All posts by crystal barnes

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

We are pleased to announce to the friends and supporters of Ark Productions & We Gotta Camera Films the release of

The Greasy Plate.

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Now available exclusively online for just $.99!

It’s a short 12-minute film, so it will go perfectly with a longer film for a movie night or something quick to see and be encouraged by.

[su_button url=”http://www.christiancinema.com/catalog/search.php?q=the+greasy+plate” style=”glass”]See it Here[/su_button] 

Like us on Ark’s Facebook page [su_button url=”https://www.facebook.com/arkproductionschicago” style=”glass”]Ark[/su_button] and enter for a chance to win a tablet!

Spread the word among your friends and family by forwarding this email, like our page and signing up for our newsletter

Thanks to all of you and we hope you enjoy this the film!

We’ve Launched!!!

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This is the first of 3 teaser trailers. Run illustrates the action we plan to achieve throughout the film and it also shows a bit of the backstory of the main character, Moises, who like his namesake (Moses) is attempting to run from God’s plan for his life.

In the film, this scene will come during a crucial moment of great angst and frustration as a flashback, with Moises remembering the events. But just like life, through pain and hopelessness we find resolution, and often new purpose.

Our Fanbacked Page has a pitch video and points on why the film is unique.

Please like the page, donate, share with your friends and help us reach our goal!

Click here to check it out:

Thanks
Crystal

Adventures of a 1st Time Feature Filmmaker

[su_heading size=”20″]Why I’m not God [/su_heading]

As I have been writing and sharing my thoughts, epiphanies, triumphs and setbacks it occurred to me that an update is due! So what have we been up to since the last post you might ask? For starters, I’ve been brushing up on my carpentry skills.

Crystal building the rain machine
Crystal building the rain machine

My associate producer, my DP and I built two different frames to create rain for the trailer shoot of The Law of Moises. The scene we most wanted to share with you is a scene that takes place, dramatically, in the rain. It would have been hard to share the scene if there’s no rain.

God said, “Let there be rain!” But I’m not God…

What did we learn about creating rain frames or DIY rain machines? It ain’t easy to create a believable rain machine.

Creating the frame is relatively easy. We found a few different options that were graciously provided on YouTube and followed the instructions. One was a wooden square with a garden hose attached and small holes drilled sporadically throughout the entire length of the hose.

Rain Machine
Rain Machine

[su_column]This turned out to be a really heavy option and the rain fell in streams rather than the fast drip you would expect when viewing rain. There was also too much water released from the contraption that soaked the actor more quickly that we wanted for the scene.[/su_column]

See a test below.

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[su_frame]The second frame was created using pvc tubing and sprinkler heads. This option was light, provided a downpour with the individual “drops” of rain we needed for filming and was the more workable solution to meet our needs.[/su_frame]

Why not just point a garden hose to the sky and start filming you might ask? One, we needed a high water capacity hose like firefighters use and we didn’t have that. The cost of the hose was greater than we wanted to spend for the single use. We considered purchasing a used fire hose, renting a pump trunk and a few other options, but producing the trailer on a small budget didn’t allow for those options.

At the end of the day (and the end of the shoot) we got the shots we needed and both of the rain frames provided the needed moisture.

Here are a few shots of the rain machines at work

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Thanks!

Crystal

 

Adventures of a First Time Feature Filmmaker

[su_heading size=”20″]5 reasons why the film The Law of Moises should be on your to-see list[/su_heading]

Quick — Name a disabled actor.  Not an able-bodied actor whose character is disabled.

HINT

[su_animate type=”slideInRight” duration=”5.5″ delay=”2″]Which of the following actors is really disabled?[/su_animate]

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[su_button url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKASab9gL8Q&list=PL31sF0WBU8QOPy7oMSWLVmmAbRYlO-yFB&index=29″ style=”glass”]CLICK HERE FOR ANSWER[/su_button]

I admit that most of you are probably wondering, “Who is Aaron Fotheringham?” Perhaps the bigger question is why the biggest minority in United States has the least representation in the media?

According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau about 56.7 million people or 19% of the population has a disability in America. The report describes into account a broad definition of disability, with more than half of them reporting the disability was severe.

Since film is 100% of is about engaging its audience and if most people enjoy viewing films with characters they can relate to then why not provide films that nearly 20% OF THE population can share in its experience? Just asking.

[su_divider top=”no” text=”More about the Film”]

Aaron is set to play his namesake in The Law of Moises. He has Spina Bifida but is an incredible moto-cross athlete.

Aaron’s character is present day Aaron, i.e. Aaron from the Bible. He is Moises’ best friend.

[su_box title=”Here is a snippet from the script” box_color=”#82c5c3″]AARON (V.O.) And reason number 2 as to why I’m telling you his story…if you already hadn’t noticed, Moises stutters. It started when he lost his parents. So, he doesn’t talk much cause he can’t get much out before he s…s…tutters which is only funny because I’m in this wheelchair. [/su_box]

 

This is part 1 of a five part series. Don’t moss out on the rest of the series. Sign up here [su_button url=”https://arkproductionschicago.com/contact-us/” style=”glass”]SUBSCRIBE[/su_button] to receive notifications and more!

Thanks Crystal

Adventures of a First Time Feature Filmmaker

[su_heading size=”20″]Sagging Pants & Attracting an Audience[/su_heading] ManySaggyPants2 While I’m not a fan of the style of sagging pants I have to admit that after talking with two young men as to why it is such a “thing” they do, I was reminded of the most fundamental concept of economics and marketing. In other words, why some businesses are successful at reaching their audience and others are not? So………..I had just witnessed some kid who without exaggeration had his pants down so low that I questioned if he should be wearing any pants at all. Then I saw a young man from my neighborhood and I asked about the trend; the conversation went a bit like this:

Me: Why do guys wear their pants so low?

Him: I do it because (blah blah blah).

Then his friend chimes in:

Friend: Some do it because it’s the style.

Me: So, that’s why? No other reason?

Friend: Well, if I walk by a group of girls and if I can get a number, then…

Me: So girls like it?

Friend: Not all, but enough.

Me: I guess that makes sense, because if you didn’t get attention you wouldn’t do it.

Friend: Right.

Me: (Feeling like “oh no, this style could go on for years!”) …Okay…

Friend: (As the car is pulling away) But, if a guy wants a girl who’s kinda more upper class like, if she don’t like it, he’ll come back with a suit on.

WHOA!!!!!

Which brings me to the question stated earlier – Why are some businesses successful at reaching their audience and others are not? (All things being equal: time, money, talent, etc.).

Drum roll: [su_animate type=”flash” duration=”7″]BECAUSE THEY KNOW THEIR AUDIENCE & HOW TO REACH THEM[/su_animate]

 

[su_pullquote]BECAUSE FILMMAKING IS AS MUCH OF A BUSINESS AS IT IS AN ART.[/su_pullquote] Because filmmaking is as much of a business as it is an art. Consequently, filmmakers must begin thinking more like entrepreneurs rather than just artists. And it reinforces the necessity of knowing who your audience is, what drives them, what interests them and what they care about.

There are 3 things I took away from this experience and I’d like to share:

1.WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE 

  • [su_spoiler title=”Read Here…” style=”simple” icon=”plus-circle”]This keeps coming up and I am definitely growing in my conviction that this is so important that to miss it is to PUT YOUR FILM AT RISK FOR FAILURE. Because most independent filmmakers can rarely afford to make a film intended for the general public, it’s important to know whom the film is intended for. If you are creating a film without knowing your audience you could be unintentionally creating a film for the wrong audience. For example, if your film is for young women who like men in suits but all your characters are wearing sagging pants YOU WILL FAIL TO REACH YOUR AUDIENCE. There is an audience for all kinds of people and if the filmmaker knows her audience and you give them what they want, you can TAP INTO A FAN BASE that you can engage and grow.[/su_spoiler]

TIP [su_label type=”info”] Write down things from your script that targets a specific group. [/su_label]

2. YOUR FILM ALONE WILL NOT REACH THEM

  • [su_spoiler title=”Read Here…” style=”simple” icon=”plus-circle”]If by the time your film hits the theaters or streaming (hopefully) and you’ve done nothing to make your audience aware of it. YOU’VE MADE A FILM THAT NO ONE WILL SEE. If your target audience is young women who like guys who wear sagging pants, then you’ve GOT TO RESEARCH on where they live, how they view their entertainment, and most of all, how to reach them and their friends.[/su_spoiler]

TIP  [su_label type=”info”] Start talking about your film before you begin to shoot.[/su_label]

3. IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME

[su_spoiler title=”Read Here…” style=”simple” icon=”plus-circle”]The cold hard facts are that even if you have a distribution deal, (and most will not) you still have to do some marketing. Whether its social media, traditional advertising, or word of mouth, YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING THAT WILL GET THE PEOPLE IN THE SEATS. (Unless of course Brad Pitt is in your movie, but even then there is no guarantee).[/su_spoiler]

TIP [su_label type=”info”]Build awareness and a fan base (before the film is even made). [/su_label]

 

As always, if you like what you’ve read…. [su_button url=”https://twitter.com/arkprod” style=”glass”]FOLLOW US[/su_button] [su_button url=”https://www.facebook.com/TheLawofMoises” style=”glass”]LIKE US! [/su_button]  [su_button url=”https://arkproductionschicago.com/contact-us/” style=”glass”] SUBSCRIBE! [/su_button]

Thanks!

Crystal Barnes

Golf is a lot like Filmmaking

So…I’m learning to play golf. I’ve taken a few lessons and I’ve learned two things – 1) While I’m usually pretty athletic, I’m no natural with the golf clubs and 2) Whoever came up with this game sure found a difficult way to hit a ball with a stick!

My last lesson out, I realized that learning to play golf is a lot like filmmaking with one major exception. Golf is usually a sport played one person against another; filmmaking is rarely a one-person sport. It is very collaborative. Yet, the skills are transferable.

For example, many people think that the most effective way to develop a consistent golf swing is to stand on the range whacking balls until you get it right. But the best way to develop a consistent golf swing is to break the swing down into pieces that make up the swing and ensure each part is being performed correctly: the grip, stance, posture, alignment, backswing, downswing, impact and follow thru.

Similarly, producing a film is not just one thing but many different pieces working in tandem to create a finished product. Production of the film encompasses finding the right screenplay, breaking down the script, writing up a business plan, crewing, casting and a whole lot more. As with a golf swing, all these things go together in the making of a film. I don’t believe one part is any less or more important.  The challenge is that there are many things to think about simultaneously. With both, it is easy to either over think things or forget something altogether.

One item most filmmakers forget is AUDIENCE; but they are an essential part of this business. You should always ask yourself- Who is your audience?  How do you to reach them?  Without an audience the best film in the world never makes a dime.

 

Here are 3 tips to grow audience 

1. Know your audience. Is there already an audience who likes that sort of stuff? In other words, are there any publications out there that  cater to your niche subject matter?

2. Go to Netflix or iTunes, and look up a movie with a similar genre to yours. When you do, you’ll notice that the site will generate similar movies to the one you’ve searched for.  Next, browse the Internet for the titles of the suggested movies. Change to the image view to see pictures of those titles. Finally, drag the images to the Google bar and a list of sites will come up. Some of the sites will be blogs and various publications that cater to your niche audience.

3. Build a website, get an email marketing account and add people to your email list (with their permission of course!).

BONUS: Check out my golf swing below…

 

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Thoughts, questions, and/or comments are welcome.

Adventures of 1st time feature filmmaker

Hello and welcome to the workings of my mind!

Well, this is not really as much a blog or newsletter as it is sharing of thoughts, ideas, and the progress of producing a feature film for the first time (hence the catchy title).  As expected there are a lot of bumps in the rode to creating a film (some good, some not-so-good) and I wanted to share this ride with anyone interested.  Weather you’re a fellow filmmaker, film buff or just someone who always wanted to know things like ‘What is a best boy anyway?’ These posts for you!

I know it’s a bit late for this but, I’ve decided my goal for 2014 is to build and audience and engage and audience for the upcoming film The Law of Moises.

Couple of ways to do it:

  1. Shoot a trailer
  2. Start a blog
  3. Go to events where market audience will be in attendance
  4. Ask more questions
  5. Attend the American Film Market (AFM)

I’ve started this blog – check. I’ve begun planning to shoot the trailer this fall – check. I got some events I’m attending – check, plans are in the works for AFM – check. So… that leaves asking some questions. Here’s one:

Noah, the movie came with much controversy. If you were going to make the movie, how would you mold your story with this beginning…

 

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. 10Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

11Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14So make yourself an ark of cypressc wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high.d16Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubite high all around.f Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”

22Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

 

Feel free to use the comments on the page to share your thoughts.

 

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AFM

I landed in LAX on Thursday evening, November 7, 2013 – excited, anxious and tired. I lucked out and was given a Toyota Prius at Enterprise. Found my way to my friend’s home and played catch up for about 2 hours. I thought she was kidding when she said I would have to leave at about 6:30am to get to Santa Monica by 8:30am…(15 mile away)…She wasn’t.

One of the best things I did was download and GPS app on my IPhone called Scout – it saved my life, as I’m horrible with directions.

DAY 1 @ AFM

Parking was already at its capacity, so AFM offered alternate parking at the beach lot right off the ocean! Here is a view!IMG_0249

I attended the Finance Conference and like most people in the room after a 4-hour session of numbers talk – my head was spinning. Basically what I came away with was to do a co-production with Canada (I can’t tell you how many times that was suggested). No, really. There were a few things I already understood through research and trial and error, but some tidbits that were helpful: As more people are using mobile devices for entertainment, people elect NOT to watch commercials, so companies are increasingly interested in presenting their products in the movies (product placement) for a captive audience in exchange for $.

The rest of the day was basically meet as many people as I could and get cards and CONNECT. As the saying goes; “Its not what you know, its who you know.”

AFM Poster

DAY 2

The Pitch Conference! This is what I’ve been preparing for. I was ready. 2 minute pitch, ditch deck (Power point presentation about the film), and post cards.

In short, I didn’t get to pitch but the preparations were beneficial as you’ll find out in day 3.

IMG_0245

DAY 3

I made some very good connections. I was able to meet with some distributors, 2 of which were interested in The Law of Moises, Gil at Koan, Inc. and Eddie at Curb Entertainment, both of which suggested with the right budget and cast, the film would have no problem making profit even if on a limited theatrical release and VOD (Video on Demand). I also talked with Rick Eldridge from Reel Works Studios, Ygor Siqueira of Graca Filmes (Brazil) and Adam from Go Films about possible co-productions.