Section 181: Will we have Film Incentives for 2016?

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Timing is everything for filmmakers interested in financing, so I thought I’d do a little house cleaning with a couple of blogs about film finance and production. This one is about film incentives and Section 181 of the US code, which is the legislation periodically passed by the US Congress that lets film investors deduct all the costs of a film investment in the same year. It provides HUGE incentives for accredited investors and helps you raise the money you need. This post is intended to give you a comprehensive overview. Each year we live with some uncertainty about whether…

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Trafficking in Albuquerque

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We just got home from Albuquerque (first tourist task: learn how to spell Albuquerque) where we helped Courtney Jones film his story about human trafficking, “Crossed Lines”. Our great friend, a seeming Neversleeps, Nick Ward, brought us in at the last minute and we sat in his living room every evening after shooting and learned what a dust devil and a line producer have in common. Nick is a great guy and if he knows you, and you know what you’re doing, he will HUNT you down and give you work. We are excited about the film because, first of…

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ARFF! ARFF!

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My very first scripty job in the movie biz was with Jim Christopher and Twitchy Dolphin for the first installment of his series, Were Bitches. If you work in Austin, the odds are high that you’ve met Jim because he makes a film at least once a year. And Jim has parlayed all these connections into his real time indie film festival, Austin Revolution Film Festival, or ARFF for short. Knowing Jim, the acronym is no accident. He is a fun loving creature above all else and his enthusiasm for, and the energy he devotes to the indie film scene…

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Zombie Jesus at the Festivals

By | Directing, Festivals, Writing | No Comments

Bill Hass is the organizer of the Forth Worth Indie Film Fest, and when I met him last month, he had a sorta dazed look in his eyes. “I just have to tell you that I really enjoyed your film,” he told me, “but I had to watch it twice to appreciate it.” He laughed. “The first time I was just a little like, what?” I thought Love your Enemies Boot Camp was such a great idea: “Ten weeks to a more loving you!” Zombie Jesus is not about Christianity; it’s about loving your enemies using friendly zombies and confused…

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The Filmmaker Who Became a Verb

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At the end of the documentary, “Hearts of Darkness”, about the making of “Apocalypse Now”, Francis Coppola said he hoped that the advent of affordable 8 mm film cameras meant that film making would be taken up by the masses and become an art rather than big business. He specifically said “a little fat girl in Ohio” might become a great filmmaker. Sigh. But that’s okay. I love what he meant. …even though we lack budgets and experience, we indie filmmakers may still know when to Edgar Wright it, David Lynch it, or Catherine Breillat it. I may not exactly…

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The Hee Haw Gang

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Big projects motivate me rather than intimidate me, which is probably the first sign that I am a very stupid person. Oh well, we live but once, eh? The next big project on the list is a black comedy narrative film. I’ve given it the working title, “The Hee Haw Gang.” I am currently writing the script and I’ll chronicle its progress here for anyone who’s interested. Our status today is: no script, no money. Ha. ….the greatest challenge for me as a writer is not chronicling the hilarities of the ‘Hee Haw Gang’ – their behavior strikes me as…

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