Tag Archives: filmmarketing

Flyway Film Fest Update Oct 25, Day 3

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Day 3 begins. Got up as early usual, showered, waited a couple hours and drove to Maiden Rock Sixth String at 7am for coffee and work prior to friends showing up. Sunrise on the Mississippi again glorious. Breakfast was tasty and inexpensive. Now at 10:30 am it is 63 degrees and sunny. The day is warming up. Jake and David appeared about 8 as planned.

Great food and conversation made our morning until about 10 when David and I headed to the WideSpot In Stockholm and Jake headed across the street for a filmmaker mentoring session offered by some of the film professionals who conducted panels here.

At the WideSpot in Stockholm people gathered waiting for movies to begin. First up the fresh, funny and enjoyable narrative feature from director Kristjan Knigge ‘The Right Juice’. made in Portugal. In from Amsterdam, Kristjan is a delightful funny man with a rapier wit and I’m was delighted to chat with him the previous evening and see his feature.

During Q & A Kristjan related his process for creating the feature using the ‘what if’ method of questioning and the number of contributed ideas and drafts on the way to the feature script. He shot film in 32 days a lengthy schedule for a European micro-budget film.

From here Kristjan, David headed over to Gelly’s. The place was packed, the deck had one table where a gentleman and his wife sat, there from Madison. These two were not attending the film festival Pepin and Stockholm are tourist areas as well so many people come from all around to enjoy the ambiance and the shops. They were gracious enough to let David, Kristjan, Chad, Jake and myself join them. It turns out their son is a filmmaker now living in NYC so they were all ears about this festival so they could inform him. Small world after all.

I will not mention or highlight all films or filmmakers. I apologize to the filmmakers and readers but because, obviously, I can’t be in all places at once I don’t cover all the films or events. Many fine films and people will go without me referencing them. I wish it was otherwise but… I do what I can. Also, I do not review the films.

I have to admit I love film but I really don’t attend film festivals to watch films. I go to catch up with old friends, meet new ones and enjoy the people. If I catch some films great but if not I got to spend time with talented thinkers and doers and learn from them in person.

David ended up leaving to work at festival, Jake left to watch the controversial film ‘The Tribe’ directed by Myroslay Slaboshpytskly while Chad, Kristjan and I talked film philosophy and practice the rest of the day and evening. We dined at the Pickle Factory on the back deck with incredible view of the river and kept talking and hanging out there and at the Filmmaker Lounge until the shorts program at 8pm.

There were other films I really did intend to see but we were unable to get there in time. I hope I am able to catch up on these very soon. Some fine filmmakers presented.

The Saturday Night Short Films Included the animated ‘The Crazy Misadventures of Christ’ (USA) directed by George Bro; ‘His New Hands’ (USA) directed by Sadhanshu Saria; ‘Last Of You’ (Isreal) directed by Dan Sacher; ‘Bernard Le Grand’ (Canada) directed by Phillippe Lupien & Marie-Helene Viens; ‘Decimation’ (USA) directed by Wade Jackson and ‘She’s Having A Baby’ (Australia) directed y Chis & Robert Smellin. This evening’s programming generated much discussion among the cohorts I have been hanging with.

That was it for films I saw.

Back to the filmmaker lounge. Food and drink of course. I got to sit an catch up with Allison Lisk a pleasure at any time. Later I and Jake went over to film office to chat quietly out front because the music got far too loud at the lounge. Dancing and merriment made for late night among the filmmaker friends.

Plotting and planning a few new projects has been the course of this festival and it is exciting to think about collaborating with fine talented friends.

Late night I ventured back to the room for sleep so I can get up early to begin the final day at Flyway. We will be back at Maiden Rock for brekky. All in all a very good day today. From conversations with others I have not mentioned, some pretty wonderful films were screened.

The weather today was fabulous. Sunny, warm beautiful. A wonderful day to be outside between films for all.

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

Flyway Film Festival Update October 24 Day 1 and 2

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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

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

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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

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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

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

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

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

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

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Peter D Marshall

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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

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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.

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“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

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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.

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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

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

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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

Milwaukee Film 2014 Festival|Record Number Of Special Guests Will Attend!

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The Milwaukee Film Festival has announced a record number of guests visiting Milwaukee and attending the film festival. These guests include critically-acclaimed directors Debra Granik and Marshall Curry to attend with film subjects;  Director Gil Cates Jr and actors Sean Astin and Chris Mulkey attending Closing Night Film

On top of that the stats on the number of guests up – an increase of 37% from last year.  A total of 113 out-of-town guests are confirmed.

“The opportunity for audience members to interact with the creators and stars of the films is one of the most unique aspects of the film festival experience. It adds a deeper level of connection and engagement between our audience and films, and that has always been one of our goals,” shares Jonathan Jackson, Artistic and Executive Director at Milwaukee Film.

Attending the festival and adding significantly to audience interaction are the directors and subjects for two of the year’s most critically acclaimed documentaries–Debra Granik’s Stray Dog and Marshall Curry’s Point and Shoot*** (See Program Note at end of blog).  Both Oscar-nominated filmmakers are scheduled to attend screenings and participate in question and answer sessions with their respective film’s subjects, Ron “Stray Dog” Hall, of Stray Dog, and Matthew VanDyke, of Point and Shoot.

Both Opening and Closing Night films boast a record number of guests and filmmakers. The riveting documentary opening the festival, 1971, screens with director Johanna Hamilton and four film subjects in attendance, and will include an extended question and answer session following the film.

I have a special place in my heart for the Milwaukee-made Closing Night film, The Surface. It celebrates its world premiere at the Milwaukee Film Festival, with cast, crew, and star of the film, Sean Astin of The Lord of the Rings, Rudy, and The Goonies fame. Director Gil Cates, Jr.*** (special program note see info at bottom) writer, producer, and Milwaukee native, Jeff Gendelman, cinematographer and co-producer, Jimmy Sammarco, and actors Astin, Chris Mulkey (Captain Phillips, First Blood), and Megan Lorie will also be in attendance.

Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic, Wesley Morris (presenting the festival’s State of the Cinema address), and comedy kingpins originally from Milwaukee, Jim Abraham and Jerry Zucker (Top Secret!), previously announced as part of Tributes, are all scheduled to attend select film screenings.

Wisconsin native Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads, Stop Making Sense, Take Me to the River) is also among notable guests attending this year’s festival.

The extensive list of scheduled guests also includes at least one guest for each film in the festival’s new Black Lens program, including Robert Townsend, director, writer, and star of the 1987 classic comedy, Hollywood Shuffle, for a total of ten Black Lens guests.

For the first time since launching its Passport program, Milwaukee Film has secured a filmmaker for this program. Passport: Mexico director Rodrigo Reyes (Purgatorio: A Journey Into the Heart of the Border) is scheduled to attend the festival.

FILMS SCHEDULED TO APPEAR AT THE 2014 MILWAUKEE FILM FESTIVAL:

1971
Sep. 25, 7PM | Oriental Theatre (Opening Night Film)
Sep. 27, 1:45PM | Oriental Theatre
Johanna Hamilton: Director Bonnie Raines: Film Subject John Raines: Film Subject Athan Theoharis: Film Subject Betty Medsger: Film Subject

25 to Life
Oct. 4, 7PM | Times Cinema
Oct. 7, 11AM | Oriental Theatre
Leah Natasha Thomas: Producer Khaliah Neal: Producer William Brawner: ­Film Subject

Anchovies (Prefeature for Serial Daters Anonymous)
Oct. 3, 7PM | Times Cinema
Annabelle Attanasio: Director

Art and Craft
Oct. 6, 7:15PM | Downer Theatre Mark Becker: Director Mark Landis: Film Subject

Carnival of the Animals (Prefeature for Psychopath)
Sep. 26, 9:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Sitora Takanaev: Director

Cairo Drive
Oct. 4, 9:45PM | Oriental Theatre
Sherief Elkatsha: Director

The Case Against 8
Oct. 4, 6:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Oct. 5, 1:30PM | Fox Bay Cinema
Kris Perry: Film Subject Sandy Stier: Film Subject

The Chaperone (Shorts: Stories We Tell)
Sep. 28, 4PM | Oriental Theatre
Fraser Munden: Director

Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys
Sep. 27, 4:15PM | Oriental Theatre
Wesley Morris: Film Critic

Cootie Contagion (Kids Shorts: Size Large)
Sep. 27, 10:45AM | Oriental Theatre
Sep. 28, 11:30AM | Fox Bay Cinema
Josh Smooha: Director

CRU
Sep. 28, 4:30PM | Times Cinema
Sep. 30, 7:45PM | Oriental Theatre
Antwon Tanner: Actor

DEAR MKE
(Oct. 9, 5:30PM | Oriental Theatre) Jack Turner: Executive Producer Ryan Dembroski: Executive Producer Rob Schoonover: Producer Barry Poltermann: Story Supervisor Dan Didier: Post Supervisor, Editorial Assistant

All in the Family
Sam Macon: Director Jessamy Meyer: Editor

BuildMoto
Matt Mixon: Director Matthew Prekop: Editor Ian Anderson: Editor

Come Sail Away
Jack Davidson: Director

Cooking with Kumar
Frankie Latina: Director

High Art
Chris Thompson: Director Matthew Prekop: Editor

Lo with the Fro
Jessica Farrell: Director Dave Myszewski: Editor

Mondo Lucha
Sam Macon: Director Travis Auclair: Cinematographer Alex Youngen: Editor

The Right Ingredients
Matt Mixon: Director Dave Myszewski: Editor

Rory: Milwaukee’s Most Famous Cab Driver
Frankie Latina: Director Vinnie Besasie: Cinematographer  Randy Russel: Unit Production Manager

To See What You Can Do
Jack Davidson: Director

Tour de Space
Blyth Meier: Director Dave Myszewski: Editor

The Truck Driver
Matt Mixon: Director

Underwater Harvey
Steve Farr: Director Steve Roeder: Producer

Evolution of a Criminal
Sept. 30, 3PM | Oriental Theatre
Darius Clark Monroe: Director

The Forgotten Kingdom
Oct. 4, 7PM | Downer Theatre
Oct. 5, 1:15PM | Oriental Theatre
Andrew Mudge: Director

Freedom Summer
Sept. 26, 4:15PM | Oriental Theatre
Cyndee Readdean: Producer

Funnel (Shorts: Stories We Tell)
Sept. 28, 4PM | Oriental Theatre
Andre Hyland: Director

Give It Up For the Girl (Prefeature for Pester)
Oct. 5, 10PM | Oriental Theatre
Carol Brandt: Director John Roberts: Executive Producer Martin Kaszubowski: Producer

Gnarly in Pink (Kids Shorts: Size Medium)
Oct. 3, 2PM | Oriental Theatre (Shorts: Sports Shorts. Shorts about Sports.)
Oct. 4, 11:30AM | Times Cinema
Oct. 5, 11AM | Oriental Theatre
Ben Mullinkosson: Director

Goose Trouble (Kids Shorts: Size Small)
Oct. 4, 11AM | Oriental Theatre
Oct. 5, 11:30AM | Fox Bay Cinema
Monika Downer: Director

Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists
Sep. 26, 4:30PM | Downer Theatre
Brian Ashby: Producer, Cinematographer, Editor Suellen Rocca: Artist, Film Subject Jim Falconer: Artist, Film Subject

Hamlet A.D.D.
Sep. 27, 9:45PM | Oriental Theatre
Oct. 7, 9:30PM | Times Cinema
Andrew Swant: Director, Actor Bobby Ciraldo: Director, Actor Evan Maruszewski: Animator Mark Borchardt: Actor  Eric Gerber: Actor Drew Rosas: Actor

Hollywood Shuffle
Oct. 3, 7PM | Oriental Theatre
Robert Townsend: Director

An Honest Liar
Oct. 5, 4:15PM | Downer Theatre
Tyler Measom: Director James Randi: Film Subject Deyvi Pena: Film Subject

The Immaculate Reception (Shorts: Sports Shorts. Shorts about Sports.) Oct. 3, 2PM | Oriental Theatre
Charlotte Glynn: Director

Kids For Cash
Sep. 26, 7PM | Fox Bay Cinema
Robert May: Director

Life Partners
Oct. 5, 7:15PM | Oriental Theatre
Susanna Fogel: Director, Co-Writer Jordana Mollick: Producer

Man With a Movie Camera
Sept. 30, PM | Oriental Theatre
Alloy Orchestra

Meet The Patels
Sep. 28, 7:45PM | Oriental Theatre
Sep. 29, 5:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Vasant Patel: Film Subject Champa Patel: Film Subject

THE MILWAUKEE SHOW I (Sep. 29, 8PM | Oriental Theatre)

The Death of Corey Stingley
Spencer Chumbley: Director Erik Ljung: Producer Craig Stingley: Film Subject

An Evening at Angelo’s
Kara Mulrooney: Director Tate Bunker: Additional Camera Angelo Mortellaro: Film Subject Jerry Grillo: Singer Ginni Smith: Singer Bobby Baker: Singer Joe Kral: Piano John Hefter: Piano Danny Keegan: Singer Mario Crivello: Bartender

The Harpist
Erica Thompson: Director Bethany Michaels: Producer Ellie Wells: Writer

The Kenny Dennis
Wes Tank: Director

Little America
Kurt Raether: Director

New Planet
James Tindell: DirectorShaun Hosseini: Assistant Producer

Settlers
Nathaniel Heuer: Director Timm Gable: Producer Erik Ljung: Cinematographer Sean Williamson: Assistant Director Diana Ehlers: Casting/Costume Heather Hass: Editor Joe Kirschling: Photography Eileen Blom: Actor Amelinda Burich: Actor Ahris Kim: Actor Margaret Muza: Actor Laura Theissen: Actor Michelle Warren: Actor Jen White: Actor Erin Wolf: Actor Shawn Stephany: Band Member Marielle Allschwang: Band member

THE MILWAUKEE SHOW II (Oct. 6, 7PM | Oriental Theatre)

Balloons
Sitora Takanaev: Director

Geoffrey Broughe Handles Confrontation Poorly
Jon Phillips: Director Quinn Hester: Cinematographer Casey Harris: Costume Designer Peter Batchelder: Sound Engineer, Compose Matthew Balz: Art Director  Ricardo De Herrera: Actor Matt Nichols: Actor

MECCA: The Floor That Made Milwaukee Famous
Chris James Thompson: Director Andy Gorzalski: Producer Jack Turner: Producer Travis Auclair: Cinematographer  Michael T. Vollmann: Editor Barry Poltermann: Story Editor Jannell Gorzalski: Film Subject Stephen Marcus: Film Subject Ben Koller: Film Subject Hal Koller: Film Subject Judie Koller: Film Subject George Gonis: Film Subject Robert Byrd: Film Subject

One Week Vacation
Brendan T. Jones: Director Jenny Vanderheiden: Art Director Ryan Lowe: Actor Evan Koepnick: Actor Angie Campbell: Actor Kenny Somerville: Actor

Smoky Places
Michael DiMilo: Director Jeff Stehr: Music Director Tom Plutshack: Guitar Dave Bolyard: Percussion

This is Jackie.
Anna Sampers: Director

Tis the Season
Kirsten Stuck: Director

To Hold In The Heart
Pang Her: Director Jean Yang: Camera

The Waystation in the Stars
Brandon Morissey: Director, Producer, Writer Lyssa Kay: Producer Dagmar Weaver-Madsen: Cinematographer

THE MILWAUKEE YOUTH SHOW (Sep. 28, 10:30AM | Oriental Theatre)

200,000
Gavin White, Tyler Matthews, Jeremy LeCleir, Scott Meade: Directors

Assist Bhopal
Megan Sai Dogra: Director

The Autumn Vignette
Serbata Tarrer: Director

Counting the Dead
Alexandra Van Den Heuvel: Director

Get Real People
Griffin Anderson, Mitch Dykstra, Tanner Dykstra, Ronnie Al-Ramahi: Directors

Iero
Gabriella Avila, Alexia Jaso: Directors

If You Weren’t Here
LaVarnway Boys & Girls Club workshop participants: Directors

La Decisiones de Tu Vida Alondra Mercado, Ana Ornelas: Directors:

Let the Children Live
Clarke Street Boys & Girls Club workshop participants: Directors

Media and Mental Illness
Eden Raduege, Mikayla Bell: Directors

Protect Yourself
Youth from Townsend CLC Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee: Directors

Wake Up and Pay Attention
Youth from the Daniels-Mardak Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee: Directors

My Prairie Home
Sep. 26, 10PM | Oriental Theatre
Chelsea McMullan: Director

No One Is Listening Anymore! (Shorts: Stories We Tell)
Sep. 28, 4PM | Oriental Theatre  Oct. 1, 10:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Romi Trower: Director

The Other One
Oct. 1, 7PM | Times Cinema
Oct. 7, PM | Oriental Theatre
Joe Steiff: Director Grace McPhilips: Producer, Actor

The Overnighters
Oct. 4, 9:30PM | Downer Theatre
Jay Reinke: Film Subject Keegan Edwards: Film Subject

Person to Person (Shorts: Stories We Tell) Sep. 28, 4PM | Oriental Theatre
Dustin Defa: Director

Pester
Sep. 28, 6:45PM | Times Cinema
Oct. 5, 10PM | Oriental Theatre
Eric Gerber: Director, Writer, Producer Drew Rosas: Producer Andrew Swant: Actor, Consulting Producer

Point and Shoot
Oct. 7, 7PM | Oriental Theatre
Marshall Curry: Director Matthew VanDyke: Producer, Film Subject

Psychopath
Sep. 26, 9:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Sep. 28, 2PM | Fox Bay Cinema
Oct. 4, 4:15PM | Times Cinema
Manny Marquez: Director Victor Marquez: Film Subject Suezette Marquez: Film Subject

Purgatorio: A Journey Into the Heart of the Border
Sep. 27, 2:15PM Downer Theatre
Rodrigo Reyes: Director

Revenge of The Mekons
Sep. 27, 9:45PM | Downer Theatre
Sep. 30, 4:30PM | Times Cinema
Joe Angio: Director Sally Timms: Film Subject (Only Sep. 27th screening) Jon Langford: Film Subject (Only Sep. 27th screening)

The Starfish Throwers
Attendance date TBD
Pete Tedrow: Outreach & Festival Coordinator

Secundaria
Oct. 8, 7PM | Downer Theatre
Mary Jane Doherty: Director

Serial Daters Anonymous
Sep. 27, 9:45PM | Fox Bay Cinema
Oct. 1, 4PM | Oriental Theatre
Oct. 3, 7PM | Times Cinema
Christopher Carson Emmons: Director Sam Kozel: Executive Producer

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry
Oct. 2, 4:30PM | Times Cinema
Oct. 4, 1:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Mary Dore: Director Nancy Kennedy: Producer Mary Jean Collins: Film Subject Fran Beal: Film Subject

Stop Making Sense
Oct. 4, 10:30pm Oriental Theatre
Jerry Harrison: Film Subject

Stray Dog
Sep. 27, 7:15PM | Oriental Theatre
Sep. 29, 4:15PM | Times Cinema
Debra Granik: Director Tory Stewart: Co-Producer/Editor Ron “Stray Dog” Hall: Film Subject Freddie Strickland: Film Subject Robin Smith: Film Subject

Street Fight
Oct. 7, 4:15PM | Oriental Theatre
Marshall Curry: Director

Strike: The Greatest Bowling Story Ever Told (Shorts: Sports Shorts. Shorts about Sports.)
Oct. 3, 2PM | Oriental Theatre
Joey Daoud: Director

Stumped (Shorts: Stranger Than Fiction)
Oct. 6, 4:45PM | Downer Theatre
Robin Berghaus: Director

The Surface (Closing Night Film)
Oct. 9, 8PM | Oriental Theatre
Gil Cates, Jr.: Director
Jeff Gendelman: Writer/Producer
Jimmy Sammarco: Cinematographer, Co-Producer
Sean Astin: Actor Chris Mulkey: Actor Megan Lorie: Actor

Take Me to the River
Attendance Dates TBD

Martin Shore: Director Jerry Harrison: Producer Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell: Subject Frayser Boy: Film Subject William Bell: Film Subject

Taxidermists (Shorts: Stranger Than Fiction)
Oct. 2, 2PM | Times Cinema
Nicole Triche: Director Wendy Christensen: Film Subject

Things Never Said
Oct. 1, 7:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Oct. 2, 1PM | Oriental Theatre
Charles Murray: Director

This May Be the Last Time
Oct. 4, 4:15PM | Oriental Theatre
Sterlin Harjo: Director

Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People
Oct. 9, 7:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Don Perry: Co-Producer, Co-Writer

‘Til Infinity: Celebrating 20 Years of the Souls of Mischief Sep. 27, 9PM | Oriental Theatre
Shomari Smith: Director

Time Lapse
Sep. 26, 9:30PM | Times Cinema
Bradley King: Director

Top Secret!
Oct. 1, 7PM | Oriental Theatre
Jim Abrahams: Director Jerry Zucker: Director

The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga
Sep. 28, 7:30PM | Downer Theatre
Jessica Oreck: Director

Vessel
Oct. 3, 4:45PM | Downer Theatre
Diana Whitten: Director

Watchers of the Sky
Sep. 29, 10:45PM | Oriental Theatre
Elizabeth Bohart: Executive Producer

Winter’s Bone
Sept 27, 11:30AM | Downer Theatre
Debra Granik: Director 

Years (Prefeature for The Other One)
Oct. 1, 7PM | Times Cinema
Rose Curley: Director Nora Burlo: Actor

PANELS
Keynote: State of Cinema
Sep. 27, Noon | Colectivo Prospect

Wesley Morris: 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner for Criticism; Film and Culture writer for Grantland.com

Working with Actors
Sep. 27, 2:30PM | Colectivo Prospect
Debra Granik: Writer, Director (Winter’s Bone, Stray Dog)

Mex-ciné: Mexican Filmmaking, Production, and Consumption in the 21st Century Sep. 27, 5PM | Colectivo Prospect
Dr. Frederick Luis Aldama: Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor, The Ohio State University

Memory & the Arts
Sep. 28, 5PM | Colectivo Prospect
Mary Louise Schumacher: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Nancy Armitage: Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern Wisconsin

Dr. Anne Basting: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Diane Knight: Alverno College

After 1971: Media, Freedom of Information, and the Public’s Right to Know Monday, Sep 29 | 12:15 PM | Eckstein Hall, Marquette University
Mike Gousha: Marquette University Law School
Daniel Bice: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Christa Westerberg: Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council and Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
Ben Wizner: American Civil Liberties Union

Pitch Us Your Doc! Contest
Saturday, Oct 4 | 12PM | Colectivo Prospect
Kim Nguyen: War Witch (MFF 2013 Competition Award Winner) Michael Raisler: Cinereach, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Laurie Scheer: The Writer’s Advantage: A Toolkit for Mastering Your Genre (2014)

Film Financing Panel
Saturday, Oct 4 | 2:30PM | Colectivo Prospect
Tyler Measom: An Honest Liar 
Jordana Mollick: Life Partners

MKE At Risk: Feeding Our Community
Saturday, Oct 4 | 5PM | Colectivo Prospect
Mitch Teich: WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio 89.7FM
Sharon Adams:  Walnut Way Conservation Corp.
Larry Adams: Walnut Way Conservation Corp.
Nicole Angresano: United Way of Greater Milwaukee
Dr. Jennifer Jordan: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Young Kim: Fondy Food Center
Sherrie Tussler: Hunger Task Force

JURORS

Herzfeld Competition Jury
David Fear, Rolling Stone
Theresa Scandiffio, Toronto International Film Festival
Mike Maggiore, Film Forum

Cream City Cinema Jury
Sam Adams, IndieWire
Justine Nagan, Kartemquin Films
Jim Brunzell III, Twin Cities Daily Planet

Shorter Is Better Jury
Dan Doody, Seattle International Film Festival
Jessica Farrell, Filmmaker Spencer Gillis, Filmmaker

Rated K: For Kids Jury
Octavia Grimes Piper Grimes Quinn Hammerlund Julian Singh Anna Weiss

I will see you there! Be sure to come up and say hello. Enjoy the festival and all these wonderful activities and guests.

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

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

*** Special Program Note: Debra Granik is guest on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Wednesday Sept 24, 2014 3pE 12pC NoonP. Join us for our live discussion, chat will be open too. Show will be archived and available 24/7 to listen if you are unable to listen live. For more info click the bolded link:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Academy Award Nominated Director Debra Granick 

*** Special Program Note: Gil Cates Jr Director Producer is guest on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Thursday Sept 25, 2014 11aE 10aC 8aP. Join us for our live discussion, chat will be open too. Show will be archived and available 24/7 to listen if you are unable to listen live. For more info click the bolded link:

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

Festival begins September 25, the date of this discussion with Gil Cates Jr. Enjoy

 

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

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

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

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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

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