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ISSUE 4 OF 2012








Issue 4 of 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.

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Tyrone D Murphy



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Orson Wells An interesting story “My time with Orson Wells” by Peter Shillingford JOHN FORD - his visual legacy

“White O’Mourn” the cottage where the “Quite Man” was filmed in rural Ireland

Ironman 3 P.3

FILM FESTIVALS 11 RECENT Ron Gilbert writes about his recent travels to

Film Festivals KUBRICK 13 STANLEY Roy Benson writes about his work with leg-

endary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick THE HOLLYWOOD GRAFFITI GOWN

17 Famous dress by emmy nominated designers with 450 signatures of famous women CAHAN 19 BEN Industry legend Ben Cahan talks to UFM about

his online screenwriters platform “Talentville” FILM FESTIVAL BOOTCAMP 3 29 Patricia J Pawlak is back with the next install-

The Lone Ranger


Secret of The Wings


Total Recall


ment of her Film Festival Bootcamp series


INTERNATIONAL CONFEDERATION OF ART CNEMA UFFO partners CICAE (3000 cinema network) announces new trailing schedule

TO IMPRESS A SCRIPT READER 41 HOW Michelle Goode writes about work as a script

reader YOUR KEEP 49 EARNING Earning your keep whilst in the

creative process by Gail Spenser RON GILBERT’S MONTHLY COLUMN 57 Actor, producer and journalist Ron Gilbert writes about his exploits around the World ZOE MOON MONTLY HOROSCOPE

59 Celebrity astrologist Zoe Moon gives her monthly horoscope to UFM readers

THE PERFECT CIRCLE 61 INSIDE Documentary film “Inside the Perfect Circle: g


The Odyssey”

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

Following in the footsteps of the record-breaking Marvel Studios’ release “Marvel’s The Avengers,” production on the highly anticipated film “Iron Man 3,” directed by Shane Black, has commenced production in Wilmington, North Carolina. The production schedule will also include locations in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina, Miami, Florida and China. Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1963, “Iron Man 3” returns Robert Downey Jr. (“Iron Man,” “Marvel’s The Avengers”) as the iconic Super Hero character Tony Stark/Iron Man along with Gwyneth Paltrow (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2,”) as Pepper Potts, Don Cheadle (“Iron Man 2”) as James “Rhodey” Rhodes and Jon Favreau (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”) as Happy Hogan. Set for release in the U.S. on May 3, 2013, Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” marks the second feature to be fully owned, marketed and distributed by Disney, which acquired Marvel in 2009. “Iron Man 3” continues the epic, big-screen adventures of the world’s favorite billionaire inventor/Super Hero, Tony Stark aka “Iron Man.” Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing the film. Executive producers on the project include Jon Favreau, Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Charles Newirth, Victoria Alon-

so, Stephen Broussard and Dan In 2010 “Iron Man 2,” starring Mintz. Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett The creative production team Johansson and Mickey Rourke, on the film includes two-time took the #1 spot in its first Oscar®-winning director of weekend with a domestic box photography John Toll, ASC office gross of $128.1 million. (“Braveheart,” “Legends of the Fall”), production designer In the summer of 2008, Marvel Bill Brzeski (“The Hangover,” produced the summer block“Due Date”), editors Jeffrey buster movies “Iron Man” and Ford, A.C.E. (“Marvel’s The “The Incredible Hulk.” “Iron Avengers,” “Captain America: Man,” in which Robert Downey The First Avenger”) and Peter Jr. originally dons the Super S. Elliot (“Fantastic 4: Rise of Hero’s powerful armor and the Silver Surfer”), and cos- stars alongside co-stars Tertume designer Louise Frogley rence Howard, Jeff Bridges and (“Quantum of Solace,” “Conta- Gwyneth Paltrow, was released gion”). May 2, 2008, and was an immediate box office success. Marvel Studios most recently Garnering the number one poproduced the critically ac- sition for two weeks in a row, claimed “Marvel’s The Aveng- the film brought in over $100 ers,” which set the all-time, million in its opening weekdomestic 3-day weekend box end. On June 13, 2008, Marvel office record at $207.4 million. released “The Incredible Hulk,” The film, which is currently in marking its second number release, continues to shatter one opener of that summer. box office records and is The Walt Disney Studios’ highest- Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a grossing global and domestic wholly-owned subsidiary of release of all time and marks The Walt Disney Company, is the studios’ fifth film to gross one of the world’s most promimore than $1 billion world- nent character-based enterwide. tainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 In the summer of 2011, Marvel characters featured in a variety successfully launched two new of media over seventy years. franchises with “Thor,” starring Marvel utilizes its character Chris Hemsworth, and “Captain franchises in entertainment, America: The First Avenger,” licensing and publishing. For starring Chris Evans. Both films more information visit www. opened #1 at the box office and have grossed over $800 million worldwide combined.


Universal Film

ironman 3


Issue 4 of 2012

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012


by Peter Shillingford

My Time with Orson Wells


n the 1970s, Orson Welles was involved in a series of commercials I produced for Christian Brothers Wine Company. “We will sell no wine before it’s time,” was the commercial’s tag line. The crew, however, took to creating its own catchphrase and were soon heard saying, “We will sell no swine until its brine.” Mr. Welles, being a rather large man, had problems walking any great distance. The locations we scouted in Hollywood had to be both easily accessible for Mr. Welles and quickly adaptable for setting up a cocktail party venue. Additionally, we need to accommodate Orson’s special seat, a huge and heavily reinforced piano seat, that was often centre stage. The limousine would arrive at 10:00 am and Orson would roll out the back and take his seat. By 4:00pm, he would usually be finished, having been word perfect for the length of the shoot. The creative agency, however, was little pleased with Mr. Welles, who often dismissed their script and worked from his own words. Let’s face it, the man was a film genius –

be it in Citizen Kane, television or commercials. During the many lunch breaks I sat with him, he never ate and I would listen with an open mouth to his stories. One of the last commercials we shot Orson did not arrive until midday and very much the worst for wear. He had been filming in Las Vegas all night and they had run over his allotted time. Being a consummate professional he hung in there and even rang us to say he would be late. Not a real problem with his usual word perfect delivery. In the limo down to the Hollywood location he took a sleeping pill to get at least a few hours’ sleep but it never took effect so he took another. When he arrived at noon in the sleeping pill finally kicked in. The man was a shambles; he could hardly speak and the agency guys were considering suing him. After a couple of failed takes I, as producer, sent the agency guys off to lunch. I asked the owner of the mansion if we

could let Orson rest for a few hours in the house. . She was delighted and quickly agreed. A day bed was prepared and I had the honour of stripping off the great man’s shirt and trousers. Somehow, he managed to wrap himself in a sheet and I tucked him in. At 3:00 pm Mr. Welles appeared immaculate and word perfect and we finished the shoot at five o’clock. Thus, averting overtime and the fury of the agency. As the line producer on the Academy Award winning film “Genocide” we had Orson with Elizabeth Taylor as the two voice overs. From this opportunity came a lunch invitation from Mr. Welles to discuss further voice over work in the UK. Arriving for lunch I found him finishing his meal with two other people. After they left he and I dined. I was dispatched at 2:00 pm and two more people sat down with him and he had the same lunch again. Soup, steak and fries and an apple crumble…all washed down with champagne. The man was amazing!


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Issue 4 of 2012

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

The Lone ranger T

he Lone Ranger is an upcoming action Western film directed by Gore Verbinski and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. The film stars Armie Hammer in the lead role and Johnny Depp as Tonto.

In March 2002, Columbia Pictures announced their intention to make a Lone Ranger film with Classic Media, who owned the film rights at the time. Husband-and-wife producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher joined the project. The tone was to be similar to The Mask of Zorro, and Columbia suggested that Tonto be rewritten as a female love interest. The projected budget was set at $70 million. In May 2003, David and Janet Peoples were hired to write the script. By January 2005, the Peoples’ script was rewritten by Laeta Kalogridis, with Jonathan Mostow to direct. Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Walt Disney Pictures The Lone Ranger languished in development hell until January 2007 when The Weinstein Company became interested in purchasing the film rights from Classic Media. However, the deal fell through, and Entertainment Rights eventually optioned the property. By May 2007, producer Jerry Bruckheimer (alongside Entertainment Rights) set the film up at


Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

Walt Disney Pictures as Lone Ranger. Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, who had worked with Bruckheimer and Disney on the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, were being considered to write the script. In late March 2008, Elliott and Rossio were in final negotiations. Disney then announced in September 2008 that Johnny Depp would be portraying Tonto.

Addressing the project’s production problems in October 2011, Disney confirmed that the film was back on track after the budget was reworked to give the studio a chance to recoup its costs. It was reported that filming would begin on February 6, 2012 for a projected release date of May 31, 2013, which was subsequently moved to July 3, 2013.

The Elliot/Rossio script had a supernatural tone, and has since been rewritten by Justin Haythe. In May 2009, Mike Newell, who was then directing Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time for Bruckheimer and Disney, entered negotiations to direct Lone Ranger. However, Bruckheimer explained the following June that he wanted to wait on hiring a director until Newell completed Prince of Persia, and until Depp finished filming Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. “The priority is most definitely Pirates 4,” Bruckheimer commented. “They are going to cast the title role once they get a director and Disney greenlights. We don’t have a director yet.” In September of 2010, Gore Verbinski was hired to direct. Filming was slated to begin after Depp finished work in Dark Shadows. Actor Armie Hammer will play the role of the Lone Ranger.

Filming commenced the first week of March 2012 and on March 8, the first photograph of Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger and Johnny Depp as Tonto was released.

The film was initially scheduled for a Summer 2011 release date, but Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides replaced it, because the latter was considered a priority for the studio and because Lone Ranger did not have a director. After Gore Verbinski signed for director, Lone Ranger’s release date was moved to December 21, 2012. However, budget concerns and negotiations resulted in a production delay, so the release date shifted to May 31, 2013. On May 31, 2012, the release date was pushed further forward to July 3, 2013, assuming the place of Disney’s Robopocalypse for the July Fourth holiday weekend.


On August 12, 2011, Disney announced that production on The Lone Ranger would be delayed due to budget concerns, and on August 15, 2011, it was revealed that The Lone Ranger had been shelved for the foreseeable future due to said budgetary concerns, as well as the under-performance of another Western-genre film, Cowboys & Aliens.

Cinematographer Bojan Bazelli has been confirmed for shooting. Verbinski and Bazelli worked before in the successful horror film The Ring. Release

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

John Ford

visual legacy


ocals and fans alike from around the world are rallying on the Facebook social network to renew the dream of seeing the cottage featured in John Ford’s classic movie “The Quiet Man”, restored to its 1952 cinematic beauty. Today, the structure is barely recognizable as it lies in shambles – neglected for 25 years by its American owner. For Paddy McCormick, originally from Belfast now living in Toronto, this dream began in 1998. As an ardent fan of John Ford he began what he termed a “pilgrimage” to visit the film locations of this magical movie. He was delighted to find most of the locations still remained just as they appeared on screen. Unfortunately his dream trip fell short when he found the once ‘perfect Irish cottage’ of Sean and Mary Kate Thornton lying in total ruin, on a neglected farm lot. In 1951 the Hollywood crew for Republic Studios and famed director John Ford descended on the quiet little village of Cong in County Mayo, Ireland. Little did the locals realize that in the weeks to follow film history was going to be made in their midst. You can only imagine the excitement the filming had on the population at the time. Of course not all of the villagers shared the enthusiasm, but the endeavour did provide many jobs for locals and quite a change of pace for all. The village and surrounding area became a movie set for the exteriors of the film “The Quiet Man” a film that would become known not only as one of John Ford’s greatest films (and reportedly his own personal favourite), but considered by many, a movie masterpiece. The crew left in mid-July, 1951 and the movie was released in 1952. It became a huge hit in the United States but, somewhat understandably, met with mixed reviews in Ireland. Some objected to the ‘stage

Irish’ and others felt that one particular scene – where Sean Thornton drags Mary Kate across the countryside – depicted the Irish as chauvinistic and was an example of how they treated women.

gins in Spiddal, Co Galway, are perhaps not so well known), and in so doing, to honour Ireland’s enormous contribution to cinema through the achievements of this great film-maker.

In the village of Cong, however, locals soon learned that tourism was increasing to their area because of the film and as the years passed, they gave tourists a great place to visit. They provided souvenir shops, tours of the film sites, and Cohan’s Bar (which was originally a store) is now re-designed as a replica of the Irish pub from the movie and open for business. The spirit of “The Quiet Man” still lives – thanks to the locals who work hard to keep it alive.

A restored White O’Morn, in the condition in which it was used as the centerpiece of the movie, would be both a living monument and a lasting tribute to Ford’s enormous stature. It would, indeed, be a living celebration of Ireland’s pre-eminent place in movie history, and of the country’s influence on one of its most accomplished sons.

Paddy McCormick has now set up ‘White O’Morn Foundation’, a nonprofit organisation which is pursuing, in collaboration with several interested groups and with the support of the Irish Government, his dream to bring the cottage featured in the movie back to life. White O’Morn Foundation Mission: To restore part of the wonderful visual legacy that John Ford left us and to highlight Ford’s strong links with Ireland, both professionally, i.e. The Quiet Man, and personally (his ori-

A more fitting icon cannot imagined: the perfect whitewashed Irish cottage, centerpiece of one of Ford’s most loved movies, and situated in the vicinity of where his parents left Ireland for a new life across the Atlantic. Indeed, Ford once emotionally described the very same cottage, in symbolic terms, as “...the little cottage I was born in”. White O’Morn, restored to its 1951 film glory would, we feel, be a way of bringing John Ford back home to Ireland and to his beloved Connemara.


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Issue 4 of 2012


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At 75 yrs old Patricia Weaver is breaking all the stereotypes! Weaver is producing a short form documentary of TV quality filming older adults who were children during WWII. An interesting note, Weaver has never made a film before. To quote her directly “ what a learning curve”! The film is historical, the adults now in their 70s are speaking about a very fearful time, a love of country and a feeling of unity. The film will be available late 2012,2013,

Feel Good Film Festival T

he Feel Good Film Festival is right around the corner.

Coming August 3-5, 2012, we will celebrate the Festival’s 5th Anniversary. This lively, feelgood event will be arriving with a full schedule of film screenings aimed at both adult and family audiences that highlight positive themes, and happy endings, make audiences laugh, and capture the beauty of our world. The Festival, hosted by Laemmle NoHo7 in North Hollywood, is dedicated to provideing a platform for filmmakers worldwide with positive views on life. During the three-day event, 60 films will be shown, including 15 features, 32 shorts, and 13 student and future filmmakers’ films. The Festival opens with the signature “Yellow Carpet” Entrances and an Opening Gala Party hosted by a celebrity. The Opening Night feature film, Red Dog, won the coveted Best Film award at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts in addition to many other awards. Throughout the weekend 18 separate film screening blocks will accompany an original screenplay competition, a screenplay panel discussion, a Saturday Evening Gala, and a Closing Night Awards Gala, including a BBoy dance performance, and celebrity host. Additionally, the Feel Good Film Festival will represent eleven countries including the U.S, U.K, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Australia, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, and Israel.

Dances With Films Festival

by Ron Gilbert

The Dances with Films Film Festival has planted its’ footing along the stars on Hollywood Boulevard at the Mann Chinese theatre. Festival directors Leslee Scallon and Michael Trent have moved this festival into the ranks of a festival to be reckoned with. As the saying goes the “Truth is in the Pudding” and after attending this festival now in its’ second day ,the theatre is packed to capacity which always make me happy and it goes without saying that the filmmakers are also very pleased. I had not been to this festival in years and remember when it started out at the Laemmle theatres in Santa Monica and then moved to the Sunset 5 (which is now closed )in West Hollywood.This film festival is what the o former Sundance used to be like until it became Sundance Hollywood. The opening night film, ”Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life” directed by 3 time alum Tamar Halpern with Oscar winner Mira Sorvino and Emmy award winner Joe Pantoliano was the best choice for a kickoff. That film was followed by “Attack of the Bat Monsters” which had been shown in the 3rd year of the festival and has found distribution, which confirms the saying ”A winner never quits and a quitter never wins”. On the second day of the festival, I was very fortunate to see “Downbeat :A Collection of Music and Dance “ which featured music videos and dance films and short documentaries and that series took me on both an inspirational and emotional journey which was always filled with laughter. I commented to the filmmakers and the festival directors that that was one of the best collection of shorts that I had ever seen and I have been to Sundance and all the other major festivals to be able to make that statement. Following that was the feature “Dead Dad” which had a comic ring to it even though the title clearly is was the film is about.The film was shot on weekends and the cast of actors were truly convincing. I am now looking forward to the 3rd day of the festival which opens with the film ,“Crocodile in the Yangtze” and that will be followed by the short film group competitions and the features “The Exquisite Corpse Project” ,”Liars,Fires and Bear”,”3 Days of Normal ” and end with the film “Disorientation”which I am feeling at the moment. Dances with Films runs from May 31-June 7 at the Chinese theatre in Hollywood so jog over and have some fun experiences www.danceswithfilms.comnt.


by Ron Gilbert

m Fil 2 al 01 rs 4 of 2 ivesue Un Is


LITTLE BIG BOY “Little Big Boy” is a horror/comedy that tells the story of acclaimed horror film director Jimmy Duncan, infamous for his psychotic temper and his unique brand of exploitative movies.

However, movie fans were looking forward to Oscar winner Woody Allen appearing to present his romantic new film “To Rome with Love”. Love was in the air all over Downtown Los Angeles with smiling Hollywood film fans on the red carpet. The LAFF directors were very smart to get this film as their opener. Woody must have felt like he was in NYC being in the vicinity of the Staples Center, Nokia , The Convention Center, and with the Regal Cinemas and L.A. Live across the street to The Ritz Carlton and The Marriott. Sort of like being on Central Park West in NYC without Central Park. If the festival sponsors had provided a horse and carriage alongside a yellow cab, Woody might have had a New York moment. But hold on for a moment - his new film was shot in

Rome, Italy and not Rome, New York. Actors are always very happy to be in a Woody Allen film because they might win an Oscar, get a nomination or a higher IMDb rating on account of the popularity of Woody Allen movies.Woody is a hopeless romantic and love is always on his mind and in his movies. Sometimes he even falls in love with the actresses; he actually married Mia Farrow who was one of his stars. At this year’s Film Festival talented female cast members Penelope Cruz, Greta Gerwig, Alessandra Mastronardi and Simona Caparrini heated up the red carpet. Film Independent (FIND) has an excellent staff of programmers for LAFF who pick the best films from Sundance, Berlin and Cannes including indies and world premières. There are also numerous panels led by icons in the film industry who provide the most current information on all aspects of making it in Hollywood.

Director Kim Sønderholm about the film: “It’s probably gonna cause a lot of controversy and I know a lot of people are instantly gonna be turned off by it and hate it automatically, but I also know the opposite to be true - I know a lot of people are gonna find it hysterical and hopefully even thought provoking. So... Without further ado - make sure you get the film! Release date is August 21, 2012 and the film is already available for pre-order at various webshops.”


The opening day of The Los Angeles Film Festival 2012 was full of excitement with fans packing the streets, watching the parade and honoring the Stanley Cup champions.

Having witnessed the murder of his mother at the age of seven, Duncan grew up in an orphanage and then worked his way up in the movie industry. Caught up in the downward spiral of his own success and surrounded by negatives: movie reviewers who refused to acknowledge his obvious talent, starlet wannabes with zero ability to act, producers with little patience, and those who will exploit anyone to become famous in a soul-eating industry, we the film follows Jimmy while he is working on his latest feature “Death Stalker”. The shoot quickly descends into insanity when his leading lady leaves the production halfway through shooting the film. Haunted by his childhood experiences, Duncan finds himself in an abyss from which there is no return.

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012


Ledgendary Film-maker byRoy Benson

“I had the honour to work with Stanley on the production ‘Dr Strangelove’”...


custard pie fight between the American and Russian diptanley Kubrick remains one of cinema’s lomats in the War Room, showing the futility of war. The most controversial film-makers of all time. film had been completed and a final graded print struck, Although he is one of the most acclaimed and when he decided to show it to a group of friends one controversial filmmakers of his generation, he evening. I came in to the editing rooms the next day to was also an intensely private man who rarely hear Stanley talking to an associate in the next room. gave interviews and produced most of his films It was clear that the person was not happy about under a shroud of secrecy. This tended to foster something in the film. Next moment Stanley came a great deal of rumour and speculation about “Roy, cut the into my room and said Roy, get the last reel of the his working methods. He is remembered for custard pie film, we are cutting out the custard pie sequence. his relentless creative vision and his imporscene” I was amazed, and said ‘no, you are not going do tance and influence as an artist. that are you? He insisted, and it was my job to edit the sequence from the film. It has never seen I had the honour to work with Stanley on the the light of day since. My feelings are, that it was the production ‘Dr Strangelove’. Never have I learnt perfect ending to the film. so much about filmmaking in my career than during this time. During the editing of the production I told Stanley I was going to make my own short film. To my amazement, he sat down with me for two hours explaining how he started, suggesting I do the same. Get a stills camera and shoot stills constantly, that are the way you will learn about camera set up and framing your subject. Shoot the whole film mute and add in the dialogue and effects later, the way he had shot his first feature ‘Killers Kiss’.

There is a lot of discussion with regard to the ending of ‘Dr Strangelove’. Stanley spent six weeks shooting the famous ‘custard pie’ sequence. The sequence was a

Below is an outline of Stanley Kubrick’s career, which is like no other Director in the realm of movies. A career that opened new doors to filmmaking that has taught new filmmakers what filmmaking is all about at the highest level. A career that is a part of history within the history of film. Stanley Kubrick was born in New York, and was considered intelligent despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would produce better academic performance, Kubrick’s father Jack (a physician ) sent


Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

In the next few years, Kubrick had regular assignments for “Look”, and would become a voracious moviegoer. Together with friend Alexander Singer, Kubrick planned a move into film, and in 1950 sank his savings into making the documentary Day Of The Fight ( 1951 ) . This was followed by several short commissioned documentaries Flying Padre ( 1 951 ) , and Seafarers, The ( 1952) , but by attracting investors and hustling chess games in Central Park, Kubrick was able to make Fear And Desire ( 1953) in California. Filming this movie was not a happy experience; Kubrick’s marriage to high school sweetheart Toba Metz did not survive the shooting. Despite mixed reviews for the film itself, Kubrick received good notices for his obvious directorial talents. Kubrick’s next two films Killers Kiss (19 55) and The Killing (1956 )brought him to the attention of Hollywood. In1957 he directed Kirk Douglas in Paths Of Glory(1 957 ). Douglas later called upon Kubrick to take over the production of Sparatacus ( 1960 ) , by some accounts hoping that Kubrick would be daunted by the scale of the project and would thus be accommodating. This was not the case, however: Kubrick took charge of the project, imposing his ideas and standards on the film. Many crewmembers were upset by his style: cinematographer Russell Metty complained to producers that Kubrick was taking over his job. Ku-

brick’s response was to tell him to sit there and do nothing. Kubrick’s next project was to direct Marlen Brande in One-Eyed Jacks ( 1961 ) , but negotiations broke down and Brande himself ended up directing the film himself. Disenchanted with Hollywood and after another failed marriage, Kubrick moved permanently to England. Kubrick’s first UK film was Lolita ( 1962), which was carefully constructed and guided so as to not offend the censorship boards which at the time had the power to severely damage the commercial success of a film. Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Stopped Worrying And Love The Bomb (1964) was a big risk for Kubrick; before this, “nuclear” was not considered a subject for comedy. Originally written as a drama, Kubrick decided that too many of the ideas he had written were just too funny to be taken seriously. The film’s critical and commercial success allowed Kubrick the financial and artistic freedom to work on any project he desired. The next film he completed was collaboration with sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is hailed by many as the best ever made; an instant cult favorite, it has set the standard and tone for many science fiction films that followed. Kubrick followed this with A Clockwork Orange (1971) , which rivaled Lolita (1962) for the controversy it generated - this time not for only for its portrayal of sex, but also of violence. Barry Lyndon (1975) would prove a turning point in both his professional and private live. His unrelenting demands of commitment and perfection of cast and crew had by now become legendary. Filming a story in Ireland involving the military, Kubrick received reports that the IRA had declared him a possible target. Production was promptly moved out of the country, and Kubrick’s desire for privacy and security have resulted in him being considered a recluse ever since. Having turned down directing a sequel to The Exorcist (1973), Kubrick made his own horror film: The Shining (1980). Again, rumors circulated of demands made upon actors and crew. Kubrick’s subsequent work has been

well spaced: it was seven years before Full Metal Jacket (1987) was released. By this time, Kubrick was married with children. Seen by one critic as the dark side to the humanist story of Platoon (1986) , Full Metal Jacket (1987) continued Kubrick’s legacy of solid critical acclaim, and profit at the box office. In the 1990s, Kubrick began an onagain/off-again collaboration with Brian Aldiss on a new science fiction film called “Artificial Intelligence (AI) “, but progress was very slow, and Kubrick returned to his in-development projects, but encountered a number of problems: “Napoleon” was completely dead, and “Wartime Lies” (now called “The Aryan Papers” ) was abandoned when Steven Spielberg announced he would direct Schindler ‘s List (1993 ) , which covered much of the same material. While pre-production work on “AI” crawled along, Kubrick combined “Rhapsody” and “Blue Movie” and officially announced his next project as Eyes Wide Shut (1999), starring the then married Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. After two years of production under unprecedented security and privacy, the film was released to a typically polarized critical and public reception; Kubrick claimed it was his best film to date. Special effects technology had matured rapidly in the meantime, and Kubrick immediately began active work on Artificial Intelligence: AI(2 0 01) , but tragically suffered a fatal heart attack in his sleep on March 7th, 1999. After Kubrick’s death, Spielberg revealed that the two of them were friends that frequently communicated discretely about the art of filmmaking; both had a large degree of mutual respect for each other’s work. “AI” was frequently discussed; Kubrick even suggested that Spielberg should direct it as it was more his type of project. Based on this relationship, Spielberg took over as the film’s director and completed the last Kubrick project. How much of Kubrick’s vision remains in the finished project-- and what he would think of the film as eventually released -- will be the final great unanswerable mysteries in the life of this talented and private filmmaker.


him in 1940 to Pasadena, California, to stay with his uncle Martin Perveler. Returning to the Bronx in 1941 for his last year of grammar school, there seemed to be little change in his attitude or his results. Hoping to find something to interest his son, Jack introduced Stanley to chess, with the desired result. Kubrick took to the game passionately, and quickly became a skilled player. Jack Kubrick’s decision to give his son a camera for his thirteenth birthday would be an even wiser move: Kubrick became an avid photographer, and would often make trips around New York taking photographs which he would develop in a friend’s darkroom. After selling an unsolicited photograph to Look Magazine, Kubrick began to associate with their staff photographers, and at the age of seven teen and was later offered a job as an apprentice photographer.

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012


Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

Dear Mr Cameron Rushes Soho Shorts 2011 award winner Kay Productions presents ‘DEAR MR CAMERON’ (DMC). A ground breaking provocative short film inspired by the UK riots of August 2011. The film was made without a budget from external investors and everyone involved in the production volunteered their services and resources because they believed it was a worthy project that questioned the status quo and promotes change in a dysfunctional society. The film was shot in one day at the Union Chapel in Islington. The former church is an award- winning venue and centre for those homeless and in crisis in London. The end credits song ‘The Kids Don’t Play No More’ by Mister Biscuit, features BBC2 award winning songwriter Megan Henward. The track generated 120,000 hits in its first month on YouTube. The original score was written by BAFTA nominated composer Andrew ‘Barn’ Barnabas. Barn has created a score of great depth that perfectly captures the on-screen emotion. The screenplay is based on the poem of the same name, written by former rap artist Beng. Beng has worked with Hip Hop’s finest including Erik Sermon, Method Man and Ludacris. He is currently stage manager for ‘Mastermind’, one of the biggest music stages at the Notting Hill Carnival. Last year he was responsible for providing performances from acclaimed artists including Mz Bratt, who featured on The Children In Need Single 2011 and Omar, nominee MOBO Best R & B / Soul Act 2011. Beng wrote the poem in response to Britain’s youth being labeled as ‘Public enemy no.1’ by the media and government after the riots. Although bold and seemingly confrontational, the poem does not seek to glorify the events or justify the actions of the rioters but instead offers an opportunity for society to contemplate a broader picture. There was no discourse about the root of the problem or the government and media’s part in creating a society where there is corruption at the highest levels. Young people feel they have no role

models in the country’s leaders (expenses scandals), no trust in the media (newspaper hacking scandals) and absolutely no confidence in the reckless & greedy Banks (Banks bailout and bonus scandals). There is a general breakdown of morals from people running the country and people who create the media agenda.

lenge 2010 and best music video ‘Thinking of You’ by Jordan Mba, awarded by the Beverly Hills TV, Film and New Media Festival 2011.

Since the poem was written, the feedback has been overwhelming with people sharing it, re- posting, blogging, forwarding the piece and even wanting to start a petition. It is for this reason the DEAR MR CAMERON film project was born.

DMC will be promoted online (dedicated website, facebook page and twitter account @ DMCFILM2012) and offline screening in community centres, particularly those affected by the riots, and schools in order to spread the message of the film. The film has the support of Camilla Batmanghelidjh of the children’s charity ‘Kids Company’ (

The film was directed by award winning Film and Music Video Director Martin Denham. Martin directed Kay Productions short film ‘The Off Site’, winner at Rushes Soho Shorts Festival 2011 and AAA New Music Awards ‘Best Video’ for the Smith 6079 song ‘Kill Romeo’ in 2007. Martin’s Shakespearian vision brought Beng’s poetic words to life on the screen.

DEAR MR CAMERON is provocative and provides an alternative narrative to that which we have seen in the mainstream media thus far. It highlights many of the issues that young people struggle to deal with including double standards, mixed messages and abuse of power. But it also touches on remorse and regret and is essentially a cry for help.

Martin’s interpretation of the poem was ‘Prime Minister’s Question Time’ in the House of Commons with members of the community from all sections of society: middle classes, working classes, different racial backgrounds and ages confronting the Prime Minister in response to the riots. The performance has a theatrical structure with the cast, recreating through props and editing effects, the oppressive state of society & the corruption and hopelessness of their situation. DMC’s Producer and CEO of Kay Productions Karine Alexander has over 10 years experience in the TV & Film industry. She has worked with a variety of companies and individuals including Sheepish Productions and the Mastermind sound stage at Notting Hill Carnival 2011. Her award winning credits include short films ‘The Off Site’, ‘Internet Bully’ for the Aprilfest 24 hr film chal-


“I believe DMC is extremely powerful because of its unique artistic presentation of the subject matter; you hear it, see it and feel’s like 3D poetry!” Beng (Writer of DEAR MR CAMERON)

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

The Hollywood Graffiti Gown Legendary fashion designer Randy McLaughlin is a couture fashion designer in the realm of glamour, and a perfectionist in the world of detail fashion design. A one-of-a-kind at his craft of beading, Randy has designed some of the most infamous and spectacular costumes and gowns of the 20th and 21st century. Randy began his fashion design career at an early age with partner, Jerry Skeels in 1980, and was recognized by the fashion industry immediately when Joan Collins chose to wear his Red Poinsettia Gown for the cover of Playboy Magazine’s December 1983 issue – now known as “The Lady In Red” Playboy cover. For the next three decades, Jeran Design was on the “fast track,” and was the design company of choice among the Hollywood elite.

“The dress has over 450 signatures of the world’s leading ladies”

During this period, Randy and Jerry sketched, designed and created – in amazing detail – a vast number of costumes, dresses and gowns for television and theater. Some of the programs they graced with their talents include “P.S. I Luv U,” starring Connie Sellecca, “One West Waikiki,” starring Cheryl Ladd, “The Young and the Restless,” and “The Bold and the Beautiful.” The pair also designed for the models on “Star Search,” and spent 22 years designing gowns for the models of “The Price Is Right.” A variety of stars have worn their garments, ranging from Lana Tuner, Kim Novak, Donna Mills, Lindsay Wagner, Tina Turner, Natalie Cole, Little Richard, and most notably Liberace, a legend and talent with whom Randy particularly enjoyed working. Having done countless interviews with print and television media outlets over the span of his career, Randy is no stranger to the camera, and has the charisma and charm to melt the cynical. Randy and Jerry were nominated twice for an Emmy for best design, and also won the United Nations In-


Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

ternational Spirit Award in 1984, The Golden Needle award in 2003, Lake Arrowhead Ambassador award, and numerous humanitarian awards. Randy has recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his 30 years of contributing to Fashion on June 12, 2010, from the Art Institute of California-Inland Empire. bassador award, and numerous humanitarian awards. Randy has recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his thirty years of contributing to Fashion on June 12,2010 from the Art Institute of California-Inland Empire. One of the most amazing creations ever designed by Randy was the Hollywood Graffiti Gown in the early years of Jeran Design, which had a list of female stars’ names hand beaded into the plushest of fabrics: black German velvet. The first to loan their names to this gown were Hollywood legends Bette Davis, Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, and soon after, Elizabeth Taylor. On March 13, 2004, the gown, created over a period od 24 years, was unveiled as a special presentation at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in North Hollywood. The gown now contains over 350 bugle, seed, and platinum beaded signatures of influential women, ranging from Mother Teresa to California Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, to current actresses Cate Blanchett and the cast of “Desperate Housewives.” After its unveiling in 2004, the gown has since been presented in Los Angeles, San Francisco, as well as in La Paz, Bolivia.


In 2009, Randy decided to honor their fashion career by coming up with the idea for an illustrated book spanning the Jeran career of three decades, titled “The Glamour Kings of Hollywood”, which he is still looking forward to getting published. Later that year, Randy decided that it was time to share with the world the Hollywood Graffiti Gown. It was sent to the Hollywood Museum for a portion of 2010. People came from all over the world to see the Hollywood Graffiti Gown up close and in person. In May, 2010, a reception in its honor was held at the museum, attracting such television stars as Florence Henderson, comedians Rip Taylor, Joanne Worley, and Judy Tenuta, as well as Dee Wallace, Stefanie Powers, and many more. The Hollywood Museum exhibit closed in September, 2010. The Hollywood Graffiti Gown will soon be auctioned off. The proceeds will be given to a number of AIDS awareness charities that have supported the presentation of the gown.

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012


CAHAN Crowdsourced Script Development. The co-founder of Final Draft turns his attention to the internet to discover talented screenwriters with his new venture,

Ask aspiring screenwriters their biggest frustration and you won’t hear how difficult it is to write a good script, let alone a great one. After all, and they will be happy to point this out, theirs are all great, the next blockbuster just waiting to be produced. What you will hear instead is how impossible it is to get anyone who matters to read them. Their scripts collect dust and Hollywood isn’t returning phone calls or emails. Ben Cahan, the creator and co-founder of screenwriting software Final Draft, wants to do something about that. His new online screenwriting community,, is a cross between a social network for screenwriters, a peer review system for screenplays and a management company for those who work their way to the top of the heap. Using a worldwide network of screenwriters to sift, sort, critique and ultimately recommend worthy projects, Talentville’s goal is to help develop talent and promote market-ready scripts.

Talentville is here!

To that end, Ben has been busy promoting the site to not only screenwriters but also to his many contacts in Hollywood, namely the agents, managers and producers who are on the lookout for projects they can option, sell and produce. Many of us have used crowdsourcing sites when we want to read a book ( or when we want to go out to eat ( According to Ben it works with screenplays as well because when all is said and done, a good story is a good story, with the bonus that fellow screenwriters are uniquely qualified to judge the technical aspects, from plot points to character arcs. Add to that the fact that if a script works its way up the ranks, Talentville brings in the professionals, a staff made up of readers from some of the biggest talent agencies and production companies in Hollywood. Make it past the members, earn the endorsement of their staff and Talentville promises to get involved and help promote your script.


Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

4000 Members

To date, Talentville has a membership of almost 4000 screenwriters who have uploaded over 1100 screenplays and contributed almost 3000 reviews, but according to Ben that is just a starting point. His goal is to make it the go-to destination for both writers and Industry professionals, a true marketplace with a built in quality control system so that writers know where they stand and producers know what others have to say before they even read “Fade In:”. If you are a screenwriter just starting out or one with a stack of scripts sitting on a shelf, check out Talentville, upload your projects and see what happens. You never know, it might just be that you do have what it takes but just didn’t get the right people to take notice, and the folks at Talentville would love to say they were the ones who discovered you. About Ben Cahan Benjamin Cahan was the original developer and co-founder of Final Draft™, the worldwide leader in screenwriting software for motion picture and television industries. As the company’s CEO from 1989 to 2001, he took Final Draft™ from a home-based software company to a valuable brand name respected and used by the majority of writers, producers and studios across the globe. Prior to developing Final Draft™, Mr. Cahan received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland in 1984. He worked as a computer programmer for IBM during his college years and moved to Los Angeles after graduation to work for a defense contractor in Los Angeles. Eighteen months later, after taking a film production class at the University of Southern California, he left the defense industry and formed his own company developing film production software.


The idea for Talentville was born in 2009 when Mr. Cahan was scouring the internet for a comprehensive site that filled the needs of both writers and the Hollywood professional community alike. Failing to find any site that in his opinion truly addressed all the needs of aspiring writers, from reviews and coverage to networking, industry participation to active project marketing, continuing education to collaboration, he set out to combine all these necessary elements in one place.

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012


Universal Film


Issue 4 of 2012

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

the big black 23

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012


tutes are an important basis for filmmaking in our country. But our submissions were refused and thus, we decided to do it on our own. Hearing what the gatekeepers said, considering their warnings but not letting them drag us away from our goal. Because the most powerful and dangerous gatekeeper is your own mind!

THE BIG BLACK is a road movie, featuring young Jack driving through purgatory, trying to escape the demons of his past. Of course, he drives a hearse and in Winter 2009 I phoned through several undertaker’s businesses in order to find a hearse for a quick photo-shooting. So we would have some key visual to underline our plans.

There is this magical triangle between money, time and quality. Less money means either less quality or less time. There was no discussion about the quality and so time became more and more valuable. Our plans had put the first shotting day to March, 1st. In order to get the spooky surroundings we needed to tell purgatory. Only five weeks to go and so much to do...

When I saw the Chevy Caprice ’79 waiting in the small alley in a tiny village in Southern Germany, lightning hit me: this was Jack’s car, for sure! After the shooting the undertaker committed that the hearse had had her last job just this morning. For around 800$ he would give it away. I agreed, feeling that this hearse would be the horse to carry our mission and negotiated for a coffin on top. Saying, without thinking: „Not necessarily a new one. A used coffin is ok for us.“ Have you ever heard an undertaker laugh aloud? After calming down and me understanding my (obvious) error he came up with a somewhat scarred coffin that „had fallen down from the forklift in the coffin company“. Well, no more questions from me and on the road with my new horse, feeling the hearse shiver on the highway. From then on, we would drive with the Chevy to all meetings concerning THE BIG BLACK, thus proving that „we would really do it“. By the way, a mock-up of a DVD with the first key visual on the cover, was always placed inside the coffin. A totem, so to speak. When we started acquiring cast & crew in Berlin in February 2010 (during Berlinale, where they are all in town) we met another classical character of a hero’s journey: the Gatekeeper(s). In our case, the gatekeepers were those who said „it is impossible to produce this film in Germany wihtout the support of the funding institutions or TV stations.“ Of course we had tried to get this support, the funding insti-

Then, in Summer 2011 (!) we finally had „picture lock“ and in January 2012 finally finished re-recording THE BIG BLACK. Already in December 2011, we had our worldwide premiere, in Korinth (Greece), running in competition for the GOLDEN PEGASUS, an animal from Greek mythology, having huge wings. An omen? Might be, as we won the GOLDEN PEGASUS for BEST DIRECTOR and BEST SCORE. Meanwhile, our baby has been screened in New Delhi (IDFF) and will run in competition at Cyprus International Film Festival in October. But, of course, the journey is not over. Seeking distribution AFTER having finished the film and not having an A-list actor in your castlist is the next challenge. Many distributors told us: „Go, get some A-Festivals, then come back.“ Many festivals told us: „Go, find a distributor, then come back.“ Again, we have to be aware of our magic weapon - our belief in what we do – and approach the cave of the dragon. And as soon as we’ll have defeated the dragon – whatever that means in our case – we will rise up to the surface and see the light. Or in other words: see the world premiere of our film in a cinema in Germany. Or the U.S. Or – whereever. What have we learned, so far? Never fear making a mistake. Listen to what the pros say, but let noone stand in your way. And, most important: believe in what you do. Otherwise you will not make it. We are Jack, driving through purgatory of distribution, seeking salvation. Geronimo!


ll that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream.“ Dear Mr. Poe, I truly understand your words, since I directed THE BIG BLACK. Just now, still seeking distribution and fighting sharks in the pool I wonder when we will see the surface again. But I guess that’s what all this is about: daring, not looking back & fighting until the end.

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

Secret of the Wings 25

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

2012. In the film, Tinkerbell ventures into the forbidden world and discovers a secret. Starring the voices of Mae Whitman, Lucy Liu, Megan Hilty, Raven-Symoné, Jesse McCartney and Angela Bartys, it also features new cast members who include Matt Lanter, Timothy Dalton, Lucy Hale, Bella Thorne, and Debby Ryan. In Secret of the Wings, Tinker Bell ventures into the mysterious Winter Woods and meets a frost fairy named Periwinkle – and a magical secret is revealed! ”


ecret of the Wings (formerly known as Tinker Bell and the Mysterious Winter Woods) is an upcoming computer-animated comedy film, based on the Disney Fairies franchise, produced by DisneyToon Studios. It revolves around Tinker Bell, a fairy character created by J. M. Barrie in his play, Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, and featured in subsequent adaptations, especially in animated works by the Walt Disney Company. Secret of the Wings is the fourth movie in this series of direct-to-DVD films and is scheduled to be released on October 23,

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

Total Recall otal Recall 2012. A new American science fiction action film remake of the 1990 film of the same name, which is based on the 1966 short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick. Unlike the original 1990 film, the plot of this new version lacks a trip to Mars[2] and contains strong political overtones. In addition, the film also blends Western and Eastern influences together, due to the fact that the two nation states, New Shanghai and Euroamerica are battling for political power. It is directed by Len Wiseman, written by Mark Bomback, James Vanderbilt, and Kurt Wimmer, starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, John Cho, and Bill Nighy. It was first announced in 2009.[3] It is scheduled to be released in the United

States and Canada on August 3, 2012. In a futuristic political setting of 2084, after being devastated by war, Earth is divided into two superpowers, Euroamerica and New Shanghai, who are locked in a battle for supremacy. In this world lives Doug Quaid (Colin Farrell), a factory worker suffering from violent nightmares. Dissatisfied with lowly existence, Quaid visits Rekall, a corporation that provides its clients with implanted artificial memories of the lives they would like to have. McClane (John Cho), a Rekall representative, finds that Quaid has already had his memory erased and demands to know why Quaid has come to Rekall. Armed men shoot and kill McClane and other Rekall employees before Quaid kills them. He returns home to his wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale) who, after trying to kill him, reveals that he really is a secret agent and she is not really his wife.


Universal Film


Issue 4 of 2012

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

Film Festival Boot Camp 3


by Patricia J. Pawlak

othing is more discouraging than standing at the screening door of your film at a festival, waiting for guests to arrive, while the theater next door fills up. Even worse, having to sit in a screening with empty seats and hear a raucous crowd in the theater next door. Before you have created a following, it takes work to build an audience for your screening, whether you are paying a high-powered PR dream team or using your own elbow grease. You’ll probably have some heady films screening during your time slot that will create competition. You can make getting people into your screening a fun experience; it’s all in your attitude.

just politely leave a message on the answering machine. One good tip: ask for the assistant of the executive you want to reach. This is the person that you need to charm in order to get their boss to the screening. Also, they may be going to see films themselves (and they may become the next Head of Acquisitions and will remember you).

think of anything you can do to raise awareness of your screening. When you arrive at the press office the first time with your press release (save one for another visit), bring a gift, say, a box of chocolates or wine for everyone to enjoy. They may be able to get you some interviews and give you all the information you need.

Press Releases See if you can come up with a catchy press release about the cast, the dog in the film, the director’s next gig and screening, etc., to leave with the press office. You should have at least three different press releases with you. Look up how to write them correctly.

I have already addressed two things you must do depending on the focus of your screening: (1) Get a list of all press and attendees from the press office, and (2) Get a list from IFTA (or the Internet) of buyers who would be interested in your film.

Hotel Drop Offs Certain festivals may have a list of where certain buyers and producers are staying. In Cannes and AFM, it is easy to find the buyers, as the hotels are local. After a long day and before business dinners, we would actually drop off invites and screening cards to the hotels where the buyers were staying. At some point, the concierges got savvy, and some hotels started asking $5 per delivery. Try to avoid this by first tipping the Concierge at least $20, and usually they’ll make sure your screening cards are delivered for no extra charge.

Also, you might want to think of leaving a nifty gift basket with screening invites for the buyers whom you want to see your film. When I had a budget, I’d send fruit baskets and snacks to my client’s room. Once during the London screening, I made personalized baskets with Godiva biscuits (for tea time) and my invites, and had them delivered to the top buyers. You can leave a gift, a giveaway or both, with your screening times and contact numbers. Note: top magazines such as The Reporter, Screen and Variety will have separate offices at the larger festivals/ markets. You want to go to those offices as well, with invites, presents, treats, anything you have to prod someone to cover your film and give you some press. Perhaps you can establish a relationship with one writer, give him or her your press release before anyone else, and say it’s an exclusive.

Gather your team… Invitation/flyers Make sure you have a very catchy invitation to give out to anyone and everyone who will take it. It can be a simple postcard. Drop it off at all offices and booths. You never know who may be standing next to someone at a booth who may be the buyer for you. Chat up your film, but be honest; don’t tell a buyer it’s “Gone With The Wind” if it’s not. I have always been honest with buyers, saying, for example, “I have this quirky horror film that you might like.” Buyers get so much hype thrown at them that they are more likely to respond to an honest assessment. They don’t want to waste their time. Calls Hopefully, you have sent out the invitations before the festival as I recommended last month. But now, get someone from your team (or yourself) to make calls to the offices or phone numbers that you have, reminding these people of your screening. If you can’t get through,

Give Away-Gifts/Swag I don’t know what it is, but people love free stuff. I have had some of the wealthiest men in the world as my buyers come in for free T-shirts. A lot of them want presents for the children, and it’s a great way to market your film. Now, I would think about a giveaway item that people could wear to promote your film, one that’s appropriate to the climate and also stands out. If you are going to Berlin, think a warm hat, funny hat or scarf that publicizes your film. I would not do umbrellas in Palm Springs. If you have a rabbit in the film, I’d walk around with rabbit ears and give them away. Always, always get some friendly girls and guys to walk around with your giveaways, even if you have to pay them $20. Just

I actually have gone to Costco and picked up large tubs of treats like licorice and jelly beans, brought them to Cannes, and had them delivered to the to press offices. Treats from home can be a surprise. Put your screening times on the tub. Find out from the press office (and anyone else) about any parties and events so you can plan your strategy. Plan where you want to be each day and night to be seen most effectively. Once, I was running a campaign for a foreign film that I was distributing that was up for a Best Film for both a Golden Globe and an Oscar. I attended a screening of a Pedro Almodóvar film with the star of my film, who was unknown in the States but a huge star in his country. The print did not arrive on time at the Almodóvar screening. It was a small room,


Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

Parties Try to get into any party that you can, and make sure you are promoting your film with those bunny ears, T-shirts and hats. Trust me, I have thrown parties at many major festivals; I let people in because I have the room and it’s appropriate.

If it’s a seated luncheon for buyers at an expensive hotel, you may or may not get in. Each situation is different, but certainly try. I always like some fun festival attendees at my parties. Once, at Cannes, at 1:30 a.m. while I was asleep at my hotel, I got a call from a very excited French man (luckily I know some French) who knew my assistant in Cannes. He had found out that I had a party ticket that I was not using for a big party that night at midnight that had just started. I told him he could have it. A few minutes later, he was at my door. It was a very surreal experience, me in my jammies, handing this ticket to a local French guy whom I’d never met before. He was so ecstatic that it was worth waking up. Remember: spread the joy! To follow up on how to pack your screenings:

1. Get a list of distributors and send out invitations. 2. Make follow up calls. 3. Contact the press office to get a list of invitees and where they are staying. Deliver invitations, flyers and gifts. 4.Create several press releases to hand out to the press office and any magazines there. 5. Create a fun giveaway and give it away, wear it everywhere, and be everywhere to promote your film. (Patricia J. Pawlak is a veteran of festival around the world from Berlin to Shanghai and has attended Cannes for twenty years distributing and marketing films.)


people were chatting, and I stood up with the star and pitched my film for a screening the next morning. Everyone was thrilled to meet him, it passed the time, and then the print came. Suddenly, we were being invited to dinners and parties. Our 9 a.m. screening was in a large theater and it was standing room only. So many people from the night before came to see the film and our actor because of that wonderful luck. Be open to your door of opportunity and seize it. If you are ready and prepared, good things will come.

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012


SMOKE is a compelling 77-minNouteSmoke drama made by a new kid on

the block, Sue Shearing, 66.

Sue, a semi-retired journalist, wanted to tell the true story of how an ordinary ‘woman next door’ became caught up in a bizarre situation involving the police, Special Branch and terrorists.

No Smoke is based on a true story, but Sue says there is some ‘artistic license’ and a shock ending. The film received critical acclaim from The UK Film Festival who said it was highly regarded and in a select group. The producers have what it takes”.

Although Sue had little previous experience of filming, a distributor signed up No Smoke for a five-year deal covering the UK and USA. Unfortunately it fell though, and now Sue is open to new offers. A trailer for No Smoke can be seen on IMDb.

Her heroine’s savings were taken by the police under the Proceeds of Crime Act, which allows them to confiscate money, goods, houses and cars if the owner can’t prove where the cash came from. No crime has to be proven, or charges brought. The police just have to make an assumption that the money is ill gotten gains. “Not a lot of people know that,” quipped Sue, who wrote, produced and directed the film. “There have always been people who have kept their savings under the bed or who save cash in jars, and there is no way they can prove where it came from.” Made on a micro budget and filmed using a Sony F900 over thirteen days in Hertfordshire, UK, Sue and her professional crew and actors even managed to film inside the Crown Court and had the run of a police station for a day.


Universal Film


Issue 4 of 2012

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

International Confedertion of Art Cinema ART CINEMA = ACTION + MANAGEMENT European Summer University for professionals of Arthouse cinemas Venice, San Servolo Island, 27th August – 2 September 2012 The 9th European Summer University for professionals of Arthouse cinemas organized within the framework of the MEDIA Programme of the European Union, will take place on the campus-island of San Servolo, during Venice International Film Festival. Arthouse extended all over Europe in the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s. They now account for 4.000 among the 30.000 cinema screens on the continent. Their position is very different depending on the European regions: organized networks in some countries and mostly isolated cinemas elsewhere. Still, there is in all countries a need for preparing the future generation of art cinemas managers and a need for getting ready the present managers to face the new challenges of their profession. The ambition of the training “ART CINEMA = ACTION + MANAGEMENT” training is: • to hand-on on to the new generation the specific know-how (methods, tools, ideas, contacts) for programming, animating and managing an art cinema. • to give to the present managers, a place for discussing the challenges independent exhibitors have to face in the age of new business models and for making recommendation useful

for the all profession on how to strengthen the competitiveness of independent exhibition Two sessions are prepared for the participants: Juniors and Executives. The 55 participants will follow the lectures, case studies, and hold debates and discussions on Arthouse cinema exhibition and will share their experiences with 30 international professional trainers : Alberto Barbera, the

director of the Venice Film Festival the Icelandic director Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, Emmanuel Joly from the MEDIA Program of the European Commission, the German producer Alfred Hürmer, the economist of cinema and professor at the Sorbonne University, Laurent Creton; the General Director of the Mexican Cineteca Nacional, Paula Astorga ; the deputy director of the Sofia International Film festival, Mira


Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

Film Festival and manager of Cinema Valli in Pula (Croatia), Francesco Clerici, Responsible of the educational projects of Barz and Hippo, writer, documentary director, videomaker and Jon Barrenechea General Manager of The Duke of York’s Picturehouse in Brighton, he is also the author of the blog/podcast Splendor Cinema. The International Confederation of Art Cinemas for the development of Art Cinema worldwide

26 countries will be represented on the island: Belorussia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Emirates, Finland,

France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and United Kingdom. A CICAE Jury will participate at the Venice Film festival, and will choose a film which will be awarded with the Art cinema Award. The members are : Tanja Miličić, Festival Producer at Pula

For More Information: Marketa. - www.


Staleva , Romanian director and distributor Tudor Giurgiu, the director of Venice Film Market Pascal Diot, the director of the Independent cinema Office Catharine des Forges, Jiri Sebesta from the Czech distribution Company Aerfilms to name but a few.

Aims & Actions >> Supporting the diversity of the cinematographic offer and strengthening theatrical exploitation of art films • by defending the cultural diversity and to grant the access of people to a variety of independent films and widespread programmed cinemas – including the masterpieces of film history and a special offer for the Young Public; • by offering exhibitors which share the same aims, a space for the sharing of information and experiences , • by fostering collaboration between exhibitors and the creation of regional and national market-influencing groups capable to obtain support for Arthouse cinemas from government bodies and local institutions. • by promoting the screening of art films from festivals to art cinemas for improving their circulation and increase their audiences (a dozen of ‘’Art Cinema Award’’ granted every year)by organizing professionals trainings (about 500 professionals trained since 2004 in Berlin, Cartage, Dakar, Mexico City, Paris, Toulouse, Valdivia and Venice)

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012


e il

F -

s e

W l a v i t

by Tyrone D Murphy hat is the Mobil Film Festival?

The Mobil Film Festival is a project of Susan Botello of S. Botello Productions™. The film festival is exclusive in that it only accepts films that were shot with cell phones. It’s open to anyone who shoots using cell phones, any brand. We are an international film festival and will accept all human and legitimate filmmakers from around the globe without age limits, income limits, experience or connections. We only ask that the camera be replaced with cell phones of any brand.

Why did you create the Mobil Film Festival? The fact that mobile phones have video cameras made me realize even a child could shoot video, as I witnessed during a visit to a cell phone provider store. And if a child can shoot, anyone with skills can edit. I thought it would be a great way to show what you could do if someone gifted you with a professional camera and said, “Shoot and edit something.” My thoughts and feelings about mobile film are connected to my visions of the future and it is tremendously interesting to see it evolve just as I imagined. The fact that I expressed the idea of projector apps for cell phones to project on a big screen a wall or a sheet of paper is an example. I can’t tell you how many people I engage every day on this subject. App developers—I have mentioned to many and many said that it could not be done for a few more years. We are now seeing apps and accessories that are on the way to providing this for us. So they could be correct. I also notice more blogs and ads focusing on the technical specifications of cell phone cameras (both video and still). As these things come together to bring better quality, we see the additional benefit and transformation of filmmaking.

b o

The quality of films in the Mobil Film Festival was good and were presented on the big screen with remarkable production values. They looked good and sounded good. Of course a cell phone brand and editor can make a difference. The dilemma with a filmmaker who is trying to get their work seen is the financial investment. This is very typical. The investment of time and effort is guided by artistic passion. This is where creativity blooms, I think. And here is a way for more creative filmmakers to show their skills and talents without the financial investment barrier and become part of this emerging filmmaking practice. Who would have thought that the film industry and cell phones could play such an integral role together, other than the typical communication tool it has always played in Hollywood? The producer on set talking on the cell should come to mind. Do films have to be edited on the cell phone as well? The primary difference is you are replacing a film or video camera with a cell phone. Everything else can stay the same. You can edit your video with a computer or tablet or even right on your cell phone. You can use external microphones, tripods, dollies… skateboards--whatever you like. The only restriction as far, as it stands for now, is the use of apps that make the decisions for the editor (you). This is a great opportunity for the filmmaker who is truly skilled and talented to show off his or her strut. Special effects are neither encouraged nor discouraged. For our first film festival this past April, we limited the length of films to three minutes. This year, we still have the minimum running time of thirty seconds, but the length is not more than five minutes. I do want, however, to emphasize that the second-prize winner of our first film festival had no experience as a filmmaker on a professional level. He didn’t go to school for it either. And if you open the minds of everyday people to the possibility of making an old childhood dream come true, or maybe just a personal wonder one may have, it is like a jar of light filled with possibilities. And the tool is right in their pocket. There is no reason to fear the outcome. You can see your outcome yourself, too. And entering our film festival is completely free. What is the connection between SBP and Grossmont College? In my opinion, colleges are hurting due to the economy and that means students are hurting too. The speed at which technology is growing may be playing a role for a foundation or organization to get a grip on investments. And schools have to think about the future in what they are teaching as well. Also, there is a need for community partnerships to help keep them populated regarding attendance. The college I graduated from with a degree in Media Communications, Grossmont College ( has always had an open door for me during and after my studies. This is precisely why I have a connection to the department. Mr. Snead, in particular, has been supportive of other projects and friends’ projects on a local level as well and so that has kept us connected as well. “As a member of the Media Communications Department here at Grossmont College, we have always been happy to follow, encourage and support the projects of current and former students. Although the focus of our classroom experience is on teaching students to use “professional equipment” we have certainly been aware of the financial challenges facing students and emerging filmmakers today. The rapid changes in technology and the escalating costs of equipment is difficult for us to keep up with as well. The development of phone technology which takes both still and video images in very high quality has inspired many to consider using phones to acquire video footage to tell stories. Applications for editing, special effects, and post-production are now available, which makes story telling with phone images possible for competition and festivals. The results have been anything but amateurish. We support Susan’s forward thinking vision of a global cell-phone video festival and would encourage others to grab their phone and make a movie. I believe there is a place other than YouTube for films made with cell-phone technology to be shown and recognized for their inspiration and quality.” – William Snead, Media Communications Department, Grossmont College. (


Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

Are there categories? We introduced one category: Community Stories. This year, we are adding a category of films that are entirely produced with cell phones, including editing. There is no limit on how many cell phones you use for shooting or producing a finished film. There are obvious limits in this newer way of filming and we provide room for creativity as in any production. As we grow in numbers we plan to add more categoriesOf course, we do ask the filmmakers to be tasteful in their choices and we don’t allow vulgarity. We respect children as a category. Who are your judges? For MFF2012 last April we had two instructors from the Media Communications Department at Grossmont College, William Snead and Evan Wirig. Another judge was Producer/Actor Stephanie Reibel from Los Angeles, whom I have known on a professional level for a few years. Some of her television credits include guest starring roles in “Two and a Half Men” (CBS), “Monk” (USA), “90210” (CW), “Genetically Challenged” (FOX), and “Sons of Tucson” (FOX) with recurring roles on “The Game” (CW) and “General Hospital” (ABC). Her film credits include the leading and title role in “April Moon”, and a supporting role in National Lampoon’s “The Legend of Awesomest Maximus,” just to name a few. Stephanie also keeps herself busy creating reality shows. The Judges are listed on our website as partners. For MFF2013 next April, we hope to continue to include last year’s panel and add new ones. The hope is for entertainers & celebrities in film and music & journalism to be a part of the judging panel. Do you judge films? No I don’t. I love them! Sometimes I watch them over and over in awe. I am being extremely honest. But my passion toward filmmakers makes it so that I need to be more of a supporter. I got their backs! I really do try to promote them and include them with our activities and plans, and I think most of the pioneers from our first inaugural film festival, MFF2012 last April, know this. What is in the future for the Mobil Film Festival? We are introducing our work in progress on our website and that is just the beginning: Mobile Film TV. We are also working on training workshops for mobile filming on a global level. There are already some people who have been doing that in other countries. It’s amazing! Again, our goal is to provide a venue for mobile filmmakers to express their talents, showcase their skills, to grow and expand. That is the future we are working on providing. It basically sustains itself by providing a showcase venue, a distribution and entertainment channel & a mobile film-training program. Mobile filmmakers around the world who shoot with cell phones can share, network, collaborate and, perhaps, make a living with what’s in their pocket. Isn’t that something! When and how can someone submit a video? • Anyone can enter between now and the end of January next year. Go to • On the menu, look for the Filmmaker Registration page. • On the Registration page, fill out the form and submit it. • Sometime between 24 hours to a few days, you will receive an email with instructions and a link to upload your film. • As soon as you have submitted your film go to our website and look for Submission Confirmation. • On the Confirmation page, fill out the form and submit it. That is it. We will stay in touch and keep you updated with progress on our film festival and programs. Who sponsors the Mobil Film Festival? Grossmont College is our sponsor, our partner and supporter. Other supporters include Red Giant Software, who will provide a prize, Mobile Festival in Skopje, Macedonia, i-nigma QR code reader app by 3Vision. One of our biggest supporters, Mobile Festival ( Skopje found us online and offered us the opportunity to share our vision. We both share a philosophy best quoted by Vesna Ristovska, of the Mobile Festival: “Use your creativity and make everything possible. Creativity gives power to change. Transform the moment into creation. Turn on your mobile and film your idea.” The motto for the 2012 Mobile Festival in November 2012 is, “Everyone can make it!” – Vesna Ristovska The Mobile Festival features an article about one of their winning contestants who competed at the Mobil Film Festival. Dukagjin Borova came to San Diego from Macedonia to attend the festival, walk the red carpet, to experience watching his film, “Everything Is Money,” on the big screen with an audience and networking with other filmmakers. What’s Next? We are working with San Diego Audio Video (, a supplier of production equipment & services, to provide a resource to mobile filmmakers. San Diego Voice and Video is working on providing a great equipment resource for mobile filmmakers and some other possible production services with benefits. We are creating mobile filming workshops & we’ll have mobile filming workshops around the world. Conrad Mess is working with us to be one of the leaders on this venture. Participants will also receive benefits from who is partnering with us to provide royalty free music. JewelBeat was founded by musicians who were passionate about bringing high quality production music at a sensible price. JewelBeat offers a huge selection of quality music for your projects. Together, with JewelBeat, we will offer discount term membership packages for participants of the workshops around the globe.


Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

Asian CineVision presents the

35th ASIAN AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL JUL 25 – AUG 5, 2012 | NEW YORK CITY The 35th Asian American International Film Festival is made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for The Arts,by the New York State Council on The Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.


Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

By Lisa Reznik, Creative Director, Film Society of Summit In 2009 Phil Capobres launched the SENE Film, Music and Art Festival, with Don Farias, in the art-friendly town of Providence, Rhode Island. The idea began at a dinner after volunteering at another festival. “We love festivals and independent films and decided to create our own which we could start fresh and run ethically,” Capobres explains. The concept came from the desire to give audiences something different. “We were starting from scratch and thought we’d include music and art in our mission statement,” he says. Capobres considers the 2012 festival, held April 11-15, their best yet. 110 independent short and feature-length films were screened, ten musicians performed and nineteen artists including first time exhibitors, emerging artists and accomplished artists saw their work displayed.







Find out more:

The SENE Festival adheres to the Universal Film and Festival Organization business code of practice in its selection for festival line up. “The benefit of following ethical principles is that filmmakers trust us,” Capobres, the festival’s artistic director, explains. A direct result of earning a reputation for fairness has seen an increase in submissions from 300 the first yearto 500 in 2012. Submissions came from as far away as South Korea. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Capobres came to Providence eight years ago for a job as a statistician with Fidelity Investments in Smithfield, RI. He considers running the SENE festival his creative outlet. The story a film tells matters to Capobres more than the technical impressions it might make. He and Don Farias watch every film. And while they’ve watched as many as 20 short films in a day, it’s much more likely they’ll watch from five to 10 shorts at a time. They never watch more than two features when reviewing. “When we pre-screen, we recommend the films we like to the committee for that category,” Capobres explains. Between 20 and 30 people attend monthly festival pre-screenings open to the public, at which films are ranked from 1 to 6 to determine which films in each category will make it into the festival. While he calls drama his favorite genre, Capobres doesn’t favor any particular

genre in selecting films for the lineup. The final selection for this year’s festival included a mix of features and shorts in horror, comedy, drama, animation and documentary’s. Many films selected incorporate a music-related theme, for example the UK feature City of Dreamers by Jamie Patterson, which won the jury award. Creating the schedule for screening 110 films over three days is a fun time for Capobres and Farias who have a system of writing the name and running time of each film on a magnet, and arranging them as part of a package. “We do it all in one evening and the next night, we end up moving everything around,” he laughs. Each screening series is followed by a Q & A; a format audiences and filmmakers appreciate. “We get submissions by filmmakers simply because they like our main venue, the independent Cable Car Cinema on South Main Street,” Capobres says. Films are also screened at the Chace Center Metcalf Auditorium at the Rhode Island School of Design. For awards, Capobres says he and Farias nominate films in each category based on reactions at monthly screenings where audiences rank films. Films are judged only against other films in the same genre and awards are determined by an independent panel of judges from all over the country.. Films compete for $1,000 cash prizes in Best Feature and Best Short categories. Filmmakers also compete for juried and audience awards in twenty additional categories. Through his experiences screening thousands of films, Capobres feels filmmakers benefit tremendously from showing an almost-final cut to an audience that will evaluate the film in an unbiased way, as well as tightening film length whenever possible. Capobres admits running a film festival is a lot of work, even with the help of twenty-five dedicated volunteers. He says he’s more than satisfied with the results of the 2012 festival, and is always thinking about improvement to the SENE Festival. “Next year, we’d like to streamline our schedule to show only two films at a time so viewers won’t miss one great film when they’re watching another,” Capobres says.



SENE Film, Music and Art Festival

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012


HE REVIVAL INFO is an independent Christian documentary series, dedicated to follow in the “footsteps of God” in our age. The Bible says that in the last days the Disciples of Christ will take the Good News to all corners of the earth, regardless of political systems, religions, or cultural traditions. The subject of the series’ first episode was the “Islands of the Sea” which is Nusantara - the world’s most populous Islamic state was named after the local language of Indonesia. Although officially being a Muslim country, in fact it is a real melting pot of cultures and religions. Rooted in ancient animist cults, Buddhist, Islamic and Christian empires were built through the ages. After the colonial life ended in 1945 Indonesia became an independent state with religious principles in its constitution about the belief in a One and only God without restraints concerning his identity.

Many thousands of tribes and traditions began to live in complete harmony and balance under the official country slogan: “Unity in Diversity”. For a few months of visitation in the country the first episode of the series has been filmed. The documentary gives a panorama view about religious freedom, the contradictory relationship of the different religions and how they really exist on the basis of constitutional principles. We recognize the transformation of ancient animist tribal cults to commercial tourist attractions while we see the spirituality turning into the practice of meaningless traditions. In this milieu the film focuses on the Christian movements which develop the most funding dynamic communities with a strong effect on the society.

pel values they are there in all areas of the country with the answers and solutions to many serious social, cultural and economic problems. Their beneficial social impact is expressed without religious expectations “blessing and loving their enemies”, which confuses and challenges the thinking for many. Besides the worldwide known and respected religious leaders speaking as Reinhard Bonnke, Marilyn Hickey, Marvin Hier, Abdurrahman Wahid, Abraham Alex Tanuseputra, or Indra M. Gautama the special archival footages evoke also the key historical moments.

This movements are the greatest challenge to the majorly Islamic government, since standing for the Full Gos-


Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

THE BLACKLIST A new book being written is highlighting the practice of blacklisting film-makers. Although this practice is by a number of small film festivals, it has destroyed the careers of the entire cast and crew of films with little more than a casual comment. This look behind the screen is a fascinating expose at how these small festivals operate in this group and barter and bargain filmmakers films in a marketplace that is strictly for film festivals. This is a group where filmmakers are not at all welcome and are not see as having an active role in the film festivals and do not share in any of the income generated by the festival, despite making the films. This is a must read for any filmmaker and festival


Keep an eye out for this one!

Universal Film

How to impress a

Issue 4 of 2012

This is a must read !


script reader

o you’ve got an awesome idea for a movie and you’ve written the script. You think it’s great and are eager to send it out. You will have – if you’re wise – sent your work to be critiqued by a professional script reader, or at least have gotten several peers to give it their honest opinion before rewriting it to perfection. Sadly, perfection is subjective when it comes to screenplays, but there are things you can do to make sure your script gets noticed.

by Michelle Goode

through and how the tone and pace of the piece reflects the story and its genre. The most common issues are with flat, uninteresting descriptions which give unnecessarily simplistic details (think “he walks over to the door, turns the handle, opens the door and steps outside” as a basic example). Sometimes descriptions are too long or are written in large blocks of text (four lines per section of action description helps break it up and makes it easier to read). Dialogue is frowned upon when it’s too expositional, otherwise known as “on the nose”. If a character tells back story via dialogue or tells another character something that is obvious to them purely to let the audience know about it, it’s on the nose. Sometimes, it is necessary, but should be done in a subtle way; ideally in the context of the scene or through interactive and purposeful dialogue interactions. Often, style helps the tone of the screenplay and the pace. Interesting yet concise descriptions and dialogue which is sparing yet meaningful can really help with smooth and entertaining reading.

Good first ten pages The first ten pages are essential when it comes to hooking a reader and enticing them to give the script a full read. The first ten pages (essentially the first 10% in any script length) are crucial in setting up who the proThere are so many places you can send your script to – tagonist is, what the story is and where the story is becompetitions, agencies, production companies... But ing told. In a blog article on the first ten pages of they all have one thing in common. No matter a script, I wrote a check list of questions to help where you send your finished script, you’ll have determine whether your script opening has what to get through the mighty gatekeepers: script “lets look it takes: readers. With a large amount of submissions to at the basic get through every week, they’ll not be wanting • Are we introduced to the world/setting? What process” their time wasted. Often it can take a mere five, do we learn about the setting from the opening ten or fifteen (if you’re lucky) pages for a script which informs the story (era, country, rich/poor, reader to decide whether your script is worth a full social status, etc)? read. So how can you impress them? • Are we introduced to the protagonist/main characters? Correct format What do we learn about them from their description/ One of the biggest problems with scripts – one which dialogue/behaviour (age, family status, personality)? immediately screams “amateur” - is bad format and style. Whilst a brilliant story and a talent for a style • Are we introduced to the need/want/problem? element such as dialogue can render your bad format forgiveable, this usually only happens if a producer or • Is there a hook? What happens (of significance) in the a director has a particular interest in you or your story. first ten pages? Will the reader be left wanting to know Unfortunately, the likelihood is that via normal submismore? sion processes your script will not get a full read if bad format gets in the way of a reader engaging with your Originality story. Format is a really easy one to get right – there are Originality can be a tricky one, as many stories have been plenty of examples on the Internet, including my Lontold before. It is how the story is told (is it told in a fresh don Screenwriter’s Festival colleague Lucy Hay’s “One or unique way?), and who goes on the story’s journey stop format shop”, a free PDF guide to script format. Us(how original are the characters?), which determines its ing screenwriting programs such as Final Draft or Celtx appeal. Readers will be thinking about how original the (which is free) can also help eliminate mistakes in forpremise and the theme is, and who the target audience matting. (commercial potential) would be. In a competition, readers will need to find the characters and the story comGood style pelling or remarkable enough to warrant a high score. Style is less easy to perfect, but mostly comes about by A production company reader may also be looking for making informed choices about the way you write descripts that will fit their briefs and be achievable budgetscriptions and dialogue, how your writer’s “voice” comes


Universal Film


Issue 4 of 2012

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

wise, so doing your research before submitting a script is essential.

style and structure. However, you’ll still need to hook whoever reads it. Documents such as loglines, synopses and treatments can help brief a reader before they approach your script, so it’s well worth writing these. They will inevitably help inform the writer throughout the developing of their script, as well as sometimes being a necessity if you’re submitting to production companies, agencies or initiatives. Non-linear films also seem to challenge the rules, but they too will have common elements related to structure and pace. If you want to learn more about how to structure a non-linear script, you can’t get a more comprehensive guide than Linda Aronson’s book: “21st Century Screenplay”.

Exorcist Chronicles

Characters Creating genuine, believable and non-clichéd characters and by telling their story in a fresh way can help to make your script stand out from those which may be similar. Readers want to find characters who they can empathise with, or about whom they feel curious. Great stories are often character-led; ordinary people in extraordinary situations, people who learn something about themselves or others, people who change for the better (or for worse), and above all people who have something to lose. Raising the stakes in a screenplay, especially by way of giving characters motivation and goals; i.e. in the set up/first ten pages and also by raising the stakes as the screenplay progresses to provide tension and maybe even plot twists, can really help to engage a reader and ultimately an audience if the screenplay ever gets produced.

Plot Is there a story of some sort with a beginning, middle and an end? It sounds obvious, but sometimes scripts – especially short scripts – can seem more like a snapshot in time; a moment, or an introduction to something bigger as opposed to a self-contained story with a theme and an outcome. Structure can be really useful to ensure the plot plays out as dramatically as possible. Any story needs progression with turning points, a climax and a resolution. They may be subtle or they may be bold, but they will be there. Common issues that affect plot progression are a delayed catalyst or a second act which “runs on the spot” leaving not much time at all for the third act’s rise to the climax and resolution. A wellpaced script will keep a reader on the edge of their seats. If you don’t hook them in the first ten pages, the script won’t get read. This is where openings which spend far too long setting the scene or back story can work against a writer. If the script runs on the spot; losing focus of its plot or going off on a tangent, it risks the reader losing their focus, too. A rushed ending and resolution can also leave the reader feeling cheated, which is why it is so important to ensure that the pace works and that the plot reaches a satisfying conclusion in good time. Exceptions There will always be exceptions to common rules and advice, especially in indie films which can have the aim of challenging common film narratives,

Multiple Drafts & Feedback A reader can tell when a script is a first draft. A lot of the time, writers even label their drafts with numbers which is inadvisable as one, two or even three drafts could be considered “lazy”. Of course, you may well write a perfectly respectable script in two or three drafts, but it’s best to leave this information out. Writing several drafts will ensure you have refined your script, even if it’s just to proofread it or tidy up descriptions and dialogue. Typos and bad format/style is very off-putting. You may think that an interested producer or director will want to work on a rough script to develop it to suit themselves but unless they have specifically requested one, a rough script will spell out time and money. You need to prove that you are the one who is capable and worthy of being the writer for the project (after all, you wouldn’t want your script commissioned and then assigned to a different writer for rewrites). Gaining feedback on your script before sending it out is one of the best ways to check its readiness. A fresh pair of eyes; be it a friend, writing peer, colleague or a professional script reader, will help to pinpoint problem areas in your script which you will then be able to fix before attempting to get the script past the gatekeepers. After all, impressing a script reader will get your screenplay read and noticed; something that is well worth having investing time and effort in. Michelle Goode script reads for The London Screenwriter’s Festival, Girls On Film, Screenplayreaders, New Writing South and Julie Gray’s Just Effing Entertain Me as well as for private clients via Writesofluid editing services. She also reviews films for Raindance Film Festival and is a contributing editor at Universal Film Magazine.


Universal Film


Issue 4 of 2012

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

z: The Great and Powerful is an upcoming 2013 fantasy film directed by Sam Raimi. The film is adapted from L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The film stars James Franco as the protagonist. Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weisz star as the three witches. The film will be released in traditional 2D, as well as in the Disney Digital 3D, RealD-3D and IMAX 3D formats. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz), and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.


Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012





Universal Film


Issue 4 of 2012

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

EArning your keep whilst in the creative process (without losing your soul) by Gail Spencer


Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

This article discusses the alternative to the very controversial area of the “low/deferred/no pay” job that those reading this are more than familiar with. The extended, lifelong internship was never the intention, but things have just turned out that way – where nearly 95 percent of work you will see in the creative sector that will put anything of note on your resume is unpaid. No one has yet done a totalising and damning industry calculation of the energy consumed daily in dead-end jobs. Blogging has to be the worst for this, with nearly all jobs advertised offering no compensation to the writer except for the chance to get the blog owner up in the esteem of publicists. Good for them. Rotten for you – and the landlord, who just doesn’t seem to understand. He never will. The utopia for the creative, where there are people that need paying who will wait while you morph into Stanley Kubrick, is

the stuff of science fiction. If it is any consolation whatsoever, Shakespeare wrote “Hamlet” while the bailiffs were knocking at the door; but how to remain psychologically dogged yet determined while working is the stuff of another piece. Another vocational truth is work that’s related to the sort of work that you want (the kind that isn’t an audition for that top TV show that everyone is clambering over each other to get a role on). These are the ideal jobs. The jobs that may or may not turn you into a superstar. These are the “ego jobs” that are about luck, not management. The world keeps turning on other “hidden” jobs in the industry – not necessarily advertised on – that would serve as respectable bread and butter, as well as an addition to your CV to show that you are savvy, with a job history sufficient to land yourself a less glamorous turnaround of work. There is also the point of making sure that you add to your resume those transferable skills (such as languages spoken) that can help to put you ahead of the game. What this article looks at is two distinct subject areas. First: building your resume with a skills set which will help you stay employed – regardless of whether or not you get top notch jobs in the creative industry – and will probably help you to get those as well. Second: finding those “hidden” jobs in the creative world that will keep you ticking over. We shall also be looking at how to craft your resume in a way that can put it on the top of the pile for those positions that are more to do with management than chance. But first, that all-important task: the resume, or as Brits would call it, the CV. How to make it stand out and what to put on it. This goes into what some would consider secretarial territory, that of formatting.



reatives are not in “proper” jobs – let’s face it. What your parents said to you is true: you will never be able to pay your rent, and the chances of your becoming a big success are slender. Well, this is a sort of truth. The amount of screenplays that are written, ratio-wise to those produced, must go into 100,000,000 to 1 (only a slight exaggeration), and there is only ever 4 percent of the acting industry in a related job at any given time. An immeasurable figure of creative grads in the world of work end up in low-paid jobs, struggling financially to put a roof over their head while their resume gets the odd creative work thrown at it, in between gathering dust on an agent’s desk. And then there is the filmmaker who has his/her own creative vision tucked sleepily in his/her head, and the rest of the time this poor soul has to scratch together sufficient work in the commercial sector elsewhere to fund both “it” and him.

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

The Creative Resume/CV - presentation Most people believe – wrongly – that a creative resume should have on it nothing but the work done that immediately relates to the skill/art on show. This is a fallacy, and results in microscopic resume additions relating to the world of TV/Film/Art/ Stage, which are usually extra work, walk-ons, and other minute traces of glory. Instead, your CV should be entrenched with a strong sense of self, put across in a professional manner. Creative work is no different from your bog-standard 9-to-5 in that only the recruiter knows for sure what they are after. To write the resume from the perspective of a mind reader is impossible. What isn’t, though, is to make the thing less boring, and distinctive without compromising on professionalism. Fixing a CV/Resume is an afternoon’s work, and it is amazing how fit and prepared you will feel once this is done to greater effect. Regardless of what job you are in, doing this for yourself never fails to bring about a feeling of selfempowerment and readiness for the immediate future.

help you. You just need to get a hold of Microsoft Word, as this software package will help more so than anything else, and is universally available. If you have an Adobe CS Suite to help you, all the better, but the principles and actions in this guide are transferable from program to program. Put together a file of pictures that you feel adequately sums you up in a symbolic sense. Keep it as an adjunct to your resume file (you should always have more than one resume, and all drafts should be kept in a folder). Go to Google Images. If you are a cameraman, put “film camera” into the search field. Have a look at the good selection of links that comes up – there will always be a mix between illustrations and pictures. Illustration works better as a watermark, but there is a graduating tool in Word that delineates the pixels to varying effects – play with it and see what you come up with. The watermark function is in the “page layout” tab. Select the file you want and click “apply.” See how it looks behind the text of your resume. Try a few variations. This is one creative feature that you can use to individualize yourself.

Watermarks and creative features are a good idea on a creative resume, as is a good font away from the usual Times New Roman/Helvetica/Calibri/ Arial. You are a serious person but with a distinctive style, begging to be seen and noticed, and this should be coming across. Do not make the appearance so funky that it is difficult to read, but do lean towards the prospect of showing a bit of artistic flair. You will find plenty of creative CV templates online if you google the search term; should you do this, there will be a wealth of choices for you to engage with, which will seem related to the job in hand, like a cartoonist putting his/her CV into the format of a strip. This writer recently wrote a resume for a filmmaker inside a filmstrip, which looked fantastic, and did not draw from the content whatsoever but served to act as margin for it. It is generally accepted that the creative industries allow for more personality to show through, from the creation of CVs to what is allowed as work wear. Use this – but don’t abuse it. Eccentricity is rarely taken on for its own sake.

Another option is to integrate features into margins. This can be done with the use of colour – or not – but it is best to keep the colours to no more than two to three. In any event, print it in black and white first. It will not reflect your creative magnificence yet, but do not make this too complex at first, and remember that the margins on paper are different from what you will see on the screen. Don’t repeat the same image over and over – it will look tacky. Instead, try to find some imagery that will be both representational and professional, but try not to make your resume into a genderspecific vehicle or a statement. The use of bold should really only occur for the title heading and to highlight important roles and functions appertaining to the work applied for. When it comes to a font, try the following, away from the norm but with sufficient individuality to stick out: DokChampa, Batong, Bookshelf Symbol 7, Candara, Colona MT, Fang Song, Gill Sans MT, Goudy Old Style, High Tower, Kaiti, Levenim MT, Meiryo, Ming Liu, Narkisim, Plantagenet, Poor Richard, Shonar Bangla, Verdana, or Vrinda. There are more to try, but these are great for the job at hand. A photo ID is only necessary for a resume in the

Integrating features into the CV is not very difficult. There are tools that can

acting or modelling professions. Anywhere else, no one cares. Content & Emphasis There is a major debate and diversity of opinion as to whether formal qualifications go on the front or back of a resume or CV. Back is best. The top is for your name, contacts, address, and the term “Resume“ or “Curriculum Vitae.” Immediately below is your personal statement, which should be no longer than a paragraph. This is your personal log line, the whammy. It has to brim over with personal dynamism. It should read correctly as to who and what you are, as opposed to what you are willing to give, or your heartfelt ambition. Do not, whatever you do, go to loved ones for advice here. They will not be objective, nor will your friends. This statement needs to sum up, in a few choice sentences, what you are thus far, and what you are in the game for doing more of. Sell your unique selling propositions (hereafter, USPs). Here are examples using writing, video production and acting as skills. Video Producer Example “Video production specialist with over ten years’ experience looking for freelance and agency work. Project management experience with small crew on low to mid-range budget. Financially astute and commercially aware, with fundraising savvy. Well versed in digital and traditional methodology, adept in Apple Final Cut Pro and other editing tools. Portfolio available on request. “ Writer Example: “Freelance writer available for inhouse or ad hoc work. All subjects covered, including heavyweight finance and legal. Hard and soft copy literate with five years proofing and editing work experience. DTP a speciality and advanced in all MS Office applications. Excellent standard of English in both English and American usage. Readily adaptable to house style.” Acting Example: “Muscular, vocally dextrous 6’ male in mid-30s available for extra/walk on and speaking roles; 15 years in the business, specialising in voiceover as well as acting positions. All accents and dialects covered in wide-rangingportfolio. Willing to relocate. Fluent in Spanish, French and German.”


Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

Meaningful 9-to-5 A meaningful 9-to-5 is a job working within the industry but not exactly within the creative level where you can flex your talent muscles. This writer has worked as a database manager at a major Hollywood studio. This job was useful, as there was the opportunity to learn and know about the extent and diversity of the television channels in the EMEA region. This was very, very informative. It provided a great idea of potential market for any work, as well as knowledge of the standard contract between studio and broadcast entity at a level that I would hitherto not have been privy to. The way in which foreign language channels regard American and British output is very interesting. My predecessor made the outrageous mistake of offending the bosses by trying to use the job as a means to get into media junkets, and was understandably sacked for it. A seemingly boring job working for an exhibitor will inform you who is watching what and when. If you are in a retail position in a cinema, become your own stats manager

and start writing about modern cinema mores. Develop enviable cinema literacy, and talk to the customers about their film experience. There is nothing worse than a member of staff at a cinema who appears not to love film – less than useless. Better still would be if you are a programmer for a theatre where you can be in charge of what is seen. Many grads do this and are very adept at utilizing this form of paid 9-to-5 by writing up the output of film festivals. Of course this is hard while you are waiting to be accepted onto the course or MA you want in whatever takes your career to the next level, but it does give you something, and the key here is not to “dis” the day job. It is harder emotionally to do this if the job is not directly or even distantly related to creative mediums. Non-Meaningful 9-to-5 A non-meaningful 9-to-5 is a job that has nothing whatsoever to do with creativity, but is purely being used from the perspective of the employee to finance a career elsewhere. This can be anything from being a waiter to an office worker – which is usually where creatives end up as a rite of passage – and can and often do feel threatened with dismissal, as their heart is evidently not in it. So, how is this effectively managed in the heart and mind? Easier than is imagined. First off, talk to your colleagues about your heart’s desire. Friends at work can and often do find it the epitome of cool to know someone who has the guts to follow their dream. It is like another world to them – remember that most people eat and sleep and pay the rent, and work is but a facilitator. Having a courageous person in the office is a reflection of the sorts of friends that CEOs want at their dinner parties. Behind every CEO lurks the heart and mind of a closet poet/ philosopher/raconteur/film director, if only they hadn’t cashed in their chips at the starting gate, and given in to the demands of the rat race. One boss of this writer, upon learning I had done a stint as a stand-up, proceeded to tell me his finest jokes every day from thereon in. Needless to say, the jokes were all appalling, and to the benefit of the world at large, he didn’t give up his day job. In a more direct and measurable sense, we can look at what is garnered in the workplace.








Find out more:


What the personal statement should contain is: I) Years of experience II) Specialities III) Scant top-dollar work experience in the industry IV) Any job that related to timing and delivery perfected to great satisfaction V) Technical knowledge/special packages/software expertise and application VI) Any other standout material What comes next is a bulleted list of achievements and career highlights, which is not a repeat of the above but a more plentiful account of your career’s plus points. These should be nothing but achievement based. If it is the case that you are a newcomer, include what you have done on a voluntary basis, or transferable skills and traits. Note any educational experience. Don’t shy away from any proven people skills, empathy, diplomacy, calm in crisis, etc., and name any positions of responsibility at school and university in which you were in control and trusted/relied upon. Start with the most recent first and work backwards. People want to know what you are doing now, and your availability. Now we look at what it is you look for and how to approach and eventually use it.

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012


Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

Agency work Not a literary, model or talent agency; instead, a recruitment agency – these are the folks that hold the contracts for ad agencies that have some of the work that is available, at least for

those in visuals. They will also be the key gatekeepers for the copywriters among you who will be light/middle/ heavyweight, and all of this sector will, no doubt, have portfolios and be self-employed. Advertising agencies are the place to go to for your resume building work – the commercials, the safety videos, the corporate work, etc., and in some instances the pop promos. The recruitment agent will be either the immediate work portal and deal with the entry level to the ad agency, or will have a consistent presence for those taken on a shortterm contract. There are contractor portals for freelance work, but these will be discussed in a moment. For the moment, there is the matter of finding these people, and more importantly how to approach them. The best way to find the agents who deal with agency contract work is to make a pointed Google search for media recruitment agents plus geography (your city or town); here is an example. You will then see a list of those responsible for allocating these kinds of jobs. Make a list of all of them, and then visit each of their websites in turn, to see what kind of jobs are under contract that they are taking care of. Look also at one that is on offer. As a rule of thumb, agency work, or work acquired through this means, does not pay as well as work gained as a freelancer where you can charge per hour or per non-negotiated add-on. It depends on how poor you are, relative to the worth of the job and how much you need it. Media jobs can be open to interpretation and abuse due to the overwhelmingly prevalent presumption that they are in short supply, are “glamorous,” and that those in receipt of them are lucky. True enough, the post-recession market is slim pickings, but try not to sell yourself short. What happens eventually is that the market rate is set by what wage people are prepared to work for, and not their worth or the weight of the job and skill set required. Apply to those jobs that you have seen advertised on the sites of the chosen agencies, but be prepared to be told that the jobs have already gone. The prospect of websites in this area of industry being kept up to date is slender, indeed; however, approaching the work in this way gives you a fighting chance of enter-

ing another arena for work that you would have not been aware of. Not every job available in the industry is posted on Mandy or other such industry press. Besides, the number of people combing Mandy on a daily basis is considerably higher than those with the agencies approach. What you do is keep a hold of the sites and the sorts of jobs advertised, send in your CV/Resume, and keep a contact name. Go visit their HQ and speak to a rep there. Make friends with them and keep in touch. Let them know you are alive. Contractor Portals The freelancer’s friends: Freelancer (dot) com, People Per Hour, ifreelance, Writing Bids, and many similar sites. What you do here is post the sorts of jobs you want, and you will be sent email alerts for those that come in to the central portal in question. You then bid on the basis of expected pay rate (or that offered). You can offer a link to a Vimeo portfolio or to your own website. There are a few snags to this kind of work acquisition. First, it inspires a lot of down bidding between entities (people) from all nations (including India/ Third World/Eastern Europe) where labour costs are cheaper. This means that a job that has or means a level of Western understanding – especially in Marketing and PR – cannot readily be done outside of its given geographical remit, but it is done anyway, and often badly. There is the problem of the charges made by the portals themselves for the job of acting as nothing more than portal. There is an increase with each type of job you have sent to you – so, if you specialise in more than one area – for example, PR and Writing – regardless of the vast area of crossover, you will have to pay a subsidy on the sub-areas of work outside of the main areas of expertise you sign up for. There are places you can go to – agents that will advertise you as a freelancer and take only a standard bottom rate introduction fee from their client base – and these are gold if you can get them. There are those that can and do make a decent living through contractor portals, but you have to treat the job chase as almost as energetic as the work you will get out of it. Give it a whirl and see if works for you, though bear in mind not everyone will find the


Listed below are transferable skills that seep into your creative life that you can steadily tune while on the job. They make a difference without your even realising it, and come in handy in areas you would not have dreamed of. i) Typing – we are all typists now, and Microsoft Word is our common currency. This comes in handy for script writing, formatting of creative material, and making sure that your speed and grammar are running in tandem, improvement and pacewise. ii) Time and budget management – vital in the movie industry, and if you have experience of this in a 9-to-5 sense, it should be on your creative CV/Resume. iii) Team management – this is related to any work that involves systems of negotiation. Vital now in all creative work, but especially in directing. iv) Internal Communications – every corporation has an internal intranet and Internet. Investigate this, how it affiliates externally, and to whom it is informative about the mindset of a corporate culture. This helps you garner knowledge on association and sponsorship, and gives you some insight as to how business relationships work. Internal social media matters as a word-of-mouth tool – not necessarily concerning what is posted, but what is discussed and viewed as important. The lesson here is empathy, which will seep into your ideas. v) Advertising and marketing – it is the same all over, and if you work for a large corporation or public body, find their marketing department on the intranet and have a look at their communications strategy to see if there is anything that can be learned. There will be. vi) The politics of the place where you work is quietly informative; it will be blueprinted for anywhere and everywhere. All hierarchies function on the same insecurities, gossip, pettiness, unfairness, sycophancy, and getting to grips with it all in a place that is essentially expendable yet has its virtues.

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

results worth the journey. Random Searches If you can isolate what and who you are into a few bite-sized roles and functions, there are sites that will send you job alerts on a daily or weekly basis with these positions in the job description and spec. The best are by far Indeed and Rapido – sites that know no territorial boundary. You just put in the job term and geography, set up the email alert and away you go. You normal bog-standard job sites will do this as well. It is useless to label them here, as outside of what has been already mentioned, there is a national bias with each, as there is a huge amount of territory to cover. This writer could go on and on from a UK perspective, but that would be useless to anyone outside of Blighty. The methodology matters; you have to get your head around doing something more than the obvious to build your career and feel more in charge. Monster, CW Jobs and Total Jobs (for the record) are brilliant in the UK. Find those that suit you by searching for them. This writer would be interested to learn of those that are the best elsewhere. Networking (Social and Actual) Go to events, be a presence, talk to people – but without being one of those sad hangers on. Be purposeful in your delivery of yourself in your actual networking. The arts is a massive field – do not limit yourself to film. Go to museums and fashion outings. Go to local shindigs and find the film unit of your local municipal-

ity – get involved in what they do. Leave calling cards. Find the production companies in the area and make sure they know about you. Whatever bakes your cookies, go to similar entities or to group outings. Some of the festivals have events outside of the festival itself, and you should make yourself a regular feature. Find out about your local Chamber of Commerce, and get to know the most important business folk in the area. There will be a local “film angels” sector – find them and network. There is nothing as effective as making sure that you are a known face, without seeming or being pushy. Do stuff for charities of note. Film/write about the different aspects of your particular area. “A Day in the Life of Your Local MacDonald’s” – anything novel and fresh. Shooting People is a great organisation and is international. Join. Just how much you can reap rewards from the use of social media is questionable. The “find friends” function on Facebook is great if you ignore the rule or general guideline that you have to know the person before requesting their friendship, which is what anyone and everyone does. On a social level, Facebook is an art to be learned. There are those that are close friends, and adding to this works on a pyramid system, which is what it all is and how it moves and shakes. This in itself does not generate anything, but Facebook has just been floated at $60 billion. The reason being is its marketing value, knowing how its members think and

what they like. If this had no mileage whatsoever, there would be no value at all in a mass chat entity, which was always at heart a tool for showing off. Both Facebook and LinkedIn are trying to function as viable B2B tools, and to an extent, they do fulfil this function successfully. Have a look at the Facebook presences that have reached their maximum number of friends. Aren’t they just always the epitome of cool? Yes. Are they financially successful and household names? Maybe not. Not all Facebook fame translates into being a star. It does get your name about a bit, though, if used ruthlessly. LinkedIn and Facebook should be used as resource banks of contacts where you can post your manoeuvrings, and add them to your email list for your site updates. You should also be thinking about what you have to offer, as well as what you can reap from your “friends.” Don’t fill their lives and inboxes with meaningless smoke. Tell them things that they are likely to want to know about. This knits nicely to the topic of the next work, which is to build your career and turn yourself into your own brand without really trying. Gail Spencer Gail is a professional writer and has been writing film reviews/journalism for over five years. She is an expolitical candidate and has worked in campaigns for over 15 years. Gail has volunteered for film festivals in the UK and America and specialises in cult and horror film publicity. She lives and works in London, England.


Universal Film


Issue 4 of 2012

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

ron gilbert


0th Outfest Film Festival is Triumphant and Proud

I must honestly say that this is the happiest film festival in Los Angeles. I should tell executive director, Kirsten Schaffer, to rename it, “The Happy film festival” from all the smiling faces of the packed audiences and participants.Everyone is in the happiest frame of mind to be there which translates into the real meaning of the word”Gay”. This year they hit the pinnacle of their success in my opinion.The opening night film “Vito” was the most perfect and touching film to present and along with the 16th Annual Achievement Award recipient ,John Waters.Ricki Lake( his former “Hairspray” starlet) introduced him ,but John needs no introduction.In his acceptance speech,he said that “Gay people are my Saints” and you could feel the bolt of love and emotion with those words,after that quote.Divine must have been smiling down on him from above.In his closing he said “I’m tired of being an outsider and his plan is to be an insideran outlaw”. John has always been an insider to all of us in the film industry. Director Jeffrey Schwarz’s documen-

Actor, producer and journalist Ron Gilbert ..


tary film “Vito” comes at a perfect time because the issues discussed still exist ,but not so much in the open.Vito Russo was a hero and makes all of us proud to have known him.For those of you who haven’t ,you should read “The Celluloid Closet” and see how the atmosphere has changed for the better in some ways but not all. Stars are still reluctant to come out and those who did recently like Anderson Cooper, make us proud. In the documentary we are shown how Vito discovered his voice as a gay activist and critic of how LGBT was presented in the media. His passion for justice continued through the AIDS crisis and resulted in ACT UP. His memory will be in our hearts forever. Programming director,Kim Yutani and her staff have made excellent choices on the lists of films in the fest.This year Kim went above and beyond in her passion to find the films in the schedule. There are so many to list and I will see as many as I can . On Saturday I was fortunate so see “Love Free or Die”,”Sassy Pants” and “Beauty”. Each film was so different and you were able to reflect on them at the after party .Director Macky

Alston’s film “Love Free or Die” won The 2012 Sundance Special Jury Prize for Agent of Change,director Oliver Hermanus’ film ,”Beauty” won the Queer Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and director Coley Sohn’s “Sassy Pants” was her feature debut. In Coley’s film , the lead character(Bethany)portrayed by Ashley Rickards about a young girl finding her way and wanting to be a fashion designer had you both laughing and crying with a perfect choice of music to complement whatever you were feeling.Haley Joel Osment as her dad’s boyfriend was a hoot.After the screening ,Coley was a true spark plug full of energy discussing back story and her own personal life.As of this moment,this film was my audience award favorite. More on the way later. The Outfest film festival will continue until June 22 you must do yourself a big favor along with your friends to come on down.Most screenings will be at the DGA but check out the schedule for more info call 213-480-7065 or check out the website.


Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

Mad Frankie Fraser A new docudrama on Britain’s most prolific killer, Mad Frankie Fraser. He is reputed to have killed 40 people, been certified insane 3 times and spent 42 years in prison. The DVD is now available


Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012




You may be celebrating or wrapping things up with friends, groups, the internet, astrology, or charities on the 1st. Kids, creative projects and love move forward again from the 7th or 8th and new doors open in these areas from the 17th forward. You should be able to reach your goals or end things with the hospital, prison, addiction, film, music, art project, clandestine affair, retreat, research, investigation, or spiritual pursuit by the 31st

Career matters, ambitions, goals, fame, and matters involving authority figures, bosses or dad reach a peak on the 1st as you celebrate achievements or mark endings. Home interests, moves, real estate deals, roommate or family situations, mom’s interests, or security needs begin to move forward again from the 7th or 8th and you get a New Moon beginning to seed fresh starts here from the 17th onward. Mark the last day of the month for big celebrations or wrapping things up with friends, groups, the internet, astrology, or charities, social occasions, networking, or aspirations.

The media, publishing, marketing, travel, legal, ceremonial, or educational interests peaks on the 1st in celebration, achievement or endings. Agreements, writing projects, sibling or neighbor issues, moves, vehicle or electronic interests, meetings, talks, ideas, and decisions begin to move ahead again on the 7th or 8th. The New Moon in these same areas gives you two strong weeks to seed new ideas, agreements, meetings, or decisions from the 17th onward. You can purchase that vehicle or electronic now or start over with siblings or neighbors. Career heights occur by the 31st as you reach a new level, see fame or the spotlight upon you, or hit a high note with bosses, authority figures or dad.

FOLLOW ZOE ON TWITTER: HTTP://TWITTER.COM/ZOEMOON LIBRA SCORPIO SAGITTARIUS The month kicks off with big moments involving kids, creative projects or true love so get ready to celebrate or wrap things up. If you have been revisiting past issues or reworking things with friends, groups, the internet, astrology, or charities, these areas begin to move ahead again from the 7th or 8th. You get a New Moon here on the 17th so seed new ventures or meet new connections in the 2 weeks that follow. Celebrations and achievements as well as endings focus on home, moves, real estate, family, roommates, and security needs by month’s end.

Things reach a peak at home, with a move, renovation, real estate deal, family, mom, or security needs on the 1st. Wrap things up or celebrate the moment. Career goals, ambitions, fame, leadership, and dealing with bosses, dad, or authority figures has been in a bit of a backwards trend, on the 7th or 8th these areas begin to move forward again and by the 17th you get a New Moon and fresh starts in the 2 weeks that follow. A love, child or creative pursuit hits a high point by the month’s end, prepare to celebrate or wrap things up.

You hit a high point with a writing project, agreement, meeting, talk, sibling, neighbor, move, vehicle, electronic, or decision on the 1st. You may be celebrating or wrapping things up here. If you’ve felt stuck or moving backwards where travel, media, publishing, marketing, education, ceremonies, or legal interests were concerned, these being to open back up on the 7th or 8th and you will get real momentum behind new endeavors in these areas from the 17th onward. Expect something big to culminate at home, with a move, real estate deal, family matter, roommate, or mom by month’s end in celebration or endings..


Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

ZOEMOONASTROLOGY@GMAIL.COM OR CALL 818-613-6067 LEO VIRGO CANCER A sexual attraction or issue, divorce or big financial matter hits a peak on the 1st so expect that you will be celebrating or wrapping things up now. Any slow-downs or past issues involving income ease up on the 7th or 8th and you can see that money matters are now starting to flow again. You get a New Moon in this area on the 17th so mark the two weeks that follow as your best time to seed new money making ventures. A big publishing, marketing, media, travel, educational, legal, or ceremonial matter is celebrated or wrapped up by month’s end.

The month opens with celebrations, achievements or endings involving partners, agents, attorneys, specialist, competitors, or opponents. If you have been backtracking on personal, image, identity, or physical interests or feel like you have been slowed down, that shifts on the 7th or 8th and forward you go. Start new image changes, identities, or personal and physical goals from the 17th onward. By the end of the month you will have reached another level with a sexual attraction or issue, divorce matter, loan, settlement, inheritance, insurance policy, tax situation, alimony or child support, commission, royalty, or partner’s financial situation.

Celebrate the high point the opens this month in work, with co-workers, employees, with health, or animals. You have reached a goal or are wrapping things up here. Hospital or prison matters, addictions, secret love affairs, film, music or other artistic projects, spiritual pursuits, research, or investigations will finally shift direction and begin to move ahead from the 7th or 8th. New beginnings in these areas can be initiated in earnest from the 17th onward. A peak moment comes by the 31st with a partner, agent, attorney, specialist, or competitor as you achieve goals, celebrate or end things.


August opens with a lot of focus on something big happening with you. This could be about your image or some new look you are achieving, identity peaks in the range of a marriage or doctorate, some physical goal you reach now, or a personal desire you have coming to fruition. If you have been dealing with reversals or slowdowns with romantic or business partners, agents, attorneys, specialists, competitors, or opponents, these shift by the 7th or 8th with new beginnings opening up from the 17th onward. Expect earnings to peak around the end of the month as you celebrate a big paycheck or wrap things up with one source of income.

The hospital or other institutional matter, film, music or other art interest, spiritual pursuit, clandestine affair, or addiction, is going to peak as the month opens. You will be celebrating achievements or wrapping things up here. New work prospects open up on the 17th and in the 2 weeks after which should be good news after all the slow-downs or past issues here. The same goes for any health matters or pets needs. You should see things begin to pick up speed as soon as the 7th or 8th. You reach your personal high on the 31st this year as the Full Moon in your sign helps you celebrate your achievements and reach goals that are close to your heart or physically important.


Income concerns or rewards hit a peak moment around the 1st to open August with plenty to celebrate on the monetary front or the need to wrap things up and get it in gear for the next chapter of earning. You may have had to wait on an investment, settlement, insurance or tax matter, alimony or child support payment, inheritance, bankruptcy, commission, royalty, or other outside resource, or you may have been back paddling with a divorce, reproductive or sexual issue, or a sexual attraction but come the 7th or 8th you will see these interests begin to move ahead again with fresh starts in the 2 week period that begins on the 17th. Expect big talks, agreements, meetings, decisions, short trips, sibling issues, moves, writing projects, or ideas to hit a high point at month’s end.

Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

inside the perfect circle the odyssey of joel thome by Alison Ross


nside the Perfect Circle: The Odyssey of Joel Thome,” a multi-award winning music documentary inspires audiences as it explores the life and work of Grammy Award Winner and Pulitzer Prize nominee Joel Thome. After suffering what could have been a career-ending stroke in 1998, Thome used the power of music as a means of healing. With the aid of noted neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks at the Institute for Music and Neurological Function Thome returned to the stage in 2009.

Joel Thome had already won a Grammy for his work with Frank Zappa. He had already conducted at Carnegie Hall, Groupe L’itinéraire in Paris, and in Israel. He had already written a composition for the Guggenheim Museum that required Red Grooms to play the curtains. He had already founded his own orchestra, “Orchestra of Our Time.” He had already chaired the music department at Carnegie Mellon University and composed the score for Pablo Picasso’s play. And yet his stroke became a metaphor for his growing dissatisfaction with traditional music forms. Ultimately on that day in 1998, the stroke that Joel Thome suffered turned out to be a stroke of genius.

heart as the brilliant Scorchio Quartet performs Thome’s unique and modern mandala music. The film is a visual and auditory meditation, a story of triumph, of love, of dedication. It is a universal film blending eastern and western philosophies. It showcases the inspiring true story of how conductor/composer Thome chose life, love and music over suffering, highlighting how he broke down the barriers that confined musical notation before him. Thome is a composer before his time, influenced by the work of Sri Aurobindo, specifically the tale of Savitri, a symbolic myth of love conquering death. Thome too used love to conquer the possibility of a death of his music, his life force. He pushed through the physical constraints brought about from the stroke that he faced as a conductor and the musical constraints he observed from traditional music notation as a composer, he broke down any and all barriers. As Thome says, “The mind is healer, music is messenger,” and in so realizing he went on to triumph over all limitations.

of most commonly as an eastern symbol, the circle is in reality a universal symbol that transcends cultural boundaries. The circle having no beginning and no end being complete and eternal represents many things but above all it is a symbol of unity. This entirely self-funded documentary includes an assemblage of live concert footage, rehearsal footage, interviews with musicians, colleagues, performers, archival videos, and so much more. Since being on the film festival circuit, the documentary has received major accolades including the likes of: Winner “BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY FILM” New Jersey Film Festival Winner “AUDIENCE AWARD” DocMiami International Film Festival Winner “INDIE AWARD feature documentary” The Indie Fest, San Diego Winner “BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY” Philadelphia Independent Film Festival Finalist “MOST INSPIRATIONAL DOCUMENTARY” DocMiami International Film Festival And the list goes on…

Award winning independent film director/producer Chris Pepino captures Your Chance to complete the perfect cirthe vision of sound in an extraordinar- cle: Every film has a score, but for this film ily divine manner with a meditative and composer, traditional methodolo- soundtrack, abstract mandala paintings This documentary is 100% complete, gies in compositional form were stifling. by artist Harry C. Doolittle swelling in however in order to distribute the film To capture the infinite variety of transfor- the background in perfect sync with the or broadcast it, the production company, mation, in both life and in music, Thome live concert, and Thome conducting this True Form Pictures, still needs to raise created a new format for notation, his living, dynamic and transcendental mod- the rest of the funds for licensing fees. graphically drawn mandala scores. This ern masterpiece, the audience is taken This is a story that touches all those who documentary captures the dual trans- on a sublime journey through new and see and hear the healing power within formation in life and in music that was unchartered territory. According to Pe- it. If you are interested in making a doand is Joel Thome. We see first hand the pino, the perfecect circle has dual sym- nation please visit the following link for further information: power and triumph as Thome returns to bolism in the film, asThome’s life and Normski Anderson the stage with his mandalas at the Ru- career is shown coming full circle with bin Museum of Art in New York City. The this return to conducting, the circular Though PAOLA mandala’s are thought soundtrack plucks at the strings of TYRONE the Mandala. D MURPHY, BERTA, JON DEVO

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Universal Film Issue 4 of 2012

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Natasha Goulden


Universal Film Magazine Issue 4  

The worlds best and only free international film and festival magazine

Universal Film Magazine Issue 4  

The worlds best and only free international film and festival magazine