How to Cast your Film

July 25, 2012 by · Comments Off on How to Cast your Film 

Casting: Getting actors and organizing a casting for zero money. Casting is one of the most important directorial skills. Even when you start to make your first short films , it is very important to have a casting. Step 1 The first step is advertising your casting. This means that you go to the correct websites and advertise your film project. One also needs to know how to fill out the Casting Call correctly. This is one of the most important and vital parts of the process. When we teach our film students at our Film Courses how to cast, we always actively go through the process of advertising the Casting with each group. The words you use to advertise your film project to the actors who scan the castings is very important.  Get this wrong and you will have hardly any actors at your casting. When the Casting Call is filled out properly, we regularly get 150 – 200 actors applying for the casting call. On the Casting websites you get to see the photo of the actors and the CV and in many cases you get to see video. My advise is to give everyone who applies an audtion.  You can never tell till the actor is in the room. Only then you can tell if the actor is right for your film project. When you go through the castings, the really good actors will shine brightly. Most of my film course students are very surprised at how easy it is to pick the right actors for the film project. Remember you could be giving one of the future TV or Film Stars their first break. How much should you pay the actors?  If you are creating a short film production with very little budget, you can place the film as a non-paying film. In other words everyone involved is working on the film production for experience. Most actors are working other jobs or casing for commercials which pay very well. They need  showreel material. This is where emerging film makers help emerging actors. The payment is the finished film which they will expect a copy of.  This is what will bring them to the next level. If you have raised a substantial film budget, then you will need to pay your actors the minimum actors rates set by the actors unions. Step 2 Casting is one of the fun parts of the preproduction process. All the actors arrive 10 minutes apart and they will then enter the casting room. It is very important to photograph the actors with their contact details in the photo. When you have seen a hundred actors in one – two days it is very hard to remember who is who. By going through the casting process, you will increase the quality of your film dramatically. One of the big mistakes most beginners and emerging film makers make is that they skip casting and instead invite their friends and people that they think are talented to act in the film. This shows up in wooden performances and a film that seems to the audience,  amateur. By having a casting, you will find the up and coming talent and the up and coming film stars of tomorrow. To learn how to effectively run a Casting please book on to the Online Film School. We direct you to  the very best websites to advertise your casting. We go into detail on how to attract the actors and run an effective casting on the Online Film School. Colm O’Murchu      Director Bio: Colm O’Murchu has taught film making and directing since 1997. He currently owns International Film Base and the Online Film School. Colm also regularly produces and directs his own film productions. He also is hired regularly as a DOP and Director for a multitude of film productions

Writing the Script

July 19, 2012 by · Comments Off on Writing the Script 

Screenplays: Writing screenplays and/or developing screenplays costs varying amounts for different productions. For the emerging film maker, it usually costs the producer zero. For the Hollywood studios they will sometimes pay millions for a screenplay from a top writer. Yes,  you can get rich just writing screenplays. When you are starting out,  most times you will write your own screenplay or you work in with a fellow student scriptwriter. The Scriptwriter always writes for free at the start. By doing so, the emerging screenwriter creates creditability and improvement. I was recently at a scriptwriting conference in Los Angeles where there were many experienced scriptwriters presenting.  It amazed me that most of the top successful screenwriters had to write 10 full length or more scripts before they got their first big break. Yes that is ten full length screenplays before they made it in Hollywood and most of these screenwriters lived in Hollywood. So you need to make a decision early on. Do I want to write the screenplays or Do I want to delegate scriptwriting? I personally think that you should only delegate if you really feel that you are the worlds worst writer and writing is just not one of those things you want to do. You should also delegate if you know an exceptionally talented emerging screenwriter who you are married to or joined at the hip. I think even if your only intention is to become a full time movie producer and/or film director, you should still start out learning the writing process. Yes you should  write your own short film screenplay. This is so important for this one reason alone.  A good producer or director needs to identify a really good screenplay when they read them. There are too many producers picking terrible screenplays that end up manifesting into really bad movies. An original well thought out Story is paramount to a great movie. Story and Screenplay are two different entities.
  1. The story is the beat by beat narrative that brings the audience on the journey in the movie.
  2. The screenplay is a 90 page to 120 page document that only the studio executives , cast and the crew and Production management personal read.
This includes all of the and film students years after the film is released. It is the blueprint for a successful film. So it is paramount as film maker that you learn the process of scriptwriting. The number one best way to learn how to write scripts is to read original screenplay. Original screenplays are screenplays that have been written and formatted by the original screenwriter.By Googling Screenplays, you may find many sites that have original screenplays for free. On the online Film School we will recommend the best sites for original screenplays. It is so important to learn how to format scripts. Final Draft is a great software package that helps the writer format their script. However it costs about US$200. If you enroll on our Online Film School you will receive a link to a free scriptwriting software that formats your scripts. Not only that this software will help you storyboard and prepare your film. By enrolling on the online film school, you will save $200 right here. This is the first of many savings for the aspiring film maker. Thirdly, one needs to know how to brainstorm their story and create three dimensional characters. I often take a long drive with my partner and we will drive to rural areas stop and have a walk and then when the feeling is right brainstorm the story using all the exercises I share with you in the Online Film School. This is our creative process. Other people I know go to the local bar and over a few beers, they brainstorm the story. Another writer, I know writes all his screenplays in coffee shops. Yet again other writers I know hibernate in a cottage in a rural area and write non stop for a week. Everyone has a different creative environment or what I call creative microsm Discover yours. If you want to develop this further, please look at the Online Film School When it comes to screenwriting, the Online Film School  will give you
  • Link to a free Scriptwriting formatting software that saves you $200
  • Video Tutorial in how to format your screenplay professionally . If you do not do this , your screenplay will never be read by anyone in the professional end of town.
  • Seven brainstorming exercises in devloping your story.
  • Action plans to write your screeplay effectively.
This section of the Online Film School  will improve your writing dramatically and show you how to keep your scriptwriting costs at Zero Next email in two days on The Casting Process Colm O’Murchu      Director  

Australian Film Base – June 2012 the month that was.

July 18, 2012 by · Comments Off on Australian Film Base – June 2012 the month that was. 

Today, I launch a once per month Review of the main Film Events and Courses at Australian Film Base

June 2012 Review 

June started out with a trip to LA. As most of you know, I always love my time in Tinsel Town.  I go there twice a year now and as a result know many different people in the LA film business.   I always seem to naturally pick up meetings that matter. However, one has to always be aware of what one calls Hollywood Bullshit. LA attracts the bullshit artist like no other town. However, I do feel now I have built up an attennae for the bullshit artist. These days the Hollywood Bullshit Artist is very easy to spot. One only has to check out with IMDB and Google to find out if they have any credits. IMDB is an essential listing for any successful film maker.  I always work on about one in four meetings being actually worthwhile.  However one has to go to all of them to work out which meeting is worthwhile. Sunny LA definitley lived up to its name with beautiful days in the high 20s or in the 70s. Also I managed to get to my favourite hotels The Roosevelt and the Beverly Hills hotel. Both hotels are famous iconic Hollywood hotels where the famous often hang out.  I always feel I fit in LA where people love movies and film makers who make films. Back in Sydney I only had a week to catch my breath, when I had to drive to Victoria for the Melbourne 4 Month Film Course Shoot.   We shot on location in a beautiful village called Warburton where we all stayed as a group in the local hotels and motels. If you have never been to Warburton, please place it on your To Do List. Warburton is nestled between towering mountains of eucalyptus rainforest and rural farms. It is a quaint village full of New Age and Craft shops. We shot  "Imagine That" a short film about a magic IPhone app that when pressed sends you to all of your dream worlds and allows you to be with your dream soulmate.  Very imaginative film and it took two and half days to shoot. The Crew and Cast did very well. In fact so well, I slipped off on Sunday afternoon for a treck in the  mountains. On the drive back to Sydney , I stopped in the old gold mining town of Beechworth. Another first for me and I definitely recommend a visit here. I managed to leave the town with only buying some Honey. At the hotel,  I really enjoyed the outdoor hot spa which I spent half an hour in at 1o pm in 4C weather.  It makes you feel alive especially when you are running back to the hotel room. The Sydney 4 Month Film School is moving along well.  Casting happens tonight and the shoot happens at the end of July. The course group are very enthusiastic and of course once the film is cast, the excitement of the imminent shoot starts to build. On Tuesday last week , I flew to Adelaide for one day. It was a truly momentus day.  Needless to say when I arrived back to Sydney on the same day,  I knew that certainly my world had changed for ever.Maybe I will write about that another time.