Monthly Archives: December 2015

Moving to Atlanta to Pursuit a Career in Film Making

Have you fallen into the hype of moving to Atlanta because of the increase in opportunities in film? Do you dream of working on big blockbuster film sets or in television? Well, here are good reasons why Atlanta is one of the best destinations to break into the industry.

LA and New York City have long been considered the places to be to pursue a career in filmmaking. All the major studios, networks, jobs, and contacts have always been there. It’s no secret that LA and NY are very expensive places to live. Arriving to a city where the cheapest rent you are going to find is around $2,000 (for a studio where you could barely fit your bed) is very discouraging.

The expense of living in Atlanta compared to LA and New York City is considerably lower. The estimated $2000 that you would spend on rent in these bigger cities would take you a long way in Atlanta. The cost of rent for a one-bedroom apartment in a fairly good location is around $1000. When comparing prices you could also pay for food, gas, insurance, and other life essentials with the extra $1000 you saved.

For a few years now Atlanta has been gaining attention in the film industry. They are taking advantage of hiring local residents for crew on their films. This is a great deal because they won’t have to fly in unionized crew from other areas.

Even if you relocate to the area with little to no experience in film, the Atlanta Mayor, Kasim Reed, along with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local (IATSE) are launching a program called the City of Atlanta Entertainment Training Program.

This program is a job-training program that focuses on helping the film industry build a talent pool of trained below-the-line workers. The areas that they primarily focus on are animation, cinematography, editing, make-up, post-production, and visual effects. With no cost or liability to the production companies, the City of Atlanta’s Workforce Development Agency will train qualified applicants for 17 weeks and pay them wages for the length of the program. Once they are accepted into the program the IATSE Local 479 will transition the trainees into the film industry through a two-day workshop and work with production to place trainees on set.

Moving to Atlanta is smart choice for beginning filmmakers. All the information that you need to know can be easily accessible at the websites below.

Post By Brittney McPherson, and Hernan Zuleta.












Independent Film Distribution: How did Juno Become so Successful?

Written By: Shaquana Golding, Monika Parmar, & Dhruti Patel

junoJuno, an independent movie starring Ellen Page, tells the story of a teenage girl’s unplanned pregnancy, and the decision she must make to give her unborn child a better life. Alongside Ellen Page the film co-starred Michael Ciera, Jennifer Garner, and Jason Bateman; the film was written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman. The film’s original release date was December 15, 2007 but Juno quickly became a highly anticipated film. Producers wanted to take advantage of the buzz so they released the film on December 5, 2007 in NY, and LA. Juno bringing in over 100 million domestically and earned Academy Award nominations for best picture, best actor, best director, and best original screenplay. Many people would argue if Juno is an indie film because it was produced by major movie studio, Fox Searchlight Pictures; but with a 7.5 million dollar budget (a small budget, depending on who is telling the story), and a word of mouth distribution platform, Juno very much qualifies as one. Juno bought in $231M worldwide; none has seen a successful independent film since 2002, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which bought in $241M domestically. Let’s examine why the film was so successful.


Genre: Comedy/Drama

Release date: December 5, 2007

Production Budget: $7.5 million

Run Time: 1 hrs. 31 min.

Domestic: $143,495,265

Foreign: $87,916,319

Worldwide: $231,411,584

IMDB rating: 7.5 stars

The main strategy to promote the movie was to send it to the film festivals and then to handful of theatres. It created word-of-mouth marketing and it worked greatly.

Film Festivals; Telluride, Toronto International, Austin, Rome, London, Bahamas International, St. Louis International, Stockholm International, International Thessaloniki, Gijon International, Palm Springs International and International Rotterdam Film Festival

On September 8, 2007 Juno was premiered at Toronto Film Festival and got a standing ovation. The film critic Roger Ebert said, “I don’t know when I have heard a standing ovation so long, loud and warm.”

Release: Limited release on December 5

In 7 theatres in Los Angeles and New York

On December 21- Worldwide release

Promotion: Fox Searchlight distributed hamburger phones styled similarly to the phones used in the film at promotional events. They also sent it to film critics and journalists.

On April 15, 2008 the movie was released on DVD and Blu-ray disc.

juno post

Marketing Strategies

Poster: “Due this Holiday Season” wrote on a striped shirt – indicated movie release date

holidayseason juno

  • Trailer: Direct to the subject, wickedly memorable and reflective dialogues.


  • Online Campaign: Juno official website contains blog posts, synopsis, BTS videos and E-Gifts like orange tic-tacs, a guitar etc.
  • Big Ads Budget: the promotion began in May 2007, six months prior to movie release date December 2007.

In conclusion, Juno earned much more money than the other pregnancy related films released in 2007 Knocked up and Waitress. Unlike the other two films; Juno connects generations. It is a pro-life film. Juno changed people’s mind about the bloggers because the writer of the film Diablo Cody used to be a stripper but also a blogger.



The Fury of Internet Distribution


On May 28, 2015 the Swedish actor, director, writer and producer David Sandberg introduced a low budget, independent, action, and comedy short film into the world in which he portrays the lead actor. Having a limited budget Sandberg utilized the power of the Internet and social media to launch his now successful short film. The film Kung Fury tells of the adventures of a 1980s Miami Police Detective Kung Fury, who acquires supernatural ninja skills after being struck by lightning and bitten by a cobra.

Though the premise of the 30-minute long Kung Fury may seem too outrageous it was chosen to be screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, only losing to Rate Me from the UK. Sandberg raised its budget through the crowd funding website Kickstarter with an initial goal of $200,000, but instead received $630, 019 donated by 17, 713 backers. Kung Fury was filmed using a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and a Sony FS700 in front of a green screen, additional funds were used for post-production.

kung fury 3

          Kung Fury was and still is accessible through the video-sharing website YouTube free of charge. Through this distribution tactic, anyone is able to view the film without restrictions. Kung Fury continues to gain popularity within the Internet accumulating more than 22, 474, 646 views and 527, 211 likes. Viewers that are captivated by the short film are able to share it by posting links on popular social media websites such as Facebook and Tweeter.

Kung fury 2.jpg

Through Internet popularity Kung Fury gained a distribution deal with Under The Milky Way, which is a Distribution Company for independent and international feature films and documentaries. This allowed Kung Fury to be available on Video on Demand platforms such as Netflix, Vimeo, etc. Through the use of the Internet’s social media an independent project can reach millions of audiences. Every aspiring filmmaker should utilize this tool that is available for all to access.

Written by: Ysmael Carbonell & Travis Daniels



Smart Phone Productions: Making a Film With Your Smart Device

     As the line between professional and consumer hardware and software shrinks, the ability for anyone to make a movie has never been as easy as it is today. And with the advancements in technology, you can even use a smart phone to do it. With a little bit of investment, a phone can be a viable replacement for a camera; and coupled with some good audio equipment and a laptop and software, you can make a high quality film.

     First, you have to pick a phone. New smart phones like the iPhone 6s and the Samsung Galaxy S6 have the ability to shoot video in 4K. And the older models also shoot in 1080p. These phones range in price from $200-$800, which is not a lot, but chances are you already have one that can shoot decent quality images.

     There are also apps for iOS and Android that give the ability to control the functions of the camera like the focus, white balance and exposure that can hep you control the look of the image, and get a better looking image than the standard camera app will give you.

                FiLMiC Pro$10 – iOS                                        Cinema FV-5$5 – Android 

filmicpro           Cinema_FV-5_640

     The next thing that can help you get a better image is getting lens attachments. These will help you be able to get shots that otherwise would not be possible on your phone. Lenses types vary just like any camera; telephoto, macro, wide angle. There are multiple lens kits on amazon that range in price from $14-$160.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Kit – $53           iPhone 5s Kit – $50                     Universal Kit – $14               samsunglenskit     iphoneKit     universal

     Getting a smooth image can be tough when you’re filming with your phone in your hand. There are various options for stabilizers to make that image look as professional as any other film. These options ran range from $50 to more than $300. Here are two options from amazon that are reasonably priced.

    SteadyMate SM1 – $55                                       KEDSUM Beholder – $180

steadymate55                             stabilizer


     If you have multiple phones at your disposal, you can use them as wireless audio recorders. Rode Microphones has a smart phone specific microphone that can be used with any audio recording app for iOS, or Android, or Rode’s free app on iOS. The smartLav+ is priced at $80, which is a great price for any microphone.

     The ability to make a commercial quality film on your phone has never been as easy as it is today, and there are some great examples out there of professional works made using smart phones. Bentley Motors made an ad using an iPhone and even edited it on an iPad. The technology is out there and you don’t have to be limited by a budget to make your imagination a reality.

Written by Jon M. Green and Tony LoParco.

The New Hollywood: New Mexico

nM FilmFor decades young filmmakers and aspiring actors have made the pilgrimage to La-La Land in hopes of counting themselves among the stars. However, finding a studio willing to take a chance on an unknown filmmaker is like trying to catch a whale with a gold fish net, practically impossible. Not to mention the enormous production costs. Yet all is not lost, because there is still a beacon of hope shining in the desert.

In 2003 New Mexico, launched a film incentive program to entice filmmakers to consider trading in Tinsel Town for the Land of Enchantment.

New-MexicoLike all new and radical ideas, progress was slow, but in recent years movies such as Sicario (2015), Spare Parts (2015), The Homesman (2014), Transcendence (2014), A Million Ways to Die In The West (2014), and 2 Guns (2013) were filmed in New Mexico. It’s not just the big screen but also the small screen taking advantage of this desert oasis as well; television series like Breaking Bad and Longmire.


Breaking Bad (AMC TV series) is shot in Albuquerque, New   Mexico.

Courtesy of Lewis Jacobs/Netflix Robert Taylor, who plays Walt Longmire, says there are plenty of twists and turns in season four of Longmire. Tue Sep 01 08:09:24 -0600 2015 1441116550 FILENAME: 198319.jpg

Longmire (A&E/Netflix TV series) is shot in Las Vegas, Santa Fe, Eagles Nest, and Red River, New Mexico.

Film Tax Incentive

By choosing to film your movie in New Mexico, filmmakers will be offered the following incentives:

  • Refundable tax credit for hiring NM actors and crew
  • 25-30% refundable tax credit on in-state spending (Ex: catering, rental, etc.)
  • 25% refund incentive for production and post
  • 30% tax incentives for TV series and stand-alone pilot episodes
  • $500,000 loans to qualified filmmakers
  • 50% reimbursement of wages for on-the-job-training for NM residents (Advanced below-the-line crew positions)
  • All incentives can be used collectively

film-trails-bannerQualifying Projects:

You can qualify for NM film incentives for pre-production, production, and post production of the following:


  1. Feature Film
  2. Short Film
  3. TV series
  4. Stand Alone TV Pilots
  5. National TV Commercial
  6. National Internet Commercial
  7. Regional Commercials
  8. Documentaries
  9. Video Games
  10. Animation
  11. Webisodes
  12. Informational Videos
  13. Music Videos
  14. Mobile Apps (for commercial exploitation)


Everyone can reap the financial benefits of shooting in NM. A $50 million production budget cap gives lower budget films an advantage; larger budget films would not benefit from filming here giving more opportunities for low budget and independent films. In the last four years 15,848 full time jobs with average annual salary of $52,000 have been created, $1.5billion has been generated, and $251 million paid back in incentives.

With an enticing list of tax incentives, beautiful landscape, and a growing number of trained laborers; New Mexico is on its way to being the next hot spot for independent filmmaking. Not only is New Mexico a proven supporter of the film industry, it is also invested in creating jobs and increasing the local economy.



Blog by: Nakia Ford & Cassidy Glascock