In keeping with the recent EBook launch of The Cinema 2.0 Manifesto, I’ve put together a Top 10 Cine Tip List so you can start creating your own content today. Think of these as an introduction to the DIY Manifesto content and the goal of controlling your own production, exhibition and distribution of your next generation cinema.
1. There is no room in the mainstream world if you’re promoting dangerous, downbeat or genre-challenging ideas outside the norm. #stepwayoutsidethenorm
Divorce the mainstream and make your own original, impactful and unique content that speaks to ideas, concepts and cinema specific to you. Your taste and your own unique point of view will make all the difference.
2. You don’t need try and compete with mainstream movie productions. Design original and outrageous art. Be your own self and share openly everywhere.
Screw normal. To hell with the old-school three-act structure or the ‘happily-ever-after’ movie format that dominates traditional moviemaking. Share your thought-provoking, genre-busting mash-up content and redefine how your content is consumed. Ultra-short? Ultra-long episodic structuring? The choice is yours. #pushitrealgood
3. Mainstream cinema is fighting for their theater space and their audience every day. Avoid this market and concentrate on fringe and niche marketing.
Forget about theatrical and get your work online right now. Share a portion or give away the whole thing to drive attention and interest. Niche market yur content to your specific audience and cultivate a community of like-minded advocates.
4. Make more with much less. Work with what you have. Stop apologizing. Start creating. Now. #diyordie
Easy to spend money on all the high-priced kit. Only have a Smartphone? Use that. Pick up an HD camcorder for peanuts and start with a strong script, a decent cast and a viable and unique perspective first. An Arri Alexa or a RED won’t make you a better creator.
5. Reverse Engineer everything you have when writing and shooting. Make a list of immediate assets. Use them.
Work backwards with the locales, sets, props and people that you already know want to be part of your show. Write your script around your apartment, the place you work in (that will let you shoot), your school, your neighbor’s place (if they’re down with that).
6. Take stock of locales, props, tools, gear and people who can help you. Ask them to. #askforhelp
Asking everyone for help pays off. You don’t know what you’ve got until you ask. Put out a request to your friends and family, pitch your colleagues at work, hang a sign or two and collect the data before you start writing. Consider everything.
7. Look to specific areas or genres underserved by conventional films and examine them. Do your homework and explore Outsider opportunities.
Musicals are dead? Make one – or mash it up with a horror flick. Make a fight film and have everyone sing as they bleed? Hip-Hop meets Bollywood. Look to areas and genres that you know or love and re-imagine them by combining them with other unique cinematic opportunities. Sci-Fi documentary? Western meets Eastern Kung-Fu? You be the mixmaster.
8. Create an original and handmade artisan-styled cinema with a unique and discernible style. #handcraftyourcinema
Style matters. Spend time studying the past masters of light and design and craft your work using an Etsy-styled handmade aesthetic. Avoid the gloss and shine of the big-budget movie and adopt the lo-fi Lomography/ Lensbaby world of analog-influenced art cinema. Live with the lens flare, the grain and the look that defines your world.
9. Do not confuse the tools with the talent. Avoid gear envy or the next best thing. Use tools that work.
Don’t waste money on expensive camera cranes, Steadicam-styled rigs, motion control packages – unless you know how to use them (and why). Concentrate on the best sound and picture package you can afford and never apologize for having the latest kit. Lenses are more important than cameras. Microphone placement is more important than the cost of expensive RF gear.
10. Understand a well-written script with a unique point-of-view is essential to audience engagement. #contentcounts
Story is the key deciding factor in how well your work will be received. If the story moves us, we will stay with the film. Avoid cookie-cutter genre copies and define your content with organic and authentic cinema that is forever and uniquely yours.