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film Archives - S-Films

Greenlight

Greenlight Your Own Film

By Seminars No Comments

I break the phases of filmmaking into six distinct areas: The Idea; Development; Pre-Production; Production; Post Production; and Distribution.  Most new filmmakers spend most of the research and education in the production phases.  But the biggest hurdles are in the two “D’s”– Development and Distribution. Development is where you raise the money and build the right team.  Distribution is where you make money to pay back the investors and enough for you to keep going.  These two areas are woefully lacking.  That’s why I started teaching the Greenlight seminar several years ago. Often people have a story they want made into a movie and they either write the screenplay or commission the writing of the screenplay.  Then it’s an upward climb to get the script sold to a production company.  Then it’s an uphill battle for the production company to…

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Business Plan

How To Start A Feature Film

By Tips/Techniques No Comments

First Steps to Making Your Own Feature Film How do I get started? One of the questions I get asked by new filmmakers is exactly how to get started.  They want to know what their next step is.  Here is an extremely practical, where the rubber meets the road answer to that question. What’s my First Step towards making my feature film? I usually start the answer by asking a couple of clarifying questions.  Do you have a screenplay written?  (If no, then that’s your next step).  It doesn’t have to be polished and locked for production, but needs to be complete.  Do you have any funding?  Usually the answer is no.  Have you set up the entity?  Usually, the answer is a look of confusion. So here goes.  First,you need to have some development money ready and able to…

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Sean Patrick Flanery and Dan Millican

How to Land Name Actors for Your Film

By Seminars, Tips/Techniques No Comments

So you want to make a feature film.  You might have even heard that the biggest factor, bar none, for the distribution success of your movie is to cast name actors.  But how do you do it? The Name Actor’s 4 Factors First, you need to know the four factors that weigh in a name actor’s decision to be in your movie. A director they want to work with A script they want to do A producer or producing team they can trust The money I’ve had people go into this process thinking that they can land anyone for a price and it’s just not true.  I’ve had name actors turn down large amounts and I’ve had bigger name actors take a lot less.  So money is not the only factor.  And if you’re a first time director and you’re…

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What Camera Should I Buy?

By Tips/Techniques No Comments

I get asked this by friends and family and the answer depends on what they want it for and how manual/automatic they want it.  But I was asked this by someone in the industry.  They are ready to upgrade to new technology and liked the setup I have for corporate video production. Camera for Corporate Video First, more often than not, I use a DSLR for my corporate work.  But occasionally I need something to record long form– like a seminar or meeting.  So what follows is what I recommend for corporate film– like interviews and sales videos, or marketing videos.  If you’re recording a board meeting, the DSLR is not the best choice. Camera–  I have the DSLR Canon 7D.  My DP Ron Gonzalez has a 5D (both shown in the picture on the right).  A Partner of mine…

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Slow Motion

Reviewing the Video Film Slider

By Reviews No Comments

Video Production Benefits from Smaller Cameras and Cool Toys With the smaller cameras, come cool toys and tools that can have a great impact on your production value.  As of late, there has been a huge boom in sliders.  I know I’ve been using them the last year or two– to the point where it goes out on every shoot.  Sliders are a simple basic replacement for dollies.  Now film and video productions can get great smooth right and left movement for a fraction of the cost and manpower.  You can even truck in and out with them and in some extreme cases, you can crane up and down. At SFilms, we use a basic Glidetrack.  And recently, we bought a Slyderdolly from Digital Juice that has been pretty impressive.  It’s robust, strong, sturdy and comes with features and accessories…

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Importance of Depth of Field

By Tips/Techniques No Comments

A quick way to make immediate impact on the quality of your picture taking or video making is to narrow your depth of field.  In this part 1 we talk about what DOF is and why it’s important.  In part two, we’ll discuss how to implement it. Depth of Field is the difference many times between something that looks cinematic and something that looks amateur.  There are times to have a large depth of field, but better production value often means a narrower depth of field.

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Dallas Video Production

Dallas Video Production

By Tips/Techniques No Comments

Serendipitous Films is a full service film and video production company, specializing in corporate video, commercials, music videos and other production services like shooting and editing. There was a time when Dallas claimed the moniker of “the third coast.”  Obviously, LA and NYC are first two, and in the 80’s, movies and tv shows were coming to Dallas. The allure is clear– Dallas has a strong national commercial production industry, which provides top quality crew and equipment.  So bringing the entertainment work in is a great compliment to the corporate and commercial video and film work.  Since the 80’s, Dallas has been on a  roller coaster of a ride– seeing the heights of Walker, Texas Ranger shoot week to week providing much in the way of jobs and rentals.  And seeing the lows, like when the SAG Commercial actor strike…

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Slow Motion

Slow Motion (Slomo, Slo-mo, overcranked or whatever you call it)

By Tips/Techniques No Comments

Most of us know what Slow motion is– it’s the slowing down of the movement in a video or film shot. There’s several ways to accomplish this– by just slowing down the shot in editing, or “over cranking” the shot when you are shooting. Shooting takes place at 24 frames a second, or 30 frames (or 25 for you PAL users) and some other variations as well. We won’t even get into fields. If I take 24 frames that were meant to display all in one second and I tell the clip to display those 24 frames in 2 seconds, what you’ll basically get is slo-mo that doubles up every frame. It will appear jittery or jerky. Not really ideal. I watched a movie recently and this is the slo-mo they had– it meant they didn’t shoot it for slo-mo…

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Shooting Greenscreen with Prompter

Corporate Video Productions

By Info No Comments

Video Production for training, sales, marketing and more!. Serendipitous Films has an award-winning track record for producing high quality videos.  We’ve produced national commercials, training programs, marketing videos, viral videos for web SEO, sales training, recruiting, and many others.  Whatever your corporate communication need is, we deliver results. We’re deadline oriented and know how to work fast.  Usually, companies will ask you if you want it good, cheap or fast, because you can pick two.  Here at Serendipitous Films, we pride ourselves on our ability to deliver all three.

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