By Danielle Earle

Photo by Kelly Fournier on Unsplash.

Finding my voice as a Black woman in the film industry was a challenge for me. Experiencing prejudgement in a sea of white creatives was the last thing I expected, but that was the reality.

Trust Your Vision and Create Your Own Opportunities

I continue to strive for a seat at the table. At times, the sea of white creatives assumes that having a seat at the table for a person of color means serving, volunteering without a sense of self-worth. So, what do we do? What do we do as black actresses, directors, and writers? How do we find acceptance? We form our own…

Tips for working with children on set.

By Elizabeth Chatelain

This is the second article in a 2-part series about working with child actors. If you haven’t read the first part yet, read it here.

Rehearsals

Serenity Gress (Jenny) and Elizabeth Chatelain (Writer/Director) on the set of Sundogs (Photo Credit: Caitlin Prentke).

So now you have decided which kids you are going to be working with. The next step is rehearsals and production. In the first rehearsals, I am really just trying to make the child comfortable around me, to trust me. I usually invite the parents at least to this first rehearsal. We talk about what the child likes in school, their family, etc. And…

Interview by Piper Werle

Photo by Victoria Stevens.

Meredith Alloway is a multi-hyphenate badass. Recent milestones in her career include screening her short film Deep Tissue at festivals all over the world including SXSW, directing a Paris Jackson music video, and partnering with Hulu, Sundance Institute, and 20th Century Digital Studios on her last two short films. Her feature film High Priestess is in development with Phantom Four, David S. Goyer’s company.

For years Meredith worked as a film journalist while building her career as a screenwriter, director, actor, and producer, but these days she’s focused on filmmaking. She offers much-needed transparency about breaking…

Tips for casting children in your next film.

By Elizabeth Chatelain

Tom (Jefferson White) and Rowan (Payson Jane) on the set of Paper Geese. Photo by Abby Hanson.

The other day I was speaking with a colleague and they asked me if there were any themes that ran throughout the films I’ve made. It dawned on me that almost every short film I’ve written has children in it. They are of various ages, but I realized I am drawn to stories of childhood and the relationship children have with parents and their siblings.

The first, Karin’s shoes, is set in Texas in the 1950s. It is based on a story that my mom told me about the…

By Jessica W. Chen

Actor/Writer/Dancer Craig Fishback on the set of the short film It’s Who You Know in Los Angeles. Photo by Adrian Gutierrez.

According to the Brookings Institute, four out of ten respondents to the U.S. Census reported being of a race or ethnicity other than white in 2020. These statistics prove that it’s time to update America’s media output. Since Hollywood’s inception, whiteness has been considered the “default.” You have probably noticed that TV and film often feature predominantly cis, white, upper-middle-class, straight, and/or non-disabled characters, and contain troubling portrayals of characters who don’t fit into these descriptors. It’s time to move away from default whiteness to better represent our society.

As the producer of projects such as…

By Geoffrey Kinsey-Christopher

Photo from a location scouting trip to Ahwahnee, CA for the short film Prologue. Photo by Gary Jaquez.

Movies are all about escape, taking viewers from their real lives and familiar spaces to mythical lands, futuristic cities, olden-day slums and ghettos, hotel lobbies — the options are limitless. The choice of a movie scene’s location not only determines the producer’s ability to tell the story effectively but also the degree of enchantment the movie has on viewers. I know I’ll never forget Luke Skywalker’s home in the Tatooine desert.

Location scouting is a technical process that requires an eye for detail, proper prior planning, and a high degree of professional engagement. It is gaining traction…

By Jessica W. Chen

Actors Winter Dunn and Craig Fishback on the set of the short film, It’s Who You know. Photo by Adrian Gutierrez.

Recently, I rewatched Mulan (2020) in preparation to record a podcast episode for Re-Casting the Movies, a non-profit that challenges people to think outside the box for casting. While I was viewing the film for the third time, I couldn’t help but ponder whether the lack of Asian or Asian American screenwriters played a factor in the movie’s notable cultural inaccuracies and Mulan’s unrelatable, inauthentic character.

As a writer, it’s often comforting to write what you know, without having to worry about inaccuracies or potentially appropriating someone’s culture. And, given the racial, ethnic, and class make-up…

By Justin Joseph Hall

Producer Mahomi Ejiri and Justin Joseph Hall filming in Ebina, Japan for Frames of Reference.

You have your idea for a documentary and need to create a budget for a grant, potential partner, and just to have a good plan of attack. So, what does a professional feature documentary budget look like? What is the range a feature documentary should cost? These common questions are sadly hard to find the answers to.

Even though I don’t consider myself a producer, I have had to stand in the producer’s role creating budgets many times. …

By Jessica W. Chen

Kate Branom in action as the 1st AD (https://www.katebranom.com/) on the set of Prologue. Photo by Daria Huxley.

The First Assistant Director or 1st AD is a film role that is super important, but many people don’t quite know all that they’re responsible for during production. While the name may lead some to believe that 1st AD’s direct, in reality, the 1st AD handles the logistics of the shoot by acting as the bridge between the director, department heads, and the crew. Executed well, these 1st AD duties free the director to focus on the more creative aspects of the production.

After observing the 1st AD on the set of my show Drama High

By Jamie Monahan

Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

It can be difficult to feel inspired to do anything during a pandemic when filmmaking and festivals are being delayed or canceled, artists are unemployed, and we are constantly told what we can’t do. That’s why I want to share some tips that you can do right now as a filmmaker to move your project forward during quarantine. A successful fundraising campaign takes a minimum of one to three months’ pre-planning. During this downtime, you can pre-write all of your campaign emails, create a campaign action calendar, and automate your social media posts. …

Fourwind Films

We write, direct, produce, and edit creative content. This blog offers a platform for a wide variety of creative professionals to share what they have learned.

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