Archives for business 商业

Ted Hope Shares 99 Steps for Making Good Movies;

Check out producer (and iW blogger) Ted Hope’s 99 Recommended Steps for Making Good Movies:

1. Maintain wonder & love for the world & most/some of the people.
2. Recognize the barriers & be empowered by my desire for change.
3. Find an inspiring idea & the correct collaborator for it.
4. Maintain love & respect for the film industry.
5. Develop script.
6. Fall in love with project.
7. Get non-financier, non-buyer industry types to give feedback on script.
8. Maintain wonder & love for the process.
9. Further develop script.
10. Maintain respect for collaborator(s).

<read the full list here> @ <http://blogs.indiewire.com/>

Over all there’s a lot of being really postive, passionate, not being a dick, planning smart and working hard…  Common sense, but I always like to see these things in print.

On the theme of lists, I’m gonna add a <bonus 200 screenwriting tips podcast link here>  The 200 tips are in episode #200, but I would highly reccomend all of Pilar Alessandra’s podcasts…

10 Ways Steven Spielberg Has Made the World a Better Place

This has been a big year for Steven Spielberg — he’s launched two TV shows, including last night’s Terra Nova, and produced countless movies. The Spielberg tribute Super-8 was a surprise hit, and it’s become fashionable for other film-makers to claim they’re paying tribute to early Spielberg. Still ahead this year: the huge motion-capture reinvention ofTintin, the Belgian adventure comic… <read the full story here> @ <http://io9.com/>

Spielberg is a legend…  When it comes to high spectacle story telling, he’s probably done more than anyone.  This is just a nice little kudo list of accomplishments that he’s not usually recognized for, so I thought it interesting and deserving.  Here’s a quick look at the list of ten, the article has full descriptions.  I’m counting at least 5 on the list as truly innovative, and having to drive Hight Concept / High Spectacle films.  So it’s no wonder we’re fans!

10 ) Being an early adopter and innovator of CGI

9 ) Keeping science fiction alive on TV

8 ) Taking on tough adaptations/re-imaginings, and making them happen

7 ) Showing that video games could be a viable storytelling tool.

6 ) Preserving and shaping the memory of World War II

5 ) Co-founding a successful new studio, and helping bring back animated films

4 ) Bringing back the Saturday morning serial

3 ) Helping to make robot uprising the new zombie apocalypse

2 ) Bringing back our sense of wonder

1 ) Helping to create the idea of the movie “blockbuster.”

big week for zombies…

First off the trailer for the Dead Island videogame is going to get a movie adaptation.


That’s what I said, the trailer, for the video game is getting a movie deal, from all reviews it’s not from the game itself.  And yes, it’s sounds of a decent size…  Lionsgate size.  Here’s what Lionsgate bossman Joe Drake has to say about it:

The film Dead Island will be an innovation of the zombie genre because of its focus on human emotion, family ties and non-linear storytelling.
Like the hundreds of journalists and millions of fans who were so passionate and vocal about the Dead Island trailer, we too were awestruck.
This is exactly the type of property we’re looking to adapt at Lionsgate – it’s sophisticated, edgy, and a true elevation of a genre that we know and love. It also has built in brand recognition around the world, and franchise potential.

It is a badass little trailer though… but a movie deal?  Zombies have serious pull!

<Read the full story here> and there’s another write up about it <here>

 Second, one of the most memorable zombies from ‘The Walking Dead’ is getting her own story. AMC will put a six-part web series online on October 3rd telling the tale of the infamous ‘Bicycle Girl.’  This is her:

The Walking Dead's infamous 'Bicycle Girl' will be the subject of special webisodes

It’s been a long and grueling wait for The Walking Dead‘s many fans – but the wait for new zombiefied action just got a little shorter: AMC will be airing six short webisodes next Monday, just two weeks before the season 2 premiere.

The short stories will focus on a character who’s infamous for Dead heads, the crawling, bisected zombie girl that Rick Grimes encounters just after leaving the hospital in last year’s pilot episode. Show writers calls the character “Bicycle Girl.” The forthcoming webisodes follow the life of the girl named Hannah leading up to her death, un-death, and finally the iconic meeting with Rick.

So this zombie basically got her own spinoff.   Serious, serious pull…

Here’s a little making of clip:

<read the full story here>

Ohhhh, as long as we’re on the track I just have to add this:

 

Third, comics creator Chris Moreno returns to horror with his new creator-owned comic book “Zombie Dickheads Are NOT Coming to Get You,” debuting in October.

“Zombie Dickheads” is a comedic look at the undead apocalypse from the zombies point-of-view. It follows four dysfunctional zombies who don’t eat human flesh, as they attempt to find a place of their own in a world where they don’t fit in amongst other zombies, humans, and each other.

<read the whole story here> and check out the website here <http://zombiedickheads.blogspot.com/> and the website has an 8 page preview that I totally recommend.

To sum up, maybe you need to go to the after life to get greenlit in this life.  Gotta go write my zombie film now…

 

Doing Business in China

 Voilà  It's the moment of truth: Michael Lee sketches out how a complex flow of cash and debt will see his company's massive Nanjing project through to completion.

Packed into a cramped conference room in his company’s modest offices in NanjingChina, Lee’s key managers are at one another’s throats. The more angrily they spit blame at one another for the disastrous, unsalvageable situation the company finds itself in, the more enervated Lee seems to become, until finally he is no more than a slumped statue following the action only with slight movements of his eyes…  <read the full article here>  @  <http://www.inc.com/>

This is a great starter article on the subject.  The whole process of doing business in Asia is fascinating, and from our standpoint a necessity.  There is so much potential with making films in China.  The crews are great, the locations are places for the west that look like they come from another planet.  Creatively the Chinese are committed to making fantastic films for the world audience.  My dealings so far with the Chinese, (shot a film there) have been great.

I’m also reading a great book on the subject that I highly recommend…  The Art of the Deal in China

Anyone has any experiences on the subject, I’d LOVE to start a conversation!

visual effects industry bill of rights?

43 of the top 50 films of all time are visual effects driven. Today, visual effects are the “Movie Stars” of studio tentpole pictures – that is, visual effects make contemporary movies box office hits in the same way that big name actors ensured the success of films in the past… <read the full bill of rights here>

I find this read incredibly interesting…  It directly relates to everything we stand for and all the reasons we’ve started up VisPop.

It’s well documented, the state of the union in vfx…  You can read about vfx becoming a commodity here and here.  Hard work, unfair conditions, pressure from clients in an industry with very few buyers, vendors undercutting each other and on and on…  We at VisPop spent many years on the front lines, in all roles on the vfx vendor side.  We fought and scrapped just like everyone else to make ends meet in a low margin ball game.  Sometimes we were successful, sometimes we weren’t… Just like everyone else. But we learned from our mistakes, we implemented processes, we got better, and we eaked out our living.

I like these descriptions of the  vfx industry in the VES’s bill of rights:

  • a central role in today’s feature films
  • visual effects are the “Movie Stars” of studio tentpole pictures
  • Visual effects drive the entertainment marketplace  which entertains billions of people across the globe, and earns billions of net profit dollars each year.

If those aren’t signs of potential I don’t know what are. So the question of the day then becomes, with all this potential where’s the leverage? With all this potential, where is the leverage? Repeat it a third time… With all this potential, where is the leverage. That is the question we asked when we started VisPop! I mean shit, this is the question that made us leave our good jobs in vfx, jump off the ledge, and risk everything we have on a new company.

The vfx industry is the most broadly creative department in filmmaking. When I say the word creative here, I mean true “creativity” – combining technology, problem solving, pragmatism, and heart. Some of the best artists of our age are working on vfx concept art, we have the understanding of storytelling through camera-work in previs, color theory and composition in digital lighting, performance through animation, programmers with PHD’s coding bleeding edge scientific tools… the industry creates ANYTHING imaginable, any scenario, any character – every single day! if we can create anything imaginable, we can tell any story imaginable… that’s a phenomenal concept! BUT if you ask studio filmmakers about vfx, they’ll tell you “oh yeah, they’re the guys with the chrome balls running around on set”. (To be fair, it is extremely hard to credit what you don’t understand, and vfx is a black box that very few outside the industry are able to invest the time needed to truly understand). Soooo, perception (chrome balls) isn’t matching reality (creative filmmakers).

Let’s go back to vfx being creative, techie, problem solving, pragmatic, and having ticker. Guess what folks, that’s a pretty good definition of Innovation. That’s right, we’re incredibly innovative people in an industry driven by innovation. BUT where the hell is our innovation in business models? In negotiations? In being the entrepreneurs of our projects? In management? Where are the industry’s “chrome balls” (this time I’m not talking about the ones on set). Hopefully you see where I’m going here… Where are our Film Producer skills as an industry? We have some very competent, excellent individuals in the industry that would/could/will make excellent feature film producers, but as a whole the industry is too overwhelmed with the business of innovating creativity and technology to be bothered with innovating business.

So, here we are managing %25 to in some cases %50 of a feature film’s budget and we’re not producers on the film??? Sometimes we’re credited as producers, but if %33 percent of the budget is vfx, where is the %33 percent of decision making across all the departments… casting, location, financing, distribution, production?

So what is VisPop doing about all this? We’re broadening our scope in the filmmaking process… we’re teaming with independent filmmakers to push the innovation of the entire filmmaking process. Through that we’ll change the perception of where vfx/spectacle fits into the filmmaking industry, and parlay that into leverage into more filmmaking negotiations. “We’re filmmakers not shot makers.” Scream it from the roofs!

So can a couple of dudes from VisPop make a difference? Can a couple of long-timers from the vfx industry change the way films are financed, made, distributed?? Hopefully we can help get things rolling. Hopefully we can get more people from the industry involved in the entire filmmaking process. Hopefully we can start the movement. So just ask yourself: “With all this potential, where is the leverage?”

Next time I’ll write about the difference between what VisPop is doing about it, and the many salvation cries throughout the industry of “create your own content”.

robot nominated to carry Olympic flame

robo.JPG Scientists at Aberystwyth University have nominated a humanoid robot to carry the Olympic Flame as part of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay… <read the full article here>

Bring it on!

 

cities 2

atelier olschinsky, founded in 2002 is a small creative studio based in Vienna, Austria. Peter Olschinsky and Verena Weiss are operating in various fields such as graphic design…  <see the whole project here> @ <http://www.behance.net/olschinsky>

Love this style… would be great in the right scenario for a movie poster.

some good tips for data wrangling on a budget

Evan Luzi, who runs the camera assistant blog The Black and Blue (and who also wrote a guest post here on NFS), takes a look at the crucial but unheralded position of data wrangler… <read full story here> @ <http://nofilmschool.com/>

You can’t underestimate this role on-set.  Growing more and more important as we go more digital as well.  This is a cool little look at the position.  mmmmmmmm data….

cross-cultural leadership: how will china influence the world?

Photo: Julian Mason/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Recently I had the pleasure to travel around in China for a few weeks. Visiting a fair deal of the country, north and south, the big cities and a part of the country side. I came back with a truck load of impressions…  <read the full post here> @ <http://leadershipwatch-aadboot.com/> 

This is a really good take on China.  I find it even more interesting, because he’s echoing a lot of my thoughts after shooting a film there last year.  I really like this little insight that pertains to collaboration between east and west:

“We believe that the worst thing that can happen to you is losing face. Therefore we carefully define our objectives upfront. Once defined we will not easily let go. We will always look for ways to guarantee both parties win something, so nobody will lose face. But we will only do that if we respect our opponent. If not, we will not hesitate to take what we want without taking into consideration the other. (He gently smiled at me.) And we never show our emotions in public, like Westerns often do. By doing that you reap nothing but contempt from your opponent.“ – chinese business man