The Curious Case of Sony in the Movie and TV Industry

sony_teaser_01Sony is one of the biggest names in the movie and TV business. The company has produced several blockbusters and boob tube hits. It is not just some electronics company that once ruled the television market with its Trinitron and Bravia lines. However, the company has a rather curious situation.

Last year, the company was repeatedly urged by activist investor Daniel Loeb of Third Point LLC to have its entertainment business spun off into an independent entity. Doing so, as Loeb and other proponents of the spinoff plan claim, would allow investors to value the company on the merits of its separate parts. Accordingly, it would bolster the Sony entertainment business. Until now, many are still proposing a spinoff of the Sony entertainment division. As a Bloomberg Businessweek article pointed out, it’s . Read More

2 Intriguing Mainstream Films Recently Released

This year’s batch of films features a wide array of areas of social inspection such as politics and economy. We firmly believe that films as a form of art conveys social messages apt for the current times; the social context of a film is equally a necessity and a privilege.

Out of the films released so far this year, two films stood out in terms of its quality of intrigue and social relevance:

Divergent

This film did a great job in portraying the types of people we have right now. There are superficial intelligent ones who take the world as divided between science and fantasy. There are the ones too nice to say no when somebody asks for a helping hand. There are those, too, that are too nice to even lie and sugarcoat the truth when they know that reality should be confronted, not evaded. Read More

ACTU Short Film Competition Supported by Media Super

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) held a short film competition in January this year to celebrate the 2014 Organizing Conference. The main requirements were no more than 5 minutes and with the theme “My story of unions is…” The contest was open to both professional and amateur videographers. The submissions received were very creative and we were surprised by the level of professionalism displayed. This was probably due to the fact that the sponsor of the event is a key Australian pension fund for media professionals and this meant that many people knew about the contest. We attended the event and wrote the following report about the conference (with a particular focus on the short film competition).

The Conference
The conference itself was in Melbourne, Australia. It was held at Etihad Stadium, which is a local sporting stadium with some of the best conference facilities we have ever seen. It was a 3 day conference and we were lucky enough to have free accommodation thanks to some lovely local people. The conference had several well known speakers and a number of interesting and informative workshops. The keynote speaker was Anat Shenker-Osorio and we found the topic presented to be most interesting. However, we were most interested in the film competition because we were on the judging panel.

The Film Festival
The competition was great and there were many great films from both amateur and professional filmmakers. We had a hard time judging the finalists, but the eventual winner won by a considerable margin. The quality of films on display was impressive and we have already contacted a number of filmmakers that we thought has some serious talent. We will be working with them on our first Australian project, which is extremely exciting. The winner was the “How Unions Won Us The Olympics” which was a great mini documentary about Australia’s controversial participation in the Moscow Olympics. This story was virtually unknown among Australians and there is talk about creating a full feature length presentation in the near future.

The Sponsor
Media Super, a pension fund, was the sponsor of this event. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because this pension fund is specifically run for people that work in the media industry. They support many similar events and we think that this is a fantastic way to support the media/arts industry. You can find out more about Media Super here and discover why they are so respected in the Australian film industry. It is such a positive sign to have such a major financial company sponsor this type of event. We wish it would happen more in our country and will be lobbying for more industry sponsors when we return home.

The ACTU conference was fantastic and we made so many new friends in Australia. We were invited to the judges for the film festival, but we really enjoy the whole conference as well. Melbourne is a great city and we can’t wait to return to create an Australian film project with our new colleagues. Keep an eye out for it in the future, it is sure to be a lot of fun for us and a very rewarding experience.

4 Secrets to Movie Making

Filmmaking is a fun but tedious process that needs great attention to detail, dedication, and commitment. It is divided into three stages. These are pre-production, production, and post-production. Pre-production is when script writing, raising money, and planning the whole story is done. Production is when the actual shooting begins. Post-production includes editing and graphic effects. These things take time to finish so make sure you know the four basic secrets to movie making to get you started.

Keep It Simple

One of the most common mistakes of many filmmakers is being overly ambitious. There’s really nothing wrong with wanting to create a drama masterpiece or an action-packed movie. But if you don’t have the budget, the proper equipment, or manpower, you might want to opt for something simple and engaging. If you’re new to the industry, start small by making short films. Almost all great filmmakers like Martin Scorsese or Christopher Nolan started with short films.

It’s All About Location

You may have an amazing script but if you don’t have the right visual to match it, then you might as well throw everything away. Having a visually appealing location matters. Make a list of all the places that you will need for your film and put some notes on each of them so that you won’t forget the things that you need to do. Even the mundane places like a parking lot or a garden can make a big difference. The secret is using your camera wisely, in various different angles. Choose a place where there is a good lighting too. Think of it as taking pictures only this time, your subjects are moving and talking.

The Right Crew

This may seem like a no-brainer but movie making isn’t just about having a team. You should have a crew that has the right attitude and expertise when it comes to their responsibilities. The basics are as follows: a producer for the financing, a director to direct and spend the money of the producer, a cinematographer for the camera and lighting, a sound recorder, and an editor to edit and cut the film. Use your network so you can get a competent team that you can trust.

Having the Right Equipment

You need a camera of some kind, something that can produce a decent shoot. From Super 8 film cartridge to a simple smartphone, you can make your movie happen if you really put your mind to it. Today’s trend is using DSL cameras or iPhone 5s with lenses for shooting. Sound recording is just as important too so make sure you use a high quality microphone to record everything clearly. It should be clear and crisp, not noisy and full of static on the background. Make sure that you use the right equipment that is ideal for your film.

There are a whole lot more that you need to learn about movie making but these basic tips can get you started on the right path. Don’t be discouraged if you are lacking budget or if you don’t have enough equipment. Embrace what you don’t have. By the end of the day, it’s all about being creative, going out of your comfort zone, and making things work.