WMM BLOG

Filmmaking 101: How to Navigate SAG-AFTRA Low Budget Contracts

Want access to the most professional and experienced actors for your next project? Then you'll want to make sure you're producing under a SAG-AFTRA contract so you can hire union performers.  However, we know navigating the signatory process and on-set paperwork can feel....daunting. But, we're here to break down the four most popular, low- budget, SAG-AFTRA contracts for you, so you can level up the talent on your indie project.  WMM President (and our in-house SAG-AFTRA consultant, as she has been involved with the organization for almost a decade) Aubrey Mozino, discusses the factors you'll need to consider such as how much the overall budget of the project is, where the project is slated to land (distribution? festivals?), specific elements of the project (nudity? stunts?), and the various paperwork that accompanies each contract (Exhibit G? Pension & Health Remittance Form?). It's a handful, which is why we provide services that can handle...

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Filmmaking 101: What Does A Line Producer Do?

Filmmaking is not for the weary and line producing is not for the amateur. A Line Producer is one of the most critical members of the filmmaking team, as they are responsible for planning and overseeing all operations and logistics from pre-production through delivery on a project. In short, they are the project manager and accountant for the project - the ones adulting so everyone else can focus on the making of a film. The primary order of pre-production business for a Line Producer is to break down the script to determine every specific need in order to create an initial budget for the project. Funds are allocated towards every key department (camera, set design, hair and makeup...), hiring decisions are made based upon rates available to offer, locations are decided upon depending on the particulars of each day, and a schedule is created considering all of these factors fiscally and for optimal efficiency. A good Line Producer will also take into account all the moving parts...

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How To Copyright & Protect Your Script

We Make Movies has provided venues and platforms for independent filmmakers of all ilks to share their work in a safe, constructive, positive environment. All of the labs in our lab pipeline provide opportunities for artists to bring in their work (at whatever stage they are in)  with the hopes that our audience of creatives will share feedback for how to improve and optimize the project. Our Writers Lab allows writers to bring in fresh pages (from portions of their scripts) for actors to stage read so the writers can hear their ideas, dialogue, and craftsmanship come to life, but this means that there is a room full of others who are also privy to these new ideas, dialogue, and craftsmanship as well. So how can writers protect their intellectual property and safeguard their originality? What constitutes a script or screenplay? What is copyright and why do writers need it? We explain it all below!

A script is a written blueprint of a play, show, or movie. A screenplay...

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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...
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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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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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Why Become A Member? What WMM Can Do For You

To our team of filmmaking professionals, a WMM membership sounds like a no-brainer. The Lab Pipeline alone is such a development boon for filmmakers in any stage of cultivating a project. Or is it our incomparable production insurance service that draws our community in? Actually, maybe it's our ever expanding menu of production services, or our constantly updated educational content? Or...
 
In short, if you are an indie filmmaker or content creator looking to create on your own terms, We Make Movies is the outfit for you. Whether you are looking for a community to foster your ideas, bolster your confidence, or provide you with a critical lens on your material, WMM is here for it. If you have a DIY spirit and are on an economical budget, we are here to help you solve your problems. If you are looking for a place that will give you the opportunity to make the movie that you want to see, it behooves you to become a member of WMM. 

What Level of...

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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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