Indie Film & Documentary Tutorials : Creative COW Creative COW Library of Indie Film & Documentary, tips, and strategies. en-us Thu, 26 Nov 2020 10:00:00 GMT PHP Script Ten Ways to Avoid Editor's Block Just admit it. You're afraid of the empty timeline. Maybe you’re one of the lucky few who can dive right into cutting a new project. Then there are the other 99% of us for whom there’s nothing worse than that moment after you’re prepping, and you have to face it: time to start cutting somethin Sun, 05 Jun 2016 00:00:00 GMT Tuskegee Airmen 75th Anniversary: A Documentary Revisited When Denton Adkinson and Bryan Williams told us the story of their documentary, In Their Own Words: The Tuskegee Airmen, back in 2011, we were amazed. It was one of the most popular stories we published that year, not just because of the inspiring subject matter, but for the remarkable way it came t Sun, 27 Mar 2016 00:00:00 GMT Louder Than Words: 7 Years, 14 Cameras, 1 Surprising Story It took 7 years, and 14 cameras with 3 TB of files for cinematographer and editor Saj Adibs to tell the surprising story in his documentary Louder Than Words. The film's first interview was conducted in American Sign Language, and once he saw the transcript, Saj realized he was going to tell a diffe Mon, 13 Jul 2015 00:00:00 GMT Advantageous: Jennifer Phang on Making Way to Sundance Writer/Director Jennifer Phang's Sundance Jury Award-winning 'Advantageous' provides commentary on class and society that reflects her own experiences in the world through a science fiction story. The collaborative process took Phang from writing to post production in Adobe Premiere, where features Thu, 07 May 2015 00:00:00 GMT Indie Tips for 4K With Little or No Budget 4K isn't just part of some theoretical future. 4K production is here now, and there are some very affordable approaches for low- and no-budget indie filmmakers. Veteran producer and professional limit-pusher Al Caudullo put together a piece on the heritage of Angkor, Cambodia, and for us, has put to Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT Thinking Differently to Create Successful Indie Distribution With the accessibility offered by ever more affordable tools, it has never been easier to make an Indie feature. This essay by President and Co-founder of the Digital Cinema Society, James Mathers, discusses the distribution of an indie feature and how the filmmakers brought "Why We Ride" Thu, 13 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT Thriller in the Heartland: Indie Filmmaker Zack Parker While some would call family life in the midwest a challenge to making movies, writer/director Zack Parker has made deliberate choices in his career and has some great advice for aspiring filmmakers as his fourth feature, "Proxy", hits Netflix and DVD. Wed, 05 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT Shot Lister App teams up with FilmAid International in Sudan Shot Lister, the successful shotlisting and scheduling app, is teaming up with FilmAid International to raise funds for their South Sudan Refugee Emergency Response Team. To encourage filmmakers to support FilmAid, Shot Lister is dropping the price of their app from $13.99 to $1.99 for 10 days from Sun, 07 Sep 2014 15:45:00 GMT Expert Tips for Crowdfunding Success Film projects are the most unsuccessfully funded of any Kickstarter category -- but producer and crowdfunding consultant Diana Ward Roark has worked on a number of campaigns for independent films that have exceeded their goals. She has the real-world advice you'll need to succeed, including where yo Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:50:00 GMT Ten Tips to Indie Filmmaking We love talking about tools and technologies, but there's a lot more to filmmaking than cameras and computers. Writer/director/producer Rick Castañeda has made over 30 short films, and just wrapped his first feature. Here, he offers hard-won insights into the practical details of making an independ Mon, 17 Feb 2014 20:00:00 GMT With Paul Mazursky, It's All Crap! When Paul Mazursky decided to create a series of intimate conversations with Mel Brooks, Leonard Nimoy and his many other industry friends, Cinematographer Bill Megalos came on board to produce. In this article, Bill talks about the choices he made with regard to camera, lighting and direction to ma Fri, 06 Dec 2013 21:37:11 GMT Future of Cinematography: Insights From the Rental Houses Rental houses, which have existed since the 1920s, have all experienced the evolution from film to video to data. Today, the trends that rental houses experience -- from technology to business practices -- are a lens for understanding what's going on in the bigger ecosystem of the film/TV industry. Mon, 22 Jul 2013 19:00:00 GMT Using a Little Blackmagic to Revisit a Documentary Pixie Dust flows from Blackmagic Design's Teranex 2D Processor to integrate and upconvert newly discovered vintage SD footage, photographic stills and new interviews into a re-edited and remastered 2001 documentary memorializing the 1963 NCAA "Game of Change" between Mississippi State Univ Sat, 06 Jul 2013 00:00:00 GMT Iraqi Filmmaking Workshop: Day One London Heathrow In May 2013, award-winning cinematographer Bill Megalos traveled to Iraq to train young Iraqi filmmakers on behalf of a program organized by the Humpty Dumpty Institute. In this first trip, Bill blogs about guiding these filmmakers as they make short dramatic films this year. The focus in May was on Fri, 05 Jul 2013 00:00:00 GMT Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia - Goodbye Saying Goodbye, April 7th & 9th: Bill Megalos, cinematographer and documentarian, is in Ethiopia with first-time documentary feature director Nick Spark on a mission to "make a film that makes a difference." Raising money on Indiegogo, they're following Jessica Cox, a 29-year old woman wit Fri, 19 Apr 2013 23:38:13 GMT Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia April 6th April 6th: Bill Megalos, cinematographer and documentarian, is in Ethiopia with first-time documentary feature director Nick Spark on a mission to "make a film that makes a difference." Raising money on Indiegogo, they're following Jessica Cox, a 29-year old woman without arms who is a bla Fri, 19 Apr 2013 23:37:26 GMT Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia April 5th April 5th: Bill Megalos, cinematographer and documentarian, is in Ethiopia with first-time documentary feature director Nick Spark on a mission to "make a film that makes a difference." Raising money on Indiegogo, they're following Jessica Cox, a 29-year old woman without arms who is a bla Fri, 19 Apr 2013 23:36:51 GMT Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia April 4th April 4th: Bill Megalos, cinematographer and documentarian, is in Ethiopia with first-time documentary feature director Nick Spark on a mission to "make a film that makes a difference." Raising money on Indiegogo, they're following Jessica Cox, a 29-year old woman without arms who is a bla Fri, 19 Apr 2013 23:18:07 GMT Save This Script Episode 4 In each installment of this series, a writer/producer team is confronted with a creative challenge. The scenario, written in screenplay format, revolves around a typical client management situation that can lead to a problem script. The problem script itself can then be read, followed by some back-a Fri, 05 Apr 2013 00:00:00 GMT Mondays at Racine Documents Beauty Salon for Cancer Fighters Filmmaker Cynthia Wade - who previously won an Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject for Freeheld - has recently finished Mondays at Racine, a moving piece about two sisters who open up their beauty salon every Monday to cater to breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Focusing on two Sun, 24 Feb 2013 00:00:00 GMT Save This Script Episode 3 In this episode, the Script Doctors' "patient" is a :30 TV spot intended to raise funds for an academic institution. The diagnosis is obesity, caused by passive language and lack of focus. So John and Mark trim the fat to yield a lean and healthy sales message, by applying techniques and i Thu, 04 Oct 2012 15:00:00 GMT Film Festival Success In this article from The Creative COW Magazine, J.C. Bouvier gives five tips for getting your film into a film festival. Thu, 13 Sep 2012 00:00:00 GMT Behind the Lens: Navajo Teens Struggle Up Heartbreak Hill Two young track stars at a rural New Mexico high school are torn between the lure of brighter futures and the ties that bind them to home. Home for these teens, however, is a small town on a Navajo reservation, and in leaving, they must separate from family, tradition, and the land that has been the Wed, 25 Jul 2012 13:33:49 GMT Save This Script Episode 2 Great videos start with great scripts. What you're going to present to your audience should speak to them in a language they can connect with. Writing a PSA to get kids up and moving? Don't say, "Calisthenics are fun!" Watch John and Mark transform this script into one that a kid would act Mon, 23 Jul 2012 16:15:09 GMT StorageDNA Goes Down Under with DEEPSEA CHALLENGE When director James Cameron took a solo dive to the deepest spot on earth, he turned to Sydney-based Digital Pictures to deliver a range of post production services. In turn, Digital Pictures relied on StorageDNA to help them create a cost-effective LTO-based conform system that handled massive amou Thu, 12 Jul 2012 22:57:12 GMT Behind the Lens: Sky Soldier: A Vietnam Story in 3D When Major Joel Glenn went to Vietnam in the 1960s, he brought a 3D stereoscopic still camera and audiotape recorder with him to document his experiences for his family back home. Little did he know that 50 years later, his "home movies" would become the basis for Sky Soldier: A Vietnam St Mon, 28 May 2012 12:37:50 GMT Save This Script Each installment of this series is a scenario in which a writer/producer team is confronted with a problem script. The scenario, written in screenplay format, revolves around a typical client management situation that can lead to a problem script. Join John Morley and Mark Suszko in this first episo Wed, 02 May 2012 00:00:00 GMT Behind the Lens: Circo You don’t need to be a fan of the circus--or Mexico--to be mesmerized by this story of the Ponce family who struggle with issues of debt, marital conflict and filial responsibility against a backdrop of a century-old family business. Let Debra Kaufman introduce you to Aaron Schock and his story of Wed, 02 May 2012 17:58:42 GMT America Fights Back: The Mob Museum "America Fights Back" at the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement. A complete script rewrite with no reshoot budget, and technical challenges galore to create the museum centerpiece. No pressure. Fri, 23 Mar 2012 11:27:55 GMT In Their Own Words: The Tuskegee Airmen In this Creative COW exclusive, read the story of how two Augusta-based filmmakers document the aviators who made history. Mon, 05 Mar 2012 00:00:00 GMT Behind the Lens: Marshall Curry & If a Tree Falls Marshall Curry is most interested in a subject when reality cuts against his expectations. That's exactly what happened as this talented Emmy & Oscar-nominated director, producer, writer delved deeply into a story about the Earth Liberation Front in "If a Tree Falls," which is nominated fo Fri, 24 Feb 2012 13:44:40 GMT Shooting Interviews Whether you shoot surgery, reality shows, documentaries especially, how-to videos, cooking, painting, sculpting, decoy carving name are going to be shooting interviews. Number one tip - be ready for anything. Join Mike Cohen for more great insight into shooting interviews. Tue, 21 Feb 2012 00:00:00 GMT These Amazing Shadows: An Editor's Journey An editor's journey through the films that made America (or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the B-Roll). These Amazing Shadows, an 88-minute documentary, tells the history and importance of the National Film Registry and cameos some of history's most treasured films as it reveals how ear Tue, 07 Feb 2012 11:33:02 GMT Unexpected The album promo that Jason Bergh was working on took an unexpected turn, across generations to South Africa, and then there was that unexpected release from Apple.... Fri, 23 Dec 2011 18:59:19 GMT Behind the Lens: Where Soldiers Come From Shooting in cinema verite style, filmmaker Heather Courtney focuses on three friends from Northern Michigan - a view of small-town America - who join the National Guard and ultimately are deployed to Afghanistan. The 'Where Soldiers Come From' documentary is an intimate portrait of these changed liv Fri, 11 Nov 2011 11:29:30 GMT Film is Alive in an Atlanta Trailer Park Planning to shoot your Indie feature digitally because it's cheaper than film? Not so fast. This Indie production loved both the look of film, and how much they saved. Thu, 06 Oct 2011 00:00:00 GMT Coacoochee's Story Highly complex multi-media installations -- at least the successful ones -- are only possible through careful planning, intense cooperation, and a willingness to turn the picture on its side. Wed, 05 May 2010 00:00:00 GMT Welcome to My World It was going to take every production and keying trick he'd learned for Niyi and the team at Anthill Multimedia to finish their music video on deadline - and save an orphanage. Mon, 21 Dec 2009 21:08:32 GMT Film? Really? Yes, Really. Even all-digital, file-based films are still shown mostly on film. That's why Mike Lehman is helping indie filmmakers get their work onto the worldwide standard for theatrical exhibition. Wed, 19 Aug 2009 00:00:00 GMT DreamSpeakers On Tour: Budding Aboriginal Filmmakers In this article, VASST's Douglas Spotted Eagle, takes COW members inside the DreamSpeakers On Tour. DreamSpeakers is a three-weekend project where students meet with professionals in the film/video industry and learn their craft, beginning from the ground floor of film making. Budding Aboriginal fil Thu, 16 Apr 2009 21:09:48 GMT SmartSound SonicFire Pro 5: Low-cost Scores at The Speed of Sound The COW's man in Nepal, Jiggy Gaton, has found a balance between easy, automated music production, and high-quality results with SmartSound SonicFire Pro 5. He has also been impressed with how easy it is to create variations of his custom scores, and has come up with some unexpected workflow innovat Tue, 14 Apr 2009 07:05:21 GMT Running the Sahara Running 4300 miles across the world's largest desert sounds impossible. But once Academy Award-winning director James Moll heard that three guys were going to try, he knew he had to hear - and tell - their story. In this Creative COW expanded interview, James talks about the incredible journey of bo Wed, 25 Mar 2009 15:03:27 GMT Film Festival Magic After 3 years working on their labor of love, Harry and his partners tasted the full range of film festival experiences, some more magical than others... Fri, 27 Feb 2009 21:42:10 GMT A Labor of Love In this article from The Creative COW Magazine, Laurie Pepper discusses her adventures in the movie making industry and her late husband Art Pepper, one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time. Mon, 18 Feb 2008 23:15:39 GMT The Making of Kenya, the documentary film In 2000, a team from Steven Galvano's organization (RCCM) traveled to Zambia and the over 20 hours of video he captured there turned into a short documentary film. Now, 6 years and three documentary films later, documenting these trips have become a central part of what he does. In this article, Ste Mon, 17 Sep 2007 07:00:00 GMT Making a Movie - Building a Universe In this Creative COW Magazine article independent filmmaker Bryan Kinnaird takes you on a journey through the production process of the Villikon Chronicles and shares what it has taken for him to become the filmmaker he is today. Sun, 17 Jun 2007 20:01:42 GMT A Tale of Cows, People, Passion and High Tech After we remarked in the January/February 2007 issue that this would be the year of the COW, Barbara Summer Burstyn wrote to tell us about the film she and her husband Tom had made, with cows playing a central role in its theme. Its a fascinating story that sheds light on the challenges of documenta Sun, 17 Jun 2007 23:02:46 GMT Independent Film Productions - Through the Swamps Navigating the challenges of independent productions. Low budgets don't have to mean low quality. They do mean that you'll have to work harder, longer, and smarter. What you lack in money and crew, you have to make up with hard work and passion. Sun, 10 Jun 2007 18:10:58 GMT Formats, Color Bit-Depths, Data Rates and Storage Requirements In this chart, Creative COW Magazine shows readers the various data-rates, formats and codecs in use in video production and how much hard drive space is required when using each of these formats. Sat, 18 Nov 2006 08:00:00 GMT Dramatica: Software for Dramatic Fiction Writing contributing editor Joaquin Gil writes, ''Dramatica is a computer tool for something nobody realized you could do, computer or not. ... it is one of the most powerful tools available today for the serious fiction writer.'' Read on to see Kino's further insights into this amazing prog Thu, 09 Jun 2005 07:00:00 GMT