Production Report – August 2012

September 13, 2012 by · Comments Off on Production Report – August 2012 

Sound Post Studios

Production Report One  -  August 2012 

I am starting a Production Report for each Month starting with August 2012. I hope that you will get a feel for what we do at Australian Film Base and how the student films progress and of course our own Feature Film Productions. 

Imagine That   4 Month Film School Post Production:  Shot in location in Warburton in July Post Production August:   Now Complete:

The Month Started out with the Final Post Production for the Melbourne 4 Month Film School Film “ Imagine That". As always there are many days of editing involved with every film and the 8 minute "Imagine That"  was no exception. Editing took place in earnest during August with a full Day of Sound Post Production taking place with Sound Designer John Hresc in Melbourne.  Sound Post was completed at Salt Studios in East Brighton in Melbourne on Saturday August 11th. The students attended after finalising the Music for the final Mix.  The day was a success for all. You can see the completed Film on

Love Shack: 4 Month Film School:
This is a very funny film. After a very successful casting, all the actors that were cast were A Plus quality meaning that the film script could really get to a higher level.  This film will be uploaded to Youtube in early October. The film was shot in August in a few different locations. The students shot in a $ 2 Million waterfront apartment in Drumoyne and in an office complex nearby. Also, the opening scene was shot at Drumoyne Ferry, creating an awesome Sydney Harbour  backdrop and part of the film was shot in the Kings Cross Hotel creating a moody nightclub scene. The nightclub scene had 15 extras to create a realistic nightclub scene.

I am always amazed how well beginners and emerging film makers take to making their first film. All the locations are locked down with no access to the public.

The Students are currently in postproduction and editing the film with Sound Postproduction scheduled for Saturday September 15th. Sound Post takes place in Five Dock at the Sound Post Studios with John who is one of the very best Sound Designers in the business. He has worked freelance for clients such as Channel 9. Look out for Love Shack in October when we upload to Youtube. 

The the Weekend Film School Saturday and Sunday August 11th, 12th

The Weekend Film School was a great success. This was the first weekend film school since December 2011.  On two of the wettest coldest days of the Sydney Winter, 27 people attended the Weekend Film School. We had a very productive weekend learning how to produce a film production with a 4 Month Film Production Plan.  We also did a detailed session on how films are sold and bought in the international film market. Also we focused on the Online Film Marketplace which is growing exponentially and is now a wonderful opportunity for the emerging film maker. You can get the best of the Weekend Film School at our Online Film School. 

The Brisbane 4 Month Film School Started Tuesday August 14th
We had the first 3 sessions of the Brisbane 4 Month Film School. The course takes place in QPIX in Brisbane and 14 people have taken to the first part with gusto. The first 3 sessions are mainly focused on screenplay and the group have created a wonderful story with 10 scripts written for the film production. The vote will take place soon for the best script. Casting is three weeks away with preproduction about to take place in earnest next week. The shoot happens in early October.

Colm O’Murchu: International Film Base   Feature Film Production – Absolute Freedom.
International Film Base is also a Film Production Company and we are currently in development on our next feature film “Absolute Freedom”
The film is slated for Production in March 2013 and the screenplay First Draft has just been completed. 

The film will be 100 minutes long and will be shot on location in Los Angeles, Mexico, Sydney and in the outback near Alice Springs.
On Thursday Friday and Saturday August 16th – 18th, I flew to  Alice Springs and started Location hunting in the outback. (Photo reference)
I had not been to Alice Springs since I was a backpacker from Ireland some years ago!!  It certainly brought back memories of that time. What was interesting is that I felt a great sense of gratitude for making a living out of Film Making.  I stronly recommend that if you have the calling for a passion, go after a career in Film Making and make it the way you make a living. It may take time even some years to make it happen but you will have a great time in the process of establishing a career.

If film is one of those areas that you love, there is one place left on the Sydney 4 Month Film School starting on September 20th. 

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  

My Favourite Films this Year

April 3, 2012 by · Comments Off on My Favourite Films this Year 

Wishing all my readers a relaxing and fun Easter Break. 

After Easter we have a major announcement to make in relation to something that I believe  will be a major turning point.  If you want to learn from the very best in the Australian Film Industry, keep you eyes peeled for my next post.  I will leave you in suspense till then. As it is Easter,  I would like to mention some of my favourite films that I have seen at the cinema this year. These films should be available online or at your local DVD shop soon.  If you have time over Easter check them out. I think you will really enjoy all three of these films.  Of the 14 that I have seen in the cinema this year these three films were the most enjoyable.  

Tower Heist (Action Comedy)

For plain entertainment value, I really enjoyed  this film. Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy lead an all-star cast in Tower Heist, a comedy caper about working stiffs who seek revenge on the Wall Street swindler who stiffed them. After the workers at a luxury Central Park condominium discover the penthouse billionaire has stolen their retirement, they plot the ultimate revenge: a heist to reclaim what he took from them.        

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo  (Thriller)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first film in Columbia Pictures' three-picture adaptation of Stieg Larsson's literary blockbuster The Millennium Trilogy. I have seen the Sweedish version of this film and I much preferred this years updated American Version. The Film is slow to start but once it gets going, the intriging plot takes you into the most surprising twists. Directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, the film is based on the first novel in the trilogy, which altogether have sold 50 million copies in 46 countries and become a worldwide phenomenon.    

The Descendants  (Drama)

I really liked this heart warming drama.  From Alexander Payne, the creator of the Oscar-winning Sideways, set in Hawaii, The Descendants is a sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic journey for Matt King (George Clooney) an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with a decision to sell the family's land handed down from Hawaiian royalty. Very moving and engaging.  

Creating the Film Director Stars of Tomorrow- Hot Talent Club is launched

March 20, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Post: Creating the Film Director Stars of Tomorrow- Hot Talent Club is launched

On Set at our Custom Designed Police Station

At International Film Base,  we regularly are sent job opportunities and film production requests that we can not take on. It has been a frustration seeing these opportunities going to waste.   We are also involved in many of our own feature film productions and other peoples film productions that we have been commissioned to produce. As a working production company, it has been a great pleasure to employ the very best talent from our film courses on to these productions over the years. Late last year,  I decided that I wanted to create a non-profit Club that would support and help the most talented film makers. The club would   immediately make their advanced film dreams happen once the  four month film course had concluded.  I wanted to create a vehicle where they could quickly get film industry employment and make their very own passion film projects. This would include feature films documentaries and short films and no hanging around. These projects would happen immediately with solid enforceable deadlines. Late last year, I came up with the true vision for our film courses and productions at International FIlm Base.  I coined the phrase "Creating the Film  Director Stars of tomorrow."  Out of this vision, in late February this year,  the Hot Talent Club was born and launched in Sydney and  in the next few months in Melbourne. What is the Hot Talent Club? The Hot Talent Club is for people who have completed our 4 Month Film School in Melbourne or Sydney.   It is a mix of exceptionally motivated and ambitious film makers who want support and crew other film makers while making their very own passion film projects. In the Hot Talent , you will  find a mix of exceptionally talented actors, make up artists, producers and Directors. These people all have one thing in common.  They all want to move to the A List. All of these people are committed to being players in the film industry, now and  in the future. What this means is that the Hot Talent Club creates the energy matrix for these players to make their mark with every film that they are involved in. At  each  monthly meeting a project will be launced with a deadline for production and for completion and the Producer or Director is held accountable to that deadline. Out of the Hot Club we expect to see A List Film Directors and Producers making feature films and TV drama and documentaries  for the world.

Ready to shoot a scene on the Red Camera

You may ask "How do I get into the Hot Talent Club?" Every selected  person must attend our Four Month Film School in Sydney or Melbourne.  They must show  comittment to their film projects during the Four Month Film School. The candidate should have the fire in the belly and a desire to work exceptionally hard to make their film the best that it can be.  At the end , the top 3 -4 people  are invited to join the Hot Talent Club. Each person is selected by the Hot Club Panel. Ultimately, we want one or more of our members to go to the very top in world cinema and make films that get seen by the world. The overall purpose is to create the film production hits and the Director Producer Stars of tomorrow. So if you are inspired to start your film career now, please look at our Four Month Film Courses in Melbourne Sydney or  our One Week Adelaide Course. There is no faster way to get on to your first serious film production completed.  We are conducting interviews for our Four Month Film Schools right now. Book by phone on 1800 131166

Five Film Directing Skills that make a difference

March 2, 2012 by · Comments Off on Five Film Directing Skills that make a difference 

Directing a Shot on the Set of Dealing with Destiny

Post:  Five ways to make your film shoot work effectively 

Most people on our Film Courses love the Film Shoot.  The Film Course Participant learn more on the Film Shoot than any other part of our four month Film School. The main reason for this is  team work.   A group of people bond and make a creative endeavor.  There are many laughs, intense moments and character tests. The satisfaction of creating a film, that will be seen by millions of eyes in the future, also adds a sense of purpose and excitement to the shoot. However the amateur film maker can make a mess out of a Film Shoot and end up having a very challenging time. How can a Film Director make the most of a Film Shoot?  Prepare Prepare Prepare.  How does the film director make a Film Shoot fun and memorable. Here are five areas that one can focus on.
  1. The Script
  2. Actor Rehearsal
  3. Plan the Blocking in Advance
  4. Shot list and/or Storyboard
  5. Pushing the Standard High.
1 Know your Script: 
This is so important. Know your script intimately.  It is called Script Analysis. What this means is that you break the script down and work out exactly what the characters in the scene are doing. Generally speaking the characters will have objectives and they will have different ways of playing the actions in the scene. A Director needs to work out the game plan in advance of a Film Shoot. The Director needs to know how he wants his actors to play the scene in advance of the shoot.  When this happens,  the director can communicate succintly and deliberately on set. Know your script.
2 Actor Rehearsal: 
It really pays to have an actor rehearsal prior to the Film Shoot. What this means is that the actors and the director can discuss the script and the scenes. When one is on a film set, there is too much happening. The Director usually is peppered with questions and other on set problems. Therefore there is no time to rehearse in detail. Have an actor rehearsal prior to a shoot.  You can  weed out cluncky dialogue through improvisation. You sometimes will find a better way of playing the scene. If the director is lucky enough to rehearse on the actual set prior to the shoot,  this will save time. The director can lock down the Actor Blocking in advance of the shoot.
3 Plan the Blocking in Advance. 
Blocking refers to the movement of the actors on the set. The Director needs to know exactly where he wants his actors to move on the set. If left to the actors to move on their own, the movement can be very limited and will probally not fit in with the shot list. So one of the key Directorial tasks, is to work out the actors blocking. This takes training and that is why you should look at a really good Film Course to learn these key film director skills
4 Shot List Storyboard
A Director needs to work out  their Shot list in advance of the shoot. This is one of the areas that definitely reqrires training. Working our the coverage of a scene,  is so important.  A great shot list will create the building blocks for the edit.  Learn all about this on one of our practical Film Courses
5 Pushing the Standard High. 
Working on a film requires commitment . However the very best directors always push for the very best. They motivate and cajole their actors and their crew to push for the very best. If the actors and the crew feel that the director is pushing for a great film, they will try 10o times harder.
One needs to learn how to make films professionally and that is why it is very important to get the very best training available on the very best film course .  Remember learn from the best and when you are shooting prepare prepare prepare. Film Schools in the very near future 2012  
Till next time   Have a great one.     Colm O'Murchu     Director International Film Base
Why did I get this film making email?  You signed up for our Free E Course on how film directors made it big and and therefore receive our blog on a bimonthly basis. 

The Film Editor – The Star Crew Member

March 2, 2012 by · Comments Off on The Film Editor – The Star Crew Member 

POST: The Film Editor is the true star of any Film Production

Today, I want to focus on The Film Editor.

Learning all about the Tools of the Trade

This morning I read all about the Oscars.  Kirk Baxter, an Australian, has just won back to back Oscars. Kirk won last night for the film " The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. *  Yet it hardly makes the papers.  For many people, film  editors are these nerdy characters who spend way too much time in small rooms. Yet in reality they are the true stars of any Film Production. Tropfest was one of the big film events in February.  Tropfest is the worlds largest film festival which takes place at the Domain in Sydney. On the Saturday I attended Tropfest Roughcut with about 150 other film makers.     Speaking at the event were non other than Geoffrey Rush, Actor (The King’s Speech, Pirates of the Caribbean) Kieran Darcy-Smith, Director (Wish You Were Here), Actor (Animal Kingdom) Jason Ballantine, Editor (The Great Gatsby, Wolf Creek, Wish You Were Here) Jason Ballantine is certainly one of the most talented Film Editors with a raft of great film credits all ready attached to his name. Yet he is very humble.  Yet, he is one of the most important  creative people working on Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio I always find it amazing that Film Editors never get the credit that they are due. I am going to be controversial and say this the Film Editor is the single most important crew member after the Film Director. Many outsiders do not realize the following fact.   The Film Director will spend most of his or her life in post production. The Shoot might be only 6 - 10 weeks while post production will often consume about 9 months after the film is finished. Peter Jackson spent just over  a year shooting the Lord of the Rings trilogy and then spent three years in Post Production. It is the attention to detail in Post Production that pays off. If time is spent on post production, this will dramatically make the difference between a  really good film and an average film. Let me clarify Post Production. Post Production includes the Picture Edit (today's subject) Colouring and Grading Visual Effects Titles Music Sound Postproduction Conforming formats such as DCP. The Film Director is involved with all of the above.

Booming and getting the very best location sound

On the film set, the film director only gathers the building blocks of  the film and of course it is very important to get the very best building blocks. However the edit and full post production is where the film is made. There is a gulf of difference between a really good edit and an average edit. In the former,  the film is dynamic and engaging. In the latter the film stinks and is considered a Turkey. However the edit is one area that is neglected in the short film arena. Many emerging film makers believe that the film is complete, once the shoot is over. The mindset is this .....  "Oh yes there is still a bit of editing and music to do but the film is now shot and it will only be a short time till the film is complete." The emerging film maker  then confronts reality. Post Production can suddenly feel like a never ending process. Picture Editing  is an art form that  only came into existence when  motion picture was invented back in the late 19th Century.  Before 1896, there were many fine actors who acted in theater  and there were many stories been told in different mediums. Photography had been around for a long time. Music had been around since the dawn of man. Motion Picture editing only started once we could shoot motion picture.  Therefore it is the purest season of film making. It exists totally out of the need to cut motion picture and create the illusion of a story. Editing up to the early 1990s was a cumbersome process. I remember my first films back in the late 80s. We used to edit on Steenbacks. We would literally chop the film with a small guillotine and splice it back together with splicing tape. Any visual effects would be chalked on the film print and sent off to an Optical House where the effects would be created. How times have changed for the better.  We now edit in the computer and anyone can do it from anywhere. I often edit on the airplane when I am on long flights. You will only know the difference great editing makes once  you start to make your own films. One of the areas we focus on in our film courses is Post Production. A large part of the course is dedicated to post production with 5 sessions spent finishing the film. Many emerging film makers find the shoot so exciting and fun. The adrenalin is running and once the film is shot, they then are

Course Production Filming on Set

confronted with post production which is insular and slow.  Suddenly there is only two people.  The Director and the Editor sitting in front of a computer actually making a film. Not so exciting for many people. To me personally, editing is one of the best parts of film making.  When one sits down to create magic and a memorable engaging story, the hours fly by.  I believe that if you want to be a Film Director it is important to love this season of film making. You have a choice as a Film Director.
  1. Learn editing and become an expert at editing and cutting your own short films and anyone else you can volunteer for. I  personally think that if you can learn to edit, it will pay off in the  long run.
  2. Find an experienced or up and coming editor and work closely with them on your films
How do you do this?  The first step is to enroll on a really good film course   Till next time , have a great one. Colm O’Murchu      Director * If you have not seen the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, please see it. It is a wonderful film that engages you from the beginning to the end. David Fincher  is at his best in this very engaging thriller set in Sweden

Story Generation and the Creative Process

January 11, 2012 by · Comments Off on Story Generation and the Creative Process 

 Post:  Driving in the Outback can be inspiring.

Praying for Inspiration

Valeska and I took off for about ten days and went to outback NSW and rambled from town to town, going with the flow and only moving when we felt like it. We did not see a drop of rain and loved  the constant blue skies. Before you ask, "How can you go to a part of the world that has temperatures hitting the 40C mark (105 F)", please let me explain. Well I did have a mission. I wanted to come up with a great story outline and treatment for our next screenplay.  I love the great open spaces of the outback and country New South Wales. Very inspiring. No tourists are crazy enough to go out here in the heat of summer and that is exactly why I love it. It feels like the real deal,  like a road movie. Our goal was to create an awesome story outline  and utilize the passing scenery and all the quirky cooky and very friendly characters we met on the way.

Ok our bomb does not look the best but it got us around

Idea after idea flowed and nothing seemed to gel. We would come up with one story outline after another and then trash them.  We could only find enough for B Grade film.  Story after story idea was tossed around and then trashed. Even  at Lightning Ridge where black opals are mined, we could not get a story outline that was a winner.  All the story ideas, we came up with in the first eight days of traveling just seemed to be a cliche and stale.  From Coonabarabran to Gundegai to  Lightening Ridge to Bourke to St George , we created only garbage. Our characters seemed to be just flat. Exasperated, I was about to give up on Day 8 and just enjoy the rest of our road trip, when it happened. We were approaching Moree when something on the radio sparked me off. Suddenly an amazing idea floated into my head. I got out my IPhone recorder and started flowing with a story that would prove to be so cool and original and dare I say it "Fresh"

Road going to the West

Valeska and I then started talking about the story and more flowed. Out of that amazing creative dimension called creativity,  scenes spouted out at a faster rate than we could record them. There was an excitement about this idea that was missing from all previous ideas. We were suddenly on fire. The next day we went back to the story and it still seemed like a really fresh story.  More ideas and more scenes appeared to us and we felt that sense of flow that happens when you hit oil. I reflected on inspiration and what happens when a story truly appears. Here are some of my thoughts:  I believe that finding a great story is like searching for gold. You have to shift a lot of dirt to get to gold but when it happens it's priceless. Then it's like striking oil. Ideas and scenes spew out at an alarming rate faster than you can process them.  To get to this point I believe  that you need to trash bad story outlines as soon as you know it. This saves you so much time and stress later.

A Beer always helps

Today I am knocking out a 20  page treatment of the story that will encapsulate the whole film from beginning to end. Then the story is submitted to my 3 week test. In other words, will the story be as strong at  the end of Janaury as it is now. If so, I will fully comit and move on to producing and developing the story as a  film. What is the movie called ,   "Hot Streak".   30% of the film takes place in California and the other 70% in Australian outback towns. Our lead character is American and most of the supports are Australian. Anyone interested in investing, get in early. If you are interested in creating a really cool story, look at our 4 month Film School in Sydney . The first two weeks is all about developing a story and writing a screenplay or please look at our Weekend Film Schools in Adelaide and Melbourne    Till next time, have a great one.   Colm O'Murchu

5 Reasons why I love the AFM in LA every year

December 1, 2011 by · Comments Off on 5 Reasons why I love the AFM in LA every year 

 I attended the AFM for the third time in November. I always find the AFM an inspiring event. The AFM stands for the American Film Market. It is where films are bought and sold by Sales Agents and Distributors from around the world. For example, Ron Howard visited selling his Formulae One film, RUSH.  The film business epicenter is Los Angeles and Hollywood and right in the heart of it is the AFM.  The AFM is one of the key events every year. Why do I enjoy the AFM so  much and why do I go year after year? Here are five reasons that I love going every year. 1 Relationships. Film making and financing requires key relationships to make films happen. The AFM has many people pitching their projects to Sales Agents and Distributors. This year, we made progress. We have now attracted a company in the US who will finance the Script Development and packaging of our $5 million dollar film "The Lima Connection."  set in Lima Peru and Mimi Florida With a film like this, we have to take an international approach attending the AFM 2 Seminars: Every morning there are very useful seminars on financing distribution and marketing films. Film Sales is in such a state of flux. With the internet changing the landscape of how films are presented and sold, the market is in a state of shift. At these seminars, one is educated in exactly what is happening. 3  Networking Drinks at the Lowes Hotel Every afternoon about 3PM,  the networking drinks start at Lowes Hotel. This is where everyone meets and greets each other. There is a mixture of Sales Agents, Actors, Film Makers and Distributors. You never know who you are going to meet. The Goal is always to find mutually beneficial relationships. One of the ironies of the networking drinks is that nobody drinks much. Most people do not drink at all. Yes drinks are expensive but the main reason, none of us drink is that we want to stay sharp. Nothing looks worst than a tipsy person trying to network. For me, these networking drinks led to meeting some key people who I will form alliances with in the future. 4  Parties After  the networking drinks, the major players and stars often throw parties. Getting invited is the trick. But every night there is a different party. Once again, this all works back to reason number one. Relationships. It is who you know that helps you finance your films. The more key relationships you build , the better. I attended a fun party in the Hollywood Hills where there were many people you see in papers all the time. I also attended another very good film industry party in Venice beach. Even with Door Security, this party was packed. Still great fun . Once again, this is where you meet people who in the future , may end up as a key alliance in the financing of a future film. Once again stay sober and sharp, if you want to get the maximum benefit from the parties. Also you want to be in great shape for the Seminar next morning at 9am.  Another cool party was where Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, The Fly) was playing in his band. 5 Deals and Meetings Meetings happen at all the cafes and restaurants all over Santa Monica. I had one of my main meetings at my favourite Hollywood Hotel called the Roosevelt Hotel. Yes in the end it is all about signing contracts and financing future projects. I very much enjoyed signing our contract for The Lima Connection at the Polo Bar in Beverly Hills Hotel. Jennifer Anniston was sitting at the power table near-by which added a very Hollywood feel.  This is what it is all about. Relationships that lead to your next project getting made and distributed widely worldwide. Summary: Yes it was a great 10 Days in the epicenter of the film business. I find the time there is inspiring and up-lifting. Should you go? Once you are developing feature film projects, I think you will find the international relationships you develop will be of great benefit to you. With two feature film projects in development, the American Film Market is a week where I make major progress and also check closely on how my past films are selling. In the end it is still all about making films. Since I have being back in Sydney Australia, I have been working with a very cool film called "Repressed "as a DOP. I am also gearing up to shoot my next feature film in May 2012. If you would like to learn how to make your own films, the first step is to attend a great film course. it is part of my inspiration to teach other people how to produce an direct their own films.  As we say at International Film Base, we want toe create the Film Director Stars of tomorrow. I am  presenting my  Weekend Film School  <> in Sydney Australia this weekend on December 10th and 11th. This is one of the last times I will present as next year , I will delegate the film teaching to other Film Instructors Also we have our One Week Film Directors School <>  at the Gold Coast . This is a 100% Hands on Film School where you learn to make a film by actually making a film. Please leave comments as I always like to hear from you. Till next time have a great one.                     Colm O'Murchu   Director International Film Base

Make a living in the Film Industry – 5 Different Ways

July 21, 2011 by · Comments Off on Make a living in the Film Industry – 5 Different Ways 

As someone who has made his sole source of income from the Film World since 1997, I would like to outline the different ways to make a living from Film Making over the next few weeks. Film Making is very much a lifestyle choice. Most people work in Film because they love it. I can tell you that is the same for me. Today I pick my jobs and I do only well paid directing gigs such as "Dealing with Destiny" . I also like to DOP on other peoples films and often do consultancies for projects and of course I make my own passion films. I love the travel to different countries and film making has given me the opportunity to travel with my job. Next month, I am off to Qatar, France, Ireland and London where I will present our first weekend film seminar in the UK. In November, I am off to Los Angeles and Mexico. LA beckons every November as I always attend the wonderful American Film Market in Santa Monica. Since 1997, I have worked in crew roles on other peoples film sets. I have worked shooting behind the scenes footage for many different movies. I use to shoot corporates and I still shoot Music videos as I love them. My golden rule is that I never do jobs that I do not want to do, heart and soul.
Shooting on one of our Film Productions Dealing with Destiny
Since 1997, film has been my absolute source of income. Some years have been big earners and others have been quiet. The best year turnover has been close on $400,000 when films have sold well and the worst has been $80,000 when I first started. I know I have not become rich financially, however the lifestyle has made up for the lack of money. Doing what you love and been around exciting creative people who love their job certainly keeps you young. Also it is certainly more money than most people earn in jobs, they do not like. I see the future as very exciting in the film world with the Internet now converging with Television. Many star film makers will have their own channel where they actually build wealth directly in the future. Even YouTube is now moving into movie areas. Building your audience slowly over many years is a tremendous investment in your future. If you start now, over a ten year period you could build up an audience of close to 50,000 subscribers. How do I know this? Well knowning nothing and learning how to do it over the last two years, I have built a subscriber list of 3500 people and that is only in Australia. With our expansion overseas and the start of our online film school, we are expecting to attract many more subscribers. Now that we know how to attract an audience, we expect to build about 10,000 new subscribers per year. Twitter now also allows you to get your message to hundreds of thousands and not to mention fan pages on Facebook. Yes it is a very exciting new world for the up and coming film maker and the earlier you start to build an audience, the better. If you have 50,000 subscribers and 10,000 buy a copy of your film at $15, that equates to $150,000 before you even make money from your film release and the Film Market. You can learn more about this area on our 2011 Film Courses or by visiting our prime website International Film Base For the next few weeks I would like to go through the best ways and clarify the paths that earn money and how you could go about breaking into them. For this week I would like to list them off and in next weeks post go into more detail about each area
  1. Independent Film Production Micro Budget - Low Budget Feature Films (100k - 5 Million Dollar Budgets)
  2. Freelance DOP and Editor Work on other peoples short films and feature films
  3. Music Videos Corporates and Commercial Film Making
  4. Crew Work on mainstream Film Shoots for TV & Feature FIlm
  5. Working for Film Distributors and Government Industry.
  6. Mega Directing, Screenwriting or Producing on the big budget Hollywood films.
Colm O'Murchu
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