Saturday, April 30, 2005

Independent Producing 25-26 June 2005

Hollywood Seminars - Learn Filmmaking in the
Film Capital of the World - Or wherever you are!
Box 2449, Hollywood CA 90078 323.960.5550

Next Event: "Independent Producing"
25-26 June 2005, Hollywood CA USA

FREE Report - Find Your First Hollywood Job!

Friday, April 29, 2005

HD Greenscreen Movie - The 80/20 Rule

If you have €80k, and want to fill 20 minutes with pulse-pounding
big-screen action, the good news is you can do it. Bad news, who
do you invite to the wrap party? After all, the whole movie was
2 guys, a house full of computers, and a greenscreen.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Online Distributor Wants Your Shorts (And Features)

Want to sell your shorts, trailers, TV shows, features?
You can do it online. Write to Diane, tell her I sent you,
she'll hook you up. No setup fee

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Rules of Indy Filmmaking

So, one day when you can't shoot because planes are going
over, or your Actress couldn't come today, because she has
a real job, or you gave an Actor some money to get food for
the crew, and he just never came back. Empty your mind...
The Rules of Indy Filmmaking

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Robert Rodriguez's 10-minute Film School!

El Mariachi was just a calling card. Here's what he
really wants to teach you. Watch yourself!
Robert Rodriguez's 10-minute Film School

Monday, April 25, 2005

Okay - This Just May Change Everything

Okay, now you're talking. A digital camera that might just
revolutionize everything for low-budget filmmaking.
24p HD in a lightweight, cheap, mass-produced camera.
Is it 35mm? No, but it might get you there...
Now you're talking - Panasonic AG-HVX200

Sunday, April 24, 2005

My Favorite Movie of 2004
Making The Incredibles

Lucky ducks in the UK got a masterclass with Brad Bird.
Visit Making The Incredibles Masterclass

Saturday, April 23, 2005

IndyCine Filmmaking Page - Supplies,
Services, Encouragement for Filmmakers!

See what everybody else is doing,
at the original filmmaking portal.

Friday, April 22, 2005

The greatest Bolex technician in Oakland

I can definitely recommend the work of the legendary
Mr. Jaakko Kurhi of Meritex in Oakland CA USA.
He can repair or tune up your Bolex, convert it to
Super16mm, any mods you like, or build you an honest
to goodness digital/optical printer. I trust him completely.
510.581.9791 Tell him the Sam the Film Wizard sent you.
Jaakko has been helping filmmakers do the impossible
for thirty-plus years. JK Camera / Meritex

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Wind Up That Camera!

Want to shoot beautiful images, more quickly and simply than
on video, yet with image quality that blows HD and SD away?
The Bell & Howell Eyemo is still the coolest!
Eyemo / Video shootout!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Have You Seen This Couple?

If you have any information about the hikers in this video,
notify the Tacoma County Police, at the listed number.
Please help - time is of the essence.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

FREE Report - Find Your First Hollywood Job!

Hollywood Seminars - Learn Filmmaking in the
Film Capital of the World - Or wherever you are!
Box 2449, Hollywood CA 90078 323.960.5622

FREE Report - Find Your First Hollywood Job!

Monday, April 18, 2005

What Do You Do With A Finished Movie?

Is your movie DONE? Ready to get out there? You could
sell DVDs online, enter it in a hobuncha festivals. Or...
Take it to Darlene, and SELL IT!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

A Day In Film School

As a public service, for those who can't afford film school,
or afford the time to go to film school, when they could be
making's a hoot and a half...maybe two hoots.
Judging Distance.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Build Your Own Camera Dolly!

It's a moving picture, so you've gotta move
the camera, right? You don't have a lot of money,
but there's stuff around the house. Start building!
Here's a new wrinkle in grip equip.
The Incredible Ironing Board Dolly!

Friday, April 15, 2005

There Was A Man Dept.

Today, let us consider Ray Dennis Steckler. I mentioned
"The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped
Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!?"
the other day, and
many have asked about him. His name was "Cash Flagg" in that one,
"Sven Christian," "Christopher Edwards," "Cindy Lou Steckler," in others.

He made lots of bad movies, some truly bad stuff, he was a whiz at it.
No, not as bad as "The Creeping Terror" but definitely a contender.

If you take the time to read his illustrious history, you will be
astounded at how many movies he made, how bad they were,
and how many names he had.

You may say he couldn't make movies, but you can't say he didn't.
He definitely had the "make a 35mm movie" thing down. It's only
a state of mind, and he had it. Learn from this.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

How The Mighty Are Fallen Dept.

A moment of silence please, to remember the best studio
in town, and how it was most recently brought low.
The Lion Will Roar No More

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Raiders Tribute Receives Tribute Of Its Own.

Appreciation grows for the guys who made the ultimate Fan Film.
I love the original so much, and I know just how much you want
to honor the art you love. My hat is off to these guys, who gave
up so much, to get their little movie to the lofty state we call "done."
And how did you spend YOUR childhood?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Worst Movie Ever Made

Of all the questions I get, this one's the easiest.
What is the worst movie ever made?
Worse than
"Plan 9 From Outer Space?"

Yes, by leaps and bounds. This film makes
"Plan 9" look like "Citizen Kane."
Worse than
"The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped
Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!?"

(Shot by future greats Joseph Mascelli,
Laszlo Kovacs, and Vilmos Zsigmond!)
Yes, worse than that.
Worse than
"Zombies of the Stratosphere"

(1952 serial, with Leonard Nimoy as a Martian!)
Yes, much much worse, because
Review of "The Creeping Terror" 1

Review of "The Creeping Terror" 2
You can get the "Mystery Science 3000" version here,
sadly the only way it's on DVD, but just turn the DVD over,
to see "The Creeping Terror" full-strength!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Thieves on eBay

This made my hair stand up on my head.
It almost happened to me, just a week or so ago.
Moral is, don't necessarily believe it if you
lose a bid, and get a "second chance offer."
Check it out first.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Fan Film Triumph

Here's one you need to read, when the going gets tough

Friday, April 08, 2005

Are Movie Theatres Going Away?

Just as I begin my 35mm Renaissance in earnest,
so as to make 35mm feature theatrical movies,
there's this article, by Ed Epstein of the LA Times.
The movie biz has moved to your house.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Filmmaking Help From Your Uncle Ivan Watson!

Filmmaking Help From Your Uncle Ivan Watson!

Back when I got started making movies,

there was this British filmmaking writer.

His name was Ivan Watson, and he wrote about filmmaking
in a friendly and incredibly informative way. He truly had a
gift for making the complicated seem easy!

I thought of him as "Uncle Ivan," and loved reading his
film magazine columns. I corresponded with him by mail,
and still have his books in my library.

Years later, I still use everything he taught me,
in my professional film career, every day.

I'm happy today to recommend
Uncle Ivan's great filmmaking books.

I hope that helps you make YOUR movie!

Uncle Ivan
Ivan Watson
Uncle Ivan Watson
Ivan Watson Film Books
Sound Sense For Movie Makers

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Danger! We're Making A Western! (What?)

So my movie after this one is a western. People used to make
westerns because they were cheap. (The westerns, and the people.)
Now, to make them is dangerous and time-consuming, and you have to
buy a ton of stuff they just don't make any more. Here's a danger
you might not have considered. Hugh O'Brian knows.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Happy Birthday Roger Corman!

I had dinner with Roger Corman, on a boat in Seattle years
ago, and could not get over it, this elegant gentleman in a
cashmere sweater was the same man who Directed a movie
called "Bucket of Blood." Years later, I worked at his secret
Venice movie studio, and learned a lot about making movies,
perhaps the most important thing is, don't listen to anybody
who says you can't.
It's his 79th birthday today, so I send
a heartfelt (and cheap) Happy Birthday Roger Corman!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Do You Really Need A Movie Star?

If you want your movie to come together, and get distribution
and publicity and fame, yes you need a movie star. How
do you get them to be in your movie? You ask them. How do
you find them? Babe, welcome to the Twenty-first Century!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

How to Master Time and Space - In 35mm!

So, I was at a TRW swap meet, a meeting of geeks and dweebs,
hackers and hamsters, way out in Torrence, to the West of LA,
and I bought an AutoMax.

I'd bought a couple before, but didn't know what they were, or
how to use them. Usually, I've bought 'em at a surplus store,
and dumped 'em during a spring cleaning garage sale.
I didn't know any better.

A guy had it on a table, a little black case with a handle, that
smelled like my violin. Inside, was a little 35mm movie camera
with a Bell & Howell Eyemo lens mount, and a shoe to take
Mitchell 35mm magazines. Never used.

He sold it to me cheap, as though it were a little old Argus 35mm
with a double-rangefinder. Cool, but old. Took it home, put it
into my closet. Years later, I took it out, and researched it,
to sell on eBay. To my shock, I found I'd bought a Stradivarius.

AUTOMAX G-1 Photo Instrumentation Data Recorder 35mm Movie
Camera, for 35mm Cine Photography and Time-Lapse Data Capture.
High-falutin' name for such a little brick of a camera.

Made in 1953, before they were publicly available. Survey,
Surveillance, Time-lapse or Animation. Basically, it takes one
frame every so often. It's designed to shoot literally MILLIONS
of frames, and can take rough use.

Lock it down, feed it 28VDC electricity. (Two 12V batteries
work, or boat or airplane battery. Any military, too.)

Best for Time-Lapse cinematography, although it can be driven at
cine speed. Registration is good.

New or mint, they sell for about $10,000.
Used and worn, around $3,000.

This one is a Model G-1, in storage since it was made.

I called the owner of the Automax Company. He told me the
camera mechanism simply doesn't wear out, and after
5 MILLION FRAMES, you only need to dust it out.

This camera still has 5,000,000 frames left to shoot!

The factory will make an adapter (just a little plate), for
Mitchell, Arriflex, or Nikon lenses. Any lens you like.

It shoots FULL-FRAME 35mm, (also called SUPER 35mm).
From that, extract any format you want.
(Academy, 1.85, 1.66, Scope, 2.35, 16x9, etc.)

Mitchell-style film magazines hold 200ft, 400 ft, 1000 ft.
1000' magazine holds 16,000 high-resolution frames.
At 40Mb/frame, that's 640 Gigabytes that will last a century!

Pretty exciting. I can lace this up, set it and forget it.
When I come back, I have clouds boiling on the horizon, or cars
streaking by. Time-lapse is dramatic, poignant, often poetic.
Yes, please. I want to Master Time and Space.

When I researched it, I was deeply into the HD thing.
This little camera was the first part of my 35mm Renaissance.
Cheap and available now, because the Perceived Value is down.
If you see one, buy it.

This one is not for sale. I'm using it.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Something Funny In Hollywood...

It's late, late at night, and I'm working hard.
Desi and Lucy are playing in the background.
The great 1954 comedy, "The Long, Long Trailer."
It's just so...good. Produced by Pandro S. Berman,
Directed by Vicente Minnelli (Liza's dad.)
Classic screen comedy, when MGM was the best
studio in town, making the best movies, period.
Lucy was great, so solid as a comedienne. Desi was
wonderful, quite underrated. A brilliant performer
and businessman, he swung their great deals, inventing
the 3-camera sitcom shoot and the re-run. I interviewed
Desi Jr. for a tv show, and have nothing but respect.
This one is really Desi and Lucy at the top of their game.
Read about it, and see what I mean.

Friday, April 01, 2005

April Fool Filmmaker Blog

I hope you love this, even as I.