Monday, January 15, 2018

Top 10 Films of 2017

This was a strange year for me. I found myself not fully appreciating a lot of films most people loved in 2017, while loving a handful of movies few people talked about. Ultimately, originality won out for me. And the most truly original films I saw in 2017 were challenging works that demanded my attention, and never left my mind. Some even begged me to brave them again with another viewing. If I could handle it.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Top 5 “Rotten” Movies of 2017

I usually conclude my yearly wrap-up posts with a list of my favorite films that received a “rotten” score from Rotten Tomatoes, but I’m forced to do things differently this year. I’m a few days away from seeing my final films of 2017, so my Top 10 Films of 2017 list is forthcoming.

Now, unlike most years, where I list my 10 favorite “rotten” films of the year, I’m only listing five this year. I saw the same amount of good, bad and ugly movies in 2017 as I did for any other year, so either the movies are getting better, or critics are getting softer. Hmm. (Note: I’m using the Rotten Tomatoes scores each film had on December 31, 2017.)

Friday, December 22, 2017

Top 65 Things I Love About Eyes Wide Shut (that no one talks about)

Eyes Wide Shut is second to 2001: A Space Odyssey as my favorite Stanley Kubrick film. Which is to say, it is one of my all-time favorite movies. It is also a film set near Christmas, a fact often overlooked when recalling great Christmas films. He’s my breakdown of some things I love about the movie that are often overlooked. Please be advised that five of the screenshots in this post feature nude women. My intention of using these shots was not to objectify, but rather, to break down other aspects of the film that are featured in the those specific frames.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

the Directors: Jean-Pierre Melville

Everyone has directors they haven’t gotten to. Even a film freak like myself has gaps. For me, Jean-Pierre Melville was one such gap. In August, I started my FilmStruck subscription, and the first film I put on was Melville’s Le Samouraï. When the film was finished, I sat in a daze, completely transformed by what I had just watched. The film was a game changer; I hadn’t experienced such strong cinematic impact in years. I kept going. Army of Shadows was next. Another classic. More. And more, and more. Within a week, I had watched every available Melville film. And now, I can confidently tell you that the man is one of my all-time favorite directors.

Friday, December 1, 2017

How I Made a Microbudget Feature Film, Part 9: Expectations

The purpose of this series is to share my experience of making my microbudget feature film, Wait, while being as transparent as possible. This series is specific to my experience only. Please do not take these posts as universal How-Tos. Also know, this series is intended to shed light on the process of making a film, not on the quality of the film itself. 

This is my final post detailing how I made my microbudget feature film, Wait. I’ve used 20,094 words in this series to explain how I made Wait, and this post is a final chance to hammer home the most important points.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

How I Made a Microbudget Feature Film, Part 8: Distribution

The purpose of this series is to share my experience of making my microbudget feature film, Wait, while being as transparent as possible. This series is specific to my experience only. Please do not take these posts as universal How-Tos. Also know, this series is intended to shed light on the process of making a film, not on the quality of the film itself. 

How do you know when your film has completed its festival run? As mentioned in my previous post, your film will likely get rejected from more festivals than it’s accepted to. This level of rejection could motivate you to keep submitting your film to new festivals. I have to get into one more. This is the last one. It HAS to get in here. But, at some point, you have to call it and move on.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

How I Made a Microbudget Feature Film, Part 7: Festivals

The purpose of this series is to share my experience of making my microbudget feature film, Wait, while being as transparent as possible. This series is specific to my experience only. Please do not take these posts as universal How-Tos. Also know, this series is intended to shed light on the process of making a film, not on the quality of the film itself.

You made it. It seems like a blur. But you made it. You wrote the thing, planned the thing, shot and edited the thing, and now you’re ready for people to see it. Film festivals are a tricky beast. On the outside, submitting your film to festivals seems universally positive. But once you go through it, you realize there are a lot of highs and lows to manage while your film goes on its festival run.

Monday, November 13, 2017

How I Made a Microbudget Feature Film, Part 6: Music

The purpose of this series is to share my experience of making my microbudget feature film, Wait, while being as transparent as possible. This series is specific to my experience only. Please do not take these posts as universal How-Tos. Also know, this series is intended to shed light on the process of making a film, not on the quality of the film itself. 

The right music can seriously enhance the emotion of your film. Music can be so important to a film’s DNA that it can actually function as its own character. Fellow blogger-turned-filmmaker, Nikhat, recently asked me for advice on how to acquire the rights to protected songs for movies, which I’ve outlined here below. But if you’re making a microbudget film, acquiring song rights is an option you likely can’t afford. So before I dive into that, let’s talk about a way you can get great music for a reasonable price.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

How I Made a Microbudget Feature Film, Part 5: Post-Production

The purpose of this series is to share my experience of making my microbudget feature film, Wait, while being as transparent as possible. This series is specific to my experience only. Please do not take these posts as universal How-Tos. Also know, this series is intended to shed light on the process of making a film, not on the quality of the film itself. 

You made it. You wrote the thing, you planned the thing, and you shot the thing. Now you have to creep back into the madness of your mind and put the thing together. Now you have to make your film come to life.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

How I Made a Microbudget Feature Film, Part 4: Production

The purpose of this series is to share my experience of making my microbudget feature film, Wait, while being as transparent as possible. This series is specific to my experience only. Please do not take these posts as universal How-Tos. Also know, this series is intended to shed light on the process of making a film, not on the quality of the film itself. 

In Part 3, I said that during pre-production, you spend a lot of money on a few things, and in post-production, you spend a little money on a lot of things. Spending money is a big stressor, but strangely enough, while you’re actually shooting your film, you don’t spend too much dough. But believe me, you have plenty of other things to stress about during filming.

Friday, October 27, 2017

How I Made a Microbudget Feature Film, Part 3: Pre-Production

The purpose of this series is to share my experience of making my microbudget feature film, Wait, while being as transparent as possible. This series is specific to my experience only. Please do not take these posts as universal How-Tos. Also know, this series is intended to shed light on the process of making a film, not on the quality of the film itself. 

In Part 2, we followed the money. And while that entire post was dedicated to the patience-testing, somewhat soul-crushing, curiously enlightening process of how you can acquire money for a microbudget feature film, the money talk is far from over. Though, from here on, I’ll discuss how I used the money I had, as opposed to how I got the money in the first place.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

How I Made a Microbudget Feature Film, Part 2: The Money

The purpose of this series is to share my experience of making my microbudget feature film, Wait, while being as transparent as possible. This series is specific to my experience only. Please do not take these posts as universal How-Tos. Also know, this series is intended to shed light on the process of making a film, not on the quality of the film itself. 

In Part 1 of this series, I detailed how I narrowed in on the idea to form Wait, and the years-long process it took me to finally sit down and write the damn thing. Part 2 of this series was intended to focus on the overall pre-production of Wait. The first chapter of that post was going to detail how I gathered the money to make my film. But as I started writing, I realized the post needed to stand on its own. So, while I do touch on pre-production below, my full pre-production post will come in a few days. This post is dedicated to following the money. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

How I Made a Microbudget Feature Film, Part 1: Writing

The purpose of this series is to share my experience of making my microbudget feature film, Wait, while being as transparent as possible. This series is specific to my experience only. Please do not take these posts as universal How-Tos. Also know, this series is intended to shed light on the process of making a film, not on the quality of the film itself. 

I have received a lot of questions about my film Wait since releasing it online in August. Two of the most common questions are: How did you make it?, and What took you so long to release it?

Monday, October 16, 2017

How I Made a Microbudget Feature Film

In January 2013, I wrote a feature length script called Wait. Upon completing the script, I set out to make the movie, which would be my first feature film. Four and half years later, I released Wait to the public via iTunes, Amazon and Vimeo OnDemand.

This 9-part series is an exhaustive chronicle of how I made Wait. From writing to location scouting, directing to editing, film festivals to distribution, “How I Made a Microbudget Feature Film” is a deep dive into the heartaches and joys of making a microbudget feature film.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

WAIT: Now Available on Vimeo OnDemand

At some point during the making of a movie, the movie takes on a life of its own. It’s born, it lives and it demands constant attention. Last month, when I released my feature film, WAIT, on iTunes and Amazon, I assumed my years-long relationship with the movie was officially out of my hands. After all, when you hand a movie over to audiences, it is no longer yours, it’s theirs.