Directing Your Actor - To Act, Not To Show

by Tapio Ylinen – MA in Screenwriting For a start (before you get the chance to ask: ”Who is this guy and why does he have such a weird name?) I feel like I need to give you some background … Continue reading

Create Great Marketing Stunts For Low Budget Movies

When it comes to low-budget movie marketing, Blairwitch set the bar high. So high, in fact, no one has been able to duplicate it yet. If you think about it, it’s kindda silly considering we supposedly have a better grip … Continue reading

How Production Designer Affect a Film

Oscars does not have an award for Best in Production Design. It has one for Art Direction. They have one for Best in Costume and Best in Make Up. The assumption is that in production, both these categories are under … Continue reading

How To Get An A-Lister To Sign Up For Your Movie

Hangover Part 2 has, so far, earned $434Million according to Warner Bros.’ decision to offer each of their leads 1000% increase in their talent fee obviously paid off. The production budget also more than doubled, from $35M in 2009 … Continue reading

The Legal Side of Working With Children in Films

The one thing that can screw you up, scratch your movie and land you in jail is working with children without following the law. Under the California Labor Code, “minor” means any person under the age of 18 years. The … Continue reading

The Difference The Big Idea and The Small Budget Makes

There are low budget films, right? Then, there’s no budget films. Yet they manage to rake in millions in the box office. There are two things that contributed to its success: the fact that it is small budget and that … Continue reading

Selling Your Film to Financiers

Everyone is looking for the money they need to make the movie they want to make. You can make a great short film for a few thousand dollars in contrast it is not remotely possible to do it on Hollywood … Continue reading

Screenwriting: Audiovisual Age - Part I

By Tapio Ylinen – Master of Arts in Screenwriting It was my first class with Andrew Walker, my teacher and screenwriter, in the Master of Arts In Screenwriting program at Salford University. “Writing. Is. Hard”, he said. “If it’s not … Continue reading

Screenwriting: Audiovisual Age - Part II

By Tapio Ylinen – Master of Arts in Screenwriting It was something I had wanted to do for a long time: a film about rock ‘n’ roll and, more precisely, the process of making music. My first feature film script … Continue reading

Independent Film - Don’t forget the sound

It seems most ‘first time’ film makers put all their resources into making a beautiful visual composition and ignore the other aspects of their film. The end result is more often than not a disappointment for reasons that aren’t always … Continue reading

Peace on Set

Perhaps most productions and principle photography schedules are long, hard, arduous work and sometimes for little to no pay. On a long production it’s just a matter of time before someone tips over. Consider some of the following to help: … Continue reading

Film making: Scheduling

The unfortunate truth underlying filmmaking is this: the most important guideline for what can and cannot be done during film production is set by the budget. No matter the size of the production, whether it is a Hollywood A-list picture … Continue reading

Pitch Your Film to Everyone

So you have an idea for the film you want to make. You figured out the plot, you figured out the characters. You know and feel the whole thing from front to back. It took months, you finally finished the … Continue reading

Indie Filmmaking Sound Mistakes

Often I see the two major indie filmmaking mistakes are the camera shake and sound. So leaving the camera work for another time, you have got to prioritize sound. Mistake Number One: Ignoring background sound: It simply interferes with a … Continue reading

Maintain Sanity Through a Production

Directing is a challenge. When you factor in a talent and a full crew, “stress happens”. You will negotiate, solve logistics and issues. Let’s say we take on a role of the production director and within your budget you have … Continue reading

Learning to write for the screen

Yes, writing is a very important skill for a film maker. Even if you only direct or produce other people’s scripts, writing for the screen will help you whether you’re an independent or a professional. There is one good way … Continue reading


Storyboarding during pre-production helps communicate and visualize the scene and its shot composition. I would say it is critical for demonstrating to the cast, crew and investors your vision for your movie. It’s an invaluable way to create a cohesive … Continue reading

Don’t Cast Divas

Is your next production solely based on the star power of your cast? Remember this, when it comes to casting- talent is not enough. Find people that you can work with under pressure and largely unrewarding circumstances. You need to … Continue reading

Open casting calls: 10 success tips

You are the director, but you feel like the bottle washer and cook with everything you have to do. Now, it’s time to organize the open casting calls for your production, and of course, you don’t have the first idea … Continue reading

Music video crew; Needs food too

Finally, you are at the sexy part of planning your CD release, shooting the music video. For a very long time you’ve worked hard and raised the money to finally get your music video production scheduled. In all of this … Continue reading

What does a second assistant director do? Directing extras for one.

What does a second assistant director do? Depending on the size of the movie or video production, a second assistant director has a variety of important responsibilities. From arranging shooting schedules to tracking daily shooting progress, the second assistant director … Continue reading

Film Production: 5 Ways to save money

I always say that it’s hard to be too critical of a movie, because all movies are a miracle in that they got made at all. Movie production is such a tricky business, from beginning to end, to actually complete … Continue reading

How to handle children on a video set

Around the corner, shrieks of laughter can be heard and suddenly, 30 six year old boys and girls come into full view, chattering and skipping down the hall. Is this a scene from a daycare center? No, but it could … Continue reading

Film crew secrets to find and keep free help

You have a great video production project planned. An excellent script is written and you have wonderful talent signed on to start when you’re ready. The problem is that you don’t have the budget to hire a professional crew. What … Continue reading