Film Crash Series Reboots With NYC Event

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[reblogged from Renegade Cinema]

In one of the biggest festival reboots in the history of independent cinema, the Film Crash Series is returning to the indie film scene with an all new screening event to take place in Brooklyn, New York in September. Reworked as an annual film festival that will showcase original and unusual films, the programming staff will select one feature and five shorts, to screen in one evening. In addition to participating in an incredible networking opportunity, awards and prizes will be presented to select filmmakers, recognizing achievements in feature film directing, short film production, student and new media projects.

Past Tix

Founded by filmmakers Matt Harrison, Scott Saunders and Karl Nussbaum, the series was born out of the creative tempest of Manhattan’s East Village and Lower East Side during the Roaring 80′s and early 90′s. Known for creating a vibrant gathering place for a forever burgeoning independent film community, Film Crash grew and eventually broke free of its downtown roots and the event ventured abroad. Returning to NYC after many years on hiatus, I am looking forward to seeing the series shake up the indie film community as it did when it originally launched.

Filmmakers still have an opportunity to get in on the action. For submission and deadline information, please visit:  www.filmfreeway.com/festival/FilmCrash

Filmmakers and film buffs far and wide should check out Film Crash on Facebook: www.facebook.com/filmcrashfestival

[reblogged from Renegade Cinema]

 

 

Seed & Spark | Following Up

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[Reblogged from Renegade Cinema]

It’s been 30 days since I launched my Seed & Spark campaign to raise fundingfor the post-production phase of my feature indie film The Spaceshipand as promised, here is my follow up review of the service.

The funding campaign didn’t make the required 80% minimum it needed to receive a green light and I’ll talk about this in a moment. First, I just want to give the people over at Seed & Spark props for the service and their killer efforts to make this campaign a success. They really went above and beyond the call of duty to help me get the word out.  They were actively tweeting, re-tweeting, favoring tweets and FB likes – and a few staffers even pledged (try getting a Kickstarter staffer to pledge – it won’t happen).  In the campaign’s second week, they elected my campaign to be featured as a “Staff Pick” which was incredibly generous and helped us gain some traction… Read the entire article at Renegade Cinema…

[Reblogged from Renegade Cinema]

Gift – Singapore Drama Short Film

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I have come across a wonderfully inspiring short film about giving and wealth. My personal ideal that money isn’t meant to be hoarded is something I’ve struggled to get across some of the wealthier folks in my social circles but unfortunately few agree. I was floored when I saw this film. It hits home the message and solidifies my ideals and it’s all around good filmmaking. This gem comes to us from some incredibly talented filmmakers from Singapore.

URL: http://youtu.be/1DUYlHZsZfc

Seed & Spark | My First Observations

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I have a Seed & Spark campaign going on right now, which is lacking. Would love and appreciate anyone who can help me get the URL out to as many people as possible. As you all know, crowd sourcing art is a numbers game. Here is the URL: Visit & distribute the Seed & Spark URL: http://www.seedandspark.com/studio/spaceship

Below is an article I wrote for Renegade Cinema on why I chose Seed & Spark over other platforms.

-Eric

FACEBOOK     |     TWITTER

[Reblogged from Renegade Cinema]

I found out about the new website Seed & Spark from Sundance award winning filmmaker Matt Harrison, who suggested I check it out after I informed him that my work in progress sci-fi movie The Spaceship was currently on hiatus. I was skeptical at first, because I had previously tried all of the other crowd funding platforms and it has never worked out. Kickstarter? Forget it, unless you have a celebrity attached or serious PR people involved, this under connected filmmaker isn’t flying. When I met the founders of the now defunct website Passerby, they went as far as to feature an interview with me on their blog to help promote the funding campaign I launched with them. No dice. Good people but it wasn’t happening. It’s been well over a year and a half since then and they’ve gone under. IndieGoGo helped us out a bit, bringing us just under four thousand dollars to help pay off some of the bills from principal photography. But still, we never even came close to a quarter of what we needed to see the production home.

When I signed up and began plowing through the content on Seed & Spark, I was immediately floored by just how dedicated to the cause these folks are, they truly love indie film. Even their promotional video, which is featured on their main page, choked me up. For the first time, I feel like I found an organization whose mission is the same as mine: to strengthen the independent film community and ensure a future for the few of us that are willing to dedicate our lives to making films. I reached out to them and began working on my campaign, to see if maybe we could try something a little different – if the platform and the audience is influential in the final results. They’ve been incredibly helpful and hands on in the process of building up the campaign before it went live. Their staffers even went as far as to ask me to redo my pitch video – which I LOVED. It’s clear that they know what will work, what won’t and that they truly have my back in this. It is safe to assume that they’ve been this detail oriented with everyone who has submitted a project for funding and I do hope that this aspect of their service doesn’t go away. Treating the filmmaker as your client, in concept, is so unique and important to making these kinds of things work and I’m surprised no other platform has gone as far as these guys have in this regard.

… read more here.

Visit & distribute the Seed & Spark URL: http://www.seedandspark.com/studio/spaceship

[Reblogged from Renegade Cinema]

Sarah Jones & The Future of Film

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[Reblogged from Renegade Cinema]

There has been an enormous amount of industry press regarding the death of 27 year old Atlanta based Assistant Camera Technician Sarah Jones. Jones was killed in a train accident while working on the set of the feature filmMidnight Rider. Directed by Randall Miller and starring William Hurt, Wyatt Russell and Eliza Dushku, the film was in production in Georgia, but has been suspended until further notice.

According to sources, the crew was setting up to film a dream sequence that involved placing a bed on a set of live railroad tracks. Jones was killed and several others injured when a locomotive came through, destroying the bed and sending debris flying about the area. As a result of this absolutely unnecessary situation, work ethic and safety discussions have popped up left and right. Both union crew and non-union freelancers are pissed off beyond all possible recognition. As they should be. If you didn’t think crew and producers got along before, the teetering relationship between these two sectors are worse than ever. As this incident could be the start of rules and regulations and incredibly strict laws that affect the Future of Film and the ability of future filmmakers to create their works, it’s time for me to chime in.

…read more at Renegade Cinema

[Reblogged from Renegade Cinema

Seed & Spark | The Spaceship

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[Reblogged from The Spaceship Production Diary in its entirety]

Hey everybody,

We’ve launched a campaign to raise finishing resources through the website Seed & Spark. Please help us by contributing and just as improtant, spreading the word about our film and funding efforts. We’ve found the people for a Seed & Spark incredibly helpful and delightful to collaborate with and some of our peers have really jumped on board to get the word out. I hope you join us too!

-Eric

https://www.seedandspark.com/studio/spaceship

[Reblogged from The Spaceship Production Diary in its entirety]

Good Morning…

Eric Norcross filming The Long Island Project in Syosset, New York
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I just spent the past four hours walking around a very empty and extremely frigid lower Manhattan. The financial district between the hours of 1am and 4am is my favorite time to be strolling about NYC. In these hours I feel like the city belongs to me. All these skyscrapers, subway infrastructure and everything that goes with is there for me and only me. I can hear and see things that I might not pick up when the hustle and bustle begins around 6am. There’s a Chase Bank in relative close proximity to the Bowling Green where the door lock grinds loudly and the card reader consistently beeps – clearly these two security mechanisms are malfunctioning. This Chase branch has been this way for several years now. This is part of what I know of MY New York. It was broken when I was 29 and it’s still broken – even tonight, while I’m 32.

I thought a lot about my time here tonight – my entire time since I moved to this town on that fateful Labor Day weekend in 2003. Fresh from Maine, without a dime in my bank account – like most major decisions in my life, I didn’t take the financial aspects into consideration. If I had, I wouldn’t be here. Somehow, someway, it all has worked out in one way or another. You see, I moved here with the promise to myself that no matter how hard, complicated or crazy it got – I wouldn’t regret anything I did while I lived here and I wouldn’t let any kind of fear dictate my decision making. RISK IS KEY. Being an independent filmmaker in New York City has always seemed like such a special thing and IT IS. It’s not easy and you’re not guaranteed ANYTHING. Too few people ever have or ever will understand why it’s so important. It’s just that this is something that some of us HAVE to do. It’s the mother fucker at the top of a bucket list chock full of impossible shit and holy shit! I’ve made some films! I’ve screened some films! I’ve helped filmmakers get their films going, inspired other filmmakers, volunteered in service to the indie film community and encountered the kinds of people I never thought I’d mix up with. I did it all in NYC! I did it all as a New Yorker! As a New Yorker, I’ve lived in four of the five boroughs, in some of the wealthiest and poorest neighborhoods and for all of it I am grateful.

I’ve worked with some of the most kick ass people and some of sleaziest individuals on the planet. I’ve interviewed senators, assemblymen, district attorneys, heads of state and even convinced a sitting congressman to improvise a cameo for one of my old no budget movie projects. This guy, he was hot shit, the Illinois congressman that went after Clinton for the Lewinsky thing. Henry J. Hyde. Can you believe that? For all these years I forgot about this and it just hit me tonight – WOW! I’ve had commercials go to air here, in Long Island, Connecticut, upstate as far as Rochester! I’ve never even been to Rochester! On top of that, video spots I’ve directed have appeared on those small screens in the back of the NYC taxi cabs. That’s so weird but cool and to put this into perspective of where I came from, just a few years ago… WOW!

I lost all this for the past year or so because, well, I’ve been pre-occupied. It’s this monster project, THE SPACESHIP. You see, it has driven me batshit crazy. Some of you close to the project know first hand that “batshit crazy” is the understatement of the year. This bastard is as big as my move to NYC. It has all the same risks and cockups and doesn’t guarantee much of anything, at least not for me as a writer or director. But that’s okay. It’s one hell of a project and unlike everything that came before, I’ve really stuck to my guns on so many aspects of it: technical, aesthetic and approach. I’ve lost a lot of trust, friendships and credibility as a result of how this project has been handled so far and that’s okay too. You see, all these inconveniences, pains and emotions are a distraction. They’re meant to be, a distraction, created by fear and none of it really does anyone any good. These fears won’t exist when this is all over because all that will matter in the end is the final result – the finished film. Few will remember any of the cockups, the late checks and the hard days and those that pine over it or base their future professional decisions based on their experience with this project and with me should rethink what they’re doing with their lives.

I have little pride – I don’t much care for it. I find it hysterical actually. I am especially amused when someone claims to be proud of something they have no control over, like their heritage or something. But I do recognize something about me that I am proud of, a couple things actually. The first is that I’m proud that I’ve stuck it out in NYC as long as I have. It has been an “against all odds” kind of thing. This past September was my ten year anniversary and although I didn’t get to celebrate it in style like I was hoping, none of it was lost upon me. The second is that I have never, ever, chosen a project, either client or personal, based on its monetary value (to me). My dedication to a project has never been commensurate to the capacity of a paycheck, even in the worst of times. Maybe that’s why I ended up moving around so much or maybe that’s why my client work is so eclectic. Who knows. Maybe it’s more than that or maybe it has nothing to do with anything. All I can say is that as hard as it has been, I don’t regret a single day of it. It’s like that broken security lock on the Chase Bank – it isn’t perfect, but it’s part of the experience I was after when I made the decision to come here.

It’s approaching 5:30am so I guess I should be getting some sleep now.

-E

The Case For: Rhythm Thief

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Far-Rockaway-650x400A new installment of my column “The Case For”, in which I make my case for why certain films deserve better treatment when released to home video, is live on Renegade Cinema.  This week I make my case for the 90’s indie classic RHYTHM THIEF.

This is indubitably one of the most obvious choices for a Criterion pick-up thus far. Rhythm Thief is a Sundance winning filmby Matthew Harrison (dir.Kicked In The Head, Spare Me, My Little Hollywood). The film is one of the many gems discovered in the 1990′s and helped launch the careers of both the filmmaker and his actors. A study of the NYC underground filmmaking community, Harrison’s 1994 gritty masterpiece is overdue for a serious and well thought out reissue. 

[read more at Renegade Cinema]

 

Essential: #10 – El Mariachi (1992)

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El MariachiRobert Rodriguez‘s debut feature film EL MARIACHI made the first installment of our top ten essentials list because it’s a wonderful example for any indie or student filmmaker on how to maximize your resources and use what you have.  In an age where every other indie filmmaker is saving pennies to purchase (or rent) the latest jib, steadying arm or dolly/slider gear, Rodriguez gave us all the results and more… and didn’t have any of that fluff.  In fact, he made it on 16mm film for a mere $7,000 which is so low budget that had he not had to pay for the film and processing costs, he insists the film could have cost as low as $600 to make. He recorded all of the film’s dialog on a consumer grade cassette recorder. On top of that, the DVD release of El Mariachi includes a valuable special feature called 10 MINUTE FILM SCHOOL in which Rodriguez breaks down how he was able to pull off making this movie with so little money.

The movie is also exemplary as an example of filmmaker dedication and being able to think outside of the box. Rodriguez literally sold himself to government experimentation to raise money to make this feature, subjecting himself to the whims of laboratory as a human test subject.  He assembled the movie using basic home video dubbing technology and later on re-cut the film and the negative when he had been able to raise more money.  Most filmmakers don’t and would never operate this way. This demonstrates dedication at the highest level and burn to succeed that so few seem to have. It’s also a great example of how thinking small can actually pan out for the better. Rodriguez originally produced the film with the intent of going straight to video in the Latin America video market and ended up premiering at Sundance along with Reservoir Dogs, thus launching one hell of a career and a kick-ass professional relationship that has spawned films such as From Dusk Till Dawn, Four Rooms and the Grindhouse Anthology.

El Mariachi is a must study and be sure to check out all the special features that come with the Special Edition DVD.

Film Location Spotlight: Nevada

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nevada2In a new monthly series for Film Anthropology, we’ll be highlighting new and interesting filming locations that we feel are worthwhile for every filmmaker to consider.  This series is specifically geared towards low/no budget indie filmmakers to promote the use of unique filming locations at little to no cost (not including transportation to the locale, obviously). Unique and photogenic locations are essential to increasing the value of a film and this month we’re highlighting the natural scenery offered in the State of Nevada – as Nevada offers one of the most kick-ass backdrops America has to offer.

Some plus sides to filming in the State of Nevada is that registering your project with the film office is free.  From the film office website:

Nevada law says you must register your production with the Nevada Film Office (NFO). It’s free and saves you guesswork, time and effort. Go to nevadafilm.com and select “Register Your Project.

nevada1They go on to add that many Nevada county and city permits are free, although fees for wilderness and recreation areas, state parks and similar locations are based on the size of the crew, number of vehicles, type of use intended, expected impact and other variables.  As long as you’re a low key indie filmmaker, as we suspect many of our readers are, it looks like filming in Nevada is a walk in the park, figuratively but also literally.  Some of the locales that can be found on the film office’s website, in their location database section, are astounding both in picture and description. The Jean Dry Lake Bed is dry, vast and breathtaking – and for the sci-fi aficionados out there, this location may be a good stand-in should you be in the 99.9 percent of us who can’t get access to Area 51. Moving on, a remarkable ghost town called Rhyolite is good for any horror/creep-a-delic or post-apocalyptic escapade and guided tours are offered for those interested in its true history as a mining community.

LAS VEGAS

img: wikipediaAside from individual permitting within various cities and federal property, the only hiccup some filmmakers may run into when filming in Nevada is filming on the streets of Las Vegas, especially when it comes to the extremely photogenic and famous Las Vegas Strip. Most of the sidewalks border the properties of the various hotel/casinos and their security can be a bit nit-picky about filming without the consent of the business.  From what we hear from our pals out west, the security out there is serious and th cops will indeed shut you down if you don’t have permission from the business you’re filming in front of.  Because of this, we at Film Anthropology vouch for the countryside, the desert and mountains but not so much the cities. Our goal is to promote open and free to use public locations. Want a city? Hang in there, we have plenty to recommend in future articles.  For now though, the natural scenery Nevada has to offer is so immaculate that it’s worthy of being our location of the month for September 2013.

For more information on film permits call the Nevada Film Office toll free at 877-NEV-FILM (877-638-3456) and at 702-486-2711

Official Site: Nevada Film Office

Direct URL: http://www.nevadafilm.com/