By Louie Rosa Alicea & Ethan Krok So, you started a YouTube channel and don’t have an audience. Don’t worry! At one point, any kind of originator and even the most successful, had zero subscrib…



Tax Incentives and Benefits for Young Filmmakers


In 2008 Michigan implemented tax incentives for film making in the state giving Production companies 42% for filming in Michigan. From 2008 until 2012, 85 major motion pictures went into production, which led to positive economic growth and employment for the filmmakers in the area. Starting off there were 1,663 available jobs, with an estimate of over 6,000 jobs coming in the near future. This opened up the possibilities of creating great opportunities for Detroit who suffered from all time high unemployment rates at 15%, giving Michigan hopes for a turn around.

The city budgeted themselves accordingly in order to invest in infrastructures that would house soundstages, editing rooms, production sets, and any other use the companies may have had this would’ve involved the former plant of General Motors in Pontiac, Michigan and the Detroit Center Studious in downtown Detroit. The investment would’ve meant investing $156 million in property to officially establish a home for the film companies within the following year.

However, when the Governor of Michigan signed a bill ending film incentives in 2011 (which also carried through 2015) it led to a decline in all theses figures and after a few years and over 80 films leaving Michigan filmmakers high and dry. Lots of surrounding businesses and locals suffered the consequences of not being able to work in the film industry as a result.

As of now, governor of Georgia just announced they’re expected to make $6 billion from their film industry and their new incentives. With this information, it is important to understand how to take advantage of the opportunity once it’s presented before you. Production companies have began to migrate to states such as Kentucky, California, Kansas City and Missouri have expanded their tax credit from 20 percent to 30-35 percent of qualified generation costs. Simply put, indie filmmakers need to understand these cost, percentages and benefits to increase their chances of success in the film industry.


How Chinese elements in American films impact the market in China By Yun Li and Haoran Zhang

Chinese film box office gross occupies a big part in foreign box office of American film. American films can attract Chinese audiences if they add more Chinese elements such as culture, talents and filmmakers. The film is the art of culture and communication, also it is the way that director brings perspective to audience. If audiences can take away more familiar elements which are close to them, they will be more willing to see it on big screen. In fact, “ The Chinese movie market is on pace to surpass North American’s as the world’s largest next year, after growing an astounding 48.7 percent to hit $6.78 billion in 2015”(According to The Hollywood Reporter).


With more and more American films into Chinese market, it absorbs a bunch of Chinese filmmakers and actors jump into United States film industry, which will bring some new blood and variety cultures for Hollywood.


Chinese film industry develops very fast. Especially in last ten years, the whole film industry and industries related film such as media, entertainment, merchandise, education are all have a great improvement. China is a big country, not only the acreage, population, and society, but also she well known as the develop of culture, market and economy. China has a lot of film studios, companies and theaters, all of these conditions are considered as a part of business market.


Collaborating with Chinese film industry, business is a trend in Hollywood movie market. Recently, films include The Independent day 2, Now You See Me 2, Martian, and Warcraft are all have their Premiere in China. Also Hollywood directors starts to cast Chinese actors in their movie, such as Jackie Chan, Ziyi Zhang, Li Gong, Jay Zhou. And lots of film chose shooting locations in China which is great way introduce China landscape.


Furthermore, Adding more Chinese elements into American films can boost more American films approved by Chinese government. Because China has strict policy on film distribution, export, and import, it contains a lot of requirements, such as politics, culture, film rate, language, motif. Without doubts, almost every Chinese element in American films is positive, which will definitely encourage and increase government import more Hollywood films. The culture and business cooperation are the double win effect for US and China.



By Louie Rosa Alicea & Ethan Krok

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So, you started a YouTube channel and don’t have an audience. Don’t worry! At one point, any kind of originator and even the most successful, had zero subscribers too.

And, let us tell you that you’re a brave human being because being a filmmaker it’s not an easy task. It takes courage and a vision to go somewhere with your dreams.

Unfortunately, there’s not a recipe on how to grow an audience but we can point at a person that is doing it right and his name is Casey Neistat.

Casey Neistat is a writer, director, and star of an original series on HBO but he is most famous for his self-titled YouTube channel that has almost 3,500,000 subscribers. Below we have identified 5 keys that were essential in order for Casey to grow his audience.

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Get out there and start filming. Look for every story and every opportunity. An audience will need something to watch.


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Be authentic. Don’t be tempted to over edit or refine your content. Ensure you include the imperfect human elements of your story so that others can relate to what you are sharing.


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Practice makes perfect. Master your craft and learn new and different ways to tell your stories. Planning your shoots with the edit in mind will allow for a more efficient workflow.


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 Consistency is the key. Success follows success. Continue to put yourself out there and consistently deliver the kind of content your audience will come to expect.


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Feed your fans. Now that you have raised your audience it is important for you to secure their allegiance. When you take the time to interact with your audience you will create advocates who will become champions for sharing your content.

Although we have identified some of the keys to Casey Neistat’s success with growing his audience, it is important to remember that there are many factors to consider when attempting to build a successful YouTube channel. Every filmmaker will ultimately need to discover their own voice and create engaging content for your audience to enjoy.

Is Your Movie Worth Making?

By Michael Harris & Ulysees Turner


First-time film students attend school full of movie ideas they want to see on the big screen. The thought of seeing their vision come to life makes them excited, but there is always that doubtful question in the back of their minds. Is my movie worth making? If you’ve had these thoughts, don’t worry you’re not alone. Being a beginner means just that, you’re a beginner. Finding the confidence to go forward with your film can be hard, but preparing yourself can get rid of those insecurities.


If your worried if people will watch your movie, you shouldn’t. Most beginners scratch their ideas because they feel it’s too boring, too complicated, or even too cheesy. A wise man once said that if you build it they will come. If you like your movie and show how passionate you are about it, then people will be interested as well.

You might also be worried that your ideas have already been taken. Something you should know about movies is that everything has already been made, and being original is challenging. If you feel like your movie is too similar, then make it your own. Everyone has a different way to tell a story. Knowing yourself and what you’ve been inspired by can help shape a single vision that is yours. In a sense, it’s paying homage to those films that you’ve been inspired by.


Now that you’ve been built upon your confidence, how do you know if your idea is worth making? The answer is simple, pitch it. If people respond to it, you probably have a winner. If not, then you shouldn’t take it personally, just go back and rework it or move on to the next idea. Learning to take constructive criticism and being flexible is an easy way to make your ideas come to life.


The Impact of Online Film Distribution

Written By: Alba Ortiz Reyes and Ricardo Derose

Online distribution has become all the rage for a smaller budget and independent films as an option for sharing the created content.  The Internet explosion and advanced technology, multiple platforms are dedicated to providing online distribution for these smaller scale projects.

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Vimeo on Demand are just three of the big corporations in that field.  These companies provide small businesses and filmmakers, not affiliated with a studio, the chance to distribute the created content for a lower portion of the profits without necessarily going through traditional costly distribution.  However, getting onto these platforms is not a simple matter.


Amazon Prime Video, for example, requires filmmakers to work in conjunction with a direct Amazon aggregator. Therefore, a filmmaker has the opportunity for their film to have a platform.   An aggregator has specific software that collects creative content for these different online distribution companies.  The aggregator then will charge the filmmaker a fee to begin the process of sending the film/ creative content to the online distributor.  However once the product has made it onto the platform (in this case APV), the creator get paid per stream.


The other option available would be something where the filmmaker himself has to make the views happen.  Vimeo on Demand is the best example.  With Vimeo the creator pays a yearly subscription and the platform then allows the user to upload his content and charge for the views. However, it then falls on the creator himself to get people to watch the film.


Lastly, there is Netflix.  Netflix has over 30 million subscribers, but it does not pay for the views.  In fact, it only pays for the license to stream the content.  It is a great way of promoting the product, but it does not provide additional income per views.  It serves mostly as a great marketing strategy for the creator and a way to create an online portfolio of sorts.

In the old days, the only way for a filmmaker to get his work published and distributed was through negotiations with a major film distributor or film company. The Indie Filmmakers were almost nonexistent. Because they had no way of showing their work if a major Film Company did not accept it.  Nowadays, with the new technology and the power of the Internet it has gotten easier for filmmakers to distribute their work.  However, they also have to rely on their network to properly market the product to make a profit. These are only three (3) of the many options available to filmmakers for online distribution.  As an independent filmmaker it is important to make the proper research to find the platform that fits the needs of the created content.

APA Sources:

Abonnieren, N. (2012, September 18). NoseDive. Retrieved June 30, 2016, from

BruBaker, J. (2016). Sell A Movie To NetFlix. Retrieved June 30, 2016, from

Exclusive access to Prime Day. (n.d.). Retrieved June 30, 2016, from







Independent Films in the Chinese Film Markets

Richard Pontigo                 BK Patterson                 Tres Savid

One of the hardest film markets to release an independent foreign film in is the Chinese film market. Even though they have had an annual growth of 34% in their film market each year, only 34 films were released in Chinese theaters that were foreign films. Even though there were only 34 films released they grossed 7 billion dollars. The Chinese film market is very specific to what they let there people see by regulating the content and even the release dates. Films that gross the most in China are action/comedy genre such as their film The Mermaid and Monster Hunt. The Chinese people do have certain themes that they do not enjoy such as themes dealing with time travel (Back to the Future) or films about the government suppressing its people (V for Vendetta). When making an independent film, that is planned to be released in China, these factors need to be considered.

There are a few different ways to release a foreign independent film into the Chinese market. The first is to acquire Chinese partners such as the China Film Group Corporation, CFGC, or the Huaxia Film Distribution Co. The China Film Group Corporation is a state owned business that has the exclusive rights to import foreign movies to China. Huaxia is the second and only other distributer of foreign movies in China. They have had problems importing movies, and its distribution strength is not as great as CFGC.

Another way to release a foreign independent film is to be bought out by a Chinese local distributor for a fixed price. This can be done in two ways by either a one time buyout or revenue-shared buyout, where you can receive revenue share in addition to the buyout price.

One other way we found to have our film distributed in China is through their film festivals. These films festivals include the Beijing International Film Festival, the Beijing Independent Student Film Festival, and the BigScreen Festival. There are many problems and troubles when attempting to release into the Chinese film markets but if you succeed the profits can be exponential.

Links to Chinese Film Festivals: