Tag Archives: cinematographer

Flyway Film Festival Update October 24 Day 1 and 2

flyawayfilm1

WoW ! It is incredible to be back in Pepin, Wisconsin for the Flyway Film Festival. This fest is one of my favs and you have heard me or read me rave about it in past years. Pepin and Stockholm along the Mississippi make it worth coming to the festival just for the view and the ambiance. This year’s expansion into Maiden Rock  allow one to drive up the west coast of Wisconsin which rivals my own beloved PCH in many ways.

I saw a bald eagle this morning on the way to the Maiden Rock venue for a fabulous film presentation on crowdfunding with Erica Anderson from Seed and Spark. Seed and Spark has an interesting feature to their crowdfunding which allows contributors to cover the 5% funding fee which filmmakers should look into.

This makes Seed and Spark unique among other platforms. Illuminating thoughts and ideas, cutting edge practices and principles, and practical must do’s comprised her talk on how to successfully engage yourbaudience and crowdfund  your film project.  A very well thought out and informative presentation.

Okay, into the past. I got to Pepin by car at about 2pm Thursday October 23, 2014. This sleepy haven area is home for artists and others who help put on the festival by volunteering. There are some wonderful eateries, bars, local flavor, pumpkin patches and a couple very delightful wineries.

The drive in from Western Wisconsin and up along the western side of the Mississippi in Minnesota before turning back into Wisconsin is absolutely worth it and I look forward to it each year. Gorgeous!  Upon arrival, checking in at office, running into some awesome filmmaker friends Fred Thornton and Sean Hackett, I spent some time taking in sights until the 6pm Gala began at the local and lovely Villa Bellezza Winery.

Villa Belezza is fairly new. Last year marked it’s inclusion as a venue for the festival. It is good to return there this year. A great hall houses more food and beverages than one can imagine. Free flowing wine, beer, soda, water, coffee all included. The desert table, if you enjoy deserts, I am sure is ‘to die for’.

Musical Entertainment was provided by Sun Gods to Gamma Rays. Rick Vaicius spoke, distributed Axe awards and introduced the keynote speaker producer Nicholas Gonda, co-founder of Tugg, INC.

After eating more than a human can handle and numerous glasses of wine, some soda, coffee and water this little, BIG, piggy made his way with friends to the Filmmaker lounger where partying continued into late night. More free food and drink. Goodness, someone cut me off. Actually, I don’t drink much, so water was what I enjoyed but the food… stop please…

So many awesome filmmakers to catch up with. David Potter and Jake Stetler and I held a corner down for a few hours chatting films and catching up. I’m so glad to see so many.

There is another upcoming panel this afternoon and then another winery hosts a wine tasting and cheese event – evening films begin after. The documentary panel was enjoyed by many. The panel included Jeff Spitz (Food Patriots), Jesse Roesler (The Starfish Throwers) Amy Elliott (Wicker Kittens), Jan Selby (Beyond The Divide).

Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery hosted a great wine, cider and cheese sampling. Jake and I arrived on time and got to feast as others came in for the next couple hours. From there we went to dinner at Gelly’s and then to movies at the Villa Bellezza. One feature I wanted to see at other festivals I saw here, Time Lapse directed by Bradley King proved intriguing and a great demonstration of low budget, one location filmmaking utilizing recognizable SAG talent.

After movies we enjoyed a late after party. MORE FREE FOOD at Cucina Ceci until about 3. The filmmaker lounge open at this time was another venue we hit before retiring for the day. Drinks and food flowed freely and wonderful networking and fun. Said goodbyes to Kim & Matt Garland who have to leave the 25th by noon to return to NYC. So great seeing them.

For regular Flyway Attendees who could not be here this year I include a list of other notables we are enjoying this year. Terry Reed, Anna Weiss, Jeremy Wilker, Fred Thornton, Sean Hackett, Kevin Pontuti & Mimi French, Jamie Carroll, Nick Coleman, Chad McLarnon, Rick & Diana Vaicius, Lu Lipold, Allison Lisk, Kristen Debner, Vince & Kristy Colombo, Brett Harding, Perry Lewness, Kristjan Knigge, among many others I apologize to for not mentioning.

Numerous interns from UW-Stout film department volunteer and add to all the great people and opportunities to network and discuss films and film business. A wonderful time. I share more later.

Flyway is a marvelous get together and some day soon you will have to check it out if you haven’t.

The sun continues to rise and the bluffs along the Mississippi are incredible! I hope to publish a photo to this blog later. Saturday the 25th and Sunday 26th are filled with films, fun, live events and fans! A great time. OK I am off to see the movies.

The Flyway Film Festival Official WebSite

*** 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

Advertisement

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with ‘The Surface’ producer writer Jeff Gendleman

Jeff Gendelman headshot - 2013 copy 2

Jeff Gendelman is a Writer and Producer. He wrote and produced The Surface, an 18-year journey of perseverance from idea to production. The film stars Sean Astin, Chris Mulkey and Mimi Rogers. It was directed by Gil Cates Jr. and premiered October 9, 2014. It is soon to be in theatrical release. See below* Jeff also produced and directed the award-winning short film, In Passing. He produced the Los Angeles world premiere of the play, The Letter Writer, and then developed it to be made into a film. He produced and directed two science documentaries, and a pilot for a syndicated TV series.

TO LISTEN CLICK BOLDED LINK Below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with producer writer Jeff Gendleman

As an actor, Jeff co-starred with Christopher Lambert in the feature film, Splitsville. He had a supporting role opposite Robert Forster and Donnie Wahlberg in the feature film, Diamond Men. His TV work includes guest-starring roles on NBC’s Law and Order and he was featured on Beverly Hills 90210. Jeff was also a series regular on the television dramas One Life to Live, Guiding Light and Loving (nominated for Outstanding Actor in a daytime TV series).

He studied in film classes at the American Film Institute (Los Angeles), New YorkUniversity, USC, and at the BBC (London).

Jeff has also been involved with the theater since age 10. After graduating from the University of Minnesota he went to train in the American Conservatory Theater Advanced Actor Program in San Francisco. He has acted and directed at theaters throughout the United States and Japan, including Old Globe Shakespeare Company (San Diego), Milwaukee Repertory, Mark Taper Forum (Los Angeles), and Riverside Shakespeare Company (New York City).

Jeff is a graduate of Outward Bound Survival School. Additionally, he has been involved with martial arts for over 40 years and has achieved advanced ranks in 4 different styles. In addition to being a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Jeff is a principal with the renowned J.K. Lee Black Belt Academy.

*The Surface opens at Marcus Cinema Theaters in the Milwaukee, WI area the weekend of October 31st. Check your newspaper for more information.

Also visit The SurfaceMovie Official Website for more!

*** 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 FlyWay Film Festival Director Rick Vaicius Tues 10/21

rickvaicius-by photologic

Rick Vaicius is director and founder of Flyway Film Festival, Wisconsin’s bluff premier destination for independent film as noted by Emmy award-winning blogger Scott W. Smith “ … a festival that should be on your radar”. Founded in 2008 Vaicius has created a standout, intimate and high-quality annual festival.

Over the past four years, Flyway has brought over 80 filmmakers into the local community. In addition to screening remarkable films, it has become a unique venue for filmmakers to network and discuss projects and the “state of the industry” in the film world. Vaicius has already persuaded some top film industry talent to appear.

UPCOMING LIVE: Tuesday October 21st, 2014 11aET 10aCT 8aPT TO LISTEN CLICK THE BOLDED Link Below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with FlyWay Film Festival director Rick Vaicius

The 7th Annual Flyway Film Festival in Pepin and Stockholm, Wisconsin promises to be its most exciting to-date. October 23-26, 2014.

For film and panel line up and how to attend visit the Flyway Film Festival Official Website

The Official Flyway Film Festival Website

flyawayfilm1

*** 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 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

The Surface starring Sean Astin and Chris Mulkey Premieres at Milwaukee Film Fest.

THESURFACE_poster_rs

“Cast and Crew, Friends and Fans and Film Goers made the World Premiere of producer screenwriter Jeff Gendelman’s and director Gil Cates Jr. ‘The Surface’ a big success!

The feature starring Sean Astin, Chris Mulkey and Mimi Rogers was the closing night movie at the Milwaukee Film Festival. Jeff, Gil and cast and crew had reason to celebrate and to feel proud as the Oriental Theater was completely sold out.

The Surface was shot entirely in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and mostly on Lake Michigan during August of 2013.

It is about the chance meeting of two men with nothing in common. However, the two discover that is not true while struggling to survive. Mulkey, portrays Kelly, a small aircraft pilot whose plane went into the lake and Mitch, played by Asitn, happens upon him in a small boat. Why and how and what happens I will leave to you to go find out when the movie opens at area Marcus Cinema Theaters October 31st.

Gil, Sean and Chris arrived from Los Angeles to attend the premiere. After the showing they joined Jeff and cinematographer producer Jimmy Sammarco on stage to answer questions from the audience led by festival director Jonathan Jackson.

It appeared to be a fun evening for all at the theater. Cast and crew and and others proceeded to an after party.

For me it was good to see friends from the coast and the local area. It made me feel good to witness Jeff’s and everyone’s hard work make this dream come true. Mr. Gendelman has been working for 18 years to bring his feature to the screen and succeeded.

It is exciting that an area film got the financing it needed to become a reality so kudos to all those who helped make it happen. I wish he and everyone a successful run with this fine film.

While shooting last summer I visited the set a number of times, prior to returning to L A during the later half of August and I could see, first hand, the difficult conditions, working 12 hours or more, on the water was for all. Despite that hardship and needing the weather to cooperate what I witnessed pleased me. The crew and cast were all dedicated and happy. When conditions are tough it is easy to get discouraged and grumbly but these fine filmmakers kept spirits high and made it through it all.

Jeff and Gil’s film has raised the bar on Wisconsin area filmmaking. Everyone involved can feel very proud to have been a part of it.” Rex Sikes

Visit: The Surface Official Web Site

I’ll try to post some pictures soon.

*** 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

Two Fantastic Wisconsin Film Festivals Coming Up In October and Novembe

logo (2) copy

Why I like Flyway Film Festival? Because the directors Rick and Diana Vaicius, VP Allison Lisk and Programmer Jim Brunzell, Lu Lippold and the rest of the staff love film and filmmakers. This is so obvious when you attend.It is a celebration of both.

Filmmakers mingle among fans and support, nurture, encourage each other. Some end up collaborating. It is the friendliest and most optimistic festival I have attended. It is a high spot of each year for me and I eagerly look forward to my time in Pepin.

The Programming is great and everyone goes out of their way to make sure all attending are enjoying and being looked after. There really is none other like it! It is also in Pepin, a little haven on the Mississippi that is wonderful. Great people, great festival, great food and a welcome experience.

UPCOMING LIVE: Tuesday October 21st, 2014 11aET 10aCT 8aPT TO LISTEN CLICK THE BOLDED Link Below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with FlyWay Film Festival director Rick Vaicius

If you are able to attend the Flyway Film Festival!   On Facebook: Flyway Film Festival.

The Flyway Film Festival October 23-26, 2014 Pepin, Wisconsin.

People have traveled from both coasts and overseas to be there. You should too.

wegabannerlogo

I am eager also to attend the upcoming Weyauwega International Film Festival November 12-15, 2014 in Weyauwega, Wisconsin.

Here too the directors Kathy Fehl and Ian Teal go a long way to make sure they program well, and that everyone has a wonderful time. I got to be there last year for the first time and was delightfully impressed.

Filmmakers from as far away as Japan and Alaska were in attendance. I enjoyed the programming and the food and the family atmosphere and the fun. I saw some really good films and met some talented and delightful filmmakers.

Weyauwega is in the middle of no where. Off Interstate 10 about 30 minutes west of Appleton one would drive right by never knowing that it is home to Wega Arts housed in a former Opera House. That makes a visit worthwhile to start with but on top of it Kathy and Ian bring arts and film and more to this little hamlet area throughout the year.

It is great to have all involved care so much for the well being of filmmakers and fans. I am looking forward to this fine festival coming up soon too. Check into it and I will see you here too!

UPCOMING LIVE: Thursday October 30th, 2014 11aET 10aCT 8aPT TO LISTEN CLICK THE BOLDED Link Below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats w Kathy Fehl and Ian Teal Weyauwega International Film Festival

Facebook Page Weyauwega International Film Festival

If I am lucky I will see you at both of these festivals!

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

Debra Granik’s Stray Dog & Working With Actors Symposium | Christopher Emmons’ Serial Daters Anonymous at the 2014 Milwaukee Film Fesitval

STRAY DOG

Two delightful offerings from Academy Award Nominated Director Debra Granik at the 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival. Okay, actually three. Winter’s Bone played and if you have never seen this movie it is a must for filmmaker and fan alike. It is a riveting exploration or rural life and murder and mystery, fabulously well acted and the movie that brought Jennifer Lawrence to the world’s attention.So that certainly counts but Winter’s Bone is a couple years old now.

The movie Debra brought with her this year is her recent documentary Stray Dog about a motorcycling, dancing, PTSD, dog loving Vietnam Vet. It is a fascinating look at and ride along with delightful real life characters. I enjoyed this movie very much. I also enjoyed meeting some of the real life subjects of the film who were in attendance. Go see Stray Dog.

DebraGranik

What I found extra compelling and very valuable for the filmmaker was the afternoon symposium she conducted on working with actors. She she shared some of her thoughts, philosophy and methods for working with the actor to get their most realistic and captivating performance. She explained how she used this process too in writing and further developing the script prior to filming. She had four very apt and talented actors from the Milwaukee area to work with so audience members not only heard about what was important for Debra in working with actors and crafting the performance and the scene but we got to see it.

This workshop was excellent. Debra gave away a lot of great tips and advice that wise local directors would be willing to utilize and explore in their own work. It is this kind of panel, or symposium or workshop that is valuable to both the filmmaker attending the festival and the fan and Milwaukee Film Festival should continue to offer these type of programs when able. This workshop alone is worth the entire price of a full pass and it was provided for free. Kudos to all who helped make it possible the Milwaukee Film administrators and staff, Debra and the actors. Thanks!

sam page louise linton

Another event I enjoyed very much was the locally produced Serial Daters Anonymous feature film directed by Christopher Carson Emmons and Executive Produced by Sam Kozel. The film starred Louise Linton, Sam Page and Scotty Dickert along with local area cast members and local area crew. The DP is Nate Haban.

The film is enjoyable, I thought it looked great, was well acted in most all cases, and I really liked the musical score. I particularly applaud all these filmmakers (cast and crew) because I know the constraints they were under to get this film made and I am impressed with the job they turned out.

Louise Linton is delightful, and it is difficult to take your eyes off her.

Bravo to the Wisconsin area filmmakers for their turning out a well made local feature. There are some really nice performances from the local actors. If you get the chance to see it – see it!

It may or may not be your cup of tea, after all it is an unromantic comedy, but I am glad I saw it. I think you will be too.

SDA louise

Louise Linton’s character learns, at the alter on her wedding day that her fiancee cheated on her with her sister. She dumps him at the alter and then resumes her life attempting to recover from the shock and the hurt. What does she do to heal herself? Well, she decides to continue to meet men. When she does and they ask her out she grants them a single date, no sex and no second date. I guess that might make sense if you were upset with the male gender for betraying you. You might want to take some time to heal, to explore and to play the field before giving your heart to someone new. This is all understandable but she takes it a step further. She creates a blog and, post date, she writes about the man, but not in a very nice way.

Okay, well that sets the scene now it is up to you to go see it. It plays twice more at the 2014 festival.

Stray Dog shows again as well! Check the Film Festival calendar for dates and times. See you around!

Visit mkefilm.org for information on the film festival

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

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.

UPCOMING LIVE: Thursday October 1 2014 11aE 10aC 8aP TO LISTEN CLICK  the bolded link below:

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

Previous Episodes: TO LISTEN CLICK the bolded link below:

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

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.

 Be sure to visit Project Famous and Subscribe!!!
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 4

money pile

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….

Part 4 The Crowdfunding Psychology You Must Know

Raising money and crowdfunding revolves all around the mindset you have. In this post I’ll will discuss some important principles as it relates to crowdfunding.

As stated crowdfunding takes an inordinate amount of work for most everyone. Some celebrities may have an easier go of it for a number of reasons. Regardless, crowdfunding takes a massive amount of effort.

Raising money the traditional way takes an inordinate amount of effort. Long hard hours, over a long period of time, getting closer and closer, losing this investor, gaining that one, piecing it all together is a lot of work. It is a struggle and people have been doing variations on this in the film business for quite some time.

Traditional methods have changed through the decades.

I think crowdfunding runs the risk of burning people out. While only a fraction of the population may know about crowdfunding platforms the fraction that is aware of it gets bombarded over and over again.

New territory, new people needs to be found.

Some filmmakers naively think that they will lunch crowdfund campaign when the time is right for their project. Usually sometime between preproduction and production. Then they will put it out there on the internet using social media.

Crowdfunding is much more complex than that. I think it operates like this: Everyone out there in internet land (your target audience)  IS your uncle or your aunt. Why would I think this.

Your relatives, because they are related to you, may be more willing to help out, (or in some cases because they DO know you they may not be so inclined. Let’s hope the latter is not the case).

Obviously, your social media audience aren’t related to you but consider why relatives will give to and most strangers won’t.

Most likely relatives give or support your efforts because there is a connection to you, they may like or love you, they may feel obligated to help family because ‘blood is thinker than water’, they watched you grow up and took care of you or other family members. Whatever it the reasons may be it is because they have a history with you.

The two KEY concepts that I believe are necessary to have are connection and history. Your relatives help support you because they are connected to you and they share a history with you.

I believe successful crowdfunding is based on the same principles. This may be the reason why celebrities may have an easier time with crowdfunding. People know them, love them and have a history with them. They have watched them or followed their careers. They want contact with the celebrity, for whatever reasons, and they feel good collecting celebrity memorabilia. The connection (even though it may not be real or exist in reality) still is important. The fans feel they have a connection. They have a history together too. The fans know or are familiar with the celebrity and have been for years.

I repeat: I believe successful crowdfunding is based on the same.

Crowdfunding is based on having an established network or community of people who are interested in you, your work, your projects and who already know and trust you (at least they don’t distrust you).

The are fans, followers, friends whom you have been engaging with for awhile. They are not cold strangers. They are relatively warm enthusiasts for you and your movies. This is important to understand because you aren’t really reaching out to strangers when you crowdfund you are reaching out to people who know you already. Strangers aren’t inclined to help you but friends or family may.

You must work to establish a good connection with your social media friends. These are the people who are your target audience for your project. They may become potential contributors to your campaign but you must provide value to them LONG before you ever ask for anything in return.

You must engage them and get to know them and they have to get to know you. You must find a way to make communication with them a two-way street communication.You must take them on the journey with you and keep their interest all along the way. You have to figure out ways to attract them. You want to keep them interested and eager for you to make and complete your project and get it into their hands.

They are not interested because they will make money off your project, they are not investors. Although recently, investing through crowdfunding platforms has become possible. Your friends and followers, your fans have much different interests than traditional investors and you must appeal to their wants and needs and meet those if you want to be successful.

They do want something in return for their attention and their loyalty and their potential contribution. You must give them what they want prior to the launch of your campaign.

Then during your campaign you offer perks that are meaningful to your fans because you know took the time to discover what is they desire. Because of connection you have established you know what will appeal to them.

A basic principle in sales states that you succeed when you can meet a need, solve a problem and/or give the customer what they desire most. When you are able to fulfill these you may make a sale. Think of your audience as your customers because that is truly what they are. They are people who may buy from you once or many times. You may not want to hear it but as a filmmaker you need to learn about selling and making sales.

When you have ACTUALLY made a sale to your customer is not just the time they part with their money and leave with your goods. When you have really made the sale is when the person returns and wants to do it  with you again. It is this moment the sale is made because they are convinced that you have something they want.

It is much like dating. You go out on the first date. You know you have ‘made the sale’ when the other person wants a second and third date. At whatever point you stop meeting their needs they will lose interest. As long as you have a mutually fulfilling relationship you will stick together. This is true of the business relationship and the crowdfunded relationship.

When you have a repeat customer, so much of your work is done for you, it is amazing. The lion share of expense goes into generating new leads and converting new customers. When you have a fan base who is eager for each of your projects you have laid some really solid ground work. You have established an important connection and together you share a history.

The key to making the sale is not to think, ‘what is in this for me,  how do I get what I want’, but to think, ‘what is it they want that I can readily give them?’

You have to appeal to the other person’s wants and needs and find a way to meet those if you wish to be more successful. Your success comes from adding value to the other person first.

This takes thought, it takes planning, it takes work and it begins long before you make your movie.

Just as you plant a seed you first need to prepare the soil. Next, you plant the seed then you nurture the seed while it grows underground by providing the proper care. Later, much later, it sprouts. You must continue to nurture it, take out the weeds that may choke it and help it grow strong. Eventually, you harvest the crop from the seed you planted but that is at a much later date. For everything there is a season. You sow and then later you reap.

Some people try to reap without preparing or sowing and that rarely, if ever, works. You do your part first and foremost and then others may reciprocate. Of course, not everyone will, so don’t get your hopes up too high. It is a numbers game, you do what you can to grab the lion share.

As in baseball it is about upping your batting average. You get better percentages, but rarely do you get 100%. As long as you are moving in that direction you are doing okay. You increase your opportunities and your chances.

The basic work of crowdfunding IS everything you need to do long before harvest time.

There are these two phases: First, you plant seeds to attract the interested and keep them close by engaging with them. You have to offer them something first. Just as you use bait to lure a fish. You offer something of value to attract followers to you. You keep them close by continuing to give them things from time to time and by communicating with them.

Perhaps you give them a behind the scenes look at what you are doing, you give them photos or videos, you help them solve problems by writing articles or dispensing tips, advice or ideas. Maybe you share with them where they can get discounts or items they might not know where to go to. The point is you offer them things of value, things that they are interested it.

Since it is the age of social media one assumes you have a page dedicated to you and your projects, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and any of the other platforms.

Second you launch the eventual campaign (in which you begin this planting process all over again). In this phase you again offer them something BUT in return for their support, their contribution and spreading the word. This is when you ask them to respond by giving back. Why will they give back. One reason is because you have been giving to them and they will want to reciprocate. The other reason is because they have a connection and history established with you and they want to see your movie. They actually want to see it!

During the Second Phase, you are requesting that they part with their money to support your efforts in return for VALUABLE perks. Perks are the items or opportunities you offer that they want to and must have. If they don’t want them then the perks are not valuable to them. This should be obvious, but for some reason it isn’t.

So in Phase One you attract and nurture your followers. You engage with them and provide them value for free. You give them things, you acknowledge them, you have dialogue so that they feel close to you and want to stick by you. In Phase Two you again provide things for them but in exchange for something they do for you. If Phase One is successful and you orchestrate Phase Two correctly you are more likely to succeed.

You attract the moths to the flame, capture them, take care of them, feed them and then when you are ready, you launch your campaign and hope the moths now will respond by contributing because you took such good care of them. During Phase Two strangers will get introduced to your campaign. They may not have the history with you because they just now are learning about you and your project. Your campaign should be structured and managed to help them feel right at home. A well run campaign should help them to connect to you thorough your video, photos, text, updates, engagement, credits, cast and crew. In Phase Two you hope to convert strangers to fans who will support your efforts.

When it comes to perks you need to think this through and get good advice. What is important and valuable to you may not be to someone else. So you want to research this area more. Remember, people are motivated by ‘What Is In It For Me?’ So to motivate your followers you must discover what they want when they think that about that question. 

You need price your perks smartly too. For example:  If most downloads sell between $1.99 and $14.99 don’t offer a download for $25.00.  Price it as the market place does. If you buy a DVD or Blue Ray for a certain amount don’t price yours higher than the lowest popular place they can obtain it. The only time your a perk like this could be higher prices is when you offer something else along with it. Perhaps, the jewel case, or the art work is signed by cast and crew. Something that makes it reasonable to be priced higher. Sometimes scarcity works. The price may be higher because you only have a few. 

Corporations spend billions of dollars every year targeting and appealing to consumers. They have it down to a science. Do your research and use the best methods they do tailored to your needs.

If you have an absolutely one of a kind valuable ‘must have it’ give away, it is rare and sought after by millions well, you may be able to name your price.

If you have something that most people don’t know who or what it is or could care less about it well giving it away could be difficult. People want what they perceive to be valuable and that is why celebrity swag is sought after. SO be smart about selling to your customers. By the way, that is precisely what a ticket holder is – a customer. All of your fans and friends and followers are customers. While it seems Corporate America has forgotten a  worthy tenant they used to adhere to don’t you forget it. Keep in mind, the customer is always right!!! Even if it is not always true it will serve you better if you act as if it were. Be driven to provide your customer what your customer wants most and you will succeed.

You must figure out ways to attract and capture your fan base. You want to engage them and create a connection and history together so that they want to want get more movies from you. You attract them, you hook them and then make them offers they find difficult to refuse. This is the basis of business and the basis of crowdfunding. It is about using psychology to get what you need to make your film project. Be smart about it and be wise. 

Make GOOD plans and then work the plans WELL.  You can succeed. Movies are funded all the time. You just have to find a way that works well for you.

All of what has been covered in this post and much more ARE some of the reasons why you need to be thorough in creating your campaign. Remember, it ALL begins BEFORE iyour campaign is officially launched. Take the time to do it well.

There are reasons why Business Plans exist. One reason is to show others; you potential partners, the bank, investors, etc. the plan for your intended business. It doesn’t yet exist so you need a crystal clear outline, a plan for what you will do, how you will do it, when and on and on. It is designed to leave NO stone unturned.

You have to think it through really well BEFORE you implement it. Never skimp on the planning phases of anything. Your crowdfunding campaign, traditional means of raising money, or your production. This is why good movie makers spend the right amount of time preparing during preproduction.

Consider this, professional sports teams take all the time off season preparing for the games. They practice offense and defense. They develop plans and strategies to use when playing. They rehearse. During game season they continue to prepare. Then they play the game. Whether they win or lose they return to analyze how to be better, and implement it. They continue to practice and rehearse.  Why should we think that we should do anything less than this when it comes to raising money for movies and getting good at it? As with anything you get better at it the more time you spend at it. Remember this point it is important!

How much money can you crowdfund? The upper limit is not yet known? More on all of this next time.” Rex SIkes

Have a great day!

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