Interview (Audio): Adam Kolbrenner

A half-hour conversation with Madhouse Entertainment manager.

A Final Draft interview with Adam Kolbrenner, manager-producer and founder of Madhouse Entertainment.

I know a bunch of Madhouse writer clients: Carter Blanchard, Liz W. Garcia, David Guggenheim, Aaron Guzikowski, Justin Kremer, Daniel Kunka, Justin Marks, Greg Russo, probably some others.

Think you’ve written a great spec script? You can send a paragraph description of your story to Madhouse Entertainment by going here.

To listen to the podcast Adam Kolbrenner, go here.

To read my 2013 interview with Adam, go here.

Interview (Audio): Adam Kolbrenner was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story — Medium

Watch: 8 Skills You’ll Need to Have Throughout Your Filmmaking Career

A nice camera and talent is great, but if you really want to take your filmmaking career to the next level you’ll need a few other things.

When you first start out in filmmaking, the skills that you decide to hone first are—what—the essentials: how to shoot a film, how to use different pieces of gear, how to edit, and hopefully how to write a decent story. The skills you’ll need beyond that point are things you typically don’t know about until you’ve experienced years and years of mistakes and failure. In hopes of helping you avoid countless missed opportunities and a lifetime of regret, Darious Britt of D4Darious lists eight essential skills you’ll want to develop if you want to have a successful filmmaking career. Check out his video below:

The world is a big, beautiful place that is full of opportunities to discover, grow, and completely crash and burn until you’re a heaping pile of ash and broken dreams. This is why it’s nice when those who have experienced the pang of failure, or at least narrowly escaped it, share with you want to expect and what to avoid while on your journey.

Read More

No Film School

Six Ways Independent Filmmakers Leverage Film Festivals

Film festival roles have seen dramatic changes over the past two decades. Filmmakers struggle with distribution despite the power of the internet. Film festivals themselves seem to come and go – the festival attrition rate seems to be higher than ever.

So what is the point of a film festival? This is something I’ve struggled with since Raindance Film Festival started way back in 1993. Nonetheless, Raindance has continued and indeed has managed to flourish. today where I sit from Planet Raindance I feel that more than ever a film festival roles are more important for independent filmmakers than ever.

All film festivals are the product of the vision of their creators and the result of thousands of hours of dedicated staff who work, often for little or no financial reimbursement to put on their film festival. Usually, as with Raindance – with little or no public funding. Without wanting to sound bitter (I’m not) a film festival, properly run, offers these six terrific benefits for independent filmmakers.

film festival roles1. Film festivals offer theatrical distribution

The role of a film festival is to deliver a room full of people to watch and admire your work.

The fact is independent films rarely get played in a cinema. A festival plays films in a cinema. Filmmakers can use this for their red carpet screening hoping to attract an audience. Many filmmakers use a film festival tour to kick-off for their online distribution.

film festival roles

Ken Loach receiving an award from Festival director Elliot Grove at Raindance Film Festival 2016

Film festivals offer awards

There’s nothing quite like being nominated for an award. And nothing quite as sweet as winning an award – slamming the laurels onto one’s website and postcard for your film. Although the festival you attend might not be known at all, the mere sight of a laurel wreath somehow adds credibility to your film making it a little bit easier to convince someone else to watch your film.

As a filmmaker one tends to favour festivals with key jury members who presumably watch your film and deliver to it the accolades you know it deserves.

film festival roles

Film festivals develop a filmmaker’s brand

Festivals like Raindance release a hundred films in a week. In order to attract audiences festivals describe their catalogue as a series of genres. Sometimes the festivals are genre specific. London, for example, has the famous Frightfest and London Sci-fi festivals.

Getting the branding right for your film (and your career) is the trick. for example: here is a list of essential horror and fantasy film festivals.

Whichever festival you choose, and whatever festival accepts your film, make sure that it fits your branding.

film festival roles

Journalists at the Berlin Film Festival



Festivals start the hype

The unique aspect of screening at a film festival is how the goals of the festival and the filmmaker merge. Both sides need to get people talking about the film. the festival needs the hype to attract punters to the cinema. And a filmmaker needs good reviews to add to their press kit. Hiring a press agent is often a good strategy for a filmmaker in order to maximise the festival apprearance. And hiring a publicist is an essential for a film festival.

film festival roles

Film festivals are a test screening

Many film screenings at Raindance are essentially feedback sessions. Filmmakers pass out survey forms and questionnaires. It’s not uncommon for a film to be recut after a festival screening. The festival screening itself is interesting here at Raindance because our programmers choose films from all over the world. often a film that plays well in its native country, like Canada or Japan, won’t gather the same type of audience response as it has done in its home territory. Festivals are a cost-effective way for filmmakers to test their films in front of an impartial audience.

film festival roles



Film festivals provide a community

It’s at a film festival where you meet like-minded people – not just festival attendees but fellow filmmakers. Festivals are a great place to meet new collaborators, and also to bask in the warmth of praise for your work. One of the key film festival roles is to provide an environment for networking.

The post Six Ways Independent Filmmakers Leverage Film Festivals appeared first on Raindance.


Daily Dialogue theme next week: Voice-Over

Join the Daily Dialogue crew: 3,327 consecutive days and counting.

The Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Voice-Over.

“Yes, I killed him… I killed him for money — and a woman — and I didn’t get the money and I didn’t get the woman…” Double Indemnity (1944)

This should be a breeze! Tons of movies use voice-over narration. What are your favorites?

What to do:

  • Copy/paste dialogue from IMDb Quotes or some other transcript source.
  • Copy/paste the URL of an accompanying video from YouTube or some other video source.
  • Any trivia about the movie which you think would be of interest to readers, we always welcome that.

I’d also ask you to think about why the dialogue is notable. Is there anything about the dialogue which provides some takeaway related to the craft of writing? If so, feel free to share your Dialogue On Dialogue.

Consecutive days of Daily Dialogue posts: 3,327.

Be a part of the proud Daily Dialogue tradition, post a suggestion in a RESPONSE, and have your name emblazoned on a blog post which will forever hold a hallowed spot in the Go Into The Story archives!

Upcoming schedule of themes:

July 3-July 9: Sacrifice [Denise Garcia]
July 10-July 16: Church
July 17-July 23: Scientific Explanation [Melinda Mahaffey]
July 24-July 30: Television
July 31-August 6: Transaction [Gisela Wehrl]
August 7-August 13: One Word
August 14-August 20: Broken [Gisela Wehrl]

If you have any suggestions for Daily Dialogue themes, please post them in a RESPONSE and I’ll be happy to consider them for the series.

Be sure to post your ideas for this week’s theme: Voice-Over.

Continued thanks to all of you Daily Dialogue devotees, your suggested dialogue and dialogue themes. Grateful for your ongoing support of this series!

Daily Dialogue theme next week: Voice-Over was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story — Medium

Teaser Trailer for ‘The Incredible Jessica James’ with Jessica Williams

The Incredible Jessica James Teaser

Have You Met the Incredible Jessica James? Netflix has debuted the first teaser trailer for The Incredible Jessica James, the latest film from talented indie filmmaker Jim Strouse (of Grace Is Gone, The Winning Season, People Places Things — all three are great films). This upbeat indie comedy stars Jessica Williams from «The Daily Show» in a major breakout role as Jessica James, an aspiring playwright living in New York City struggling with the dating scene and the career scene. She meets a goofball guy that she slowly starts to fall for, played by Chris O’Dowd (not seen in this teaser). Also starring Lakeith Stanfield, Noël Wells, Megan Ketch, and Zabryna Guevara. I saw this at Sundance and it’s wonderful, providing some much-needed optimism along with an outstanding performance from Williams. Don’t miss this one, it’s so good. ›››

Continue reading Teaser Trailer for ‘The Incredible Jessica James’ with Jessica Williams

Why Raindance’s Filmmaking Model Thrives in the Age of Arts Funding Cutbacks

My name is Liza Vespi and I’m the  Executive Director of Raindance Canada here in Toronto. Elliot Grove is the Toronto-born-and-raised founder of Raindance — the largest independent film festival in Europe. He’s coming to Toronto to present a series of workshops and events in July.

I caught up with Elliot to hear his thoughts about the current funding questions surrounding the CRTC funding brouhaha that’s making waves here in Canada. Not one to mince words, here’s Elliot’s take on the shape of indie film, and both the blessing and the curse of government-funded filmmaking:

Q: Everybody’s up in arms about the CRTC ruling on private spending  (and cut in BravoFact Short Film Funding, etc.) How do you see this impacting indie film in Canada, Elliot?

Access to money is always of major concern to independent filmmakers. The upside to more generous funding from CRTC would, in theory, make it easier for filmmakers to fund their projects. Here in Britain, filmmakers find that funding tends to go to the same favoured few, or at least that’s the common complaint I hear in London.

The downside is that over-generous public funding can create a culture of dependency and complacency — anathema to creative and entrepreneurial risk-taking. Filmmakers too dependent on money from the teat of public funding tend to become complacent and unaware of the commercial impact their passion projects can have.

Then there are platforms like BravoFact which exist to encourage new talent in Canada — and that is a great thing. I wish we had a comparable programme here in the UK.

Q:  Elliot, in a increasingly global marketplace, what’s your take on regulating Canadian content, or CanCon, as it’s known here?

Nations throughout Europe have similar quota systems in order to protect and foster home-grown talent — mainly for radio (music) and TV. While this is a noble attempt to encourage and monetize national talent, it can also backfire given the increasingly globalised market that digital distribution offers.

Canada is the world’s third largest exporter of music after America and Britain, so, clearly, the Canadian music industry is thriving, and punching above its weight in terms of market share vs population.

Perhaps a better policy would be for our public bodies to pour their time and effort into marketing and publicity — something that the Quebecois have done really well with the plethora of internationally successful filmmakers from that province. Directors like Xavier Dolan, Denis Villeneuve and Jean-Marc Vallee are internationally renowned.

Q: How should indie filmmakers leverage this currently opportunity?

This question has a double edge. On one hand, filmmakers want to break into the mainstream — and that means funding. On the other hand, the opportunities for filmmakers — or should I say content creators — has never been a greater.

Everyone is screaming for content: There’s two tricks. The first is to monetize your content. The second is to de-risk your project to investors. Monetizing your content doesn’t mean changing your vision, selling out, or becoming ‘commercial’ (why is ‘commercial’ a dirty word in Canada?) Monetizing your content means identifying an audience for your content and ensuring your content gets to that audience, whether you’re making an art house film, a family drama, a web series or an impact documentary. We talk a lot about this at Raindance — how to choose and align the best strategy for each film that will strategically get it to market to make money to get your next film/content made, and so on.

Q: Elliot, why should emerging filmmakers continue to be so optimistic? 😉

Look, filmmakers from a quarter century ago didn’t have near the marketing clout of their colleagues working today. The power of social media and the ability to self-distribute were virtually unknown way back when I started Raindance in the early ’90s. Learn how to use the power of social media. Learn from the publicity lessons of those who have gone before, like the makers of The Blair Witch Project. Leverage technology today like the makers of Tangerine (shot entirely on a couple of iPhones). Collaboratively, a tiny team can create waves of support online to build a community for your creative output. That thing in your pocket is a dream maker which you haven’t even begun to use to its capacity yet.

It’s all right in front of you. What’s there NOT to be optimistic about?

Q: What’s the biggest takeaway filmmakers can expect from your Lo-to-No Budget Filmmaking masterclass?

You don’t have to be born into the right family, go to the right school, or have the right money to be a voice or a visionary. But you DO have to learn how to think strategically, familiarize yourself with some tools, and plug into networks of like-minded creatives focused more on what you CAN do than what you CAN’T.

I’m always happy to come to Toronto where I get a breath of fresh air and meet so many filmmakers on the verge of doing their most inspired work.

The post Why Raindance’s Filmmaking Model Thrives in the Age of Arts Funding Cutbacks appeared first on Raindance.


Thursday, June 22 Filming Locations for Jurassic World 2, Widows, Mozart in the Jungle, Red Oaks, & more!

Here’s a look at various filming locations for Thursday, June 22: Filming in California TV Series: Just Add Magic Stars: Olivia Sanabia Location: 1360 E 6th St, Los Angeles (7:00 AM — 11:59 PM) TV Series: The Fosters Stars: Maia Mitchell Location: Warner Bros, Los Angeles  TV Series: Curb Your Enthusiasm Stars: Larry David Location: Temescal Gateway Park Filming in Florida Movie: Killroy Was Here Director: Kevin Smith Location: Ringling College of Art and Design Filming in Hawaii Movie: Jurassic World 2 Stars: Chris Pratt Location: along Kamehameha Highway, in front of the He’eia Kea Small Boat Harbor, in Mililani Filming in Illinois Movies: Widows Stars: Liam Neeson Location: 4700 W Lake St, Chicago   Filming in New York‏ TV Series: Red Oaks Stars: Craig Roberts Location: N William St and E Washington Ave, Pearl River Project: Unknown  Location:  Seminary Ave, Yonkers  TV Series: Shades of Blue Stars: Jennifer Lopez Location: Kaufman Astoria Studios, Astoria TV Series: The Tick Stars: Peter Serafinowicz Location: Queens College Movie: Untitled Steven Spielberg Project Stars: Tom Hanks Location: N Broadway and Hamilton Ave White Plains TV Series: The Sinner Stars: Jessica Biel Location: Sanatorium Rd, Ponoma Movie: Summer Movie Stars: Louis CK Location: Beach Channel and Beach 126th St, Queens TV Series: Mozart..

The post Thursday, June 22 Filming Locations for Jurassic World 2, Widows, Mozart in the Jungle, Red Oaks, & more! appeared first on On Location Vacations.

On Location Vacations

1 2 3 439