No event at IFFI Goa 2005

The Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF) have not invited 24×7 MakingMovies to the 36th International Film Festival at Goa this year. It’s a classic example of short sighted-ness on the part of the Indian government. Clearly they don’t like anything that is successful and shows a glimpse of the future.

But participants need not worry. We are planning several more 24×7 Making Movies events across the country. Send in your entry and remember there is NO LAST DATE!

Get your writing published

GET PUBLISHED IN AN EXCITING INTERNATIONAL BOOK-MAP!

Incommunicado ? a one-off publication as part of the Next Wave Festival?s 2006 ?Empire Games?

Incommunicado will be a collection of writing from around the Commonwealth in a foldable book / world map format ? read it, then stick it on your wall. Focussing on the theme of miscommunication, Incommunicado will bring together political and personal stories. It will be published in English, but written in distinctive local voices, with a glossary explaining uncommon words and phrases. Incommunicado will be a glimpse of life all over the Commonwealth, beyond newspaper headlines and medal tallies. It?s going to be a visually stunning, deliciously awkward, collectable literary treat.

Incommunicado will be published in March 2006, in Australia, as part of ?Empire Games? ? the theme of the Youth Program of the Cultural Festival of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, presented by Next Wave.

If you are a Commonwealth citizen and are 30 years old or under, this is an amazing opportunity for your writing to be published in the context of a high-profile international event. If your work is selected for publication, you will be paid A$50 for your efforts.

Tell me more about this Incommunicado theme …
Misunderstanding is the basis of much comedy, and much tragedy.
Incommunicado will bring together very short (250 word or 500 word) stories, poems, anecdotes and reflections from across the Commonwealth about people trying ? and often failing ? to communicate. Lost tourists unable to ask for directions; parents who can?t understand their children?s slang; workers forced to sign contracts they don?t understand ? We want to hear about communication breakdowns that break hearts, make fortunes, start wars, and everything in between. These stories will be as factual or fantastic, as epic or microscopic, as you make them.

Incommunicado
submission deadline: 30 November 2005

For more information about submitting to Incommunicado, go to www.expressmedia.org.au

For more information about the Next Wave Festival?s 2006 ?Empire Games?, go to
www.nextwave.org.au

… Feel free to pass this information on to anyone and everyone who might be eligible.

Regards,

Romy Ash and Tom Doig
Editors,
Incommunicado

********************************************
ELIGIBILITY DETAILS

* You must be under 30 at time of deadline, ie, you must be born after 30 November 1975.
* You must be a citizen of a Commonwealth country. (It doesn?t matter which country you currently reside in.)
* You can submit up to three written pieces of work.
* Your submission(s) must be either 250 or 500 words (approximately).
* If your story contains interesting and/or unusual words (and hopefully it will), please format these words in bold, and provide a glossary at the end of your story.
e.g. Dhurna
(Anglo-Indian) ? extorting payment from someone by sitting at their front door and staying there without food, threatening violence, until you get paid.
Faamati (Samoan) ? to make a squeaking noise by sucking air past the lips in order to gain the attention of a dog or a child.
The glossary is not part of the word count.

HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR WORK
* You must email your submission to editor@expressmedia.org.au using the subject line incommunicado submission
* Your submission(s) must be accompanied by
this Incommunicado coversheet with all the fields filled in. Download it (it’s a Word document), fill it in and attach it to your email with your submission.
* Submit your submission(s) in electronic format as an attached rtf file, in a 12-point font, double-spaced.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30. 2005

Submission form available at http://www.expressmedia.org.au/incommunicado/index.htm

_____________

Tom Doig – Voiceworks Editor

Express Media
Publishers of Voiceworks Magazine
workshops * mentorship schemes * special projects

Meat Market Arts House
42 Courtney Street
North Melbourne
VIC 3051

Phone (03) 9326 8367
Mobile 0416 497 311
Fax (03) 9326 8076

Email : editor@expressmedia.org.au

Website: http://www.expressmedia.org.au

Web log of the Week

24×7 is powered by ecto the fabulous app created by Adriaan Tijsseling.
Our website is a wonderful adaptation of WordPress.
The design is by a terrific team of web and graphic designers, Inventiv based out of New Delhi.

Sopan Muller uses ecto on his dual G4 to post the blogs, update the movies, run the ground events and manage producing the cutting edge shorts in 24 hours.

Why did we choose 24?

We’ve often been asked WHY 24?

Film runs at 24 frames per second. It’s a universal standard. And there are 24 hours to a day. There’s a natural connection to that which appeals to us. It’s also makes for a tough challenge.

And why the age limit?

Audiences in the east are growing younger and younger. We want to see their stories in their voice, their dreams, their struggles, their vision. Not someone who is pushing 60 and pretending to be 24!

Simple!

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

Read the complete text here.
It’s quite cool and well, very inspiring as well.
But do I see a hint to Black Eyed Peas in the title?
Where is the Love?

At 24X7 your movies get SEEN

Adam Leipzig’s article in the New York Times “The Sundance Odds Get even Longer” sums up the main problems about filmmaking today. The statistics are even more revealing.

But that’s precisely what we have achieved at 24×7 Making Movies?. We guarantee that your film gets screened in a cinema. Given the statistics (only 0.3% films get into cinema’s) it’s clear what the team at 24×7 Making Movies? has achieved. And we’re proud of this!

The Sundance Odds Get Even Longer
By ADAM LEIPZIG

Published: January 16, 2005

A FEW days ago I was sitting by myself at the movies, soaking up Hollywood dreams turned into light, when a college-age man came over and sat down next to me.

“You’re a producer, aren’t you?” he asked. “How can I get my movie made?”

I hear this question all the time at dinners, meetings or restaurants from waiters, friends and the children of friends; and most often, from people I have never met before.

These days, I tell them, the challenge isn’t getting your movie made. Practically anyone can make a motion picture today. All it takes is a personal time commitment to the process and access to a credit card, a digital video camera and a computer loaded with $1,000 of editing software. The result might not be as good as “The Blair Witch Project” or “Open Water,” but it will still be a completed movie.

The challenge, as it turns out, is actually getting your movie seen. As an example, let’s take the 2,613 feature films – up 29 percent from 2,023 last year – that were submitted to what has become the primary portal for new filmmakers seeking an audience, the Sundance Film Festival, which begins on Thursday. These completed movies make up the collective hopes and creative output of tens of thousands of talented people. But only 120 of these films -fewer than 5 percent of all submissions – were selected for screening at the festival.

If it’s a good year, maybe, just maybe, 10 of these movies, or 0.3 percent of the submissions, will be picked up for distribution within the United States. What will happen to the remaining 2,603 movie submissions? For the most part, nothing. You’ll never see them, not even at your local video rental store. Without the marketing push, awareness and word-of-mouth that’s generated by a theatrical release, it’s not feasible for video chains to stock your picture.

Of course, Sundance isn’t the only festival. In fact, there are at least 2,500 film festivals around the world, so theoretically you could enter your movie in each of those festivals, and hope that it is accepted at one. But getting your film considered at all 2,500 festivals will require a fair amount of dedication: you would have to send out about seven letters of inquiry or DVD screening copies of your movie to different festivals each day for a year, with no days off.

Still, let’s say you beat the odds to this point. Miracle of miracles, your movie gets accepted by a festival and then is picked up for distribution. The question now becomes: Will it ever have more than a minuscule audience? Approximately 450 movies are released in the United States every year by about 30 recognizable distributors. Of those, major film studios release about half, and independent distributors release the others. But the numbers are even tougher than they look, because roughly 90 percent of the box-office receipts will be sucked up by the studio releases, leaving about 225 independent releases – most likely including your picture – to compete for the remaining sales. When you realize that there will be only a few independent movies that genuinely captivate the popular imagination every year (in 2004 those included “The Passion of the Christ,” “Fahrenheit 9/11” and, perhaps, “Supersize Me”) you’ll see what a thin sliver of pie is left for everyone else.

Alternatively, maybe you’ll look at these statistics and realize there’s very little chance of financial success or even recognition if you produce an independent film, even if it gets released, so you decide to consider another tack: writing your way into the business. It worked for Francis Ford Coppola; it worked for Frank Darabont; it worked for Nora Ephron. Could it work for you?

To protect your story and screenplay, you’ll realize that you want to register it with the Writers Guild of America, West. If somebody tries to rip you off, registration helps you prove you had the idea first. So, feeling positive, you go online and register your script. Then you discover that the guild registered 55,000 pieces last year, up nearly 60 percent from 35,000 in 2001. (With fees pegged at $10 for members, $20 for everyone else, registrations appear to pump close to a million dollars from hopefuls around the world through the guild every year.)

Next, you will need an agent. The guild maintains a directory of 93 agencies (the number fluctuates) that are guild signatories in California: that is, the agencies have agreed to abide by the standards imposed by the professional writers’ organization. But of the 93 agencies listed, nearly two dozen state flat out that they won’t accept unsolicited material, and only one says it will consider material from new writers. (It’s called Qualit? Dell’Arte and it’s in Woodland Hills, Calif.) About 70 agencies indicate they might read your work if you are referred to them by an existing client or if you send them a letter of inquiry, but the agencies receive an average of 100 queries each week and can respond positively to only about one each month.

If an agency does agree to read your script, it goes next to the story department, where readers will synopsize it and offer their critiques. This is called coverage. A large agency might typically send between 15,000 and 30,000 projects to coverage each year, including material from new writers as well as existing clients’ work.

Now, let’s say your script comes back from the story department with glowingly wonderful coverage (almost none do) – will an agent take you on? Unfortunately, it’s not likely. An agent may have responsibility for 50 clients, and a new writer is the most difficult of the breed: you will consume a great deal of your agent’s time as he or she educates people about you and your talents, sends around your script and schedules meetings for you. And as you are a new writer, if the agent does make the sale, the price of your script will almost certainly be set at the minimum “scale fee,” currently about $36,000 for a low-budget script, as prescribed by the Writers Guild, for your services. That’s a lot of work for 10 percent of very little.

But I urge you, stay positive. Let’s assume an agent agrees to sign you, thinks your script is the best material since “The Day After Tomorrow” and decides to take it out to the marketplace in a full-blown auction. An agency can put a big push behind only one so-called “spec” script each week, and as many as 20 of these may be vying for the spot, so your agent will have to battle other agents internally (not a pretty picture) to get your work into prime position.

Your script will go out to approximately 20 key buyers: the eight major studios (formerly nine, but MGM is selling out to Sony) and a handful of the bigger specialty film houses and independent financiers that can get a movie made. Each of these, in turn, will send your script to coverage by its story department, and if your spec is hot, it will be covered overnight; a major studio’s story department may cover 75 to 250 script submissions each week. You can imagine the process from this point: if your script receives high praise and feels fresh, exciting and imaginative, not to mention commercial, someone might actually buy it.

Every month, in fact, between 20 and 50 spec scripts and pitches are sold. (In 2004, according to The Hollywood Reporter, 298 new projects were sold: 98 were spec scripts, 87 came from literary material, 70 were pitches, 16 were remakes, 10 were comic books, 6 were true-life stories, 4 came from video games, 2 each derived from television shows and magazine articles, and 1 was from an action figure.)

Then your project will go into development. You’ll be assigned a development executive, who is probably working on at least 30 other projects and who will work to shape your script through rewrites (some of which may even be done by you), package it with talent and – as generally happens with fewer than 20 percent of projects in even the leanest studio development pool – shepherd it into production.

So who actually gets a picture made? Already, you’re remembering that the major studios release about 225 movies a year, which means that each studio releases perhaps 30 movies. Take Sony Pictures as an example. In 2004 Sony released 39 movies in the United States, but it didn’t actually make all of them. Six were financed through Sony’s partnership with Revolution Studios. A whopping 22 were already completed movies acquired by the company’s specialty distribution arm, Sony Pictures Classics, and many of these received only a very limited release in New York and Los Angeles. Of the theatrical feature films Sony actually made, 3 were sequels (“Spider-Man 2,” “Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2″and “Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid”), 2 were remakes, 1 came from a play and 1 from a novella, and 1 was written and directed by a famous writer-director (James L. Brooks’s “Spanglish”). Of the 39 movies that Sony released only 3 could have possibly come from original, new scripts by promising artists like you.

Or to put it another way: there are about a dozen development executives at Sony, each of whom is assigned to about 20 to 30 projects. Yet there were only three produced projects that weren’t remakes, sequels, purchased from or paid for by another producer, or derived from novels, comic books or video games. So, these dozen executives are competing with each other to get three original movies made, which means each executive has only a 1-in-4 chance of getting the green light for an original script, most of which will have come from veteran writers with impressive credits.

By the way, if you successfully navigate Hollywood’s gauntlet and your movie is made and released, it’s unlikely you’ll ever see real money from it. A studio movie costs on average $64 million to produce and $62 million to market, for a total average investment of $128 million per film. (And this is just an average. Many motion pictures have famously cost far more to produce and market.) Last year, only 20 movies grossed more than $100 million at the domestic box office, and, after the theaters take their share, only about 50 percent of the box-office gross revenue comes back to the studio. Even though the domestic box office accounts for about 25 percent of total potential film revenues (booming DVD sales account for a big share of the rest), there is rarely much left over from the three-year income cycle of a feature film: profit participations must be deducted and paid to the stars and other luminaries, studio overhead of 20 percent is assessed, distribution fees of 15 to 20 percent are charged, home video marketing costs are recaptured, and the interest accrued on the initial money allocated to produce and market the film is paid off.

But don’t let these daunting statistics cause you to lose heart. Hollywood has always been a haven for creative, quixotic types who know it’s impossible to get a movie made, yet seek to do the impossible every day. And once you’ve tasted the delirious rush of seeing one of your movies open at multiplexes across America, there’s no stopping the addiction.

The numbers may be against you, but hang in there. Because in Hollywood, the dream of being No. 1 keeps the whole town going – even if it happens only 0.3 percent of the time.

Adam Leipzig is president of National Geographic Feature Films.

24×7 Features- the buzz is growing!

Our 24×7 Making Movies? program has been so successful it’s been beyond our imagination.

In 2005 we will select 7 people whom we think have it in them to make a feature film and give them an opportunity to make a 90 minute film.

The films will have to be completed in 24 days! This program commences in 2006!

Keeping with the philosophy of 24×7 Making Movies? the films will get a theatrical release almost instantly.

Keep checking back on this weblog for more details

New Website Launched

This week 24x7makingmovies launches its new Website. Completely accessible by RSS/XML, the website is totally is built on modern dynamic web standards.