WMM BLOG

Transcending A Score: A Conversation With Michael Cashmore

A film score has the power to elevate a scene, drive the story forward, and heighten a film's impact beyond the visual medium. The sonic landscape provided by a score helps create a mood, convey the psychological state of the characters, color the scenery, and deliver a collective emotional tone. It is no wonder that the winner of our Make Your Feature Competition, Mars Roberge sought out English composer and musician Michael Cashmore to design the score for his feature film Stars. Cashmore has been a longtime staple of the underground progressive folk and industrial new wave scenes, well known for creating music under the moniker Nature and Organisation (since the 80's), his own namesake (since 2006), as well as as his extensive contributions composing for Current 93 (for over 20 years).

Currently living in Berlin, Cashmore is respected as one of Britain's most influential and inspiring composers. His...

Continue Reading...

Artistic Tour-de-Force Debra Haden Talks Filmmaking Survival

competition production May 04, 2022
Equal parts regal pixie pinup, quirky coquette, and elegant bibliothecary, artistic maven Debra Haden is a dizzying multi-hyphenate. The actress, model, designer, animator, musician, producer, and ventriloquist (!) truly embodies each of her talents and curates her various portfolios on several platforms. It's only fitting that she be Mars Roberge's (our Make Your Feature Competition winner) energetic counterpart, creative comrade, and life-partner, on top of inhabiting the role of Bianca Jagger in his winning film Stars. A few things are certain. Haden may be the pinnacle of all things "feminine" in presentation (as witnessed by the photography of Heidi Calvert in the title image), but her special brand of whimsy and eccentricity elevate her above being anyone's muse. She's the thinking man's enchantress, unapologetically accomplishing her visions with dexterity and grace. 
 
Haden has been channeling her B.S. in Clothing...
Continue Reading...

A Legend Goes Indie - Point of View w/ Rah Digga

When We Make Movies greenlit filmmaker Mars Roberge's film Stars through the Make Your Feature Competition last November, little did we realize it would involve collaboration with hip hop royalty. Mars is nothing if not ambitious, so in casting the role of "Oprah" in his tale of homelessness, hope, and everything in between, he set the bar high. His vision was rapper, writer, actress, and activist Rashia Tashan Fisher – known to most as Rah DiggaBursting onto the hip hop scene at first through Twice Da Flavor and then under the umbrella of New Jersey collective Da Outsidaz (alongside heavyweights like Eminem), she was plucked by A Tribe Called Quest's Q-Tip and then Busta Rhymes, who positioned the unparalleled talent as the singular female MC of his own groundbreaking Flipmode Squad.
 
A decade into her tenure as one of rap's most distinguished and valued MC's (female or otherwise), she had collaborated on multiple hip...
Continue Reading...

Make Your Feature Competition Film "Stars" Is In Production - POV: Mars Roberge

Award-winning director, producer, screenwriter, editor, and recent recipient of 25K through our We Make Movies' Make Your Feature CompetitionMars Roberge is many things. Canadian-American dual citizen. Creative shapeshifter. Industrious Complex of One. WMM VP of Content Eric Michael Kochmer refers to him as, "an infrastructure mastermind when it comes to logistical obstacles and understanding how to cope and get through them. He has six plans of attack prepared for each scenario, so to say he is intensely organized is an understatement." As the film Stars heads into production this week, Mars and company have already instituted "plan C" in several instances, from securing brand new locations that fell through at the eleventh hour to replacing key crew members who became the latest casualties of Omicron. Seemingly impervious to last minute revisions being made, Mars sets foot in New York City poised to roar "ACTION." 

Stars
, as are Mars' other...
Continue Reading...

WMM Make Your Feature Competition Winners Announced!

competition industry Nov 17, 2021

We Make Movies is putting its money where its mouth is and officially greenlighting three of YOUR feature films in 2022! Our Make Your Feature competition invited anyone with a kernel of an idea or a full screenplay to pitch their project to a panel of investors and the WMM community for the opportunity to land a $25,000 investment, tens of thousands of dollars worth of resources and assistance to ACTUALLY shoot their movie. Submissions opened on May 5 2021. We received 127 submissions, narrowed it down to 36 semi-finalists, then we had 14 filmmakers pitch our judges one last time on October 20th, 2021.

… now, DRUMROLL PLEASE! After an inspiring night of final pitches (watch the winning presentations below) and several weeks of impassioned deliberation, our panel of judges, including investors Sam Mestman, Rob Ness, and Cate Caplin have selected the feature films they will be investing in and advancing to pre-production. The winning filmmakers and films of our inaugural Make...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...
Continue Reading...
1 2
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.