Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Don't ask. Don't get!

My apologies for taking so long to post this week, I am slammed! The galleys to my book finally arrived and I am going over corrections. I am hoping that books will be available very soon. I also am finishing up my 2 Work shop DVD’s (Making The No-Budget Film and Sound Design for Independent Films) and their respective work books, and I am still booking the tour. I also have some work for hire in house and did I mention that there have been lots of changes to my web site behind the scenes so my friends at Zoom Studios ( are teaching me all sorts of new stuff.

I have to thank Jeff Pollard my good friend and brilliant designer ( for helping me with lots of last minute changes to everything from DVD cover art and disc art, to being there to walk me through the lay out of the book. Jeff, the next round of PBR’s at The Ship is on me!

So let’s get to it.
Your Angry Filmmaker Tip of the Day.
There are some people who hate asking their friends for money. These people are not going to be making movies any time soon.
- - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming really soon).

When I say this, it’s not really about asking people for money. It’s about asking people to give you stuff. Money is good and all, but if you have a problem asking friends and strangers for things you need for your movie, you are going to have a rough go getting a movie made.

I say this over and over again in my work shops. People want to help you make your films. They really do. But they need to be asked. If you can’t ask for things with out feeling embarrassed you’re not going to get far.

What is the worst that someone can say to you? That would be “no”. They won’t yell or call you names, they’ll just say no. And you know what you do? You thank them for considering it and then ask if they know of anyone else that might be able to help? Always ask people, whether the say yes or no, can they think of anyone else who could help out. You will be amazed, sometimes they can’t or won’t help, but sometimes they will turn you on to a person that helps put it all together.

I will ask people for just about anything if I need it to make my films. I have no shame and I am always polite and sincere when I ask. Do I like doing this? I think “like” is the wrong word. No one likes cold calls, but you learn to do it if you want to move forward. People can’t help you if you don’t ask.

What I used to do when I was starting out, and sometimes I’ll still do it, is to write down what I want to ask for and why. I keep that next to me as I’m talking to someone on the phone to make sure I cover everything I need. I also make notes during and after the call. I want to remember what was said and what was promised. Do I need to follow up? What are the names and phone numbers (or emails) of other people they suggested? Make notes about all of this stuff.

I also put together a list of stuff I need for my films and send a copy of it to all my friends and colleagues, telling them that if they know anyone who might have some of these things to please get me an introduction. This has also worked really well.

So remember, if you really want to get your movie made, don’t be afraid to ask. It does get easier over time.

Other stuff…

The Fall Tour is coming along great, so if you are interested in having me come to your college, university, media art center, independent book store, or even to your house for dinner, drop me a line ( and let me know.

I hope to have the work shop DVDs and new work books up on the website next week for purchase.

And just a reminder, I am available to consult on your films.

What do you get out of the deal? You get the best value and advice in making your film. No matter what stage you’re in. I’ve been in the business for 25 years, working on everything from animation to live action, Independent features, Real Independent features, Hollywood studio stuff, and documentaries. If you check out my bio and filmography ( you’ll see I’ve worked on award winning films, and films that never got distribution.

I will look at your work honestly and objectively. If there are problems, I’ll point them out, in a constructive way. No one wants to hear, “This sucks!” My goal is to guide you through the process, so that you can see what the problems are, and we’ll come up with ways to fix them. Check out (

As always, feel free to link to my site and you can subscribe to my blog. So what are you waiting for?

Talk later.



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