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My video is finally live on YouTube! It’s not much but I just wanted to show that I haven’t just been twiddling my thumbs and that I’m working to get better! More stuff will be on the way! A link to the video will be on my Instagram profile!

directingfilm:

Filmmaking for the 99%: 

A quick look at Sundance in 2014:

  • 8,161 short films were submitted.
  • Sundance likes to screen 6-7 films in each program, running 90-100 minutes total.
  • Using those numbers, let’s say the average film is 14.6 minutes.

That’s 119,151 minutes or 1986 hours or 83 days of short film submissions. It would take an individual screener a year to watch, consider, and review each film. Keep in mind, the top films are watched multiple times before being programmed. And all this is actually done in 6 months, with a heavy time crunch in the last 60 days.

It’s difficult to imagine any system being able to maintain a true sense of merit-based objectivity applied to all 8,161 submissions.

Enter DigiPops, an online festival that is attempting to change the game for independent filmmakers: 

DigiPops is the short film discovery application of the future. Here you can submit, vote, and promote yourself and others.  You are recognized for your work through a transparent, fair system of organization and curation called The Pop Machine. The Pop Machine provides you the tools to even the playing field and give everyone an equal chance to be recognized for quality filmmaking. We hope DigiPops can be an alternative to the current market realities: 

  • 99.2% of short films rejected at Sundance 2014
  • Over 99% of theatrical distribution is owned by 13 companies.
  • Less than 0.3% of box offfice distribution is truly independent, not owned by a major international media conglomerate.

I’m trying out the platform with a film I made called A Simple Reminder. Go watch, vote, and submit your own films to participate in the beta season.

The art of cinema and the movie business are now at a crossroads. Audio-visual entertainment and what we know as cinema – moving pictures conceived by individuals – appear to be headed in different directions. In the future, you’ll probably see less and less of what we recognize as cinema on multiplex screens and more and more of it in smaller theaters, online, and, I suppose, in spaces and circumstances that I can’t predict.

So why is the future so bright? Because for the very first time in the history of the art form, movies really can be made for very little money. This was unheard of when I was growing up, and extremely low budget movies have always been the exception rather than the rule. Now, it’s the reverse. You can get beautiful images with affordable cameras. You can record sound. You can edit and mix and color-correct at home. This has all come to pass.

But with all the attention paid to the machinery of making movies and to the advances in technology that have led to this revolution in moviemaking, there is one important thing to remember: the tools don’t make the movie, you make the movie. It’s freeing to pick up a camera and start shooting and then put it together with Final Cut Pro. Making a movie – the one you need to make - is something else. There are no shortcuts.

If John Cassavetes, my friend and mentor, were alive today, he would certainly be using all the equipment that’s available. But he would be saying the same things he always said – you have to be absolutely dedicated to the work, you have to give everything of yourself, and you have to protect the spark of connection that drove you to make the picture in the first place. You have to protect it with your life. In the past, because making movies was so expensive, we had to protect against exhaustion and compromise. In the future, you’ll have to steel yourself against something else: the temptation to go with the flow, and allow the movie to drift and float away.

This isn’t just a matter of cinema. There are no shortcuts to anything. I’m not saying that everything has to be difficult. I’m saying that the voice that sparks you is your voice – that’s the inner light, as the Quakers put it.

That’s you. That’s the truth.

An excerpt of director Martin Scorsese's open letter to his daughter Francesca (read it in full at IndieWire)
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