Page 1

Universal Film ISSUE 2 of 2012

WWW.UFMAG.ORG

The only free film magazine in the world orld

+

DAVID CRONENBERG

WES ANDERSON KEN LOACH

FILM AND FESTIVAL NEWS AND REVIEWS FROM INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS THE WORLD OVER


Issue 2 - 2012

About UFM The Universal Film Magazine is a free magazine that delivers passionate and creative coverage about the global film and festival communities. The publication differs from the competition because it is totally free. It is the mission of the Universal Film Magazine to uphold our uncompromising high standards in professional journalism with compelling stories that are unbiased and fact-based. We are committed to the advancement of the industry by providing the very best in-depth features and coverage that will have a positive impact in the world. We aim to give our readers motivational and inspirational stories that embrace the spirit of independent film and festivals and give them a voice in the media. Editor-in-Chief

Universal Film Magazine Editor TYRONE D MURPHY Creative Director DOM MURICU Proof Editors TODD VOLZ MICHELLE GOODE KATE SPATOLA PAUL PASTOR PAUL WOODS Photographer KEVIN ANTHONY Contributors CHRIS O DELL DOP KONRAD HOLLENSTEIN GENE GOODSELL PATRICA PAWLAK DANIEL E SPRINGEN PAULA BRANCATO GAIL SPENCER PENNY NOBEL TIFANIE JODEH,ESQ JARED FELDSCHREIBER SCOTT ROSENBERG ZOE MOON

Tyrone D Murphy Letters & E Mails Please Contribute Please send in your letters and stories editor@ufmag.org

Copyright Notice:

Questions and feedback: Universal film Magazine Email: info@ufmag.org Online: www.ufmag.org

All editorial content and graphics on this site are protected by copyright and international treaties and may not be copied without the express permission of Universal Film Magazine, which reserves all rights. Re-use of any of this site content and graphics for any purpose is strictly prohibited. All third party trademarks. product names and company names in the magazine are the property of their respective owners and or advertisers. DISCLAIMER: Readers should consult with a lawyer before solely relying on any information contained herein.

1

www.ufmag.org


Contents FEATURE: Directors Interviews

3 5 7

Director Jacques Audiard Interview with Jacques Audiard about his new movie in the Cannes film festival Director Alain Resnais

Alain Resnais discusses his new movie at Cannes, “You have seen nothing yet” Director Ken Loach

Interview with Ken Loach about his movie “Angels’ Share” in competition at Cannes

Angels’ Share

P.7

Wes Anderson 11 Director Talks about his new movie “Moonrise Kingdom”

in competetion at Cannes

27 Interview with David Cronenberg about his Director David Cronenberg

movie at Cannes, “Cosmopolis”

FILM INDUSTRY & FESTIVALS “Gangs of Wasseypur” 23 Gangs of Wasseypur is the first commercial

Indian film to be screened at Directors Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival 2012 Film Funding USA 18 Legal issues surronding film funding (USA) by

Rust and Bone

P.3

international lawyer, Tifanie Jodeh Delivering Festival Publicity

19 In-depth article from Gail Spencer on film publicity for film festivals

Jaws is Back! 21 Steven Speilberg’s “Jaws” is back and playing

at Cannes Classics this year.

25 The UFFO Film Festival Organization The Universal Film & Festival Organization code of best business practices for festivals

effects of method acting 27 APsychological close examination on the psychological ef-

fects of Method acting by Penny Noble

Cosmopolis

P.27

Madagascar 3

P.19

A Ph.D in Film Studies

31A look at some of the more dubious, quick (no education) degrees available. Chinawood, new state backed film fund

33 An interesting look at the new Chinese state -backed film fund in Hollywood New Movie on Robert F Kennedy 39 Interesting new film on RFK which explores

the theories surrounding his assassination

Finding you story 61 Paula Brancato is back writing about writing

www.ufmag.org g g

2

about the elements of a great screenplay


Universal Film Issue 2 - 2012

RUST AND BONE A film by Jacques Audiard

It all begins in the North of France.

for it.

Ali suddenly finds himself with a five yearold child on his hands. Sam is his son, but he hardly knows him. Homeless, penniless and friendless, Ali takes refuge with his sister in Antibes. There things improve immediately. She puts them up in her garage, she takes the child under her wing and the weather is glorious.

Ali and Stephanie, our two characters, do not appear in the short stories, and Craig Davidson’s collection already seems to belong to the prehistory of the project, but the power and brutality of the tale, our desire to use drama, indeed melodrama, to magnify their characters all have their immediate source in those stories.

Ali first runs into Stephanie during a night club brawl. He drives her home and leaves her his phone number. He is poor, she is beautiful and self-assured. Stephanie trains killer whales at Marineland. When a performance ends in tragedy, a call in the night again brings them together.

From the very beginning of our work adapting it, we were focused on a kind of cinematography that, for want of a better word, we called ‘expressionist’. We wanted the power of stark, brutal and contrasting images in order to further the melodrama: the aesthetics of the Great Depression, of county-fair films whose bizarre visual work sublimates the dark reality of a world in which God “vomits the lukewarm”. It is that kind of aesthetic that constantly guided us as we worked on the screenplay.

When Ali sees her next, his princess is confined to a wheel chair: she has lost her legs and quite a few illusions. He simply helps her, with no compassion or pity. And she comes alive again. There is something gripping about Craig Davidson’s short story collection “Rust and Bone”, a depiction of a dodgy, modern world in which individual lives and simple destinies are blown out of all proportion by drama and accident. They offer a vision of the United States as a rational universe in which the physical needs to fight to find its place and to escape what fate has in store

It sustains a love story that is the true hero of the film. It shows the world though the eyes of a confused child. It underscores the nobleness of our characters in a world made violent by economic disaster. And it respects Ali and Stephanie’s stubborn attempts to escape their condition.

3

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film Issue 2 - 2012

www.ufmag.org

4

Director: Jacques Audiard


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

You ain’t seen nothing’ yet! A film by Alain Resnais From beyond the grave, celebrated playwright Antoine d’Anthac gathers together all his friends who have appeared over the years in his play “Eurydice.” These actors watch a recording of the work performed by a young acting company, La Compagnie de la Colombe. Do love, life, death and love after death still have any place on a theater stage? It’s up to them to decide. And the surprises have only just begun...

Interview with Alain Resnais When did you decide to tackle an adapt tion of a Jean Anouilh play? When my producer, Jean-Louis Livi, and his associates Julie Salvador and Christophe Jeauffroy suggested I do a new film with them after “Wild Grass,” we started looking for a play that would very quickly result in a script for us. In my films, I’m constantly looking for a theater-style language and musical dialog that invites the actors to get away from the realism of everyday life and move closer to a more offbeat performance. I read or reread different playwrights before I settled on Jean Anouilh. Since the end of the 1930s, I’ve been involved with the production of around 20 of his plays. When I came out of a production of “Eurydice” at the Théâtre de l’Atelier 70 years ago, I was so emotional that I cycled right around Paris, and saw the play again the following week. As I had done with Wild Grass, I asked my friend Laurent Herbiet to look at adapting two works as a director. After two or three days, Laurent suggested combining “Eurydice” with “Dear Antoine”, one of Anouilh’s other plays that I’d asked him to read. So for our purposes, “Eurydice” became a play by the dramatist Antoine d’Anthac, an eternally dissatisfied man who lacks in self-confidence and feels unloved. Antoine’s actors and friends who were in the very first performance of the play, or appeared in it 10, 20 or 30 years later, then come together to watch some recordings of a young theater company who are now rehearsing Eurydice, which they want to perform on stage. During the screening, Antoine’s friends are so overwhelmed by their memories of the play that they start performing it together, despite no longer being the appropriate age for their various

roles. I still feel a very special emotion when I see a scene being performed by an actor who is taking on one of their former roles. The challenge of the film was to sustain the drama across the back and forth between Antoine’s friends and the actors in the recording. And it also seemed to me to be a way to reinforce the emotion when Orpheus and Eurydice are reunited, these two mythological characters who have been immortalized by the power of the popular imagination and subconscious. You have cast many actors who have already performed in your films, either recently or as far back as the 1960s, as well as choosing four newcomers in the shape of Denis Podalydès, Andrzej Seweryn, Hippolyte Girardot and Michel Robin. As much as I dream about working again with many actors, I also love working for the first time with others. I was fascinated by Denis Podalydès’ phrasing in the films of Bruno Podalydès and Arnaud Desplechin and by his chameleonlike approach when he reads books on the radio. I loved Hippolyte Girardot in “Kings & Queen” and “A Christmas Tale” by Desplechin and in “Lady Chatterly” by Pascale Ferran. Andrzej Seweryn was extraordinary as Molière’s Dom Juan and I’d seen Michel Robin on stage or in the wings I don’t know how many times since he started performing with Roger Planchon at the end of the 1950s. But I was also very happy to work again with the 11 others – both those I’ve recently collaborated with and those I haven’t seen for a long time, but whose careers I have always followed nonetheless. Why did you ask Bruno Podalydès to direct the recording of the Compagnie de la Colombe? It was an experiment, a kind of game. If I’d had to come up with an approach to directing young people on the stage in 2012, I’d have felt like a cheat. It wouldn’t have been sincere. It was more stimulating to ask a co-director and friend who was more in touch with that generation. The screenplay showed which parts of “Eurydice” to shoot, but apart from that, I gave Bruno no other directions. He had carte blanche for the casting, the crew and the style. He asked me for advice but I insisted, “No,

5

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

me having nothing to do with it is part of the film. The more different it is to what I’d have shot myself, the better it fits with the spirit of what we are trying to do.” And the gamble I had most fun with was waiting until the editing before seeing how his images and my own fit together. After “Private Fears in Public Places” and “Wild Grass,” this is your third collaboration with American composer Mark Snow. Before now, you’ve never worked so frequently with another musician. I wanted the music to be like a kind of hypnosis to which Antoine’s guests succumb as their memories assail them. So Mark Snow was perfect for that. I was struck by the demonic, gentle and helpless theme he’d written for Chris Carter’s Millennium TV series (which has nothing to do with Stieg Larsson’s books) and that was what made me want to work with him. He has this wonderful ability to combine light with shade and the simple with the enigmatic. I was delighted when he agreed to come from Connecticut to see the film and talk about what he was going to do. As with my two previous films, I played music I’d used before while I shot certain scenes to help the actors and crew establish the right mood. My editor Hervé de Luze and I also used some of Snow’s music over the provisional edit of the film to help us better find the rhythm. When we showed “You Ain’t Seen Nothing ’ Yet” to Snow, we left some of that music in it. His reaction was to say, “If I understand correctly, I have to better myself now!” And in my opinion, that’s exactly what he did.

6

Interview by François Thomas.


Universal Film Issue 2 - 2012

Director Ken Loach

7

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film Issue 2 - 2012

THE ANGELS'

SHARE

Ken Loach talks about his new movie “The Angels’ Share” in competition at the Cannes film festival

While on community service, Robbie meets Rhino, Albert and Mo for whom, like him, work is little more than a distant dream. Little did Robbie imagine that turning to drink might change their lives - not cheap fortified wine, but the best malt whiskies in the world. What will it be for Robbie? More violence and vendettas or a new future with “Uisge Beatha”, the “Water of Life”? Only the angels know...

Ken Loach Interview Why this story? Late last year, the number of unemployed young people in Britain reached over a million for the first time. We wanted to tell a story about this generation of young people, a lot of whom face an empty future. They can be pretty sure that they won’t get a job, a permanent job, a secure job. Just what effect does that have on people and how do they see themselves? You’ve made several films in Glasgow. Why did you choose to set a film there again? There are other cities like Liverpool and Newcastle or Manchester, or probably parts of the Midlands, where you could find the same stories, but Paul’s from the west coast so that’s his idiom and that’s where he writes best. And Glasgow’s such a powerful location that it seemed the right place to set it - powerful in the culture of people there, is the

www.ufmag.org

sense of humour, the attitudes that people have to life, and the history that’s produced there. It’s a very collective, not an individualist culture, and yet people have as hard a time there as anywhere you could imagine. Why a comedy? Well, just to be contradictory really. You always want to take an unexpected path. We’d done a film like “Sweet Sixteen” which was about lads, younger than these, but placed in an equally impossible situation, and that did end in tragedy. But the same characters will have incidents in their lives which are sometimes comic, and other times not. So we just thought we would pick one of the comic moments. Is the process of making a comedy any different to making a serious piece? No, the process is the same really, and I suppose the basic aesthetic is the same. Really, the comedy is usually the interaction of people, and the cracks they make, or the misunderstandings, or the time it takes for something to sink in, it’s not slapstick. In a way it’s a story with a few smiles in it rather than a comedy from start to finish - it certainly isn’t that, because there are one or two quite dark moments in it. So the process is the same: it’s about trying to release, or to enable people to go through the experiences, and if it’s funny as it unfolds, well it’s funny. If it’s sharp or harsh then it should be that, and if it’s unsympathetic then it’s got to be that. The aim is just to have truthful interactions between people, and set them in a realistic framework. Then, if in real life they would make you smile, they make you smile; if in real life they’d make you cry, they make you cry, or make you angry or whatever.

8

K

en Loach’s new movie “The Angles Share” is a bittersweet comedy about a Glasgow boy locked in a family feud who just wants a way out. When Robbie sneaks into the maternity hospital to visit his young girlfriend Leonie and hold his newborn son Luke for the first time, he is overwhelmed. He swears that Luke will not lead the same stricken life he has led.


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

The Angles’ Share Where did you start with The Angels’ Share? The biggest issue is always what’s in the script and who are the characters. Then it’s casting. We were looking for quite a long time and saw a lot of people for Robbie. It’s just a gradual process of elimination. A lot of people are good but they’re not good in exactly the way you want. The locations were just a question of spadework, so we saw a lot of distilleries - which was no hardship! Describe Robbie. He’s had a very harsh childhood, he’s been involved in violence, he’s served quite a long prison sentence in a young offenders’ institution, and now he’s really trying to get his life on track. He’s bright and he’s thoughtful, and he’s met this girl who he is very fond of. They’re having a child together. But from her parents’ point of view, it’s a disastrous relationship because all they see is a young thug and a young criminal, and the girl’s father knows that world very well. He owns clubs, he’s made a lot of money, he’s moved to a better suburb, but he knows he’s from the same mean streets that Robbie’s from, so he knows that this lad has practically no chance of making a life for himself. Therefore, he’s practically no chance of making a life for his daughter and their child either, so in the interests of his daughter he’s going to use the methods of the street to keep them apart. You can have some sympathy for him, not with his tactics, but with the dilemma. If you’ve got a daughter and she’s up with somebody who’s probably involved in drugs, certainly involved in violence, no job, no way out - you know you’d be worried. Robbie’s at that point where he’s just going to struggle

to be a father and to be a parent, to make some kind of living to support his family, which he sees no way of doing at the outset, and just sees no way out. Obviously the academic process passed him by because he was just being a teenage criminal from a world where that was the norm. So how do you get out of it? He says he’s determined, but when that’s your world and that’s your perspective, it’s very difficult to get out. How do you decide when to cast established performers like Roger Allam in a role like Thaddeus? It wasn’t the fact that Roger was more established, it’s just that I knew him and I knew he has a way of appearing sometimes; a way of appearing where you know he’s up to something, but you don’t know quite what. We met quite a lot of people as well, but nobody had that air that made you think there’s something suspicious going on here but I’m not clever enough to work out what it is. And with a sense of humour as well. There’s villainy, but it’s villainy that makes you smile, and he has that absolutely, without having to articulate it. What about the rest of the cast? They’re all fantastic. It was very good to work with William (Ruane) again - it’s always good to have somebody in the cast who you can rely on. You know that you can often direct the others through that one person. I’d give William a note and he’s professional enough to be able to include that in what he’s doing. I know that’ll draw a particular response from the others, without them being aware that they’re being directed. Gary (Maitland), I don’t think he’s been doing any acting for a little

while, but he’s been in two of our films before, and he’s just very, well, he makes us smile. He has the air of living in a parallel universe that operates with different laws to the rest of us. But also he has a very benign, good-humoured presence, and when disasters befall him you do feel for him as well. Jasmin (Riggins) was a delight: nice girl, very funny, but quite astringent and a good sharp presence. The part we looked a long time for was finding a girl who would be Robbie’s partner, Leonie. We thought it would be the easiest part, but actually it turned out almost to be the hardest, because pitching the social level was very important. Because her father has made money they’ve moved out, so she’s not mixing with the same group as Robbie and the others, and her father’s tried to give her more of a middle class background. But nevertheless she’s close enough to Robbie’s world to understand it. Finding someone who would just seem to fit was quite a challenge. There are different elements to balance: it can’t be somebody posh, it can’t be somebody too much from the street, but it should be someone that Robbie would feel was a real catch. We looked for a long time and Siobhan (Reilly) was someone we kept coming back to. She was lovely really, a smashing girl. I should also say something about Charlie Maclean. Paul had written this character Rory. and he’d met Charlie as a whisky expert. so obviously Charlie was in his thoughts. He was going to be an advisor, and Paul said to me, “You ought to meet him”. Once we’d met him obviously he could just do it - it was inevitable that he would be in the film really.

9

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

How does whisky work as a metaphor in this film? The moment you start talking about the whisky as a metaphor I’ll get into pretentious areas! I think we’ve got to let the audience see that. The comparison is with “Kes”. In that film the bird, obviously, is the free spirit that the boy can never be, but we never talked about the metaphor at the time. The audience just has a sense of it. How was the shoot? There was an initial hiccup: I fell over. So there was a short delay. That was just an irritation. Apart from that, the production team is so astute that by and large they troubleshoot the problems before we get to them. They are like a fine orchestra, with David Gilchrist, the first AD, leading the violins. They would probably manage without a conductor. Is it more fun filming a comedy? It’s always just hard work really. You wake up in the morning in a cold sweat thinking, “Am I going to get through the day? Are we going to get it done?” so I just find it’s too much pressure for it to be fun. I mean there are funny things that happen in the course of the day invariably but the overriding impression in the morning is just the work you’ve got to get through and the slight air of panic that you aren’t going to make it. Part of the work of di-

www.ufmag.org

recting is hiding your internal panic, because you can’t let it communicate. You still have that after so many films? Every day, throughout the day, yes. Even days that seem quite easy there’s still a sense of a mountain you’ve got to climb, and it doesn’t seem to get any easier. Some things get easier in that you know whatever short cuts there are to take, how you can manage it, but that’s cancelled by just the physical effort of doing it. You’ve got to put energy into it; you can never be on the back foot, because if you are, then everybody knows that and the energy levels sag. If the energy levels sag the performances will - you’ve got to generate the adrenalin for them to fire off. You can’t have a totally placid set and expect people to give strong performances. And it’s not fair to leave it to the performers: you can’t just sit back and look at a monitor and say, “Okay, off you go, do it.’ They’ve got to have a sense of constructive pressure and constructive tension, and a constructive energy between people, because then they’ll spark off each other. The director’s got to generate that. It’s all about what is going to be in front of the camera, what’s in their eyes, what goes between them. So you’ve got to pace the little surges of energy and let there be a down period when you’re setting up or moving or whatever, and then wind it up again. What do you hope the audience will take from of this film? I hope they’ll enjoy meeting the folks in it, particularly the young people who are either referred to as “petty criminals” or “benefit claimants” or whatever, and just see that they are rounded, humorous,

proper, real people; and that for every one of that million unemployed statistic, there are a million kids who are facing a fairly hopeless future - and here’s four of them. Aren’t they interesting to meet and aren’t they complex and valuable, worth something really? I hope they’ll see that as well as enjoying the tale. How does The Angels’ Share sit among your previous work about young people? The kids in previous films have had “projects”, like these four have the project of trying to raise money through their talent for nosing whisky. The lad in Sweet Sixteen had to raise money for a caravan for his mum. Billy Casper in “Kes” had to train the bird. They all show that idea of people who are generally disregarded having projects which they achieve or don’t achieve, and enthusiasms and commitment and a talent which you don’t know about. I suppose it’s the old image of flowers on the bombsite: in the most unlikely surroundings extraordinary things will happen. Young people are cast adrift into a world that, by and large, has no time for them. I wouldn’t say there’s nothing that a job wouldn’t solve, but a proper secure craft, or skill, or job, would solve most of the problems that these kids face, and that most people face. Because we are defined by our work, aren’t we? Whether you’re a craftsman in the building trade, a joiner, or plasterer or whatever, that’s your identity and that’s your sense of self. Well, now a lot of people don’t have that. They are just what they’re told they are which is “benefit claimants” and constantly scrutinised in case they’re cheating. What sense of self-worth can you have in that situation?

10

If somebody acted a character like that you’d get all the outward appearances of Charlie but it would be hard to have the knowledge and the actual concern, or the enjoyment of whisky that he obviously has.


Universal Film Issue 2 - 2012

Director Wes Anderson

11

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film Issue 2 - 2012

MOONRISE

KINGDOM New movie in competition directed by Academy Awardnominated filmmaker Wes Anderson ...

Bruce Willis plays the local sheriff, Captain Sharp. Edward Norton is a Khaki Scout troop leader, Scout Master Ward. Bill Murray and Frances McDormand portray the young girl’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bishop. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, and Bob Balaban; and introduces Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as Sam and Suzy, the boy and girl. It could have been a risky proposition for a film director to cast in key roles two newcomers with little or no experience. But, as Moonrise Kingdom producer Jeremy Dawson notes, “Wes Anderson trusts his instincts, so it came down to whom he felt he could visualize in these two roles – and, once again, he’s hit it out of the park in terms of the casting.” “As a writer, a producer, and the director, Wes is involved in every element of the film, from clothing design to casting,” adds Dawson. “All of it contributes to the world that he wants to create.” Anderson’s enthusiasm spreads to cast and artisans, many of whom will collaborate with him on more than one project. As one such returnee, Dawson notes, “He wants the movie to be an adventure for all the people involved in making it, whether it’s getting on a train in India or traveling on a boat in the Mediterranean. Making this movie definitely lived up to that tradition. “He is always trying to evolve as a director, trying new things and learning from his experiences onprevious movies.”

www.ufmag.org

“Wes cares about the process,” says set decorator Kris Moran. “But he also cares about everybody around him, about the on-set environment; it brings out the best in you. When you’re making a movie, that’s a creative place you want to be in.” Even when calling for multiple takes to get a scene exactly the way he’s envisioned it, Anderson remains calm and won’t press to “make the day.” This would serve him particularly well on Moonrise Kingdom since key members of the cast, and most of the extras, were children. “Wes deals with children so well – in much the same way that Steven Spielberg does. He’s encouraging to them,” observes Balaban. Anderson was able to relate to the youngsters in part because his films combine a grown-up seriousness with pure make-believe; Moonrise Kingdom directly accesses children’s worlds of secrets and the convergence of magical moments one associates with youthful summers. “Wes had this concept for some time,” reveals Coppola. “He had the world and the characters and this feeling, and we spent some time together discussing it. We discovered a banter, and a manner of inquiry, between the two of us that seemed to gel and unlock all these ideas. After we had engaged in that dialogue, the writing process happened very quickly. It’s always mysterious how that all happens. “My role in writing was to draw out some of the ideas and to help define them. When you have a sounding board, it helps unlock things. That was sort of my main function; sounding board, shaper, editor.” Together, Anderson and Coppola created a rich tapestry of colorful characters with overlapping connections that draw us into the realm of the movie’s island community, New Penzance. The community is a richly realized place populated by rounded and complex denizens.

12

S

et on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two 12-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore – and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in every which way.


Universal Film Issue 2 - 2012

Accordingly, actors were captivated by the story immediately. “It takes you into a completely new world from the first page,” says Tilda Swinton. “A world that is as beautifully designed and completely conceived as this one is always going to be a thrill in cinema.” Murray, who also appeared in The Darjeeling Limited, adds, “It’s a really fine script. There is an electricity that moves through it; Roman and Wes are really wonderful together.” To film their movie about the discovery of first love and an adventure for two children, the filmmakers honed in on Rhode Island as an all- purpose location – after what Dawson refers to as “Google-scouting.” “It was an unusual scouting process,” adds production designer Adam Stockhausen. “Everyone – myself, Wes, Jeremy, [co-producer] Molly Cooper – was in New York and researching islands.” Dawson elaborates, “The story was written to take place on an island, and was envisioned as a New England coastal island. But we looked all over the world – albeit often from our living rooms – the Eastern seaboard, the West Coast, even the coast of Cornwall.” With a modest population and few automobiles allowed, New Penzance lends itself to being a place that sparks the children’s imaginations and senses of adventure. Rhode Island’s miles and miles of beautiful coastline and its contained geography sealed the deal, finalized through the Rhode Island Film & TV Office. The state’s topography encompasses rolling fields and craggy ravines, points of elevation, forests and beaches, and rocky coves. Among the state’s many shooting locations for Moonrise Kingdom were Narragansett Bay; the 1,800-acre Camp Yawgoog, lensed in just ahead of the summer season; and the historic Trinity Church in Newport, where George Washington was a parishioner. Particular care was taken by the cast and crew when working at the latter location, which was redressed twice as New Penzance’s church; initially, for the pageant at which Suzy and Sam first meet one year before the main events of the story transpire, and then for the climactic sequence of the movie which brings their adventure full circle. The filmmakers wanted the physical production to be focused, not bloated. Accordingly, there were no big trucks, and no actor or filmmaker trailers. Actors were encouraged to arrive camera-ready,

requiring them to don their costumes in their hotel rooms before coming to set. Prudence Island, in Narragansett Bay, provided probably the most unique location for the production. Dawson comments, “There’s no infrastructure there; there’s one tiny little store at which to buy things. We had to get local environmental clearance to set foot on some of the pebble beaches, and charter a ferry boat to get crew members on-site. It pays off on-screen; Prudence really does look untouched.” With Rhode Island’s geographical versatility and the unit’s leanness, it wasn’t uncommon for the production to move to and film at three or four different locations around the state on a given day – a park here, a beach there, a waterfall down the road. Anderson had prepared for this part of the process as well, with an advance shoot weeks prior to the commencement of principal photography; he recruited a skeleton crew and shot footage – much of it amidst natural foliage – that would be included in the finished film. This minimal unit enjoyed a great amount of freedom Dawson remembers, “We drove around in a van and just went around the state and shot, including with the child actors. The cameras were light and small, so we weren’t bogged down with heavy gear. The technology and the creativity went hand-in-hand. The “pre-shoot” encompassed “a lot of unscripted stuff, and improv,” explains Gilman. “We spent a whole week in the forest.” Once the main leg of the shoot got underway, “there was a feeling that we were all at camp, or maybe a well-run playground with rules,” says Balaban. All of this was as hoped-for; Anderson wanted cast and crew to have as communal an experience as possible in filming the story. Murray remembers, “My first day at work was on a camp set, and I realized that they didn’t have trailers and so forth. We had tents, pup tents. “It was about 40 degrees outside and raining, but once you get 51 people crammed inside a tent, it gets plenty warm. We were cozy after a while.” Another factor bringing cast and crew closer together was the collective makebelieve effort; whether they were alive in 1965 or not, each member of the unit had to work together to help the actors slip into their characters and the world they inhabit. Dawson notes, “This story is Wes’ take on 1965. From my perspective, his previous

movies always existed in a time that you couldn’t quite place, mixing past and present. “Wes has always storyboarded in preproduction; something that we had done on Fantastic Mr. Fox, which we also applied here, was to edit the storyboards together with voices and music, pre-testing some of the sequences.” “Our starting point was visual research,” says costume designer Kasia Walicka Maimone. “That came primarily from photography.” Art director Gerald Sullivan concurs, saying that “the biggest thing for us in the art department was researching the architecture of the time, and of the area; meaning, both interiors and exteriors. So, we looked at houses on islands, lighthouses, shingled houses – all in constant collaboration with Wes, who had collected reams of research photos for us to make use of in our designs.” So many photos accrued that a private production website had to be set up in order for departmental staffs and crew members to have access to them all. Set decorator Kris Moran, who had first worked alongside Anderson as “on-set prop” on The Royal Tenenbaums, notes, “Wes cares about every detail so much. We scoured antique shops and borrowed things from crew members and people we met. If Wes had been out walking and seen something on someone’s porch that he liked, we chased it down. When I was dressing a set, it was often with something that wasn’t necessarily iconic of the time, but tertiary and interesting so that it could get more at the characters’ history. “This movie has a bit of a different aesthetic than Wes’ other movies; it’s a little more rough around the edges, and a little more lived- in.” Yet there often proved to be little in the way of vintage props, set dressing, or wardrobe that could be found on the scale needed for the production. One exception was the trailer home for Captain Sharp, Bruce Willis’ character; the desired 1952 Spartanette was found through a dealer in Texas. But for Robert Yeoman’s camera to be able to move around inside, Moran says, “We actually had to cut it apart and then rebuild it. The interior was intact, but we reconfigured it so there could be a 360-degree field of vision inside. We then re-dressed it in full.” Moran recalls her team looking for tents needed to colonize the fictional Khaki Scouts of North America’s Troop 55 at their camp under the command of Scout Master Ward, played by Edward Norton.

13

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film Issue 2 - 2012

After they scoured the country to locate a stash of old stock tents, they found that even Army/Navy stores were coming up short. Only a couple of vintage tents had been found – and these mostly weren’t the right color or shape or size; Anderson had specified the Khaki Scouts tents’ piping (bright yellow) and interior lining (plaid, including a plaid wall for Ward’s own tent). As production designer, Stockhausen would oversee the entire look of Moonrise Kingdom and would have to coordinate with every department. His research was therefore multifaceted. He comments, “I researched everything from general lifestyle to very specific objects. For example, I wondered, ‘In what exact year did switches develop on night lights?’ so that we wouldn’t make a mistake.”

Rhode Island’s existing pool of craftsmen joined the group effort. Citing their contributions, Moran enthuses, “A local artist, James Langston, carved little raccoons on the front of the canoes, and he also made some totem poles for us. Chris Wiley made corn finials [e.g., sculpted ornaments] for Scout Master Ward’s tent. Another artist made all the stick furniture inside that tent – all matching out of chicory, an entire suite! We even had a chainsaw artist make some of the totems on top of the signage for the Khaki Scouts’ camp.” For the Bishop family home, the hope was to find a house that could immediately assume the role. The house chosen to portray the Bishop home exterior was Conanicut Light, in Jamestown, RI – a former lighthouse. For the interior, four candidates had such strong qualities that the production sought to re-create elements of each. The decision was made to build the house interiors on a soundstage in a vacant retail space at a local strip mall in Middletown, RI. On the soundstage, all the best elements – whether architecture or furnishings – of the favored locations were re-created.

www.ufmag.org

“We had a lot of Khaki Scouts in largescale scenes,” says Walicka Maimone. “I think the final number of uniforms we created was 350.” She adds, “The Scout uniforms and Suzy’s outfit were my absolute favorites, but I also particularly enjoyed doing the ones for Scout Master Ward, Mr. Bishop, and Social Services.” In Moonrise Kingdom, the latter is neither a department nor a group, but rather the name of a character; Tilda Swinton was cast as Social Services. Real-life social services workers did not wear uniforms, so Walicka Maimone turned to the Salvation Army for inspiration as well as to women-in-service uniforms. She then accentuated shapes and extended capes until she came up with the final outfit – one eagerly donned by Swinton, hat-wig and all. “Social Services’ uniform was the most structured, the most physically tailored piece we had,” says Walicka Maimone. Swinton elaborates, “Social Services represents authority, force majeure; when mayhem erupts, she is called in to impose order. Social Services wears a blue-andwhite uniform, a pantsuit. Atop her head is a Salvation Army officer-style hat. Tied around her neck is a red ribbon, in a bow. “There are several cinematic references, and actresses and actors, which inspired us; I loved playing that out with Wes.” In contrast, the costume for Frances McDormand’s character of Mrs. Bishop reflects an amalgamation of women artists, painters, and writers from the 1960s. The

back story proffered by Anderson was that, though Mrs. Bishop is a lawyer, she grew up in a house full of creative types and so her costuming is infused with more colorful elements. As Swinton notes wistfully, “My mother wore clothes like those that Fran wears. I remember all these colors from my early childhood in a very visceral way; the costumes are so accurate. “In this story, our community of adults doesn’t really know what they’re doing and in the process find themselves to be no less childlike, and no more grown-up, than the two children. It was great fun, a real joy, to be part of this movie. There is such a playfulness in it because there is absolute structure.” Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman had first starred for Anderson in his acclaimed Rushmore back in 1998, and have since reteamed with him multiple times apiece. Dawson notes, “Bill and Jason are always great to have around. Bill keeps us all going; he’s our pep captain.” Whether learning about typewriters or ties, the two youngest newcomers realized that their first moviemaking experience was something special. “Moonrise Kingdom is such a sweet story,” says Hayward. “It’s beautiful. I love everything about the movie – how the story is told, the relationship between the characters – and I hope audiences love everything about it too.” Gilman enthuses, “It’s got action. It’s got comedy. It’s got drama. It’s got romance. It really packs a punch!”

14

Stockhausen’s crew proved inventive and resourceful, making camp signs out of sticks and logs tied together. As with the tents, the story’s requisite canoes were built to design specifics; many mornings at the local Holiday Inn Express, crew members would test out the newly built and painted canoes in the hotel pool. Since these were made out of plywood, buoyancy was not always achieved; ultimately, for many of the scenes involving canoeing, off-camera ballast of weighted keels had to be rigged underneath, helping to maintain the actors’ immersion in the moment rather than risk their immersion in the drink.


Universal Film Issue 2 - 2012

Director Leos Carax 15

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film Issue 2- 2012

HOLY MOTORS In competition Cannes 2012

SYNOPSIS From dawn to after nightfall, a few hours in the life of Monsieur Oscar, a shadowy character who journeys from one life to the next. He is, in turn, captain of industry, assassin, beggar, monster, family man. He seems to be playing roles, plunging headlong into each part, but where are the cameras? Monsieur Oscar is alone, accompanied only by CÊline, the slender blonde woman behind the wheel of the vast engine that transports him in and around Paris. He’s like a conscientious assassin moving from hit to hit. In pursuit of the purely beautiful act, the mysterious driving force, the women and ghosts of past lives.

www.ufmag.org

16

But where is his true home, his family, his rest?


Universal Film

Issue 2 of 2012

17

www.ufmag.org


FUNDING

Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

by Tifanie Jodeh, Esq.

Legal Issues Surrounding Funding Via Private Equity (USA)

N

ailing down investors is just the beginning of the story and a very integral part of the production process. You should be aware of security laws that regulate how investors make investments into a project and how they hope for a large return while understanding the risk of loss.

Generally, producers are required to register any offer or sale of securities unless it is exempt (as discussed below). The registration process takes time, and can be expensive. Instead, producers sometimes operate on the practical exemptions for acquiring investment. The most common exemption for entertainment projects is found under Rule 506. This is called the “safe harbor” clause. Rule 506 ensures a production company meet the requirements that the investment request is a private offering. Elements to Rule 506: To qualify under Rule 506 it is important to address the following items: 1. No General Solicitation and General Advertising.

rities is sophisticated in investing. The combined effect rule (which is interpreted by the Securities and Exchange Commission) can sometimes conflict with what you have witnessed in the entertainment business. 2. Purchaser Limitation. The sale of any security may be made to an unlimited number of “accredited” investors (meaning sophisticated, high net worth investors who can meet certain requirements as set forth in the SEC rules) and up to 35 unaccredited investors. These unaccredited investors (or their representatives) must have sufficient knowledge and experience in financial and business matters to make them capable of evaluating the merits and risks of the prospective investment.

5. Form D Filing. A Form D is required to be filed within the first 15 days of the first allocation of a security. Additionally, filings of the form must be made in most states where sales are made to residents of that state. Now that you understand the legal policies , following the rules is very important no matter the size of your project. Be over-prepared and know how much money you need, and have a detailed budget. This will show investors you are serious and professional. Make sure an entertainment attorney is on your team who can help you navigate the world of entertainment investment.

3. Time Restriction/ Securities “Restricted. “ The securities may not be resold for a certain time period and such re-sales are governed by securities laws. Producers must try to assure that an investor is purchasing the securities for investment purposes and not simply to turn around and re-sell them. 4. Information Disclosure.

www.ufmag.org

One of the main goals of securities laws is to allow investors to make educated and informed decisions based on accurate information provided by the producer. If any unaccredited investors are sold securities in an offering, then specific information disclosure is required and must be provided, such as in a private placement memorandum. Conversely, if accredited investors are making the investment then there are no specific disclosure requirements aside from disclosures required to avoid the anti-fraud provisions of the securities laws. It is recommended that the producer provided extensive disclosure information to avoid the potential lawsuit of an unhappy investor.

Tifanie Jodeh is Partner at Entertainment Law Partners, dedicated to corporate, business and entertainment affairs. You may contact her at Tifanie@entlawpartners.com.

18

The Producer cannot engage in “general advertising” or “general solicitation”. This means that offers and sales of securities cannot be made through traditional media advertising such as radio, television and the Internet. Representatives of the production company must have a substantive pre-existing relationship with the person or entity being offered the securities. In other words, a relationship between friends and/or family. This “pre-existing” relationship is one which is present before a producer approaches a potential investor to invest. Even more, the producer must establish that the relationship is substantive; one where the representatives of the production company believe the person or entity being offered the secu-


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

MADAGASCAR THE THIRD INSTALLMENT OF THE BILLION DOLLAR FRANCHISE.. n the third installment of the billiondollar “Madagascar” franchise, Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman (David Schwimmer) are determined to make their way back to The Central Park Zoo in New York City. Leaving Africa behind, they’ve taken a detour and surfaced, quite literally, in Europe — on a hunt for the penguins and chimps who have managed to break the bank of a Monte Carlo casino. Soon the animals are discovered by dogged French animal control officer Capitaine Chantel DuBois (Frances McDormand) who does not appreciate zoo animals running wild in her city and is thrilled by the idea of hunting her first lion! The Zoosters find the perfect cover in a down-and out traveling circus where they hatch a plan to reinvent the circus, discover a few new talents and make it home to New York alive. For the first time in 3D, the Zoosters of Madagascar are on the run, hiding out with the circus,

I

doing death defying tricks and making new friends. DreamWorks Animation SKG Presents “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” a PDI/DreamWorks Production featuring the voices of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric The Entertainer, Andy Richter, Frances McDormand, Jessica Chastain, Bryan Cranston and Martin Short. The film is directed by Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath, helmers of the franchise’s the first two installments, which earned more than $1 billion at the boxoffice, and are joined this go-round by director Conrad Vernon (“Shrek 2,” “Monsters vs. Aliens”). The screenplay is written by Eric Darnell and Noah Baumbach (“Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “Greenberg”). It is produced by Mireille Soria (“Madagascar 2”) and Mark Swift (“Madagascar 2”). The music is by Hans Zimmer. This film has been rated PG.

The global success of 2005’s “Madagascar” and its lively 2008 sequel “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa,” proved that while the films were broad comedies with plenty of action, they were, above all, well-told stories with universal themes that audiences related to. For the filmmakers, it was never enough to just go for the laughs. As director/writer Tom McGrath says: “Having an emotional spine to a story is really what carries you through — because if you just string a lot of jokes together, there isn’t much to cling to.” Director/writer Eric Darnell observes: “As an audience you want to be able to connect with and empathize with the characters’ wants and needs. To be able to plumb those depths is critical.”

19

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

R3 The filmmakers’ desire to take the characters to new places — literally and figuratively — continues in “Madagascar 3.” Incorporating Ralph Waldo Emerson’s inspirational quote, “Life is a journey, not a destination” as their maxim, the filmmakers’ chose to explore themes of what it means to be home, have confidence and find one’s passions. As a result, Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria have found a better sense of who they are, while grappling with the wilds of Madagascar and Africa.

www.ufmag.org

20

As Darnell puts it, “That’s what has been the core desire of our guys from the beginning: To identify their place in the world.”And what a world it’s turning out to be for them. Their journey took the Zoosters from New York, to the eponymous island of Madagascar, then to the wilds of Africa. In the latest installment, the adventure unfolds all across Europe, which naturally calls for a grander scale visually and in the storytelling.


Universal Film Issue 2 - 2012

Spielberg’s “JAWS” to play at Cannes Classics he Festival de Cannes 2012 will be screening a number of legendary titles in its annual showcase of restored films: Cannes Classics. The program includes 13 feature films, two shorts and four documentaries from iconic filmmakers such as Robert De Niro, Roman Polanski and Steven Spielberg. As part of an exciting line-up of restored prints, Universal Pictures will be presenting a restored print of Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws”. Others include “Once Upon a Time In America”, “Jaws” and “The Ring”. Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation will be presenting a restored version of Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in America”. Jennifer Connelly, Arnon Milchan, Robert De Niro, Elizabeth McGovern and the Leone family will attend Cannes for the screening of the legendary title restored by the Cinematheque of Bologna at the Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory. A rare appearance will also be made by Roman Polanski to present his 1979 film Tess.

Director Steven Spielberg 21

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film Issue 2 - 2012

www.ufmag.org

22

Jaws is Back


Universal Film Issue 2 - 2012

GANGS OF WASSEYPUR

Gangs of Wasseypur is the first commercial Indian film to be screened at Directors Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival 2012

T

he Indian movie, “Gangs Of Wasseypur”, is set to make film history as the first commercial Bollywood film to be part of the 65th Cannes Film Festival Directors’ fortnight segment. Produced and presented by one of India’s leading integrated film companies, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, with the young, cutting-edge film director Anurag Kashyap at the helm, “Gangs Of Wasseypur” is a mainstream commercial Indian film, which tells an epic tale, spanning 60 years of a feuding family’s life set against the backdrop of the rural coal communities in Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India. “Gangs of Wasseypur” combines clever filmmaking with a powerful, high-concept and entertaining plot, with revenge at

its core. Accentuated by esteemed performances a talented and eclectic cast compris of Hindi cinema’s finest, Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Richa Chadda, the film is cleverly told in two separate films. Generating widespread interest from critics and audiences alike, “Gangs Of Wasseypur” breaks with Indian cinema conventions in the same mould as the Academy Award winning film “Slumdog Millionaire,” and other acclaimed films such as “Bandit Queen.”

tional cinematic successes as “Satya” and “Water.”

Anurag Kashyap is renowned for his work in creating a niche in Indian cinema’s “avant-garde” space. He is also th mastermind behind “Black Friday” a controversial and award-winning film about the 1993 Mumbai bombings, and the awardwinning screenwriter of such interna-

Viacom 18 Motion Pictures’ presence at the Cannes Film Festival 2012 will be a holistic celebration of Indian cinema’s vast contribution to the world of entertainment.

Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and the Cannes Film Festival will hold special media and trade screenings of “Gangs Of Wasseypur “ on the 22nd of May 2012. Other highlights for the film during the festival week will include cocktails hosted by Viacom18 Motion Pictures’ at the NFDC India Pavilion, and a debate forum on Bollywood’s changing place within Indian cinema.

23

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film

www.ufmag.org

24

Issue 2 - 2012


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

UFFO

Universal Film & Festival Organization

UFFO

HAS 130 FILM FESTIVALS MEMBERS

UFFO launches code of

Best Business Practices for film festivals to strong industry support.. Maureen O’Hara

“Every once in a while there is something that stands out and compels us to notice it; I think that is what struck me most about UFFO when it was first brought to my attention. I am so tremendously honoured and proud to be the President of such an international organisation that promotes ethics in an industry I love so much”.

S

ince UFFO launched on the 1st July 2011 it’s code of best business practices has been adopted by over 130 international film festivals and has gathered strong support from organizations all over the world. With stories being published on almost a daily basis about crooked film festivals, something had to be done to protect filmmakers from fraud and to assure that honest festival organizers’ hard-earned reputations were protected. At this stage it was just an ideal. Sometime later I attended an international Film Festival in the UK. I discovered that the festival organizer and his partner,

Tyrone D Murphy is the founder and CEO of UFFO, he was responsible for creating and implementing UFFO’s code of Best Business Practices that has been adopted by over 130 international film festivals. He is an award winning film producer and director, a festival executive director and now dedicates his time to benefit the filmmaking and film festival communities through UFFO. Tyrone Power JR, is the Chairman of the UFFO committee USA. He is an acclaimed actor in his own right and follows in the footsteps of his famous father Tyrone Power Senior. “The promotion of ethics and standards is a noble and worthwhile goal in any walk of life. To be able to help do so in an industry I love and admire is truly a gift and an honour. I am proud to be a part of the UFFO organization which fosters and promotes the dedicated, passionate work of filmmakers and film festivals around the world.” Tyrone Power.

a film director, had a film in competition in their own festival. (Nothing illegal about that; a number of festival organizers regularly promote their own and even their friends’ films.) The screening programme was set up with their own film taking prime position in the lineup. In addition, the film was nominated in 7 of the 10 categories. Although the film was slated by many of the UK’s critics it managed to win an award in every category. Almost 400 other filmmakers submitted their films to this festival and paid $50 for the privilege. What was very apparent was that there needed to be something in place to stop this from happening. There was no code of practice or best business practices anywhere in the world that was fair to both filmmakers and film festival organizers. We wrote a very basic set of good business practices and published it on social networking sites LinkedIn and Facebook to judge the reaction. The response from both communities was phenomenal. We were inundated with e-mail from all corners of the globe, telling us horror stories, and why a code of best business practices is needed. The whole idea behind this was to improve the relationship between industry professionals, and acknowledge the importance of enhanced cooperation between filmmakers and film festivals. It led to a heated debate over many months festival directors and filmmakers. Both communities had very strong opinions about what should and should not be included.

On the one hand, the majority of festival directors run legitimate operations, provide a great service and want to play fair; on the other hand the filmmaking community had a gut full of the fraudulent activity that was taking their hard-earned dollars. The few bad apples in the barrel were blighting the entire film industry. UFFO’s code of Practices has ten guiding principles. The successful implementation of this code was largely dependent on its acceptance by the film festival and filmmaking community as a whole. The code is completely voluntary and has helped define the obligations and responsibilities towards the filmmaking community The code offers a pragmatic approach to implementation that is based on rational and transparent working methods. It promotes good business practices and assists in the development of relationships between film festival organisers and the filmmaking community. The Universal Film and Festival Organization was later formed to manage the database of UFFO film festivals. Membership to UFFO is completely free and is open to all creative individuals, filmmakers and film festivals. It is completely voluntary and easy to implement, it’s also a blueprint for filmmakers deciding which film festivals to do business with.

25

www.ufmag.org

Please support UFFO www.uffo.org


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

UFFO’s Best Business Practices for Film Festivals No 1: Film festival organizers should operate a transparent selection process and publish details of the selection process and the names of the jury/selection committee (publication can be after a festival concludes)

REAL LIFE STORIES OF STRUGGLE AND COURAGE FROM AROUND THE WORLD

No 2: Film festival organizers should provide full contact details for the festival’s offices including address and telephone numbers and the names of the festival directors and/or committee No 3: A film festival should publish its legal status as a company, charity or non-profit (this only applies to a registered entity) No 4: Film festival organizers should not share filmmakers’ financial data with any third parties No 5: Film festivals should publish a year-by-year history of festival winners and officially selected films No 6: Film festival organizers, committee and/or jury should not show or demonstrate any favouritism to any film submitted to the festival, or attempt to influence other members of the jury or selection committee No 7: Film festivals should declare the number of films sought and/or invited by the festival organizers to participate in the festival prior to and before the general call for submissions is sent out No 8: Film festivals should provide the names of the selection committee and/or jury members who viewed the screeners of films submitted to the festival (this could be after the festival has concluded) No 9: Film festival organizers should view at least 5 minutes of all submitted films No 10: All Festival organizers should declare any conflict of interest that may arise from any film submitted to or invited to participate in the festival

THIS IS OMAR, A TEENAGE REFUGEE FROM SOMALIA.

A LIFE ON HOLD

IS A NEW FILM ABOUT OMAR’S LIFE IN A REFUGEE CAMP IN TUNISIA. WATCH AT AMNESTY.ORG/REFUGEES

CHILDREN OF THE JAGUAR

AN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY IN THE AMAZON JUNGLE TAKE ON THE COMBINED MIGHT OF THE GOVERNMENT AND AN OIL COMPANY IN ORDER TO SAVE THEIR WAY OF LIFE AND THE RAINFOREST THEY LIVE IN.

WATCH AT BIT.LY/JAGUAR-TRAILER

www.ufmag.org

26

Find out more: avproduction@amnesty.org


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

COSMO

Interview with Director David Cronenberg 27

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film

OPoLIS

Issue 2 of 2012

David Cronenberg’s new movie “Cosmopolis “ in competition at Cannes 2012

After the feats that are his “Naked Lunch”, inspired by William S. Burroughs, and “Crash”, based on J.G. Ballard, here is Cronenberg’s vision of Don DeLillo’s novel, “Cosmopolis” — its “externalization” in some way. DeLillo said of this prophetic and hellish take on where the world is headed , DeLillo said that he has concentrated on a literary sphere, all the voices heralding the catastrophe that was to come and is now upon us. Cronenberg echoes this approach by creating a cinematic space that combines genres and literally bowls the audience over. You come out groggy, unsure where you are. What you can be sure of is that Cronenberg has always been a visionary. Yes, the man has always had within him “parasite murders” that gradually transform him into a mutant, irredeemably gnawing at society. Wall Street’s golden boys are the latest result of this mutation, and they will finish off the diseaseridden body of the”Cosmopoli”. — François Guerif, Director of the Rivages Noir collection.

Interview with David Croneberg Did you know Don DeLillo’s novel? No, I hadn’t read it. Paulo Branco and his son Juan Paulo came to suggest that I adapt it for the screen, Paulo told me: “My son thinks you are the one who should make the film”. I knew other books by DeLillo, and I knew Paulo and the many great films he has produced, so I thought: it’s worth taking a look. This is quite unusual for me, since I generally prefer to come out with my own projects. But because of these two, I said okay and took the book. Two days

www.ufmag.org

later, I had read it and I called Paulo to say: “All right, I’m i”. You wanted to write the screenplay yourself? Definitely. And you know what? I did it in six days. That’s unprecedented. In fact, I started typing down all the dialogues from the book on my computer, without changing or adding anything. It took me 3 days. When I was done, I wondered: “Is there enough material for a film? I think so”. I spent the next three days filling up the gaps between dialogues and just like that, I had a script. I sent it to Paulo, who first said: “You’re rushing it”. But in the end he liked the script and off we went. What convinced you that the novel could be turned into a film, and that you wanted to direct it? The amazing dialogues. DeLillo is famous for it, but the dialogues in “Cosmopolis” are especially brilliant. Some dialogues are said to be “Pinteresque”, a la Harold Pinter, but I think we should also talk about “DeLillesque” dialogues. Except Pinter is a playwright, his virtuosity as a dialogist is more obvious, but as far as novels are concerned, Don’s work clearly shows exceptional expressive power. What was your take on Don DeLillo’s world? I had read several of his books, “Libra”, «Underworld», “Running Dog”. I really like his work, even if it’s allAmerican. I am not American, I am Canadian. It is really different. Americans and Europeans think of Canadians as better behaved and slightly more sophisticated versions of Americans, but it is far more complicated than that. In Canada, we didn’t have a revolution, slavery, or a civil war, here only the police and the army carry guns, we don’t share such civilian armed violence at all, and we have a deep sense of community, and of the necessity to provide everyone with a minimum income. Americans regard us as a socialist country! It is somewhat different with DeLillo’s books, because I can grasp his vision of America, he makes it understandable and I can relate to it.

28

E

What immediately strikes one when watching “Cosmopolis” is that David Cronenberg has once again taken up the challenge of making the film of the impossible-to-adapt book, and in doing so, expands and enhances a unique body of work haunted by themes that were considered obsessive or marginal when he started out, but “recount” the world like no other directors’ movies.


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

Both the novel and the film take place in New York, but in slightly different ways. The book gives meticulous geographical details, while the film is more abstract. In the novel, Eric Packer’s limousine crosses Manhattan from East to West along 47th Street. Many places described in the book don’t exist any more, this New York has become partly imaginary. To me, even if the book is unquestionably set in New York, it is a very subjective New York, we are actually in Eric Packer’s mind. His version of the city is mostly cut off from the realities of the street, he doesn’t really understand the people p p or the city y itself. Therefore I thought it was legitimate to settle for a more abstract vision, even though it is unfoldreally New York that you can see unfold ing behind the car’s windows. A decade has passed between the writing of the novel and the making of the film. Did you think of it as a problem? I didn’t, because the novel is surprisingly prophetic. And while we were making the film, things happened that were described in the novel, Rupert Murdoch received a pie in the face, and of course there has been the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, after we finished shooting. I had to change very few things to make the story contemporary, the only difference is we used the Yuan instead of the Yen. I don’t know if DeLillo has stock accounts but he should; he has a remarkably perceptive vision of what is going on and how You read a book differently when you know that you might turn it into a film. Yes, indeed. It had never happened to me, I don’t read books thinking: Could this make a film? It is not what I usually look for, I just read a lot because I enjoy it. It would spoil the fun. But this time, I found myself making two things at once, reading both as the reader of a good novel and as a director wondering if there is enough material for a film. Of course, afterwards, once there is an adaptation, you get a fusion between the sensibility of two authors, in this case DeLillo and myself. It was the same thing with Ballard or Stephen King. It is like making a child, you need two people, and the film turns out looking a little bit like both of its “parents”, or it is like Marxist dialectics. Indeed, I couldn’t but think a little about Marx while making the film, if only because you can hear the first sentence from the spectre “Communist Manifesto” in it, “a spectr re is haunting the world”

Only n o w it’s not Europe, it’s the world you’re talking about. Sure. But here is an important topic, one that I had never really tackled before: money. The power of plan money, the way it shapes the world. for my In order to deal with it, I didn’t need crew and the to make thorough research into the actors, and a producworld ld off finance. IIts agents are everytion tool, too. You have to think of all where to be seen. They are on televithat at once, what kind of information sion, in documentaries, in the papers. will the set designer, the prop designer They do and say what DeLillo wrote, or the costume designer need? What their behavioural patterns are just like are the financial consequences of such Eric Packer’s. To me, the reference to and such option? Etc. Marx isn’t trivial. In the “Communist Manifesto”, Marx writes about modernAmong the changes you made, there ism, about the time when capitalism is that scene at the end of the book will have reached such a degree when Eric Packer finds himself on of expansion that society will a film set go too fast for the people, and Cannes when the impermanent and Yes, I soon as I read it, I thought: official the unpredictable will rule. In it’s not really happening, it is 1848! And this is exactly what selection only in Packer’s mind. I don’t you get to see in the film. I believe it. And I couldn’t see 2012 often wondered what Karl myself filming dozens of naked Marx would have thought about bodies in a street of New York. I am the film, because it shows a lot of wary of films within films. It can be inthings he had foreseen. teresting, but only when it’s called for. It is one of the main cuts I made from the What do you mean by “filling up the book, together with the bags lady, the gaps” between dialogues? homeless woman they find in the car when coming back from the rave party. I After three days, my dialogues were shot the scene, but afterwards I thought “in limbo”, I had to figure out how to the situation was unlikely, artificial, so I make them happen in the limousine. edited it out. Therefore I had to describe the limo in detail: Where does Eric sit? Where are the others? What is happening pp g in the streets? In what kind of setting does the cream pie attack occur? And so on. It is mostly practical stuff, like choosing settings and props, but it does shape the film. I have never written a screenplay for another director, so when I write, I always have the directing in my y mind. To me,, a script is also a

29

www.ufmag.org


Universal U niversal Film Issue 2 of 2012

with Peter Suschitzky,the cinematographer I have been working with since 1987, we are always trying out new things and trying to surprise each other. It’s more fun that way.

It wouldn’t have worked in the film. We would have needed a voice-over or one of these devices which often generate poor results. I preferred to save it all for the meeting between Packer and him, the final sequence, which is very long: 20 minutes. 20 minutes of dialogues! It is a choice, the kind of choices you have to make to turn a novel into a film. Then again, when a script is over, I still don’t know what kind of film I am going to make. I am often asked if the outcome is up to my expectations, but I have no expectations to begin with. It would be absurd to devise a kind of blueprint or an ideal, and to try and match it as closely as possible. Only the countless steps in the making of a film can make it what it is in the end. And it’s all for the best. This is why I don’t make storyboards: everybody just tries to recreate what was drawn. That is not my idea of cinema. I need to be surprised, by myself and by y the others. Starting g with the actors, of course. But even

www.ufmag.org

How H was the th casting ti process??

Howard Shore was one of the first persons I sent the script to. It had two characteristics. First, it featured music, like songs from Sufi rapper Brutha Fez, or Erik Satie. Also, there was a huge amount of dialogues, which is quite challenging for the score, especially when dialogues are subtle and you just We cannott putt trumpets t t all ll over them. th W needed a music that was discreet but still capable of establishing certain tones. Howard worked with Canadian band Metric, singer Emily Haines uses her voice like an instrument, in a subtle way that perfectly met our needs.

Interestingly, as was already the case for “A Dangerous Method”, the actors weren’t those I had in mind to begin with. Both times, it was part of the permanent reinvention of the film. For “Cosmopolis,” at first Colin Farrell was to play the main part, and Marion CotilYou insisted that your actors should say lard was to play Elise, Eric Packer’s wife. their lines exactly as they were written Then, Farrell had a conflicting schedule and Marion Cotillard was pregnant. Yes I did. You can make a film in a way So I changed the script, adjusting that allows the actors to improit to a younger actor, which is vise, great directors have sucmore faithful to the book, and Based on a cessfully done it, but I have a of course his wife also had to different perspective. I don’t novel be younger. It’s much better think it is the actors’ job to by Don this way. The real problem is write dialogues. Especially for DeLillo when you have made funding this film, since the dialogues, arrangement based on the name by Don DeLillo himself, were of an actor and he walks away – it’s the reason why I wanted to make not an artistic problem, it’s a money it in the first place. That being said, problem. But this wasn’t really an issue the actors still had broad leeway, tone for us. and rhythm were entirely up to them. It was particularly interesting for Robert Did you think of Robert Pattinson right Pattinson, on whose limo various charaway? acters turn up, played by very different actors. It brought him to act differently Yes. His work in “Twilight” is interestdepending on which actor was opposite ing, although of course it falls within a him. particular framework. I also watched “Little Ashes” and “Remember Me” and Did you try to shoot the film chronologiI was convinced he could become Eric cally? Packer. It is a heavy part, he appears on each and every shot, and I don’t think I As much as possible. It was the case for have ever made a film on which the almost all the scenes within the limo. same actor literally never leaves Paul Giamatti came at the end, and the the frame. The choice of an last scene we shot is the final scene in actor is a matter of inthe film. Sometimes there were practituition, there are no cal impediments, but for the most part, rules or instrucI managed to respect chronology better tions about than on my previous films. Given that it. the story unfolds in a single day, but following a complex evolution, it was especially beneficial to work that way.

30

And A d off course you also cut the chapters in which Benno Levin intervenes within the story, before the final meeting.

For this film, you’ve teamed up again with most of the people you usually work with, like Peter Suschitzky, or composer Howard Shore, who has written music for all your films, starting with “The Brood” thirty-three years ago.. years ago. Did you have any special requirements for the music this time?


,

Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

GET A Ph.D IN FILM STUDIES

WITH NO STUDYING? A Ph.D degree in Film and Media Studies from McFord University

W

With the current economic climate affecting employment around the world, it is becoming even tougher to nail down that job. Some applicants attempt to even the playing field and top up their resume qualifications with a quickie degree. While there are many Universities out there offering such degrees for a few hundred dollars, a note of caution; as the old saying goes, “Buyer Beware.” We looked around at some of the Universities offering these types of degrees and contacted two that stood out from the rest: The McFord University and Panworld University organization’s allegedly based in the United States. Both offered me a PhD in Film and Media Studies, where there is no need to study, as the degrees are based on life experience, and according to both Universities their degrees are fully recognised by the US State Department. What more could you ask for? Who would want to go to school when you can easily buy an education or the appearance of an education? After some correspondence back and forth I managed to speak to both Universities on the telephone and had some interesting conversations in broken English. Although the representative of McFord, a Pakistani gentlemen named Kevin, clearly lacked a basic understanding of the English language, he certainly made up for it with his selling skills. For almost a minute I forgot the amazing deal I was being offered was a scam.

Both Universities stated that when I paid the required amount, which is $900 to McFord and $1,700 to Panworld, for a Ph.D degree in Film and Media Studies, the degree would then go through a three-step process. First, the degree will be notarised by the US Notary Department, then it would be legally certified by US Secretary of State’s office, and then it would be authenticated by US Department of State and duly stamped by their office. After a series of follow up (“hard sell”) telephone calls from them, they gave me just 24 hours to make my mind up or the Ph.D degree would be allocated to someone else. Both of these so-called Universities are one and the same; the e-mail confirmation from both Universities are almost identical, including the spelling errors. Both claim to be based in the United States, both are offering degrees without any studying or former qualifications. Both are stating that the Ph.D degrees in Film and Media Studies are accredited by the State Department and Hillary Clinton’s office. We wrote to Hillary Clinton’s office at the State Department but have yet to receive a reply. However, according to the State Department’s website, Consular officials at any embassy or consulate abroad can provide a service similar to the functions of a notary public in the United States. It is also possible to have a document notarized by a local foreign notary and then have the document authen-

ticated by the appropriate foreign authority in a country party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization of Foreign Public Documents. We also checked the list of accredited universities held by US Department of Education and neither Panworld nor McFord Universities are listed. Further investigations revealed that Panworld University is part of an international group of more than 15 universities and over 30 websites. As with all of the other universities in this group, McFord and Panworld offer life experience degrees with absolutely no qualifications. It is believed the group is based in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates. Although Panworld University has only been around a few years, the group itself has been around for approximately twelve years. There has been a torrent of complaints from people receiving degrees from these universities under this group. The Better Business Bureau has drafted a report on the group’s original University “Belford University,” that details over 170 unresolved complaints. Buyer Beware!

31

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

Congratulations tyrone! We are pleased to announce that based on your resume and your profile score calculated using the CPAAS速 profile evaluation system, the evaluation committee at Panworld University has finally approved you for PhD Degree. You are among the 5% of candidates who qualified under the CPAAS速 profile evaluation system We congratulate you on being approved as a Panworld University Graduate and wish you all the success in your future endeavors. For any queries or concerns, please give us a call at our Toll free number:1-877-265-9656 and speak to our advissor Regards, Experience Evaluation Committee, Panworld University Toll free number: 1-877-265-9656

www.ufmag.org

McFord University ($900) Congratulations Tyrone Murphy! We are pleased to announce that based on your resume and your profile score calculated using the CPAAS速 profile evaluation system, the evaluation committee at McFord University has finally approved you for PhD Degree. You are among the 5% of candidates who qualified under the CPAAS速 profile evaluation system. We congratulate you on being approved as a McFord University Graduate and wish you all the success in your future endeavors. For any queries or concerns, please give us a call at our Toll free number:1-877-265-9643 and speak to our advissor Regards, Experience Evaluation Committee, McFord University Toll free number: 1-877-265-9643

32

PanWorld University ($1704.34)


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

CHINAWOOD?

Will the new Chinese state-backed film fund influence Hollywood? ollowing the news that a proposed $800 million Chinese state-backed film investment fund is being set up in Hollywood, we take a closer look at how this fund conflicts with the Chinese state’s own censorship policy, and whether the film industry in Hollywood may be influenced by the Chinese communist regime exercising control over the fund.

F

The state-backed fund, “The China Mainstream Media National Film Capital Hollywood Inc.,” will be led by Buting Yang, a former chairman of the state-run distributor, China Film Group Corp. The fund will co-finance and co-produce movies which have larger box office potential around the world, with the expectation that more films will reach the ever-growing Chinese market. The fund will have offices in Beijing and Beverly Hills, and has adopted a Western movie-making approach and management style, supported by financing from the Chinese state. It will be interesting to see what this style of management this will turn out to be.While no more than 20 foreign films can be distributed within China each year, the censorship in the People’s Republic of China has

not waned in the slightest. It is well known that China heavily censors its own media, including television, print media, radio, film, theatre, text messaging, instant messaging, video games, literature and the Internet.

agreement may benefit the big players, such as Time Warner Inc., Walt Disney Co. and Viacom Inc., as they will receive a greater slice of ticket receipts.

Given that China has no motion picture rating system, film content must be deemed suitable to be viewed by all Chinese audiences. Will this fund only support projects that will be subjected to the same draconian censorship laws that forbid wronged spirits, violent ghosts, monsters, demons, and other inhuman portrayals from appearing in audio-visual content in mainland China? Prior to the announcement of the Chinese state-backed fund, another deal was signed by the Chinese Vice President, Xi Jinping, during his recent US visit – one that, allegedly, will increase the number of American films shown in China. Access to China’s tightly controlled film market has long been a point of contention between the two countries, as the Chinese government last year failed to meet a WTO deadline to lift restrictions on US movies. This new

Fund managers of the future?

33

www.ufmag.org

fil


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

REAL LIFE STORIES OF STRUGGLE AND COURAGE FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Add your description right here ADDITIONAL SPACE FOR YOUR DESCRIPTIONS HERE

lmmakers to make ChiThe US Vice President, Joe Biden, announced that the agreement will support “thousands of American jobs in and around the film industry.” The agreement is applauded by the MPAA, which says it will “return a much better share of the box office revenues to US studios.” All of the enthusiastic comments and rapturous applauds from the

powers that be have encouraged us to celebrate the announcement of the communist film fund in our own backyard. But now that big money is involved, the human rights abuses and atrocities happening in China today must take a back seat – if this new deal is to be successful.

THIS IS OMAR, A TEENAGE REFUGEE FROM SOMALIA.

A LIFE ON HOLD

IS A NEW FILM ABOUT OMAR’S LIFE IN A REFUGEE CAMP IN TUNISIA. WATCH AT AMNESTY.ORG/REFUGEES

CHILDREN OF THE JAGUAR

AN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY IN THE AMAZON JUNGLE TAKE ON THE COMBINED MIGHT OF THE GOVERNMENT AND AN OIL COMPANY IN ORDER TO SAVE THEIR WAY OF LIFE AND THE RAINFOREST THEY LIVE IN.

WATCH AT BIT.LY/JAGUAR-TRAILER

Find out more: avproduction@amnesty.org

www.ufmag.org

34

Chinese Fund complaints department?


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF FILM FINANCE here is no standard way to finance a film – any deal can be made as long as all parties are commercially satisfied and the deal isn’t in breach of any laws.

T

I’m sure everyone is excited about the prospect of reading this column! Although it may be dry, coming to grips with the fundamentals of film finance is essential for all filmmakers. Finance agreements are crucial because they start the production funding flowing so that production of a movie can begin in earnest. The reason that film financing is so difficult (compared to securing capital in other industries) is because there are so many types of financier. There is rarely just a single lender involved. Entertainment lenders each have a different kind of interest in the film because they are all putting their money in for different reasons. Some of the stakeholders involved in the film financing process are: Lending bank – will be interested in their fee and receiving interest (usually as a first-ranking secured creditor); Equity investor – will want to be repaid their investment in the film, as well as their share in the profits of the film; Rights-based financier – this includes distributors and broadcasters who will contribute funds in order to keep any money they make from distributing the film in their own territory; and Governments – which give grants/rebates/tax incentives, will usually only offer such incentives if a large proportion of the film is made within their jurisdiction. This is because of the positive economic impact that this can have on the local economy. Entertainment banker’s Entertainment bankers are powerful facilitators in the film business. Usually, where a film project is financed with presales, an entertainment lender is involved in some capacity. The lender will have copies of all territory distribution contracts, and a completion bond will be obtained. The lender will use the dis-

tribution contracts as collateral. Banks charge percentages and origination fees to set up loans and charge significant interest rates (often as a result of the high risk that goes with lending to a producer). Production loans In order to make a typical movie, a producer will need to budget for the following amounts: 1. The direct cost of making the movie; 2. A completion guarantee; 3. A contingency on the direct cost; and 4. Finance costs of the direct cost. Financing costs include legal fees. It is essential that good quality legal advice be obtained in order to ensure that all financing runs smoothly. Producers should always avoid being personally liable for a production loan. As such, single purpose companies (SPVs) or limited liability entities should be a party to all finance agreements. All loans should also be of a “non-recourse’” nature.

require that the producer and director sign off on all material documents such as the budget and production schedules. Completion guarantor delivery requirements are very similar to those contained in the distribution agreement with the domestic distributor. Legislative requirements In many countries around the world, there are laws in place to protect investors. In Australia, legislation often requires the use of a prospectus when marketing a film. These documents are required to disclose all relevant matters to potential investors. As with most statutory provisions, there are exceptions to the rule. Given the high costs associated with the preparation of a prospectus (including legal fees, public and trust company management fees, printing costs, publicity expenses and brokerage fees), only a small proportion of producers aim to raise finance from the public by public offer. This article is for discussion purposes only and must not be considered legal advice.

Completion guarantees A completion guarantee will be required for nearly all films. The completion guarantor protects the financiers by ensuring that the picture will be completed on time and that the investors and lenders will be repaid. If a film runs over budget, the completion guarantor can: 1. Loan additional money to the producer to complete the film; 2. Take over the picture and complete it; or 3. Stop production and repay the lenders and investors. The initial job of a guarantor is to assess the project and decide whether the film can be made within the stipulated budget. Once the guarantor determines that the direct cost budget is sufficient, they will require a 10% contingency fee of the direct cost budget. The guarantor will also

Gene Goodsell Special Counsel B Business (Accounting) B Laws (Honours) Post Grad DipLP FTIA UFFO Committee Member

35

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film

www.ufmag.org

36

Issue 2 of 2012


Universal Film Issue 2 - 2012

S L A I V ? I T hy

W S E ors

F i b ut

by Patrica J. Pawlak

Iam always looking for that little gem of a film, the film to get behind, that film you find yourself staying up all night calling your buyers in Japan and Europe to let them know they have to see it.

Recently, I thought I found one such gem and spent hours speaking with the filmmaker, who said the film’s rights were free and clear. It turned out, however, they weren’t available, for he had signed some innocuous, one page agreement with a small, local film festival to represent the movie. In looking up the gentlemen who ran the film festival, I noticed they had no history of distribution. All they wanted was (as they expressed) to sign up the film in their little festival to get “a piece of any action.” I was nonplused. Why are filmmakers who spend a year of their lives attracting investors, making a film, editing a film, simply throwing their rights away?

r M t I L Dis

F

As

During this same time I saw a new TV show in the US called “Fashion Star” in which a clothing designer creates a fashion line to compete for bids by three top US clothing stores. The designer’s ultimate goal is to have their creations seen and licensed (distributed) by a prestigious store. In comparison to cinema, it is puzzling that so many filmmakers are jumping at the first offer made, especially when many “distributors” have no marketplace experience. Success in this industry equals revenue, and the goal is to get the strongest distributor who can promote your film in advantageous outlets and generate the best deals for your film

Most films do not get better with age, with new festivals and markets weekly supplying new premieres. All the creative energy that is put into casting, locations, shooting, etc, should also be applied in choosing a distributor for that “big reveal.” No excuses. Look at the amazing marketing campaigns that top studios put into promoting their films. Nothing is left to chance. I took my niece to see a film six months ago and a trailer was playing then for another film now opening in two weeks. That’s six months of saturating the family market with a trailer. A good distributor publicizes and makes you anticipate the film, creates the magic, gets you to wait in line to be the first to see your film. Now, perhaps, you can’t have a line around the block for your film but you can, if you take the time, create buzz and spend time interviewing distributors who want your film and want to get behind it. Just like you hire a grip, best boy and DP and interview for the best fit, why are filmmakers allowing film festival directors to try and distribute their movie if they have no expertise in the area? From my research, it’s not so much film festivals, desire to distribute, but again wanting that piece of the action (a quick percentage) because they screened your film and may get a call from a distributor looking for you. Letting a film festival without solid experience represent your film makes no sense. I was told by a producer that I could shop the film as long as the festival got their cut. Why? Charging for tickets for your film they screen is their fee, their cut. Do you get a percentage of the box office? Look at it this way, you don’t want several people shopping your film--- it lowers the value of the film. I don’t want to phone a buyer to find out someone else has called asking for a lower guarantee. Different people, from distributors to festivals shopping your film, can give different value to the rights, which can turn on you. One person says they want $10,000 for VOD while another says $5,000. A buyer might say, “Ha, you want $25,000? I offered that other person shopping it $5,000. I had a buyer come into my office and swear that he had just met the President of the company on the Croisette, who said he could have the film for $30,000. I laughed and said, “Good try,” as the asking price was $300,000. Let’s look at some facts. 1. None of the major festivals insist on getting a piece of the action. 2. Yes, some festivals have different entities that are licensing films but they are licensing your film for a direct right and paying you. 3. Film festivals generate revenues from your screenings. That’s their part in it. A film festival is a wonderful marriage for the festival and film. It’s an exhilarating collaboration. I had a successful film that screened at a festival twice in venue that at 1,500 a seat for $10.00 a seat. That is 3000 seats sold plus standing room so the festival made $30,000 off of that one movie.

37

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film Issue 2 - 2012

sion for your film that will not only recoup money but also earn on the investment. For example, say they are taking a film to Cannes.

So what do you do if a festival asks you for an agreement? Simply put, interview them like you would any cast or crew member. Be smart, open and excited. They should be equally keen and already have ideas as to how to present your film.

If a company wants to put up a billboard on the Croisette this is what happens.: First, you have to have that one sheet designed, and then you have to decide on a space at a cost from $20,000 to $150,000+. Then you have to pay to have the one sheet made to fit the specs of the billboard. Then you have to pay for that billboard to be shipped to the festival , and perhaps even a custom’s fee.

What experience do they have? What film markets have they attended? What film markets do they have an office in? What companies have they done deals with? What is their experience with contracts? One little word off in a contract can cost you thousands of dollars. Don’t let them intimidate you. If it means they won’t show your film, you are probably better off without them Term - If a festival or a distributor insists that they want your rights for a year, run for the hills as it means one thing. Simply, they plan to exploit your movie for the fast buck and not put any effort into promoting your film. They are not in it for the long term and they do not care about your film. They want to grab easy deals and exploit your film to its own detriment. They want to open the bottle of wine for the quick rush and leave it. A real distributor who wants your film will create a PR plan and have a long-term vi-

www.ufmag.org

Then you have to pay for a company to put it up in that space. Once, I paid $40,000 for a space in Cannes for a film’s poster,r it was a large space in the Carlton Hotel and paid a company to put the billboard up, only to see the poster dissolve in front of my eyes. (Yes, crumble and sort of dissolve!) The company, who put up the billboard, put the very large poster design on foam core once in Cannes and used glue that disintegrated the foam. They were very experienced but they hired someone who didn’t know what they were doing. As we watched the large display poster go up with great anticipation before the festival started we simultaneously watched it shrivel up into a somewhat expressionistic design. I told all my buyers about it and I actually generated more publicity this way. (Always be posi-

tive and make every situation work!) Remember, a good distributor appreciates a good filmmaker and they want to make sure they recoup for that filmmaker and investor to maintain the relationship and get their next project. “Let’s just try it for a while” means that the distributor is putting no investment in you or your film. Nowadays, most companies don’t have that kind of money to spend, but if a company doesn’t want to put some effort into your film and isn’t in it for the long term, do you really want them representing you? Sit down with whomever wants to distribute your film and see what their distribution plans are. There is also a disturbing trend where some film festival submission sites have hidden language that secures certain rights to your films once you submit. Read everything and don’t be afraid to simply not use them. Be smart; learn some facts about the business end so that you can make better decision for your film and your career. www.filmfestivalbootcamp.com

38

That’s their piece of the action. Note: Many top companies won’t allow their films to be screened in venues with a large seating capacity.


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

RFK moments before the shooting

New MOVIE ON RFK ou all know the scene, it’s been in the public domain for almost 44 years: “My thanks to all of you, now it’s on to Chicago, and let’s win there.” A minute later, Senator Robert F. Kennedy lay in a pool of his blood on the floor of the Ambassador Hotel’s kitchen pantry in Los Angeles, and America completed the sea change that began with his brother’s assassination four and a half years earlier.

Y

You all know — or you think you know — who killed him. It’s in textbooks, encyclopedias – hell, it’s even on Wikipedia: Sirhan killed Bobby Kennedy. The pantry was packed with witnesses and witnesses can’t all be wrong, can they? What was lost in the white noise of the aftermath of the killing were the

results of the autopsy. Dr. Thomas Noguchi, the Chief Medical Examiner for the County of Los Angeles released his findings a scant six days after the shooting. He reported that all three bullets that hit Kennedy had been fired from back to front, right to left and low to high, and at a distance of between one to three inches! Huh? Sirhan never got closer to Kennedy than six feet away, and was always in front of him. The Senator never turned his back on Sirhan. Am I hearing this correctly? Did Noguchi clear Sirhan of the murder less than a week after the shooting and he wasn’t believed? In a film under development from Jongleur Music Pictures by Gary Revel and screenwriter Frank

After the shooting with busboy Juan Rom

Burmaster, this is only the thin end of the wedge that will be shoved under the monolith of lies that has been fed to the American people since that day in 1968. The film will show how the Los Angeles Police Department was active and complicit in not only destroying and avoiding evidence, but also in bullying witnesses. It will also show how the killing of RFK was linked to his brother’s assassination as well as that of Dr. Martin Luther King only two months earlier, and how, in the JFK killing, the government agencies wanted the public to not believe the eyewitnesses, and instead believe the autopsy; but for RFK, they expected the public to believe the eyewitnesses and not the autopsy. Initially, Revel investigated the King killing, in association with the 1977-79 House Select Committee on Assassina

39

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film

Issue 2 of 2012

Leveson Inquiry The view of UK journalists Center for International Media Ethics: www.cimethics.org The Leveson Inquiry’ is an extensive investigation into the regulation of the UK press. It will examine the system that has allowed criminal activity such as phone hacking, invasive paparazzi, police bribery and the cultural hunger for voyeurism to thrive in celebrity lives. These practices have highlighted the need for a recommendation for improved press regulation. Though the form of this recommendation is yet to be decided, possibilities include the imposition of fines upon offending members of the press and the introduction of a compulsory government statute through which to regulate press activity. At CIME, we firmly believe that more discussion needs to take place about how to balance professional ideals with the round-the-clock news cycle. We also believe that UK journalists should be involved first-hand in designing recommendations for the future of media regulation in their country. The testimonies of journalists will be vital towards the restoration of the profession’s credibility. Our survey aims to anonymously gather as many opinions as possible regarding the ethics of the trade. If you are a journalist, especially in the UK, we would appreciate it if you would take the survey. Click here to take the survey The Leveson Inquiry is currently preparing to begin the penultimate module. In the last module, the recommendations for the future of press regulation will be finalized. We would appreciate your replies as soon as possible and ask that you pass on the survey to anyone it may concern.

mero

tions. During that time, he came to the conclusion that none of RFK’s three “alleged” killers – Lee Oswald, James Earl Ray and Sirhan Sirhan – was the “actual” killer, and that all of the assassinations were linked. Co-writer Burmaster has completed 28 screenplays, and will take the lead in the research and writing for the RFK project, with the working title “The Red Polka Dot Dress,” referring to the woman who was seen with Sirhan prior to the arrival of RFK, and who was seen whispering to Sirhan just before he began to shoot.

www.ufmag.org

40

Working closely with Revel and Burmaster as “Research Technical Consultant” is Leutrell Osborne, a 26-year CIA veteran and case officer, who handled as many as a dozen agents and operatives. by Al Navis


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

DAVID VS GOLIATH

IN BROOKLYN by Jared Feldschreiber ur city grows so fast that there is some danger of the events and incidents of more than ten years gone being totally forgotten. So wrote Walt Whitman in the early 1860s, describing the development of Brooklyn and the dangers of land developers taking over. But could the poet and long-time Brooklyn resident have foreseen the battles waged between land developers and neighborhood residents nearly 150 years later?

O

Michael Galinsky’s film, “Battle for Brooklyn,“ chronicles the arduous struggle of one Brooklyn resident in his attempts, as an organizer, to thwart a huge land development project in Brooklyn. Next year the New Jersey Nets will become the Brooklyn Nets. Anguish and mixed emotions still persist on both sides of this struggle, highlighting the complex flavor of Brooklyn’s sprawling and diverse neighborhoods. “Battle for Brooklyn” takes a critical portrait of the proposed land-development plans by Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards Project. Real estate developer Ratner is the current minority owner of the New Jersey Nets, and Chairman and CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies; he has been at the forefront of this project since it was proposed in 2003. Atlantic Yards Project is a commercial and residential development project of sixteen high-rise buildings under construction in Propect Heights in Brooklyn. The centerpiece is the Barclays Center, which will serve as the new home for the Nets, and will be a new hub for entertainment. Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz, believes this projectis a “win-win” for Brooklyn as it “marks the

return of major league sports in Brooklyn since the Dodgers had Ebbetts Field”. Makowitz further states, “The truth is, no other single decision could have had as significant an impact on economic development in this area. The Nets will be the first professional sports team in Brooklyn since our beloved Dodgers left in 1957.” The Barclays Center will be centralized near Atlantic Avenue’s train station, which is part of the proposed 4.9 billion dollar sports arena. “The residential towers will provide badly needed affordable housing in downtown Brooklyn,” Markowitz said. “There will be retail space and office buildings to help cement the area’s status as an economic engine for New York City.” “Battle for Brooklyn” depicts land-developers as sinister in nature, completely indifferent to the concerns of residents living there. The film is about local Brooklyn resident and activist Daniel Goldstein confronting the “land-grab” by developers, particularly Ratner, who he feels exploited this situation at the expense of local residents. Goldstein becomes the leader of Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn in an effort, as he said, to “advocate for real alternatives to Atlantic Yards, and to stop that project with implementing a community-based plan over the rail yards that did not overwhelm the communities and the infrastructure, and did not ripoff taxpayers. The organization also formed to stop the project’s abuse of eminent domain [forced condemnation and seizure of property by the state] and construction of an arena in a highly inappropriate location.”

Goldstein argues that the arena plan is fundamentally flawed, believing “the tragedy is to drop an arena with roughly two hundred thirty five events per year, that attracts a transient population by its very nature, into the middle of five of the greatest residential neighborhoods in the US. No doubt it would be tragic in the midst of any residential neighborhoods,” he said. In May 2010, the NBA approved the sale of the Nets by Ratner to Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov. The Russian mogul now controls a 45 percent interest in the arena. In the film, Goldstein laments the absurdity of allowing an outside influence, like a Russian oligarch controlling a sports team without any real connection, or concern to the community. Filmmaker Michael Galinsky met with Goldstein during the nascent days of his activism against Atlantic Yards. “We read the story about the project in the New York Times and thought it sound like a press release,” Galinsky recalled. “A few days later we saw a sign that said ‘stop the project.’ We called the number on the flyer and connected with [Prospect Heights Community Activist] Patti Hagan who started to talk our ears off. At some point she said to us that we should meet Daniel because ‘he’s a fighter.’ She was right, and it turned out we knew Daniel already. We haven’t been in touch for few years, but we were friends. As such, we already had a certain level of trust that allowed us to get very involved with his process,” Galinsky described.

41

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

H The Brooklyn Bridge

“Battle for Brooklyn” “grabs the narrative back from the developer and away from ‘the media’ and tells the story that neither the developer nor the media ever wanted to tell,” Goldstein said. “This makes “Battle for Brooklyn” a very dangerous film for the power elite who run this city and so many others.” Not surprisingly, Brooklyn Borough President Markowitz has a different point of view: “The documentary is pure propaganda and produced by filmmakers who have an agenda and are obviously opposed to the project,” he said. Goldstein, who now lives a few blocks away from his former residence in Brooklyn, has not given up on his cause. If “Battle for Brooklyn” can be likened to a biblical morality tale, you might say it’s a case of David versus Goliath — even if, in this case, Goliath has won.

www.ufmag.org

42

Photo: Tracy Collins


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

Film Festival Boot Camp 2

by Patricia J. Pawla

Your Campaign. Your Plan. ast month we talked about getting into a festival, with a few pointers to keep in mind once you get in. To reiterate: Make friends with everyone that you speak to at the festival during this process. Get them some small gift for when you meet them. Send the requested PR materials for your film to the festival ASAP – you want to make their life as easy as possible. Remember, any materials that they request are for the promotion of your film. You want to get that press kit in order. Make sure all cast and crew names are spelled correctly, as the press will refer to it when they screen your film. Add anything intriguing that may pull in a journalist who picks up your press kit. Reviews are excellent – make sure to include a photo in case you get reviewed. An EPK (electronic press kit) is terrific if you have one. Now, you have asked yourself those important questions: Why am I attending? What’s my goal for attending? With those answers you can start to prepare your PR campaign. These questions are important now that you have realized there are a hundred other films in the festival, and you need to stand out. Your approach may be different if you are seeking distribution, looking for an agent or looking for funding your next film. How do you get your film noticed if you can’t hire a PR expert? All you have to do is work, be creative and work some more.

your own press releases about your film to newspapers and websites. You’ll want to create several press releases. Send one out immediately about your film being accepted, and then create press releases to give out during the festival. Did your lead actress just land a significant part? Think about how much press the dog got in “The Artist.” Find an angle to push, or brand your film somehow. Once you have that, your plan will start to fall into place. Have your local paper do a story about your getting into the festival. Maybe you can get onto a radio station and talk about the festival; give away some tickets or t-shirts via the station if the festival is coming up soon. Be innovative and have fun.

Create that plan Has the festival invited any cast members aside from the director? Get as many people as you can to that festival. Pull them into the mix; have a creative brainstorming meeting to start conceiving your plan and then be ready for anything – sort of like practicing for a sport so you’ll be ready for the big game. Make a list of ways you can promote your film to fill those seats in at your screening.

Inviting distributors If you are looking for a distributor, get a list from the IFTA (Independent Film and Television Alliance) and make phone calls; ask for the head of sales, who may refer you to the acquisition department (if there is one for a smaller company). Be gracious to whomever you speak and ask for their help. When I first came to town, I worked for the impressive agent, Swifty Lazar. His literary clients then included Frank Sinatra, Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger. I learned many things from him. One thing I learned that made an impression that has stayed with me throughout my career, is that he was always very gracious on the phone, especially to whoever answered a call. In other words, don’t call up a distributor and demand that you want to talk to the President. The person answering the phone could be the President’s daughter interning. These folks may be the ones who can get your film screened.

L

Press office Most film festivals have a press office or a list of press, TV and radio outlets. It may be too soon, but contact the press office and see if you can get a list of outlets to any press, TV and radio stations. They may have press coming in from the entire world that you can start inviting to your screenings. Find out when the festival plans on releasing their lineup to the press. After that point, capitalize on the festival’s releases, and send

Invitations You’ll want to design an invitation to your film’s screening. If your budget is small, postcard-sized invites for mailing are great, with the one sheet on one side and screening times on the other. If you can afford something bigger and more inventive, go for it. Mail out invites, fax invites, email invites, and use those social networking sites. I like hard copy invites for a couple of reasons: It can sit on the executive’s desk as a reminder, and they can bring it with them. In addition, you might want something more dramatic to hand out for the actual festival, something more eye catching. More like a giveaway ... that follows.

If there is just an answering machine, leave a message and follow up with an email. The bigger companies may have their acquisitions/sales staff at the festival. If not, they will ask for a screener. Besides emails and phone calls, send an invite to the acquisitions/sales staff (and to the person that you spoke to) including a press kit, so that a hard copy invite is sitting on their desk. Let your imagination run with it. Use the same plan to invite agents and financing individuals. Maybe they won’t attend, but you have created awareness about your film, and that it’s good enough to get into a festival. Let them know with a personal note why you are contacting them. Giveaways, Swag, Tchotchke What can you give out at your festival to get your film noticed? What is the regional climate at the festival? (I wouldn’t necessarily give out umbrellas in Palm Springs, but they may be great in Seattle.) Is there some offbeat article of clothing that you can afford to hand out? You may want the item to be something relevant to your film, or perhaps not relevant at all – that’s where the creative team thinking can come in. T-shirts are not bad; people love tshirts, but you may have to go well beyond those to get noticed. If you have a team, you might think of something they all can wear to stand out (and give out). Make it so that everyone wants to get in on it, and start wearing the same thing. Embrace the festival atmosphere. Make it work for you. This is not a time to be glib or terribly sophisticated. If Jerry Seinfeld can walk around Cannes in a bee suit, you can come up with something to wear that’s evocative of your film. I had a 3D children’s film about magic at a festival and I found these magic wands like sparklers that glowed in the dark – fun to give out. We put together 1000 of them for the festival, with batteries, and with screening times printed on the handles. When I arrived at the airport, the airline made me take out the batteries from all 1000 wands, even though they were already packed. I still remember there were four batteries in each wand. When I got to the festival, I put the batteries back in myself – so be prepared for anything. The adults, as well as the kids, loved them at the screening. Remember: Think out of the box and don’t be shy. More next month.

43

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film

www.ufmag.org

44

Issue 2 of 2012


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

Delivering Festival Publicity by Gail Spencer

T

his article is the back end of a twopart series designed for both festival owners and filmmakers to maximise their publicity at festivals on a minimum budget. This is in addition to the professional PR which may or may not be used, and is offered as guidance for all those involved.

As mentioned in the first article, the controversy relating to the application of submission fees toward the publicity of major releases is a bone of contention amongst filmmakers. Although this online publication cannot stop this from happening, the contents of articles like this one will help both filmmaker and festival owner feel more empowered. The Festival Owner and Film Submissions The festival owner now receives hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of films to screen within a limited time span. As soon as one festival closes, film submissions for the next year start landing. The numbers are mind boggling, but say your film is chosen out of the pile, what’s next? Some of the more established indie fests give their chosen films more than one screening (in some instances more than three), depending upon the screening space allocated. Other festivals are sprawling in scope, and screen their films across a range of venues, sometimes consuming all of the exhibition space a town has to offer. It is more than likely the individual filmmaker will have no choice as to where his or her film will be screened or where it is placed in the screening time-table. If the venue is part of a national chain of exhibition houses , the festival will take place alongside the screenings of the major releases of the day and have to share both seat space and advertising visibility. Most festival owners will produce flyers or brochures itemising all of their festival films, providing adequate descriptions of each films shown. If the film is a short there will be a short description; if a feature, a paragraph. A filmmaker will not know what pre-festival furore has been created or the extent to which their film has found its way into the press of the host city or town. Teaser reviews for festivals are rare unless the festival itself is established or has

managed to garner a good relationship with the mainstream press over a period of time. The input and machinations of a professional PR body will undoubtedly help, as they will have built up a steady stream of connections to use. This is, however outside of the control of most filmmaker’s gambit of expertise. Therefore, this article will look into what there is at a filmmakers disposal to put them in the driving seat when it comes to highlighting the presence of their film. The Creation Stage It used to be the case that filmmakers could write and direct films on any subject matter they found the most interesting, garner a reputation, and then find fame through years of steady output and hard work. The landscape has changed, with festivals now being the main media platform for filmmakers to showcase their work, so it matters enormously how much attention their output receives. Think about this at your film’s creation stage, no matter how absurd and abnormal it seems, and develop a sense of commercial awareness. This is especially true if you are making a genre film, for these are the best to market. Look at Box Office Mojo for the cinema receipts of similar films, or at the review sections of IMDb or Amazon to see how well received they were by the public or press. Fill your filmmaker arsenal with what the men in suits take for granted. The SWOT analysis In business, SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Take a sheet of A4 paper ( 8.5” x 11” for you across the pond), and with a pen, divide it into four parts, then label them: Strengths should include what the film has going for it; the plot, narrative, acting, dialogue, location and most importantly, fresh, original insight and story. Weaknesses are what could and should have been better about the film. These will be picked up on by the bloggers, make no bones about it. The bloggers are filmmakers in the making and are harsh critics, some with talent themselves (some with none whatsoever), and will leap all over the film if it does not fulfil some, if not all, of their required aesthetic and narrative criteria. Try to sort these out before going on the festival circuit. Do some editing and post

production work to fine tune what you think is wrong with it. Opportunities and Threats are areas for your competition to expose or highlight. Filmmakers mostly are not aware that there is competition, but this is a fallacy. Your competition is every other bright young filmmaker with talent that will have taken a similar idea and done more with it than you have. In fact, his or her film could have already landed on the desk or doorstep of a festival owner and been chosen before yours. In addition, other opportunities and threats will criticise and hurt your rep. Never take for granted that all of this does not exist, and never be so much in love with either yourself or your product to think all this does not matter. In the modern world it is imperative for you to think about them. Enjoy doing what you do and bring to the world what it is you have to say. Achieve this balance and you are well on your way to having a product that is sellable as well as a festival favourite. Your Own Marketing You are a business person, behave like one. Even before your film is completed have your all business cards, letterheads and flyers ready for the inevitable networking with delegates. Put flyers together just for the film to show what it is with the screening times and contact on it plus a web address for the film if you have one. Put together a Public Relations Plan which will track the marketing visibility from creation and pre-production to festival release, exhibition release and distribution deal. This should follow a time line and have a list of certain actions taking place at a certain time, with hopefully the right results. Your PR Plan should have the title of the film at the top of a document that you produce to keep track of what actions you do and when. Include in it all actions from Twittering whilst working, to the production of associated marketing, to the actions leading up to the film festivals themselves (taking for granted that there will be more than one).

45

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

Learning & Making the Marketing It is now imperative for a filmmaker to have all the attendant skills of marketing and public relations at their disposal. While most practical filmmaking courses now offer Project Management as part of their professional gambit, some festivals also provide a number of resources to the delegate in terms of maximising areas such as social media and networking. Whilst learning the skills of being a practical filmmaker, try to also harness needed skills in practical marketing and networking. Whilst making your film use Facebook or Twitter to spread the word in a day-to-day gossipy sense as to what is going on during the process. Build a meaningful “follow list” and include your blog, profile and web address in your tweets.. For advice look no further than LinkedIn. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn is a more serious ‘resume-based’ means of social networking with people posting and answering serious industry-related questions. There are over 3,400 filmbased LinkedIn groups, some especially for filmmakers. Group members vary and may belong to other industry areas such as finance, marketing, public relations and writing. Join more than one, it will serve you in good stead. These you can reach by posting to the discussion groups what it is that you are promoting. There is a lot of blatant smoke-filled self-promotion on this tool but a lot of it does bear fruit. This writer loves LinkedIn and has gained a great deal from it, including the means of connecting with the author of this magazine. As a B2B tool it cannot be beaten. Here you will find plenty of marketing folk that work in the industry all over the world, some for major studios, some as freelancers, some for boutique companies. The more you connect with, the

www.ufmag.org

more email addresses you will have at your disposal when it comes to your festival screenings, e-marketing campaign. Make them all aware as much as you can, when, how and why. By the same token, learn to be discerning in what you respond to or get involved in. Instinctively you will learn over time what is and isn’t a waste of your while. Choosing the Right Festival There are now thousands of film festivals around the world and your decision of which one to choose to showcase your film should factor in the following: 1) Is it a genre film? (Sci-Fi, Horror, Action, Family, Adventure, Western, etc.) 2) Is it geographically biased towards a specific area? 3) Is it a documentary? 4) Is it specifically aimed at an underground audience? 5) Is it an experimental film? 6) Is it aimed at a Gay, Lesbian, Transgender or Bisexual audience? 7) Is it low or no budget? 8) Does it have a green or eco emphasis? 9) Is it specifically aimed at a particular technical market? (Digital, Super 8, Animation) There are festivals that specialise in all of the above categories as a single entity, and there are those that cover all of the above in a wider general sense. It is up to you to choose, or you could aim for an even mix. Just remember, the bigger the rep of the fest, the bigger the chance of rejection. What your film is will largely determine this choice for you, especially if the film is unusual or different. Harmony Korine’s 2009 film Trash Humpers was one of the more unusual festival outings of recent years, and was festival favourite in a number of countries. If you have a strong genre outing, such as a Sci-Fi, try opting for festivals where it won’t get lost in with the others. From a reviewing point of view it is hard work to watch back-to-back films of the same genre and go to your desk with the job of distinguishing them. By the same token, by submitting to a genre fest, you have

more of a guarantee that you will reach your natural audience. It is worth noting that although Science Fiction and Horror fans are the most loyal in the world, they tend to be the poorest. Some festivals like Shreikfest (US) and Terracotta (UK) are run with their volunteers and talent interacting like family. Others like Comic Con and Haunt Con (both US ) act as festival industry trade shows. And still others like Sheffield Docfest (UK) have a ton of events such as talks and lecture attached. Note: You do not have to attend every festival that you submit your film to; you can join a touring fest, which is another option. There are more choices than ever for the filmmaker now, and this does not appear to be abating. Use this kaleidoscopic landscape to your advantage. Whichever festival you choose, strike up a relationship with the festival owner as soon as he or she agrees to show your film. You and the Festival Owner In most festivals you will not have much time to ask questions about publicity and PR with the festival owner. The staff also will have, in general, a limited budget and scope when it comes to this. There is very little chance that organisers, interns or volunteers will be able to focus any attention on any particular film outside of the literature and an announcement of your screening at the fest itself. They will all be too busy looking after the running of the show, the talent getting there and being adequately taken care of, and dealing with the press. Take for granted that there will be limited extraneous work done outside of what is listed here to help push your film along. In order to reap maximum results, there is a fair amount you can do yourself. Look to the previous article written for the festival owner as regards local and territorial publicity. There is no harm in asking the festival owner how much they have done already. Chances are that there will be a skewed face in response to a lot of questions (see previous article), as PR is not only the remit of most festival owners but also PR companies, are expensive and budgets are tight. To recap, look at the all ways and means of capturing the local territory from your own singular perspective within the confines of the festival. This should all be done before you go.

46

Set up accounts with Twitter and LinkedIn. Converse with others in the industry and make as many connections as is possible. This was done with the “Paranormal Activity” films to a successful effect, by making a marketing campaign out of social networking before the release of a film. One of the more important changes in recent years in the film industry is the relationship between filmmaker and viewer or fan. This used to be non-existent but not anymore. The commercially aware director knows exactly who his or her fan base, is but all too often lacks the skills or wherewithal to know how to reach them.


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

Delivering Festival Publicity Continued ... Before You Go It is unlikely that you will showcase your film in only one festival or that you will necessarily choose the home town you live in as where to release it to the world. Expect to do some digging remotely as to what is available on someone else’s doorstep. Years ago this would not have been possible. Now, because of the Internet, all things global are local. Before attempting this alone, do what the festival owner has done and get a team together. This can be friends, relatives, lovers, anyone who would like to help. If you have your own production company, advertise locally for interns, or as with the advice given to the festival owners, cream what is out there at local universities or colleges teaching PR and Marketing. International Marketing is a growing field but with few graduates. Multi-national corporations can apply their own brand applications locally via a network of offices and staff displaced around the world. Media campaigns for major releases will have budgets for each country. Behave like them-in mindset at least, and allocate some money and effort in advertising your film in the host city or town. Talk to the festival owner about how he or she feels about having some input into the marketing of your film at the festival itself. Some films allocate permanent space for their associated merchandising on a table at the fest and can and should behave as though the film has had a release, even if it has not. In most instances, distribution deals are inspired by a confidence in the film that is whooped up at festival level. These are all tactics that should go into your PR plan. Read all of this and make sure that you draw one up, complete with the actions, details and time frames. First, garner your resources and build your team. Put ads out on Mandy, Indeed, Rapido, Craig’s List and Gumtree, as well as the media recruitment-based web portals in the host city or nation. You need bodies, both where you live and in the host city. There are plenty of arenas for ready-made volunteerism. All students, whether they are film students or not, love being near talent. Organise some days to fact finding about the press in the host city. See if they (the press) would be willing to do an interview with the director or screenwriter about the film. Every locality in the world has free newspapers, find them and see if this can be arranged.

This kind of film news is heaven-sent to a local who is used to boring “cat-up-atree” stories, and you have a volunteer from the host locality to help-all the better. Go onto the local websites for the host city and make sure your film is in the dailies and not lost in the weeklies, which is how festivals are usually advertised. Film listings run on a day-by-day basis in the weekly listings. This is putting your film outside of the context of the festival literature. Get a volunteer to make sure that yours is in there, paying close attention to lead time. Keep a journal and put it all in short blasts on Twitter. You do not need the biggest and best budget in the world to maximise your visibility. One director in Britain hired his entire cast and crew via Facebook for his film, his USP being nearly all derived from “found-art” and free help. Another, Mark Price, reputedly spent just over £40.00 to make his 2008 zombie feature “Colin” by deploying all his clever time and energy into social marketing, not money. There has been a democratisation of critiquing of late, with a big influential shift of who can make or break a film from the individual critics to the general public and bloggers. While this has meant a decline in both quality and standard of grammar, the result is that many and not a few make the difference. Be pro active, write your own teaser reviews and look for websites that are eager to show them. This isn’t easy but a keen researcher on your team will be able to do this. The results will mean that you have an arsenal of publicity at hand. Look at the posters of the major releases in a modern advertising context; there iare likely to be at least eight different comments and star ratings scattered about the picture’s centre, from mainstream to obscure journal. This has come from PR companies gathering a sense of awareness of the importance of as many opinions as possible being put into the reviews bucket. How time consuming and potentially awful this is for the reviewer is not your concern. Start working on a list of fringe exhibitors and micro cinema owners in major cities. This is useful to get under your belt at this stage, as it will come in handy later after festival release and pre-distribution. Have one of your volunteers do this and keep abreast of any changes when it comes to who is buying what

and where in exhibition land. Look at the different ways films are being screened. An extremely enterprising group of architects in London converted disused petrol stations into film venues and their tickets sold overnight. Look at the bright young things screening in art houses, lecture theatres, and film group gatherings. All of this is going on right under your nose, so find it and be part of it. Make sure that the groups and folks who need to know about you do so. Be as aware of fringe literature in your own town and in the host cities where you are screening, and send them regular updates as to your activity. Over time, all of the above tactics will increase your status and visibility to no end. The acquisition of this knowledge is of vital importance to the filmmaker at the beginning of his or her career. At the Festival You have arrived, hopefully complete with your own diplomatic bag of tricks to win and woo at the festival or festivals of choice. You will no doubt have either just yourself or a skeleton crew. You have had the choice either to arrive the day or so before your screening or to take in the rest of the festival to get a good idea of what is going down across the board. It is better if you opt to arrive early. You will get to know the volunteers, and mix with the other talent and compare notes. Go for a walk, look around and take it in. Have a good look at where you are and where you can stand with your team, and do the run-up-to-the-screening flyer distribution. This you should organise with the festival owner; he or she may even have some spare bodies to help you with this. Firstly, though, make sure you have enough time to rest. There may be a little jet lag lingering around and it will be important for you to have your equilibrium for your screenings. Be opportunistic and leave flyers in your hotel. Be ruthless in your approach to your target market. Ask some of the volunteers where best to leave some of your own literature in terms of bars, cafes and bookshops in the vicinity. See if you can highjack a body for the day. How much you are allowed to get away with will depend entirely on whether you are a “festival favourite.” Festival owners have a lot of savvy when it comes to what they place and where in their screening agenda. Usually the feature that is the best at packing

47

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

Morning and afternoon screenings are a bit more problematic. This writer once saw a very worthy prison-chick flick back in 2008 with only myself as the audience. Lucky for the director, his output fell within the specialism of the writer watching, it has lived long in the memory and the one audience member was the right person to have in there. Combat against this freak occurrence as much as you can by making sure you get enough flyers to students and film club owners or organisers; these are the groups you want to attend your festival screening if it’s in an awkward time slot. You will find these by Googling some well-chosen search terms. Then with the green light from the festival owner, do some rampant emailing. This is all in the run up, though. The morning of your screening, get to the venue early and leave as much marketing material as the space will allow. If you can, check with the venue manager as to what you can leave where without disrupting their marketing collateral. Ask the festival owner if you can put flyers advertising your film inside the brochures that will be put about by the festival volunteers during the day of the screenings. Before and after the screening there will be press there. Collect their business cards and give yours away to all you come across. Do this especially with the writers that are unable to see your film. Festival reviewers are extremely busy, often watching four or five feature-length films a day, and then going home to write them up. More often than not it will serve you better if you have a supply of screeners you can hand out to reviewers so they can watch your film in the relaxed confines of the post-festival aftermath and give it some singular attention. With this in mind, don’t be disappointed if the reps from the best web-

www.ufmag.org

sites in the world are there and can not make it to your screening. Make friends with them. This happened with this writer and the director concerned is now a firm friend three years later. This leads up to the next point, which is about the nature and value of proper, purposeful networking. Media shindigs can often be tiresomely vacuous, with a lot of air kissing, flesh pressing and BS. We all know this and consider it part of the world in which we live. However, the BS factor can be kept to a minimum by being ruthless in your contact-making prowess and delivery. If you can, get a press list from the festival owner, their PR Company or one of the interns or volunteers, and try to find out where they (the press) are staying. Don’t stalk them! Just let them know who you are and what your film is. It may very well be that the festival owner has already organised the interviewing of talent by the major press and blogs. If you are not approached by the web or magazine periodical of your choice, ask. It could be that you have been overlooked by accident. Look to the pitfalls of festival appearances. There are a lot of lonely creeps and freaks that hang out at film festivals the world over. Diminish the “loser quotient” by being ruthless in deciding who you want to talk to. Ask the festival owner who the lunatics are so as to avoid them, unfortunately, they exist in droves and given half a chance will latch onto some talent and ask question after question, visibly draining their victim. This writer has seen a fair amount of losers hold the attention of a well-meaning festival owner or talent for as long as 20 minutes. If you want to remain intact for the duration of the marketing, steer well clear. A fair amount of them smell like a warning proposition. Blog the festival press: Festival Focus, World of Festivals, Fest21, Films and Festivals, Filmmaker Magazine, and leave them with some information as to what you are up to. They need news items for their email alerts, so give it to them. And do this especially if your have had an award allocated to your film. Before this, though, will be the Q&A. The Q&A is often frighteningly short, giving time for only a fistful of freeform questions from your audience. These are not organised press conferences with questions vetted. Do not spend

any time on stupid questions that come from a self-indulgent source. What happens all the time is that only a smattering of hands rise up after the panel has settled down, or the chair has added to the commentary. After the second or third question has been asked, questions will increase as the audience becomes more confident to ask. How well and smoothly this goes depends on the expertise and care of the chair. Some are great at weeding and time-keeping, some are not. Some of these affairs go disastrously, regardless of effort, especially if there are foreign language problems to overcome. This writer has never yet seen a successful interpretation job in five years of film reviewing. Be ruthless, regardless of what cards you are dealt during this time. If some of the audience ask dumb questions, say so and move on quickly. If there are some gems of insight, try to find out who they are and where they come from. In a lot of cases there will be as much expertise in the audience as there is in the panel and chair combined. There are a lot of think tanks that operate within the confines of the intellectual life of London that have a list of attendees. Film festivals should really start adopting these tactics for the films that matter. As it is, there is always the prospect of a bit of post-screening social flirtation where you can find those individuals who seemed to understand your work the best. Find out who and why if you can. This has happened to this writer after political debates; the speaker has wanted to know who I was and from whence I came. It is very flattering and helps strike a rapport with people who are like minded and are likely to do you some good. A keen festival owner will put such folk together. If he or she doesn’t, work it. After the Party’s over During the post festival furore, you are likely to get a lot of unsolicited attention from bodies claiming to have a doorway into the best distribution deals and publicity. Do not be tempted to listen, regardless of how much you want to believe it. This is but one of the problems of coming back to earth. One of the major drags to endure is emotional; it all feels so flat, at least until the next batch of madness. Keep a press book of what has been the response to the film. Google it, see which film reviewers were there, and have a look at what was said and by

48

them in will be the festival opener. The same will be true of the films closing the proceedings, as there will inevitably be a party afterwards, possibly even an awards ceremony. There may be a chance that your movie has been chosen for one of the awards, in which case there will be a bit more push behind your baby than for the also-rans. It will be wise to make your actions in tune with the movie screening time. If it is the case that you are lucky enough to have a prime evening slot, chances are you will have a full house, or damn near it.


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

Delivering Festival Publicity Continued ... whom. If the writer has given your film a “thumbs down” but they seem like an illversed lunatic, ignore it. If you can track down a favourable reviewer, see if they have anything else to say. Quotations from this writer have ended up on the back of DVDs, nice work for both parties. If you can garner some great, prolific bloggers that like your work you can call it an achievement. Distribution Distribution companies invariably find you if they are interested, or don’t need much work to be convinced if the response to the film has been favourable or controversial. Choosing the right label is not difficult. The same psychological processes are afoot in choosing the festival. Once you have this bagged, go through the same processes in putting the screeners about as you did during the festival. There are behavioural differences in releasing in different countries; it is best to cut an international distribution deal if at all possible, and work hard at creating special features for the DVD between theatrical and DVD release. Some distribution deals will be stringent against further theatrical release and VOD, some not. Do your homework before committing to a contract. Distribution release publicity is just the same as theatrical release publicity. Try to get a feature in one of the periodicals that featured your film or the festival during the fest itself. There may well be a PR company deployed by the label, in which case you can count yourself lucky. They will do a lot of the work getting it out to the right people, but don’t take this for granted. Priority is given to the titles which will get the best ROI (return on investment). We are neatly back at square one, the controversy which is besetting the major festivals with filmmaker chagrin: major releases taking the brunt of submission fees for their publicity. This is inescapable; however, once your film is a consumable, chances are that without the major publicity behind it there should be some price stabilisation-which is not the case with major features no matter how well received they are. Even wellloved classics follow the inevitable decline in market value with time and shelf life. Be grateful that yours won’t. Local/National/International Marketing Methodology In terms of deploying social media, the above three are interlinked. Some of this territory will be covered in another arti-

cle aimed at the filmmaker and focusing on the developing of his or her brand image. One of the most important mantras to remember is to “live and think locally, but displace globally”. Clever, iconoclastic filmmakers transfer their well-loved territory into their output (Woody Allen, Manhattan; Martin Scorsese, Brooklyn; Robert Redford, Utah; Spike Lee, Alabama and Brooklyn; Clint Eastwood, California; Guy Ritchie, London; Shane Meadows, Ken Loach, and Mike Leigh, Urban Working Class Britain). This comes from years of living in and loving their neighbourhood and social observation. Turn yourself into a local hero with the schools and colleges you went to-it will be great for both you and your alma mater. Whenever you make a film and it is released, post it on your old university’s website. Inform the local press from whence you came as well as where you currently reside. Spread the love and make them proud. It will work for you on many levels. It will also give you a grounded sense of perspective, a place from which to derive inspiration and comfort. Someone having consistent links with their old stomping ground, who is coincidently a creative, is something the public at large identifies with anywhere in the world. This is marketing of the quiet incremental kind, the sort that needs no force but a series and sequence of actions that are driven by love. It also serves to counteract the adage that filmmakers are at heart pretentious and lofty. Every nation has directors who are identified with a particular kind of output, unless you are Michael Winterbottom, the most eclectic and gloriously unpredictable director around. Put yourself under the nose of your nation’s leading academics; they are always interested in the up-and-coming generation of filmmakers - just don’t hound them. They are not publicists and cannot do anything for your career. What they will do is make note of you for future reference. It is worth finding out who is specialising in what, and if any of your films confirms or refutes what is baking their particular biscuit. Tell them about your films without being overbearing or pushy. Academics tend to be sought out by distribution labels to contribute to special features, and like it or not, a relationship will happen organically if there is com-

mon territory. Try to get your release featured in the film press of your nation. Look at www. moviemags.com to see which is functioning with the highest turnover and distribution. Look at media directories as well as guidance for the titles. It may well be that they have a feature planned with your film as a possible favourable contribution. You could get a close friend or loved one to act as publicist for you and do the ringing round. Do not expect your IMDb profile to do that much for you. One of the worst aspects of this particular tool is the universal notion of success once you are on it. The fact is that there are now so many submissions on IMDb that you can be just a drop in the ocean. Sure enough it is used by talent spotters and scouts looking for their casting solutions, but it is not a brand image maker. You get a Wiki reference for the film if you are lucky, and if the movie has some portent and contributes something to a given genre or recognisable trend. You could approach the publishing houses of the movie encyclopaedias (Leonard Maltin’s, Halliwell’s, Time Out, etc.) and keep pestering them for an inclusion. If yours is a genre-based film, look at the books out there that cover genre based listings, and see if you can be included in the next edition. Last but not least, check in with the movie blogs that cover either indie or genre-based material where your film will feel welcome. There are consistent listings of movie blogs on LAMB (Large Association of Movie Blogs at http://www.largeassmovieblogs.com/), the social media analytics so many blog owners live by. Don’t treat it as gospel, but use it to your advantage. That is about it. Most of all, develop a thick skin and a steady working methodology. Try not to let the constant frustrations interfere with your karma, and keep a sense of perspective. It takes many years of effort and time to make a career, in any career. Filmmaking is no different. One film is just one part of your gambit of many, and each experience will teach you a lot. Keep focused and keep at it. Gail Spencer Gail is a professional writer and has been writing film reviews for over five years , and specialises in cult and horror film publicity.

49

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film

www.ufmag.org

50

Issue 2 of 2012


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

“The Artist” leads Viewster launch of paid movie rental iewster has announced Oscar - winning French movie, “The Artist,” amongst the titles to spearhead the launch of its paid-for rental model into countries in which it has already built up a large userbase of viewers for its free movies. The VoD movie service now generates more than 60 million video views a month. “The Artist” will form the centrepiece of the launch of Viewster’s paid-for offer into Scandinavia, with high-profile titles such as “Midnight In Paris” and “The Iron Lady” also featuring strongly in the choice of movies available for rental by Viewster users in other key countries. “This is a hugely exciting step for Viewste,r” said CEO Kai Henniges. “We are excited about now being able to offer higher profile films as rentals. Watch this space! There is more to come.” Paid-for movies launch as Viewster’s rollout continues. Viewster is now available across platforms and devices in 120 countries around the world. In 12 key markets, Viewster has had advertising partnerships in place for some time enabling it to offer users a choice of several hundred free movies. These are now complimented by high profile titles being made available for rental. The company expects to double the number of countries in which it can make a large selection of free movies available in the coming months, with further expansion into CEE and South East Asia. Enhanced choice for Viewster users in key countries. “By May, Viewster users in more than 20 countries will have the choice between high - profile movies to rent, and a significant number of excellent, free movies. Having established a committed following of free movie users in these key countries, it was always our aim to increase choice by offering paidfor movies without ads,” said Henniges. “We will build on the high-profile launch provided by “The Artist, “ “The Iron Lady” and “Midnight In Paris” with many more exciting paid-for titles, giving users in all our key territories the opportunity to enjoy great entertainment on demand.”. About Viewster Viewster AG is a privately held company based in Zurich, Switzerland, with offices in San Jose, Berlin, Timisoara and London. Viewster was founded in 2007 and operates a leading Video on Demand service pre-installed by all leading CE device manufacturers globally. Viewster is available on connected TV sets, Blu-ray players, tablet computers and smartphones. Viewster’s media assets include Hollywood and local movies. Viewster is available on 100m devices and reaches 7m monthly users in over 100 countries.

khenniges@viewster.com

51

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film

www.ufmag.org

52

Issue 2 of 2012


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

Scenes of The Method-ological Nature by Penny Noble

53

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

ACT ONE...

Somewhat later in my life I trained as a counsellor with my “core model” being Carl Rogers’ personcentred counselling. It suits me as a person and therapist. I work in helping others to fully express themselves and realise their full potential in life and vocation. A chance joke from an actor relating to not being able to use “the Method” for a role raised my curiosity as to what “the Method” might be – and so started my explorations into the world of “Method Acting.” I am no expert on this topic from the point of view of training, but rather a passionate observer, and have learnt a great deal from the experience of helping others in their development and progression in life and work by means of processes similar to the Method, including “Character-Centred Counselling” which I originated and developed as a specific therapy for actors. There have been a multitude of influences on my thoughts on this subject. For reasons of confidentiality and to protect identities, in many cases I have not named names. Some material is based on real work with clients. I have discovered that even many actors do not seem sure of what Method acting actually is. I’d like to share with you what I have found out, and this mainly from a psychological perspective.

www.ufmag.org

The Method Theatre director and actor, Constantin Stanislavski (1863 – 1938), revolutionised the world of actors on stage when he created a new “system” for them – now best known as the Method – in which they were encouraged to work from their experience and inner selves, and to find their characters by living the lives of those characters. Prior to Stanislavski’s work, acting had been quite stylised, with feelings over - expressed artificially. Dancer Isadora Duncan (1877 – 1927) was, around the same time, also transforming the world of dance by breaking boundaries and dancing from her soul. And Carl Rogers (1902 –87) changed the world of psychotherapy with his realisation that people heal best and realise their full potential in a safe environment created by a good relationship with a therapist who is a compassionate witness to their journey, and who, with empathy, congruence and acceptance, enables them in understanding who and how they are, and in accessing and expressing their emotions. These three seminal figures – Rogers, Stanislavski and Duncan – were all part of the humanist movement, pushing forward human values and concerns as key issues in life, the search for truth and quest to realise full potential, exposing humanity in all its glory and sharing and connecting with each other. An actor’s work – be it on stage, screen or radio – is very much about that connecting and communication. In a similar spirit, from Aristotle we get the concept of theatre drama enabling the audience to have a catharsis. Dennis Potter once said that television represents the nation talking to itself. Watching a play on stage, hearing it on the radio or seeing it on a screen large or small, we, the audience, need to feel with the action. Actors enable us to do that by making us believe in what they are doing and how they are feeling, by convincing us we are a part of the reality of the play.

54

I

write this as someone passionate about the work of actors, and as a writer, who loves to create stories for them to play. I am also a psychotherapist, working with clients from all walks of life and, in addition, specialising in work with actors and other performers. As a child, I felt that actors were like my friends on television and in films. Later I would also experience similar “stage friends.” I felt that they were educating me about what it is to be a human being, even if they were doing so from the perspective of being an alien in “Doctor Who,” or a fictional human from a costume drama.


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

I will explore what Stanislavski originally meant by the Method and how that approach has developed into what it is today. There are still some actors who work precisely from Stanislavski’s Method, but there are also those who work from what could arguably be called a New Method. In essence, nowadays, each actor will probably learn a range of techniques and methods, and come up with his or her own individual Method. The acting process can be highly personal and indescribable. However, I will attempt to give some ideas as to what this process may involve. Creating a Character according to Stanislavski’s Method The Method was pioneered by Constantin Stanislavski and advocated by American actor, director and acting teacher, Lee Strasberg (1901 – 82), who became the “father” of Method acting in the United States and thus inspired many American actors to that approach. Stanislavski observed his actors in training to be at their most convincing when they were making use of emotions borrowed from something they had personally experienced. However, he also noticed that in doing this, there was a possibility of self-traumatising and draining their energy, which meant that giving of themselves in that way to their performances became unhealthy and unsustainable. This was part of the rationale behind his use of “if” – “What if I were in my character’s shoes in this situation? What would I do/feel?” Encouraged by this, an actor will literally step into the world of the character in order to play them. For me, this creates two main strands of the Method. Strand 1: An actor works from his or her own experiences and feelings. Strand 2: An actor finds the experiences and feelings of a character by living as closely as possible to how the character lives/lived or would live. The most famous of our modern day pure Method actors, Daniel Day-Lewis, is known for doing the latter – for me, he also produces phenomenal results. In his book “An Actor Prepares,” Stanislavski said, “In our art you must live the part every moment that you are playing it, and every time.” He was asking his actors to be, and so to act with sincerity, truth and directness. He taught that “all action in the theatre must have an inner justification, be logical, coherent and real.” To enable this, he developed the concepts of objectives and actions. An objective is something which the character wishes to achieve. An action is how they achieve the objective. He taught that the script could be broken up into units (sometimes called “beats”), and each unit would have an objective for the character in question. Each character also has a su-

per-objective, which represents the life goal of that character in the play. All of these things must ring true for the actor concerned. “Everything must be real in the imaginary life of the actor,” and they need to have faith in what they are doing on the stage (or screen). Actions need to be natural, intuitive and complete. Stanislavski wanted his actors to put “soul” into their roles, and was very keen on actors reaching the level of the subconscious to produce their best work.

and recall, personal life experience, 4.“Preparation of actor’s soul for conception of creative emotions” – both conscious and especially unconscious feelings, 5.“Search for creative stimuli that will provide ever new impulses of excitement, ever new bits of live material for the spirit of a role in the places that did not immediately come to life in first acquaintance with the play.” Facts must stir feelings for that actor!

In relation to the use of an actor’s own life experiences and feelings, Stanislavski created techniques to stimulate emotion memory – or affective memory, as it is sometimes termed. As Paul Elsam states, Stanislavski developed these when he had a crisis of confidence, and felt that the way forward was to feel real emotion at all times. Emotions are anchored in our subconscious, and we need a conscious means to reach that subconscious.

The actor must be at the centre of the situation to create what Stanislavski termed the “given circumstances” – environmental and situational circumstances which stimulate the character into action. Being at this centre is similar to the empathy that Carl Rogers described a therapist must feel towards their client: stepping into another person’s shoes and living in them. This empathy needs to be felt for his or her own character, and for other characters in the play also. A knowledge of psychology is a great help: “The better the actor knows the psychology of the human soul and nature the more he studies them in his free time the deeper he will be able to penetrate the spiritual essence of human passion and therefore the more detailed, complex, and varied will be the scene of any part he plays.” Also, “Anything which an actor takes from his own life experience, the thing to which he responds inwardly, can never be alien to him.”

Stanislavski’s point was to focus on the past experiences, the “conditions” which stimulated the feelings or emotions to “grow,” and from there those same emotions will come naturally. We have little control over how we feel. Actors were not to act a feeling specifically; that would create something wooden and unreal. From a psychotherapeutic point of view, this concept of emotion memory reflects someone’s emotions being triggered by a past trauma or indeed a past, pleasurable experience. And those feelings can be triggered by a number of sensations – not just a thought memory, but sound, taste, touch or a kinaesthetic experience. Stanislavski’s actors need to be in “communion” with each other in a kind of “spiritual intercourse.” Today we might describe this as empathy, a kind of transpersonal connection. Actors who give of themselves in this way are praised for being generous by their fellow actors. “So,” as Stanislavski tells us, “an actor turns to his spiritual and physical creative instrument. His mind, will and feelings combine to mobilize all of his inner elements. They draw life from the fiction, which is the play, and make it seem more real, its objectives better founded. All this helps him to feel the role, its innate truthfulness, to believe in the actual possibility of what is happening on the stage.” At this point the actor is working from “the region of the subconscious,” the work flows naturally and they are living the role. In “Creating A Role,” Stanislavski went on to lay out the stages in the process: 1.Study of the script, 2.Research into the world of the play and the character, 3.Actor’s self-analysis, emotion memory

Anti-Method The demands of this Method acting are therefore high in relation to an actor’s use of personal experiences and psychology. No wonder many have and still do avoid it; wearing symbolic masks, making themselves very different to their real selves in their roles, using arguably artificial techniques to create the feelings or results, and working by studying and copying the behaviours of others – to excellent effect in many cases, one being that of Laurence Olivier, an outstanding actor who won many awards. Olivier was well known for being contemptuous of those who used Method acting. It is rumoured that on the set of “Marathon Man” he once said to Dustin Hoffman, “Try acting, dear boy, it’s much easier.” This, after Hoffman had stayed up for three nights to mimic the experiences of the character he was playing. It is better known that Olivier and Method actress Marilyn Monroe had huge creative differences on the set of “The Prince and The Showgirl” – a story beautifully explored recently in the film “My Week with Marilyn.” Arguably, they ended up bringing out the best in each other for each of their next projects: Monroe in “Some Like It Hot”; Olivier as Archie Rice in John

55

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

As Ned Mandarino notes, the requirements of the Method have led to some acting teachers becoming “psychologists without a license.” Elsam warns, “In workshops those untrained to work with traumatised people are allowed to tear the actor’s innermost traumas from their scarred unconscious – and do so in public.” Other potential problems identified with the Method are that it encourages an actor to be disconnected from others, to be self-absorbed and so immersed in the world of the character that fellow actors or the audience cannot join them in that space. For me, this does go against the whole idea of the best acting being about true connection: empathy with others, actors acting and reacting off of each other and sharing with the audience. Mike Alfreds warned that many American Method actors made the character fit themselves, and ignored any character requirements that conflicted with the needs of the actor. They were unable to portray characters out of their experience. They had no means of going beyond their comfort zones. Alfreds advises actors to “find [the character] in yourself rather than impose yourself on them.” Own Truth My personal belief is that all of us are best when we come from ourselves, and that life experience is the greatest teacher of all. I believe this to be true of all artists, be they actors, singers, writers, painters or dancers. Isadora Duncan started a great movement of freedom and emotional release in her dance work; from her we have learned how important movement can be in the search for truth and feeling in an authentic way from the body. Duncan had no respect for boundaries. She created something extraordinary, but the process-exploring work of today – be it in a rehearsal room or a therapy room – does need some boundaries to help develop trust, and so create a safe space for full expression from the actor/performer or client. I write best from myself. My writing flows with ease when I am making use of my own experiences, or writing about something that resonates within me. I am also best as a psychotherapist when I work from myself rather than trying to copy the ways of being of others. In the same way as a client can sense when their therapist isn’t being authentic and genuine, so an audience can do so with an actor

www.ufmag.org

who is not conveying something truthful. It becomes false, boring and we lose trust – so we lose belief, and the power of the work dies. A New Method So, what is involved in an actor’s method of today? Naturalness is still the key. As early as the 1920s, actress Louise Brooks commented, “Styles change but the truth does not.” I get the strong impression that all of our most believable actors really are using themselves, their own instrument of stored feelings and experiences – even if they are in denial of that – and so would fall into a Stanislavski “Strand 1” – too much technique neglects the emotional and spiritual. As Peter Barkworth expresses it, “At all cost, a thing must live: better a live sparrow than a stuffed eagle”; and as Sir John Gielgud, winner of Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony awards said, “Ninety percent of you is there anyway.” When asked by Matthew Stadlen in “Five Minutes With Christopher Eccleston,” “Is there any of Christopher Eccleston left in you, or are you totally inhabiting the part you are playing?” Eccleston replied, “I think there is a lot of Christopher Eccleston still in there, because your raw material as an actor is yourself and your own experiences and your own feelings about things. What’s interesting about them is they get refracted and filtered through your imaginary creation of this character, so I would say he’s still around.” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/ entertainment-arts-17487480) Method actors of the Stanislavski “Strand 2” camp are fewer but certainly still exist. In addition to Daniel Day-Lewis, examples include Heath Ledger and Mickey Rourke. Many contemporary acting texts still retain core elements of the Method while also extending those ideas. Actors still look at actioning the text, finding the objectives of their characters, and hoping that from these two techniques, their emotions will be spontaneously aroused by the play and any obstacles that get in the way. As Alfreds beautifully and simply puts it: “I want (objective) – leads to – I do (action) – leads to – I feel = Life!” Actors have the secure boundary of what (actions), which helps them feel the freedom of the how (emotional expression). Breathing and Relaxation The psychology is explored even further in contemporary Method acting. So is movement – harking back to the work of Isadora Duncan – and breath work, and how those can stimulate the release of

stored emotions. Taking time with the text and breathing allows a flow of emotion. As Tyne Daly says, “We can’t inspire anyone unless we breathe ourselves.” We possess a holistic connection between our physical and emotional lives. Our repressed feelings may be stored in our bodies; exercising the relevant muscles that recreate a certain physical action can unlock those feelings. Relaxation techniques are also very important, as a tense actor is highly restricted. Inside-Out or Outside-In Generally actors talk about being in one of two camps: inside-out – very Method in which the “inner life” informs the “outer behaviour; and outside-in, where body work can be involved. An actor adopts the state of body of the person they are characterising in order to access the feelings. As Alfreds describes, different people have different ways of expressing the same emotion, and that can show in the way someone holds their body. Holding the body in that way can create expression of the feeling. For Tara Fitzgerald (http://www.donmarwarehouse.com) an outside-in actor can embody a character by wearing that character’s pair of shoes, reflecting the empathy of walking in another’s shoes. As for Olivier, the modern day actor’s work still needs to involve observation of real people, who may be far from the actor’s own self in their way of expressing themselves. According to Alfreds, “Actors should be ruthless scavengers of other people’s behaviour.” Feelings and Expressiveness Many of us have lost the connection between our feelings and the expression of them; our current way of life has encouraged a kind of shut-down and hiding. The actor of today has to work against that and be truthfully expressive. Self-Knowledge In finding a character, it is also important for an actor to either know themselves already, or to do some soul searching around who and how they are. Character lists are created from the script to discover facts about the character, what they say about themselves and others, what others say about them, etc. Beyond that there are two more personal lists which Alfreds suggests should be exclusive and personal to the actor, but could of course be shared if they wish. The first involves those aspects shared with the character and those in the character that are alien to the actor. Alfreds goes on to explain, “The better you know yourself, the more honest you will be – and the less painful. The more objective you can be about your own psychology, habits and appearance, the more you’re able to admit to difficult areas in your own character, the easier

56

Osbourne’s “The Entertainer” – but sadly, not for their earlier film together. Monroe used her personality and sensitivities in her work to powerful effect. That said, it is now known Marilyn required therapy, and even then, as we sadly know, she was on a path towards self-destruction.


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

57

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

This involves “distilling yourself according to the needs of the role,” and letting go of protective devices that you’ve become used to using in your acting to feel safe. “Being truthful on stage is an act of daring.” An actor can identify with the what of a character’s experience, but needs to create the how – the expression of that from the way the character would behave. It is all still about using themselves, though; playing a psychopath would involve an actor exploring his or her own psychopathic tendencies, and what gets in the way of their actually acting on those urges in real life. Then, Stanislavski’s “if” can be applied to enable actioning. As Alfreds points out, we have a universal humanity; “all contain within us something of each other.” An actor needs to be able to be empathic to a high level, and develop their “empathic imagination” to put themselves instinctively into a different person in a different situation. As Elsam notes, “Such madness needs practise.” A Higher Consciousness I have mentioned some links between Stanislavski’s and Rogers’ work; Manderino, in “Transpersonal Actor,” writes about the work of psychiatrist Carl Jung and the lessons from his personality types, which actors can use to inform their characterisations. He states, “Carl Jung defined ‘transpersonal’ as a process by which one attains a higher level of consciousness.” Actors need to stretch themselves beyond the limits of convention, and allow themselves to be in touch with “mysterious forces” in the creative space. The actor of today is advised to work on their own inner and outer values as well as those of the characters they play. Any emotions they are blocking will restrict them in their creative use of self. An actor needs to work on his or her “powerful acting instrument” to realise the skill and creativity “to achieve high states of emotion through behaviour, capturing images and feelings that burn into the memory of an audience.” Self-Development So, to produce his or her best, an actor needs self-awareness and an honesty about who and how they are, and this may well require self-development work. They work with invention from their heads, and imagination from their guts/hearts. The best results come from a combination of high IQ and EQ (emotional intelligence), though it is the process of getting there which is important, not the result itself. They need good instinct, from natural talent and perception

www.ufmag.org

combined with experience and analysis – subjective and objective in balance. Alfreds advises against emotion memory work in specific scenes, but also says it is good for actors to stretch their emotional muscles and have access to as wide a range of feelings as possible. Actors often talk about making choices in their work. As Harold Guskin expresses, “No specific choice is more important than the true presence of the actor on stage at that moment – alive on stage with his humanity – his feelings, thoughts, imagination – intact, is the greatest gift he can give the audience.” Acting is an invitation to learn about yourself, a way of having fun to have therapy. Laura Dern: “As an actor, I think I’ve been lucky that I feel so much,” she says. “I mean, acting in general is therapy in some form. So it’s great to be part of movies that focus on the problem, rather than the escape. Because every time I do something that I feel is gonna move other people, inevitably it moves me and teaches me new things.” (http://barksmatt.tripod.com/AmericanFilm.html) In their own words We human beings are fascinated by ourselves, our responses and feelings – we love to tell each other stories. The most convincing method actors work with immediacy and complete honesty, deliberately making themselves vulnerable and open, creating a mutual awareness with the audience, so they can respond differently on stage every night. Tyne Daly, on connection: “To act is to “take out filters and let people in.” Harrison Ford: “I am a private person in my private life. In my working life I expect to grant my audience complete and total access, everyone’s got a backstage pass, you know. You have to be willing to live in front of people; let them see the good, the bad, the ugly, the weak, the strong, the conflicted, the terrible. One of the things about acting that gives me the greatest satisfaction is the opportunity for that emotional exercise, that investment to the point where it produces true emotion. It’s not about you again, it’s about the continuity between you and the rest of your race, it’s about being human and it’s about sharing that humanity, and knowing that humanity. It’s among one of the most important moments of my life, being able to do that. And the question about willingness to do that … it’s the true ambition is to give yourself to that moment and it’s not in conflict with my privacy, at least I don’t feel it that way.” (Harrison Ford, Inside The Actor’s Studio)

vulnerable place to be, and some adults struggle to find it. It takes a lot to be real; in our real lives, most of us are not. It’s highly exposing. Yet as Alfreds says, “If theatre is not vulnerable then it is not human.” I think all creative people are sensitive and at their best when at their most sensitive and personal. Acting is emotional. A good actor is constantly vulnerable. An audience responds to actors revealing themselves, not hiding. This exposure takes enormous courage and can lead to exceptional performances. The rewards in terms of feeling fulfilled are great, but for many the personal cost may be too high. In the sequel to this article (ACT TWO), I will explore the psychological issues from which Method actors, and indeed other actors and performers, may be affected. Penny Noble’s website and email: http://www.pennynoblepsychotherapy. com/ pennynobletherapy@gmail.com Different Every Night: Freeing the Actor Alfreds, M. (2010) About Acting - Barkworth, P. (2001) Acting Characters - Elsam, P. (2006) How to Stop Acting - Guskin, H. (2004) Drama as Therapy: Theatre as Living Jones, P. (1999) Isadora: A Sensational Life - Kurth, P. (2003) Transpersonal Actor: Reinterpreting Stanislavski - Manderino, N. (1989) On Becoming a Person - Rogers, C. (2004) An Actor Prepares - Stanislavski, C. (1980) Creating a Role - Stanislavski, C. (1968)

Psychological Issues In a way, an actor needs to be his or her own inner child to best access their play and imagination; that space is a very

58

as you labour under self-delusions and remain in denial about certain personal traits or qualities, you’ll only confuse and distort your work on a role.”


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

59

www.ufmag.org


CICAE

Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

The CICAE is the first international association dedicated to quality cinema. It was founded in 1955 and represents 3,000 screens in 31 countries in Europe, Latin America and Africa. Its mission is to promote quality motion pictures and to defend the ‘’right for cultural diversity.’’ntent? The CICAE was founded in 1955 by the national arthouse cinema associations of Germany, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The collective and concerted action of these pioneers led to the emergence in each country of a real market for quality films, as well as national schemes aimed at supporting theatres that took a stand in favour of this “high-risk” cinematographic art form. The CICAE is recognized by the Council of Europe, sits on the Bureau of the International Council for Cinema, Television and Audiovisual communication (IFTC – Unesco), and of Media Salles, and has been a member of the Coalition for Cultural Diversity since its inception in 2003. It collaborates with Europa Cinemas, receives support from the European Union’s programmes : MEDIA and Euromed Audiovisual II, the CNC (France), the FFA (Germany), the DGC (Italy), to name but a few. Mission : to be a network of networks and a bridge between festivals and theatres Today, the CICAE brings together 3,000 screens via 7 national structures (France, Italy , Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Belgium, Venezuela), independent cinemas in 22 other countries, festivals, as well as arthouse film distributors. Institutional objectives - To encourage arthouse cinemas to come together under a common umbrella at the national and international levels. - To obtain support for arthouse cinema from government and supranational bodies. - To foster the distribution of high quality films from all countries, in all countries. - Through targeted cultural initiatives, to promote the screening of art films in order to increase audiences and foster production. Field actions - Training of future managers / programmers of art cinema theatres, in Europe and elsewhere (2004 – 2010 : over 450 professionals trained) - Promotion of artfilms from festivals to art cinemas : each year the CICAE awards ‘’Art Cinema Cicae – Cinediversity Prizes’’ in a dozen festivals. The arthouse cinema sector is a 100-million-strong audience in Europe In countries where the art cinema sector is well developed, arthouse films account for 10 to 25 percent of all tickets sold. Art cinema upholds «quality cinema without borders», although, de facto, the bulk is made up of European productions and co-productions. Statistics show that in several countries arthouse cinemas draw up to 80 percent of audiences for quality European films; they are also the most appropriate setting where moviegoers can discover African, Asian, Latin American and «independent» films from the USA. Thus arthouse cinema sector is well and truly (also) a market, which provides quality filmmaking with its main outlets in the largest markets. ART CINEMA = ACTION + MANAGEMENT 2012 9th Edition of the International Training for Cinema Exhibition Professionals : - Why a training for arthouse exhibitors? • For a better understanding of the key facts of this profession • For benefiting from know-how from top-rank European cinema professionals • For networking with 100 cinema professionals • For producing pragmatic tools and projects useful to the whole profession • or expanding your career horizons A training adapted to candidates’ profiles and experiences Juniors, with at least one year of working experience in a cinema. Or other professionals (festivals, distribution, institutional workers) willing to better understand the independent cinema sector in Europe or with the project of opening a art cinema theatre. Executives with many years of working experience in an art cinema as programmers or managers Content The 2 sessions are held in four languages: French, English, German, and Italian. • Juniors’ session (35 participants) 27 August - 2 September 2012 Through lectures, case studies, practical activities and group work the course covers 12 exhibitions issues : economics, law, policies, technology, network, programming, audience development, fund raising, project management, communication, marketing and management • Executives’ session (20 participants) 27- 31 August 2012 Executives share with Juniors the training day dedicated to economics, law and the The second day is a workshops on how to strengthen arthouse film exhibition in Europe

60

www.ufmag.org

- Find out more www.cicae.org mail:cicae@art-et-essai.org phone:66 + 33 1 56 33 13 29


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

FINDING YOUR STORY

by Paula Brancato

A great screenplay begins with a great story. Unfortunately, not all stories deserve to be told. You’ve heard it a hundred times: We want a premise that’s unique, high concept, something new that knocks our socks off, a tale with remarkable insight, never told before”. One of our greatest poets was asked why he turned out only six new poems a year. He said, “Because I only have remarkable insights six times a year.” So, how do you get a remarkable insight that generates an unusual premise that creates a winning story? Truth is, the average professional writer will run through hundreds of story ideas – dead cat meets maker and finds out he’s a dog, London schoolteacher launches science fair undoing MI5, a cyber-house turns on its inhabitants – to get ten that deserve to be put on paper or even discussed in short treatment form. Of the ten stories deemed suitable for a short treatment, the pro will find maybe just three have the meat necessary to become a screenplay. That is after he/she has already written fifty or so pages. So how do you pick a winner? Sheer, unadulterated work, plus paying attention to what stays in one’s head and what doesn’t. This is the realm of the poet, the observer who lets many good and bad ideas pass, until something sticks that’s both compelling and has a perfect story structure. Pros are ruthless about casting aside less promising story ideas because each rejected idea brings the writer closer to that remarkable concept. The cat as dog theme may be appealing, but not something this particular writer can write well. The London schoolteacher idea might run out of twists and turns and become a really sappy romance. And how many interesting ways can a cyber-house kill people, after all, if that is all it’s meant to do? Cyber House may make a fine “Twilight Zone” episode, but it takes more to make a strong feature film. The pro has to relentlessly whittle away and funnel down. Of the 3 three stories that do survive, the professional further knows that only one is likely to have that remarkable insight that will not let go of the writer – that’s one in a hundred. This is the story that must be told. So, if your screenplays aren’t tearing up the world, consider your premise before you start. Is this something you know about, or can learn about, and write? Is it fun? Does it turn you on, excite you down to your very bones? Is there enough meat to warrant two hours of an audience’s attention, or have you fallen in love with a one-note Johnny? Are you certain you have no particular ax to grind Screenplays aren’t lessons, they are insights, things you didn’t even know yourself! Lastly, do you just keep finding this darned story knocking around in your head, no matter how hard you try to get rid of it? Then write it, by all means.

61

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film Issue 2 - 2012

Paula Brancato Full-time Lecturer, University of Southern California Mobile: 310-429-5181 OďŹƒce: 212-249-0255 http://www.thewritersplace.org/script_consultation.shtml

www.ufmag.org

62

TWPBrancato@aol.com


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

In Devlopment “THE INSTITUTION”

T

ower Bridge Films Ltd. is devloping a new independent, featurelength motion picture entitled “The Institution” for world-wide theatrical release. The film’s optimum budget is US $7,000,000

This is a captivating and intriguing story, set at a time in history when humanity belonged to the chosen few, and madness was the order of the day. For the first time, the true story of medical genocide that disposed of an innocent generation is brought to the screen. The story is inspired by true events and tells the story of a young girl , Elsa, who is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Elsa is forcibly parted from her father during the war, taken to safety and placed as a nanny to a Medical Superintendent’s three children. The superintendent runs an institution for medical research, which reveals the depths of man’s inhumanity and the gross disposal of a lost generation. In a desperate attempt to get back to her father she forges a relationship with the Superintendent only to find herself fighting, not only for her own life, but for those of her charges, as she herself becomes institutionalised. Along with five fellow inmates, Elsa’s thoughts turn to escape, spurred along by a series of flashbacks and reoccurring nightmares of her father. What she doesn’t know is that the nightmare has only just begun, and as the final flashback occurs, reality stares her in the face in the form of the man who shot her father: A German SS officer. The reality is that the institution is in actual fact ‘Dachau’, the Nazi concentration camp. Elsa never was a nanny and everyone whom she encountered were all prisoners, including the children. Will Elsa survive Hitler’s final solution and will she succeed in her fight for freedom? Only two things stand in her way, the might of the German army, and ”The Institution”

63

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film

www.ufmag.org

64

Issue 2 of 2012


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

FAIR USE DIGITAL MEDIA

by Tifanie Jodeh

When is it OK to use Copyrighted materials without obtaining permission Copyright is protective of works such as photographs, music compositions, films, sculptures, news articles and paintings. These forms of creative, expressive media are protected as any “original work of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression.” Many content creators are confused about the fair use doctrine and whether they need permission to borrow from owners of copyrighted works. “Fair use” allows for conditions under which content creators can use material that is copyrighted by someone else without paying royalties or needing to obtain a license. It gives the public a limited right to draw upon copyrighted works to produce separate works of authorship. Such examples include news, fair comment and criticism, parody, reporting, teaching, scholarship and research. Filmmakers, artists and writers benefit from the fact that the copyright law does not exactly specify how to apply fair use. Creative needs are considered and whether the use is “fair” according to a rule of reason.

Courts employ a four-part test (set out in the Copyright Act) and ask two key questions: 1. Did the unlicensed use “transform” the material taken from the copyrighted work by using it for a different purpose than the original, or did it just repeat the work for the same intent and value as the original? 2. Was the amount and nature of material taken appropriate in light of the nature of the copyrighted work and of the use? If the answer to both questions is in the affirmative, a court is likely to find a fair use. For example, if a reporter quotes a paragraph from an article you wrote online and that reporter compares your opinion with that of other commentators, this is likely permitted by the fair use doctrine without the need to obtain your permission.

a copyright claim. It is sometimes difficult for producers, writers and content creators to determine beforehand whether a particular use is in fact a fair use. For this reason, it is a good idea to seek out a license before engaging in a use that might be a “maybe” fair use. COPYRIGHT & DISCLAIMER Tifanie Jodeh is Partner at Entertainment Law Partners dedicated to corporate, business and entertainment affairs. You may contact her at Tifanie@entlawpartners.com. Tifanie Jodeh grants column recipients permission to copy and distribute this column and distribute it free of charge, provided that copies are distributed for educational and nonprofit use, no changes or revisions are made, all copies clearly attribute the article to its author and include its copyright notice. DISCLAIMER: Readers should consult with a lawyer before solely relying on any information contained herein.

Be sure to keep in mind that fair use is a very fact-sensitive defense to

65

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film Issue 2 - 2012

Film Festivals can stimulate foreign location shoots by Scott Rosenberg

According to Grunwell, Ha, and Martin (2008), festivals could bring a whole new group of filmmakers to a destination, as the Festival VIPs return home and (hopefully) talk positively about their experience. When visitors have a positive experience in the host community, they will return to that destination in the future (Woosnam, McElroy, & Winkle, 2009). Recently the Thailand Film Office has identified film festivals as a marketing arm for promoting and shooting future films, TV commercials and dramas in Thailand, reaching

www.ufmag.org

out to international filmmakers who attend various film festivals in Thailand in support of their films. With minimal funding support allocated through an arm of the National Film and Video Committee, film festivals are encouraged to incorporate familiarization tours of localities and networking functions with indigenous private-sector, productionservice personnel. The 2007 Phuket Film Festival was the first (in Thailand) to have as a main objective “familiarization activities featuring popular local locations used in previous film shoots.” Twelve filmmakers representing their films were escorted to various filming locations on the island and participated in seminars and networking activities. The recent Hua Hin Film Festival, also in Thailand (January 2012), saw few “stars,” however those who were in attendance and introduced to the local Hua Hin destinations talked favorably of them. Attending were French director Luc Besson and Michelle Yeoh (“The Lady” 2011) – both having filmed in Thailand before – and Ryan Gosling (“Only God Forgives” 2012) – his first time shooting in Thailand. Ryan especially grew quite fond

of the local crew and said he would return to Thailand again in the future (whether on vacation or to shoot another movie was unclear). But the Thailand Film Office gained more than just word-of-mouth advertising for the advantages of shooting on location in Thailand. No official study was done in Thailand, but based on a study of press coverage from the 2006 Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) conducted by US based Weber Shandwick and Roger & Cowan PR companies, BIFF 2006 received $550,000 worth of public relations exposure for that year alone. In 2007, the estimate was up to $1 million. It’s crucial, however, that film commissions carefully scrutinize goals, objectives and proposed activities of festivals applying for funding. Too many times, what appears on paper applications does not materialize in real life. Film commissions should take a look at supporting all film festivals in their best locales. Film festivals can truly be an effective marketing tool for attracting international filmmakers to utilize local production service companies and shooting locations.

66

M

Many studies have shown that festivals play a significant role for communities by attracting tourists, creating positive economic impact, creating opportunities for community involvement and togetherness, and enhancing the image of the destination. Festivals and special events have grown in all destinations and are the fastest growing segment of the tourism field (Park, Reisinger & Kang, 2008) – especially film festivals which bring to locales movie makers, film talent and other industry stakeholders. Festivals provide these special VIP guests recognition of the destination.


Universal Film Issue 2 - 2012

ZOE MOON ASTROLOGY MAY MONTHLY FORECAST 2012 ARIES

TARUS

GEMINI

May rocks some powerful turnarounds with women, love or income for you. This can mean news coming in that shifts things for you or there could be writing opportunities, agreements, sales, meetings, talks, short trips, vehicles, siblings, neighbors, or local activities you get involved in that bring the shift with love, money or women. Your financial interests with loans, investments, insurance, taxes, inheritance, alimony, child support, commissions, royalties, bankruptcy, or a partner’s money peak by the 5th as you achieve your goal or wrap things up. A sexual attraction or issue, reproductive matter or divorce may also crest this first week. New offers, agreements, decisions, writing opportunities, sales, moves, sibling or neighbor interests, vehicles, short trips, local activities, or ideas kick in from the 2oth onward, you are golden if you can let go and start fresh.

It is straight up time for you to go back to that past income opportunity or issue and tackle it this month. You can change directions in what you are doing to make your living if you want or find a way to make your money work for you so that you are experiencing love in a different way, it’s a great motivator! Your best income producing prospects will be with past clients or situations from the 15th onward. A high point comes with a romantic or business partner, agent, attorney, specialist, advocate, or opponent by the 5th. This will be a powerful time of achievement or endings as you wrap things up. Fresh starts on the income front begin on the 20 th giving you a two - week opportunity to launch new earning ideas, increase current income or make a big purchase but you must be willing to eclipse something out to make great headway.

Venus Retrogrades in your sign this month babe, so you may feel like reimaging yourself or revisiting past looks, photos, identities, physical interests, or reworking your brand or body. You may return to a past love or income opportunity or slow things down now. It’s really a time for you to look at how you are loving yourself and do something about it by reworking things, especially from the 15th forward. A major work or health matter peaks by the 5th as you achieve your goals or something ends and you wrap things up. Animal interests and issues may also culminate now. Your new look, image, identity, or physical/ personal beginning starts on the 20th as you put yourself out there in new ways. Be willing to eclipse out something about who you have been or how you have been treating your body so that you get the best new beginning possible.

LIBRA A turnaround with a legal, ceremonial, travel, media, publishing, marketing, or educational matter comes this month and will likely kick in the strongest from the 15th onward. It’s time to revisit money making opportunities from the past through these avenues or you may be reconnecting with a past love interest or issue, or an important matter with a woman through these trips, legal channels, media, ceremonies, or educational interests. Ask yourself if you want to rework things here, revise them, reconnect, or release them once and for all. Are you feeling the love? Are you valued and making money? Your income peaks in a major way on the 5th as you achieve your goal, get the raise, check in the mail, or see some source of earning end. This may be a high point with possessions, acquisitions, building, or spending as well. New Moon beginnings give you great cosmic support behind new ventures in media, travel, marketing, education, publishing, import/export, ceremonies, and legal matters from the 20th onward but you must be willing to eclipse something out to move ahead.

SCORPIO You will be revisiting or revising this month based on past financial matters, divorce issues or sexual attractions or issues. Your need to be loved and make money is very strongly tied to this reworking of your loans, debt, inheritance, bankruptcy, alimony, child support, settlement, insurance needs, taxes, commissions, royalties, mortgage, partner’s money, divorce, and your sexual activity. The past is up front and center, strongest from the 15th onward so what can you do to tweak things, reconnect or release in these areas so you feel the love or make the money? You reach a major personal high point by the 5th and it’s all about you, your brand, image, identity, body, or some personal goal being reached, celebrated or wrapping up and ending. New beginnings with the loans, inheritance, investments, settlements, alimony, child support, insurance, taxes, commissions, bankruptcy, a partner’s money, or with divorce, reproduction, or sexual attractions open up from the 20th onward. It’s important to note that something must be eclipsed out here for your fresh start to take off.

SAGITTARIUS Yowza Sage, Venus Retrogrades midmonth through your partners, agents, attorneys, specialists, advocates, competitors, and opponents. This means you will be heading back into past territory over love or money with them and you will want to revisit past situations, reconnect to see if there is merit in moving ahead in the future, (can that past agent help you earn or that past partner bring you love or release you to love), or release the issues that are in some way blocking future growth in love or income. You may see this person deal with a reversal in love or money and need to be there for them as well. You could also see a past significant other return or a current one exit during this phase. A film or other artistic project/ interest, spiritual, magical or psychic pursuit, hospital or addictive matter, clandestine affair or developmental effort reaches a major peak by the 5th. You will be at a time of achievements, celebrations or endings with these themes. New beginnings with partners, representatives and competitors kick off from the 20th onward but you must be willing to eclipse something out to have your fresh start.

67

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film Issue 2 - 2012

CANCER

LEO

VIRGO

It is SO time to revisit what you love and any income potential in film, music, art, spiritual interests, through clandestine behind the scenes means or Karmic relationships, hospitals, retreats, prisons, dealing with addictions, or research matters. You may have a return from the past or an exit from current situations here from the 15th forward. Love looks private or secret, income somehow flowing from artistry or intuitive Fated channels. A creative project hits a major peak on the 5th in celebration or endings. You may also be noting a very big moment in love or with children at this time. New opportunities in film, music, art, psychic or spiritual interests, hospitals or other institutions, dealing with addictions, clandestine affairs, research projects, or investigations begin on the 20th forward but you must be willing to eclipse something Karmic out of your life to move ahead here now.

Oh babe, it’s time for you to go back into the past with friends, groups, the internet, astrology, charities, or aspirations and revisit any potential love interests or issues or look for income opportunities here. This kicks in strongly from the 15th forward but you will feel it all month. Is there something you can rework? Social network it big time. Major high points are reached at home, with a move, real estate deal, roommate, family member, or with property by the 5th. You will be celebrating achievements or marking endings here. Fresh starts and new opportunities with friends, groups, astrology, the internet, and charities then open up from the 20th onward. However, you will need to be willing to eclipse something out to start fresh and this will have a powerful affect on the months ahead, it’s all in how you think about it or communicate it!

Virgo, a woman from your past is back, front and center, or a current one exits and it’s all about how she fits into your career or embodies a major goal. This is a month to revisit what needs doing with her or revisit past career matters, big ambitions, goals, ties to fame, issues around reputation, bosses, authority figures, or dad. You will be looking at how love is affected or how income can be generated here. It’s time to rework, reconnect or release in these arenas and this kicks in strongest from the 15th forward. A big decision, agreement, writing project, talk, or meeting reaches its zenith by the 5th. You may see something involving a brother, sister, neighbor, vehicle, or electronic peak now as well. This is a time of celebrating achievements here or marking endings. Your new beginnings open up with career, ambitions, goals, boss, authority figures, dad, fame, and reputation from the 20th onward but are based on your ability to eclipse something out from the past so that you can move ahead.

CAPRICORN

AQUARIUS

PISCES

Holy batcave, it’s time to backtrack or revisit past work projects or interests, coworkers or employees, services, health issues, or pet matters this month. This will be where income opportunities lurk and love awaits. A woman may help you here as well. Is there something you can rework or do you need to release something in these situations or with these people? This really kicks into gear from the 15th onward but you will be working with it from the get-go. A female colleague or health worker may return or a current one may exit, and you may need to make money doing something you did before. A friendship, group affiliation or activity, internet project, astrological or charitable interest, or aspiration peaks by the 5th in major celebrations, achievements or endings. Fresh starts and new opportunities arrive from the 20th onward in your work projects, interviews, auditions, with co-workers, employees, services you provide, organizational efforts, skill set, health, and with animals but it’s important to note that something must be eclipsed out to get this fresh start underway.

A past lover returns, current love interests slow down or exit, or you revisit past love issues this month so that you can move ahead in July on solid ground. Past creative projects or children’s issues may also return and in all of this you need to focus on what is happening for you as far as feeling the love or how it is affecting your income or spending. This is a cosmic doover and you want to rework things, reconnect or release so that you can move on. It’s really going to be strongest from the 15th onward. A career matter, major goal, ambition, moment in the spotlight, achievement, or something involving an authority figure, boss or dad peaks powerfully by the 5th. You will be celebrating achievements or seeing endings and wrapping things up in these areas. New starts with love, lovers, love interests, children, speculative ventures, recreational outlets, and creative projects open up from the 20th onward but something will have to be eclipsed out so that this new beginning can take off.

You will be retracing steps at home, regarding moves, real estate deals or interests, roommates, renovations, or family this month. It’s all about the love you feel here or the income and possessions in the mix. Things will either slow down in these areas for a bit or you will need to rework, revisit, reconnect, or release in these areas, especially from the 15th onward. A woman may play a significant role in this. Can you earn from home, revisit real estate, look at family dynamics and spending or earning, patch up love issues here, or make a change that allows love or money to flow in a healthier and more supportive way? A major high point is reached in a trip, with someone at a distance, an import/export deal, with a foreign interest or person, a legal matter, educational interest, media, publishing, or marketing matter, or ceremony by the 5th. This is a time of celebrating achievements or marking endings. New beginnings come at home, with moves, renovations, real estate, family, roommates, and security needs from the 20th onward but something will have to be eclipsed out to make your fresh start

www.ufmag.org

68

ZOEMOONASTROLOGY@GMAIL.COM OR CALL 818-613-6067


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

69

www.ufmag.org


Universal Film Issue 2 of 2012

The great content shift — the demand for content anytime, anywhere — has set in motion a kaleidoscope of infinite consumption options with unlimited business models. But only if you shift focus and work with the right players. Broader-casting® professionals are leading the evolution by collaborating across screens and delivery platforms, embracing the opportunities created by today’s disruptors, like advertisers, techno-savvy visionaries and, increasingly, just about anyone with an online channel and a following.

FREE Exhibits-only Pass Use code PA01

NAB Show,® the world’s largest media and entertainment event, is the place to leverage shifting players as part of your paradigm for success. Here you’ll discover game-changing strategies and emerging technologies designed to address today’s — and tomorrow’s expectations. Turn shift in your favor and evolve in a marketplace that moves forward with or without you. Register now!

CONFERENCES April 14–19, 2012 EXHIBITS April 16 –19 Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada USA

www.ufmag.org

70

www.nabshow.com


DarkRune - a new power is emerging on the Rock Horizon! Heri Joensen of the Faroese Folk Metal band TĂ?R and Konrad Hollenstein, the creator of the DREATH Movie Trilogy founded DarkRune - Accoustic Dark Metal... songs of Night and Darkness played with not only accoustic instruments. https://www.facebook.com/DarkRune

Universal Film Magazine Cannes Edition 2012  

The Universal Film Magazine is a free magazine that delivers passionate and creative coverage to the global film and festival communities. T...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you