WMM BLOG

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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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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Writing Film Treatments: Why & How To Write Your Treatment

 

You have a story to tell, but before you embark on the process of writing the script, consider writing a treatment. A film treatment is a sexy outline of your story, a roadmap, a detailed synopsis of your film or visual project (music videos, commercials, etc.). It contains all the essential elements of your film, such as the core concept behind your story, significant scenes, main character arcs, and crucial plot points. It's purpose is to sell your story to a potential producer or investor but it's a valuable tool as part of the development process as well. It helps you explore the world in which your story lives, aids in nailing down the tone and genre of your project, and allows you to work out other kinks in plot points.

A treatment is the written pitch that can convince the reader, or in the case of our MAKE YOUR FEATURE COMPETITION, our investors (multiple) and producers (that's us - WMM) to want to read the full script. The basics...

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WMM Tutorials: Make Your Movie Using MetaRecorder

Most people realize that the magical devices in our pockets can be harnessed to capture stunning photography and video content, but there is a world beyond the capabilities of our phones. There are apps for almost anything you want to do these days, but We Make Movies did the research and removed the hassle of weeding through all the clutter, by selecting a few high quality apps to accompany your phone in creating cinematic content on a budget.

Our Smartphone Studio program tours the nation and has also been virtually accessible for the past year, teaching content creators of all ages and walks of life how to make the highest quality films and tell the stories they want to tell. But... did you know we also have a slew of free tutorials that also walk you through the process of filming? We recently covered the use of FilmicPro to achieve professional grade cinematography. Today, we share the tips and tricks behind using ...

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POV: The Artivist Filmmaker - Bijan Machen

Contemporary abstract artist, musician, filmmaker, and educator Bijan Machen is an instrumental player in bringing the eARTh Project to life. As Chief Creative Officer of the We Uplift The World organization, Machen co-created an educational workshop series that taught local youth the importance of cultivating community gardens, cooking healthy food, creating art, and understanding basic economics and business practices. WMM teamed up with the entrepreneur and artivist, by harnessing the power of mobile filmmaking technology and  teaching Machen's students how to further apply a more sustainable approach to both filmmaking and life.

A former linebacker for Georgia Tech (where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Science, Technology & Culture) and an MFA graduate of Art Center College of Design, Machen works to challenge limiting beliefs and oppressive societal constructs, while supporting...

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POV: The Hebrew Hamilton - Marcus J. Freed

Coming to us from across the pond, Marcus J. Freed has delivered many comedic gems through his intellectual, musical parodies. A seasoned actor, prolific author, and ardent filmmaker, he has leveraged a career out of tapping into the zeitgeist and crafting stories around Jewish culture and traditions. In celebration of his latest lyrical venture, The Hebrew Hamilton, we took a peek inside the mind of the entertaining educator.       

WMM: Where are you from, what is your background, and how do you think that informs what you do as a filmmaker?  

MJF: I’m from Watford in England (where the Warner Bros studios are located, and where they shot Harry Potter). I'm a conservatoire-trained actor (Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London), and a grad of English Literature & Drama/Theatre Studies. I think it informs me as a filmmaker in many ways. Really depends on the film in question. For ...

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WMM Tutorials: Make Your Movie Using FilmicPro

Most people realize that the magical devices in our pockets can be harnessed to capture stunning photography and video content, but there is a world beyond the capabilities of our phones. There are apps for almost anything you want to do these days, but We Make Movies did the research and removed the hassle of weeding through all the clutter, by selecting a few high quality apps to accompany your phone in creating cinematic content on a budget.

Our Smartphone Studio program tours the nation and has also been virtually accessible for the past year, teaching content creators of all ages and walks of life how to make the highest quality films and tell the stories they want to tell.

But... did you know we also have a slew of free tutorials that also walk you through the process of filming? One of the apps WMM has taken the time to outline for budding phone filmmakers is that of FilmicPro. The super short series of tutorials below can help anyone get started...

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POV: Hobbyist To Award-Winning Filmmaker

 

Meet Robert Philipson of Shoga Films, a former professor of African-American studies, published author, and Harlem Renaissance historian. His work encompasses the intersectionality of race, music, & sexuality, through the unique lens of a queer Jewish man. An accomplished filmmaker of multiple award-winning films, Philipson has carved out a niche space for himself and his collaborators. WMM had a chance to catch up with him, in anticipation of his latest short film, Smoke, Lilies, and Jade.

WMM: Where are you from, what is your background, and how do you think that informs what you do as a filmmaker?  

RP: I grew up in Pasadena and pretty much lived in California (undergrad at UC Santa Cruz) until I went to Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1974-77. As a result of that experience, I worked towards a degree in Comparative Literature with a specialty in Black and African literature. Unable to get a tenure-track position, I left academia in the early 90s...

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