WMM BLOG

Why & How Indie Filmmakers Should Use Payroll

We Make Movies has streamlined the process of filmmaking, starting with simplifying the bureaucratic paperwork behind pre-production and production. There are many legal and practical variables in figuring out how to handle all aspects of production, and knowing how to pay your cast and crew is one of the most important ones. We thought we'd break it down for you through our infographics below. We're here to help you manage the tedious elements of handling payroll. We're always just a click away!


 

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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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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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Trust, Communication, Love, & Pain In Kayshawn Wallace's Shadows In The Mirror

production services Jun 28, 2022

Award-winning, Boston-bred filmmaker Kayshawn Akime Wallace got into storytelling at Syracuse University while acquiring a degree in U.S History and Cultural Anthropology. Channeling his passion for history into filmmaking, his first official short film Out of Time won Best Horror Film at the Hollywood Gold Short Film Festival and Best First-Time Filmmaker at the San Francisco Indie Short Film Festival. His latest project is the 39 minute short film Shadows In The Mirror, which delves into the tense, boundary-crossing, secret laden breakdown of an open relationship between James (Kameron Basseri) and Veronica (Anna Maria Mojo).

Through his production company Mural Productions, Wallace creates and directs independent films and collaborates with fellow filmmakers’ story development. Attributing his drive and creative spirit to his immigrant, Caribbean parents Ingride Francouer (Haitian) and Tasfa Wallace (Jamaican), Wallace’s work gravitates towards intersecting themes of...

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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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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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Tyler C. Peterson's "Copper & Wool"

 

Director, producer, screenwriter, and editor Tyler C. Peterson found We Make Movies through the inaugural We Make Movies International Film Festival where his award-winning short film Summer Hill  (Best Narrative Short - North Beach American Film Festival, Audience Choice for Narrative Short - Cecil County Film Festival) was screened. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, he graduated from Towson University with a Bachelor's Degree in film and "a thirst for challenging industry ideologies." Exploring his own queer identity led him to place diversity as a priority both in-front of and behind the camera and found his own indie production company Lux Daze Media in 2015.

Based in Los Angeles, Peterson co-produced memorable documentary feature Mom & M, which screened at WMMINTL 2021 alongside several other festivals, including the prestigious Bentonville Film Festival founded by Geena Davis. He is...

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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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