I hope you had a wonderful Xmas day with friends and loved ones.
Playing my part, there are some Xmas gifts for you sprinkled throughout this newsletter, but you'll have to keep reading to find them.
I also want to take the chance to wish you a happy and safe start to the new year.
Getting a running start to the new year is something many people aspire to and few succeed in. Too many hangovers and social gatherings.
But I thought, for the last Opening Act Films Newsletter of 2012, I could share something that might help you get inspired for a big start to 2013.
It comes straight from the mouth of Woody Allen, and a little of my own experience.
You see, I have been to a few festivals with my films and I can honestly tell you there is one immutable truth:
All that matters is the work.
I know some of you think that networking is the key. I know some of you think that, if you could just meet Oscar winners like Emile Sherman (Producer of 'The King's Speech') that your career would be on the fast track.
I have met Emile Sherman. He's lovely.
But meeting him briefly has had NO impact on my career whatsoever.
That doesn't disappoint me. That is the way it should be.
The great filmmakers became household names, not because of who they knew, but because their work amazed audiences to the point that they wanted to know who created this art. Contacts help, but talent shines through.
What would you even say to Steven Spielberg if you got into a conversation?
"Hi, I have an idea for a script that I wrote down on a napkin and have not bothered to develop or even write a script for. Can you please give me a career?"
But what if you met Mr Spielberg after an acclaimed screening of your first low budget feature film at the Sundance Film Festival? How much better would the conversation be then?
Your work speaks for itself.
But don't just take my word for it.
One of the modern auteurs, Woody Allen, says the same thing.
'Unlike other Hollywood patrons, Allen does not claim to know the secret to filmmaking success, instead his main advice is, “it’s only the work that counts."'
The wonderful part of all of this, for you, is that the tools to make a film, or even just be generally creative, are at your disposal right now.
Basic writing/screenwriting tools are free.
Gift 1 (GOLD) = CeltX Free creative writing/screenwriting tool = www.celtx.com
If you are worried that you do not have the skills or knowledge to get started, there are educational books on your creative interest, e.g. screenwriting, available free in most public libraries.
There are also free university courses online, e.g. a Stanford University Course on creativity.
Gift 2 (MYRRH) = Free online university courses website = https://www.coursera.org/
So, that covers your knowledge and the script to get started, but what about all that expensive equipment you need to actually shoot and edit the film?
Would you believe me if I told you can shoot and edit the film with what you have right now?
Smartphone cameras have now reached a standard that they can be used to shoot high quality video, with amazing results. Read this iphone 4s camera review for proof:
There is also a free video editing program, 'Lightworks', that has been used on major Hollywood films and that you can download for yourself.
Gift 3 (FRANKINCENSE) = Lightworks free video editing software = http://www.lwks.com/
So, now you have film knowledge, a script, camera and editing software.
All that is left is for you to get started.
What are you waiting for?
2013 could be your biggest year yet. It's up to you.
All that matters is the work.
PS: AS USUAL, 'TALES FROM THE OPENING ACT' WILL BE GOING ON HOLIDAYS FOR ALL OF JANUARY 2013. BUT DON'T WORRY, IT WILL BE BACK, BETTER AND MORE PUNCTUAL THAN EVER, IN FEBRUARY 2013. HAVE A SAFE AND RESTFUL HOLIDAY SEASON!!!!! CHEERIO, PETE
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