Harvey Weinstein on Promoting a Movie: Be A Performer! (Via No Film School)

So this is most likely going to be a week of link spamming and short commentary while I write new material for my standup sets. Sorry not sorry.

This article from No Film School got me thinking a little bit about how we promote ourselves. Scottish people have a tendency for being pretty much unable to sell themselves. Which is a shame cause we have a lot to offer, culturally speaking.

I’ve seen loads of comedy and music nights that fail to draw any sort of attention just on the grounds that they can’t excite their audience. I myself gave up my job in door to door sales on the grounds that I just couldn’t excite my prospective customers into buying in – not into the product, but buying into me. But how do you excite a complete stranger into buying in to your baby?

Well, if you’re Harvey Weinstein, you treat yourself like a performer:

Speak in short one sentence answers and don’t go on with all the legalese.  Talk about the movie as a movie and the effect it will have on the audience from an emotional point of view.

If you continue to be boring, I will hire an actor in New York to pretend that he’s Errol Morris.  If you have any casting suggestions, I’d appreciate that.

Keep it short and keep selling it, because that’s what’s going to work for you, your career and the film.

Lets get a discussion going. Where do your problems lie in promoting your work or yourself? Chat amongst yourselves in the comments!

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The Dark Knight’s Legal Status Rises… (Via Law And The Multiverse)

I love The Dark Knight Rises.

I thought it was a great flick. Brilliantly cast, stunningly shot, with a twist that even I didn’t see coming.

But in a true example of “refrigerator logic,” Something about the end didn’t sit right with me.

Warning: Spoilers beyond the cut. Continue reading

Danny Boyle’s 15 Golden Rules of Filmmaking (Via MovieMaker Magazine)

I was recently linked to this article in MovieMaker (via the No Film School guys) about Danny Boyle’s 15 Golden Rules of Filmmaking. I’ve never been his biggest fan – Slumdog was alright, Trainspotting was terrific, don’t get me started on Sunshine – but his constant adherence to his own style and his own methods are something I can respect in a filmmaker.

This article contains some of his hard and fast rules of the trade, but one particular maxim that caught my eye was the idea of film happening “in the moment”…

What’s extraordinary about film is that you make it on the day, and then it’s like that forever more. On that day, the actor may have broken up with his wife the night before, so he’s inevitably going to read a scene differently. He’s going to be a different person.
I come from theater, which is live and changes every night. I thought film was going to be the opposite of that, but it’s not. It changes every time you watch it: Different audiences, different places, different moods that you’re in. The thing is logically fixed, but it still changes all the time. You have to get your head around that.

Any budding directors out there want to share their own rules for making movies? Leave them in the comments!

What’s Going On!?

OK, so… New site. New layout. Old name. Old neuroses… Must be time for a bit of a shake-up

I spent three weeks in a new job this month, doing door to door sales on behalf of an unnamed Home Efficiency company. I quit on Monday, given that I nearly fainted at a customer’s door. Hence my inability to string together enough cognitive function to write or blog this month.

But it did allow me some time to decide that I’m avoiding all sorts of regular human work this summer in favour of more artistic pursuits, as listed below. Continue reading

Quarter Life Identity Crisis: On Changing Names Mid Career

When I was a teenager, I honestly believed that there were people out there who would search me out and kill me should I give them my full name or any hint as to where I lived while on the internet. And so, with my interest in blogging and putting myself out there on the internet expanded, I developed a new identity, and a new name: Jimmy Richards.

But, as the years went by, and none of the promised paedophiles turned up at my door (which was a real slant for my self esteem, I tell you) the name lay unused for years, until, as a cocky 18 year old singer songwriter, I brought the moniker back as a way of separating my private life from my professional one.

This worked alright for years. I paraded around as the acoustic guitar wielding rockstar Richards, joking that I was Rolling Stone Keith’s illegitimate love child for a spell, while I was actually the mild mannered nerd who got too drunk and couldn’t really talk to women very well without lapsing into my only area of expertise: socialism.

Of course, it got a little out of hand when friends of mine looked at me in shock after discovering, years later, that my name wasn’t Richards. And now, at the age of 23, I feel my interest in the name is starting to wane. I’m already doing standup with my real name, why not everything else.

So I’m starting fresh.

Hi. I’m Jimmy McKee. Nice to meet you.

I’m in the process of changing a bunch of stuff about my career, starting with my name. Over the next few months, I’ll be changing my domains and Facebook and such to match this. The last thing to go will be my email address and website domain, which I still have for another six months. Just thought you should all know.

The Seven Elements of a Creative Personality (Lifehacker)

I’ve been reading an article on Lifehacker about the personality traits normally exhibited by creative people. These include hunger for originality, volatile personal relationships and “being a pain in the ass.”

In other news, bears have begun their protest at being typecast and have started shitting in car parks.

Here’s a few I’d like to add to the list: Continue reading

Be Prepared!: How To Prepare For Exams

Lets face it, I’m not an academic by any stretch of the imagination.

I’ve never gotten consistent grades in anything. The subjects I excelled in throughout High School were things you could argue I had a natural talent for (mainly music.) And despite now having an Honours degree, my University career was inconsistent at best, marred by personal and professional catastrophes which kept my mind off the prize.

No, I’m certainly not an academic. I find studying tedious. I’m an active kind of thinker. I need to be pottering away at something, tweaking and fixing and making, not memorizing. But as much as I hated studying, I’ve learned a few things over the last few years that are pretty useful, especially now in the run up to exam season (if you’re a Scottish High School kid, there’s a chance you’re prepping for Standard Grades/Highers/Advanced Highers and such. University folk are probably in the middle of their exam/assessment diet, so this is less useful to you.)

Pens and pencils at the ready? Lets begin… Continue reading