Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Digital Video Secrets sample on Scribd

Scribd seems to be kind of a "youtube for writers." Easy way to publish, and unlike youtube, you can even sell your work on Scribd. Here are a couple examples...

A sample of my book Digital Video Secrets.
A chapter from a Lonely Planets book which explains Moving To San Francisco, with a "buy now" button.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

50 Top blogs and magazines for moviemakers (Updated 8/23/2013)

This is a long post, because I wanted to collect all my links to film blogs, magazines and organizations in one spot. 


Top blogs

Most of this list is lifted straight from the February 2010 issue of highly recommended MovieMaker Magazine. (I posted the list on this blog so I don't lose it.)

Go. Go now. Go subscribe to MovieMaker so they can continue to do good work like this! The list:
All About Indie Filmmaking *
All These Wonderful Things *
The Anonymous Production Assistant’s Blog *
The Art of the Title Sequence *
Ben’s Blog *
The Big Picture *
Blog Stage *
Bright Lights After Dark *
Cinema Tech *
The Documentary Blog
The Edit Foundry
The Editblog
Fast, Cheap Movie Thoughts
Film Dailies
Film School Rejects
The Film Sensei
Filmmaker Blog
Filmmaking Stuff
GreenCine Daily
Hammer to Nail
HD for Indies
Hollywood Elsewhere
The House Next Door
In Contention
The Independent Eye
The Joy of Film Editing
Just F*ing Entertain Me
Living Your Dream: An Acting & Film School Blog
Making the Movie
A Moon Brothers Film
The Movie Blog
Persistence of Vision
Projector Films
Scriptwriting in the UK
Some Came Running
Thompson on Hollywood
Totally Unauthorized
Travel Day
Truly Free Film
The Unknown Screenwriter
Workbook Project

Top Movie Magazines

Most of this list of top movie magazines is lifted from World I'm posting it here for convenience and so I don't lose it.

Bright Lights
Close Up
Creative Screenwriting
Eye For Film
Film Comment
Film in Context
Film Journal
Film Threat
Filmink Magazine
Filmmaker Magazine
Films in Review
Future Movies
Guardian Unlimited Film
Hollywood Reporter
iF Magazine
Images Journal
Indie Film Slate
Inside Film
Rotten Tomatoes
Senses of Cinema
Sight and Sound
Strictly Film School

Other magazines (that I know about)

DV Magazine.
American Cinematographer
Microfilmmaker magazine

World Newspapers
TV and Film Magazines
Boston area Harvard Square Scriptwriters. Click on LINKS.

San Francisco (Bay Area Video Coalition) (resource) (SF Film Society)

Oregon Media Producers Association

Saturday, February 20, 2010

"Roy, come and get this goddamned cat!"

Melvin Vaniman and Kiddo the Cat

Thus began the first air-to ground radio transmission in 1910, by Melvin Vaniman, flight engineer for explorer Walter Wellman's airship America. Melvin wanted Roy to come and get Kiddo the cat, who had stowed away in a lifeboat. Kiddo didn't like flying, and he let the crew know it by howling, mewling, scratching, and spitting. Fortunately, Kiddo soon settled in to enjoy the flight. Kiddo's story is here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

stock photos and an online print service

Istockphoto and Pictopia

If you need a high quality digital image, try istockphoto.
If you need a large high quality print, like 2' x 4' up to wall size, try Pictopia.

Royalty free digital images

Huge pictures from digital images

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Seth Godin's advice for authors

Very, very good stuff.
Read before writing.

Advice for Authors (Part 1)
Always beware free advice. It is worth what it costs! That said, I get a fair number of notes from well respected, intelligent people who are embarking on their first non-fiction book project...
July 21, 2005

Advice for Authors (Part 2)
It happened again. There I was, meeting with someone who I thought had nothing to do with books or publishing, and it turns out his new book just came out...

August 2, 2006

Editorial Freelancer's Association

The Editorial Frellancer's Association (EFA) is a good place to find an editor for your book manuscript.

When to start promoting your book

Someone asked me when to start promoting a nonfiction book.*

My answer? At least a year before publication. Better still, three years before.

This one to three year period before publication day is the "invisible" part of book promotion.

During this time you identify, and build relationships with people in your true audience. The incredible thing about the Internet is that for the first time in history, an artist or writer can build relationships directly with his or her audience. You can learn more about this here, here, here, and here.

Things to do during the year (or three) before publication day:

Step 1: Find your audience and build relationships.
- Clearly identify your target audience. Who exactly are you writing for?
- Find out where they hang out online. For example, if you were writing a book about filmmaking you would want to end up with a list like this.
- Find out where they hang out physically.
- Start a book blog. Write about what you are learning as you research the book. Keep the average post to 130 words, with occasional much shorter and much longer posts. Your book blog might look something like this.
- Become active in online forums where your audience hangs out. A word of warning: do not try to "sell" or "market" anything. People can smell marketing hype from a mile away. Instead, treat people the way you want to be treated--with respect and honesty. If, for example, you are writing a book about health, offer health advice freely when asked. Generously help people solve their health problems. Get known, and build a reputation.

Step 2. Identify your fans, friends and followers within your audience
- As you begin to make friends and build a network, look for passionate experts. You might interview them as part of your research for the book
- Look, too, for interesting people and interview them to learn their stories
- Make a list of people who might review the book

Step 3. Write a remarkable book.
From a practical standpoint, one of the most important things you can do is to write a remarkable book. An ordinary book, one that doesn't stand out, is almost impossible to promote successfully. Here is one process that might improve your chances of writing a remarkable book:
- Write the first draft of the book. The main purpose of the first draft is to *get something on paper.* The first draft doesn't have to be good, it just has to be done.
- Send the first draft out for a structural edit by a professional editor. You can find an editor at the Editorial Freelancer's Association (EFA).
- Write a second draft, incorporating your editor's advice.
- Send the second draft out to be copy edited. A good copy editor will flag two general kinds of problems: 1) facts and libel. and 2) style. When the copy editor flags a factual error or potentially libelous passage, you have to assume they are right until proven wrong. When an editor flags a style problem, however, things are a little murkier. Often the editor is right, but sometimes they are not.

Step 4. Roll out your book
- Design a 'roll out' plan. Who do you want to review the book? Which blogs do you want to write about the book? Where will you publish magazine articles? Where will you speak? Where will you sign books? Where will you appear in person? You might hire a PR person to help design a roll out plan. (Before you design your roll out plan, be sure to look at what Seth Godin did.)
- Three to four months before publication, start your roll out plan. Gradually build up to publication day.

Publication day
- Publication day. The book is in the stores.

Step 5: Promote your book.
Now the visible part of book promotion begins. The visible part may include: media tours, interviews, book signings, workshops and seminars. Plan on promoting the book intensely for 3 months (minimum) after publication day, and at a less intense, ongoing level for at least a year after publication day.

* This all falls into the "things I wish I'd known when I wrote my first books" category. I hope to hell that this post helps you write and promote your own insanely successful book.

Make 1 minute videos to promote your book

Another great idea for book promotion from Seth Godin. He is making a series of one-minute videos of "linchpins." Any author could adapt this idea to his or her book.

Two examples of how this might work:
For Digital Video Secrets, it could be a series of 1 minute videos on "people who made videos that count."
For Producing With Passion it could be a series of 1 minute videos on "People who made a film that matters."

You get the idea.

Here is Seth Godin's original blog post:

Linchpin videos (first in a series)

We're traveling around, finding interesting people and asking them to riff for a minute or two about what makes someone indispensable. Kicking off the weekly series is Gary Vee. Click the picture to view it. We'll do four for February and see how it goes.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

gettting 3gp file on the web

Q. I want to send a short video to someone. What's best way to go about it?
A. Put it on youtube and send them a link.

Q. I don't want to use youtube.
A. OK, then put it on your blog and send a link.

Q. Why don't I just send them the file?
A. You could, but there are a few problems going that route. One is that video files are big. Another is that the person receiving the file has to have the software to play the file. It's a lot easier if you can just put the video online somewhere and send them a link.

Q. What if I try to upload the 3gp (third generation phone) file directly to my blog?
A. If you are using Blogger, it won't work. Blogger wants AVI, MPEG, QuickTime, Real, or Windows Media, with a maximum size of 100 MB.

Q. What do I do?
A. Convert the file to AVI, MPEG, or Quicktime using a file converter like MyVideoConverter.

Q. OK. I've installed MyVideoConverter. Now what?
A. Convert the file to AVI.

Q. OK, I've converted the file to AVI, and now I'm linking to it from my blog. Hah! It looks like the avi is uploading to my blog. It's taking a while.
A. I think you're there. Wait until the upload is finished, then click play.

Q. It works!
A. Cool.