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Tampa Bay model Lisa Marie Lowrey photographed by Tampa Bay photographer C. A. Passinault during a photography session for Tampa Bay modeling resource site Independent Modeling in 2003. Photography by Aurora PhotoArts photography and design Tampa Bay - Tampa Bay Film Festival PictureTampa actress and model Sarah Bray photographed poolside in Tampa Palms (New Tampa) by Tampa Bay photographer C. A. Passinault in 2002. Photography by Aurora PhotoArts photography and design Tampa Bay A Dancer in a Tampa Bay event photographed by Tampa Bay photographer C. A. Passinault. Photography by Aurora PhotoArts photography and design Tampa Bay - Tampa Bay Film Festival PictureTampa filmmaker Chris Woods headshot by Tampa headshot photographer C. A. Passinault, Aurora PhotoArts Tampa Photography and Design.Tampa Bay model, dancer, and choreographer Melissa Maxim photographed with Lance, a nightclub dancer, in a Ybor City nightclub by Tampa Bay photographer C. A. Passinault in 2002. Photography by Aurora PhotoArts photography and design Tampa Bay Tampa model and actress Roxanne Kowalska (right) and singer Michelle pose for a pre-production shoot of the short indie film “The Pledge”, in a preproduction photography session with the original cast by C. A. Passinault. Both Roxanne Kowalska and “Lowie” Laura Narvaez (not pictured) were scouted for the film at a Passinault audition. Casting crew for Passinault Entertainment Group conducting auditions for the Reverence feature film.Tampa audition photograph of actresses reading roles from the Reverence feature indie film project by Dream Nine Studios.Two actresses read during an audition for the Reverence feature film, a Passinault indie film.Tampa actress and model Harmony Layne poses for pictures to be used in the Tampa indie film, The Quiet Place. Photograph by Tampa photographer C. A. Passinault, Aurora PhotoArts Tampa photography and design.Tampa singer, model, actress, television host, pageant title holder, and entertainer Ann Poonkasem serenades an audience near Brandon, Florida, in the Tampa Bay area. Photograph taken by Tampa photographer C. A. Passinault, who was sitting in the front row judging the beauty pageant with a camera and a long, 300 MM lense.Tampa actor Rob Mussell headshot by Tampa headshot photographer C. A. Passinault. Tampa model and actress Sarah Bray during a modeling shoot with Tampa modeling portfolio photographer C. A. Passinault in Riverview, Florida, in the Tampa Bay area.Scream At The Wall Cameraman at the Horror and Hotties film festival in Tampa, Florida.


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Preparing For The 2012 Tampa Film Scene Online - Tampa Film Blog

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 - 3:00 PM - Tampa Indie Film Log for Filmmaker C. A. Passinault

Preparing For Revolution. Writing Scripts For Dream Nine Studios Short Films

Well, after months of hard work organizing hundreds of pages of content, and over 145 posts since early 2008, the Tampa Film Blog is finally up to spec, and I’m just sitting here relaxing and enjoying it. There is some good reading on here, and some of it finds humor in the_truth! The only thing that I need now is to give it a little time, and I have that time, too, since the Tampa Bay Film sites don’t have to be where I want them to be until over a year from now (With my photography and design business taking up a lot of my time at the moment, and for most of this year, and with me taking some time at the end of the year for some indie film work, I’ll have little time for much of this until next year). Since a lot of the work in Tampa indie film that I will be doing, with the films, online television series, experimental filmmaking, Project Dragonfly (and other secret projects which most will not find out any details about until it is too late to do anything about them; yes, I am holding back a lot, and will not disclose any of it until I am ready to work it, myself. 70% of everything which I am working on is classified, it’s revolutionary, I don’t write about it online, and it will work without the participation of anyone currently involved in Tampa indie film. Follow the leader, guys!), underground film festivals, film festivals, and indie film support events won’t really go into high gear until 2012, I have time. This said, it won’t take much longer.
Once the search engines properly index the content on this blog, which they now can because it is currently organized, nothing else will be able to touch it. If I would have taken a few moments with every post to properly organize the content from the beginning, that would already be the case, for certain. I’m certainly sure that none of you want mindless promoters, kiss-asses, and cheerleaders being the voice of Tampa indie film. Do you really want sell-outs representing you? Tampa indie film needs criticism, it needs a voice telling it how it is, it needs solutions, and it needs me, which is obvious, because no one else seems to be stepping up to the plate, and no one else is doing what needs to be done. There are too many followers in the Tampa film scene, and we need a new generation of leaders. Tampa Bay Film and its sites will surely support those leaders. If Tampa Bay Film and myself don’t seem to be supporting you, you need to ask yourself if you’re a follower, or a leader. You have to ask yourself why you are not being supported.
I’m certainly no follower. I’m not an insecure film fan who seeks approval, especially one who does so at the expense of my self respect and dignity. I demand respect, and could care less about how well liked I am, as I will be defined by what I do for Tampa indie film, and by the films that I will be doing, which will vindicate me. I think for myself, and I have the experience that I need to guide my judgement. I’m not one of those idiots who mindlessly jump on bandwagons and support things such as the Gasparilla International Film Festival, and I don’t have much respect for those who do. Grow a backbone, people. Think for yourselves. See things as they are, and don’t accept fool’s gold just because you’re desperate and starving. All that glitters isn’t gold, you know. I only want to work with smart filmmakers, and they are not in the majority right now. Of course, this explains the pathetic state of Tampa indie film today.
Incidently, there is a solid example demonstrating what is coming with Tampa Bay Film, out there, right now. As of now, the Tampa Bay Film Online Film Festival is #1 on Google for “Tampa film festival”, beating out the Gasparilla International Film Festival and the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and it is as it should be (and, it should be noted, with all of the Tampa Bay Film sites being interconnected, and also forming one huge meta-site, when you land on one, you land on them all. Keep that in mind). The premier indie film marketing and promotional platform in Florida is our online film festival, with more viewers and traffic than all of the Florida film festivals combined, especially with people watching films on it 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, which says nothing of all of the Tampa film festivals; they can hardly compare. It’s where it was predicted to be since it launched over four years ago. The other Tampa Bay Film sites will also share this remarkable performance eventually, and it will only take time, content, and proper organization of that content. I’m certainly determined and dedicated, I’ll give me that, and soon, I’ll start turning out work as a filmmaker and as an event planner which will give weight to all of my words. Unlike most Tampa filmmakers who try to do things, when I do, I’ll be the best. I’m the real deal, and I have two decades of experience in a variety of different industries to support my filmmaking agenda. It will be interesting, and entertaining, to watch most of the current Tampa filmmakers react to what I do, and to what I introduce to the market. It will be amusing to watch them attempt to compete, which they won’t be able to do because of my support infrastructure alone, saying nothing about the groundbreaking, revolutionary films that I will be doing. They will be outdone on every front, and on every level.
Oh, and with the film festivals, they will be in the same situation. Gasparilla, I’m looking at you. You will not only have to contend with the more cost-effective monthly film festival known as the Tampa Film Showcase, which by itself will prove to be more competition than you can handle (as well as demonstrate to your sponsors that it is more bang for the buck, being more cost-effective, and a far more effective marketing platform) but in the next few years you will run right into a monster of a film festival called the Frontier Film Festival, which the Tampa Film Showcase and the other film festivals and film events in my network tie into and interconnect with (Paul Guzzo and Pete Guzzo, the organizers of The defunct Tampa Film Review, should have set up their film festival like this. They didn't, and didn't even bother to address the shortcomings which were brought up again and again. They didn't fix the TFR, and this, in my opinion, disrespected their audience. The Tampa Film Review was half-assed, it was seriously flawed, it was an amateur film festival, and it failed, in my experienced, educated opinion, which has weight since I'm a very experienced event planner. Am I the only one who thinks that the Guzzo brothers simply gave up when it came to the TFR, and tried to spin it as some sort of success? Are you one of the ones who bought into the hype and B.S.? Well, I am the only one who will go on record and tell it how I see it, because I know that I'm not the only one thinking that the TFR was flawed, and that it failed; many people have agreed with me and my assessment. Quite a few, in fact, have gone out of their way to disassociate with, and denounce, the TFR and all associated with it. Quite a few agree with me that the Guzzo Brothers failed with the TFR, and that they quit when the going got tough). The Frontier Film Festival is my flagship film festival, and it is a highly advanced film festival with eight years of development at this point, and just over a decade of work into it when it finally debuts (to those of you who have been keeping track, the Frontier Film Festival started life in 2003 as the Iris Film Festival, and it was originally designed to be a Saints and Sinners film festival-killer). The Frontier Film Festival will be a one-venue, annual event where just about everyone will be able to afford to attend, and have the time to attend (I think that it is ridiculous to spread out a film festival over several days and venues, which makes it difficult for anyone to attend the entire thing. I also think that it is ridiculous to charge regular cinema ticket prices for each screening; the point of a film festival is to get as many people as possible to see the films, and not to sell seats like you already have a distribution deal. No wonder some of these screenings only have ten to fifteen people in them. Those overblown film festivals don’t get the point of what they are supposed to do for the filmmakers, and, in my opinion, they are greedy. The point is to expose the films to as many people as possible, and when you don’t sell out seating at full-cinema prices because no one knows what in the hell the film is, and no one is willing to take a chance on any film at those prices, you can actually make more money by NOT being greedy, and by selling tickets for less. If you sell out a screening at a reasonable rate, you will certainly make it up in volume, and make more than the overpriced screening attended by a handful of people primarily made up of the filmmakers, their friends, and their family. So, you have 80 films screening? Who in their right mind can watch that many films in a few days? I can understand choices, but focus is also important). You may have just celebrated your 5th anniversary, but I don’t think that there will be much of a 10th, if you get that far at all (I smiled upon hearing the rumors that the GIFF almost did not happen in 2010. That would have been cool!). I’m looking at putting this pretentious, bloated film festival out of business, and will be putting the others in their proper place. We do not need another Sarasota Film Festival here in Tampa Bay, let alone a wannabe poseur aspiring to be a film festival like Sarasota (Is there ANYTHING original about the Gasparilla International Film Festival? Anything? Even the name brand piggybacks on the name Gasparilla, a long-time Tampa tradition, which is lame, in my opinion! Sunscreen has Gasparilla beat in every way, in my opinion, although I did not like the disorganized chaos of a screening which Sunscreen did for the Experiment 7 indie film last year, which was the worst film festival experience that I’ve ever had, and I’m not fond of the idea of them doing indie film workshops; I’d much rather have filmmakers out there learning filmmaking by making films than spending money on film workshops and film schools, and this is notice to anyone out there planning on opening up “film schools” and profiting off of filmmakers: I will undermine you by showing filmmakers how to teach themselves through making their own films, and if they need any instruction, I’ll make sure that it will be available for free on Tampa Bay Film, its sites, and its supporting events, and that the instruction will be better than any that you can offer. Read the rest of this post for more on how this is going to work, and give up now!), and we do not need film festivals which, in my opinion, market the Tampa Bay area as a filmmaking location to outside interests at the expense of local independent filmmakers and Tampa indie film.
Oh, and don’t even get me into having “celebrities” headline a film festival. Who cares! It’s all about the films. I’m not impressed by famous people just on the basis of them being famous, and I’m sure they are not impressed with the people who ask them for autographs (I don’t want anyone’s autograph, either, unless you are Miyamoto-san; and in that rare case, I’d rather shake his hand and have a discussion). Centering a film festival around celebrities just makes it more expensive, it takes attention away from the films, and it really ups the pretension factor. Who wants to spend a lot of money to be around fakes? They really don’t care about you! Why should you care about them?
It’s about the films! I really don’t give a crap about celebrities just for the sake of them being well-known, unless I am running some sort of fan convention where they would obviously be the focus (I worked for a television station, once, and one of the reason that they always had me deal with the celebrities and the V.I.P.’s was that I never, ever became star-struck or intimidated by any of them. I treated them with respect, of course, and also treated them in a down-to-earth sort of way, treating them as people. This is why most of those celebrities got along well with me; only one of them, an asshole ex NFL football player, got pissy with me because I made him follow the same rules as everyone else, and because I had no idea who he supposedly was. Regarding getting along, I was real, they could tell, and they became real to me, too. I’m telling you, on a side note, when I acted in television commercials as an actor in the mid 1990's, I used to hate strangers coming up to me to talk about being on TV. I worked for a bank at the time, and this girl who never gave me the time of day started talking to me because she saw me on TV. I told her to take her fake-ass away from me, and to leave me alone. I’m sure that celebrities get sick of being bugged by strangers just because they are well-known, too, too. I did, do, and would.). Also, as far as interviewing actors about the film itself, I think that it is silly. Sure, please do interview them about their portrayal of their character, but if you have questions about the film and the story, you really need to interview the writers and the director. You’ll get better answers in an interview when they are directly involved with what you are asking about, or if they are responsible for that aspect. The Hollywood way has no business here. This is Tampa Bay, and we’ll make our own way. Here, we will redefine what is important in indie film and in film festivals, and we will play by our own rules!
Tampa Bay is not Hollywood, it should not be, and we’re pretty pathetic if we try to emulate Hollywood. We need to stand on our feet and make our own way, instead of doing the same boring B.S. which everyone else does. We’re better than that!
Regarding the controversial opinions on this blog, too, and the agenda of the Tampa Bay Film sites and the supporting infrastructure which I have invested in heavily for years, don’t get mad at me, and don’t blame me. So-called filmmakers such as Guzzo and Davison brought all of this down on all of you, and that is where the blame should go. I’ve been inspired to do something about Tampa indie film, and I certainly am going to do something about it. As far as inspiring that new generation of Tampa filmmakers, this won’t be difficult, either, especially since most of the current filmmakers discourage competition and try to sabotage others, in my opinion; most of those new filmmakers have experienced discrimination and slander. I’m sincere about supporting those who deserve it, and, unlike others, I don’t discriminate. I will earn their trust. Sure, I’ll put someone in their place if they do something to deserve it, but I won’t take action against anyone who has not done anything wrong. If they are a better filmmaker, or have better ideas, I’ll be the first one to put my ego aside, shake their hand, give them credit, and support them for the good of Tampa indie film. Collaborative competition, in the long term, benefits us all, and that, combined with earned trust, is the foundation of a true Tampa indie film community.
At any rate, regarding this blog, enough about criticizing other filmmakers for now. I’m working on my own films right now, and these films will not only build a portfolio of short films which I will be able to show to investors, eventually, but they will prove that you don’t need a lot of money or equipment to make good films, which is especially critical when you’re just starting out. This should, through my series of indie film events and film festivals in the Tampa Bay area (especially with the Tampa Film Conference), inspire hundreds of brand new independent filmmakers to start working in the market. Those new filmmakers will also be inspired because they will know that they can get started inexpensively, and without investors standing over their shoulder, and film schools teaching them bad habits which they would have to unlearn at great cost, these filmmakers can get creative, and make innovative films. These new filmmakers can develop their own filmmaking style, and help to create a diverse, and rich, Tampa independent film scene. This new generation of filmmakers, supported by my Tampa Bay Film sites and helped by my concepts, will overrun the current market, putting most of the current filmmakers out of business (how will they be able to compete against innovation and talent, as well as hundreds of competitors?). This new generation of filmmakers will form the first Tampa indie film community, and in the coming years, they will land the investors needed to create innovative, revolutionary films which will not only put Tampa indie film on the map of independent film, but make the Tampa independent film market a worldwide leader in independent film.
That’s not to say that their first short films, the “portfolio films”, can’t be innovative or revolutionary, also, because that’s one way that we are going to get all of the investors. It’s also how these filmmakers will have leverage when negotiating with investors; the investors will have more confidence in the filmmakers, and will be more inclined to leave them alone and allow them to make the films that they need to make. Regarding my films, most of which will be pioneering efforts, I will have more than one revolutionary film because I won’t be afraid to take calculated risks and experiment. Sometimes, all that you need is a great idea. You can take that idea, develop it, be creative, and make something cool. Innovation does not have to be expensive, and you can seldom buy it. It only takes time and hard work.
It’s just a pity that the majority of current Tampa filmmakers are creatively bankrupt, and that their idea of innovation is to make a cheesy horror film and load it with blood and gore. This is why most of these current filmmakers need to be replaced; they failed in making films worth watching, and they failed to put Tampa indie film on the map. 100 Tears, anyone? How about that Experiment 7? Oh, they were both written by Joe Davison, who also wrote himself into the lead roles, so that might explain why they suck so much (If you can’t write or act, you need to come to terms with it, and find others who can! Regarding Joe’s acting, I’m sure that all of the actors whom he works with are aware of his limitations, but none of them seem to have the guts to let him know how they really feel. As a result, the films are dysfunctional, with Joe’s writing and acting holding them back. Davison’s films, in my opinion, are a centerpiece for denial in a group project. Sure, Joe is making films, and he is able to convince investors to bankroll these films, and is able to convince talented people to help him, but are the films worth doing? How long can Joe keep doing this when the films are all flash and no substance? Do the talented people whom help him lower their standards because they want to work on any film available? Will he be able to get more money for films if his current investors don’t see a return on their investment? How much longer will he be able to make films? When I see Davison films, and I’m talking about ALL of the ones which I have seen, I am amazed by how bad they are, and can’t help but feel bad for the talented people who helped him make these disasters). You might figure out by now that I don’t have to be nice to current Tampa filmmakers, especially if they do not deserve it. I could care less about what they think, or if I offend them by telling it how it is. Want me off of your back? Make good films! If they do good work, I’ll say that they do good work regardless of how I feel toward them, but if they do bad work, it’s especially satisfying opining that they do bad work if I don’t like them, too. I don’t like most current Tampa filmmakers, I don’t need them, they do mediocre work at best, and, well, even if they had any bearing on me or my career, which they don’t, I’d still tell it how it is. You, the reader, need to know what is going on.
Here are some of my ideas regarding filmmaking, and this will form the blueprint which the new generation of Tampa filmmakers will follow.

1. A portfolio of short indie films.
Really, how else can you get investors to invest in your independent films unless you have something to show them? You also need to make your films available so that they can be seen without any hassle. The “show them your portfolio” tactic has been extremely successful in my photography business (both a physical portfolio during a sit-down consultation, and a web site with a portfolio when I book them over the phone. The web sites also get them to call), and it will be just as effective with independent film, especially with my superb marketing platforms, such as the online film festival (which, at this point, is a success which cannot be denied).
I love how many current filmmakers keep their films from being seen. They shoot themselves in the foot and cripple their careers by not making their work accessible (The Guzzo Brothers’ “Caged Dreams” comes to mind, as it doesn’t even have so much as a trailer online. Although I’ve heard that the film is good, I haven’t seen it at all). How can they compete with other filmmakers when the others are more visible, and you can actually check out some of their work? I’m not talking about shooting films and giving them away for free, either, but that’s a more complex subject worthy of other posts on the Tampa Film Blog, and articles on Tampa Bay Film. It’s about balance. Don’t give away the store, but don’t refrain from giving out samples, either. Short films are excellent low-cost (well, they can, and should be, low-cost) samples which show what you can do, and what you are capable of. They also make great bonus features for the more ambitious feature films that you will eventually sell.
Another thing about building a portfolio of short films. For maximum marketability, you have to be able to show range. Take a page from what I teach models. The best models have portfolios which show a range of possible looks that they can obtain, and the wider the range, the easier it is for them to book work. Likewise, the more of a range that you can show as a filmmaker with specific genres, and making films which break the mold of specific genres, the easier that it will be to land investors. If you are a filmmaker who just wants to make horror films, you better be damn good at making those horror films (and a lot better than all of the other horror films made in Tampa Bay, as the majority of those films suck), as you are going to limit your marketability, and sticking to one film genre will handicap your career. Investors want filmmakers who have range, and who can maximize the potential of generating a return on their investment. As a filmmaker, your portfolio of short films needs to set you apart from the efforts of other filmmakers, and bring attention to you. Innovate! Be diverse, too! The major players in the Tampa film scene will be those filmmakers who demonstrate solid work in multiple genres, which range from drama, comedy, romance, and other genres of films, as well as mixed genres, which, yes, may even include horror. Just make sure that you have a balanced portfolio of films to demonstrate that you are a good investment! Unless they are especially brilliant in what they do, the Tampa filmmaker who only does one genre is not going to do well, especially when there are other filmmakers demonstrating that they are more capable with more genres of films in their portfolios. How are they going to compete?
Making those short films does not have to be expensive, either. I’ll show, through making my own films, that it can be done cost-effectively. Once the new generation of Tampa filmmakers have built a portfolio of inexpensive short films to showcase the range that they have as a filmmaker, they can then get investors to invest in more expensive feature film projects. Those investments will allow those filmmakers to obtain cutting-edge filmmaking gear, and to do much more complicated and ambitious films. Imagine starting out making short films for less than $950.00 in equipment, spend a year or two building a portfolio of short films which cost you next to nothing to make (as the initial investment in equipment was already made with the first short film project), and be making feature indie films with budgets of hundreds of thousands of dollars, or more, of investor’s money in three to five years (providing that you are talented and make some good films), with cutting-edge professional filmmaking gear (a thought: Although it’s true that the short films don’t have to cost much, they are what they are, and it would probably be better for the filmmakers to pay a lot of attention to this rather than the investors; it’s more of a fiilmmaker topic, anyway, as far as putting together a portfolio of short films, and not necessarily with making feature films to eventually sell. Don’t handicap yourself. Don’t bring it up how low-cost your short films were to make when you are in talks with investors; you do not want to price yourself too low, don’t want to contribute to dropping the bottom out of the local market for making films, and do not want to drop the cost of filmmaking in Tampa Bay to the point where it is hard to get enough money for what you need to do. If you do save money on making films, pass those savings on to yourself, and raise your profit margin. Sell on VALUE, and not low dollar amounts. A filmmaker who sells themselves too cheap, also, is not going to be taken seriously, as perceived value will come into play, and they will be working themselves to death over peanuts. It might be better to simply build a portfolio of short films inexpensively, and more quickly, obviously, than slowly making expensive feature films out-of-pocket, which has been the trend up until now (and, for 99% of all Tampa filmmakers, this has not worked). Don’t market yourself as a budget filmmaker, unless you want to have a difficult time obtaining enough money to obtain top of the line gear and to obtain the resources that a quality, marketable feature film needs. This is, indeed, a double-edged sword, and complex enough that it is beyond the scope of this post. There are pros and cons to just about every course of action, and trade-offs involved. Know how to navigate it, and know how to position yourself). Imagine what this will do for the Tampa film scene when many of the new generation of Tampa filmmakers are doing this, and they make the current filmmakers look like expensive, high-risk, toothless old dinosaurs spiraling downward toward extinction. Oh, and this can be done WITHOUT film school, because the filmmakers will teach themselves how to make films through experience, and working with high end feature film projects with high end gear won’t be much of a leap after that, especially with a free online resource like Tampa Bay Film filling in the gaps with great information.
As a filmmaker, would you rather teach yourself through experience, and spend your money on yourself and your filmmaking gear, or would you like to spend lots of money learning the mistakes of others at a film school, and end up becoming a less experienced, less capable filmmaker than the filmmakers who taught themselves? Will you be able to compete? I don’t think so! I’d rather collaborate with other filmmakers and learn filmmaking by making films. Since those who don’t do, teach (which is way different from those who teach, by default, by going out and doing while sharing what they know with others who have earned their trust; something which I do; teaching other filmmakers should never be the goal, but rather a benefit of what the filmmaker is already doing as they make great films and share their experiences with others), why on earth would you like to spend money learning from poseur filmmakers who don’t do, and teach at some film school instead? As an example, take my photography, and my career as a photographer. I am entirely self taught, did not go to any school, and learned by doing it. There isn’t a single graduate of any Tampa Bay photography school who can take me on in the business, too, and they know it (I know because I keep catching these photography school graduates learning from me, and, occasionally, trying to steal from me. Did they learn anything in school? Obviously not! A piece of paper indicating that you graduated from some school does not make you a professional, and it does not make you a worthy competitor. Experience and skill does). The same will apply to indie film.
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to make a living as a filmmaker, without going to a film school, or without giving anyone, including myself, a dime? All that you need to do is to invest in yourself, first, and that investment can be had for a few hundred dollars in basic filmmaking gear which you can continue to use to make more short films after the initial outlay. You can make your own way, and you don’t have to be dependent upon anyone, including me, or anything. You can make it happen!

2. Making cost-effective, maximum-value short independent films.
My first short indie films will be good films, and they will be an unbeatable value because they will also be done for less that $900.00 in equipment. As I make those films, too, I will heavily document every aspect of the filmmaking process, the equipment that I used, and other techniques, including money-saving ones, which were used in making them. These articles and anecdotes will be published on Tampa Bay Film, and this free information, which will be comparable or better than the information from any film school, will be the only film school that you will ever need. Did I mention that it will be free? Although you do get what you pay for, usually, this will be an exception to that rule, as this is my contribution to helping Tampa filmmakers succeed, and to put the Tampa indie film scene on the map. This is my investment into Tampa indie film, as it will benefit us all.
Although good short films can be made with a standard resolution, 30p (Frames Per Second) consumer camera such as the Canon FS 100/10/200/20/300/30 series (as long as the camera has a microphone jack, although you could also go the DAT recorder / ADR route), I will be using a Canon Vixia HF series HD prosumer camera, which will film my shorts in HD at 24p at a either a 16:9 or a 4:3 aspect ratio (an interesting experiment would be shooting in standard resolution in 24p, which would emulate the FS camera but give a frame rate that the FS could not do, as it is a 30p camera with limitations. I’d have to keep that in mind for special projects which would require standard resolution. At any rate, I don’t know of any other standard definition DV camera that can shoot in 24p, so it would definitely give a film feel to standard resolution). I’ll also be making my own microphone boom and steadycam mount. I’ll also be investing in a tripod which will be used for shots which have to be locked down. All counted, I will be making my short films for an equipment investment of less than $900.00 (Not counting the computer which will be needed for file storage and post), with results which should prove to be stunning.
How so?
I have certain skillsets which will prove to give me a huge advantage as a filmmaker. Other Tampa filmmakers are aware of what I can do, and that’s one of many reasons that they are afraid of competing with me.

There isn’t a single Tampa filmmaker who has my experience or skill in photography. I am one of the top photographers in Florida, too, and there aren’t many photographers who can do what I can do, especially with minimal equipment.
I became a professional cameraman on television projects in 1994. This was around the time that I started my photography company, Aurora PhotoArts, but well before I was actually a photographer. Aurora PhotoArts was started as a necessity to support my projects, as my underground DJ release tapes needed photographs for their cassette covers. Aurora PhotoArts was not originally a company offering services to anyone but myself. Of course, my release covers needed design work, too, and my career as a graphic designer evolved over time. I started getting serious about photography in 1998, when I first started designing web sites, and I needed pictures for those sites. Within two years, I began working with better and better models, and I learned as I went. After turning pro as a photographer in 2000, and spending over a decade working as a pro in challenging location shoots with professional models and talent, and with minimal equipment, that new skillset can be applied to the older one. Photography has changed everything. I should be able to make a HF Vixia camera sing, and should be able to get footage which is better, consistently, than what Tampa filmmakers have been able to do with professional cameras on expensive feature films. Not even the best Tampa filmmakers, such as Chris Woods, can approach my eye for composition (and this includes Simon, Chris. Although I like Simon, and respect his work as a photographer, I disagree with you when you said that he was a better photographer. That’s wishful thinking on your part, and not reality, in my opinion. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and most full time, serious professional photographers find it tough competing with me).
Out of all of my skillsets, photography would have to be one of my strongest. So much, in fact, that I expect to be among the world’s best photographers in the next few years.
Expect my films to look superior than other Tampa, or Florida, indie films, regardless of format or budget. I’ll get better footage than any Tampa DP. My short inexpensive films should look better than the best Tampa feature films, and this is going to freak people out.

I’ve been designing logos and other things since I was around 9 or 10 years old. My ability to design is enhanced by my photography skills, and vice versa. My current work is very strong, with great work in everything from my DJ release covers, posters, comp cards, web sites, business cards, resumes, and lots of other things. There are no Tampa filmmakers who can approach me in design or graphics design, as far as I know, except for Andy Lalino, who does graphic design professionally (some of the work that I’ve seen of his is impressive). As an example, and I don’t want to seem like I am picking on Simon, but I’ve never been a fan of his indie film posters. Simon does all of the posters for Chris Wood’s films, and although I consider Chris Woods to be one of the best Tampa filmmakers, those posters are the weakest part of his indie films.
This said, I DO have some serious competition in design, unlike things like photography. Joe Davison, as bad as his films are, is at least smart enough to get talented professionals to collaborate with him in his films (I just wish that he would do it with writing and casting). The poster for Experiment 7 looks awesome, and gives my design skills a run for their money, but there is a catch. It wasn’t made by a Tampa designer. The graphics designer is in New York, and was referred to Joe.
Sure, a New York designer certainly will give me a run for my money, but the same could be said for photography. They are not in Tampa Bay, and, as a result, will not be a part of the equation of most Tampa indie films.

I’ve been writing far longer than anything else. I used to write award-winning stories in elementary school (which is in contrast to my rambling style of writing here in the blogs, as an adult, with all of these clumsy parentheses, but I really don’t care. I also tend to overwrite. I’m expressing myself in my own format, and my mind tends to think a lot. My stories are in a much more organized format). I wrote my first “novel” when I was 14. I’ve written more stories and other projects than I can recall.
Format specifics aside (and I’m not a perfect speller, nor do I exercise perfect grammar. I’m a writer, not an editor, and I’m no English expert. I never said that I was perfect, but I learn more every day. I just wish that all of the British publications which I read did not tend to screw up my spelling, such as “colour” instead of “color”), I’m very creative, and have a firm grasp on the structure of storytelling, exposition, characterization, and other technicalities. My scripts are strong. In contrast, filmmakers like Joe Davison, in my opinion, who write his own scripts in a fast, half-ass technique which I refer to as a “story-by-numbers”, or a “script-by-numbers”, are not good writers, and need to collaborate with good writers so that they have good scripts to turn into films. Joe, especially, in my opinion, sucks as a writer. He is imaginative, but he has no talent for it, and misses the details of what makes a story work, and what makes it good.
My writing was creative, and it was good, 20 years ago. It’s much better, now, and it is good enough for book deals, not to mention all of these web sites and blogs. A story which I wrote nine years ago, The Point, which I used as an early demonstration of a story which could be adapted for an inexpensive short film (and I will be turning it into a film), still holds up well today. My most recent stories were a series of short stories called Born Beautiful, written in 2004, and those stories were really good (notice the detail in the characterization, and that the theme of the story does not lose the characters). Although I spend much of my writing time writing articles, technical papers, tutorials, contracts, and business-orientated materials, as well as content for blogs and web sites, I will be spending more time with my first love, which is writing fiction, and stories based on real events. I will be writing novels, stories, stageplays, screenplays, scripts for media projects, scripts for my online television series, interactive tutorial scenarios (Oooh, Tampa Bay Modeling readers would love to read this here, because it is a clue to what those are, and I wasn’t this specific with clues on any of my modeling sites. This is why is pays to read all my blogs and web sites!), and other works of fiction. I am currently working on screenplays for my short films, which is one of the subjects of this blog post, a novel, a story series about a model for Independent Modeling, stageplays for Eventi Stage projects, DJ release scripts, podcast scripts, and some other things.
Regarding my films, they will have some of the strongest, and the best, scripts in Florida filmmaking. After all, filmmaking is about telling a story, and that’s right up my alley.

I’ve spent many, many years editing audio and making over 32 DJ release programs and assorted others. I’ve done sound for television, television networks, indie films, and a ton of other projects. I’m also an experienced foley artist.
Audio mixing, editing, and ADR? Second nature, and it compliments my film editing nicely.

Event Planning
This skillset has more to do with my film festivals and indie film events than it does actual filmmaking (although there is a hybrid project coming up this fall which will combine event planning, writing, and filmmaking, and that’s all that I can say at this time. It’s creative, fun, weird, revolutionary, and more complex than originally planned, which is one of the reasons that it’s been delayed twice already. Damn... I might have just said too much, and given away what this is).
My mother was a professional event planner and party organizer. As a kid, I used to organize clubs and other activities. Fresh out of high school, I organized and ran some of the best underground parties (we were not called the Friday Night Party Animals (FNPA) for nothing. Hey, I was young, and we had fun!).

Well, despite the fact that I have years of professional experience in photography, audio engineering, editing, directing, and filmmaking, which will give me a big advantage, I will be more than happy to show others how I did things so that they can replicate it. It will be amusing, though, when filmmakers flip out, and say “He shot THAT with WHAT? These are his FIRST FILMS? Holy S%&#!”.
With the rollout of my films, film festivals, and indie film events, everyone from filmmakers to film festival organizers will freak out, and wonder how they will be able to compete. Running circles around $50,000.00 feature indie films with short films which cost less than 1/50th of that will get lots of attention, for sure, and it will make those larger efforts look like poor investments in comparison. Also, if I can do that with minimal resources, just imagine what I’ll be able to do with more substantial resources.
Well, I wouldn’t expect anything less, really. It’s not like I started preparing to make films and events yesterday. I’ve been working on this for literally decades, and those kinds of results should be expected with someone with my experience. With support from resources such as my Tampa Bay Film sites, it should not be difficult for new filmmakers to replicate my success, and this is important. I will not be able to carry Tampa indie film by myself, and I will not be able to put Tampa indie film on the map. It’s going to take a lot of us, and one of the keys is that new filmmakers need to be able to do what I can do. That will be my greatest challenge.
At any rate, the cool thing is that technology finally caught up with my ideas, and I was able to get lots of experience in the meantime.
So, what films am I working on for my first short films? I’m glad that you are wondering, and I’ll go into some of them now (at least the information which I am allowed to share, as many details of these short film projects are currently classified).
Please note that this list is tentative, and may change at any time, and without warning. I will, at least, list them in the order which I plan to make them in.

A short drama film to be filmed in Riverview, Florida, Friendship is about a suicidal man who is giving up on life, and who goes into the woods to end his life. He is interrupted, however, by a young woman who may, or may not, be real (I had suggested this film project to an actress by the name of Dahlia, but as far as I know, she’s out, so I will recast that role. I already have the lead actor cast, though, and that character will be played by Tampa actor Rob Mussell. Dahlia is a great actress, she’s beautiful, and would have been awesome, but I have no shortage of actresses to choose from).
As Friendship will officially be my “first” indie film (at least my first one as a director and as a solo filmmaker), the film will be really short, around 15 minutes in length. I will shoot it over a weekend sometime in the fall of 2011, with a cast of two and a crew of two, making it the most cost-effective Tampa independent film in history.
Unlike my other short films, Friendship will likely debut on my online film festival. My other shorts will also be featured on my online film festival, but not before they debut at one of my film festival events (which means, faithful readers, that my film festivals are going to happen, so get used to the idea).

Composure has been a work in progress for a number of years, and I intend to shoot it on location around the Hillsborough River in north Tampa, and at a restaurant near the Causeway (or at a restaurant in Clearwater). Composure has a cast of six principles, a crew of three, and it is about a photographer in a quest for true love. A romantic drama, Composure should clock in at around 30 minutes.
I already have a script for this film, but may rewrite it.
I plan on shooting Composure late this year, or early next year.

Classified Film Project
This is my hybrid film project which I already hinted at in this post. This film project will be filmed this fall, and the finished film should clock in between 15 and 30 minutes. I’m leaning around 20 minutes. This film, which will be a horror / drama, will have a cast of five and a crew of one, and most of it will be filmed in one day.
You’ll understand the secrecy after it is revealed. It’s a really clever idea, and it will be worth the wait. It’s certainly highly creative and innovative.

The Point
This is a short film based on a short story that I wrote eight years ago. The story is no secret, and you can read it by clicking here on The Point.
Consider this a sample of what I can do as a writer.
The Point is a “psychological creeper”, and it was originally written as a demonstration of some of the techniques which I was going to use for my first feature film many years ago. The story is really good, and it’s very effective as a creepy, and scary, tale. The story actually turned out better than the story for the film which it was demonstrating techniques for!
Like the original story, The Point is a short film, running about 30 minutes, about a womanizer who has a very bad night. The womanizer comes to terms with many things in the course of that night, and ends up a better person through his experience.
The Point will be filmed in west Tampa next year. It has a principle cast of four and a crew of two, and it will have several added scenes which were not in the original story, like an office scene at in the exposition at the beginning of the film. I’m not sure if I’ll film the night club scene, however, but I am considering it.

Not to be confused with my aborted attempt at making a feature film with the same name a decade ago (which was way too soon, as DV was expensive and limited), Reverence is a horror film infused with psychological creeper elements. Reverence will be a short film around 30 minutes long, and it will be shot in 1080p, 16:9 widescreen, 24p, and in black and white. Reverence is about a couple who go into an ancient graveyard, and the couple finds far more than they expect. It will have a cast of four and a crew of three.
I finished the story for Reverence back in 2009, and have posted details about it before on the Tampa Film Blog. Although the story is classified, I did tell it to two Tampa filmmakers, Andy Lalino and Chris Woods. Chris Woods, who hates the story for Friendship, did state that the story for Reverence was pretty good (Chris also did not like the ending of The Point, because he stated that no one really died. That’s cool!). On the set of the Tampa film Spaventare, I also showed some of my notes to actor and filmmaker Rod Grant, but he could not read my chicken scratch, so I’m not sure if he knows much about the premise.
Reverence will be filmed in the spring of 2012, and it needs to be done by the fall of next year, because it will serve as the centerpiece of my first film festival, the Reverence Film Festival. Reverence will debut at that film festival, and then will immediately be available on the online film festival the following day.

A creepy drama about a psycho stalker clown, Chuckles is a work in progress. It will be a short film running about 30 minutes, with a tiny cast and crew. Expect it to address the shortcomings of the featured indie film 100 Tears, as the small, scrappy film will be better.

The Outcast
This is a Christian film made by non Christians. It is a drama. It will have a small cast and crew, will run about 30 minutes, and will be about religion, hypocrisy, and redemption in a church youth group. It will not be religious, will not be preachy, and will not hit anyone over the head with religion. It will tell a damn good story, like indie films should, and allow the audience to make up their own minds and come up with their own conclusions. Expect it to be extremely controversial, and not the typical church propaganda. I really do hope that churches will show this to their youth groups, and I’ll even release it free of charge as a digital download for iPods, iPads, and private screenings.
Although it is based on the premise of my acclaimed stage play from 1993, the story and characters will be entirely new. What pisses me off about the original stage play is that a Tampa church cancelled my stage play project in 1993 because they discriminated against myself and my team, because we were not Christians (the new story will NOT be about that fiasco, as this is not a revenge film). Well, now I have the resources to do this type of project without the participation, or the interference, of any church. This is a story that needs to be told!
I expect to shoot this film in the Tampa Bay area in the next two years.

Straight Shooter (working title)
This short film, running about 30 minutes, and also with a small cast and crew, is about a player who is out to convert lesbian fems to a straight life; a result of his sexual conquest of them. I’m thinking about making this one a black comedy, with some dramatic elements.

Quiet Places
This is my remake of The Quiet Place, and it takes the original premise and supercharges it with an entirely new story and characters. Quiet Places will clock in between 15 and 30 minutes (I’m leaning toward 30 minutes, and the TRT, or Total Running Time, not being locked down is usually an indicator that I’m still working on the script, as it normally would be in a treatment form at that stage. To save writing time and to maximize the efficiency of writing a good script, especially if the plot and the characterization are complex, I always write from a treatment; my Frontier 4 science fiction novel would not be possible without working from a treatment, as it has a dauntingly complicated storyline, and my upcoming story series about an independent model named Kat, details which were finalized on 04/14, will be written off of treatment, with details fleshed out along the way), and it is a drama/ thriller about a single mother who has lost her daughter. Although Quiet Places does not rip off The Quiet Place in any way, I do want to cast my friend, actress and model Harmony Oswald, who played the mother in The Quiet Place, as the mother in this film, which may prove to be controversial (well, this project already is. I told Chris Woods, who wrote the script for The Quiet Place, my story, to show him that it was not the same, and he still did not approve. Sorry, Chris, but as an artist, I feel strongly about doing this). Harmony, too, was referred as the lead in The Quiet Place by me.
Logistically simpler than The Quiet Place, Quiet Places will have a cast of four and a crew of three. It will be filmed over a weekend sometime next year.

That’s it for now, although there are many more projects and short films on the table. In closing, I just want to state that, although I am still obtaining my filmmaking gear, that it won’t cost much, so I should be ready to start late this summer. So, for now, I’ll do what I can until I can actually do the films, which is write the best scripts that I can. I’m currently writing all of these scripts, and the first scripts should be done this summer.
Regarding the films listed here, I also want to convey what they will all have in common.

1. All of the films will be shot with a Canon HF series prosumer DV camera in HD, with a frame rate of 24p.

2. All of the films will be written, cast, directed, shot, and edited by me. I will be on location directing and doing DP work at the same time. DP’s, take note: It’s going to be hard to outshoot me because of my photography and video background. Speaking of photography, I will also do all of the still photography as the films are shot.

3. All of the films will be shot in a weekend or less.

4. Post production, however, will take a lot longer, with some of the films taking over a month.

5. The making of all of the films will be documented extensively, much more than any Tampa film ever done. This will be a standard practice with all of my films, including the large, expensive feature independent films which I will be doing a few years from now. The documentation will be done on video, in still photography, and in interviews. The making-of features and tutorials will be exclusively on Tampa Bay Film. Tampa Bay Film will also have exclusive articles and tutorials which will help filmmakers replicate my filmmaking process, if desired, undermining any Tampa film schools hoping to rip off, or profit from, aspiring filmmakers. The information in these articles and tutorials will also include equipment lists and resources.

6. Regarding still photography on the set of the films, I will also be doing a lot of photography, as it is very important. Still photography will be a major part of all of my filmmaking endeavors. I will also be doing the photography and design work for everything from the film posters to the web sites (and this will be true for my future major feature films, as well. I am not at all convinced that any Tampa Bay photographer can do the job like I can, especially since, in my photography career, I am working toward eventually becoming one of the best in the world).

7. All of my films, as a standard, will have running commentary tracks as a default feature, and this includes films featured on my online film festival (I have figured out a way to have these features on online films, and it is more ingenious than revolutionary). Many of my films will have multiple commentary tracks, including a new type of commentary track where we lampoon and ridicule our own films, Mystery Science Theater-style. We should be able to laugh at ourselves, after all. Although I am very serious about everything that I do, it is tradition, for me, to make light of, and pick apart, finished projects. When I was a child, my friends would sit around reading my stories on tape, coming up with jokes and gags about the story (replacing switchblades in my Riverview Gang story, for example, with tubes of Preparation H, and changing some lines around to make it a parody. Don’t ask, but it was funny). I did not mind at all. Roasting my creative properties is quite entertaining; unlike most Tampa filmmakers, I am not insecure about what I do, and welcome both criticism and parody.

8. The films will also have introductions and epilogue segments filmed, which would be featured at film festivals, but would not be a default part of the actual films.

And that, my friends, is it for now.


UPDATED 05/04/11

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