in a couple minutes to go see the opening film. Will report back later and at the end of the evening.

EVENING UPDATE – Opening Movie & Shorts

The Flyway Film  Fest opening feature was the well made and well acted ‘The Driftless Area’. Sadly, according to the director Zachary Sluser, most of this fine feature was shot in British Columbia, instead of Wisconsin because Wisconsin has no incentive program.  B roll snippets are all of the actual area contained in the movie. He made the argument that Wisconsin needs film incentives, a point I and others heartily agree.

I asked him if there were any cons working with the unions SAG/Aftra and IATSE. He said none. Although, one did have to be smart about how they budgeted their days and they could not just go extra hours because they wanted or needed to. I asked the question because many filmmakers here and elsewhere are concerned about unions and in some cases afraid to sign contracts.

According to the answer I received, and the numerous shorts that carried the Sag/Aftra bug, I believe their fears to be unfounded. So yes, work with the unions on your pictures and lobby for incentives is my take away along with some great entertainment. I have always been proud to be SAG and AFTRA, now under one banner, and the union has been quite accommodating to make it possible for me to work with newer filmmakers.

The Shorts Program was well programmed. Fine filmmaking abounded. The films were “Daddy’s Little Girl’ directed by Chad McClarnon; ‘Little Cabbage’ directed by Jen West; ‘From The Sky’ directed by Ian Ebright; ‘Monkeys’ directed by Christopher Soren Kelly; ‘Hunter’s Fall, directed by Peter McCarthy; ‘Long Distance Calling’ directed by Andrew Gitomer. West, Kelly, McCarthy and Gitomer, in attendance, answered questions afterwards.

From there we adjourned to The Minema for food, drink, conversation, music and dancing. A great first day of Flyway. Well done founders, programmers, staff and volunteers. Kudos to you all for making our stay a marvelous one. You deserve a big round of applause!!!

I left at 1am to write theses concluding updates and begin my other blog for tomorrow. I will begin tomorrow with Day 2. Stay tuned, stay posted. If you have comments or questions feel free to leave them in the box below.

Plus, I will post separate daily pages.

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!

Rocky Lang | Producer | Author | Growing Up Hollywood

Rocky Lang head shot 0009

Ever wonder what really goes on behind the veil of Hollywood? Rocky Lang, who grew up in the 90210, is the son of mega-producer and disaster master Jennings Lang, (Earthquake, the Airport movies and thirty-five other features), and dishes it all out in his book, Growing Up Hollywood, Tales From The Son Of A Hollywood Mogul.

Listen to ‘Growing Up Hollywood’  click the bolded link below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with author/producer/director Rocky Lang Pt 2

Previous conversation with Rocky. To Listen click bolded link below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with author/producer/director Rocky Lang

He grew up with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Walter Matthau, Billy Wilder and many more. Told in a self deprecating style, Lang weaves tales of some ofHollywood’s most bizarre and never before told stories, including;! !

* Was his father really shot in the balls by the jealous husband of screen siren Joan Bennett?!

* The night he showed up to a pajama party at the Playboy Mansion only to find out is was a private dinner.!

* His relationship with Steven Spielberg prior and after his meteoric rise.!

* He recounts the brutal fights between Sydney Pollack and Dustin Hoffman on Tootsie.! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hollywood r5x8_Cover_FINAL copy 2(1) copy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

In addition to writing seven books, Rocky Lang is also a film director, screenwriter and producer. He produced Ridley Scott’s White Squall, staring Jeff Bridges and the CBS Emmy Award winning, Titanic along with several other movies..

Rocky Lang has been involved in the motion picture and television business all his life. He  Executive Produced, “Racing For Time” for Lifetime Television starring Charles Dutton, which received a Best Picture nomination for The Image Awards.

Previous conversation with Rocky. To Listen click bolded link below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with author/producer/director Rocky Lang

Growing up as the son of veteran producer and Universal Studios executive, Jennings Lang (“Earthquake” “Play Misty For Me” among others), Rocky knew early on that he wanted to write/produce and direct.

Lang set himself on a track that has seen him produce and direct five documentary films including the award-winning “The Making of Tootsie”, assignments directing the long-running hit show “Remington Steele” and then on to direct three features, “Nervous Ticks”, (Columbia Tri-Star) “Race For Glory”, (New Century Vista) “All’s Fair”, (Moviestore).

Besides his directing career, Lang has had deals as a producer and director with Warner Bros., Universal, New World, CBS, NBC, ABC, Twentieth Century Fox, Cinecom, MGM and United Artists.

Lang is also an award winning screenwriter, having written several screenplays and has received a dramatic writing award from the Houston Film Festival for his original screenplay, The Low Post.  His screenplay, Crossing Memphis, was optioned by Quincy Jones and Columbia Pictures.  Mr. Lang’s script, The Babe That Struck out Ruth sold to ‘bel Films.

Rocky Lang was enjoying a successful lifetime career as a Hollywood producer, director and writer when, in 2002, his life was dramatically changed by his young daughter’s diagnosis of type I diabetes.  While continuing his work in the entertainment industry, Mr. Lang’s priorities shifted as he immersed himself in the care of his daughter and the chronic disease that now ruled their lives. 

Realizing that there was a need for products that educate, entertain and empower children and adults living with chronic illnesses, he wrote the acclaimed children’s book Lara Takes Charge.  Due to the success of the book, Mr. Lang has forged strong relationships with doctors, scientists, hospitals, drug companies and other major medical institutions resulting in a wealth of resources and support for his efforts.

rocky-Lang

His book Lara Takes Charge is in the hands of over 15,000 children, hospitals, and libraries.  

On May 29th, 2008, the American Diabetes Association honored Mr. Lang as Father Of The Year at The Beverly Hills Hotel for his advocacy for children living with diabetes.

He is also partner in the company Books To Film. TV, (www.bookstofilm.tv) an author and publishing service company that assists writers and publishers by helping them bring their books to Hollywood and the multi-media and entertainment industries.  

Lang has appeared at Book Expo America, Publishers University, Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and other conventions across the country.

He is also the creator of The CourageBag, www.couragebag.com designed for people living with diabetes which was recently bought by the international luggage company TravelOn  which was  featured on QVC. 

Mr. Lang has served on the board of Foundation School Community, a progressive school in Los Angeles, and the Health Education Advisory Board at Children’s Hospital, and The Los Angeles Community Leadership Board and ADA National Youth Strategy Board for The American Diabetes Association.

He attended the University of California, Los Angeles and has the honor of being the youngest director accepted to the American Film Institute. Mr. Lang lives in Toluca Lake, CA.

Growing Up Hollywood, Tales From The Son Of A Hollywood Mogul, is published byHLPI Books, $7.95, November 2014. Available from Amazon.

Rocky Lang Official Website

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Peter D Marshall

peter d marshall

Peter Marshall so far has had a 35-year career and has worked as a PA, dolly grip, electrician, assistant cameraman, commercial production manager, first assistant director, TV series creative consultant, television producer and director.  

He has worked on many different types of productions, from industrial films to documentaries; television commercials to music videos; Emmy Award nominated TV series to Hollywood feature films.

Peter has directed over 30 episodes of Television Drama and written, directed or produced over 50 hours of documentary and educational programs. His documentaries and dramas have won, or been nominated for, 14 International film awards.

UPCOMING LIVE: Thursday Dec 4, 2014  11aE 10AC 8aP TO LISTEN CLICK THE BOLDED LINK BELOW:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 30

Peter has some incredible products for the director and 1st AD a his website. He also organizes thoughts and materials in an incredible easy way for filmmakers to use and apply. I asked Peter to discuss the criteria necessary to be a good director. In this series we go over elements and priciples critical to apply when preparing to direct and when directing. Enjoy this nuts and bolts Director Series with Peter D. Marshall.

***The Directors Series on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat is listed in descending order from first aired to last episode.***

TO LISTEN RIGHT NOW – CLICK BOLDED LINK BELOW:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 1

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 2

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 3

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 4

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 5

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 6

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 7

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 8

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 9

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 10

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 11

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 12

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 13

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 14

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 15

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 16

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 17

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 18

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 19

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 20

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 21

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 22

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 23

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 24

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 25

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 26

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 27

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 28

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 29

As a First Assistant Director he’s worked on 12 Feature Films, 15 Television Movies, 6 Television Series, 4 TV Pilots & over 20 Commercials. He’s  worked for directors such as Zack Snyder, John Woo, Ed Wick, Phillip Noyce, John Balham, Roger Adam, Anne Wheeler, Bobby Roth &  Kim Manners.

He has worked with talented actors including Michelle Pfeiffer, Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman, John Travolta, Mel Gibson, Kathy Bates, Adam Sandler and Peter O’Toole.

He has co-ordinated huge WW1 battle scenes, planned complicated visual FX scenes, managed large groups of extras & directed intimate emotional scenes between two actors. 

His first major series as 1st Assistant Director was Steven J. Cannel’s “Stingray” in 1986 after having been the 1st AD on a Canadian TV series called “Hamilton’s Quest”.

Thereafter he worked on several more TV series with Cannell and became 1st AD on “Wiseguy.” which he worked for two years. He  got his directing break on this series & directed a couple of episodes.

“The Fly 2.” was his move into feature films as a 1st AD. Other credits include “Happy Gilmore”, “Dawn of the Dead”, “The Butterfly effect”, “Lizzie McGuire Movie”,  “Look Who’s Talking Now”, “Bird on a Wire”,  scores of television series as 1st AD & as a director.

Peter Marshall Official Web Site  Peter has incredible learning products, ezine, workshops, blog and services. Check into these.

*** 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

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

gil catesAugust 05- 201329-1 copy

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.

To Listen Click on the BOLDED LINK BELOW:

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

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).

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

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..

ambition-and-action-2-steps-to-success4

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