Film St. Louis has (nearly) monthly gatherings regarding filmmaking, whether it is a meeting about an aspect of filmmaking, pre-production, a tour of a studio, or seeing a film and creating them.
Bad Dog Studios Tour
Avatar Studios – Tour
Wednesday, April 6: 6:30pm-9pm
2-Day Cine School
“How To Create a Hollywood Look on Any Budget”
Thursday, March 17 – Friday, March 18 (info and RSVP here)
Thursday, March 3: 6pm-9pm (info and RSVP here)
Smith Lee Productions
Wednesday, February 17: 6-9pm (info and RSVP here)
Happy Hour Meet & Greet at Peacock Diner
by Kriss Avery
“This one has about 92 audio tracks…” explained Chief Engineer Justin Fisher as he scrolled through layers of urban industrial sound effects. He muted the VO narration so we could better hear the soundscape he had created for a commercial spot (animated by C3 in Chicago for the Environmental Defense Fund).
Justin played other demos including full soundtracks for John Deere’s “Linked to the Land” special exhibit and the feature documentary about the 2011 Joplin tornado, “Deadline In Disaster” (music composed by Sandra Levy Smith), which won a 2013 regional Emmy.
The dozen attendees were taken on a tour of the 2-story Smith-Lee facility. Adjacent to Control A, Studio 2 was in the process of being renovated. This generated a lively discussion on acoustics and different ways to treat sound recording rooms: diffusion, bass traps, standing waves. Justin estimated SmithLee time is split 50/50 between corporate commercials and music production. Services and photos of the facility can be found online at: www.smithlee.com and www.smithleestudios.com
Some of us adjourned to Tiffany’s Diner down the street for some follow-up networking.
MX Movies Theatre tour
by Ashley Westbrook
Film St. Louis hosted “Wanna See Your Film on the Big Screen?!” on Jan. 29 at the MX Movies in downtown St. Louis. Charming directors, eager writers, and film enthusiasts were all in attendance waiting to share and learn vital film tips and guides for their future endeavors.
At 7PM nearly 20 attendees mingled over freshly-popped popcorn getting ready for the night’s events. As everyone settled, the group’s discussion ranged from movie theatre politics, how to get theatres to screen independent films, and St. Louis film makers formatting their script from the computer screen to the big screen.
Chris Bruemmer, the general manager at MX Movies, offered essential advice to those in the film industry. Bruemmer gave a tour of the 3-screened theatre showing guest the difference in screen size, seating, and the principles behind filling those seats with movie-goers.
Future events will be held by Film St. Louis such as “SmithLee Productions – Audio Tour” and “Sight & Sound Productions – Production Tour” which will be hosted in February and April.
St. Louis International Film Festival: Closing Night Party
If you made it to any of the film screenings during the Film Festival, this was a great way to cap off the 11-day event.
Local, national and international filmmakers, as well as fans and supporters of film gathered at the Contemporary Art Museum for the closing night party and awards ceremony.
Complimentary Stella Artois and Skinnygirl Wine were served, DJ Rob Levy provided music, and SLIFF announced the audience-choice and juried-competition awards.
St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase
There were many screenings during this week of the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase. Please check out the Cinema St. Louis website for details.
Below are the shows and dates that were Film St. Louis events:
All of the screenings were at the Tivoli Theatre (6350 Delmar Blvd). The Closing Night Party was at the Blueberry Hill Duck Room (6504 Delmar Blvd).
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Café Ventana – Annex
Money Money Money!!
Money and how to get it was the topic of our March Gathering of Film St. Louis.
Todd Matheny, Attorney, value-investor, aspiring programmer, guitarist, entrepreneur, film-fan, founder & CEO of Passerby was our guest speaker tonight.
Passerby (www.passer.by) is a St. Louis-based, film-only Crowdfunding site.
Todd shared with us the insights of the potential of being able to get investors through crowdfunding in the near future. Keep an eye on the “Jobs Act,” as that may have a profound impact on how we, as filmmakers, get investors in the future.
As it currently stands, crowdfunding is all about donations, rewarding your donors (or “donators” to borrow a phrase) with recognition or gifts, and working your networks.
One of the things that I took away from this meeting was that crowdfunding is a lot of work! You need to have a plan going in. Plan on working with other people, whether it is people who are in your film and working on your film, or people who know the people you know, the further outside your immediate circle of people you can reach, the better.
You also want to make sure your campaign is Quality – from your video (which is a sample to donors of what you are capable of creating) to your writing (for those donors who skip the video completely) you want to make your appeal creative, professional, personal, and good. You are asking people to believe in your project. Your campaign should show them that you care enough to believe in your own project and are willing to put some effort into putting it together.
Communication is also key. Keep your donors in the loop. Let them know how the project is going, make them feel that they are a part of the project, that they are getting the inside scoop. This sense of ‘ownership’ will help you in the long run, as the donors will then also become your advocates and will help to talk your project up once it is complete.
One of the things that separates Passerby from other crowdfunding sites is its flexibility. Other sites make you meet your goal or lose all the money. Another will let you keep the money if you only get a portion of your goal. Passerby offers both options. Also, Passerby lets you choose the amount of fee that goes to the site – meet your goal, pay what you choose!
As filmmakers, we are all in the same boat trying to get the funds to do what we love: Create! As a filmmaking community, let’s help each other as much as we can. If you see a fellow filmmaker on Passerby, let’s donate to their project if possible. If not possible, let’s help out by spreading the word – post on Facebook or Twitter the link to the campaign and help each other. You never know who you know who might take an interest in a project. Let’s build each other up, and grow the filmmaking community here in the Midwest!!
Our host was Lumivid, a full production studio and post house in Chesterfield Valley. These guys hosted us right, with tours, snacks, beverages, and a special appearance by Michael Jackson. We set the bar high starting off 2013, and hope to keep the momentum.