Monday, August 31, 2009

SCREENWRITING: The Hero's Journey Monomyth

The Hero's Journey pattern (also known as the Monomyth) is the template upon which the vast majority of successful stories and Hollywood blockbusters are based.

Our detailed deconstruction of hundreds of successful stories and Hollywood blockbusters has revealed more than 510 stages of the Hero's Journey that writers and filmmakers should know about...


© All Rights Reserved kal [AT]

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Sunday, August 30, 2009


Trailer for a non-existing movie shot for the 2007 SXSW contest held by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez.

Scourge of The Undead (Grindhouse Trailer)


Saturday, August 29, 2009

in the beginning was the page... and the page was blank

For the writer, the blank page is the most terrifying and inspiring thing... just like life... it sits there in front of you... you've no idea how you're going to fill it or what it's going to say when you get to the end... but you steel yourself... take a deep breath and begin to commit a series of characters to the canvas.

So, I figured I'd better get me arse in gear and write something. And lo, it came to pass that I did indeed write something... several somethings to be precise... I wrote short stories... I wrote a book on film financing and I wrote some screenplays which got made into movies.



Friday, August 28, 2009

Fade to Black: Nate Apffel

Stories with a good ending usually don't start with someone falling off a cliff.

But it was just such an accident that set Nate Apffel on the path toward filmmaking.

At age 17, Apffel tumbled off a cliff while on vacation in Mexico and suffered brain swelling and bleeding as well as a tonic-clonic seizure. Unable to drive—and even more painful for the Southern California native, unable to surf—Apffel picked up a Sony Handycam to pass the time.

He loved it.

READ MORE By Kristinha M. Anding -

© 2009 Penton Media, Inc.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

A-List Stars Flailing at the Box Office?

The new system (NEW MEDIA) doesn’t recognize “stars”.

It recognizes sensationalism and dynamic breaking news.

As the Hollywood era comes to a screeching halt, many industry executives wonder why and how this could possibly happen. The answer is simple when you accept the facts that the old system is on its way out and the new system if already here.


Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company


How to Draw Storyboards

Greg Hawkes Video Productions in Basingstoke Hampshire presented this video showing Storyboard artist Gus Russell explaining how he goes about visualizing movie sequences for the movie industry and lots of others.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Four Eyed Monsters DIY Distribution Case Study

This talk has been evolving over the last year since we began to give it and during that time more things have happened including releasing the film on YouTube for free with our 1 dollar per sign up campaign. This talk details the creation of our film through the audience building phase of releasing the video podcast and then the theatrical release, DVD release and free YouTube release. We then talk about the doors this process has opened up including an unannounced 100K distribution deal to get our film and video podcast on TV and get the DVD re-released and this time be available in retail. Stay tuned at for further developments around that.

The audience had some good questions when we were done and everyone we met that night at the reception seemed very interested in what we had accomplished and wanted to talk to us about their projects. Unfortunately we can't watch every ones film and give everyone advice and distribute other peoples work. People have to look at what we've done and what we've posted online and deduce from all of that how we can help. We need to spend our time making our own films.

I sometimes feel it's bad enough that we self distributed our film instead of making more episodes over the past year but it's even worse to then spiral off into becoming a distributor when really the more impactful thing I feel we have to contribute to the world is our ideas in the form of film making and other creative projects that can communicate and connect with people. The mechanics of how we make that connection are important but it's like getting too obsessed with which camera and computer to buy if you get too entrenched in this stuff.

So that is why our power to the pixel presentation is the last time we are doing a talk until we have some new content made. Unless someone is going to pay some obscene amount of money we can use to sync into our projects. But if you are doing a conference and you want to talk about Four Eyed Monsters, you can show our 12 minute distribution story video which is still a work in progress so re-download it just before you show it in case there is a new edition. Or you can download the keynote or power point presentation that we made and give the case study presentation yourself. And you can also put this video out in any edited form or just embed it on your blog or whatever you'd like. All he materials are there for you to not have to do anything.

But again, in the interest of raising money, we are available to be hired to do remote work. So we can present the slide show virtually or simply do a Q&A through live video conference after someone else has presented the case study.

Four Eyed Monsters - Episode 1

After watching Episodes 1 to 8 most people then watch the film and get a sense of being much more a part of the film then they otherwise would. Those who liked the episodes often love the film and end up super glad to have purchased our DVD . Another upside to buying our DVD is it helps us pay back the costs incurred creating this project and raise funds for future projects.

© 2009 YouTube, LLC


Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Erik Beck was challenged by Eric Zala the director of "Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation" to create an awesome face melt effect for cheap!

This is probably Indy Mogul's grossest special effect yet!


Patton Oswalt on Acting

Patton Oswalt signed autographs after his recent appearance on David Letterman's show and said that unlike the celluloid addicts he encountered in his favorite revival houses, he knew when to cut himself off. “All they would do is see movies all day,” he said. “That’s the way an alcoholic drinks.”

Knowing next to nothing about football, the successful comic (and rodent) has now tried an unfamiliar role; that of a sports fan in a low-budget independent feature.

"Big Fan” is the movie in which his firsthand knowledge of cultural fixation became as important as any leading-man experience or any actual knowledge of sports.


©2009, The New York Times. A version of this article appeared in print on August 25, 2009, on page C1 of the New York edition of The New York Times.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

When a video goes viral…

The answer is always an Answer Video!

Our wedding entrance dance to Forever...yeah, forever and it went viral with 21.5 million views. For more information or to make a donation towards violence prevention please visit our website:

We've all seen the JK Wedding Entrance Dance. Now let's see what happens 6 months later! Video Production by Internet Marketing by

And a Surprise thriller for the folks at the reception:


Friday, August 21, 2009

Marching to a Different Drummer

An Ethiopian filmmaker, Haile Gerima, directed the movie Sankofa in 1993.

It was an incredibly unflinching look at the conditions of slavery at a pre-Civil War plantation, which also means that it was widely considered unreleasable. Since no distributor would touch it, Gerima took the four-wall route and proceeded to travel through the major urban markets, renting theaters and presenting the movie himself (often in collaboration with various African-American organizations in the various cities he toured).

I am bringing this up because four-walling is back, but in various new ways.

READ MORE By Dennis Toth -

©Copyright 2009 R&R Consulting

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Big Effects in Low-Budget Films

Polygon Creates VFX in Chaw and Haeundae, Develops CG Water Pipeline

Whenever a movie comes along that attempts to create big visual effects on a relatively meager budget it is interesting to look at the techniques involved in trying to accomplish this goal.

When there are two such films that are both Korean-based productions ‘outsourcing’ their visual effects to the U.S., it becomes an even more intriguing tale.

Over the past year or so Polygon Entertainment found itself in the rather odd position of creating high-end visual effects for two Korean films, Chaw and Haeundae, which are now number one and two in the Korean box office. “I don’t know how I suddenly ended up with two films at the top of the Korean box office at the same time,” quips Hans Uhlig, founder of Polygon Entertainment.

READ MORE by Matt Armstrong -

STUDIO DAILY © 2009 Access Intelligence LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Susan Adriensen’s first movie is a winner

Under the Raven's Wing is a great independent intelligent horror film.

And it has a great website!

In it, an unseen filmmaker uses his hand held camcorder to document the story of Raven (Kimberly Amato), a ringleader with a “gift”. We learn that her “gift” enables her to see through all the lies and false realities of our world and to look into the dimensions around us. Indeed, she even has the power to help people and send them to this serene dimension.

With the assistance of Angel and Jessie they murder to give this gift of “Transcendence”.

These girls want to spread their philosophy and this filmmaker/director is just the man to do it. His desire to make a movie keeps him involved as he documents and recreates the girls’ “glorious” murder night.

The complicated lives of these three women unfold freely before the camera. However, without their knowledge, the Director has his own agenda and the documentary project becomes a film about seduction and voyeurism.

Captivating the Director, he finds himself becoming entangled in their grand plan. Raven tries to control the production by keeping everyone in her psychological grip but the production goes terribly wrong and a power struggle ensues … with the Director fearing for his life.


'The Maiden Heist,' A Comic Tragedy In Three Reels

Hollywood has long been considered recession-proof and it's true Americans are still buying movie tickets.

The trouble isn't getting people to see movies; it's persuading an ever-shrinking pool of financial companies and individuals to pay for them — particularly for independent films.

"The Maiden Heist" is a feature-length comedy starring three of the best — and best-known — actors working today: Morgan Freeman, Christopher Walken and William H. Macy.

In "The Maiden Heist" three museum security guards who, over the years, have become attached to the artwork they protect, concoct a plan to "steal" them back when they learn the pieces are being transferred to a museum in Denmark. The film was completed but it now sits on a shelf — much loved by a few, while it's waiting for a crowd that may never come...

READ MORE by Cory Turner -

Copyright 2009 NPR

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Touchable 3d hologram intel

The video below shows Intel's vision of dynamic physical rendering, easiest explained as a touchable hologram.

It's not a hologram, but instead made using silicon that can create any shape you wish.

The link takes you to the full story with more details, and the video, although computer graphics, illustrates what Intel hopes to achieve.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

GET your SCREENPLAY seen for FREE!

Screenwriters in America print 180 million sheets of paper a year. In six months, hopes to cut that number in half.

Greenwriter is a nine-person company based in Los Angeles, CA. It sounds clichéd, but Greenwriter genuinely is a company started by writers to help other writers get their work seen.

Greenwriter has partnerships with major studios and producers and will get your work in front of them. Say a producer is looking for something specific, like dramas starring Eddie Murphy, or coming-of-age comedies featuring a male protagonist — Greenwriter will promote the right work to them.

Writers create an account and securely upload their WGA registered screenplays to be featured in the Greenwriter catalogue. The service is and always will be completely FREE of charge for writers to use.

READ MORE - and join the mailing list -


Time After Time

A shy office worker, Phil musters up the courage to ask co-worker Rita out on a date who suddenly has a freak accident. But with the help of a mysterious free software trial, Phil is able to reverse time and try, try again. This the "Director's Cut" version which was filmed as part of the AAFilmlab's 72 hr Film Shootout.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

THE INCREDIBLE FUTURE of Social Media Entertainment

Gary Heyes and Laurel Papworth's presentation explains the Net 2.0 social media "why" and "how to" in a fascinating presentation you do NOT want to miss. The plan you need to popularize and monetize your online projects is thoroughly explored and clarified in their engaging and dramatic presentation.


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

How To Make A Haunted House Movie…

First things first, you'll need a house...

Follow our simple nine step guide, and you'll have the most terrifying house on the block in no time...

1.) Who's At The Window?
2.) Deadly Doors
3.) Creepy Kids...



Left 4 Dead ZomBeatles

The Fab 4 are trapped in a postapocalyptic nightmare.

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

How to Build a Portable Green Screen

A green screen makes it much easier to add special effects or change the setting of your movie. You actors can instantly be placed in any country in the world or on any world with the push of a button.

For those who are in the process of creating your own film, the below instructions will tell you just what you need to do in order to build a portable green screen.

When using your green screen, lighting is essential. If filming outside, overcast should be good. In a building or studio, the light must be even. It's a good idea to use at least five lights: Two main lights, two fill lights, and one back light. A bunch of clamp lights or shop lights might suffice.

All text shared under a Creative Commons License,



"Why should I register my trademarks or copyrights?"

There are a few reasons for registering.

1.Public notice. In both a trademark and a copyright registration certificate, the owner of the intellectual property is listed. Trademark certificates are filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Copyright certificates are filed with the Library of Congress.

2.Public descriptions. In a trademark certificate, the goods and services are listed. In a copyright certificate, a brief description of the work is filed, along with two copies of the work itself. The owner of the intellectual property is also listed.

3.Geography. All registrations are good in all fifty states and all territories of the United States.

4.Barriers to lawsuits. If a trademark is not registered, it is considered a common law trademark. The goods/services and geography of the mark must be argued in court if there is infringement. No infringement lawsuit can be filed on a copyright that is not registered. Should there be infringement before registration of a copyright, the copyright owner loses damages (statutory damages up to $150,000 and attorney's fees) and is only allowed to collect actual damages for the copyright infringement.

5.The power of federal law to help with damages in any intellectual property lawsuit comes only with registration.

6.Ease of cataloging. This is a thought that not many people have. If a mark or work is registered, then there is a number. Should the mark or work be sold or licensed, then it is easy to state in a contract what the number is and what the property is.

People also ask me for examples in different industries. Here are a few.

•Syrup manufacturers are gearing up for a trademark dispute:
•Tony LaRussa (manager of the St. Louis Cardinals) and Twitter settle their trademark dispute:
•Intel and Psion settle their trademark dispute:
•The Naked Cowboy (owner of many trademarks) sues a station for trademark infringement:

©2009, Anthony Verna. All rights reserved.

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As THE COLLECTOR continues to collect fans around the country, we are holding a live Facebook Video chat with THE COLLECTOR Writer/Director duo Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton on Wednesday 8/5 at 1:00pm PST.


Here is how to participate:
1) On Wednesday, 8/5 at 1:00 PST, log into Facebook and click here:
2) Type in your questions to Marcus Dunstan & Patrick Melton on the chat box at the bottom of the screen
3) You will see everyone's questions and what everyone is saying in real time
4) Marcus Dunstan & Patrick Melton will be answering your questions in the video player

Feel Free to Tweet:
Got questions for #TheCollector Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton? Join us on FB for a live chat Wed 8/5, 1PM PST