Tag Archives | Filmmaking

$500 YouTube Short Gets Unknown Filmmaker $30 Million from Hollywood

Hard to believe this only cost $500. Amazing. Posted on News Lite:
An unknown filmmaker from Uruguay has been given $30m by Hollywood studio bosses — to turn his $500 YouTube video of a giant robot invasion into a movie Would-be director Federico Alvarez, who runs a post-production visual effects house in Uruguay, filmed 'Panic Attack' with a budget of just $500 in his free time. The five minute clip — which he then uploaded to YouTube — shows an invasion of Montevideo by giant robots and had special effects which could rival many big budget movies. Once online it got the attention of thousands of movie fans… and (not surprisingly) studio bosses who wanted to meet with Alvarez to talk about his movie. The 30-year-old was whisked to LA where he was offered a $1 million directors fee and up to £30 million to make the film, by Mandate Pictures. The plans for the movie are said to have a "compelling original story" beyond big robots blowing stuff up. Alvarez has also been put up in a new apartment, given a new car and will work with Spider-Man director Sam Raimi on developing the film. (Read More: News Lite)
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Think Outside The Box Office

We don't often review books on the Disinformation site, partly because we're publishers ourselves and it might seem as though we have a competitive conflict of interest, but probably more because all our reading time is taken up with submissions, editing, and so forth. I have to make an exception for a book that arrived in the mail this morning: Jon Reiss' Think Outside The Box Office: The Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution and Marketing for the Digital Era. It's no secret that indie film has gone through an amazing period of growth for any number of reasons, not least access to cheap but high quality cameras and computers/editing systems. The way we watch indie film has changed drastically too, from art house cinemas to DVDs that arrive in the mail or from a kiosk in a supermarket, on demand via your cable or satellite TV provider, or online via iTunes, Netflix, Amazon.com or, gasp, Bit Torrent. When Disinformation entered the home video market in 2003 it was perfect timing (accidental, proving the old maxim, better to be lucky than smart) and we rode the wave of documentary films selling in big numbers on DVD. Now that the retail DVD market is dying we're finding new ways to bring our films to their intended niche audiences, and that's exactly what Jon's book is all about. What worked yesterday is failing today and won't work at all tomorrow. The only hesitation I have in recommending this book to every single independent filmmaker today is that armed with the information in this book, a filmmaker is potentially equipped to bypass distributors like Disinformation completely! But, in the spirit of 'information should be free,' go to Reiss' book site...
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Is This The End Of The Line For The Impartial Documentary?

It’s amazing that at least six years into the golden era of advocacy documentary filmmaking, a major newspaper with a thriving arts and culture section should feel the need to ask this question, but apparently there are some journalists and filmmakers who think any documentary film that does not try to be ‘objective’ somehow fails to deserve to even be categorized as ‘documentary.’

As the distributor of over fifty documentary films (can you believe that?!? Disinformation has been busy since our first DVD release in 2004…), here at The Disinformation Company we feel that the advocacy films we release are disseminating information and opinion to counter the mainstream and establishment views on the issues at hand (usually our filmmakers are reacting against a government or corporate whitewash). The advent of cheap video cameras and editing software has made it possible for some very bad docs to be made (believe me, we see a lot of them), but they’re still documentaries.… Read the rest

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