Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Studio Head Answers Your Questions About the Movie Business

Roblimo posted more than 6 years ago | from the Slashdot-goes-to-Hollywood dept.

Entertainment 115

You asked Larry Meistrich, head of NEHST Studios, how to get into the movie business. And he has answered your questions. So read his answers, then get off your lazy behind, pick up that digital cinema camera, and go to work! 1) IANAMM
by Jarik_Tentsu


As an amateur director and special effects editor, my work tends to be high in special effects and fancy stuff - muzzle flashes, lightsabers, explosions etc - all computer rendered. All look cool, but all of them look amateur. There's no way you can make something fancy like that look professionally done.

So my question is, if you want to make work to impress people in the industry, do they prefer simple things, done professionally, or things that have potential in being extravagant, but still have that 'amateur' feel?


A: My feeling is that simple and good always trumps extravagant and amateur. Many young filmmakers make the mistake of trying to do too much with too little. The best way to impress a producer or studio executive is to tell a story that has a credible beginning, middle, and conclusion. You never want to have to apologize or make excuses for your work and have someone have to look past the work to the potential.

My other question is how much are screenwriters/director's controlled by their sponsors/studios? How much freedom do they get in their movies?

It really depends on the studio or the production company. It also depends on the assignment. There is no simple answer to that question. The best way to have creative freedom is to find the funding yourself.

2) Hi Larry ;-)
by circletimessquare


Thanks for taking some questions.

The Internet has a number of plays out there for self-distribution and self-promotion. A lot of these avenues are relatively fresh, so it is hard to tell, but by your judgment, are there any self-promotion or self-distribution avenues that are absolutel
y must-have for an indie movie maker? I'm thinking perhaps of things like the Withoutabox system, or Massify.


I think that every filmmaker should have a web page that takes names and email addresses of the potential audiences. I think Withoutabox is a good service not familiar with Massify. Data is very important to indie filmmakers. Nothing is more important to a self distribution model.

Is it prudent to publish on YouTube before making any other distribution deals to get the word out? Or does this put you in an unattractive bargaining position with potential distributors, online or off, such that your content is already out there, even though in lo-res quality?

It is not prudent unless you are just publishing the trailer.

3) Is it possible to make a profit with union labor?
by Anonymous Coward


A: Yes. Union labor is often more experienced and gives you more bang for the buck.

The movie industry is notorious for being a heavily unionized, "closed shop" industry, with all the overhead and featherbedding that implies. Is it possible for an independent studio to make a profit while obeying Hollywood's labyrinth, payroll-padding union rules?

Yes. There is a big difference between the studio films and the independent films. If you are making films outside of the Hollywood system then you are making your own arrangements with the unions. I have found particularly on the east coast that the unions are very easy to deal with especially with the smaller films. Just call or go meet with them and be honest. They usually find a way to work with you.

4) Selling a Script
by oskard


How do you sell a script? I don't mean monetarily, but how does one pitch an idea for a script without getting it shot down?


A: There is no one answer to that. You can pitch to us through our website www.pitchnehst.com and we will give it a fair shot. One of the reasons we created this site was to give people outside of the system a chance to be heard. I do not know how to break into the industry at the Hollywood or Network TV systems these days. You need to find a way to network yourself into a position to be around people in the industry who can help you. The best advice I can give you is to make a short film and hit the festival circuit.

I have lots of ideas for screenplays, and I realize that the chance of anyone important ever reading them is about a million to one. But even my best scripts sound like crap in an 'elevator pitch.' How does one work around this?

You don't. You NEED to be able to boil your ideas down to a sentence or two log line and brief synopsis. If they sound like crap they might just be that.

5) I just have one question
by Opportunist


How does Uwe Boll keep finding people to pump money into his trash?

I mean, let's be honest here. That guy didn't make a single movie worth the time it takes to watch it, let's not talk about money. His movies are invariably in every "worst. movies. ever." list there is. And even trash movie fans won't touch his junk with a ten foot pole.

Can anyone explain the miracle of where he gets his funding? I mean, if you can solve that mystery, it should be trivial to get money just the same way. I mean, people who are willing to pump money into a movie that you know will bomb might actually finance a movie that has a slim chance to be gold.


A: Wish I could give you an answer, but I just don't know

6) How not to sell the rights?
by gnujoshua


It seems that with independent film making, the common path is: 1) get small to medium budget, 2) produce movie, 3) show movie at film festival, 4) sell rights to big producer. Is there way to get your movie to "go big" without doing this fourth step and not starting with a big budget?


A: I would change step four to a distributor and not producer. You sell films to distributors not producers. Unless you are willing to invest the time and money to self distribute the film which requires a lot of man power and money then you have no chance of "going big."

7) Getting a little camera time by McFly69

For a person who is interested in the film industry, what is the best way to get a little camera time? In particular how does a person (in Boston, MA) find out where and when a movies are going to be recorded so they be a stand-in? Perhaps even interview for a small role? Thank you.


A: If you would like to get a little screen time with us, go to www.screentest.biz and register yourself as an extra. You will automatically be notified every time a role is posted that fits your profile. Other than that, check with your local film commission office. They will have a list of all the films, tv shows, and commercials shooting in your area.

8) Documentaries?
by GeorgeK


Would making documentaries offer a superior risk/reward ratio compared to feature films, especially if someone is just starting out? What suggestions would you offer to succeed in documentaries?


A: I think the risk reward is about the same. That being said it is a really good time to be making documentaries. The best way to succeed is to pick a great subject matter and make a really good film. With docs you can do that for very little cost. Look at films such as Super Size Me, etc. If you have no experience with directing docs you should try to get an apprentice job in a cutting room for docs, which is a great way to learn.

9) Who would you trust with your first script?
by joe.terry


The question is ... do you go to the writers guild and pay them $35 bucks or whatever, first? Do you go to an agent? If you have a killer script, that you can't film, where do you go first?


A: First copyright the film with the copyright office. If you go online search the term "Form PA" and follow the directions on how to copyright your film. It is not that simple to just get an agent. As self seriving as it sounds if you really feel you have a killer script you should submit it to us at www.pitchnehst.com.

10) How's the biz changing?
by Marsala


It seems like the rest of the world is finally catching up to what we all envisioned would happen in 2000. Content producers like record and movie studios seem to have finally recognized the fact that folks want content delivered digitally and that customers are no longer willing to be chained to their TVs at a specific time, prefer to carry all of their music with them where ever they roam, and aren't necessarily interested in having to go to theaters to watch movies when they've got their own big screen setups at home.

Having listened to several directors explain parts of the movie biz in commentaries on DVDs, it sounds like the distributors are still holding on to opening weekend ticket sales as the primary metric for determining how well a movie performs financially. This, as a result, determines what movies they'll fund, which scripts they'll buy, etc.

Are things in chaos on the business side as consumers start to move away from the studios' primary metric, or are we not quite there yet? And what do you see the movie making landscape looking like if we ever do get there? Less big budget blockbuster CGI extravaganzas in favor of more character driven movies?


A: You have hit it right on the head. The metric is going to change, and the choices of films are going to be very different. I also think the method, length, and subject matters of the films are going to change what gets made and where it shows. I do believe that the theatrical experience will not go away but will become more of an event marketing experience. So it depends on where and how you want to see your character driven movies.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

+5 Informative (1)

oskard (715652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23824807)

Thanks for the response Mr. Meistrich!

The best advice I can give you is to make a short film and hit the festival circuit.
Looks like I'll do just that.

Re:+5 Informative (3, Funny)

syrrys (738867) | more than 6 years ago | (#23826197)

Actually, the BEST thing you can do is to find two attractive people who will hump on screen, film it, distribute it on your website and through DVD sales and you will make enough money to fund your next "legit" film from beginning to end. Remember not to use your real name in the credits and NEVER star in your own pron film! You want people to take you seriously later on and pron is still a filthy business to be in.

Re:+5 Informative (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832625)

"Actually, the BEST thing you can do is to find two attractive people who will hump on screen..."

The thing I wonder is...where they hell do the pr0n guys get the huge number of really good looking young chicks to get nekkid and hump on film?!?!?

The hell with raising money....I'd like to just start filming the amateur stuff, etc. I wouldn't get on tape myself, but, I gotta think the auditions would be fun!!!

And after that...selling the dvd to make $$$.

How much do they pay those girls I wonder? The amateur ones...good looking...first timers or something?

Re:+5 Informative (2, Insightful)

heelrod (124784) | more than 6 years ago | (#23826409)

The really best thing you can do, is just copy a 70's TV series. And even if the first one sucks, do it again with a more "famous" actor.

Re:+5 Informative (1)

lmeistrich (1309417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23830631)

Good luck

Poor bastard (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23824821)

He's going to get about a million pitches in the next 24 hrs., and 99.999% of them crappy space operas with one-dimensional stock characters, stories about IT managers who save the day and get the pretty girl, and a variety of Star Trek sequels. At least five of the pitches will feature the phrase "Think Star Trek meets Lord of the Rings with a Monty Python twist!"

Re:Poor bastard (4, Funny)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23824883)

"Think Star Trek meets Lord of the Rings with a Monty Python twist!"

Can we get Bruce Willis?

Re:Poor bastard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23825001)

"Think Star Trek meets Lord of the Rings with a Monty Python twist!"

Can we get Bruce Willis?

No, no,no! Cary Elwes doing the "Robin Hood Men in Tights" Thing! Yeah! Oh! And "The Fifth Element" sort of vibe! Yeah we're getting there.

Yeah! So, have you ever seen a grown man naked? Well, let's put it this way...do you like lolly pops? Hmmm, young man?

It's just the Hollywood way.

Re:Poor bastard (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825089)

Only if you give me a test-screening-audience-proof happy ending, at least one other bankable star onboard, and can guarantee Bruce some merchandising points and some major points on the backend. Bruce also wants a producer credit, of course.

Re:Poor bastard (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825205)

Doubt it, but I think we can get Jerry Mathers.

Re:Poor bastard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23829513)

Doubt it, but I think we can get Jerry Mathers.

Dude, everybody knows he died in Viet Nam.

Re:Poor bastard (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825433)

I'd watch it, and I'd enjoy it, goddamnit.

Re:Poor bastard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23825931)

No no no... Bruce Cambell.

That'd be, groovy.

And less prone to vulgarities.

Re:Poor bastard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23826899)

"It's about a killer robot driving instructor who travels back in time for some reason." His best friend is a talking pie.

Obl Simpsons quote (1)

acomj (20611) | more than 6 years ago | (#23829767)

"It's about a killer robot driving instructor who travels back in time for some reason." His best friend is a talking pie.
For those that don't know....
That was an idea Homer pitched to Ron Howard. Later when Ron's first idea is pitched and shot down he pitches this idea and ends up with a sack of money...

Re:Poor bastard (2, Funny)

BlueShirt (919167) | more than 6 years ago | (#23827061)

LOTR IV: Bad Hobbits Die Hard?

Re:Poor bastard (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 6 years ago | (#23828185)

I've been out to get Bruce Willis for years. The bastard is hard to kill.

Re:Poor bastard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23824929)

My script idea...

think...

Princess Leia meets ubergeek cable guy, and the cable doesn't get fixed! Starring me and Natalie Portman. Nude. Not petrified.

Re:Poor bastard (1)

ideonode (163753) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825049)

Gritty plot!

Re:Poor bastard (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825157)

stories about IT managers who save the day and get the pretty girl
Change "IT manager" to "computer geek" and it's been done before. Over and over. See Wargames, Hackers, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, etc., etc.

Re:Poor bastard (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825219)

  • Wargames: Yes
  • Hackers:Yes
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off:No

Re:Poor bastard (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825419)

Didn't Ferris "hack" his attendance record in that movie?

Re:Poor bastard (1)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 6 years ago | (#23826047)

- He has been absent nine times
- Nine times?
- Nine times
- He hasn't been sick nine times
- That's probably because he wasn't sick, he was skipping school. Wake up and smell the coffee. It's a fool's paradise, he's leading
you down the primrose path.
- I can't believe it.
- It's right here in front of me, he has missed nine days.

Re:Poor bastard (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#23826267)

Didn't Ferris "hack" his attendance record in that movie?

Yes. But he wasn't a geek. He had social skills, popularity, a hot girlfriend, etcetera when teh movie began. So it doesn't fall into the mold. The hacking was a throwaway bit, a 10 second joke. The movie is about a cool kid having fun in Chicago. Cameron was the geek.

Re:Poor bastard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23826311)

and Cameron got the girl...

Re:Poor bastard (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23826481)

and Cameron got the girl...

Thank you! Point made.

Re:Poor bastard (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#23828083)

Thank you! Point made.

Except Cameron didn't get the girl... he got his ass kicked by his father. He got to see the girl naked when she and Ferris went skinny dipping...

Re:Poor bastard (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#23826489)

and Cameron got the girl...

There was no "got the girl". Ferris started with the girl. Ferris ended with the girl. Cameron got in trouble for wrecking his dad's Ferrari.

Re:Poor bastard (1)

xsmasher (63331) | more than 6 years ago | (#23830309)

>and Cameron got the girl...

Thank you! I'm not the only one that noticed tension between Cam and the girlfriend. I think that was a subplot that was cut from the script before filming, although Ferris alludes to it when he says "[Sloane] still has one more year of school left."

Re:Poor bastard (1)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 6 years ago | (#23826657)

Sad to say that today... Bueller's Girlfriend isn't as hot as she was back in the 80's. Age took its toll on her hardcore

Re:Poor bastard (2, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825413)

Here's a tip. Don't use the phrase "It's been done before. Over and over" in your pitch.

Re:Poor bastard (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 6 years ago | (#23827499)

Unless it's Jane Austen.

Re:Poor bastard (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23827883)

Jane Austen adaptations are bulletproof. There are no royalties to pay the original author and the acting roles are like catnip for hot, vacuous Hollywood starlets wanting to show they're more than just a pretty face. So getting funding is just a matter of promising the studio that you can convince said starlet to show her tits in a follow-up mainstream movie. The hardest part about directing one is keeping a straight face when you tell Scarlett Johansson that she's a great dramatic actress.

Re:Poor bastard (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825267)

At least five of the pitches will feature the phrase "Think Star Trek meets Lord of the Rings with a Monty Python twist!"
Shit. You got me.

My first thought was Vatta's War [wikipedia.org] or a Star Trek movie about the Temporal Cold War [memory-alpha.org] .

Re:Poor bastard (1)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825417)

Do you suppose he's bombarded with high quality pitches on a regular day?

It'll just be a different flavor of suck.

Re:Poor bastard (1)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825429)

My movie script is called "Dinosaurs versus Robots". Scientists bring dinosaurs back to life, but the dinosaurs escape and start killing everyone. So the scientists invent robots to fight the dinosaurs. But the robots rebel. So now it's dinosaurs and robots killing everyone. Think "Jurassic Park" meets "Terminator".

I've even got a sequel sketched out. It's called "Dinosaurs versus robots versus zombies". Think "Jurassic Park" meets "Terminator" meets "Night of the Living Dead".

Re:Poor bastard (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23827557)

Somewhere Caspar Van Dien is reading your pitch and saying to himself "God, I hope Scifi buys that one. I need rent."

Re:Poor bastard (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 6 years ago | (#23828827)

If you can work in some pirates and ninjas you'll gross nine figures easily!

Re:Poor bastard (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 6 years ago | (#23828941)

Yes, that's interesting... But take a look at this one that came across my desk - it's called "Earth versus Soup" - apparently the Earth is attacked by a ravenous, mutant variety of soup that devours everything in its path...

Re:Poor bastard (1)

The Queen (56621) | more than 6 years ago | (#23829797)

M. Night is already working on that one, tentatively called "The Splattering".

*ducks*

Re:Poor bastard (1)

Hanyin (1301045) | more than 6 years ago | (#23827119)

At least five of the pitches will feature the phrase "Think Star Trek meets Lord of the Rings with a Monty Python twist!"
I can see it now! The protagonist will be an old Klingon wizard with a funny walk and he'll have to stop a flaming Borg Eye from attacking an unsuspecting Earth of the past with giant bananas. In scene 37 the wizard will be arrested because his summoned banana-eating monster (called a Bananarog), while having taken care of the banana problem in the past, accidentally crushed many a city with its mighty foot and changed history thus violating the temporal prime directive. In the end, as he was only trying to help his only punishment was only a reduction of rank within the Ministry of Silly Walks and was given a new funny walk to develop based on bat'leth training exercises.... erm, did I go too far?

Re:Poor bastard (1)

Deadplant (212273) | more than 6 years ago | (#23829355)

Snakes on a starship!

First Post! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23824831)

First post ftw
does it run linux?

Re:First Post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23825305)

-1 Wrong...

Thanks for the answers (2, Insightful)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23824839)

Very informative. And, for the record:

You NEED to be able to boil your ideas down to a sentence or two log line and brief synopsis. If they sound like crap they might just be that.

FTW. 100% FTW

Re:Thanks for the answers (2, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23824969)

Did the Hollywood Writers Guild get a 'modified' version of the dictionary when they asked what the definition of "crap" was? They seem to have been confused on that point, recently.

Re:Thanks for the answers (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825055)

If they sound like crap they might just be that.

Alternatively, the idea may be good, but you are a bad writer. Either way, the script would be crap.

Re:Thanks for the answers (4, Insightful)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825797)

You NEED to be able to boil your ideas down to a sentence or two log line and brief synopsis. If they sound like crap they might just be that.


This probably gets to one of the core reasons movies often end up boring and predictable. The studios just want to make and market tiny sound bites. If you boil down any movie to two sentences, that same description will probably fit a hundred other movies as well. This means it won't tell you anything about what sets the movie apart.

On the other hand, consider Little Miss Sunshine: "Dysfunctional family travels cross country in an ailing minibus to enter young girl in a ridiculous beauty/talent contest that she has little hope of winning. Several funny moments involving transportation of a corpse." That sounds like the worst movie idea ever, but it was fantastic. The movie works because of great characters and dialogue, and thousands of little pieces that all come together well. Under the current script selection process, few movies like this are likely to slip through.

Re:Thanks for the answers (2, Insightful)

bitflip (49188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23826475)

That one is easy:

"Road trip movie, only instead of frat boys its a dysfunctional family. For example, the grandfather is a drug addict"

In fact, that's almost the verbatim quote that convinced me to watch it.

Re:Thanks for the answers (1)

lbgator (1208974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23826861)

Yeah. That movie will never make it through the screening process.

The Sling Blade secret (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23828081)

As Larry Meistrich of all people could tell you, a neat trick to selling an offbeat indie movie is to make a short [imdb.com] version first. Or just beg, borrow, and steal to get the funding yourself; make the whole feature; and THEN seek out the distributors. A finished (or at least partially finished) product can often say a lot more than any 5-minute pitch can--especially for a quirky indie.

Re:The Sling Blade secret (1)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 6 years ago | (#23828763)

If you can't get people to listen to your 5 minute pitch, how do you get them to watch your 15 minute short or 100 minute feature?

Re:The Sling Blade secret (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23829533)

Film festivals, my friend, film festivals!

Re:Thanks for the answers (4, Insightful)

tool462 (677306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23829575)

Coming up with a bad one-liner doesn't really make your point. It would be hard to sell another particularly successful well-made movie if it was described as "A tale of two ambiguously gay midgets who attempt to transport jewelry with the help of a band of merry men while trying to escape the clutches of the Black Riders. Also involves a flaming guy jumping off a cliff."

A better sales-pitch line for Little Miss Sunshine might be "A coming of age story on a roadtrip through the heartland of America where a young girl teaches us the beauty of being unique."

It's important to be able to summarize a script this way for the same reason it's important to keep your resume short--the person deciding whether or not to make YOUR movie is looking at hundreds of other scripts (or more likely that person's assistants). They don't have time to read every single script in detail to discover all the delightful nuance and wonderfully crafted characters you have created. You need something that will grab their attention out of all the other submissions so that they then devote their attention to your movie. Nobody says yes based off the one-liner. But they will say no.

Re:Thanks for the answers (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23830013)

Actually, that sounds like a great pitch.

Re:Thanks for the answers (1)

lmeistrich (1309417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23830789)

Actually I profoundly disagree with you. The pitching of a movie and the making of a movie are two different things. The whole idea behind a pitch is to get someone who can finance your film to read it not make it on the spot. The writing will then speak for itself or it wont. The reality of why Hollywood films are boring or not has nothing to do with weather you can condense your idea into a one or two line pitch. For the record Little Miss Sunshine was made by a studio.

Re:Thanks for the answers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23831473)

On the other hand, consider Little Miss Sunshine: "Dysfunctional family travels cross country in an ailing minibus to enter young girl in a ridiculous beauty/talent contest that she has little hope of winning. Several funny moments involving transportation of a corpse." That sounds like the worst movie idea ever, but it was fantastic. The movie works because of great characters and dialogue, and thousands of little pieces that all come together well. Under the current script selection process, few movies like this are likely to slip through.
I haven't seen Little Miss Sunshine... but that elevator pitch makes it sound like the awesomest movie ever!

Re:Thanks for the answers (1)

dyslexicbunny (940925) | more than 6 years ago | (#23828375)

My graduate school adviser (in aerospace engineering) wants people to do this with ANYTHING. If you can't explain to someone what you do in an elevator speech, why are you being funded? If you can't explain how a jet engine works in elevator speech, then maybe you don't know how it actually works. Etc.

I think it's really an interesting approach to life. It cuts out the opportunity to cut out the bullshit and shows who knows what and who doesn't. If only business was so simple....

Re:Thanks for the answers (1)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23829421)

If a ball's thrown at 5km/h, and you run away from it at 5km/h, it won't hit you. Light always moves at the speed of light. It hits you at c if you stand still, and hits you at c if you run away from it. That's the theory of relativity.

If you can fall at a planet, but move forward fast enough so you'll keep missing it, you're in orbit.

You don't go to a URL anymore than you phone "Bob". You look up Bob's phone number and call that. DNS looks up an URL's number, and then you call than number.

The waves inside a microwave keep attracting, then repelling, water molecules. This makes them shake back and forth really fast. Moving molecules = heat. That's how your ramen gets hot.

With regards to Uwe Boll (2, Informative)

Amisinthe (1308593) | more than 6 years ago | (#23824919)

How does Uwe Boll keep finding people to pump money into his trash?

He gets money because his product sells enough to be worth the investment. People WILL buy bad movies if they are interested in the subject matter. My brother in law loves zombie and vampire flicks. He will see EVERY SINGLE ONE even if he knows it will be bad. There are a lot of people out there who fit this description.

Re:With regards to Uwe Boll (4, Informative)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825147)

Actually, he got money because of a tax loophole in Germany that made it very profitable to invest millions of dollars in movies that utterly tanked. Now that that loophole has been closed we've probably seen the last of Boll in anything other than very small films.

Re:With regards to Uwe Boll (2, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 6 years ago | (#23829967)

Now that that loophole has been closed we've probably seen the last of Boll in anything other than very small films.

A quick look at Mr. Boll's IMDB entry [imdb.com] would have told you that's not the case. He has no less than seven movies currently under production or post-production. Some of them are based on video games; others are not. He's even producing at least one movie -- the Alone in the Dark sequel -- for someone else to direct. Obviously, Mr. Boll's method remains profitable for his investors.

Re:With regards to Uwe Boll (1)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 6 years ago | (#23831659)

Uh, this has been explained for a long time now: He funds his movies with Nazi Jew Gold [wordpress.com] .

Re:With regards to Uwe Boll (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825231)

Huh. So, uh, think "vampires and zombies invade Star Trek meets Lord of the Rings with a Monte Python twist"

Re:With regards to Uwe Boll (3, Informative)

Neeperando (1270890) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825359)

Also, I believe that due to some crazy German tax laws, Germans who make movies with German money can actually get a huge tax writeoff if the movie loses money. Hence, his movies can hugely bomb and people will still invest. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uwe_boll#Financing [wikipedia.org]

Great (0, Offtopic)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23824959)

Now we get to comment on /. about the comments in regards to our comments on /..

Re:Great (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23827393)

All good geeks make heavy use of recursion.

Re:Great (1)

em guy (988518) | more than 6 years ago | (#23828853)

You must be new here. You'll find that few comments are the last word on the subject.

Years gone by (1)

iXiXi (659985) | more than 6 years ago | (#23824971)

Years ago, my friends and I thought of buying an 8mm camera and some film and getting started on some of our ideas. Not so much for the purpose of 'breaking into the movie business' but more for fun. It was a full time job just planning and writing. The cost was prohibitive as our wives had(still have) most of our cash ear-marked for their pork spending projects. Now as I look at the cost of shooting a low budget film, a truly creative mind could sneak material out on the market for very little money compared to years ago. I am not considering casting outside of friends and shooting in areas that are permit crazy. Youtube is a great way to get material out there. Myspace is a tool that is great also. Computer editing has come a long way as well as processing power. I have seen some really great fan based sci-fi films out on the internet where the CGI was surprisingly good.

Re:Years gone by (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23828249)

The biggest expense in making a DECENT short or indie today is investing in some decent acting talent and getting a crew willing to volunteer a considerable amount of time in the project (thanks to digital--cameras, film, and editing equipment is pretty negligible now). If you want to be taken seriously, my advice is DO NOT restrict your actors (especially your leads) to your friends. Even Kevin Smith (who was shooting on a micro-budget) cast Jeff Anderson and Brian O'Halloran for Clerks. Unless your friends include some experienced amateur actors (or, better yet, some professionals), you would be SERIOUSLY hampering your film with them. And it would likely lead to some hard feelings on the set when you realized that they aren't capable of delivering the performances you're looking for. It also doesn't hurt to have a crewmember who knows a little about lighting (if you don't).

Re:Years gone by (1)

iXiXi (659985) | more than 6 years ago | (#23828485)

Yeah, considering the scope I think we are talking about different goals. I understand what you are getting at with the crew/actors. We are doing this just for fun and don't have grand execations. You make very valid points depending on scope and goals.

Hit the nail on the head. (4, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825007)


You don't. You NEED to be able to boil your ideas down to a sentence or two log line and brief synopsis. If they sound like crap they might just be that.


Yes! if you cant boil your script to a max 3 sentence log line that catches interest then your script or story idea sucks. Throw it away and start again.

If you hear, "that's interesting", or "neat idea" they hate it. If they tell you it sucks, then it was so bad as to cause stomach cramps.

As a Director and Senior Producer on a few films it is amazing how many writers come out of the woodwork the second they hear what you have done. Dont take to me, I dont want to read your script. If you want to piss off a director, DP, Grip, or Producer then start shoving a script at them. Ask them who they have to review scripts and you will get an answer, then thank them for their time and LEAVE.

Also do NOT ask friends or family what they think of your idea. try to find a writers group that will be brutally honest with you. you need brutal not, "Ohh it's wonderful! Ewoks in a terminator movie is a great idea! everyone will love it!"

Re:Hit the nail on the head. (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825299)

I wish there were a card you could hand out to people that says basically

"Dear Script Pimp,

You're a moron. Your idea sucks. Your story is cliched. Your characters are one-dimensional. Your plot is derivative and predictable. The scale is laughably grand and would cost a fortune to produce. The fact that your script formatting is wrong and that you include things like director's notes in the script indicate that you're an amateur. You didn't even respect me enough to run it through a spell-checker. Even your mother was humoring you if she said she liked it. You have no talent. I hate you. You're not worth the celluloid it would take to strangle you. Get away from me."

Script Pushers Script (1)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825673)

I wish there were a card you could hand out to people that says basically

Genius! It could be in the format of the (pure genius) spamsolutions.txt,
you know the one that starts out:

Your post advocates a

( ) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

Re:Hit the nail on the head. (2, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#23826541)

You know, with a few minor edits that could be used to describe the sentiment of at least 50% of all /. posts. :-)

Re:Hit the nail on the head. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23831617)

Aww...but it's so much fun to add that personal touch [xkcd.com]

Re:Hit the nail on the head. (1)

llZENll (545605) | more than 6 years ago | (#23827343)

And yet most of the movies released this year fall in those categories.

Re:Hit the nail on the head. (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23827691)

That's because guys like Steven Spielberg stopped carrying the card years ago.

Re:Hit the nail on the head. (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 6 years ago | (#23828995)

That's because guys like Steven Spielberg stopped carrying the card years ago.
Well, the thing is they ran out of cards...

Re:Hit the nail on the head. (1)

tkw954 (709413) | more than 6 years ago | (#23829357)

I wish there were a card you could hand out to people that says basically "Dear Script Pimp, You're a moron. Your idea sucks. Your story is cliched. Your characters are one-dimensional. Your plot is derivative and predictable. The scale is laughably grand and would cost a fortune to produce. The fact that your script formatting is wrong and that you include things like director's notes in the script indicate that you're an amateur. You didn't even respect me enough to run it through a spell-checker. Even your mother was humoring you if she said she liked it. You have no talent. I hate you. You're not worth the celluloid it would take to strangle you. Get away from me."
"And I could tell all that from your one-sentence pitch."

funny, he didn't bother to spell-check his replies (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#23830421)

You didn't even respect me enough to run it through a spell-checker

Neither did our illustrious Studio Head. There were numerous spelling and grammatical errors, and he occasionally slipped into the deeply irritating BlackBerry Shorthand.

Worse still, our "editors" didn't bother to proofread it either!

Re:Hit the nail on the head. (2, Interesting)

torchdragon (816357) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825431)

Honestly, given the state of both of those franchises I'd pay a couple bucks to see those ingenious furry bastards tackle an army of self-aware killer robots.

So long as there is the exclusion of Yub-nub. There is no love for Yub-nub.

in today's day and age (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23829085)

you can write the next shawshank redemption, and you will still be rejected, simply because there's so much crap out there

solution: make the damn movie yourself. its cheap nowadays

i know exactly what you are thinking right now and the answer is no: you do not need special effects

if your movie has lotr$$$-level special effects, you're doing it wrong. a good story is a good story, and a bad story is a bad story. lotr told with brown paper bag hand puppets is still compelling. and i don't think i need to remind anyone of movies that have cost $100 million in special effects and still sucked ass

special effects will not save your story, your story does not depend upon special effects. so no, you don't NEED the special effects to tell your story if your story is good. if you still think you need special effects, i can tell you right now, knowing nothing else about it, with absolute certainty: your story sucks

so make the damn thing yourself. find out yourself how much you suck, or how good you are

Movies (1, Interesting)

Paranatural (661514) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825019)

First off, I don't see a lot of movies. I'm not elitist or anything, I just generally have more interesting things to do. Most movies are kind of boring, anyway.

However, the movie landscape *IS* changing, and I think a lot of the points the last question-giver, Marsala, made are very insightful. On the other hand, we're starting to get inundated with crappy movies that guys with no experience or budget made in their mom's basements, and you have to keep in mind the signal-to-noise ratio is actually getting much worse. Lots of movie snobs will go on and on about how much crap 'mainstream' movies are, and how the internet, combines with digital effects and post processing techniques available to the masses will herald some sort of new age of movie making, and it might, but for every good movie made by someone who would never get a chance with the studios there will be a couple of thousand morons with video cameras who all THINK they are genius producer/directors.

Re:Movies (1)

Neeperando (1270890) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825651)

Although I agree with the fact that we are getting a lot more noise than 10 years ago, it is not getting any harder to separate out the crap from the good. 10 years ago, there was very little home-produced internet video. The only low-budget movies to make it to the mainstream were the ones good enough to get into theaters. Now, the same is true, except anyone can get their video on the internet. The problem then is easy. If I want good movies, I look to the same places I looked before: independent theaters, reviews, asking my friends what they saw, etc.

The idea that we're being "inundated with crappy movies that guys with no experience or budget made in their mom's basements" is not true, if you ask me, unless you go to youtube or moviesimadeinmymomsbasement.com. And please don't start with the argument that movies are worse today than they were in yesteryear. Styles are different, yes, but fewer movies are getting made with much higher relative production values. For every classic movie you use as an example there are probably a few dozen movies made in that same time period that are so bad nobody remembers them or even bothers to preserve.

If the internet truly heralds a new age of independent filmmaking (and I'm with you that it probably won't) there will be a filter for people like you who don't want to waste their time on crap. There will be plenty of people who sit and watch these things all day and spread the word to the rest of us how good they are.

What I'm saying is, just because almost everything is crap doesn't mean good stuff isn't out there or that it's going away. It's not even really getting hard to find. In fact, it's in the same place it always was.

Re:Movies (1)

Chrutil (732561) | more than 6 years ago | (#23826507)

First off, I don't see a lot of movies. I'm not elitist or anything, I just generally have more interesting things to do. Most movies are kind of boring, anyway.

One begs to ask how you can possibly know that most movies are "kind of boring" if you don't see a lot of them?

Re:Movies (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23827573)

I assume that his decision to stop watching movies is based on not having had good experiences with them in the past, and therefor more or less giving up.

I don't see a lot of films these days either, unless its something that sounds really, really awesome -- and that is rare. I am looking forward to the next Bond though.

Re:Movies (1)

Paranatural (661514) | more than 6 years ago | (#23827841)

You are correct. Some are great, of course. It's just that many movies I've seen, afterwards I'd wished I'd spent the time doing something else.

Not sure why the GP thread was modded flame bait though, nothing in it was inflammatory, but whatever.

Thanks Larry ;-) (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825121)

Good suggestion. I am going to put a contact info form on my film's web site

Silicon Vally is Hollywood for Start ups (1)

StreetFire.net (850652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825541)

VentureHacks.com [venturehacks.com] just did an article that compares Hollywood to the Silicon Valley Start Up industry. Pretty Insightful, their theory....

Business plans are scripts, entrepreneurs are writers, engineers are talent, VCs are studios, angels are independent financiers, recruiters are casting agents, lawyers are lawyers, advisors are agents, points are options, TechCrunch {SlashDot Dang it!} is Variety, and so on.

Uwe Boll ... (1)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 6 years ago | (#23825593)

5) I just have one question
by Opportunist


How does Uwe Boll keep finding people to pump money into his trash?

I mean, let's be honest here. That guy didn't make a single movie worth the time it takes to watch it, let's not talk about money. His movies are invariably in every "worst. movies. ever." list there is. And even trash movie fans won't touch his junk with a ten foot pole.

Can anyone explain the miracle of where he gets his funding? I mean, if you can solve that mystery, it should be trivial to get money just the same way. I mean, people who are willing to pump money into a movie that you know will bomb might actually finance a movie that has a slim chance to be gold.


A: Wish I could give you an answer, but I just don't know
Actually that's a really easy question to answer: Enough people are willing to pay to see his movies to turn a profit.

Re:Uwe Boll ... (4, Informative)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 6 years ago | (#23826513)

Profit? Not in the way you think.

House of the Dead grossed just under $14M and production costs were $12M. Subtract the cost of prints and advertising and it *may* have made money.

Alone in the Dark grossed $8M and cost $20M.

Bloodrayne? $3.5M against $25M.

Dungeon Siege made $12M - no budget available, but it didn't look cheap.

Postal cost $15M and only got shown on 15 screens in the US.

As I answered earlier, Boll got funding because tax laws in Germany made it very attractive to lose tons of money on his films. People were turning a profit off his films, but not because audiences were willing to pay to see them.

Misreading the title (1)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 6 years ago | (#23827109)

I keep reading the title as "Stupid Head" instead of "Studio Head".

I was just in a movie at CineVegas (1)

Layth (1090489) | more than 6 years ago | (#23827983)

Flew back from vegas on saturday, where a movie I was in premiered. It was a documentary that a crew came out to film me for, which revolved around beer pong. They did an amazing job with the film, and I'm really happy with how well it turned out. It was also pretty cool to be a part of it, but somehow I doubt I'll have movie producers banging down my door after seeing me on screen haha. Although if I do say so myself, I was probably the most attractive guy in that particular film. One positive note, if I ever write a screenplay at least I know a few people in the business I can pester to read it.

Uwe Boll and Funding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23828643)

Use the Wiki, Luke.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uwe_Boll [wikipedia.org]

How has no one pointed out... (1)

zdickinson (1130861) | more than 6 years ago | (#23829025)

that this is one of the worst interviews ever? I look for one of two things from Slashdot Interviews: 1.) If I know nothing, I look for a good introduction to the topic. 2.) If I know something, I look to further my understanding of the topic. I don't know anything about the movie industry and I still don't, and judging from the comments I would say those who do didn't learn anything new.

ma83 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23829783)

Megs of ram runs w3 need to address that *BSD 0wnedR. and was taken over need your help! would like to JOIN THE GNAA!! BSD machines Reaper Nor do the user. 'Now that

Done! (1)

jaxtherat (1165473) | more than 6 years ago | (#23832281)

get off your lazy behind, pick up that digital cinema camera, and go to work!
Here it is: http://www.insecuritymovie.com/ [insecuritymovie.com]
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?