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Paid Project: Editor Needed For a Feature Film

June 6th, 2014

A Short History Of Drugs In the Valley

Are you a talented film editor who’s looking for a fresh and exciting project to work on? Then perhaps “A Short History of Drugs In the Valley” would interest you.

The details and an on set photo are below, and you can find the project on Spidvid here if you want to contact the creator (FlowFeel Films), or go ahead and place your bid.

A Short History Of Drugs In the Valley - Car

FlowFeel Films needs a talented editor for their third major project.

This is a dark feature film which is part Clerks, and part Big Lebowski. This story is a slick ride through history and time. Vinny, Castro, Duke, and Bunny are caught up in a deal gone bad. Local radio personality Dr. Dick Diamond omnisciently narrates as the gang tries to wiggle out of a mess much bigger than they ever imagined.

View A Short History of Drugs In the Valley on Spidvid.

If you have a video or film project that you need to attract talent and build a team for, then post your project on Spidvid now.

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This Web Series Is Making Progress

April 25th, 2014

Progress Web Series

I recently had the opportunity to interview Nicole Wright (Director/Producer), Armando Saldanamora (Writer/Producer), Paul Madariaga (Associate Producer in Progress), Derek Houck (Actor in Progress), Rebecca Lynch (Actress in Progress), and Ben Whalen (Actor in Progress). This collection of talented people are behind the steampunk gothic web series entitled “Progress” and you can enjoy our interesting Q and A below.

1. What’s the story behind your team wanting to develop “Progress” into a web series?

Armando: Basically, because love making movies and extremely dislike the complicated “courtship dance” that comes when working studios. PROGRESS was conceived initially as a feature, but when we started pitching it we were appalled by the amount of agents, lawyers and managers that need to get involved. We said “ah, screw this! Let’s make it as a web series.”

Nicole: Honestly, the web series community is one of the most supportive communities I’ve ever been a part of. Most of the time when you are making films, it’s every man for themselves and everyone sees each other as competition. I’m so glad Progress is a web series, because it’s given us the opportunity to meet and become friends with so many amazing content creators that are nothing but supportive, and we are all constantly rooting for each other to succeed. It’s like we’re all on one big team!

2. Who is involved with the project, and how did the team come together?

Armando: It’s only appropriate that the web-series has the Internet as central theme, a team that came together through social media. From Facebook to Reddit and even Craigslist the creative team and crew contacted each other and started to join. Even the casting was done through videos that the actors posted privately on YouTube.

Nicole: Like Armando mentioned, everything came about through the Internet (and how appropriate) as our series is about the Internet and made for the Internet! And the best relationships we’ve made have come about through the Internet!

3. What are the core goals for the series?

Armando: Initially our goal was just to tell our story, put it out there and entertain people with a world where the Internet existed in the 19th Century. However we got such a huge response that our goal shifted. Recently a guy approached us and suggested that we develop PROGRESS as a feature. We’re contemplating that possibility — but we’re definitively also doing the web series in its entirety.

Nicole: I think that the biggest goal is to keep sharing our stories online and continue to entertain people. However, one of the most important things is that we continue to build relationships with other content creators and support one another, because Web Series are still relatively new!

4. Sponsorships are huge for web series to get, how did you’s attract yours to help with the project?

Armando: Mostly it was the steampunk community. This is a vast and very enthusiastic group of people. A lot of them were attracted to the project from the beginning and immediately contacted us with businesses that caters to fans of the genre.

5. What have been the biggest project challenges and struggles to date?

Armando: Filmmaking is going through a big transition right now and the old systems are no longer operative — but the new systems are not completely in place. So getting financing and solid distribution are a matter of trial-and-error for most productions now.

Nicole: Yes, I think one of the biggest challenges is funding and that seems to goes hand-in-hand with being misunderstood. A lot of times people think that because we tell our story on the Internet that it doesn’t cost anything to make. We’re trying to produce studio-quality content but on an indie budget and it definitely is challenging to raise funds.

6. How does your team collaboratively manage the project work flow?

Armando: Our main rule is “let each person do their own work.” This means that everybody has control of a small part of the process. For example, the writer finishes the scripts on his own and passes them to the director. She takes control of the story from then on, but she has to let the actors perform their roles freely. Then the editor takes full control of the project and so on.

Nicole: Everyone in our crew and cast has a unique gift and by allowing each person to freely contribute their talents makes the best project possible. It’s great because we all just have tremendous respect for each other and we all want each other to shine!

7. Do you have any tips or insights for producing a web series?

Armando: Forget everything that you think you know. Forget all about how “you can’t make a film without a casting agency” or that film is “a rich man’s game.” This is about telling a story. A great story. Go ahead and tell it.

8. To the cast, what are the biggest challenges of playing these characters and how do they affect your career as actors?

Ben Whalen (Oscar): For me the biggest challenge was working with a green screen and a reader rather than another actor. When you develop a relationship on screen it helps to use your fellow actor. You can feed off them and use their cues to inform your actions or reactions. It was a challenge but we overcame it and the connection seems real.

These days, with all the green screen technology and animation, there will be times when you’re acting with a screen or a tennis ball. Doing Progress gave me the practice and confidence to do so. Plus I got to do an English accent which I look forward to doing more of. It’s fun to play a character far removed from yourself and have the opportunity to truly transform.

Rebecca Lynch (Lila): Lila is such a brilliant, strong and complex woman who lives in a world where women aren’t allowed to be such things. It’s a challenge to allow all of her layers to shine through my performance while still remaining authentic to the world she lives in – but it’s also why it is so much fun to play her.

Career-wise, playing her has opened up my “cast-ability” to period pieces and sci-fi and fantasy genres which is very cool for me since I am a huge fan of these genres. But also, on a deeper lever, my connection to Lila and my passion about playing her has become a barometer for me about the types of characters I’d like to play and the projects I want to be involved in.

Derek Houck (Adam): The biggest challenge with Adam is to faithfully express all of his riddles, clues, and hidden messages in a way that preserves the mystery while still being intelligible to the audience. Adam has a tendency to talk in code, jargon, and in-jokes that can easily become confusing for people just jumping into the show. My hope is that even if a particular reference goes over a viewer’s head, they will still feel the emotion of the scene and understand enough of the story that they don’t feel lost.

The joy of playing Adam is that he’s such a unique and eccentric character that I feel I can dive into him and never reach the bottom. Few roles offer me as much opportunity to play with gestures, vocal patterns, and intonations to such an extant. Other characters feel like finely tuned instruments in an orchestra. Adam is a one-man band. I get to play everything with him.

Andy Pandini (Mr Humbbaugh): The biggest challenge of playing Humbbaugh was also the best part – being able to improvise Humbbaugh’s rants with script guidance from Armando. Being given that freedom as an actor is a real privilege, and it’s something that I love doing, but at the same time, you want to make sure that you’re doing the story justice.

9. To the creative team, what are the main difficulties of creating a sci-fi/period story within a tiny budget?

Shannon Arrant (costume design): Steampunk is a breathtakingly beautiful aesthetic. It is the perfect blend of history, sci-fi, and fantasy. One of the reasons Steampunk fashion has become so popular is that it truly captures the imagination. You can customize Steampunk in so many different ways making each outfit as unique as the person wearing it.

While this is both freeing and downright fun, it can also get very expensive very quickly. Like with all Steampunk costumes, each character of “Progress” is reflected not only in the clothing they wear but their accessories too. When you factor in all the hats, scarves, vests, gloves, jewelry, and other miscellaneous pieces each costume needs, it’s easy to see how accessories can quickly break a budget.

I created 13 fully accessorized costumes for the trailer and the first three episodes on a budget roughly the size of what most people spend on a single, detailed Steampunk costume. When you have a budget that small, you really have to be willing to analyze each costume piece and accessory you want in order to determine the cheapest way you can get the basic materials you need, what you can already make yourself, what new skills you can learn to make something yourself, what you can substitute that will achieve the look you want, and ultimately what you definitively need and what you can live without. It is a huge challenge but, in the end, I am a much better costume designer for it.

Keith Stacey (composer): My biggest challenge has been keeping a steady flow of music going from the beginning to the end of each episode. Fortunately, as each episode has segments featuring different characters interacting with Oscar, my main consideration has been to bridge the gaps between appropriate character themes.

That said, it was a challenge to create the general “sound” of progress, but the visuals and the performances greatly lend to music. It’s been a great joy to write music for Progress!

Paul Madariaga (associate producer): Generally there’s the issue of costumes and set design that need to be created from scratch, since the elements of the world you are creating don’t exist in off-the-shelf form. But with our costume and set designers and effects team, that’s not as much of a problem at all. Shannon did all the costumes for season one for $400, and David and everyone in post did such a good job we competed for best design at the IAWTV awards with Battlestar Galactica’s $3M budget.

10. Where can we watch PROGRESS and what can viewers expect from the series in the short and long term future?

You can start with our website ProgressTheSeries.com that has the episodes and a series of links to watch them in full HD.

Short future: expect Season Two really soon. Also, we’re just about to start filming a vlog-style spin-off web series that stars Lila DeClide of Progress as she answers questions about love, life and the Internet. Expect guest appearances from actors who have been involved in popular web series like The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Hipsterhood, Squaresville, School of Thrones and Lonelygirl15 — just to name a few.

Long-term future: We are really hoping to increase the Progress Universe by adding more stories, more characters and more projects. Sorry, but we cannot confirm or deny the rumors about attaching big-name talent into the Progress Universe…

We thank Nicole, Armando, Paul, Derek, Rebecca, and Ben for their insightful answers for web series creators and creative teams to learn from! We also wish them all the best going forward.

Enjoy this interview?! Great! Then subscribe to our blog via email as we will be doing more of these fun interviews in the future with other amazingly talented video creators, filmmakers, actors, writers, directors, animators, and producers.

And if you are a web series, TV, short film or feature film creator or producer and want your story and content featured here, then reach out to us and lets discuss.

Tweet: This Web Series Is Making Progress http://ctt.ec/LRZYo+

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Serial Killer Culture Is An Intriguing Dark Film

April 16th, 2014

Serial Killer Culture

I recently had the opportunity to interview John Borowski, who’s the creator of “Serial Killer Culture.”

1. What is Serial Killer Culture?

Serial Killer Culture is a feature documentary film which examines the reasons why artists and collectors are fascinated by serial killers. Through music, painting, filmmaking, writing, and collecting, I interviewed thirteen individuals about creating art and searching for murderous artifacts.

2. What’s the story behind your wanting to develop “Serial Killer Culture” into a feature documentary film?

Through making films on serial killer HH Holmes, Albert Fish and Carl Panzram, I met many individuals that were involved in the culture of crime. When I realized that there were other artists creating art on serial killers, as I was doing, I thought it would be an interesting concept to highlight artists and collectors involved in the serial killer culture. I began interviewing these people as I was finishing up work on my film on Carl Panzram.

3. Who was involved with the project, and how did you attract those individuals to join you on your journey? Was it challenging to get people’s involvement for the interviews, and how did you initially decide who you wanted to be featured in your film?

The artists and collectors featured in Serial Killer Culture are: Joe Coleman- Collector and Artist, Macabre- Murder Metal Band, Rick Staton- Collector, Hart Fisher- Publisher of the Dahmer Comic Book, Joe Hiles- Founder of Serial Killer Central, The Dahmer Tours, Sam Hane- U.K. Artist, Stephen Giannangello- Author and Criminal Investigator, Sparzanza- Swedish Metal Band, Matthew Aaron- Owner of the Last Dime Museum, John Borowski- Filmmaker, David Van Gough- Painter/Artist of the Man/Son series, and true crime musicians The World Famous Crawlspace Brothers. Some of the artists I have known for some time, others I was introduced to by Joe Hiles. It was my intention to have a well rounded group of interviewees who were as interesting as the art they create and the items which they collect. There were more artists and collectors I was interested in profiling in the film but ultimately I did not have the budget to include them. The great aspect of the arts being involved in my film is that they receive exposure as well, so it is mutually beneficial.

4. What are the core goals for the film?

To expose audiences to artists and collectors which they may have been unaware of before viewing the film.

5. What were the biggest project challenges and struggles?

One of the big disappointments was not being able to film several items at the National Crime Museum in Washington DC. The museum agreed to be interviewed but I wanted to film John Wayne Gacy’s Pogo and Patches clown outfits as well as Ted Bundy’s VW, which are on display at the museum. These items are privately owned by Jonathan Davis, the lead vocalist in the rock music band Korn. Jonathan Davis refused to allow me to film the items with no reason given. That was a bit of a let down because I felt that a national crime museum would validate the historical importance of documenting the serial killer/true crime culture.

6. Do you have any tips or insights for producing a film?

Make sure your lighting and sound are the best they can be, especially the sound because bad audio can ruin a film.

7. When can we buy and watch Serial Killer Culture, and what can viewers expect when they watch it?

Serial Killer culture is available now via streaming on Filmbinder and DVD’s can be purchased at the official film site: SerialKillerCulture.com. Viewers can expect to be taken on a journey filled with art, culture, murderous collectables, and a historical insight into the culture of serial killers and true crime.

We thank John for his insightful answers for filmmakers to learn from! We also wish him all the best going forward.

Enjoy this interview?! Great! Then subscribe to our blog via email as we will be doing more of these fun interviews in the future with other amazingly talented video creators, filmmakers, actors, writers, directors, animators, and producers.

And if you are a web series, TV, short film or feature film creator or producer and want your story and content featured here, then reach out to us and lets discuss.

Tweet: Serial Killer Culture Is An Intriguing Dark Film http://ctt.ec/my1wN+

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Help Fund This Amazing Film Project: Sunny in the Dark

April 4th, 2014

Sunny in the Dark

I recently had the opportunity to interview Courtney Ware, who’s the Director of the soon to be shot feature film “Sunny in the Dark.” This is a unique character film about a reclusive family therapist who moves into a new loft, only to find that a girl – Sunny – has moved into the dark crawlspace above him. She lives in his space when he leaves for work, careful to leave no trace of her existence.

1. How did the story for “Sunny in the Dark” come to be, and why is it an important one that needs to be told through film?

One of the themes of the film is what it means to be known. The writer, Mike Maden and I have spoken numerous times about the many things that went into writing the script, but perhaps the most poignant to me is this idea of two people living in the same space who don’t know each other. The parallel between these characters – one having no idea the other is even there – and many of our own relationships is something I love about the story. We all hide from each other. This script explores those themes in an incredibly visual and unique way.

2. Who are the core team members behind the project?

The film is directed by myself (Courtney Ware), and produced by Meredith Burke, Shanda Munson, and Russ Pond. It was written by Mike Maden.

3. What are the main goals for the film?

One thing that really drew me to the script was that I felt like it was a movie I hadn’t ever seen before. My hope – outside of getting the film finished of course – is that audiences would connect with characters they never expected to.

4. Shooting begins next month, have all the locations been selected, and is all the cast and crew in place yet?

We have a huge chunk of everything nailed down – but as always, there is much left to be done!

5. What have been the biggest project challenges and struggles to date?

One of the biggest struggles has been getting the film funded. That’s a fairly common problem for small independent dramas with no explosions. But it has been the thing that has kept us from moving forward with the film for almost 5 years.

6. There’s an Indiegogo campaign in place to help collaboratively fund this project, why should people donate and what’s in it for them?

The best thing about crowd funding is that it gives people a chance to support the types of projects that they are interested in seeing come to life. We’ve got something really cool going with this campaign. We only have one perk – the film. When you donate at least 10 bucks to help us get our film made, you get a copy of the film. Straight forward and easy!

7. This project has been in the works for a few years now, how important is patience and belief when it comes to large projects?

In my opinion, patience and persistence is a huge asset when it comes to the timing of getting your project off the ground. And sometimes, deadlines help too. Ha! With this project, our option running out became a huge force in getting our film made. We suddenly were dealing with the fact that other offers on the script were coming in. I just couldn’t see it made by anyone else’s hands. So we pulled everything we could and jumped into making the film happen – and making it happen now.

8. Assuming this film gets successfully produced, what’s the distribution strategy upon its completion?

That’s one of the things I’m most excited about with our project and the timing of when we’re producing it. The opportunities for distribution are being blown wide open. The typical strategies of “festival run – theatrical – VOD – home” is no longer valid. The new structures in self distribution is incredibly exciting. We definitely plan and hope to bring the film to the festival circuit, but beyond that is really open and exciting.

9. Do you have any tips or insights for getting a feature film project off the ground?

My biggest advice would be this: Go do something. Go make your film – in what ever means necessary. Go write a script. Go cast your lead actor. People follow people of action – no one will ever hand you a million dollar check out of nowhere. Don’t wait for them to either. Tell your story.

10 Where can we learn more about Sunny in the Dark, and where can we go to donate to this incredible project?

The easiest place to find out about the film and keep track with updates is on our Facebook page. You can also find and check out our IGG campaign!

Sunny in the Dark 1

We thank Courtney for her insightful answers for filmmakers to learn from! We also wish her and her team all the best with their film and journey going forward. Bonus: If you donate $10 or more to this wonderful project, we will thank and send you some Spidvid stickers, just send us your mailing address!

Enjoy this interview?! Great! Then subscribe to our blog via email as we will be doing more of these fun interviews in the future with other amazingly talented video creators, filmmakers, actors, writers, directors, animators, and producers.

And if you are a web series, TV, short film or feature film creator or producer and want your story and content featured here, then reach out to us and lets discuss.

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Film Production Made Easier With The Takes

February 19th, 2014

The Takes

I recently had the opportunity to interview Alex who’s the founder of The Takes. The Takes is an online project management, communications, and scheduling tool for film and TV productions. Our interesting Q and A is below.

1. Where did the name “TheTakes” originate from?

We wanted to give the system a short and simple name that any filmmaker can easily remember. From our experience so far, “The Takes” is easy to memorize and spell without errors.

2. Why was this product built, and how long did it take to build?

Film production tasks are hard to manage. There are hundreds of people on the set, changes happen very frequently, and costs of mistakes are very high. By the time we started, there were no modern tools on the market. Even major Hollywood studios use outdated software, poorly integrated with each other. And as we’ve built great web services before, we decided to make one for film production management. It took more than 2 years to build.

Our idea is to take the best practices the IT industry can offer and bring them to the filmmaking. We wanted the crew to spend more time creating a movie and less time managing routine tasks.

3. Can The Takes work in collaboration with other pre-production products on the market?

It is already a one-stop shop, that covers most stages of pre-production, production, and works for every crew member. You can import a screenplay from Celtx, Final Draft, and Fountain formats. Also, you can export your content library to MovieMagic Budgeting, although we’re going to add a budgeting feature into TheTakes in near future.

4. Are there any cool success stories to share as a result of your users leveraging TheTakes for their projects?

With Russian origins; we have a big portfolio of Russian made feature films, shorts, TV shows and music videos. One of them, our favourite, “The Meeting” will hit the big screen this month. In the US, India, Germany, and Ukraine we had projects shot by smaller indie filmmakers, all of them are excited with this tool, and we’re working hard to get into these markets.

5. How does your team attract new users to initially use, and continue to use your product over time?

Direct sales is the most important channel right now. As the tool is quite new, filmmakers want to have someone to talk to, and provide a helping hand when needed. We also try online advertising on production related sites, social networks. TheTakes’s blog has become an important filmmaking resource on Twitter and Facebook. We’ve established relationships with several film schools in Europe and the US. Our system is free for all film school projects.

6. Are there any plans to develop and design mobile apps?

Of course, together with the budgeting, native mobile apps are our top priority.

7. What does the future hold for The Takes?

Our plans are huge. We want to become an industry standard tool for film and TV production. Sooner or later Gmail and standalone app workflow will sink into an oblivion, with cloud based project management taking its place.

8. Has your team raised angel or VC money yet?

We’ve raised money from private investors previously, and are interested in industry related investments now, from people who can help with their expertise, connections and views, in addition to the money.

9. Where can a new user go and sign up to use TheTakes?

We offer a 30 days free trial and additional 30 days money-back guarantee after that. Click a “Try it out” button on the website, or go directly here to create an account. Happy filming!

We thank Alex for taking the time to explain his company’s product with us, and wish him and his team all the best going forward!

If you have a useful video production product or service you want to share here on our blog, then reach out to us and let’s discuss.

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