Lost Laurel

Richard Friend is the resident designer for 19th & Wilson and for the past couple of years has been writing a Blog called “Lost Laurel“. Having grown up in Laurel, MD, he felt that the “good ol’ days” of Laurel were long gone and that somebody needed archive the old signage and stories of that and other eras.

His blog has found a great following and he now has thousands of readers and over 3400 likes on facebook. One of the great things to come out of this is that he now has enough material to put into a book and really preserve all of his work. And with a bunch of his followers pushing him into making it a reality, he decided to go with a KickStarter campaign so that he could gage the amount of demand there might actually be for the book.

Within the first 24 hours, he had half of the campaign funded and had been selected as a Staff Pick.  And by day 3 he was selected as the Project of the day and was fully funded! And while it is fully funded now, each dollar that comes in now actually will continue to help make the book even better.  He’ll be able to add more pages, more pictures, better printing stock, maybe even make it a hard back book.  So if you are interested in the history of Laurel, MD or just want to help get this book made in the best possible way, then I suggest helping out this campaign.

A couple of weeks ago, 19W went out and shot and edited some footage to help Rich with the campaign. It was very interesting to walk around with Rich getting all of this footage.  Eric Espejo and I got our own personal walk through of the town and it’s history. And it was very interesting to say the least.  With all of the great footage we got along with the photos and voice over, Eric was able to put together a great intoduction video for the campaign.  Check it out below, and make sure you check out the KickStarter campaign as well!

 

The Department Part 4

A few years ago we shot a short film called “The Department”, a parody of Scorsese’s “The Departed” with the characters set in an office.

Here is part 4:

Filmmaker Process – Be a filmmaker

“You wanna make a picture kid?”

One of the most straight forward pieces of advice I’ve read in regards to becoming a filmmaker was in one of Robert Rodriguez’s books. It was something to the extent of, “Go online, get some business cards with your name, number, email address and “Filmmaker” or “Director” or “Producer” as your title. Then start handing them out to anybody who wants them. And like that, you can call yourself a filmmaker!”

See how easy it is?

The only problem with that is, anybody can call themselves a filmmaker. The difference between those that say they are and those that actually are is a lot of hard work. Nobody is going to knock your door down and grab your butt off the couch and say “You’re the greatest thing since sliced bread! I want you to work on my film!” just because you THINK you are good. You have to get out there and and actually do something to prove it.

It takes, on average, 10,000 hours to be an expert at one thing. That’s 5 years of working 40 hours a week to become an expert at that one thing. 5 years! That’s a long time. It also means you have a lot of work ahead of you. So, figure out what part of the film industry intrigues you the most and learn as much as you can about it. You should be trying to do something everyday to make yourself better at your craft.

Writers, read screenplays on your lunch break. See how different writers draw you into their story.

Directors, watch tons of movies. Notice how the actors, camera, lighting, dialog, props and location all work together to tell a story in each scene. It’s your job to make sure everybody on set knows how to get that scene just as you see it in your head.

DPs, Shoot everything you can. Make notes on how each lens, fstop, shutter speed, lighting and camera give you different footage.

All that being said, most films are not made in a vacuum. Of course, you could write, direct, shoot, act, edit, score, color and promote the entire movie yourself. But then thats 80,000 hours to be an expert at each one of those things. Since this really isn’t the best way to go about it, you will definitely need to know other people. So get out there with your freshly made business cards and start networking. Meet as many people in the industry that you can. Join local groups. Log into Google and Yahoo! groups and join plenty of those.

There is also a website called MeetUp.com that has online forums as well as local meetings for their groups.

The more people you meet, the more you will see that there are tons of like minded people in your area who are filming movies left and right.

Once you have these connections, ask to help make their movies. I highly doubt anybody will mind free help on their film. I know we didn’t and still don’t. And yes, I said “Free”, unless you are networking with people like Michael Mann, you will most likely be talking to people who barely have enough money to get their film made. So, don’t expect to get paid with anything other than food, experience and a credit in the film.

Meeting all of these people and helping them out on their film is going to be good for you in the future when you are making your movie and you need their help.

Networking is a HUGE part of the film industry. It can help you get jobs, funding, actors, meetings, distribution and a myriad of other things. The quicker you learn how to do it, the better off you will be. For now, though, the main objective of doing all of this is so that you can know as many people as possible to gain great experience while helping to make their movies and to have great connections to make your film.

Whichever one it is.

Now go out there and make a bunch of friends and get some good experience, you filmmaker you.

You only have 9,999 hours and 55 minutes until you’re an expert.

The Department – Part 3

A few years ago we shot a short film called “The Department”, a parody of Scorsese’s “The Departed” with the characters set in an office.

Here is part 3:

An Indie Film Company’s Process For Making A Movie – Preface

We all have our different processes for everything we do.  Going to the store for groceries. Cleaning the house. Doing a project at work.  It’s all a process and everybody has a different way to do everything.  And as long as the work gets done, it doesn’t matter what the process is.  If it works for you, then it is perfectly fine.

Which brings us to the point of this post.  The 19th & Wilson process for making a movie.  It’s definitely different from the way you do it. But, also, definitely has some similarities. Now, we are not writing this to tell you exactly how to get your movie made.  Only how we get ours made and to help us hone our skill so that we can make our own processes better. Hopefully, along the way, you can take some little tidbits here and there to help you get yours made as well.

We’ll go from starting a company to writing a script to pre-production to production to post to delivery. There may be some things you have read in other books or blogs, but that is how we have learned as well, by gathering as much information as we can and then going to make a movie.

If you have any questions, need any elaboration on any of the posts or are curious about a topic we haven’t discussed yet, feel free to write them in the comments bellow.

This is going to be a fairly long series of posts, so sit back and relax as we guide you through our process.

The Department – Part 2

A few years ago we shot a short film called “The Department”, a parody of Scorsese’s “The Departed” with the characters set in an office.

Here is part 2:

The Department – Part 1

A few years ago we shot a short film called “The Department”, a parody of Scorsese’s “The Departed” with the characters set in an office.

Here is part 1:

The Department – The Web Release

A few years ago we shot a short film called “The Department”.  It is a parody of Scorsese’s “The Departed”, set in an office. 

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be releasing the short in 9 different segments.  Check out the trailer while you prepare yourself for parody awesomeness.

SUBJECT

No, that’s not a generic title that wasn’t changed. That is the title of the latest script written by Eric Espejo.

The story is about Cal, a guy who is held captive in his apartment by aliens who want to learn more about human behavior. This is a contained thriller/sci-fi that can be produced for a micro budget. Eric’s inspiration came from films like 1408 and Moon. It is a study of one man’s character and how he handles the ordeal his captors put him through.

We will be going a different route for funding this film. Because we feel it can be shot on a micro budget, we are going to first attempt to acquire funds through kickstarter.com. This is a great place for our friends, family and fans of our work help us with amounts from as small as $1 to as big as $10,000. As soon as we have been accepted and are up on their site, we’ll make a formal announcement with all the information on how you can help us make this film.

New Year

19th & Wilson is starting off the new year on a good foot. We have received encouraging news from Producer Billy Peterson in regards to casting of the film “Connected Apart”. As soon as we are able to give a formal announcement on this, we will do so. Rest assured, it is great news and bodes well for the film getting great actors signed on.