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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Making A Challenge-Winning Film: No Reservations

One of the countless benefits of being a We Make Movies member is the opportunity to enter into the Rolling Production Fund Challenge in hopes of securing funding for a community-backed project. Our unique system of vetting and testing projects for an audience is made complete by actually allowing our members to vote on their favorite pieces based on staged readings done by professional actors who bring the scripts to life in the semi-final stage of the challenge. Numerous short films have been chosen by a live studio audience of WMM members, and consequently been greenlit through this process. Prolific writer Flip Kobler penned the comedic gem No Reservations, which became one of the four winning RPF Challenge films in 2019. The film went on to be directed by award-winning filmmaker Steven LaMorte, who then additionally documented the magic behind the scenes of making the film, including the resourceful techniques and swoon worthy gear and software...

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Love Is Literally A Fire With Director Sofie Somoroff

“Soon after moving in together, a couple is forced to confront their challenges with intimacy, exacerbated by a toxic yeast infection and deep rooted insecurities, as their relationship slowly devolves.” No matter your cinematic sensibilities, if that logline doesn’t pique your interest in director Sofie Somoroff’s short horror film Love Is A Fire, you may need to check your pulse. With a world premiere at the end of this month at Portland Horror Film Festival, the film will also enjoy a run at our We Make Movies International Film Festival this October.

No stranger to films centered around coming to terms with bodily functions, Somoroff’s directorial menu includes a series of musicals; My First Night In Los Angeles about a girl learning self-love while crashing in her friend’s living room, and My Worst Night In Los Angeles about needing to eliminate (yes, her bowels) while on a Hinge date. To follow with a film about an acidic yeast infection...

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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...
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Matt Marder's Feature Debut Is A Gold Mine of Memory, the Old West & Virtual Reality

 

Princeton University and AFI alumnus, writer / director Matt Marder gives WMM the scoop behind his sci-fi western feature Gold Mine, about an up and coming pop singer who decides to enter a virtual reality program to try and recharge her dad's memories and bring him back to life from a coma. Marder reconvened with producer Sydney K., co-director Adam Chase Cohen, and actress Alanna Fox (Black-ish, Curb Your Enthusiasm, I'm Dying Up Here), who previously all collaborated on Marder's series Shifter.

The visual aesthetic of Gold Mine is a mix of Wong Kar-Wai, Alex Garland, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Denis Villeneuve. The creative team tirelessly worked to create the looks (KC Mussman), visuals (Nocturnal Designz), set decoration (Bailey Gerdy), and costumes (Roberto Andrade) for this film, heavily inspired by the works of Christopher Nolan, Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, Kathryn Bigelow, and Edgar Wright.

WMM: What compelled...

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Director Mark Hensley Helms Activist Film "Uncut"

"Like art, revolutions come from combining what exists into what has never existed before." 

American activist and reproductive rights crusader Gloria Steinem's words ring true through director Mark Hensley, who helmed Uncut, a short film inspired by the recent Texas abortion law. The film opens with a speech by the newly elected president of the New Republic Patriot Party, talking about the new law that requires all males over 35 to be sterilized to keep the gene pool strong. The main character, about to turn 35, doesn't want to submit to the forced sterilization. He learns about an underground railroad that helps men like him to escape the country, and he goes on the run.

Conjuring up imagery and conceptually in line with yet another feminist icon's work, novelist  Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale), the film boasts an all-star cast of Sam Meader (Pam and TommyInto The Arms of Danger, Bosch), Max E....

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Filmmaker Allen Cordell Takes Indie Comic to the Festival Circuit

Allen Cordell's narrative debut The Lizard Laughed enjoys its world premiere at the Oscar-qualifying Florida Film Festival this week (April 8-17). Hailed as "a breathtaking love letter to New Mexico’s backcountry," the 21 minute film tells the tale of an awkward, confrontational reunion when Harvey gets an unexpected visit from Nathan, his son he hasn’t seen since abandoning him years ago. A comedy about feeling disconnected from the people who should be most important to us in life, the film is based on Noah Van Sciver's acclaimed indie comic of the same name.

The film stars cult comedy gem Sky Elobar (Greasy Strangler, Tropical Cop Tales, Under the Silverlake, Don Verdean and Lady Dynamite) as Harvey, and longtime WMM member and award winning actor Jared Boghosian (The Channel, The Witch Files, Jane the Virgin, SWAT) as Nathan. Cordell's previous projects includes music...

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Oscar-Qualifying Filmmaker Clare Cooney Strikes Again

The Oscar-qualifying Cleveland International Film Festival welcomes Chicago filmmaker / actor Clare Cooney for the world premiere of her short film After: A Love Storyan intimate story of a couple trying to bridge the space that has emerged between them after surviving a violent event, this week. Cooney previously wrote, directed, edited, and starred in Runner, a chilling short film that played at 15 film festivals, collected six awards, and garnered her a “Filmmaker to Watch” nomination from the Oscar-qualifying Atlanta Film Festival. Her followup Pick Up made its festival premiere at the Oscar-qualifying Indy Shorts Film Festival  last year after already having received a half a million views on Omeleto. Detect a pattern?

The 15 minute short, filmed with a skeleton cast and crew, is about ex-lovers who reconnect on a car ride during the pandemic. Then their masks come...

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Finding Snow White w/ Fiona McDougall & Jonathan Villet

Congrats to WMM members, producer/director Fiona McDougall and writer/interviewer Jonathan Villet of OneWorld Communications for landing a special selection designation at the Sonoma International Film Festival! Their short documentary Finding Snow White screens at the festival (celebrating its 25th anniversary!) from March 23rd until March 27th. The film is an incredible contribution to the field of mental health. A powerful message around resilience, the human spirit, and the ways in which we can train ourselves to live life in the face of adversity. Beautiful and poignant.

We had a moment to catch up with the filmmakers - take a read, watch the trailer at the bottom of the piece, and catch the film at the festival if you can. 

WMM: What compelled you to make this film?

JV: I was compelled to make this film for a few reasons – the amazing personal journey of Ditta Oliker after the tragedy of her son’s murder, demonstrates how people can...

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Point Of View w/ Brie Eley of Here and Ready

* Mark your calendars for Sunday, March 31st - WMM Community Director Tehana  Fatima Weeks will be hosting an orientation for Here and Ready! *
 
We Make Movies is proud to be an ally to and partner with the casting database for Black actresses HERE AND READY, helmed by powerhouse Brie Eley. While cultivating her own career, actress, writer, producer, director, voice-over artist, and comedienne Eley founded  Here and Ready in an effort to increase POC visibility and opportunity. A private networking collective servicing more than 1,200 Black actresses across the U.S. and Canada, the platform is positioned to shift the landscape of casting. Through this endeavor, Eley has produced educational seminars, hosted networking events for the Casting Society of America (CSA), and launched a free and public talent database website, all while creating solidarity and connection amongst Black female talent.
 
Originally from Sugar Land,...
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