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Showing posts with label filmmaking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label filmmaking. Show all posts

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Feature Films Shot on the iPhone

Smartphones have now integrated 4K resolution into their video technology. Since the introduction of the first iPhone on June 29, 2007, only two feature films were shot on the iPhone with a FilmicPro app in 4K. Unfortunately, there are no other attempts to make a Hollywood feature film entirely on an iPhone. 

A wide range of film cameras are available to shoot Hollywood movies. The cost to purchase and/or rent any of these high-end cameras can cut deep into your film budget. Whether pride is involved, or studio reputation is at stake, the iPhone is rarely considered an alternative to making feature films. 

Only two Hollywood feature films were shot on iPhone cameras. Sean Baker's Tangerine (2015) and Steven Soderbergh's Unsane (2018) are feature films shot on iPhones. Tangerine's production budget cost $100,000 and generated $702,354 in the US box office and $828,874 (US & worldwide combined). On a $1.5 million production budget, Unsane unleashed a crazy $14,293,601 in the worldwide box office (including US box office) and $7,732,899 in the US box office. 

Do you want to be innovative? Expand your creativity? Take a risk to shoot your next feature film on an iPhone. Don't be afraid to be different because you will never know the outcome until you try something new. Your dream can come true shooting a feature film on an iPhone.


Happy Screenwriting!  


Thursday, January 28, 2021

Cobra Kai Season 3 Premiere on January 1, 2021

Netflix's Cobra Kai Season 3 premiered on January 1, 2021. Episode 1 revisited Season 2, Episode 10: The school fight that rocked the Valley. Miguel Diaz still remains in a coma after Robby Keene kicked him off the second floor, causing Cobra Kai's star pupil to sustain a terrible neck injury accompanied with paralysis. Robby is on the run following his direct role in causing Miguel's tragic injury. With their differences and past grudges still intact, Daniel and Johnny go on a mission to locate the troubled teenager on the run before the police find him first. 

Samantha now struggles with PTSD after the controversial school fight that rocked the Valley. Flashbacks of John Kreese's Vietnam tour clearly convey his motivation to start Cobra Kai. John's desire to punish his enemies through showing no mercy is explained in its entirety. Daniel returns back to Tomi Village in Okinawa, the site of The Karate Kid II, to reclaim his lost focus and rekindle past relationships. Season 3 features many unique surprises, further delving into the mysteries pitting the past up against the present.   

Cobra Kai is an extremely well written series that instantly grabbed my attention upon my first initial viewing: I binge-watched Season 1 and Season 2 on Netflix. This former YouTube series has done a great job integrating "The Karate Kid" films into its storyline. There are many personal growth teachings that teach us to evolve, such as the wisdom Miyagi ingrained into Daniel's mind, body and soul. 

There is newfound empathy to understand Johnny Lawrence's character; we see his broken childhood and how karate gave him guidance. The fallout of losing the All-Valley Karate tournament kept Johnny living in the past. His inability to come to terms with the 80's restricts his character arc. Despite protecting his tough guy image, letting his defense down actually helps him become a humble character with moral values.  

Daniel adopted identical character traits that made Johnny unlikeable in The Karate Kid. Clashing with Johnny created conflict in his posh life. His wife reminded him to return back to the man she first met.  For the most part, Daniel's love for karate reconnected him with valuable life lessons. He self-reflects on Mr. Miyagi's teachings, focusing on karate as defense and focus. Concentrating on Miyagi's passion-first advice is what keeps Daniel living a rich life full of blessings. Nevertheless, karate represents Daniel's true calling to make a difference in his community. Perhaps karate is the main reason Daniel is who he is today; it serves as the foundation to his personal, family and business life. 

Binge watching Cobra Kai Season 3 gave me a nostalgic experience: These empowering episodes reconnected me with my childhood. My brothers and I would do karate after watching The Karate Kid movies! Whenever I feel disappointed, I remember the carefree times where I lived in the moment. Living in the moment keeps me in the present, reminding me to not take life so seriously. Life is too short to waste time on regrets, resentments, grudges and failures. We must learn to appreciate who we are, the life we lived and what we can become with hard work, effort and passion. If you want your dream, you are all the support you need. 

Until Cobra Kai Season 4 arrives, stay safe and healthy. Most importantly, keep writing the stories you want to see at the movies. Do it for yourself, not for attention, money and popularity. 


Happy Screenwriting! 

  

Screenwriting Inspiration: The Crossroads

When your Hollywood dream hits the crossroads, reflect back to the past to recapture your spark. 

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Patience and Perseverance

Thousands of aspiring screenwriters dream of writing the next hot script that is made into a popular movie. There are film industry players and prolific screenwriters who have already taken this journey numerous times. Nevertheless, thousands of writers spend countless hours in screenwriting forums chatting about their current/past stories, popular films they like, creative ideas that excite them, and famous screenwriters they admire. They are motivated to make industry connections, form new friendships and build meaningful relationships. Hundreds of Instagram page owners post content sharing personal script projects, screenwriting contests, potential story ideas and script pages to their personal screenplays. True screenwriters hold passion for creating compelling stories. Patience and perseverance hold the key to making your screenwriting dream a lucrative career.

If we wish our screenplay will eventually be optioned, we are putting our dream on a pedestal. Making Hollywood appear unattainable is giving the film industry way too much credit for our future happiness. It is possible to write a good screenplay capable of winning screenwriting competitions.

Your script can move past gatekeepers to get optioned. Your script can be made into a Netflix movie. Your script can become a blockbuster movie. Visualize what you want and apply yourself to go get it. 

We must believe in our creative adventures. Don't worry about what people think. You are not selfish for desiring to live your dream. If you put forth the effort, you deserve to live a better life.  

Writers have many goals in sight. Looking in the rearview mirror can/will block progress. Discipline, time management and passion will keep your screenwriting dream moving forward. We must keep writing pages, research what studios want/need, listen to podcasts featuring successful screenwriters, study great screenwriters, learn about the business of movies and build our stories into profound movies. When I mention scripts, I mean we must complete several scripts to increase our chances in getting noticed. 

One script can connect us with the right people who want to view our writing portfolio. It's possible this individual, that studio or those group of people may not have interest in optioning our only script. However, our writing talents may attract the attention of industry-connected people. They may ask us what other projects we have stored in our script arsenal. Don't sell yourself short by investing your entire farm into only one script idea, unless you are confident in this story to sacrifice everything.  

This is where your patience and perseverance come into play. No matter what obstacles and challenges stand in your way, you must be confident in your creation(s). Pet projects usually create intense excitement because these stories hit close to home. These projects hold a deeper meaning-- they fulfill our inner desires. They can go back to our childhood, where we enjoyed watching science fiction movies such as E.T. and Star Wars. Emotional connections can take us down memory lane. 

The most powerful filmmakers in Hollywood had to wait their turn. Christopher Nolan directed Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Prestige and The Dark Knight to earn his chance at making Inception. The Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar, Dunkirk and Tenet followed Inception. Given Nolan's track record, he is one of most successful directors working in Hollywood.  

Good things happen to those who are patient is a flawed saying. It should be good things happen to those who work hard while being patient for opportunities. Staying confident to continue working on your script project(s) hold(s) immense power over your dreams and goals.    

Most of the time, we must prove our value before we take a stab at prized projects. For the most part, we will likely have to pay our dues working on projects with no creative value. Reality television is a perfect example of aspiring filmmakers going to film school and accepting high paying jobs working on uncreative ventures to climb up that industry ladder. Never judge professional work that rewards you with valuable experience. If you get paid to perform your talents, you are moving in the right direction.

Many writers get stuck listening to what writing books tell them to write. They follow Save The Cat, Kate Wright's sequences, A Hero With A Thousand Faces, Story and other books that instruct writers what must happen at what time with careful attention to the author's thoughts and theories. Following this approach turns a screenplay into a cliched piece of unoriginal work. Even though our scripts are fictional pieces of work, we have no obligation to mimic past screenplays. 

The human condition and emotions connect the audience with characters who may have similar traits that resemble theirs. How do people behave in a pre-apocalyptic world? What will people do to protect a secret? What fears block them? What regrets do they have? What is stopping them from talking to their true love? End of the world movies convey real actions of real life people. 

Truth is, we waste too much time living in the past instead of planning for our future. We don't do enough to live our dream. We need constant attention to feel self-worth. We focus on what other people are doing. We stay on the sidelines, being afraid of looking bad in front of people who we don't know. We postpone making decisions to avoid rejection. We obsess over small things that have no impact on the bigger picture.

We let years pass us by without responding to what we want. We allow true love to slip away. We don't take personal responsibility. We blame other peole for our mistakes. We don't show we care about our dream to be taken seriously. We need people to validate us. We envy others for living the dream we think we are better at doing but do nothing to make it happen. We are to blame for our own life. Nobody is responsible for our failures. The moment we can accept personal responsibility, there will be hope for us to achieve greatness. 

If you don’t give your dream any attention, you are guaranteed to fail what you want most in this life. 


Happy Screenwriting! 
        

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Applying Talent To Get Work Done

Screenwriting is a craft we can develop. If you remember the saying, practice makes perfect, you will recognize that becoming better at what we love to do can improve our lifestyle. Good habits deliver consistent results. Rewarding effort motivates us to spend time on projects, jobs and tasks.

Applying our writing talent to make a difference is the first step to push our screenwriting forward. We need to be writing, writing, writing! Withholding our talents/gifts for financial gain can/will influence our passion. Spending countless hours on social media to discuss screenwriting delays production.

The fear to finish a script is connected to uncomfortable change. People who lack confidence worry about criticism. They feel unworthy without attention. They stress out watching other people get ahead. Sometimes, these people just need someone to complain to so they don't feel alone--even worthless. Insecurities can block us from climbing up that tall mountain. Overthinking is full of self-doubts that delay our production and stall progress.

What talented artists forget is that they possess what many people lack: A gift. People who are not as talented must work harder to make an impact. For some ungodly reason, talented artists are uninspired to apply their gifts. There is a big reason people never accomplish their dreams. They have unresolved issues originating from childhood that manifest into mental disorders. If left untreated, these internal problems put these people in inferior roles. They accept poor treatment because they believe it is deserved. Their sense of worth is extremely low. Nevertheless, they believe people look down on them.

No matter how much time we spend to help someone succeed, they can keep coming back with the same exact problems. They never apply what we teach them. They self-sabotage daily. They follow a self-destructive path. They put themselves down. Working hard to confront internal challenges will help us overcome setbacks.

How to gain a competitive advantage:
  • Apply yourself to increase luck. 
  • Work hard to get your work out there. 
  • Stay humble to avoid overvaluing your worth. 
  • Be patient. 
  • Balance is everything.

Happy screenwriting!


Friday, September 26, 2014

Time and Effort = Screenwriting Success

"Life got in the way of my screenwriting dream"

Are you a screenwriter working toward that Hollywood dream? Still haven't cracked into the movie biz yet? If you answered yes, then you must re-evaluate this screenwriting dream.

Ask yourself these questions. What are you doing that is delaying this professional writing goal? Procrastinating? Fear of success? Focusing on long-term goals? Perfectionist? Financial instability blocking this long-awaited goal? No game plan to dedicate time to writing? No completed script to show the right people? 

We can't keep telling others we want to become a screenwriter. There comes a moment where we must invest time and effort to be taken seriously. This "taken seriously" label has been directed toward me several times. I know I missed opportunities because of my lack of time management, my lack of preparation. I am highly educated. I know how to write and package screenplays. What is my delay? 

We can view my screenwriting dream as a talented builder who has studied and worked hard professionally to complete a masterpiece. Once the right moment arrives to deliver the completed goods, these projects remain unfinished, incompleted, and unconstructed. No display is available to promote this brilliant work of art. Writers may allow a flourishing dream filled with promise to dry up and go empty.  

Screenplays don't write themselves, screenwriters must invest time and energy into completing these movie projects. During my film school days, I wrote screenplays often and usually created excited concepts. Unfortunately, life got in the way and delayed the inevitable. This is the same life that also gave me valuable content to construct stories. 

Many aspiring writers focus on writing unrelated content to survive. Unfortunately, this repeated action blocks their screenwriting dream. On, I kept several completed scripts in my possession. I never sent out these screenplays to movie studios. I took part in a few screenwriting competitions - a collaborated screenwriting contest on an untilted Bourne Identity movie, a short film that got scored a 90 and missed the cut, and the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. I passed up on the Disney Writing Fellowship. 

Back in 2012, while moving to Florida, several great concepts got lost in the shuffle. A Houston robbery resulted in many stolen possessions, including my Apple computer with several lost scripts, many ideas, outlines and entire movie plans. Valuable time got wasted. This dream had major potential to materialize because my passion and talent for screenwriting and movies are still riding high. 

If there is no completed script, there is nothing to sell. We'll see where the road takes me. I realized time and effort influenced my screenwriting dream. After graduating film school, I wrote all the wrong content and this stalled out movie projects. It is never too late to reach success. 

Keep screenwriting. Set a schedule. Take your dream seriously. Don't listen to criticism, unless this is honest and constructive. Stay confident. Be consistent. Happy writing!

And remember, write the raw pages to flush out your creativity.