Categories
film finance

Percentage budgeting is idiotic

Some of you may have heard of George Lucas. He’s the guy who wrote and directed the first Indiana Jones and Star Wars movies. He’s one of the few writers, directors, or filmmakers full stop who makes it to the Forbes list. Well, his breakthrough film was a little “coming of age” film called American […]

Categories
editorial

Advancing Aberystwyth mathematics problem

You may have seen flags up this summer for “Advancing Aberystwyth.”  These flags say there are events “supported” by local businesses.  Well, by taxes on local businesses. Did these events get you shopping more?  Did the chance to see The Goonies on the big screen bring you over from Birmingham, Boston, or Berlin?  Or even […]

Categories
writing

How do writers get paid?

There’s a common misconception that writers get paid per word.  But if you look carefully, only amateur writers, bloggers and diploma mills quote how much a writers should be paid “per word.”  But we’ll get back to that later. “Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous.” – L Ron Hubbard, sci fi writer, 1948. […]

Categories
editorial finance

Why new technology should never be used to measure inflation

The UK government is cheating with inflation figures. For a while, camcorders were on the list of items in which prices were compared to overall inflation. Now, action cameras are. Why do I call this cheating? New tech always starts off expensive and drops in price. The initial price is what funds development. Then, after […]

Categories
film

5 films shot in the director’s home

With recent scandals, we normally suspect a movie made in the director’s home. When the director is alone, it doesn’t matter whether the audition is in an office, an auditorium, or a hotel room, but hotel room usually seems suspect. Let’s return to a more innocent time, when many directors didn’t have bad intentions, they […]

Categories
education film screenplay writing

Screenwriting is the most competitive profession in the film industry

Reading the trades, I discovered that only about 1100 writers worked on films in Hollywood last year.  Sure, more than that worked on TV, but most elite members of the WGA only work about one year in three (if at all).  And, when they do find work, their pay is still less than many less […]

Categories
finance

A tale of two Penguins

The following story is true, except for the typos and bits I don’t remember correctly. The first Penguin was in Paramus, New Jersey.

Categories
history writing

Beaumarchais and the first writers’ strike

You may have heard of Beaumarchais. He was a watchmaker, publisher of Voltaire’s works, gun runner for the rebels in the American Revolution, but most notably a playwright of works such as The Barber of Seville (which Mozart adapted into an opera.) In Beaumarchais’s time, writers were not well paid. The theatres of Paris held […]

Categories
editorial film pre-production

What is a Special Purpose Vehicle? (or SPV?)

A Special Purpose Vehicle, or Single purpose vehicle, is a company that is created for a single project. Single Purpose Vehicles are used in construction, public works and many other ventures.  While they are becoming less popular for other ventures, SPVs have become increasingly popular in film production. Now, in the old days, film companies […]

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Uncategorized

Which Ghostbuster are you?

There are many great films about entrepreneurship, and the importance of a great team.   Two of my favourite are the first Ghostbusters (1984) and the first Cool Runnings (1993).  I haven’t seen the remake of Ghostbusters, I’m not a real fan of remakes. Now, here’s a little game: Which of these are you?