Sarv Kreindler's blog

TED Talks for Filmmakers

Momentum Blog gathers 12 TED Talks by and for filmmakers, including inspiring speeches from the likes of James Cameron, J.J. Abrams, Andrew Stanton and more. See their full list here.


Download a Crowdfunding Field Guide from Indiegogo

Indiegogo is providing a very helpful, free crowdfunding field guide filled with tips and checklists for how to get a project off the ground. The 22-page guide is divided into four parts encompassing the time periods before your campaign starts, the first half of your campaign, the second half of your campaign and when your campaign ends. It features details on everything from pitch videos and incentives to best practices for social media.

Download it for free here.





A Bold Manifesto for Indie Filmmakers

James Kaelen and Timothy Rhys write up a bold, 13-point manifesto they call "The MovieMaker Manifesto: A Document for an Oppressed Majority."

The first rule: "Unless the social stakes in your film are high, avoid meandering, plotless narratives at all costs. Reserve neorealism for the inherently dramatic. Middle class white kids eating cereal in bed is not inherently dramatic."

Read it in full here on MovieMaker.

What a Camera Brand Should Mean to You

Filmmaker Thaddeus Setla writes up a post on AbelCine offering a different perspective on shopping for cameras: thinking about the manufacturer behind it.

He writes, "Filmmaking camera purchasing is a daunting task for many of us, but in the end there are a lot more to things to consider before pulling out your credit card. I have seen bad cameras turn out amazing films and I have seen great cameras turn out bad films. So instead of focusing on the technical aspects of the camera, I now find myself asking this question: 'what is my connection with the camera manufacturer?' Only after asking this question have I realized that if I’m investing thousands of dollars on a camera, I want to know how the manufacturer is going to support me. I want to know about the people who made this camera, the people who market it, the people who support it and where I fit in the picture."


Why You Shouldn't Dismiss Ultra HD

Multichannel News writes up why Ultra HD may be here to stay, saying, "By now, you’ve probably heard the long list of reasons why UltraHD television is hobbled, even as it dazzles its way to the starting line. Some already liken it to 3DTV, in terms of nonstarters. This week’s translation examines why it’s a bad idea to dismiss UltraHDTV so soon. Why? Because we’ve seen this movie before. Think back to when HDTV began — very similar obstacles."

Read more here.


Watch a Lyric Video That Uses Live Tweets

Creative agency 360i has created a Twitter sing-along for band Rumors. The website plays the band's single, "Slow Down" along with live curated tweets that use hashtags that coincide with the song's lyrics. Users can roll over the individual hashtags to stop the video and read the tweets they came from.

The song ends with a list of credits, i.e. the users whose tweets comprised the tweetalong. See it here. (via PSFK)

5 Great Opening Scenes from Documentaries

Documentary Channel lists five of their favorite opening scenes from documentaries, writing, "Documentaries don’t often have exceptional or memorable beginnings. A lot of the classics just jump right in, which isn’t bad but they might not easily hook in a lot of today’s generation of Netflix browsers. And a lot of newer films start stiffly with an expository set up...[so] I tried to come up with some noteworthy opening scenes from documentaries."

See the list here.

Shilo.TV's Jose Gomez on How to Create Viral Branded Entertainment Shorts

Jose Gomez is the director and founder of Shilo.TV, a multi-disciplinary production company responsible for branded viral motorcross video AIR.CRAFT for DC Shoes (found below).

He says of their work, "We’d like all of our work to be entertaining and have a storytelling component to it. We want the work to be more than just advertising, it’s entertainment and about storytelling, giving something back to the audience rather than just consuming their time. The AIR.CRAFT film for DC is a longer format of that and we really think it’s the future of advertising when you can entertain people and also tell a story for the brand seamlessly. It’s really great when you can produce something that people come to watch on their own for the entertainment value of it. In my mind that’s a huge advantage and something advertisers should do more of. Great work has value and stands on its own as entertainment."

YouTube's Online Views Are Down 32% From Last Year

ComScore's online video rankings for February 2013 show an alarming 32% decrease for YouTube online views versus last year. But Videonuze explains the shift, "Lest you think viewers are fleeing YouTube, the perennial 800-pound gorilla of the online video market, what really appears to be happening is that a sizable chunk of viewers are shifting their viewing to mobile devices, which as I understand it, is not counted in comScore's data."

Read more here.


Is Streaming Video on Demand a Monetizing Savior or Hindrance?

Streaming video on demand is currently a good source of income for networks, but will they eventually end up shooting themselves in the foot? Writes the Wall Street Journal, "Companies' growing reliance on SVOD makes them more susceptible to the future performance of online video services. And even if subscriber growth continues, analysts say media companies could end up cannibalizing their own TV ratings. As a new generation of viewers grows accustomed to online streaming, it may resist watching ads and begin to place greater value on the quality of content than on the newness of content, according to Janney Capital Markets. This could shift viewing away from traditional TV and threaten crucial advertising revenue. Demanding high prices from Netflix and others could theoretically offset any lost ad dollars. But Netflix has already shown it can afford to walk away from deals it deems too expensive."

Submit Your Nominess for the 2013 National Film Registry

The Documentary Channel has some suggestions as to what films the public should nominate to be inducted into the National Film Registry this year, most prevalently Paradise Lost. They write, "The 1996 documentary has led to the release of three wrongfully convicted men through its influence and its continuation into two sequels (the third of which was nominated for an Oscar last year). It’s also been a huge inspiration to other filmmakers and legal causes over the years. So, when the 2013 NFR titles are announced this December, I think it should be among the 25."

Read more and find out how to email your nominations (you can nominate up to 50 titles) here.

New Band Brightly Uses Twitter API to Make Cheap and Viral Music Video

When folk band Brightly realized they had no money to make a music video for their song "Preflight Nerves," they turned to HTML5 and a little ingenuity.

The online video site uses Twitter's API to pull up real-time tweets with the song's lyrics. All of that is overlaid over archival footage. Explains the band's Charlie Gleason, "We couldn't really afford to pay a production company to put together a film clip to the standard that we'd like to, so we went back to the drawing board. I noticed one of the lyrics from the song, very innocuously, in the middle of a tweet, and I realized that we could do something using the Twitter API."

'Hawking' Combines Documentary and Biopic to Make a 'Seamless Whole'

David Keene of AV Network writes up the unusual storytelling devices and distribution plan of Hawking, a hybrid documentary/biopic about scientist Stephen Hawking which -- though originally slated as a television show -- debuted at SXSW this week. He writes, "Hawking’s producer/director team decided– in consultation with Stephen Hawking– to use dramatic recreations to tell parts of the narrative for which there was not archival material. It was not as easy decision, to try to blend standard archival interviews, new material, and dramatized sequences. Producer Ben Bowie told me Tuesday at SXSW there was some anxiety as they weighed how the audience would accept this mixing of genres.


4 Zen Tips for Filmmaking

Filmmakers Allison Anders and Kurt Voss talk about going back to the basics for their latest film Strutter and using Zen Buddhism as a blueprint for filmmaking.

The Founders of Zeega Talk Brave New World of Interactive Storytelling

MIT Open Documentary Lab and Filmmaker Magazine talk to the three founders of interactive storytelling platform Zeega about how they got into digital storytelling and their advice for best practices.

They say, "If you’re telling an interactive story, you have to think about narrative in a completely different way. Just like telling a story for radio is totally different than telling a story for television. Interactivity becomes part of the narrative – it’s another sense that you can use and engage while telling a story – the challenge is to see that as a narrative device, rather than something that is extra/added on later. Storytellers need to approach interaction just like they approach an edit – it’s another part of telling the story."

Read the full interview here.

Distribution Dilemma: Submitting to Festivals vs. Releasing Online

Self-taught ilmmaker Danny Lacey blogs about his lessons learned when trying to distribute his short films, especially when it comes to premiering at film festivals versus releasing online.

Why Social Media Is Television's New Soundtrack

Deb Roy writes on the Harvard Business Review blog about how social media has transformed television viewing. He writes, "[Television viewing]  has changed with the sudden rise of realtime social media, particularly Twitter. Just in the United States, tens of millions of people are talking to each other as they watch TV. This year's Super Bowl alone spurred over 24 million tweets. After 80 years of sequestered viewing, television audiences worldwide have forged Twitter into a social soundtrack for TV. If you are not part of the soundtrack yet, chances are that you will be soon."

Read his full post here.

Filmmaker Combines Kickstarter and Vine to Promote His Work

Young filmmaker Bobby Miller, creator of SXSW short film "TUB," has found a unique way to promote his work via Kickstarter and Vine. First, Miller started a Kickstarter campaign to buy a lens for his iPhone. Then, he used the lens to make a series of 6-second short films for new video site, Vine.

Miller tells Indiewire, "Vine feels pure. In six seconds, you have to convey something through a series of shots. And it's all done with 'in camera' editing. You don't have to ask permission to make them. And you can't monetize it. I think the last thing is pretty big, because it eliminates the need to satisfy anyone but yourself."

Read more here.

How to Capture an Audience's Attention in 8 Seconds

The below short video provides statistics on online video, like the fact that the average attention span for it is 8 seconds. That means that content producers have 8 seconds to pique a viewer's interest before they click on to something else. What are some tried and true ways to do that? Watch below and find out.

Why Deleted Scenes Are a Pandora's Box

The Atlantic's Keith Phipps ruminates about the pros and cons of watching a film's deleted scenes on the DVD version. He writes, "Deleted scenes belong to a space that's neither part of the film nor removed from it, one perhaps better left unexplored. I've come to think of deleted scenes features as the equivalent of that box given to [The Master's] Freddie to guard (or the one given to Pandora): a thing better left unexamined but impossible to resist."

Read his full piece here.


Online Viewing and Advertising Was on the Rise in 2012

Two new reports show that online viewing and advertising were on a big upward trend in 2012. Writes Multichannel, "In separate assessments of 2012 online viewing data, comScore, the online measurement firm, and FreeWheel, a technology and advisory services provider, decreed that digital video content is 'migrating across platforms' (as comScore described it) and will appeal to more advertisers." Read more here.

Ford Fiesta's 2013 Campaign To Be Entirely Crowdsourced

This year, the Ford Fiesta will take crowdsourced advertising to a new level by running an entire campaign for a whole year that is completely created by 100 handpicked "socially-connected" consumers. All of the car's advertising will be generated solely by these consumers.

Says Ford's James Farley to the New York Times, "This is Ford’s first completely user-generated campaign...There are new rules, new things to learn about...if you ask people to help you produce advertising, they expect to see what they do without a lot of filters."

Read more here and see the campaign unfold at


App TubeRank Uses Stats to Determine Viral Video Success

Rubber Republic has recently launched a free new app called TubeRank which goes deep into a video's stats to show why a piece of content has gone viral. Explains Rubber Republic co-founder Chris Quigley, "What TubeRank doesn’t do is generate viral ideas. What it does do is provide an inspiration filter so a producer can consider more scientifically which triggers have been particularly effective with any given community, and what conversion figures particular triggers have produced. It provides a framework and process around which people can analyze and design viral videos."

Read more here on Fast Company's Co.Create.

Watch a Short Clip from Noah Baumbach's 'Frances Ha'

Watch a short clip from Noah Baumbach's latest indie comedy, Frances Ha, starring his paramour Greta Gerwig. The black-and-white film, described as Baumbach's ode to New York City, will be released on May 17th.

Matt Damon Vows to Stop Using the Bathroom In Support of

Matt Damon has turned to a humorous viral video to raise awareness for his charity, In the video, Damon vows to stop going to the bathroom until the issue of global access to clean water and sanitation is resolved.

Damon tell the L.A. Times, "The concept of experimenting with comedy to generate new levels of awareness and participation in the cause is something we've been toying with for a couple of years. If Sarah Silverman and I can generate millions of views on YouTube for something ridiculous, then we should be able to do better for one of the most important and solvable issues of our time."

Read more here.

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