Coyote – the Story of Human Trafficking

Los Angeles-based director, Mark Grabianowski takes us behind the scenes of his new short film, Coyote.  Set deep in the heart of Mexico, Coyote is the story of human traffickers’ search for the disappearance of a young woman. What inspired this story? I have always been fascinated with the fact that human trafficking is still practiced globally, even close to home. Mexico is only a few hours away yet people are being trafficked across the border everyday. I wanted to create a story that shows the violence and the hopelessness of these people who are locked into this life.  …

Film Commissions Are Your Friends

  When a production company is looking for a city in which to shoot, there are several factors to consider. Permits, local laws regarding film production, tax incentives, and coordination between police, fire, and other city departments will affect the budget and shooting schedule. Because the production company may not be aware of the local regulations and procedures, each state has set up a film commission to work with the production company.   In addition to state film commissions, large cities may have their own. Film commissions serve to provide the following services to filmmakers:   Production Manual Film commissions…

All New Film Marketing Classes

We are excited to announce the all new FilmSkills Film Marketing series. We’ve assembled an all-star group of studio executives and marketing professionals to help you craft a powerful and effective marketing campaign for your movie. In this series, you will learn from: Jeff Ulin – Vice President of LucasFilm – Jeff managed and oversaw the worldwide marketing campaign for the Star Wars movies Kyle Bonnici – Director Paramount Pictures Worldwide Marketing Jason J. Tomaric – Emmy-winning director, producer of several internationally distributed movies Alexa Amin – VP of Sony Pictures Animation Patrick Falvey – Los Angeles based marketing producer…

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING King

As expected, Spidey opened huge with $117M, kicking off a rebooted franchise in auspicious fashion. But how does its weekend gross compare to fellow superhero moneymakers, and could it have done better? Since its no surprise the webslinger had a fantastic opening weekend, let’s take a look at the numbers and where it falls in the grand scheme of things. 1. It had the 3rd highest opening weekend of 2017, behind BEAUTY AND THE BEAST ($174.7M) and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 ($146.5), but ahead of WONDER WOMAN ($103.2M) 2. It had the highest opening weekend for a character…

Screenwriting Master Class

  Learn the complete, step-by-step process of writing a marketable Hollywood screenplay from successful, working writers.     Learn to write a script Hollywood will want to produce Every great movie is made from a great script. It doesn’t matter how big the budget gets, how authentic the actors perform, or how magnificent the visual effects appear unless the screenplay is engaging, dynamic, and believable. Films with high production values have been known to flop because the scripts couldn’t handle the weight of their own plots, structures or even main characters. Rarely has a bad script been made into a…

How Audio is Recorded Digitally

Even though sound is the other half of the movie going experience, it tends to be the most neglected department on set. The camera, lights, and actors get all the attention, all while the audio is almost an after thought. This is a mistake, as recording clean on set audio will save you may headaches (and money) later in post. But how does audio work, and how do new digital recording devices convert sound waves into a series of 1s and 0s? In this excerpt of the FilmSkills Audio Recording Course, Emmy-winning director Jason Tomaric, Head of Audio at Apple and inventor…

CARS drive the weekend, but Shakur pic draws many EYEZ

Welcome to the Weekend Box Office Review   CARS 3 Pixar’s Cars 3 opened to a solid but unspectacular $53.7M, providing the biggest animated opening so far of 2017, but dropping about $10M from the previous two CARS debuts. Why?  This one fell directly in the center of expectations. The CARS series has always been the black sheep of the Pixar family. The 2006 original was the first Pixar film to garner its share of truly middling reviews, and the much-maligned creative misstep that was CARS 2 (the first film was about preserving history and embracing old fashioned Americana, and…

How I Went from Film School Dropout to a Hollywood Director with a $10,000 Day Rate

Welcome! Hello, I’m Jason Tomaric, and welcome to FilmSkills. I’m a working director and cinematographer in Los Angeles, California and the founder of FilmSkills. I can imagine we have a lot in common. I grew up in a small Ohio town and started a production company shooting local commercials for bike shops, restaurants, and attorneys.  While I dreamt of shooting bigger projects in LA, I had no idea where to start. My family was a typical middle-income family with absolutely no industry connections, and film school wasn’t for me. But as fate would have it, our neighbors in the house behind…

18 Rules for Surviving (if not necessarily thriving) in Hollywood

OK, take all this with a grain of salt. After all, I haven’t made it big yet, either. Still, I have learned the following hard lessons: RULE #1: ANY PRODUCER WHO WON’T SPRING FOR LUNCH IS A BIG FAT PHONY. If this guy can raise five million dollars to make your movie, then why the hell can’t he spring $12.99 for your tuna melt? RULE #2: ANYONE WHO TALKS ABOUT “PALETTE” IS A BIG FAT PHONY. For those of us who haven’t been to film school, a film’s “palette” is the combination of dominant colors that is used in a…

Weekend Box office analysis: WONDER WOMAN rules, MUMMY drools. Everything else is just garnish.

THE MUMMY The Mummy underperformed even at the more modest expectations, pulling in only $31.6M and garnering the poorest reviews among the summer blockbusters so far. Why: God, where to begin? The warning signs were everywhere. The Concept – In an effort to build their own interconnected monster-based “Dark Universe,” Universal made the unwise decision of attempting to launch it with the one Universal monster that had been recently played out in their own popular Brendan Fraser film trilogy. Audiences simply were indifferent to more of the same. Also, and I keep going back to it: There are pitfalls involved…