The Business of Indie Filmmaking

The Business of Indie Filmmaking – Making the jump into the Industry. This workshop is geared towards emerging filmmakers, film students and indie short filmmakers looking to make the leap to features or series.

Topics covered:

  • Writing a script that will sell
  • Analyzing the market
  • Structuring a pitch
  • Budgeting & Investors
  • Attaching Name talent
  • Working with Unions
  • Making a movie that makes business sense
  • Understanding distribution.

The Organization of Independent Filmmakers invites you to attend this exciting Workshop!
Our guest host for this workshop is Matthew Manyak. Add block

Matthew Manyak
Matthew Manyak

Matthew is a full-time self-employed filmmaker, as well as a Marketing Specialist.
Matthew is an award-winning filmmaker of 25 shorts, 3 series, 4 features and has written 14 screenplays so far in his career.
He is looking forward to sharing with you what he wished he knew when he first started making films.

You can follow Matthew Manyak on Facebook by clicking below.

How To: Not Have To Fix It In Post

Workshop Overview:

It isn’t the editor’s job to fix things – yet writers and filmmakers do things that create a world of “fix it in post.” Learn from the experience of an editor to take a few steps in the editor’s shoes and utilize the perspective of post production throughout all of development, pre-production, and production. This includes having a good grasp of various types of shots to provide the most possible coverage for the edit, and understanding how to research for a wider film vocabulary yourself, and the value of having hands-on experience as an editor for all aspects of continuity, sound, coverage, and story.

Our Guest Host for this workshop is Spaceship, Executive Vice President of Space Dream Productions.
Utilizing the editor’s perspective and influence early in production to save time, money, and headaches!

Spencer "Spaceship" Shipton
Spencer “Spaceship” Shipton

Spaceship is the Executive Vice President of Space Dream Productions, an independent film and music production company with a focus on creating true to the world of independent art: telling stories that need to be told, and creating music that needs to be heard. Since Sept 2016, over 60 projects have moved (or are moving) through the company. 21 completed projects have received over 50 film festival acceptances internationally, received just under 70 award nominations and 24 awards, including “Best Animation,” “Best Drama: Short” “Best Short”, “Best Picture.” Both Spaceship and his partner and wife Koura Linda, have been awarded “Best Director,” for 3 different films. Spaceship has been writing, recording and releasing songs for a few years now, as well as performing at American venues on both east and west coasts (including The ASCAP Music Cafe at Sundance 2020, Johnny Cash’s Hideaway Farm, The Viper Room and, more famously, His Bedroom.)Aside from recording his own original music, he is also an Audio Curator, and contributing artist to 2 Emmy Award wins for Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s production company hitRECord. His songs “The Spaces Between” and “Of The Future” were produced for the Emmy Award-winning TV series Hit Record on TV. His work was also used in the Emmy Award-winning YouTube Original Series “Create Together” by hitRECord. Spaceship is proud to have worked with artists from all around the world on major promotional campaigns for LG and Samsung and the U.S. National Park Service (just to name a few). He directed Space Dream Productions’ short film “Tidings”, which won the 2020 Miami 48 Hour Film Project and earned a slot at Filmapalooza 2021.

You can find out more about Space Dream Productions by clicking below.

How to Make a Great Film on a Deadline

How to make a great film on a deadline
-Presented by Koura Linda

With so many elements going in to every step of creating a film, what are the key points to check when rushing a project through from development to completion?

In this workshop, we will cover how to make a great film on a deadline and give you an over-all understanding of the tent pole aspects that can help to make sure your film holds up.

From story development and pre-pro to lighting, sound and wardrobe, to color-grading an how to cut your film to a time limit. Plus much more.

The Organization of Independent Filmmakers is pleased to introduce you to our Guest Host, Koura Linda.

Koura Linda
Koura Linda

Koura is the Founder and President of Space Dream Productions, an independent film and music production company with a focus on creating true to the world of independent art: telling stories that need to be told, and creating music that needs to be heard. Space Dream Productions have moved over 60 projects, have received over 50 film festival acceptances internationally and received just under 70 award nominations and 24 awards, including “Best Animation,” “Best Drama: Short” “Best Short”, “Best Picture.”  

In her early 20s, she fell in love with the Art Department and spent the next almost decade working on set and event design, eventually getting into full production design.
Knowing that production design entails more than just a fancy set, Koura studied acting and writing and camera and lighting, working as a day-player where she could, and even going to a 3-day rigging intensive to become a certified set rigger and later working with electric, rigging lights on concert stages across LA.
When she wasn’t 50 feet in the air on a truss rig she’d helped build, she was studying design and make-up and wardrobe, eventually moving up to Art Director and then Production Designer for large private events, then music videos and TV shows and short films.
With such a strong background, it was a small leap to jump over to learning more about camera, sound, and then producing and directing, releasing Space Dream Productions’ first film in August 2016.
Recognized as a contributing artist to two Emmy Award wins through her work for open collaborative production platform, hitRECord, in August 2019, Koura was also awarded The Mico Award for Innovation, Courage, Excellence in Film in Las Vegas, for her career thus far as an Independent Filmmaker.
Space Dream Productions’ short film “Tidings” won the 2020 Miami 48 Hour Film Project and earned a slot at Filmapalooza 2021.

You can find out more about Space Dream Productions by clicking below.


Have knowledge to share with fellow filmmakers?

Consider hosting a virtual workshop to and share your expertise with our arts community.Run a Workshop


If you or someone you know would like to share their experience with other filmmakers and artists, please reach out to us.
For Article Submissions, please visit the Submission Page.

Thank you for caring and sharing!Add block

Workshop Series

Screenwriter

As part of our mission to help educate and inform filmmakers, we periodically offer online workshops, courses and tips so our community members may practice and improve their crafts.

Exchanging knowledge and experience is one way we help achieve our mission goals.

Be sure to visit our Calendar to view other posted events.

The Organization of Independent Filmmakers does not endorse any company, product or service mentioned on this site or mentioned by any of its users or contributing authors. The content and any opinions expressed via this site solely belong to the Contributing Authors or Hosts conveying the same and are not necessarily those of this Organization.

Holiday Meet and Greet

Join us on July 3, 2021
An opportunity to meet and network with fellow filmmakers, actors, directors, composers, artists and crew members. All in a friendly social atmosphere.

Reserve your spot. Registration required. Attendance limited to 100 people.

Save the date.
Check our Calendar Page for more details and the latest info.

Lori Wilson Park. Just off the beach.

Special Effects Make-up Basics

The Following Fx/Make-up Topics were covered:

  • Bruising
  • Shading
  • Cuts
  • Bloods


Have knowledge to share with fellow filmmakers?

Consider hosting a virtual workshop to and share your expertise with our arts community.


If you or someone you know would like to share their experience with other filmmakers and artists, please reach out to us.
For Article Submissions, please visit the Submission Page.

Thank you for caring and sharing!

Workshop Series

Screenwriter

As part of our mission to help educate and inform filmmakers, we periodically offer online workshops, courses and tips so our community members may practice and improve their crafts.

Exchanging knowledge and experience is one way we help achieve our mission goals.

Be sure to visit our Calendar to view other posted events.

The Organization of Independent Filmmakers does not endorse any company, product or service mentioned on this site or mentioned by any of its users or contributing authors. The content and any opinions expressed via this site solely belong to the Contributing Authors or Hosts conveying the same and are not necessarily those of this Organization.

Getting Real With Reality Shows

Presented by Jason Gregory

Jason D. Gregory
Jason D. Gregory

Jason D. Gregory received his MFA in Film Production in 2019 and is a screenwriting lecturer at the University of Central Florida. He is a working writer and producer as well as a producer with 13 Brains, an unscripted reality show production company. Their first series premiered on Netflix in February 2021.

Finally, Gregory is the president of the Orlando Urban Film Festival; a film festival dedicated to promoting and celebrating multicultural content creators. Jason is also a Board Member of the Organization of Independent Filmmakers

Navigating IMDb Awards Credits

Filmmaker Workshop

This Virtual Workshop was held on February 3, 2021

How to add your nominations/awards to your IMDb page

-presented by Robin Hofmann (Click below for the video archive)

Robin Hoffmann

Robin Hofmann<em>, </em>
Robin Hofmann,

Writer, Director and Producer.
Robin started producing content to spread awareness and highlight individuals who may not have had a voice otherwise. Robin started with an online baking show focusing on gluten free recipes and spreading awareness on a variety of disabilities. Shortly after, she began interviewing “ordinary people with extraordinary stories” on her online talk show, Chat with Me. To date, Robin has written and published three children’s books, completed a novel and written and produced four short films.


Do You know the four C’s of Screenwriting?

Article Submitted by Jason D. Gregory, Writer/Producer

So you want to be a screenwriter? Before you begin, ask yourself a few questions. Is it because you love what you see in films? What is it about the films? The camera angles or the directing? And what are the last scripts that you’ve read?

It’s important to understand that there are two types of screenwriters; those who write to sell scripts and those who write to direct. If you are writing to sell, then you should never include camera directions and limit parentheticals. These are reserved for the director. Once you sell the script, it becomes their world to create. Now whether you write to sell or to direct, the following should get you started in your journey.


I encounter new writers all the time that attempt to break the rules before they understand the rules. If you want screenwriting to become your career, you must respect the craft. That includes taking classes, reading books, watching videos, finding mentors in the industry and of course writing every single day! Become disciplined in your writing and commit to it every day. The difference between screenwriting becoming either a hobby or a career change lies within your attitude. If you can commit yourself to writing every day, you begin to create a habit and will learn to protect your writing time. If it is a hobby, then you will write whenever the moment hits. You should create the moment and not let the moment create you.

Maybe you are in the beginning stages of writing, have a burning idea and want quick information on how to get started. Cool. Let’s start out talking about the Four C’s.


COMMUNITY
This is WORLD CREATION. Determine what the world looks like and what the rules are. Think of the opening of Lion King. We see the safari, the animals and finally, the royal family with Simba being presented. We immediately understand the dynamics of the world and the roles of the characters. Speaking of characters…


CHARACTERS
Who are the CHARACTERS and what are their roles? Who is the protagonist? What is their backstory? Who is the antagonist and what is their backstory? The lines between good and bad are now somewhat blurred so give both redeeming qualities. Look at Walter White in Breaking Bad. When the series started, he was a good man, doing a bad thing for a good reason. By the end of the series, he became a bad man, doing a bad thing for bad reasons.

It’s also important to identify your supporting characters or mentors. Each character must have a purpose. If they don’t or they are two similar to another character, get rid of them or merge the characters into one. Each character MUST have a unique voice and purpose. In Star Wars, Obi Wan was the first mentor for Luke. Once he died, Han Solo became Luke’s next mentor. In the Matrix, Morpheus becomes Neo’s mentor and leads him down the rabbit hole. Your protagonist must always go down the rabbit hole, unfamiliar territory. A choice is made that leads your protagonist into the new world.

CONFLICTS
Once in the unfamiliar territory, the protagonist encounters internal and external conflicts. The internal conflicts come from who they were before and who they are destined to become. The eternal conflicts are from the training that they must undergo to become the new person. In the Lion King, Simba had to learn the “hakuna matata” way of life. He wasn’t used to it but eventually settles into the “no worries” life. When Nala arrives and tells him about Pride Rock, his new life is in immediate conflict with his old life and now another choice must be made.


CONCLUSIONS
Now that your protagonist has made their decision, the new world rules challenge the old ones. They’ve learned a lesson and training that allows them to challenge the old world. Maybe they are back for revenge or to right a wrong. Either way, your character must have shown a full character arc. They must be completely different from how they were in the beginning. Simba started off as an entitles lion cub prince and by the end he is prideful King, prepared to step out of his father’s shadow. Neo went from a hacker to “The One”, destined to lead humanity to freedom.

Once you have the Four C’s worked out, create a logline: a quick 1-2 sentence summary of the TV program or film. It identifies the protagonist, their need, and their conflict. It’s also used as a quick elevator pitch. If you have the opportunity to pitch a producer on your idea, please have your logline worked out. Don’t give them a full summary of your story unless they ask for more information. Most writers miss out on their opportunity because they have not perfected their logline and almost “throw up” all the information about the story. If the producer is interested, THEY WILL ask for additional information.

Once you have the logline, begin working on a treatment or outline. I like to create scene headings in my outlines so that when it is time to write the script, I just cut and paste them into my screenwriting software program. If you are a novelist or fiction writer, this is your chance to write some prose but understand that writing screenplays is very different than writing fiction. You show more than you tell, and you don’t have as much description.

After your treatment, let a fellow writer review it. Those unfamiliar with the process will just be impressed with the fact that you put an idea on paper and may not understand what feedback to give you. A fellow writer will tear it to pieces and give you honest feedback. Try to find writer’s groups to join so that you can have some sort of support system.

Now, it’s time to write the script. I mentioned screenwriting software above. Personally, I use Final Draft but for those starting out, I recommend Celtx.com. It’s a free program and is very user friendly. YOU MUST COMMIT TO LEARNING STRUCTURE AND FORMATTING. It is critical that you understand this. No producer will read your work if it is not correctly formatted no matter how good you believe it is. Our eyes are trained to catch mistakes and poorly formatted scripts prevent us from enjoying the story. Screenwriting is a very technical form of writing and you show respect for the craft by formatting the script correctly.

Finally, send it to your fellow writer once again for them to review and rip apart. It’s better that they find the holes before a potential producer does. Yes, we are artists and we’re sensitive about our sh$% but it’s time to build that tough skin and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Jason D. Gregory
Jason D. Gregory

Jason D. Gregory received his MFA in Film Production in 2019 and is a screenwriting lecturer at the University of Central Florida. He is a working writer and producer as well as a producer with 13 Brains, an unscripted reality show production company. Their first series premiered on Netflix in February 2021.

Finally, Gregory is the president of the Orlando Urban Film Festival; a film festival dedicated to promoting and celebrating multicultural content creators. Jason is also a Board Member of the Organization of Independent Filmmakers


To contribute an article on this site, please visit: https://independentfilmmakers.org/article-submissions/

Last Days For Special Tax Break

The CARES Act, enacted by Congress last spring, includes a special $300 deduction designed especially for people who choose to take the standard deduction, rather than itemizing.

For more information, visit: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/special-300-tax-deduction-helps-most-people-give-to-charity-this-year-even-if-they-dont-itemize

Please consider making a donation to our cause as we strive to get back on track after a year that caused pain to many. Though the Arts may be on the back burner due to the struggles many are still facing, we need the people who aspire to grow in that realm to keep going so they can inspire and entertain others with their work.