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May 27 at 8:20am

Festivals Should Reveal Original & Projecting Formats

Manohla Dargis’ recent thoughts from the Cannes Film Festival pointed out this hole in film festival information. Particularly in this day and age of a plethora of choices and easy access & distribution of information, why aren’t festivals telling the audience these details?

Fests, please take note. Filmmakers, please make this request when you apply. Without A Box and Festival Genius, please allow and supply this information.

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May 26 at 11:11am

Further Closing Of Distribution Windows?

“While the plan could be a boon for consumers, it stands to be highly disruptive for the movie business…”

Distribber’s Adam Chappnick tipped me to this WSJ article on Time Warner Cable’s pitch to Hollywood to open up a new distribution window that “would allow consumers to watch a movie at home just 30 days after its theatrical release—far earlier than the usual four months—for roughly $20 to $30 a pop.”

Variety has now chimed in on the window issue, and not surprisingly, they seem to want to keep it open longer. They also getting into the price point of it all, both stating that Hwood feels the $20 price too low, but also pointing out that VOD sporting events that once the price gets close to $50, people tend to watch in groups.

What works for Hollywood product does not necessarily apply to Indie, or TrulyFree, films though.  Hollywood’s been manufacturing the desire for their type of work for a century.  They have trained their audience well.  Indie film’s audience remains relatively clueless about what work is out there, much less understanding why they might want it.  Desire for Hwood stuff is highest when it hits the screen.  Indie work needs time to build that interest.  How we do that is still a major question.

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May 24 at 8:09am

Is Google TV What Indies Have Been Waiting For?

Scott Macauley tipped me to NoFimSchool’s post on Google TV. It, along with all the excellent links in the comments there, have picked up my spirits. Now with a little SEO strategy, maybe everyone can get a bit closer to having their work seen. Maybe soon they can even make some money from that and pay off this expensive hobby we have!

If you prefer to get your news from a major source, here’s how the LATimes are covering it. It’s true that with all the myriad of options, we need better search tools. I just wish that people would offer more filters. It’s one thing to be able to find what we are looking for, but we still need to know what it is that we want — particularly if we want to make other work that that which is justified by a huge marketing spend.

I know I want a few trusted curators. Let me know if you know where I may find them.

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May 15 at 10:15am

New Tax Headache For Indies

Michael Cohen thankfully tipped me off to this. It’s a headache for not just Indies but for all small businesses. It effects all filmmakers as it adds on a new layer of tax reporting for any production. According to this article, you will now need to report, via 1099, any PURCHASE you make — and intend to write off — on an individual basis. If you buy a new computer, you will have to send Apple a 1099. Time to consultant your accountant.

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May 15 at 10:03am

Don’t Let Bloomberg Reduce NYC Arts Spending

The NYTimes has reported that

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s $63 billion budget for fiscal year 2011, which starts July 1, calls for a 31 percent reduction in financing for arts groups and a 25 percent cut for libraries — steeper than any such measures he has proposed at this stage of the budget cycle in the last eight years.

You can send a letter to fight the closing of the libraries at:

http://dontclosethebook.nypl.org

I haven’t come across the same thing on the arts budget side.  If you find something, please let us know.

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May 14 at 9:13am

Own Your Privacy (Again)

It’s a good week when people solve problems. I certainly know it is a lot easier to point problems out rather than solve them; it’s also pretty darn easy to just pledge some money to helping others solve some problems. And that’s why I am feeling good that four specific NYU students exist.

You probably heard of Diaspora on the web this week (but if you haven’t, now’s the time to catch up). Diaspora will be a decentralized social network hub that you the user controls.

the privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all distributed open source social network

You own the data; you choose who gets it. Remember back when so many people did not understand that they were not even on the web when they went onto AOL. Why have we been satisfied with going to a centralized social network hub just like we were back in the day with being on AOL’s portal? Particularly when the stakes on so much higher; we’ve been being SPIED ON for far too long.

We believe that privacy and connectedness do not have to be mutually exclusive. With Diaspora, we are reclaiming our data, securing our social connections, and making it easy to share on your own terms. We think we can replace today’s centralized social web with a more secure and convenient decentralized network. Diaspora will be easy to use, and it will be centered on you instead of a faceless hub.

They have had an amazingly successful Kickstarter raise.  That alone is truly inspiring.

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May 14 at 8:27am

Section 181 Update

Today’s update is a guest post from Raz Cunningham.

On Dec. 31, 2009, Section 181 of the American Jobs Creation Act expired. It is going to be renewed in 1 of 2 possible forms. Either in the Tax Extenders Act of 2009 (the House Bill) or the American Worker State and Business Relief Act (the Senate Bill). The language is the same as it was for Section 181, the same tax breaks/benefits still apply. In the Tax Extenders Act of 2009, the language can be found in Section 117 of the Bill; in the American Worker State and Business Relief Act it can be found in Section 145. The language of these two sections is EXACTLY the same. The Senate Bill has already passed in the Senate and is on its way to the House.

What’s important to note is that one of these two Bills, either or, is overwhelmingly expected to pass. Neither Section of either Bill has been the source of any controversy or contesting and is strongly supported by both Parties. Once either Bill is passed, any qualifying film made from Jan 1st, 2010 to Dec. 31st 2010 will be able to take advantage of the tax breaks.

Raz Cunningham is a filmmaker based out of New York & Rhode Island, about to start Pre-Production on his first full length feature film “Our Last Days As Children” this summer.

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