Working With Partners

Before you jump into BIG filmmaking projects, I recommend working with creative collaborators on weekend films and other, smaller projects. This helps you uncover everybody’s idiosyncrasies early on.

From this experience, you can better determine if anybody’s social imperfections (coupled with your own imperfections) will derail the possibility of collaborating on bigger projects.

A long time ago, I worked on a short movie with a guy. Long story short, I found out the guy was being untruthful about money. He had hired one of my friends to build our movie website. But he failed to pay as agreed. When confronted, he shared an outlandish story about Western Union sending the money to the incorrect address. This was completely stupid and untruthful.

Because he was a “friend,” I gave him the benefit of belief and dropped the subject.

Three years later, I found myself working with this guy again. And guess what? He figured out a way to steal a few thousand dollars from the movie budget. When confronted, he left Los Angeles for Kentucky or some other place. He emailed a few times, appologizing.


The point is – sometimes you uncover facts early on that could save headaches later. You need to have a forward thinking perspective. In small deals, when you have moments of friction, in the context of heated conversations, your colloborators will often say “This is not a big deal.”

But the truth is, small frustrations on small projects will be amplified on BIG projects to become BIG problems.

Be mindful.

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Film Shot On Cannon 7D

Canon EOS 7D with EF 28mm f/2.8

Image via Wikipedia

Living in Los Angeles, I always find it novel when I meet other filmmakers who actually went to my small, Pennsylvanian high school (there are only 2 such people that I know of). One is a filmmaker named Joseph Ort. And frankly, he is bit of a filmmaking tech-head.

He uses his Cannon 7d on weekend projects – and he wanted to share a rundown of the tech stuff used during the production of his film, Tracked:

“>Tracked trailer from d”>Shadowmind Productions on Vimeo.

Tracked was filmed on a Canon 7D with a Tamron 28-75mm (2.8) and a Canon 50mm (1.8).

For the price of the 50mm, it’s a very hard deal to pass up and it was used during a night sequence where a street lamp was the only light source. For the motorcycle driving shots, I tried to mount the 7D on the bike but found that the GoPro camera was a lot easier to place in those tricky spots. I could mount that on the side pegs, right next to the engine and even on the handle bars of the motorcycle without any worries. With some simple color correction, these two cameras match completely.

For sound, it was a basic setup of a Tascam DR-100 and two Sennheiser Ew100 G2 lavs.

The one benefit of shooting with the Canon 7D was at a train station. Normally shooting this scene with another camera, it would catch a lot of attention and we probably would have been run off by security immediately. Knowing that there was no dialogue during this scene, I was able to shoot bare bones with the 7D and probably from a far, it looked like we were just taking pictures. No security ever questioned us and we filmed that entire sequence in under 40 minutes.

Trailer at:

Filmmaking Seminar Los Angeles

For Los Angeles based fimmakers looking to take their show to business, I recommend checking out the next  Norman Berns workshop.  In this full-day, hands-on instruction, you will gain experience on the following:





Your day will begin with an overview of the basics. Then you’ll spend A FULL DAY working with YOUR script, YOUR schedule, YOUR plan, YOUR pitch. You’ll gain valuable insight needed to dissect the logic of a shooting schedule, review production budget cost savings and craft business plans to meet investors needs. And you’ll also discover how to allocate state film incentives correctly.

Oh. And as a highlight, I’m going to stop by and share some tips on how to market and sell your movie without the middleman. I’m told this one day event is filling up fast. So reserve your spot.

When: Monday, May 9th

Where: Showbiz Software Store

500 S. Sepulveda, Los Angeles

9am – 6pm

Apps for Filmmakers

apps for filmmakersAs a filmmaker, we thought you’d enjoy Filmmaking Stuff on your handheld device.

As a result, we have created a filmmaking app that will help modern movie makers take action and get their movies made.

“In an effort to create useful iPhone apps for filmmakers, The Filmmaking Stuff App has been launched today. The app will help take filmmaking out of Hollywood, and put it into the hands of filmmakers, literally.”

To visit apps for filmmakers, and to get the official Filmmaking Stuff app, click here.

Make Filmmaking Your Next Small Business

Quiet please…we have speed…ACTION!

A new website is being launched today that will help take filmmaking out of Hollywood, and put it into the hands of everyday, creative people so that they can combine their life’s ambition of being a filmmaker with owning their own business. is the brain child of Jason Brubaker, a Los Angeles-based independent filmmaker and an expert in Video On Demand distribution. He has hosted another filmmaking website, for years and is taking his experience to the next level.

“ is focused on helping YOU make, market and sell movies more easily,” he says. “The ways movies finally make it to market has changed. is specifically designed to help grow your fan base, build “buzz” and create community around your title.

“If you want to make a living making movies, you need to realize that your library and the subsequent audience you source (over your career) are your major assets. And, as a result, your most important filmmaking focus (aside from doing good work) is to acquire and keep a customer,” he emphasizes.

For filmmakers in need, covers the four key areas of film production: screenwriting, film financing, filmmaking and distribution.

Tell your filmmaking friends!