I am filming another short for Filmed By Bike. It’s about someone who gets doored. It’s hard to storyboard in general, but I’m really terrible when I need to draw bikes and cars (and people). I can draw trees okay though.
This will be a movie you can see sometime in April.
I decided to start a new blog dedicated to transmedia. While working on Phrenic, I realized that there aren’t a lot of sites covering transmedia projects. My goal is to write about transmedia the way tech blogs cover startups or the way movie blogs cover new releases. I’ve got a few interviews lined up with transmedia producers as well as some other ideas in the mix. It was a lot of work in December, but I’m excited because I think transmedia is going to get big this year.
The first post is off to a good start and hopefully sets the tone. If you’re not really sure what I’m even talking about right now, I’m going to have a video explaining it soon. If transmedia is interesting or intriguing to you, head over to the site and follow it on Facebook or Twitter.
If you’ve got a transmedia project (or are working on one) let me know on the Submit page.
Before I made movies, I always thought of festivals as a gateway to having the Weinsteins pluck my movie from obscurity before starting their aggressive Oscar campaign on my behalf. But now I see them as an opportunity to show my movie to an audience and any time I can show my movies to an audience, I feel very appreciative. Unless your film is in one of the top five festivals, there will be no Weinsteins there, no matter how many all-caps, self-inflating press releases you send.
That’s totally okay because the people who attend film festivals really love movies. Why else would you show up to watch a bunch of films you’ve probably never heard of unless you were the type of person who loved to discover new movies? At a time in cinematic history where they’re making an ALF movie and continually rebooting superhero franchises, it’s nice to know some people still take risks when going to the movies. If you’ve ever attended a film festival, you are OK in my book. If you’ve ever organized a film festival, please keep doing it. I hate paying your entry fees, but I’d hate it more if you didn’t exist.
So… my second movie, Did You Kiss Anyone?, is playing at the Columbia Gorge International Film Festival on August 18th, 2012 at 6pm. It’s in Vancouver. This will be the first time the movie has ever been shown in HD. Ever. Oh, and the whole festival is FREE! And there’s some sort of after party with beverages and possibly salty snacks.
Here’s the trailer, which (for me) plays like a moving yearbook of memories of the 13 months we spent filming it. We showed it at the Bagdad and the Salem Film Festival and people really liked it, so please come and see it if you’re in the Portland/Vancouver area!
I was taking a quick flight from Portland to San Jose and when I got to the airport, I realized my flight was delayed and I had two hours to kill. I decided to try and shoot and edit a little movie on my phone and upload it before leaving (thanks free WiFi at PDX). I asked Twitter for suggestions, and Twitter never disappoints in situations like these…
I decided to work gum into the movie because I like chewing gum.
One thing I liked about making a movie this way is that you have to use your limitations to your advantage. Just like regular filmmaking. I balanced my phone on the railing of the people mover (the flat escalators) and used it for a dolly shot. There were empty gates where I was able to set my phone up and walk away from it. I had to balance my phone on my bag and wrap a strap around it for the clip where I unwrap my gum.
Another limitation was my phone’s battery. It was draining fast and I didn’t have a charger with me, knowing there was one where I was going. My fear was shooting too much, or editing too long, would cause the battery to die and the upload to fail. And part of this exercise was getting it all edited and uploaded before the plane took off.
I ended up getting the movie uploaded before my flight took off, but my phone was dead when I arrived. It worked hard enough for one night.
If you remember earlier this month, I showed a bunch of notecards for a new movie. I spent April turning those notecards into a script. It’s just a first draft but it will hopefully be a shooting script a year from now.
Cranking out 92 pages in four weeks resulted in something I’m excited to see come to life. And if you’ve seen both The Waiting List and Did You Kiss Anyone, let me tell you that this one is going to be… different.
Before you congratulate me, let me be a prick and remind you I wrote the entire thing on an iPad.
My daughters always want to make a movie with me. Usually, the movies they explain in detail are feature length and run a budget of about $78,000,000 because they have active imaginations and uncompromising visions.
A few months ago, I was playing with the Action Movie FX app on my iPhone and thought it would make a fun Filmed By Bike movie with my daughters. I had an idea that would’ve involved both of them, but one actress backed out due to creative differences. So we made an End of the World themed movie in honor of 12/20/2012.
I was excited the movie made it into Filmed By Bike and was even one of the five movies nominated for a Golden Helment Award. I was nominated last year too for Right Hook. I have lost twice, which I think is the most anyone has ever lost that award. My goal is to be the Susan Lucci of the Golden Helment.
Here are some photos from the Opening Night Street Party…
It’s time for my favorite film festival in Portland–Filmed By Bike! I throw some kids on the back of a cargo bike every morning to take them to school, then I ride along the Springwater trail to work. But I don’t really belong to any part of Portland’s famous bike culture. I don’t go on organized rides, I’m not on any teams, I smile wistfully at Breakfast on the Bridge but never stop, I don’t even read any bike blogs. Not that I’m against those things, I’m just usually thinking about making a movie. So Filmed By Bike is the perfect festival for me: bike enthusiasts combined with film fans.
But some of you might be thinking, “I don’t know how to ride a bike, but I want to see movies you’ve made on a big screen and also drink beer in the street.” You are in luck! On Friday the 13th, you can attend the Opening Night Street Party. It’s a fun event and you should just go and see what it’s all about.
If you can’t make it Friday night, there are still plenty of chances to see a movie I’ve made while drinking beer in a theater. This year’s movie (Invincible, starring my daughter in her big screen debut!) plays on all three showings on Friday, Saturday at 5pm, and Sunday at 9pm. What? Not enough for you? Then show up on Wednesday at 7pm or 9pm and see two of my previous Filmed By Bike movies: Claire Rides a Bike and Right Hook.
I uploaded a new scene from my movie “Did You Kiss Anyone?” On the one night Jared can cheat on his wife with no consequences, he meets Betty, who is determined to take him to a party that’s “all about sex, sex, sex, sex….” What could go wrong?
It’s been almost a month since I decided to release my second movie “Did You Kiss Anyone?” using the Louis CK way of distributing. (Someone pays me $5, I give them the movie to stream or download in HD.)
Some people think this is idiotic, but I don’t have any investors to answer to and I want to make it as easy as possible for people to see the movie. (If you don’t have $5, you can watch my first movie for free or you can watch the webseries called “Did You Cast Anyone?“)
When I considered doing this, I thought it would be really complicated and possibly cost tons of money I didn’t have. Louis CK has said his site cost about $32,000 to get running. I wanted to see if I could do it for less–a lot less. Here are the steps I identified as most important:
Secure payment: People should be able to pay with a credit card and I should not know anything about how they paid, only if they paid.
Unique link & order number: Once you do pay, you should get a unique URL to the movie and an order number so if things go haywire you can send me an email and complain.
No hassle streaming or downloading: Once you get the link, you should be able to stream it (in HD) or download it immediately, without any technical difficulties caused by me choosing a crappy web host that’s unable to reliably deliver a 1.75 GB file. Also, you shouldn’t need to have an account for anything.
I’m already paying $7/month to host my movie websites on Front Ave. In addition to this, everything above cost me $5 PER YEAR. One sale covers the video hosting for the entire year (!). Here’s how I did it: [UPDATE: How to Sell Direct Downloads can be found here.]
PayPal handled the secure payment. I signed up for a Paypal business account (it’s free) because I needed access to their API. You don’t need to understand any of that, other than knowing where to get your API key within PayPal.
My site is created in WordPress and I used a plugin called MarketPress (also free). It gives you shopping cart functionality on your site, plus it integrates with PayPal using the aforementioned API key.
The MP4 movie file was uploaded to Google’s cloud storage infrastructure (aka Google Docs). This is where the expense came in. I needed to upgrade to 20GB of space, which costs $5 per year. Once you get your custom link, you can begin watching immediately or download it.
People would’ve crapped their pants ten years ago if they knew you could do this.
But now the hard will always be: how do you find an audience? And don’t start regurgitating thought-leaders about building an audience online with social media. No one follows you on social media to buy your stuff. They follow you because you tell funny jokes or take cool pictures or because your avatar is a hot girl who looks like she’s going to have sexual intercourse with you if you star all her tweets. And the thought-leaders don’t make money selling movies, they make money talking at conferences.
My own movie’s made a little bit of money that I’m going to use to try and find people the old-fashioned way: advertising. But I want to do the old-fashioned way in a relatively new-fashioned way: targeted advertising that leverages your social graph or things you’re searching for. I have no idea how I’ll do it exactly, or if it will work. But I’ll let you know when I get any interesting results, like this.
Okay, now go read this this PBS article because I was interviewed for it and it talks about a lot of this stuff too.