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August 31, 2016 @ 3:49 pm

IFNYC #009 – Michael E. Bierman – Breaking into Screenwriting

Breaking into Screenwriting with Michael E. Bierman

 

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IFNYC #009: Michael E. Bierman (6 downloads)

 

For episode number nine of the Indie Film NYC Podcast, I had the opportunity to speak to Michael E Bierman, a screenwriter from the Atlanta area. Michael is a multi-award winning screenwriter with over 40 awards in top tier international screenwriting contests. His script “Needles” was selected for both Top 10 Scripts for Science Fiction and Top 10 Scripts for Horror by Frank Darabont at the 2015 Austin Film Festival.

With Shane Black

With Shane Black

Michael has had a few careers on his journey through life, but he is relatively new to screenwriting, having picked it up about three or four years ago. Because of his diverse background he’s seemingly got a story for every occasion, and that ability to tell an engaging story comes through in his writing. He has that original voice that producers are always talking about.

With Terry Rossio

With Terry Rossio

Michael was very candid in our conversation and we touch on topics like getting started in screenwriting, the importance of contests, copyrighting your work, and why IMDb Pro is a valuable tool when you’re connecting with people to work with. 

The other topic Michael is passionate about is learning to produce your own micro budget work.  He believes that if you want to get your stories and your vision out to the world, you need to learn to build a team of collaborators and self produce your own films.  Being able to produce one’s own work because of the falling costs in technology, and filmmaking tools being more accessible to the us than ever, producing your own shorts and features nimbly is one major area that indie filmmakers have an advantage over the studio system.

 

 

I got a ton of information about screenwriting from my talk with Michael E. Bierman and I hope you will too. I’ve said it before, but I don’t mind repeating, the script is the blueprint your film, and if that film is not built on a solid foundation, then making your film will be that much harder. So it’s in your best interest to have the best screenplay possible before going into production.

In my opinion Michael gives some really great insight and advice to how to grow as an artist and screenwriter and put yourself out there.

Being a filmmaker is a long journey, and success takes time, but if you always strive to do excellent work and prove that you’re someone who can deliver quality work on time, then the people you’re working with will not only want to work with you again, but they will recommend you to others who are looking for a solid collaborator.

It’s my hope that people find this podcast and the website and find ways to connect with each other, so that we can make those kinds of connections here as well. If there are any other ways that IndieFilmNYC can expand and offer you something that’s lacking, please reach out and let me know. You can do that by leaving a comment on any of the show pages, emailing me at john@indiefilmnyc.com, or go to the contact page at indiefilmnyc.com/contact

 

LINKS AND INFORMATION MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

  • Michael E. Bierman – @plague_gremlin on Twitter
  • Michael E. Bierman – IMDb Page
With Andrew Kevin Walker

With Andrew Kevin Walker


The three books that Michael recommends as “the only” books you’ll need for your screenwriting education are:

Your CUT TO: Is Showing: The Most Complete Spec Screenplay Formatting Guide Ever Written – A resource for Formatting.

The 21st Century Screenplay: A Comprehensive Guide to Writing Tomorrow’s Films – A resource for Plot & Structure.

The Screenwriter’s Bible, 6th Edition: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script (Expanded & Updated) – A resource for General Knowledge.

 

** The links to the books on Amazon.com are routed through our affiliate program, so if you’re going to buy the books, buying them through our affiliate links helps out IndieFilmNYC.com **

With John Lee Hancock

With John Lee Hancock

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The Podcast is on iTunes, Stitcher, and the IndieFilmNYC YouTube Page

If you haven’t checked out Episode #000 yet, it explains what Indie Film NYC is all about and why we started this website and podcast. Check it out on iTunes!

If you enjoyed IFNYC 009: Michael E. Bierman, please share it on your social media networks. you can also post it to your blog or anywhere you feel it would be useful information
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The post IFNYC #009 – Michael E. Bierman – Breaking into Screenwriting appeared first on Indie Film NYC.

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August 24, 2016 @ 3:02 pm

IFNYC #008 – The Acting Process with Shannon Hamm

The Acting Process with  Shannon Hamm


 

To download the episode directly, Right-Click, then choose “Save Link As…”
IFNYC #008: Shannon Hamm (4 downloads)

 

My guest today is, Shannon Hamm, an actress who lives and work in New York City. I met Shannon a couple of years ago when I was directing my web series, My New Roommate, and she had a supporting role in one of the episodes. [link to episode here]

I think a lot of Independent filmmaking books, websites, blogs, and podcasts spend a lot of time, rightly so, on the nuts and bolts of making a film and focusing on the crew members that make up the production team, but can have a tendency to forget about the people in front of the lens.

The truth is, the most interesting movies can fall flat if there are not talented and charismatic actors that the audience can emotionally engage with bringing the director’s vision to life. Coupled with the trend of actors taking agency over their career by themselves becoming filmmakers, I thought it important to bring you some insight into the life of a working actor.

So, whether you’re an actor yourself, trying to figure out how to navigate the stormy waters of studying, casting calls and booking jobs, or a filmmaker who wants some insight into the actor’s process, the experiences that Shannon reveals during our conversation will give you information that you won’t find in any filmmaking books.

My New Roommate: Episode 2 (Bo Jackson)

I’m so happy that I got to bring on Shannon Hamm and have such an insightful conversation with her.

Shannon’s attitude towards the business and her work ethic should be an inspiration to anyone who wants to jump into this crazy business.

One of the things I hope you notice when you listen to all these interviews with filmmakers from around the country is that most people who are successful value cultivating strong and mutually beneficial relationships with other people in the business. The more you can offer people, the more likely they will want to work with you.

That’s especially true in indie filmmaking because resources are so thin and everyone is trying to scrape together the essentials to get their film done. There simply isn’t enough time to deal with drama and waste, because that can be the death of a production.

It’s my hope that people find this podcast and the website and find ways to connect with each other, so that we can make those kinds of connections here as well. If there are any other ways that IndieFilmNYC can expand and offer you something that’s lacking, please reach out and let me know. You can do that by leaving a comment on any of the show pages, emailing me at john@indiefilmnyc.com, or go to the contact page at indiefilmnyc.com/contact

 

LINKS AND INFORMATION MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Subscribe

The Podcast is on iTunes, Stitcher, and the IndieFilmNYC YouTube Page

If you haven’t checked out Episode #000 yet, it explains what Indie Film NYC is all about and why we started this website and podcast. Check it out on iTunes!

If you enjoyed IFNYC 008: The Acting Process with Shannon Hamm, please share it on your social media networks. you can also post it to your blog or anywhere you feel it would be useful information
Please leave your thoughts and remarks on any of the content in the comment section below!

Be social:

Sign up here and stay informed with what’s going on at IndieFilm NYC

You’ll find information on upcoming interviews, articles and special news, before it’s announced anywhere else.

* indicates required

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If you prefer to watch this episode on our YouTube Channel:

You can also listen to last week’s episode on our YouTube Channel

Here are some videos of established actors speaking about their process;

Matthew McConaughey On His Process

Tom Hanks: On Acting

Jared Leto On Method Acting

The post IFNYC #008 – The Acting Process with Shannon Hamm appeared first on Indie Film NYC.

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August 17, 2016 @ 10:53 pm

IFNYC #007: Timothy Dark – The Future Music Video

On the set of “The Future” Music Video with Timothy Dark

To download the episode directly, Right-Click, then choose “Save Link As…”
IFNYC #007: The Future (2 downloads)
 

 

** Disclaimer: The Video for the future has an anti Donald Trump message to it.  IndieFilmNYC does not support or endorse any particular presidential candidate.  We are simply a forum interested in the filmmaking aspects of the video and the inclusion of this artist’s message in no way implies a political stance on our part.  IndieFilmNYC is not the forum for political discussion.  Thank you **

In this episode I did something a little different from the straightforward interviews I’ve done on previous episodes and bring you some short interviews by different crew members on a live set.

After being invited to the set of his controversial new music video, “The Future,” I got the chance to speak with Hip-Hop Artist, Revolutionary and Bronx native, Timothy Dark.

When it comes to artists who break their back for their work, count Timothy Dark firmly on the list. In the forests of Upstate New York, with the help of co-producer and director Sean Tracy of Monster in the Dark, Timothy was able to bring his vision to life when he shot the video for his song “The Future.” The video outlines a nightmarish vision where Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States.
One great thing about being on set is that there are lots of different people to talk to, and one can get a real sense of how the collaborative process operates in action. Each person has a role or roles that they need to be mindful of, because like a chain, a production can break apart with just one weak link.

When I was on the set, I used the opportunity to bring you some great information from Timothy Dark on how one might develop and produce a music video, but the trade off on set is that everyone is short on time for anything not related to the task at hand, so I kept the interview short and sweet.

But with access to some other filmmaking pros, I had time to squeeze in a short interview with casting director Jules Cortez. Jules gives great advice for how a filmmaker might collaborate with a casting director and how that can add value to your final product.
Then, to give some insight to the actors out there, I spoke with some of the cast. They shared how every role an actor takes is important experience that will help them grow as an artist, no matter the size of the production. Just learning to be comfortable on set is it’s own class in filmmaking.

So, whether your a director, an actor or want to know more about how a casting director works, then this episode will have a variety of information that could be helpful to you as you gear up for that next production.

I hope that you all find some value in listening to the perspective of different crew positions and how those people can bring value to your film. We all need to remember that it’s nearly impossible to make films on your own without any collaborators. The expertise that some of these people can bring is more important than you might think and nurturing relationships that you can lean on through multiple productions is the best way I know of to build a sustainable career.

 

LINKS AND INFORMATION MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

The music video for Timothy Dark’s, The Future

“The Future” – Behind the Scenes from monstrinthedark on Vimeo.

Behind the Scenes on the set of The Future

Subscribe

The Podcast is on iTunes, Stitcher, and the IndieFilmNYC YouTube Page

If you haven’t checked out Episode #000 yet, it explains what Indie Film NYC is all about and why we started this website and podcast. Check it out on iTunes!

If you enjoyed IFNYC 007: The Future Music Video, please share it on your social media networks. you can also post it to your blog or anywhere you feel it would be useful information
Please leave your thoughts and remarks on any of the content in the comment section below!

Be social:

Sign up here and stay informed with what’s going on at IndieFilm NYC

You’ll find information on upcoming interviews, articles and special news, before it’s announced anywhere else.

* indicates required

Email Address *
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If you prefer to watch this episode on our YouTube Channel:

You can also listen to last week’s episode on our YouTube Channel

Here is another great video resource about making a music video;

How to Make a Music Video by DSLRguide

The post IFNYC #007: Timothy Dark – The Future Music Video appeared first on Indie Film NYC.

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August 10, 2016 @ 5:24 pm

IFNYC #006: Bob Saenz: A Career in Screenwriting

A Career in Screenwriting with Bob Saenz

 
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To download the episode directly, Right-Click, then choose “Save Link As…”
IFNYC #06: Bob Saenz (4 downloads)

It could be argued that no film would exist if a writer somewhere didn’t sit down and hammer out the screenplay to get it all started. To that end, I thought I would bring in a screenwriter who is actively writing scripts and getting films produced to talk about the process of getting something that’s just an idea in someone’s head all the way until it’s an actual movie that anyone can watch.

I had the good fortune of connecting with Bob Saenz through a Facebook screenwriting group. I noticed Bob because he would generously share his knowledge and experience with anyone who had legitimate questions about how the industry works. So, after doing some research on his work and reading his blog, I struck up a conversation and shared with him what I am trying to do with IndieFilmNYC.com Being that he likes to impart knowledge to up and coming filmmakers and screenwriters, Bob agreed to talk with me and to give his no nonsense views of the industry to the IndieFilmNYC audience.

There are many paths a filmmaker can take, and I typically like to keep the focus on Indie Films instead of talking about working in the studio system, but there is a lot of blurring of the lines when it comes to screenwriting because it’s the one thing that doesn’t change. Whether there is no budget at all or 200 Million Dollars behind a production, a feature film is still approximately 120 eight and a half by eleven pages of screenplay.

Bob’s story is both practical and inspirational, because he started by just writing films and taking the time to learn the craft, then took advantage of any opportunity to further his career. I feel that a lot of filmmakers, especially writer-directors, want to bust out of the gate with their first film as the next great auteur, and that’s a great place to aspire to if that’s the goal you set for yourself, but there’s something to be said for taking advantage of the opportunities in front of you and producing the best work you are capable of. A thread that weaves through all of Bob’s story is that of course you have to have a level of talent and professionalism, but the skill that will truly move you closer to where you want to be is the ability to build relationships that last.

A testament to that is that a couple weeks after my conversation with Bob, a film he wrote about eighteen years ago went into production with big named talent and should be hitting the screen in the next year. While neither of us are at liberty to disclose any details at this time, Bob does go into great detail about that script, how it got him attention for his writing and playing the long game.

A big lesson that we can all learn from Bob’s journey is that if you’re going to look at filmmaking as a sustainable career, getting value for your work starts with you. Sure, sometimes it’s in your best interest to work for free on small projects, but even then there should be some value in your services. For instance, when I was looking to bolster my directing reel and get into working on web series, I collaborated with a producer who needed a director, but had no budget to hire one. At the time, the experience and additional work to my reel was something I literally couldn’t pay for, because I didn’t have the budget to produce my own material at that time. Directing and producing that series with the other producer became a form of payment because it allowed me to showcase my skills and make connections with cast and crew members I would have never met if I didn’t do the series.

With screenwriting, you have to weigh what you have against who it’s helping more. As Bob explained, in general, writers do not make their name on short films. So, if a producer or director ask you to give them your script so they can make a short film or web series with the promise of credit and furthering your career, the benefits are heavily favored on their side. If the project gets attention then it will most likely be the director and producer who make a name for themselves.

This imbalance is one of the reasons I suggest that anyone who’s going to go the indie film route, diversify their skills. Learning what goes into producing is a great way to not only get your work out there, but to make a name for yourself as someone who creates content. A great resource I discovered, thanks to the recommendation of Jenna Edwards, is the book …. This book will walk you through the ins and outs of producing.

The great thing about producing is that it’s one of those positions that often benefit by having more than one producer on a project, so you don’t always have to go it alone.

 

LINKS AND INFORMATION MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Watch the trailer for Bob’s Film, Help for the Holidays with Summer Glau

Subscribe


The Podcast is on iTunes, Stitcher, and the IndieFilmNYC YouTube Page

If you haven’t checked out Episode #000 yet, it explains what Indie Film NYC is all about and why we started this website and podcast. Check it out on iTunes!

If you enjoyed IFNYC 006: Bob Saenz, please share it on your social media networks. you can also post it to your blog or anywhere you feel it would be useful information
Please leave your thoughts and remarks on any of the content in the comment section below!

Be social:

Sign up here and stay informed with what’s going on at IndieFilm NYC

You’ll find information on upcoming interviews, articles and special news, before it’s announced anywhere else.

* indicates required

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You can also listen to this episode on our YouTube Channel

 
Here is another great video resource about screenwriting that you can find on the Film Courage YouTube page;

Notes To Screenwriters: Advancing Your Story, Screenplay, and Career

The post IFNYC #006: Bob Saenz: A Career in Screenwriting appeared first on Indie Film NYC.

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August 3, 2016 @ 5:43 am

IFNYC #005: Chris Neal – Expert Advice for Beginning Filmmakers

IFNYC 005: Chris Neal: Expert Advice for Beginning Filmmakers

 


 

In this episode I spoke with Chris Neal, a filmmaker from Ohio who makes short films that are emotionally engaging.

One thing that’s great about filmmaking podcasts is that through interviews you get access to exceptional guests with some really great experiences. The access we have to filmmaking information today is unparalleled. That information greatly reduces the learning curve for beginning filmmakers.

While the IndieFilmNYC Podcast is proud to be one of the sources which brings that kind of information to you, sometimes I think that it’s hard to visualize what a filmmaker at the beginning of their journey looks like. What kinds of techniques are they using to get their films made and how are they taking those first steps.

So, today I’m talking with a filmmaker who, while not a total beginner, is relatively early on his path of filmmaking. Chris Neal is a filmmaker who is focusing on short film projects, and he is figuring out how to bring out the emotional impact of his work before he makes the foray into larger projects; like feature films.

That said, he’s a filmmaker who’s already had some success. In fact, the first time he put himself out there professionally with his film, “Man’s Best Friend” he received quite a bit of attention. He was featured on Vimeo as a staff pick, as well as being interviewed by various news outlets like The Huffington Post. During our conversation, Chris talks candidly about how sometimes early success isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

“Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.”

In this interview, Chris was very open about his process, particularly when it comes to the idea of validating a story idea. This is a great concept where one develops a logline or short pitch of an idea or two and before developing the project further, the filmmaker pitches to friends, family or colleagues in order to gauge the viability of whether or not an audience would be interested actually sitting down to watch once it’s completed.

I really enjoyed speaking with Chris because one thing that I think is undeniable when you speak with him is that he exudes a passion for what he’s doing. As an artist, he seems to really enjoy exploring the human condition and telling stories which are personal, yet still relatable to a large number of people.

I started this podcast with the intention of helping filmmakers balance the worlds of art and business, and to me, Chris is the type of filmmaker that I believe others can emulate if it’s their desire to make filmmaking a sustainable career. He’s doing his research, taking his time and trusting in the processes that will help his messages reach an audience that is engaged with his work, and it means something to them personally.

I look forward to watching how Chris’ career develops and catching up with him when he has more work to talk about.

LINKS AND INFORMATION MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Subscribe

The Podcast is on iTunes, Stitcher, and the IndieFilmNYC YouTube Page

If you haven’t checked out Episode #000 yet, it explains what Indie Film NYC is all about and why we started this website and podcast. Check it out on iTunes!

If you enjoyed IFNYC 005: Chris Neal, please share it on your social media networks. you can also post it to your blog or anywhere you feel it would be useful information
Please leave your thoughts and remarks on any of the content in the comment section below!

Be social:

Sign up here and stay informed with what’s going on at IndieFilm NYC

You’ll find information on upcoming interviews, articles and special news, before it’s announced anywhere else.

* indicates required

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You can also listen to this episode on our YouTube Channel

The post IFNYC #005: Chris Neal – Expert Advice for Beginning Filmmakers appeared first on Indie Film NYC.

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