Blog Salad Friday on September 21, 2007

Free Screenwriting Software Celtx Updated
The popular and mulitplatform Celtx has just received an upgrade. Aside from a face lift, you now get a documentary dual column AV script editor, a radio/podcasting audio player, dual dialogue, index cards and more. Although I've never actually used it yet, Celtx is pretty impressive. It costs nothing to use it and is just one more great tool at the no-budgeter's disposal.

Merchandising! Merchandising!
Concerning a panel discussion at the IFP Filmmaker Conference currently going on in New York City, our friend Bill Cunningham cut to the chase about how 31% of the revenue scored by indie hit Four-Eyed Monsters was from merchandising. This is very important to anyone promoting their movie, or hoping to make a little coin off of it. I think every project should at least generate a poster, a t-shirt, and a ball cap. There are various ways to do this, but as Bill stresses, 31% is too high a number to ignore.

The Low-Budget Pitch for Shoot 'Em Up
Here's a nifty way that a low-budget technique could score you a big-budget deal. Writer/director Michael Davis pitched his action-comedy Shoot 'Em Up by animated the main sequences via quick and dirty pencil drawings. Here he gives us a glimpse at some of them, and teaches us that even rudimentary filmmaking can lead to bigger and better things. Even if you're not an animator, you could probably pull of what Davis has here. What better way to get people interested in what you are doing, than a cheap looking cartoon that is still exciting?

Demand for Online Commentary Crashes Servers
The Editblog recently reported that director Darren Aronofsky recently posted a commentary track for his film, The Fountain, online. So many folks tried to download it that the servers went belly up, and the file was pulled. Film freaks have been making their own online commentaries for years, posting them online and synching them to DVDs. A program like Sharecrow can help you do this, and give you a place to find commentaries others have uploaded. Who needs Darren? We've got the internet!

Ten Mental Blocks to Creative Thinking
Copyblogger posted a very useful item that can help any creative type to be more creative. While the post trounces the familiar "thinking outside the box" label (instead, it denies there is a box), it gives some most excellent tips about getting those brain juices flowing. The crux seems to be to break rules and go against what is "normal" and you will find that elusive whatever-it-is that you need to emerge from your creative shell. It's a good list to post on your bathroom mirror to ponder when you can seem to get to that creative place. Read it!

Podcast Roundup
This Conference is Being Recorded - Lance Wieler interviews documentary filmmaker Hunter Weeks. Weeks' first film is 10MPH, which is the story of crossing the U.S. on one of those Segway gizmos (the top speed is the title of the movie). Weeks hit the festival circuit, had a DIY theatrical run, and is distributing online, both DVDs and digital downloads. Lots to learn here if you are planning something similar.

Your Video Store Shelf - Gregory Conley chats with filmmaker Michael Raso who heads low budget outfits like Pop Cinema and Alternative Cinema. While Raso's content tends to lean more toward the adult market, there's always something to learn from someone making movies for a living. Best anecdote: explaining to police that a fake storefront for the "Wank-O-Rama" is for a student project.

Have a great weekend! Monday I'll report back on something that doesn't happen much in Salt Lake City. A revival showing of Chaplain's City Lights, in an actual film print. I'm very excited.


Anonymous said…
I've used Celtx for quite a while now and I must say, the latest update is out of this world. It added so much great stuff, I can't believe it's still free software.

Simply amazing software.