Filmmaking

At Filmmaking Stuff, we are dedicated to providing filmmaking articles related to production, production equipment (cameras, lighting, audio), film scheduling, budgeting, casting and directing. From time to time, we will also include articles from guest filmmakers. We have provided the following ideas and filmmaking tips so that you can take action and make your movie.

Ms. In The Biz: A Road Map For Thriving In Hollywood

When Patricia Arquette won the Oscar for best supporting actress this year, her acceptance speech declared equal pay and opportunity for women in the country.  It was a statement that brought big shots like Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez to their feet.

This is a struggle that women have been facing throughout the country and in Hollywood.  Trying to make it in the industry can be brutal.  And having to break in as a woman doesn’t make the situation easier.

In 2007 Helenna Santos moved to LA from Canada to fulfill her dreams.  Admittedly, she anticipated the city to join in her in a rousing chorus of, “The hills are alive with the sound of music.”  She knew fame or success wouldn’t be instant, however Santos says, “I really had no idea just how difficult it would be.  This city is a beast and I had no idea what I was in for, even though I thought I did.”

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Helenna Santos and Alexandra Boylan

 A Road Map For Thriving In Hollywood

Since moving to Los Anglees, Helenna Santos has found success as a producer, writer, actor, and she is the founder and CEO of Ms. In The Biz.  Ms. In The Biz is an online community for women to share resources, wisdom, and foster growth.  The site has been building and sustaining a network of women in the entertainment industry since 2013.

Filmmaking Stuff: Was it challenging to launch msinthebiz.com?

Helenna Santos: I’m kind of a “serial connector.”  I love people. I get my energy off of being in groups and feeding off of one another.  I’ve always gathered groups of people and surrounded myself with people who lift me up.  To me it is never been draining because that’s where I get my energy.  Ms. In The Biz is literally an off-shoot of just me in the everyday.  It’s a place where a lot of like-minded women can create a community to thrive off of.

Filmmaking Stuff: Your personal adventure gave you a sense of need for women to find more opportunities.

Helenna Santos: Every woman I know is sick of the lack of opportunity.

Filmmaking Stuff: Has this led to women creating opportunities for themselves?

Helenna Santos: Yes, absolutely.  Look at the great success Reese Witherspoon has had this past year creating work for not only herself but other women as well. There were other leading ladies who have started their own production companies before her, but I think that Wild and Gone Girl hit at just the right time when the zeitgeist was calling for it.

Filmmaking Stuff: Jane Fonda recently said that men hire others who think like them, implying that would be other men.  Would you agree?

Helenna Santos: In the past men traditionally hired men only because that was the norm at the time, but the norm is shifting.  Now I think people actively look for women in positions that were traditionally male dominated.  We still have a really long way to go but it’s definitely getting better.  With organizations like Women in Film and the Geena Davis Institute there is a lot more conversation and awareness around the issue.  I think that Ms. In The Biz is also adding to this cultural shift.

Filmmaking Stuff: So, your company continues to evolve with the times.

Helenna Santos: It’s the reason that we started the #HireAMs database. It is a place to go to find a female DP, writer, producer, director, script, crafty, sound designer and other professionals. This way, when filmmakers are crewing up, they can come to our site and find some seriously talented ladies to hire.

Filmmaking Stuff: And to go a step further, the more women behind the scenes will affect women’s presence on screen?

Helenna Santos: In order for what we see on screen to change women must have better representation behind the camera. We need more women writing the stories and making movies and creating television overall. This also includes minorities. The acting world likes to use the phrase “ethnically ambiguous.” And I am constantly shocked at how little entertainment actually reflects the world we live in.

Filmmaking Stuff: Do different mediums, like television, have different setbacks or opportunities?

Helenna Santos: Television has given women a great chance to show their talent, but I wouldn’t say that they are necessarily more prolific in TV.  There are incredible female producers, actors, directors, writers in both art forms.  But I know what you are getting at.  Shonda Rhimes is kicking ass which is proof that television is a great vehicle for women to have our stories told over film simply because of the fact that it seems more risks are being taken on that platform.

Filmmaking Stuff: What do you mean by risk?

Helenna Santos: “Risk” since that seems to be the way the film industry sees female driven stories.

Filmmaking Stuff: What about online platforms?

Helenna Santos: I think the digital world has definitely opened things up for women in a way that we haven’t seen before.  Just look at Jenji Kohan on Netflix (Orange is the New Black) as well as Jill Soloway on Amazon (Transparent).

Filmmaking Stuff: You recently stated that an estimated 54% of your readership is male. Why is that significant?

Helenna Santos: It shows that women have a lot more support in this industry than we think we do. Also, it shows that Ms. In The Biz is full of really useful information no matter if you are male or female.

Filmmaking Stuff: How important is it to develop your craft while developing your brand?

Helenna Santos: Anyone who is an artist first and foremost who is uncomfortable with the idea of being a business person. Unfortunately these people need to learn the art of marketing themselves because this industry is saturated. There are a gazillion filmmakers and even more actors. In order to rise out of the masses, we all need to put on our entrepreneur hats.

Filmmaking Stuff: It’s become a necessity?

Helenna Santos: The age of just being talented and waiting to be “discovered” for your talent and artistry are over, if that was ever true.  Okay. That’s hyperbole since there are definitely some people whose talent will carry them out of obscurity. But the reality is, most of us need to “hustle” is more than ever.

Filmmaking Stuff: And the internet seems like a good place to start.

Helenna Santos: When I graduated university with a BFA in acting, there wasn’t really a need to even have a website. Now, if someone isn’t Google-able they might not be hired, because if there is a person equally qualified for the job and they are visibly active on social media and “get” the world we live in, that’s the person who will book the job.

Filmmaking Stuff: And it seems like Ms. In The Biz builds support, fosters networks, and helps women develop their online profiles too.

Helenna Santos: Yes, and another reason Ms. In The Biz exists is to help propel all of us forward and move our society on from the ridiculous sexism of the past.  Overall, the generation of filmmakers who I collaborate with really don’t care whether someone is a man or a woman. If you are talented and skilled at your craft then you’ll get hired. It’s the old guard running the studios and networks that are incredibly behind the times.

Filmmaking Stuff: Do you foresee more opportunities for female filmmakers in the next generation?

Helenna Santos: Absolutely!  This is an amazing time to be a woman in the industry.  There is so much happening that it feels like a huge ground swell of support for creating real change in the business.  Doors will only continue to open and the new face of Hollywood will evolve.

Filmmaking Stuff: A gradual, but inevitable change?

Helenna Santos: It might take awhile for us to reach parity, but it’s coming. It’s inevitable. And this journey is going to be a whole lot of fun as long as we support one another, raise each other up, and not blame men for the position we are in but instead work along side one another.

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Along with her Ms. In The Biz partner, Alexandra Boylan, Helenna published Thriving In Hollywood: Tenacious Tales and Tactics from Ms. In The Biz.  A complication of essays written by twenty one different women in the industry that’s proving to be both helpful and hopeful for women working in entertainment.

Three Reasons to Be Your Own Screenwriting Agent

The ongoing myth that you ‘need an Agent’ to get your screenplay seen by Hollywood’s gatekeepers continues to hold back countless writers from gaining real traction with their careers.

Does this mean a screenwriting agent serves no purpose?  Or that you won’t someday work with one?  Or that agents are only out to screw you over?  Of course not!

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Three Reasons to Be Your Own Screenwriting Agent

Agents are extremely valuable figures in the Hollywood landscape. But signing with one fresh out of the gate, before you secured your first solo screenwriting deal, might actually do more harm than good.

1. Screenwriting Agents Are In Business for Themselves, NOT You!

Agents make money by brokering deals, not by finding new writers and promoting their scripts. Just because an Agent signs your script (or you as a writer) doesn’t mean they have any obligation whatsoever to broker a deal on your behalf.

Most screenwriting agents are not looking for talented writers. They are looking to keep talented writers from slipping through their fingers and getting gobbled up by their competitors! Additionally, they want to keep an overabundance of available ‘properties’ (scripts) to meet requests from Production Companies.

This means a typical screenwriting agent will take on more scripts and writers than they know they can adequately broker deals for. Obviously this is good for a screenwriting agent. But it is bad for you.

Don’t get me wrong. There are certainly stellar agents out there. A good screenwriting agent will work with you—for a period of time—to get your portfolio into strong shape. But if your work doesn’t sell soon after, all the attention and accommodation will fade away and get focused elsewhere, even though your contract still has several more years prior to expiration.

2. Everything a Screenwriting Agent Can Do, YOU Can Do Better!

But don’t you need an Agent in order to sell that first script or commission your writing talents?

Nope!  In fact, I would argue that when starting out, it’s much easier for you to get your work in front of Hollywood decision makers and close a deal without a screenwriting agent. And while agents do negotiate deal terms for agreements between writers and production companies, there’s no reason you cannot bypass this process and simply negotiate on your own behalf.

Negotiating a deal is really about finding common ground.  If you’ve presented your scripts (or your ability to write) to a Production Company and they want to work with you on an upcoming project, then there’s plenty of common ground for the two of you to build a deal from.

That Production Company will send you an offer. You agree to the points you like and ask questions or draw attention to the points you don’t like.  And if you’re confused about terminology or meaning, you can always consult my favorite reference: Google.

If you’re really uneasy about negotiating a contract on your own behalf, remember that you can always commission the one-time services of an entertainment attorney. Yes, you will have to pay them, but you’d have to pay your agent regardless.  And a Lawyer will be much more accommodating to your direct needs since you’re the one hiring them.

This means you’re the one dictating the rules. Once the current deal is fully negotiated, your obligation to the Lawyer would be over. With an agent, the term can go on for several more years.

3. Agents Won’t Help You Hustle Your Work

One other major misconception newbie writers have about agents is that the moment they sign on the dotted line, that this ‘suit’ will somehow take over all the hard work and be out their pitching and promoting their work… But this is yet another myth!

Whether you have an agent or not, you will have to be the one out pitching your work, making blind phone calls to get production companies to take notice, in a constant hustle for an opportunity. However, once you’ve got a solid lead and someone likes your script, rather than following up all on your own (which makes the most sense), you now have to introduce whomever you’ve been dealing with to your agent—and once that intro takes place, you have little control over how your agent will handle it.

Since agents are out for themselves, that balance of ‘common ground’ outlined in point 2 gets shifted. Now the deal is no longer just about the production company and the writer. It’s also now the agent wedging themselves in for a 10% cut.

I’ve seen positive conversations between writers and producers turn sour (and good writers lose jobs) from the overly aggressive tactics of eager-beaver agents. Again, having a screenwriting agent can be a great thing, but tread carefully when choosing. Don’t sign with one prematurely.

As I explain in my book, Writing for the Green Light, you cannot view an agent as some sort of “career messiah” who will make all your dreams come to life after entering a deal with them. You must only think of a screenwriting agent as someone who assists you in managing your workload. An agent is not the gatekeeper to your screenwriting success.

Quit Waiting for the Phone to Ring!

Once you’re out securing your own jobs, building a stellar reputation as a writer who can deliver, agents will be coming to you.. But until then, you will have to be the one creating your own opportunities for work. No one will do that for you. Signing with an agent will not put you ahead or increase your odds of getting screenwriting work.

So when is a good time to get an Agent?  Later in your career. After you’ve closed a few deals on your own, either by selling your own scripts or successfully commissioning your writing talents.

A good rule of thumb would be to seek out an agent only when the time you spend negotiating your new writing gigs starts to interfere with your ability to meet current professional writing deadlines.

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Scott Kirkpatrick is the author of Writing for the Green Light: How to Make Your Script the One Hollywood Notices and is the Executive Director of Distribution for MarVista Entertainment, a Los Angeles based production and distribution company that produces original Lifetime and SyFy channel films, co-produces TV movies with Disney and Nickelodeon, and has managed international TV deals on major franchises including Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Digimon, and Julius Jr. Scott has also produced and directed TV series and feature films including Eye for an Eye, Muslims in America, and Roadside Massacre.

How To Achieve Your Filmmaking Goals Fast

How To Achieve Your Filmmaking Goals Fast by Filmmaker Jeff Orig

As filmmakers, we dream big. Perhaps we want to win an Academy Award one day; change people’s lives with our stories; or just make a full-time living from our craft.

Most of us are not taught how to achieve our filmmaking goals and dreams but this is a learnable skill. Like anything getting things done takes knowledge and practice.

How close are you to accomplishing your filmmaking goals? Hopefully you are closer than when you started.  If not, here is a Quick Start Guide to Achieving Your Filmmaking Goals.

Filmmaking Goals

How To Achieve Your Filmmaking Goals Fast

1. Set and write down your filmmaking goals with a clear deadline.  
For example, “Shoot, edit, and distribute my short film by August 1.”

2. Write down all of the reasons why you want to achieve your filmmaking goals.
This will help you stay motivated in the long term.  When the going gets tough, look at this list.  It will keep you going.

For example, “to feel great, to have a sense of accomplishment, to have a calling card short film, to practice and get better at my craft, to have a great piece to put on my demo reel, to work with great actors, to work with great crew, to have an excuse to rent the Red Epic, to have a reason to use my jib.” This is oftentimes not money, but what the money will bring you: freedom, less stress, joy and pleasure.

3. Immediately take ANY action toward  your filmmaking goals.
This is the biggest stumbling block for most people.   They get stuck in two places in this step.  The first place they get stuck is “immediately.”  When I say “immediately,” I mean immediately.

As soon as you write down the goal take some sort of action toward it.  Put the pen down and call to book the location for the shoot or send a text to your cinematographer to discuss ideas on the look and feel of the movie.  Anything and immediately.  This will give you momentum in the right direction.

The other place people get stuck is they over-think what actions to take.  What they fail to see is that any action will guide you as to whether you are getting closer or farther away from your goal.

Think about it for a moment.  It’s like when you learned how to drive in a straight line and turn.  When you first learned, you probably over-steered in one direction or the other.  But eventually, you learned how to compensate just the right amount.  The same is true with taking ANY ACTION toward your goal.

Even if the action you take is wrong, it will guide you.  You will gain clarity on what actions to take and what actions to avoid. Don’t get me wrong, planning is great.  But actions are better.

Definitely create a plan but don’t spend forever creating that plan and not doing anything.  “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” -General George S. Patton, Jr.

4. Measure your progress towards your filmmaking goals regularly and often.
Keep this simple so that you do it.  I like a printed calendar that I mark with an “X” as I do my daily actions. Weekly and monthly check-in’s are too far apart for me.

It is very easy to miss one and then slide into a downward spiral. Daily has been the best for me.  I also keep my checkpoints to something that I can accomplish in one day, often allowing a ten minute minimum.

For example, “contact one agent a day or write for at least ten minutes.”

This allows me to do my daily goal very easily but often ends up  with me doing it for much longer than ten minutes.  It helps me take “the first step on the journey of a thousand miles.”  Momentum is very important.

5. Repeat step 3 (take any action immediately) and step 4 (measure progress)  until you get to your filmmaking goals.
Keep taking any action and keep measuring it.  Before you know it you will have achieved your goal.

6. Make a public declaration with actual consequences.
Research has shown that making a public declaration of your goal and attaching a monetary consequence to the failure of missing that goal leads to higher success rates.

You can even use a free website called www.Stickk.com to help you with this step.  I have used this website and it is excellent.

7. Celebrate the journey and  every achievement of your goal.
This is very important.  Keep in mind that as soon as you achieve your goal, most of us will set a new and higher goal.

If we do not celebrate the journey and achievement of the goal, you will always be dissatisfied because we set a new and higher goal.  The target gets farther and farther away because we put it there.

Enjoy the journey and the achievement.  Remember our reasons why we wanted the goal in the first place.  When you look back you will see how great it was to get there.  Enjoy it while you are there.

Here it is in a nutshell:

  1. Set and write down a very clear goal with a clear deadline.
  2. Write down all of the reasons why you want that goal.
  3. Immediately take ANY action toward  it.
  4. Measure your progress regularly and often.
  5. Repeat step 3  (take any action immediately) and step 4 (measure progress)  until you get to your goal.
  6. Make a public declaration with actual consequences.
  7. Celebrate the journey and achievement of your goal.

This is a culmination of several systems that have worked for me.  The systems I reference here are:  Tony Robbin’s RPM system, Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr. Maltz, M.D., and Jerry Seinfeld’s Calendar System.  Definitely check out those systems for further refinement.

But this quick guide is a start, and should help you get closer to your filmmaking goals. Leave a comment below to let us know how you are doing or if you have any other tips that have worked for you.

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Jeff Orig is an award winning filmmaker based in Honolulu.  He is interested in life hacks that help achieve goals; the business of filmmaking; and telling stories better.  He has produced feature film; produced and directed several TV Shows; currently in post-production on the feature-length documentary, The Hawaii Wisdom Project; and has various episodic and feature film projects in development.  Check out his blog at www.OrigMedia.com/blog

 

Get a Movie Made: 5 Things You Need To Know

I’ve mentored dozens of film students. I’ve met with hundreds. I’ve spoken to thousands. A question I recently asked myself was, “What’s the difference between the people who get a movie made and those who are just stuck spinning their wheels?”

It’s always been a goal of mine to help filmmakers get a movie made. I even had a separate company at one point, dedicated solely to aiding filmmakers in getting their films going. I had identified a series of steps that every project should take to get from Point D to Point R. (Dream to Reality.)

Yet there were some who I knew would never get a movie made, and there were some that I knew, no matter what, they would be successful.

This led me to start to reflect on that. Could I impart that lesson to a filmmaker? Could I identify that “secret sauce” that made the others successful following the exact same steps to get a movie made?

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Photo © nito  / Dollar Photo Club

Get a Movie Made: 5 Things You Need To Know

The answer is, it’s a combination of a lot of things… and here’s the list. Add them together and you’ll be emailing me with photos from the set.

1. Extreme Passion – it sounds crazy, but I’ve actually met tons of filmmakers who just weren’t that passionate about their own project! Almost as if they were doing it because they just wanted a way in. With every film I’ve ever made, before I jumped into it, I believed it was going to be a home run. Some of my movie projects failed, some succeeded, but with all, I was extremely passionate.

The people I’ve mentored to get a movie made were extremely passionate. Their eyes would light up with energy when they told me their pitch. It was almost as if they were letting me in on this incredible secret… The secret of their amazing film.

2. Determination – All the filmmakers who got their films going were filled with determination. They all knew they were going to make a film. Most of them had specific dates in mind. It didn’t matter if these dates shifted, if something fell through, or if they got pieces of bad news… they kept pushing forward.

3. Singular Focus – Their goal was to make a film. Period. Their goal was not to worry about their job, not to worry about their future films, not to worry about their “potential careers.” They were focused 100% on the issue at hand, which was getting their films made. There was no “Plan B” (except as defined below).

4. Flexibility to Change – This may be the most important aspect of the list. If you are trying to unlock the combination to a safe, it doesn’t matter how focused, determined, or persistent you are: If you continue to try the same combination, you’re never getting into that safe.

All the successful filmmakers I mentored had one thing in common: they changed their approach when necessary. This includes dropping budgets, raising budgets, seeing things in a new light, changing cast, even changing projects entirely!

This is a key point. Stick too much to “This is the only film I can make,” and you may fail.

That internal dialogue should be, “I’m making a film.” That way, you’re going with the flow and using the energy in the right way. Put the passion project on hold and ALWAYS CHOOSE TO MAKE A FILM!

5. Persistence – They never gave up, never faltered, and continued to chip away. Many of them are full time filmmakers now, and I couldn’t be happier for them!

Don’t ever quit. You can make your film happen. Trust yourself, follow a procedure, and be mindful of the points I just mentioned. You can do it!

If you’d like to take the next steps to get a  movie made, check out this filmmaking course offered by Tom Malloy and Carole Dean. Save $40 by entering the coupon code JASON15.  For more information, click here.

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Tom Malloy is an Actor, Writer and Producer, specializing in independent film finance. He is the author of BANKROLL: A New Approach to Financing Feature Films, which is the best reviewed book on film financing, and is considered a “gold standard” in indie films circles. To date, Tom has raised over $15 million in private equity from independent financiers.

Director Dan Dobi Talks About Making Money On YouTube In Please Subscribe

While many filmmakers focus on producing features and distributing through iTunes, Amazon, Hulu, and other outlets – YouTube is providing a way for short content producers to earn a full time living.

Director Dan Dobi’s documentary Please Subscribe portrays the popularity of full time YouTubers. These are creators who’ve abandoned the typical 9-5 work week in favor of making money on YouTube (through advertisement revenue). But is this a viable platform for short filmmakers?

Dan Dobi stopped by Filmmaking Stuff to discusses the advantages of utilizing YouTube as a way to promote your work, build an audience, and potentially turn a profit.

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Filmmaking Stuff:  Audiences are more accepting toward entertainment that isn’t viewed on cable television and in movie theaters.  Some of the most popular award-winning programming is found on Hulu, Netflix, and lately Amazon. How would filmmakers best leverage YouTube?

Dan Dobi: Just start using it!  Upload behind the scenes footage, respond to questions, talk with your audience.  YouTube is an engagement platform, take advantage of it.

Filmmaking Stuff: But there’s so much out there on YouTube, how can you compete?

Dan Dobi:  If you have a good product, there’s really no excuse.  The playing field is pretty level now, so instead of people worrying about distribution, I would focus more on making the best product possible.  When I did Please Subscribe, I went in with the intention of, “If this doesn’t get picked up, I’ll just put it up on YouTube.”  Filmmakers forget that you can do LOTS to recoup your money with having your product on YouTube.

Filmmaking Stuff:  Please Subscribe features some pretty unique individuals.  Would you agree that originality is the key to YouTube success?

Dan Dobi: Don’t try and fit in and do what other people are doing, that’s how you get lost in the shuffle of the over-saturated sea that is YouTube.  Do something different. Do something you’re passionate about.  If it’s forced, it won’t get your audience connected.  Be on time, have a schedule so your audience knows when to expect you.  Lastly, just be nice!

Filmmaking Stuff: You stress the importance of connecting with the audience.  It’s mentioned in the film that YouTube grew in popularity because it allowed the audience to connect with the subject.

Dan Dobi: It just allows a conversation to start and get in touch with the creator, which if you think about it, how cool would that be to openly ask a question to Tarantino?  Sure there are AMA’s and whatnot, but its open to asynchronous communication and allows creators to respond.

Filmmaking Stuff: Is responding to the critique by FilmbuFF80 about framing composition in the comments section the new press junket?

Dan Dobi: It sure helps.  It’s not so much the new “press junket” but smells like the future to me!

Filmmaking Stuff: The personalities featured in your documentary have little to no formal education in creating and developing videos.  However, they all share an amazing work ethic and fast turn around time to generate more content and gain and maintain viewership.  Most upload at least one video per week.  For an independent filmmaker, where a final product takes much longer, is there still the potential to develop a base of subscribers on YouTube?

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Dan Dobi: Absolutely. Look at Mystery Guitar Man, who is featured in the film. He spends days on one video and has a cult following. He pays attention to details and found a formula that works for him. He’s a perfect example of quality content. Doing videos consistently on YouTube will eventually train you to get in the habit of making content quicker and allow you to think on your toes.

Filmmaking Stuff:  Can quality be compromised in order to get the job done?

Dan Dobi: I’m a perfectionist, but sometimes when making videos for the web, I allow myself to move on quicker than I normally would.  It’s not being lazy, but it’s one of those things I ask myself, “Will anyone really notice or care if we do a jump cut or break the 180?”  In short, I allow myself to be forgiven in order to keep the day going.

Filmmaking Stuff:  The more successful YouTubers earn six figures annually from advertisers!  YouTube has a defined market and audience in its videos and channels.  It’s demonstrated a proven platform.  Is this the same audience for independent films?  Will advertisers want space for films?

Dan Dobi: My crystal ball says this is totally the next stage of the game, especially for episodic stuff where you can slap ads in the middle of the episode.  Hulu does this already and YouTube has the ability.  I just haven’t seen too many people use this function frequently yet.  A lot of people are just focusing on the 3-5 minutes stuff with YouTube but I think the future will welcome long form content.

Filmmaking Stuff:  Some feature films are available on YouTube for a small download fee. Will this cause advertisers to become less important?

Dan Dobi: I really think people are over going to theaters, unless you’re going to see Gravity or Intersteller.  Regarding the whole download fee situation, yes, I think people would much rather sell a unit rather than have ads run throughout the film.  In my opinion, it’s just not how films are intended to be shown—ads will just remove you from the experience.

Filmmaking Stuff:  The idea that YouTube offers the freedom to create what you want, when you want seems like its biggest perk.  Would you agree?

Dan Dobi: I’ve created music videos, films, commercials, you name it, I’ve done and it the WORST part about all of this is the deliverables.  People still want digicam masters sometimes and it’s just a pain.  I once did a video that had someone having a drug trip and used funky colors.  The video was rejected because it didn’t pass quality control.  You’re telling me you’re allowing a robot to tell ME that I can’t use certain colors?  That’s like telling an illustrator, “No, I’m sorry, you can’t use that color.”

Filmmaking Stuff: Is that because the traditional outlets have higher broadcast standards?

Dan Dobi: I’ll level with you, I’m aware that TV’s have broadcast safe colors and need to be spec-safe but with YouTube, there’s none of that!  You don’t need to worry about colors or going to a third party to get your project closed captioned cause guess what?  YouTube does that for you… Automatically!  How?  I don’t know!  But that’s awesome!  Okay, I’m getting off track a tad.

Filmmaking Stuff: Are there other benefits to YouTube?

Dan Dobi:  Some other perks would be analytics, being able to post when you want, no ridiculous QCing, in short there are far less “rules”.

Filmmaking Stuff: You seem pretty excited about the advantages of YouTube.  Is this what inspired you to make Please Subscribe?

Dan Dobi: I had a few YouTube shows going for some time in 2009.  I loved it and loved the community and the meet ups.  I was always asked, “What’s this YouTube thing about?  How’s it work?  How did this happen?”  I figure with the people I’ve met in the space and my knowledge as both a content creator and filmmaker, making a film just felt like the right move.

Are you making money on YouTube?