POV: Waltzing In To Invest In Film - Cate Caplin

The 36 filmmakers poised to make their pitches August 24th-26th can revel in the news that  now three films and filmmakers are in the running to land 25K alongside all the goods We Make Movies has to offer. On the inauguration of our Make Your Feature Competition Semi-Finals, WMM could not be more elated to announce the arrival of a THIRD judge and investor, multiple award-winning producer, director, choreographer, and dancer Cate Caplin. Having  captivated audiences through her talent, dexterity, and grace in productions onscreen and in theatrical venues worldwide, she joins us in our mission to remodel what film financing and creative collaboration look like. 

Cate has produced, directed and choreographed over 200 productions (from the Paris Opera House to the Broadway Stage), she has been the recipient of a Garland Award, a Women in Theatre Red Carpet Award, multiple LA Stage...

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POV: Creative Services' Leading Lady Amy Rose Schumacher

Every actor who comes to Los Angeles believes themselves as having well-rounded expertise in various artforms and the natural ability to shapeshift into any character. There are few who actually possess such versatility, and even fewer who successfully manage to showcase their range. Actor, stuntwoman, and prolific producer Amy Rose Schumacher is one such actor, who in a sea of blondes, humbly punches through the crowd demanding to be seen. Her comedic work has been featured on such prestigious platforms as WHOHAHA, her action reel could command reverence from the most seasoned athlete, and her productions have collectively garnered acceptance and accolades from top niche festivals from around the world. 

Schumacher brings her pragmatic sensibility to We Make Movies as our premier Covid Compliance Officer, and most recently Production Coordinator for the Creative Services division of the company. She applies the same grace under pressure...

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How To Pitch A Feature Film Part II: Pitch Decks & Look Books

As our Make Your Feature Competition submission period is coming to a close, we will be narrowing down our choices for the semi-finals. While the initial submission process only required a treatment of the film, the next round of selections will be based off of a virtual pitch to the community, as well as a few requisite presentation materials. The first is a beat sheet (covered in PART I of this series) along with an artistic primer (a statement describing the intended genre, visual style, similar films, approach to production, and tone of the film), and the second is a version of either a look book or proper pitch deck (both covered below).

What Is A Look Book?

A look book is a compilation of film stills and other visuals that communicate a filmmaker’s vision for their project. Cinematic elements such as composition, lighting, production design, and color help to convey the mood and tone of the film. Similarly, characters and setting can be rooted through casting choices and...

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How To Pitch A Feature Film Part I: The Art of the Beat Sheet

As our Make Your Feature Competition submission period is now closed, we are narrowing down our choices for the semi-finals. While the initial submission process only required a treatment of the film, the next round of selections will be based off of a virtual pitch to the community, as well as a few requisite presentation materials. The first is a beat sheet (covered below) along with an artistic primer (a statement describing the intended genre, visual style, similar films, approach to production, and tone of the film), and the second is a version of either a look book or proper pitch deck (both covered in PART II of this series).

What Is A Beat Sheet?

A beat sheet is a specific tool for storytelling on screen that serves as a road map or skeleton of the story that dives into the pivotal emotional moments that drive the story itself. Whereas an outline describes the scenes, settings, and more concrete details of a film, a beat sheet organizes the intangible thoughts...

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How To Make A Feature Film For 25K

Few feature films have racked up cultural significance or conquered cinematic feats while made on ultra (ultra, ultra... ultra) low budgets. There's the 1977 experimental, horror masterpiece that is "Eraserhead", which was wildly celebrated auteur David Lynch's 10K  budget debut into the realm of feature filmmaking. There are the found-footage horror gems "The Blair Witch Project: (made for 25K) and "Paranormal Activity" (made for 15K), the neo-Western action film that put Robert Rodriguez on the map, "El Mariachi" (made for 7K), and the clever neo-noir "Following" (made for 6K) by a then novice Christopher Nolan. 

Then there are the directors who made their impression on the indie film world with their low-budget contributions, oftentimes shaking up what was considered acceptable and palatable for large audiences. There are a handful of 90's cult classics that delivered filmmakers like Kevin...

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POV: In The Business of Elevating Filmmakers - WMM CEO Sam Mestman

Filmmaker. Workflow Architect. Founder. Entrepreneur. And now, investor. The nomenclature is less important. The bottom line is that Sam Mestman, CEO of We Make Movies, has made it his mission to make an impression on the filmmaking world by bolstering storytellers, instituting an affordable and quality driven process around content creation, and ultimately shattering the myth of the false dichotomy between business and creativity. He has worn many hats throughout his career, but no matter the hat, Mestman is in the business of helping people.
 
His personal journey begins with a colossal heartbreak over his first feature film out of NYU film school, in which the issues had nothing to do with the film itself, but a system that was set up for failure. WMM was born out of this deep frustration, while he continued to work in the industry at large as an editor and colorist. In the process, the first iteration of his former company LumaForge (which has subsequently been...
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Smartphonestudio.tv Is Here: WMM x Apple Deliver Free Tutorials

We Make Movies and Apple have banded together once more to launch the new educational platform SMARTPHONESTUDIO.TV, dedicated to teaching you how to shoot, edit and upload professional content using the camera you already have in your pocket. Content creators and filmmakers anywhere in the world can now access 20 free tutorials on shooting with FilmicPro, capturing second source audio with Apogee's MetaRecorder, and editing with Apple’s Final Cut Pro and LumaFusion (by LumaTouch).

Essentially, this is WMM's gift to an international demand for mobile filmmaking. In sharing this high quality, curated information for free, we are making filmmaking accessible to the masses. The tutorials are designed to be an entry level introduction to the fundamentals of content creation with mobile devices, so anyone can jump in with confidence, a strategy,  and minimal stress. 
 
The site is easy to navigate as the...
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POV: Film Financing Silicon Valley Style - Rob Ness

We Make Movies has been disrupting traditional filmmaking since its inception almost a decade ago. Our latest endeavor, the MAKE YOUR FEATURE COMPETITION, is keeping with that tradition as we set out to create a sustainable ecosystem for independent film financing and production. If you've been wondering how we're managing to award at least two filmmakers with 25K each (alongside our full assortment of pre through post production and marketing services) to make their films, perhaps our lead investor, Rob Ness (General Partner of Asymmetry Ventures) can shed some light. 
 
Ness' academic trajectory alone pronounces his versatility, from a BA in Economics, Math, and Interdisciplinary Child Health from UC Berkeley to an MPS in Development & Finance from Georgetown University to an MPA in Development Economics from Harvard University. A few of his diverse career highlights include a senior consultancy at Booze Allen...
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POV: Director of WMMIntl Film Festival Whit Spurgeon

Cinephile and tastemaker, Whit Spurgeon has been a gift to the WMM community since he first joined almost a decade ago. As an actor, he has flavored many staged readings with his unique presence and sturdy character work, and graced dozens of projects that have come out of the Lab pipeline. As a filmmaker, he has used WMM the way one should -- by absorbing as much knowledge from those with more experience, surrounding himself with equally proficient and determined artists, contributing to the creative conversation, and then going out there and actually telling bold and colorful stories to the best of his ability.

As the Director of WMMIntl Film Festival he incorporates his voracious appetite for all things film, management prowess, foresight, and unadulterated enthusiasm into cultivating a stellar experience for both the audience and filmmaker alike. We are excited to introduce you to the talent and soul of our friend and constant collaborator Whit...

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POV: The Filmmaker's Filmmaker - Felix Werner

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We Make Movies
POV: The Filmmaker's Filmmaker - Felix Werner
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Felix Werner's journey through the arts has taken him down many paths, eventually leading him to carve out his own place in the world of all things indie. Hailing from an illustrious showbiz family (his father was celebrated stage and film actor Oskar Werner, his maternal grandmother was Joan Bennet), he naturally demonstrated a proclivity towards the visual arts, but it wasn't until after studying Art History at UCLA and working in the education and film departments at LACMA that he rediscovered his love for film. 

Diving into the studio system in various capacities left Werner wanting more autonomy and creative control so he and his wife Katherine Werner, launched Modern Media Company to bridge that gap. Under the umbrella of MMC they have produced content with a wide variety of styles, formats, and budgets, and Werner has helmed the company as an independent media financier, producer of films and original...

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