“Click, Click…” A New Short Film Project

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Logline: A young man discovers how just how much social media alerts can change his life.

Cast: 

  • Brad: A young man addicted to social media.
  • Cindy: Brad’s under appreciated girlfriend.

This is a 3-minute short film. The goal is to enter it into the Rode Reel 2016 short film competition.

Should be fun to shoot. I can’t wait to work on it in a couple of months.

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War Room Exceeds Expectations at Box Office, New Slate of Biblical Movies Upcoming

The new film from the Kendrick Brothers held its own against theory movies, on fewer screens, for the opening weekend. $11 Million earnings for the weekend was more than double the estimated amount, proving once again that there is an audience for faith based films.

Noah and Exodus notwithstanding, religious people will shell out their hard earned cash to go see films that affirm (Pun intended… Affirm Films put out war Room) their faith. For a budget of $3 Million, War Room will turn a tidy profit for Sony. And that;s one thing that will keep these kinds of films coming, profit for the companies. I used to hear that Hollywood wasn’t open to movies about faith, but if there is money in it, they are open to movies about anything.

Not everyone loved War Room, Christianity Today’s review took them to task on writing quality:

“But when it comes to screenplay writing, the genre seems stuck in a rut. It’s more committed to heavy-handed providential plotting than imaginative explorations of character or setting.”

There’s no doubt that religious filmmaking has a ways to go in terms of craft. But we have made progress. And, for all of it’s “heavy handedness” War Room resonates with the target audience, Christian women. My own church already has a War Room inspired women’s Bible study scheduled. And the overall message about prayer is solid and needed in most Christian families.

because of the success of films like these, we have seen, and are seeing more films dealing with faith and biblical subjects. Early next year we will see two more, larger budget movies:

MGM is re-booting Ben Hur, due out in February of 2016.

Sony/Affirm has another biblical epic coming out in January, 2016: Risen

It’s an interesting story idea. I’m hopeful.

When the Kendrick’s made their first movie Flywheel, I doubt they knew what they were starting. Churches and filmmakers can do films that will reach a much wider audience than they might have before this. And studios are more open than ever to tapping into the religious market. That has the possibility of helping Christian filmmakers disciple more and share the Gospel more than ever before.

My Day as an Actor

cameraToday I was on the other side of the camera.

I’m not sure how it happened. At work, we were working on a short film, sort of a 30’s noir throwback. And somehow I got cast.

Today was the first day of shooting. I had been in plays in high school and college, but I’d never acted for the camera. It’s a different kind of memorization. Where plays have multiple rehearsals, film (especially indie shorts film) doesn’t. You block it and go. And then do another angle.

Because I’d had a hand in writing the script, when I wasn’t on camera I helped out as script supervisor. And because of my involvement in pre production I knew the sort of shots we wanted and general way the day would go.

But being on the other side of the camera is different experience. Without the days of rehearsal, I found myself trying to remember my lines and reacting to the other actors. And unlike a stage play where you barrel through the scene no matter what goes wrong, it’s a bit jarring to stop and start when someone makes a mistake or flubs a line. Of course, even though i’d written a good chunk of the script, I put off memorizing my lines until this week. And suddenly I was very busy. But we got through it. 3 fairly complicated scenes in 4.5 hours. The total project is 18 pages.

Lucky for me, my character is supposed to be a bad actor. So that wasn’t a big stretch for me. We have a couple more short days of shooting in the next few weeks.

The project is the entertainment for a special dinner to thank our Sunday Morning volunteers. I love the fact that we will do something this big for the people who serve faithfully, every week.

Once it is shown in September, I will try to post the finished product online.

Recent Short Films and New Projects

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Thanks for visiting Scott Link Media. Stay up to date with the latest news by subscribing to our email newsletter.

If you click on the header above you will end up on the main page, where you can see 3 different video sections, Short Films/TV, Church Media, and DIY. Each contain several videos for your viewing pleasure; including links to some episodes of the award winning series Peculiar.

Here’s the latest short film from SLM:

And another of my favorites from a while back:

Mean while I’m working on some more short projects.

The major projects I’ve got cooking include a feature length movie about small church politics called Flawed, and a screenplay that’s a biblical epic based on portions of the book of Acts with the working title One Centurion. And there’s a campy comedy about church camp. And lately I’ve been drawn back to the documentary idea Gay Church. Follow the links to find out more.

Gutcheck

cameraIn just a couple of weeks I am shooting my first short film (that I wrote) since the end of 2013. Seriously, like a year and a half.

I call myself a filmmaker… but where are the films? A couple of months ago I was at a broadcast/media convention and really didn’t have something I was actually working on. (I ended up pumping a work project.) I pitched some script ideas, but nothing was in the works. It was a weird feeling.

So now I am about to actually shoot something, and I find myself dreading it at times.

I felt the same way when I was about to release the pilot of my show. Filled with self doubt and fear. Even thought it wasn’t a financial success, it is still being broadcast 2 years after we stopped making episodes. (Every Saturday on Parables TV​) Stupid fear.

Fear keeps dreams from reality. Fear is the enemy of creativity. Fear is a big, ugly bully who needs a punch in the face. (To reference Jon Acuff.)

it’s not the film I had planned to shoot. But this is a good script, about a pertinent issue. It’s a first step in building a filmmaking community here in East TX. There is literally nothing stopping me but my own fears. So here we go!

The Experience- Short Film Cast List

experienceShooting in late Spring/early Summer in East Texas (Longview area), this 10-minute religious thriller is looking for cast and crew.

If you are interested in auditioning, follow the instructions below.

The Experience

A short film by Scott Link. A young married couple is on what is supposed to be a relaxing camping trip when the skeptical husband is thrown into a situation he can’t explain.

Cast:

The HusbandThis annoyed skeptic met the woman of his dreams, married her, and then she found religion. Twenty-something male. 2 days.

The WifeA recent convert to Christianity, this young woman just wants a relaxing weekend camping trip with her husband. Twenty-something female. 1 day

The LocalHe’s country and proud of it, and he likes to fish.- Middle aged male. 1 day

The DeputyNot much happens in his jurisdiction, and that’s the way he likes it. He’d rather be fishing at his favorite spot. Middle aged male. 1 day.

To Audition:

Email a resume and headshot to scott@scottlinkmedia.com. You will receive further instructions.

Crew Call:

We are also looking for several crew positions. These are volunteer assignments, and you will likely work multiple roles. We need Production Assistants, Assistant Directors, Audio, and Grips. We will be shooting outside with some very nice equipment. We also have some interesting practical effects to accomplish. You can get some good experience on set, but it will be hard work. If you’re interested in helping out, email scott@scottlinkmedia.com

Details:

This is a Christian movie, with Christian themes.

This is NOT a paid gig. There will be food and water on set, and you can request a copy of the finished short film for your reel.

We will be shooting in the Longview, TX area over 2 days. We will start late afternoon on a Friday, into the evening, and finish up by lunch on Saturday.

Find out more about me here. Email with questions: Scott@scottlinkmedia.com

Let’s Make Some Short Films

clapperI am wanting to make a few short films.

I’m still hoping to work on the 12-page, sci fi-thriller I wrote called “The Experience” sometime this year. But that will require a trip to MO.

I’m thinking more along the lines of 1-3 scenes, 1-2 characters in local places. Things that can be done in an afternoon or evening. Things like this: “Carjacked.” Just a couple minutes. Maybe funny, maybe serious. Maybe spiritual, maybe not.

I have a scene i could shoot in a small chapel. Something I worked up as a corollary to the “Flawed” script I’ve got percolating on the the back burner. Would primarily but one person, monologue. With intercut clips. Lots of movement. It would be an interesting scene to hoot, allowing for some experimentation in style and interesting as a part of the other scripts universe, so to speak.

And I’m casting about for more ideas, more scripts. I posted about this on Facebook the other day and got a few people who responded asking to be a part of it. Of course, I went right into a very busy work week. I’m hoping things shake out schedule wise after the 4th of July. Maybe the end of July.

Meanwhile. If you are in Central Florida, and just want to be a part of a short film or two… no money, just fun and getting better at making movies… let me know. We need actors and crew. I’ve got some gear. Need ideas and scripts. (simple scripts we can shoot in a day)

Let’s make some movies.

 

Notes From an Extra

The other day I was an extra in a new Dave Christiano film called Power of the Air. The cast and crew of this film was great. You should definitely check it out when it releases the end of this year.

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Picture: Dave Christiano speaks to the cast and crew.

I had never been an extra before. I had always been on the other side of the camera. Last time I acted in anything was high school.

Having never worked with the Christiano Brothers before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But people always say that the best way to learn the business is to spend time on the set. So I was happy to be an extra. I was warned before I showed up that it would be a long day of shooting. There were a couple of crucial scenes to capture, and I was going to be a part of them. My day lasted from an 11:15 call time to about 8:00 PM.

So, here are some things I learned as an extra:

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Time is, well, not money exactly, but precious. Even the best planned shoots can have delays. On the production side of things, you do your best to minimize those, both for paid cast and crew and for volunteers. As an extra, expect to wait.

Picture right: Waiting area for extras. Picture below: Craft Services table.

craftInformation alleviates all concerns.
-Knowing where bathroom and craft services is. Two of the most important locations on any set.
-Knowing what is going on and what we are supposed to do. I knew what we were waiting for, where I could wait and generally everything I needed to know.
-A quick word about what’s happening, and how long the break will be. During shooting, sometimes there is time between takes. A quick word about the gear moves and how long we have lets people know if they should stay pt, or make a quick trip to craft services or the bathroom.

Bring something to do. There will be down time. Bring a small book, or tablet. Even needlepoint. Something small in size that can help you pass any time you have to wait, but can quickly be put away and out of sight.

No set is glamorous. Don’t expect a catered trailer. You will be finding a seat wherever you can. People will be moving quickly, and it may seem chaotic, but everyone has a job. It will likely be cramped, hot and sometimes noisy. This really isn’t something I learned yesterday, but it’ still true.

One thing I did learn… the Red Epic has loud fan. I had no idea how loud. The crew had to shut it off during takes, and then back on in between to keep the camera cool. Speaking of sound, faking words without saying anything can be hard.

In general, acting as an extra can be hard. You don’t have lines, or extremely specific blocking. But you do have to be in the moment every take. You are acting, trying to feel and react like you would in that situation. After several hours of the same scene, that can get pretty hard. And tiring. It’s definitely harder than I expected.

I think every person involved in production should spend a day as an extra. Just for the experience of seeing from that side of the set.

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Picture above: Me with the cast of the “Power of the Air”

You Can Do This!

Screen Shot 2013-10-12 at 11.20.55 AMI keep wondering why I don’t run into more people who are actually making shows like mine. Better than mine.

I walked the floor at NRB Convention last year and talked to a lot of people. None of them knew of other series like this. If that sample is to be believed, no one else is making a dramatic comedy series. Stand up comedy, sure. Sketch comedy, even. I have heard of a 30-minute drama. I’ve found a couple of Christian sitcoms out there, but the whole landscape is wide open for both comedy and drama. There’s just not that many being made.

Is it really that hard to make a dramatic series?

Here’s the online version of the September Technologies for Worship Magazine. On page 19 there is an article I wrote about how we created Peculiar for next to nothing. The gear list in the article? Half of that gear was borrowed, not bought. It is possible to do this.

What does it take?

1. Audacity. The simple, unfiltered audacity to believe that you can make something, that you can create it.

2. Perseverance. You will get tired, you will hit roadblocks, you will want to quit sometimes. If you quit, you will never finish. Simple, I know, but most truths are. Want to make a dramatic TV series? Then keep making it until it’s done.

3. Flexibility. Things will not always be ideal, they won’t be the way you want them. You will compromise, you will wish you had something you don’t. Become good at logistics. Figure out how to get it done, and then do it. In the end, it’s more about resourcefulness than resources.

4. Teamwork. You can’t do it alone. Network, go to conferences, join Facebook groups, meet people. Develop of group of friends that have common goals and dreams. Work on each other’s projects. Cast a vision for yours, and lead them to accomplish it.

5. Learning. Read, take classes, help other people with their projects, subscribe to Youtube channels, follow people on twitter. Never stop learning, and never stop practicing. This will come in phases. I am learning right now about better script writing, and in the process I am improving my feature length script. Before this was budgeting.

4580D Heartbeat.qxdDon’t believe the lie that you don’t know enough, aren’t good enough to do it. If I had listened to that voice, I wouldn’t have 10 episodes of my show, Peculiar. Is it perfect? Nope. Not even close. But it’s 100% better than what it would be if I was still waiting to be “good enough” to do it.

You can do it! Believe it.

1st Draft of a Feature Length Script

blur scriptI did it! I finished the first draft of my first feature length script! I have a huge amount of work to do yet, lots of rewrites and things to add and change.

But the first draft is complete!

The script is called Flawed, and is about a shattered mega church pastor who finds himself embroiled in small church politics while picking up the pieces of his life and family after the sudden death of his wife. The underlying truth is that the Church is made up of imperfect people trying to do the perfect will of God.