Friday, April 23, 2010

Jumpstart Your Film and Television Career: 5 powerful TIPS on how to land more tv film jobs than you can handle

This is a guest post by Ian Agard of Ian is a Toronto based writer/director/film producer who loves to entertain and inspire people through his movies and his filmmaking blog.

As you probably know, one of the most desirable yet challenging industries to make a living from is in the film and television industry.

By far, the most commonly asked question I receive from people throughout my six years working as actor, screenwriter, director and film producer do you get into the industry and make a living?

As a film producer; I have interviewed, hired and worked with several casts and crews while making my films. It becomes quite easy to notice the difference between individuals who struggle to find film/tv work and those who make a comfortable living.

Is it about luck?


Who you know?

I would like to share with you 5 POWERFUL TIPS that will help you jumpstart your film/tv career and get you on the road towards landing more paying industry work than you can handle.

TIP Number One: Be Willing To Work For Free

I know, you probably didn’t want to hear that but it’s imperative that you are willing to either work for free or very low pay. It’s a sacrifice that many in the entertainment industry must do when starting out, however, you’ll have the opportunity to meet others in the business as well as learn on the job. Taking “free” jobs quickly leads to full time careers.

TIP Number Two: Attitude Is Everything

This is one of the most important tips regarding developing a successful film/tv industry career. More important than your talent, your experience or your education; your attitude will determine how far you will rise within your career.
It will determine if people will refer job opportunities to you or hire you again for future projects. You must be a flexible, professional, team oriented person who is committed to “serving” the story/project to the best of your ability.

Production sets are full of egos, there’s no need for one more.

TIP Number Three: Recognize and seizure opportunity

You’ve probably heard the old saying luck is when preparation meets opportunity. I like to believe in a slightly different statement, luck = opportunity + willingness.
A certain film/tv industry work opportunity might present itself to you; you’re prepared...but are you willing to maybe work for free, work for low pay, work 12 hour days, be team-oriented, be flexible and agreeable or go the extra mile to help the project succeed.

TIP Number Four: Network and be visible

The reality of the film/TV industry is that most production jobs are never advertised. Those positions are usually filled through word of mouth and pre-established relationships. That’s why it is extremely important for you to always be committed to meeting new like-minded people.
The best places to meet and connect with people who share your zeal and passion are:

1) Onset while shooting a movie or television show
2) Through industry specific classes
3) At film festivals

TIP Number Five: Always be learning

As humans, we are learning machines. We are most alive and functioning closest to our potential when we are learning, adapting, adjusting and finding new ways, approaches and techniques to improve our lives (and our careers)in some way.

No matter how many years working experience you might have within the film/TV industry it would be hugely important for you to maintain a beginner’s mindset. A beginner looks constantly for one new tibit, one or more ways to expand on their current expertise.

To learn more valuable tips and in-depth advice, listen to my MP3 60 minute audio interview with film and television expert and veteran Stephen Dranitsaris at:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tribeca film festival changes the rules

As best as Jane Rosenthal can describe it, the Tribeca Film Festival, which she co-founded with Robert De Niro in 2002, is "cultural whiplash."

Tribeca Film Festival, New York
The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal & Craig Hatkoff as a rejoinder to the attacks on the World Trade Center. It was initiated to promote the economic and cultural revitalization of Lower Manhattan via a yearly celebration of film, music and culture. The Festival's mission is to uphold New York City as a major filmmaking center and allow its filmmakers to reach the broadest possible audience.

44 World Premiere Feature Films & nearly 500 film screenings will be hosted at the 9th Annual Tribeca Film Festival starting Wednesday, Aprill 22.

In an effort to help films find audiences, movies won't just be screening in downtown Manhattan.

A new distribution company, Tribeca Film, founded by the festival's parent company, Tribeca Enterprises, will make a dozen movies — including Whitecross' directorial debut "sex & drugs & rock & roll" — accessible on TV via video-on-demand in some 40 million homes. A "virtual festival" will also stream eight movies and 18 short films online for viewers willing to shell out $45.

One of those films, The Birth of Big Air, was co-produced by Johnny Knoxville. It features BMX stunt biker Mat Hoffman, whom Knoxville describes as "the Evel Knievel of our time." At the same time that audiences at the festival watch it at an outdoor screening (BMX riders, including Hoffman, will be doing tricks on a half-pipe), audiences at home can watch it in their living rooms.

The Sundance Film Festival and the South By Southwest Film Festival have tried similar initiatives, though Tribeca's foray is the boldest yet. The very nature of the film festival is changing, festival organizers say.

Many of the 85 feature films at Tribeca will still arrive with the mission to look for distribution. But some producers increasingly view that possibility as quixotic, in an industry where independent film and documentary distributors are rapidly disappearing.

Seven of the ten films released by Tribeca Film will be screened day-and-date, which means that the same time moviegoers are flocking to a New York theatre, TV viewers across the country will be able to watch on VOD. Deals with Comcast, Verizon FiOS and Cablevision helped make that achievable.

Even movies that find distribution at film festivals typically aren't released for months, even years. By shrinking that window, Tribeca Film hopes to capitalize on buzz from the festival and support of festival sponsors.

Sources: AP, USA Today, NY Daily News