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YOU JUST HAVE TO BEGIN

Celles et Ceux des Cimes et Cieux from Gwenn GERMAIN on Vimeo.


I came across this early in the morning and it got me thinking. Celles et Ceux des Cimes et Cieux is a short student film by Gwenn Germain. Studying at the French school Créapole, Germain lit the Japanese internet on fire last month with this release. Taking her inspiration from Hayao Miyazaki, Moebius and Syd Mead, it is easy to understand why. The short appears to be a trailer for an as yet to made feature film. It seems there is already quite a bit of hope out there that this project will grow into something bigger.

Germain herself said of this film that it was, "5 months of intensive production all alone in my cabin" and the final project for her five years of studying at Créapole in France. If there ever was an example that you just have to do it, this is it. If you have a dream of seeing your own ideas go across the screen, there's nothing stopping you from making them come true. As seen by this short film, which already has people all over the world hungry to see an entire feature made, you just have to begin!

Think about it. From this starting point, she could easily attract funding from a wide variety of sources, even major studios. She could also, however, parlay this into a Kickstarter or other crowd funding campaign that would likely be extremely successful. She could sign up for Patreon, a different model for supporting artistic endeavors and do a series of shorts to continue her story, with people pumping money is as she goes. I suspect any road she takes will lead to success.

If you are looking to make your own splash on the internet. DO something. Begin today. If you're not sure where to start, all of my training, including my 2D animation courses, are on sale right now. There's nothing standing in your way. You can get started on your dreams right now.
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INDIE DONE RIGHT!



There is a saying that goes something along the lines of ‘be so good they can’t ignore you’. This is an indie film that exemplifies that saying. Normally, this is the kind of independent content I would try my best to avoid on sites like Youtube or Vimeo. From the beginning, though, The Rieth Brothers, who created this work, did everything right. Their poster frame, which shows a guy standing in front of a corn (or was it wheat?) field, which in and of itself is just an amazing image, raises so many questions. I just had to watch it.

Like most supposedly artistic indie films, this movie has no dialogue. Very much unlike so many other pieces of indie content around, however, this movie exudes professional quality from the very beginning. It looks, at the very least, as good as mainstream television content, and artistically, in many places, stands above the majority of mainstream films. This does not look like some friends playing around with a DV camera.

As the film progresses, it can be a bit slow at times. It can also be hard to follow. There were a couple of places where I considered giving up. The imagery, however, just gets more and more beautiful and the directors raise questions at the right moments which make the viewer HAVE to see what will happen next. I have to admit that were it not so well shot and so astoundingly beautiful, I likely would have clicked it off.

This is by no means meant to advocate all style over substance. Even the best VFX reels can only hold my attention for a couple of minutes. This film shows why you need the right mix of both. Were the exact same story to be poorly shot and cheap looking, it would not have worked. Visuals of this quality without a good story would also not have worked. Too many films are either one or the other. Hollywood films are often visually impressive with nothing to back it up, while indie films are too often good ideas held down by cheap visuals and poor acting.

If you want to capture an audience, or ‘be so good they can’t ignore you’, take a note from The Rieth Brothers. Back up your good ideas with good production values and visual artistry. Your audience will beat a path to your door.
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NOT COMPLETELY OUT

I wrote some time ago about Studio Ghibli closing the doors of its animation department shortly after the retirement of Hayao Miyazaki. Apparently, the studio was said to be focusing only on managing IP and keeping the Miyazaki museum open. However, it seems they are not completely out of the picture.

Studio Ghibli produces The Red Turtle

It seems the studio will be co-producing an animated feature film by Oscar winning director Michaël Dudok de Wit. The film will revolve around a man who survives a shipwreck only to find himself stranded on a desert island. His attempts to escape his fate are thwarted by a giant red turtle.

The film is also produced by the Paris based film sales group Wild Bunch. Their chief, Vincent Maraval, visited Studio Ghibli some years ago, before Miyazaki made his exit. While there, Miyazaki showed him the Oscar winning short film Father and Daughter, by Michaël Dudok de Wit, and said, “I want you to find the director for me. If one day Studio Ghibli decides to produce an animator from outside the studio, it will be him.”

Maraval tracked down Dukok de Wit who apparently had little interest in doing an animated feature, until he heard that Studio Ghibli wanted to be involved. Imagine doing work that attracts the attention of one of the greatest names in animation history. You never know who your work will reach or who it will touch. Even a short film can have incredible reach and value. Don’t underestimate the power of any art you create. Don’t worry about getting a million views. It only takes one viewer to change everything.

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FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS

Marvel Characters


Two years ago, today, Marvel got the rights back to some of their popular characters. In this case, Blade, Punisher and Ghost Rider. They were in no particular hurry to make new movies with these characters, however, largely because of the lackluster success of the previous outings involving them. Why were these previous films so lackluster? Everything Marvel puts their hand to is gold, most proven by their $1.5 billion grossing Avengers. The problem is that they didn’t put their hand to those previous films,

Before Marvel Studios existed, beginning with the creation of their first truly independent film Iron Man, they license their popular characters out to the major Hollywood studios in the hopes to bring them to the big screen. Aside from the three characters mentioned above, this also includes The X-Men and Spider-Man. Those studios didn’t always do things the way Marvel would like. The fans weren’t always happy either. Now that Marvel has a single unified world for all their film properties to exist in, the absence of their character for which they have not recovered the rights is very noticeable.

As you create your own indie properties, and success begins to find you as they take off, there is a temptation that will come to you. Larger outfits, possibly even a major Hollywood studio, will come calling wanting to make use of your characters or stories in their films. There is almost no version of this where you win, keeping control of the product and getting the financial return you deserve should they become a huge success. In fact, more often than not, you lose completely, and they take your stuff. This story has happened over and over to creator after creator.

As your own indie creations grow, fight off the temptations. Do what Marvel is doing now. Do it all yourself!

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INDIES HAVE A VOICE

The Adventures of Jamel — Episode 1: "Connecticut" from The Adventures of Jamel on Vimeo.



The internet has truly changed everything. Technology in general had changed everything and, because of this, Indies have a voice. One example of this is The Adventures of Jamel: Time Traveling B-Boy. This is an independently produced comedy series premiering on Vimeo. That in and of itself is a huge part of this revolution. Thanks to sites like Vimeo, Youtube and a few others, indies have palace to premiere their work. Of course, they can even do so on their own website with the tools available to today. That, however, is only one piece of the puzzle.

Back in the original Anigen series, I began to talk about cameras. Since this show is live action, this bears some discussion. An indie can get an HD camera, that shoots 24 FPS, similar to film, and that delivers a professional film look, for under $1000 USD. Depending on your production budget, you can go higher and higher, but even the top of the line cameras available now cost less than 10% what it used to in order to shoot at a quality equal to a major motion picture. The indie can own the means of production.

On a simple laptop, an indie can have the post production, editing and visual FX tools previously reserved for multi-million dollar Hollywood studios. There is nothing stopping an indie from creating a show that is in every way competitive with works on major Tv channels or in cinemas. It is happening right now. It is already being done.

The final aspect is getting it out there. Well, how did I find out about this show? Sharing! This is the greatest weapon in the indie arsenal. People who use sites like Vimeo can link to their own social networking circles and get their followers to link it to theirs. People can spread the word with a click of a button, a button that will put the entire show right in front of new viewers. Word of mouth alone has made immense successes of some indie short films and series. The key is patience and persistence. Very few indie productions go viral overnight. The true creator must be prepared to build their audience over time, even if it is years. They must not give up, as I have seen many do, just when things are about to take off. You can’t stop digging 1 meter from the gold.

There has never been a better time to get your show done. You don’t need millions of dollars or major studio backing. You just need patience and the right tools and you can do anything!
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