Category Archives: Production Resources

Meet Tim Williams

New Film Office Director Prioritizing Partnerships and Sustainability for Oregon Media Production

By Mary Erickson Guest Editor

Tim Williams visited Oregon to scout locations for the film Wild while working at Fox Searchlight. Working with the Oregon film office on this project, he was struck by the possibilities and opportunities in the state and the level of creative work happening here. Then Vince Porter, the former executive director of the Governor’s Office of Film and Television, left to pursue a position as one of Governor Kitzhaber’s economic policy advisors. Williams seized the opportunity to transition 25 years of production experience into work that would be more consistent in a place that is, as he mentions, “a lot more beautiful.”

Tim Williams OR Film

Tim Williams

Since taking the helm at the Oregon film office on October 1 of this year, Williams dived into getting acquainted with filmmaking communities across the state. He has been encouraged at the depth of the creative community.

“There is a passion and an insight to so many different creative processes here,” he says, “and I’m excited to see how we can help them out to grow into something forceful.”

Williams is committed to growing the sustainability of media production in the entire region. One strategy is to make the state’s film incentives—OPIF, i-OPIF, Greenlight Oregon—work for the entire state. Working with various regional industry associations will ensure solid distribution of the incentives across the state. Oregon’s film incentives have been very successful, attracting and retaining high-profile productions, such as Grimm and The Librarians.

Williams says, “The incentive program is working really well and it is benefiting a great deal of companies both in-state and coming from out of state. And it’s created a nice balance of work in the state, and the smaller indigenous work that’s going on.”

But the incentives have topped out quickly this year: the $10 million for the 2014 OPIF incentives were distributed within the first month. Even i-OPIF, the production incentive fund for indigenous, or locally-grown, films, capped out within a week for the first time this year.

“This limits our ability to use incentives for many of the things we’d like to do,” says Williams. “We have about five different projects every week inquiring about shooting in Oregon. And that’s been happening since July… But with no incentives left to offer, the conversation stops there.”

So much interest in media production means larger-scale productions, and more brick-and-mortar companies expanding and moving into larger spaces to accommodate the increase in work. Williams’ role in fostering conditions to keep this momentum going includes looking at models in other states, such as New York, California, Louisiana and Georgia, examining what works and what doesn’t work.

“We’re looking at what they are doing right,” he says, “and what they are doing that we probably wouldn’t do, and what they are doing that we can learn from. It changes with each one of those jurisdictions.”

As the next legislative session approaches, beginning in February 2015, Williams and the film office hope to address the gap in what the incentives can offer and what the filmmaking community is asking for.

“We have a growing list of projects that are inquiring about Oregon and because we’re not on a level playing field with other states that have incentives programs with more money, these productions go elsewhere,” says Williams. “Addressing this gap is right up at the top of our agenda.”

He adds, “I am hopeful we can expand the incentives in a way that will continue to help the sectors.”

To complement the incentives and continue strengthening Oregon’s production community, Williams hopes to pursue partnerships with both government and non-government agencies.

“I’m seeing a lot of opportunity for partnership to help the internal creative companies of Oregon, the ones we call brick-and-mortar companies,” says Williams. “Media is now a broad term, rather than just TV or movies or commercials. It’s now branded content, digital content, digital storytelling. Everything is crossing over everywhere, so this partnership aspect is really important.”

Williams is approaching this strategy of partnership by examining other states’ activities. “We’re also looking at what some of the state agencies in other places have done,” he says, “like the Arts Commission in New York and what they have done with rural theater and rural filmmaking. What can we learn from these types of partnerships?”

In the meantime, Williams is getting to know the state, visiting both the Eugene International Film Festival and the Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival in Portland in November.

“I’m excited about Oregon’s diversity of film offerings and its different agendas and needs,” he says. “Now we are working on marrying all of these things together in a way that makes people feel like we are here to help without diminishing one side or the other of the equation.”

And at the beginning of December, Williams had his first major film premiere as head of the film office. Wild, the film that first brought Williams to Oregon, boasts more on-location shooting in Oregon than any other feature film, shot in Bend, Ashland, Crater Lake and points in between. The film opened in December in theaters across the country.

Partnering Research and Industry to Promote Pacific Northwest Media

Mary Erickson Head ShotBy Mary Erickson
Founder and Director of Pacific Northwest Media Research Consortium

This summer, a group of scholars who focus on media in the Pacific Northwest formed an organization to gather their research in one place. I spearheaded the founding of the Pacific Northwest Media Research Consortium in order to highlight the ways in which regional media contribute to the overall cultural makeup of the Pacific Northwest.

I have been researching and working in film and television in the Pacific Northwest for a number of years, and I have seen a huge growth in the strength and vitality of these industries. For example, in 2013, Moviemaker Magazine declared Seattle as the third best city in the U.S. to make movies. Portland came in at number five. The metro area of Vancouver, BC, regularly hosts major TV and film productions, such as Once Upon A Time, Bates Motel, and the latest Godzilla blockbuster. Meanwhile, new film-related ventures have started across the Pacific Northwest region. The Film Factory opened facilities in Kelowna, BC, to provide a hub for filmmakers and other local creatives. After being closed for over a year, a movie theater in Florence, Oregon, reopened as an independent cinema in August under the new name City Lights Cinema. Such a vigorous landscape of media activity signals interest in and excitement about the region and the possibilities of homegrown creative production.

City Lights Cinema in Florence, Oregon.

City Lights Cinema in Florence, Oregon.

I see similar developments in other regional industries, such as video games and Internet. There is public interest and pride in supporting locally-based media, both for the cultural caché as well as for the regional economic benefit. There are also numerous researchers doing really great work about phenomena that impact regional media, and this work could make a positive contribution to the media landscape, strengthening it even more. The Consortium is intended to bring these two elements—the research and the industry—together to facilitate and promote active, vibrant media that stems from and gives back to the region.

This international network of researchers focuses on media in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, a unique region in its own right with similarities in geography, environment and culture. The scope of media is broad: film, television, newspapers, video games, Internet, radio, and so on. Consortium members bring a range of experience, both academic and professional, to facilitate sustainable, ethical and culturally productive media in the Pacific Northwest. Members specialize in historical, cultural, political and economic dimensions of Pacific Northwest media, including regional minority newspapers, environmental links to media, independent filmmaking communities, Cascadian identities, and the unique relationships that emerge when media crosses the U.S.-Canada border.

We have started a blog about Pacific Northwest media to begin to track some of the phenomena we’ve been witnessing. Some of our articles cover the challenge of establishing public access television in a community; Kelly Reichardt’s 2013 film, Night Moves; and the state of independent movie theaters.

As it grows, the Consortium is also developing resources for those who research and teach about media in the Pacific Northwest. The website will host an online repository of research articles, books, videos and other sources that focus on locally- and regionally-based media. We are also assembling teaching resources to facilitate increased understanding of media in the region.

The Consortium is in the midst of developing partnerships with other regionally-focused academic programs, archives and industry organizations. These relationships will help direct our organizational research agenda starting next year, which will focus primarily on the research needs of the region’s media industries.

To learn more about the Consortium and partnership or member opportunities, visit our website (pnwmediaresearch.wordpress.com), and connect with us on Twitter (@pnwmedia) and Facebook (facebook.com/pnwmediaresearch).

Oregon Film Office Names Executive Director

The Oregon Governor’s Office of Film & Television Board announced the appointment of Tim Williams as executive director. Williams comes to the job after a lengthy search by the Oregon Film Board and officially started in Oregon Film’s Portland office on October 1.Tim Williams OR Film

Previously based in London, New York, and most recently Los Angeles, Williams has a long history in film and TV production and finance throughout the U.S. and internationally. He recently worked for Fox Searchlight during preparations for their upcoming film Wild, which shot in more locations throughout Oregon than any other feature film. It was during this time that Williams got to know both the Oregon Film Office and the thriving media industry based in Oregon. He is replacing outgoing executive director Vince Porter, who moved on to be Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber’s Policy Advisor on Jobs and the Economy.

“I am pleased that Oregon was able to attract someone of Tim’s caliber and experience to join us and to build upon Vince Porter’s great work over the past years,” said Oregon Film Board chairman, Gordon Sondland. “We had an exceptional pool of talent from which to choose, and Governor Kitzhaber and I are looking forward to be able to work with Tim to continue to create a robust and stable film and television employment base in Oregon.”

“I’m excited about the people, the talent and the infrastructure that I have met and seen in Oregon,” said Williams, “and I can’t wait to help build on what is already a thriving creative community through a program which seeks to invest in a diverse pattern of both local and outside projects. This is a state I have always admired, having family who live and were born here, but it wasn’t until working on Wild that I saw the strength of the Oregon production community and the diversity of locations that make this such a great filming destination.”

Williams has been both an executive and independent producer for more than 25 years and has partnered on projects with companies as diverse as Fox Searchlight, FreMantle Media, HBO, BBC, Vuguru, Hulu, BlipTV, Legendary Pictures and Film Finances. His credits have appeared on many projects, including the Emmy Award-winning HBO feature documentary Manhunt, the ALMA Award Best Picture Piñero, five-time Academy Award-nominated In the Bedroom, and the multiple award-winning online and Broadway hit, Old Jews Telling Jokes. From 1998 to 2011, Williams was a partner, co-president and head of production for GreeneStreet Films, a leading New York-based independent film company. While there, he was involved in the production of nearly 30 features, producing or executive producing most of their projects. Latterly, he managed the company’s opening and running of their Los Angeles office and started their new media initiative, Jetpack Media. Williams started his career as a set production assistant and assistant director in New York on numerous features, commercials and TV shows, and then worked for many years producing and directing new plays on the London Fringe.

The Oregon Governor’s Office of Film & Television has been helping productions find, secure, and utilize magnificent locations since 1968. The Oregon Film Office’s mission is to promote the development of the film, video, and multimedia industry in Oregon, and to enhance the industry’s revenues, profile, and reputation within Oregon, and among the industry internationally. Visit www.oregonfilm.org for more.

The Scriptee at Your Service

Jill Fey recently moved north from Hollywood to Seattle, bringing her script editing skills with her. Media Inc. caught up with Fey to find out more about her company’s services and what makes a good script.

Media Inc.: Who were you working for in Hollywood?
Jill Fey: I worked for Warner Bros.’ script processing department. It was quite an experience and so much fun! You never know what you would see on any given day on the WB lot. One time I was eating on the lot and I look around and thought I was back in the 1920s! Everybody was dressed in makeup and hair for the movie that was being shot. Another time I was working in my office and we got to see a monster truck jump cars right outside our office windows! It was an amazing experience and I treasure every moment. Warner Bros. was a great company to work for.

MI: Why did you leave L.A. and Warner Bros. and move to Washington?unnamed
JF: I moved to Washington to be closer to my boyfriend I met a year ago in Hawaii. I still want to be involved in the film industry and work with filmmakers. That is why I started my own company, The Scriptee!

MI: How many scripts have you edited?
JF: That is a hard question to answer. So many scripts went through the script processing department when I worked there. If I were to also include all the rewrites and revisions I would say hundreds!

MI: What do studios look for in a script?
JF: Studios look to see if there is already a built-in audience base, such as is the movie based off a book, video game, comic book, fairy tale or famous person? There is already an audience that will come and see the movie. For spec scripts they look for how well it is written with characters and plot, but also how big of a size audience will come to theaters to watch the film.
Studios look for how much a movie will cost to be made. It is okay if you are Christopher Nolan or Zack Snyder because the studios will just throw money at you because they know they will make it back plus more. But it all comes down to money. How much will it cost to make the movie, and how much are they most likely to get back.
That is the norm, but sometimes a good script can still make it. If there is truly a good script somebody is passionate about they will be the champion for that script to be made.

MI: What are the most common mistakes that you see?
JF: I would say the most common mistakes are writers get too specific and elaborate in the direction, and feel they have to write out every single detail about the scene. Secondly, I find a lot of writers like to capitalize, underline and bold as much as they can. That is not needed at all. Just keep it simple and your story will shine through.
The one mistake I find rather funny is writers will forget their characters’ names or how to spell them.

MI: Do you have a favorite script that you have edited or read?
JF: I think one of my favorite scripts that I worked on was Argo. It was interesting to be a part of an Oscar-winning film from start to finish. I was impressed about how little the story changed and how true the writer, director and producer tried to stay to the story. After working on it and reading it through again and again, I was still on the edge of my seat when I got to watch the film in theaters.
I also enjoyed working on Clint Eastwood movies because he is a true old school filmmaker. We would only see his scripts come through our department maybe three times, and that includes revisions! Clint Eastwood knows what he wants, and he makes it happen.

MI: Why continue editing scripts?
JF: I love reading stories and getting swept away in them. I enjoy seeing what comes out of a writer’s head and onto the page. I want to help writers in the creation of their dream and what they hope to do with their script. MI

For more information about The Scriptee, visit www.thescriptee.squarespace.com.

Tuthills Team Up for Film Financing

Oliver W. Tuthill Jr., president of Blue Wood Films LLC, has teamed up with Cody L. Tuthill, owner of Bellen Snow Productions LLC, to focus on completion funding for feature films with budgets ranging from $1 million to $20 million. Cody, who holds a Master’s Degree in Producing from the Seattle Film Institute, met Oliver there in 2012 when Oliver was teaching Blocking and Staging for Camera for the institution.

Cody and Oliver Tuthill

Cody and Oliver Tuthill

Two years ago Cody briefly worked with Oliver on a social media campaign for his feature film in development titled Constantine the Great. Cody also briefly assisted Oliver and Tim Rhys, owner and publisher of MovieMaker Magazine, as a consultant on their documentary feature Fighting Blind: The Sugar Ray Seales Story, which is in development.

In April of 2014, Oliver helped a music producer friend find a funding organization for a feature film the music producer was working on that he wanted to shoot in Seattle. Oliver discovered he wanted to help other filmmakers find funding for their films and began contacting various organizations that dealt with film production and film funding. He soon realized the job was far more complicated and complex than he realized, and he asked Cody if she would like to work with him on finding film producers in need of procuring completion funding for various film projects. Cody said yes, and a new partnership was created.

Cody brings extensive experience to the job with her background in fiscal analysis and financial reporting while working as a budget and financial analyst at the University of Washington. In 2013 and 2014 she worked as a producer at Painted Monkey Productions and brought a creative and consultative approach to her work with film projects at all different stages of the process, from development to post-production. She worked on short projects, web series and full-length features. Cody brings a skilled, studied presence to every project she works on.

“She is very talented and understands how the film business works,” Oliver stated while overseeing the production of the new soundtrack he is composing for his historical feature, Constantine the Great. “She works well with all kinds of people, and I also think she is a natural as an actress too, although she wants to concentrate on the business end of production.”

Cody seems pleased with how Oliver goes about the delicate and complex business of funding and producing films.

“He works hard, and he understands film production and all its nuances,” she says. “I can count on him to do what needs to be done. We spend a lot of time talking with film producers and film financiers from all over North America and Europe.”

Oliver has raised funding for and produced a number of films, including award winners Wounded Heart: Pine Ridge and the Sioux featuring American Indian actor and activist Russell Means, and the crime thriller The Right to Bear Arms starring John Savage. His films have been distributed by Entertainment 7, Passion River Films, Reality Entertainment and Aquarius Productions. At the time of this writing he was in active negotiations for production of his newest crime thriller, Cottenhead.

The Tuthills, who say they can trace their heritage back to Jamestown when their family members landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620, look forward to serving film producers throughout the United States and Europe. Already they are working on numerous projects that are multiple levels of negotiations.

“We have to deliver when it comes to getting films funded and produced,” Cody said after ending a call with several bankers in New York. “Oliver and I are both in this for the long term. We are a team. I know I can count on Oliver, and he knows he can count on me. We understand it takes a while to start a business like this, and we look forward to helping bring slates of new films to the domestic and foreign markets.”

DIY Distribution in the Digital World: A Case Study

By Ryan Davis Guest Columnist

If you’re an independent filmmaker, one of the biggest problems you face is not knowing what you don’t know. In an effort to change that, we’ve been given full access to an independently produced feature-length thriller (made and set right here in the Pacific Northwest!) that is currently available for both rental and sale on iTunes and Vimeo On Demand platforms. We have control over pricing, promotion and placement, as well as access to the full data set associated with each platform. We’ll know how much we spend on digital and social advertising, as well as the ROI for each specific ad buy. And we’ve got the expertise of the indie film community to help develop a set of best practices for a DIY distribution template, which is the end goal of this endeavor. Let’s get started…

First off, we’re not going to reveal the title of the film (just yet) in order to keep the data as pristine as possible out of the gate. We’d like to maintain some type of firewall between the case study and the film itself until we’ve turned a few promotional knobs and pulled a few marketing levers in service of seeing what works and what doesn’t for the film prior to announcing it to the world and potentially creating an influx of page views, etc., that could throw off our numbers.

Secondly, we’re doing this “live” in an attempt to encourage participation in a lab-like, educational setting as opposed to a “lessons learned” post-mortem after the dust has settled. If some of these tactics are bound to fail, that’s fine, but we’d like to course correct in real-time and keep the curtains open in hopes of learning even more about why certain tactics work and others don’t. It might be a bumpy ride, but that’s sort of the point.

As of August 21, 2014, Indie Thriller has amassed the following numbers on Vimeo On Demand since its platform debut on February 3, 2014 :

Smarthouse chart 1

“Sales” and “gross revenue” are self-explanatory, whereas “trailer plays” and “On Demand plays” account for the number of times the “Play” button was pressed (though not necessarily the number of times the content was watched all the way through to the end).

Indie Thriller went live on iTunes on September 21, 2013, where it has tallied the following sales figures to date:

Smarthouse chart 2

As far as total revenue is concerned, Vimeo is responsible for $128.82 and iTunes accounts for $353.69, for a grand total of $482.51 over 11 months. You don’t have to be an economist to see that those aren’t the kind of numbers that lay the foundation for a sustainable enterprise.

Most filmmakers don’t launch their digital strategy until they begin to prep for their festival premiere, which is much too late for it to have any real impact. Savvy filmmakers get started in pre-production, and their strategy includes objectives and key metrics that connect their engagement efforts with their overall goals for the film, as well as those of their burgeoning filmmaking careers.

Your strategic objectives should include words like “increase,” “establish,” and “engage,” and your key metrics should focus as much as possible on rates, not raw numbers. For instance, engagement rate trumps post “likes,” and audience growth rate is a better indicator of success than total page likes.

And there’s a big difference between community management (which typically includes updating channels and responding to comments) and digital strategy, which connects your community management tactics with your overall film (and career) goals. One without the other can only get you so far; you need both to be successful.

With those points in mind, we’ll now share with you the ‘top page’ strategy we’ve initially developed for Indie Thriller, featuring a single goal supported by specific objectives, which are, in turn, assessed via measurable key results.

Overall goal: A profitable DIY distribution run for Indie Thriller.
Profitability, of course, will vary from film to film depending on its budget. In this specific case, we want to focus solely on distribution, so will proceed with the assumption that this particular independent filmmaker was initially given a cash “grant” from a rich aunt, meaning she has no investors to make whole. As such, profitability will be calculated simply by subtracting total costs from gross revenues. We have a small ($500) advertising budget to work with and whatever earned/social media support we can muster.

Objective #1: Build awareness for Indie Thriller across multiple online channels within the #indiefilm community.
• Engage #indiefilm fans online in at least ten targeted markets between launch of campaign and December 1, 2014.
• Build audience of “true fans” that will share updates and take ownership of promoting Indie Thriller as we build momentum both online and off.
• Increase social engagement rates ( [shares + comments + RTs] /[total audience reach] ) across all channels.
• Create original content, including interviews, film stills augmented with text, and teaser clips tailored to specific audiences in ten targeted markets to drive rentals and purchases of Indie Thriller.
• Execute single “thunderclap”-style social blitz at mid-point of campaign, on or around October 30.

Objective #2: Drive at least 7,500 rentals (avg. unit price $4.49) and 1,000 sales (avg. unit price $9.99) of Indie Thriller for $43,665 in gross revenues.
• Acquire at least 20 4- and 5-star user reviews of Indie Thriller by November 15, 2014.
• Secure at least four reviews of Indie Thriller by online film critics by November 15, 2014.
• Double the number of links to Indie Thriller’s Vimeo On Demand sales page in social content shared with #indiefilm community.
• Perform weekly network analysis (using NodeXL) centered on specific keywords (including film title, director, etc.) and online influencer accounts to best target promotion and sales efforts.
• Launch #indiefilm influencer word-of-mouth social campaign to drive potential customers to Indie Thriller’s Vimeo On Demand sales page.
• Launch holiday sale lasting from “Black Friday” through December 15, 2014.

Objective #3: Drive Vimeo On Demand metrics that most positively influence sales.
• Develop and test hypotheses (via weekly regression analyses) to determine weekly marketing budget allocations and tactics based on increase in Vimeo On Demand metrics (independent variables) that most positively influence sales (dependent variable).

That last one’s a doozy, but without data discipline, you can’t say for sure what’s working and what’s not. It might seem painful at first, but once your team gets used to measuring your film’s performance, you’ll find it’s a lot easier (and quicker) to make marketing and promotional decisions.

If you’re willing to take the time to build and execute a digital strategy that not only sells your film, but also builds your audience, you’ll find, over time, that you’ve created a sustainable base from which to launch new projects, monetize completed ones, and support the work of fellow filmmakers.

The 411 on Casting

5 [Converted]There is a frustration within the casting director community that continues to persist, and it has to do with terminology. In the media and elsewhere, casting directors are oftentimes called “talent agents,” and vice versa, but the responsibilities and duties of the two positions differ greatly. Casting directors are also often referred to as “casting agents,” but there is no such thing. This article will break down the role of the casting director so readers can get a grasp on the difference between the CD and the talent agent.

Talent agents represent actors. They submit actors for roles and negotiate on their behalf. They are not normally involved in the casting process, but they do recommend their clients to be cast. If an actor lands a job through his/her agent, the agent will receive a predetermined percentage of their earnings.

Casting directors do not represent actors. They are hired directly by the studio or production company to find the best actors to audition for each role. Casting directors do not receive any fees from the actors they present for hire.

A casting director is the liaison between talent/talent agents and the production company. For each project, a casting director reads the script and often meets with the producers and the director to discuss the casting needs. They then post casting notices, contact talent agents, and sort through submissions—headshots, resumes, actors’ reels, etc.—before choosing which actors will be brought in to audition. The audition generally consists of putting the actor on camera and asking them to perform specific actions and/or dialogue from the script.

Then, the casting director sends those tapes to the director and producer for them to decide whom to have in for a callback. Casting directors do not have final say in the casting decisions, but they do have influence in the process and give their recommendations on which actors would be best for the roles.

Once talent is selected, casting directors will then make the offers and negotiate the deals to hire actors on behalf of the production companies, while keeping an eye on the casting budget.

For more information about what casting directors do, visit the Casting Society of America website at www.castingsociety.com.

The Filmworks Innovation Lab is Back!

Washington Filmworks (WF) is excited to announce the return of the Filmworks Innovation Lab! The first funding assistance program of its kind in the nation, the Lab is designed to support Washington-based filmmakers and those using emerging technologies. WF believes supporting the development of our local filmmakers is one of the most important things that we can do to create a long-term, sustainable film industry. Already, completed projects are celebrating success at film festivals, online, in their local communities, and across the globe!

The Filmworks Innovation Lab is designed to invest in our local creative community and to encourage the development of original storytelling that capitalizes on new forms of production and technology. In the first two cycles of the program, WF allocated funding assistance to a diverse slate of projects, from short films to features, web series to app-based projects. The wealth of creativity and ingenuity from applicants and funding assistance recipients alike was truly inspiring.

Previous Innovation Lab funding assistance recipient The Maury Island Incident. Photo by Michael Brunk/NWLens.com

Previous Innovation Lab funding assistance recipient The Maury Island Incident. Photo by Michael Brunk/NWLens.com

During the first two funding cycles, an overwhelming majority of applicants saw participating in the program as an invaluable process that helped filmmakers better develop their ideas and their business proposal. Applicant JD Davis of Tacoma told WF, “This process forced me to take a different look at my project and focus on areas I hadn’t thought of. At the end of the day, I believe the project has a better chance of success because of it.”

The Filmworks Innovation Lab offers funding assistance as a return on qualified in-state expenditures on the production of motion picture content (including labor and talent who are Washington State residents). Projects must spend between $25,000 and $499,999 in Washington and it is important to note that this is not a grant, rather a reimbursement on a project’s investment in utilizing Washington State workers, vendors and goods. The level of funding assistance is determined per project and varies according to each approved project’s merit and requirements.

“The reimbursement allows us to market our project and get people to actually see it,” said Alycia Delmore, Filmworks Innovation Lab funding assistance recipient. “That kind of funding for a low-budget, independent project is crucial and very rare.”

Program Highlights and Significant Changes
We’ve merged the funding cycles. Previously, WF accepted applications for narrative film projects and those designed for multiple delivery platforms separately. No more! We now consider applications two times a year, regardless of the distribution platform.
• From the application deadline to notification of outcome, the turnaround for applicants is significantly reduced. The first application window is slated to open in August 2014! Look to the Innovation Lab and Guidelines for dates and deadlines.
• Projects must spend between $25,000 – $499,999 in Washington State.
• Projects that apply must have at least 50% of their budget secured at the time of application and be able to show proof of financing.
• At least 75% of the motion picture content production budget must be spent in Washington State.
• At least 75% of all production days must take place in Washington State.
• At least 85% of the workforce for the physical production of motion picture content must be Washington residents and projects must use a majority of Washington residents in Key Creative positions.
• A mandatory applicant meeting is now required prior to applying. Check WF website for dates and details.

We can’t wait to hear what Washington is working on! Have questions or want to know if your project is a good fit for the Filmworks Innovation Lab? Contact Washington Filmworks staff at Lab@WashingtonFilmworks.org or 206-264-0667. Full guidelines and criteria available here: www.WashingtonFilmworks.org.

Transculturation, Reconceptualization and Transcreation… Oh My!

Ernie PinoBy Ernie Pino, Producciones Pino

We’re a Spanish language creative agency, in business since 1989 in the Puget Sound area. Our long-term clients know that our work involves more than just translating their message from English to Spanish, and yet it’s always fun to share our process when new business comes our way.

Here’s what, how, and why we do what we do.

Transcreation and localization from the English language into Spanish is an exacting science. And, when it takes the form of media, it’s an art.

First, our creative team studies the content of the English language campaign and the format into which the final Spanish language elements will be applied.

We decide if the base English language material can be effectively conveyed in Spanish, and study the adaptability and practical essence of the existing English language message.

For written and spoken mediums, the originating source (ad copy, scripted text, graphics) of the English language grows by about 20 percent when adapted into Spanish. Most English language concepts work well in Spanish, yet there are absolutes that have to be addressed, including “fit.” Examples of fit include the 15-, 30- and 60-second length of TV or radio spots, or the amount of space required in a print campaign and the overall practical layout of the end product.

While the accuracy of the delivered Spanish language is always our priority, we also have to consider that the final Spanish language format may need to be curbed in order to accommodate space and time restrictions. This doesn’t mean that the tenets of correct Spanish language uniformity are sacrificed. Instead, some controlled liberties and creative restructuring may be applied in order to deliver a workable product.

Lastly, as in all creative writing, when the originating English language material is rewritten in Spanish, there are many ways to say it. Any number of authors will convey the words differently when asked to reproduce an English message in Spanish. Even when each of the writers’ proposed Spanish adaptations prove to be correct in their content, there’s still the need to find a creative design that fits the repurposed format.

Bottom line, the goal is to creatively deliver correct and creative content, in Spanish, while also delivering awesome media.

Feel free to check us out at www.produccionespino.com.

An Update from SAG-AFTRA

By Brad Anderson Executive Director, SAG-AFTRA Seattle Local

The SAG-AFTRA Seattle Local has been working very hard since the merger of SAG and AFTRA to generate more work for its members. Recently, working in conjunction with the SAG-AFTRA Portland Local, the Union has been crafting a local alternative to the national collective bargaining agreement for non-broadcast/corporate educational productions. Although that alternative has not yet been finally approved for use in the Locals’ jurisdictions of Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Oregon, the expectation is that it should be ready in a few months.

SAG Booth

ClearSonic IsoPac G Sound Isolation Booth

To prepare this contract, the Locals conducted extensive research into how the national collective bargaining agreement had been used locally, including identification of problem areas or obstacles that producers saw in the agreement. There were lengthy interviews with agents, casting directors and production houses to go over all relevant materials thoroughly. When that was finished, the Locals spent many months collating the information and drafting language that would address many of these concerns, while continuing to protect SAG-AFTRA members. The result is a far simpler contract that should be easy for producers to sign onto and use, which will then allow them to access the higher quality professional performers represented by SAG-AFTRA.

This effort is just one piece of the SAG-AFTRA Seattle Local’s program to enhance the working lives of its members. For example, the SAG-AFTRA Seattle Local continues to improve its ability to serve members with the recent purchase of a ClearSonic IsoPac G Sound Isolation Booth. The booth is designed by the manufacturer to eliminate up to 70 percent of extraneous noise, creating a quiet, low-reflection chamber ideal for vocal recording. In addition, the booth is completely portable, and can be easily stored in order to allow for maximum flexibility of the Local’s Member Resource Center (MRC).

The MRC is available free for use by all members in good standing on a reservation basis, and provides a wide range of audio and video recording, editing, playback, and digital conversion capabilities. This latest acquisition increases the range of activities that can be performed by and for members needing access to a space to record auditions, review previously recorded materials, conduct workshops, update demos and much, much more! The MRC is part of the offices of the SAG-AFTRA Seattle Local, at 123 Boylston Ave E in Seattle.

Visit www.sagaftra.org/seattle for more information.