20th Anniversary of Australian Film Base – plus my top 8 hot tips for the indie Filmmaker

Today is a retro post with my 8 top tips for the Indie Filmmaker at the end of this post. It is now 20 years since we first started our production company Sydney Film Base. At the time we shot … Continue reading

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Editing your film, one of the most important filmmaking skills

At this moment,  I am editing Tabernacle 101, our 110 minute supernatural thriller movie. I am up at 5am every morning and edit to about 11am and in that time I edit about 1 – 2 scenes per day. There … Continue reading

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Transmission and their massive success with the movie “Lion”

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Transmission, an Australian Film Distributor, has had massive success in the cinema domestically with the release of Lion. Now grossing over $25 million Box Office in Australia, it will be one of the top 5 all time Australian Films at … Continue reading

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Joel Perlman from Village Roadshow gives a full report on Current Distribution for Movies in the Australia

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Roadshow Films has been responsible for releasing box office epics The Hunger Games, The Hobbit, American Sniper, Red Dog, Paper Planes, and six-time Academy Award winning film and monster box office hit, Mad Max: Fury Road.  I attended a Screen Producers … Continue reading

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Tip 10 – A Director perfects his or her postproduction.

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Postproduction is a detailed process and the more detail and quality that is put into the post process, the better the film will be. In the last tip we focused on picture cut which is a very important and major … Continue reading

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Tip 9 A Director Post Produces

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A Director needs to make their very best effort in the season of Post Production. Postproduction on your film is broken down into the following areas. The Picture Edit. Colouring VFX Titles Sound Design Music Sound Mix Deliverables The Picture … Continue reading

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Tip 8 – A Director works with his or her actors

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Working with Actors is one of the top Directing Skills. Actors play the characters who the audience relates with. The better the performance and the star quality, the more relatable the actors are to the audience. Performance: This is a … Continue reading

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Tip 7 – The Shoot – A Director shoots

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The shoot is the most intense part of the filmmaking process. A Director should  be prepared to get asked about 1000 questions on each shooting day. This can be stressful as you are supposed to have the answers instantly for … Continue reading

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Tip 6 – A Director Prepares

A Film Director needs to prepare diligently for a film shoot.  The areas that a Film Director is involved in, during preproduction is as follows. Casting and Rehearsals with Actors Meetings with the Production Designer ref the design or enhancement … Continue reading

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Tip 5 Find the Best Crew Size for your production.

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Tip 5:  Find the Best Crew Size for your production.  The best Crew size varies from production to production. I have shot a micro budget short films with 7 Crew and I have directed a weekend feature film with 15 Crew. I … Continue reading

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Tip 1 A Film Director Prepares

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Tip 1 –   A Film Director must Prepare Prepare Prepare.  Film Directing is divided into four distinct seasons. PreProduction The Shoot Post Production Film Festivals and Screenings Today, lets focus on Preproduction. Having personally worked on hundreds of film … Continue reading

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Tip 2 To Direct Like a Pro – Cast like a Pro.

Tip 2 To Direct Like a Pro –  Cast like a Pro.  When we teach on our Film Courses, we always have a full night of casting as one of the sessions. There is a very good reason for this.I have seen … Continue reading

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Film Directing Tip 4 _ Build Your Network

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Tip 4 Network – Surround Yourself with the Best Team  Networking is one of the most important Film Maker Skills. There are two types of networking. Networking to meet financiers distributors and people who are in powerful positions and can help your … Continue reading

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Tip 3 – Every shooting Day, Prepare a Shot List

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It amazes me if a Film Director chooses to wing it on Shooting Day. That means do minimal preparation and turn up on Shooting day with no shot list. A Feature Film in Australia takes on average 6 – 8 … Continue reading

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Three Tips for finding the Best Locations

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  Locations, and finding them for a film, is one of the easiest parts of preparing a film production . There are three different ways to find location Pay a Location Scout to go out and source your locations Via word of … Continue reading

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Casting – The Core of Your Film

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If the Screenplay is the blueprint for your film, casting is the core.  Audiences are drawn into high quality stories; however, they connect with the film via your cast.  This is an area tech savvy film-makers often blow. You will … Continue reading

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Screenplay and Formatting Properly

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How to write a professional Screenplay.  Part 2: Checklist before you start to write your screenplay.  You have totally worked out your story, step by step. You have all the main dramatic scenes checked The Story has being checked and double … Continue reading

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How to Make your Film Professional

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I would like to go into detail about making, directing and producing  a professional film. There are 12 steps that one needs to pay particular attention to when creating a professional film.  If any one of them is deficient the … Continue reading

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Three ways to produce a great edit and make your film work.

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I am writing about editing a film today because it is close to my heart.  I feel so many times a film is made or broken in the edit.  In my personal opinion, it is the most challenging and difficult … Continue reading

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Greetings from Burma – 5 Attributes you must have if you want millions of people to see your work.

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I am out of town this week.  Yes, I am currently on a bus travelling between Yangoon and Bagan in Burma (Myanmar). As always, I have my camera shooting as much as I can of what I see on the … Continue reading

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How to Produce Stellar Actor Performances – 4 Areas that the Film Director needs to Focus On

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To people in the know, film making is a Director and Editor’s Medium.  What is meant by this statement, is that the screen actor who acts in the film is only one of many contributors to the whole process.  However, … Continue reading

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Three Big Cock-Ups when creating an awesome Shot List for your Film.

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A shot list is a list of shots that are used to cover a scene. An experienced Film Director will always want to get the best and maximum coverage of shots necessary to tell the story of that scene. Often … Continue reading

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Three Hot Tips to improve Screen Acting Performances

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Screen Acting:   Today I would like to talk about the craft of screen acting.  Screen Acting is a wonderful way to make a living.  There are many actors who train via acting schools who teach many different techniques.  However, so … Continue reading

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5 Ways to make your film/video look and sound professional

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Times have changed and today there are three types of Film Makers/Video Makers in the independent Film World: The Traditional Crew/ Director – Films made this way generally have reasonable budgets that can pay for the expense of a large … Continue reading

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Yes we Can – Making your film happen now

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Making your film happen is more a state of mind than circumstances aligning. Whether it is a $2.2 million film or a micro budget film, the principal is still the same. Make a film happen by setting deadlines for each part of … Continue reading

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How did Tarantino make it to the top in Hollywood? Lessons you can learn from his experience

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Quentin Tarantino is one of the most famous writer/directors. But he was a low achiever at school and found academic studies very difficult. He had a troubled childhood. How did Quentin go from being a sales assistant in a video shop … Continue reading

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Six all important Areas an experienced Film Director focuses on

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Film Directing is such an important part of the film making process. Often, beginner or ineffective film directors destroy a really strong film script.  The effective Film Director should be the guardian of the story.  Strong Directors have a vision … Continue reading

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5 Ways for the Film Director to Prepare for the Film Shoot

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Film Shoots are always the fun part of Film Production.  I have been on so many film sets over the years and to this day I find that people find the shoot the most intense and enjoyable part of the … Continue reading

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Philip Seymour Hoffman – What a loss to the film world

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I woke up this morning and heard the very sad news that one of America’s best actors Philip Seymour Hoffman had died of an apparent drug overdose.  This is such a loss to the acting world and the film world … Continue reading

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Indie Film Budgets – The Reality of the Film Market

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Raising money for films really comes down to a Value Proposition for people who invest in your film. The most difficult process is raising money for films. The easiest money raised is the contribution or favour or when you own … Continue reading

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Location Location – How to find the best locations for your shoot?

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Its the 12th of January and I finally have time to write my first blog of 2014, “Finding the best Locations.”  I have spent the first 12 days of 2014 seeking and confirming locations in Outback Australia. In all, we … Continue reading

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Shooting a Feature Film on the weekend – Making your dream feature film now.

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Today, I would like to talk about the holy grail of Film Making, The Feature Film. Some of you may feel like the Feature Film Production is an impossible task, only for the lucky determined few who can navigate the … Continue reading

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Film Festivals and how they can rocket your film career.

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When you complete your short film or indie feature film, its a great idea to enter multiple film festivals with your film There are some very compelling reasons to do so. Film Festival success helps your CV and your recognition … Continue reading

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29 Days to Screenplay Heaven.

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Its taken 29 days exactly to complete the first draft of  ‘Absolute Freedom’.  In the hope of helping you with your own projects, I would like to share my own experience writing the screenplay. Before ‘Absolute Freedom’, I have written … Continue reading

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Should I hire a professional DOP or shoot from the hip?

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Should I shoot my own film or hire an experienced DOP (Cinematographer)?  This is a question that I am asked by my clients on a regular basis.  So here is my take on this all important question. I believe that … Continue reading

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Screenplay Report Week one

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Screenplay Update on Absolute Freedom – Week 1 of a 5 Week writing Process. Once again I am sharing my experiences in creating the 110 minute feature film, ‘Absolute Freedom’.  I am not saying that my writing process is for … Continue reading

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Financing Feature Films

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It has been a big decision to make. The decision is this. Do I share all our confidental information about the financing of our film, ‘Absolute Freedom’? Do I publish to the world exactly how we are going about making … Continue reading

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Story Creation first- Writing the Screenplay second. This is what we are doing on Absolute Freedom

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One of the main reasons I have decided to keep a regular blog is to highlight the process of creating our next feature film, Absolute Freedom. I want to include what works for the film production. I also want to include what … Continue reading

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Casting – How many actors should you see?

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Casting is one of the most important directorial duties. Even experienced directors sometimes rush casting and make bad choices which then destroy the film. When we teach casting at the 4 Month Film School, I notice that nearly all my students … Continue reading

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What is Continuity? Why it is so important when making films.

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I am sitting up here in Palm Beach about 40 kms north of Sydney. I am watching the sunset over Kuringai National Park reflecting on a few different shoots that have happened recently on the Four Month Film School.  One … Continue reading

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How to Finance your Film Project

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  This weekend has been a glorious weekend in Sydney. The weather has been unseasonably warm at 27C and the water in the ocean is at an incredible 24.5C. We are nearly at our short three month winter in Sydney. … Continue reading

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Three top Tips for Casting

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Casting is one of the most important parts of indie film making. The reason I am writing this article is that we had a successful casting last week in Melbourne for a film called “Blessed”. The film is about a … Continue reading

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Three Critical Areas for your Film Production

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Many people who enrol on our film courses are very camera centric and focused on beautiful images. I know that this is an issue, because I once suffered from this ailment.  Before film making, I used to make a living … Continue reading

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Indie Film – What we can learn off Alfred Hitchcock.

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On Saturday Night I saw the film “Hitchcock”.   I learnt a few things about the making of Psycho which of course became Alfred Hitchcock’s most successful film.  Yes Psycho was made rather like an indie film is made today. At … Continue reading

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Podcast 02 – The Process of Editing

It is Colm O’Murchu your host for Filmmaking 101 with Podcast 2. This week it is just me on my own. Currently I am editing Tabernacle 101 our new one hour 45 minute movie that will be on worldwide release in … Continue reading

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Podcast Number 1 – Find out how Filmmaker Jon Cohen made his movie Ravenswood and found his audience.

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Today is a very exciting day for me. This is my first of many future podcasts. In future  podcasts, you will hear from experienced filmmakers. You will hear how they made their movies and found their audience. This podcast will help … Continue reading

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