Category Archives: Producer’s Corner

As Producer, I Take Full Responsibility

It has taken me nearly four years to even look at this letter sent to a former colleague who trashed talked me (and any other former filmmaker that he’s worked with) in public, blocked me and yet still wanted to get into my Seattle Area Filmmakers group and my Washington State Producers group. Oh hell no this person didn’t get in.

I took a major hit from this disaster and nearly lost my faith in my ability in film, my confidence to choose wisely and humiliation due to my desire to help someone else obtain their dream even though I knew they were not good for it.

I had to sit down for a long while and write this letter. At first, I really wanted to tell this person off and what a complete fucking idiot they were. You better believe I had some anger flaring up. But I sat there and realized by rationalizing things out – why, who, when, why, why…..Who is at fault? It was my doing. I should have never gone against my intuition and tried to wear all the damned hats like I used to and mentor on top of it all. It was then I felt peace. I accept full responsibility for this train wreck.

I learned many great lessons.

So I’m here to share this with you for when (not if) you too have a disaster happen on your film as a Producer or a Director….or perhaps you are trying to mentor someone even though they just don’t show signs of being a good DP/Gaffer/Producer etc. Save yourself. Don’t do it. There are other ways they can learn how to do these things and by fucking god, not on your time.

This film – it’s now going into feature mode with a 50% financial backing already and the script isn’t even finished.

So while this disaster happened, good things evolved through time. Would I shake hands with this person? No. I made peace with myself and took responsibility. It hasn’t cured my disgust with the person and I don’t think that will ever change and I’m fine with that.

The names and film titles have been changed to protect all involved.



Hey Xxxxxx,

Last weekend, I made a couple attempts to contact you to chat about what went wrong/right but you’re not returning my calls. So, I’m emailing you about them because it’s important to go over things as I have with others from the crew. During that weekend we were to be filming, my stress level was so high that I ended up sick and on antibiotics, which brings me to what went wrong.

 I’m going to take full responsibility. I failed you. The reason why is that I knew from the start that I honestly had a feeling you were in over your head trying to be a Producer. I’m sorry but I know you’re a great Script Supervisor, but I don’t think you can handle an entire film or maybe you just need to start out as an Associate Producer with minimal functions and have items delegated to you.

When I found out you were working on another film, I should have gone ahead and replaced you to be fair for yourself and your work load and for my film and my work style. I do feel that out of respect, you should have told me that filming for “Xxx Xxxxx Xxxx” was going on the same weekend weeks before it happened. It honestly failed my film because so many things needed to be done from your end.

A Producer is a leader who takes charge. I needed that to happen and not have to advise every step you were doing. I needed a Producer who could keep track of what was being done, getting things done, finding creative ways to do them, contracts, forms, SAG – none of this was to fall on Xxxx like what you all did with her on Xxx Xxxxx. She should have never been the one contact SAG – that was your job and that was my red flag I was in trouble with my own film.

Did you know that the outfit for XCharacter was not done? I cancelled the Wednesday before the shoot – that was also the day that Xxxxx, Xxxx, Xxxxx, myself and Xxxxxxxx were going to be at the shop to see how it looked. She had the outfit for a week, it wasn’t done. I got the outfit from her so someone else can work on it. You goofed up and had Xxx driving out from Kent to that rehearsal in Lynnwood and other mistakes with the meetings.

Xxx needed leadership from your end with timelines on when she was to deliver, locations were not there – and that falls on to the producers, with you not doing anything, I took charge because we didn’t have any locations a week before the shoot. You may have been satisfied with them but I was not as the Director and I felt you didn’t want to contact any more locations.

Three months before the shoot, the task to get catering was really never done. Contacting Subway or a pizza place in Seattle is really all that was needed. They would have sponsored it – Xxxxx validated that with me. I’m sure Xxx was lost with what her function was and people weren’t hearing from you with upbeat reports. These are things that end up reflecting negative on me and my production and yes, I should care about it. The list goes on but it’s no longer important. I take the blame – I failed myself, you, my crew and my cast. Yes, I should have done it all myself. I’m sorry I failed you.

I realize that many negative things were going on with the other production but please don’t take it out on me or my film with your own negative thoughts about the local industry. I know things can get bad around here but I guess a lot of it is not different than that of the other work force out there. Don’t feel the need to quit – find where you belong. Do you know that there are PA’s in this town making a lot of money? There is nothing wrong with that.

I have pointed out that you are a fabulous writer and I think you make a great Script Supervisor but here’s my advice for you if you still think you are a Producer – take some business administration courses. It’s nothing like marketing and I think you will find out if it’s what you really want to do. I’m saying this as a friend/colleague. Sure, you might think I’m being picky, hard ass or a bitch at this point, but the above things are some major things that didn’t get completed. Again, I failed you for not stopping this train to tell you that you just didn’t know what you were doing. My apologies for my failure.

My film is going to continue on, but I would much rather have you a friend/colleague than try to mentor you again on this film – I don’t have time while trying to direct it. If you feel were are not friends and you’re moving away from me – then I’m going to feel a bit short changed and used if we can’t be honest after all these years.

Good luck to you.

Keeping Positive

Hello beautiful and sexylicious people,

Every day I have a habit I do with the Internet.  I post a motivational message out to the Universe  that reminds me to be human in the form of peppy-self-talk to get the day motivated.  Since then, I have learned that these daily motivational messages have inspired and even saved a few people from really bad situations.  I take what I post serious because I grew up with a negative person who should have been inspirational but was not.  It actually caused me to rebel against negativity and know that even through darkness, there is light.

You will find that you can gravitate towards negative people if you’re a helper and that’s a fault I have – if I don’t catch it fast enough, I find they can drain my energy very fast.  You have to remove those people or you will start to sound like them.  You might like them, but they are toxic for you.  Let me put it this way, if you see a bottle of bleach on the counter, do you pick it up and drink it?  No, of course not.  It’s toxic and will kill you.  The same goes for toxic people.  Negativity kills.  Releasing them means to release yourself from their bondage.  Wish them well on their own adventures but you have yours to look forward to…with a positive attitude.

Well anyhow, I thought I would just take some of the messages from Facebook and add them here. Some are funny, goofy, film related or just in general.  If they inspire you to be a better person – beautiful.  I know they keep me in check.


Gina Lockhart
Philosophia Studios

HellooooOooOooOooo beautiful and sexylicious Facebook friends! Be good to yourself and turn unhappy situations into humor. Humor has a way of allowing you to be creative, healing and forgiving. Enjoy your day!
Have a great day – put on some music, a smile, clothes, and some sassitude. Let’s all take a moment today and be grateful that spiders can’t fly. Cheers
The second you lament over it being Monday – kick that thought in the neck and take charge! It’s YOUR day to get things started right for YOU. It’s not for your boss, it’s not for others, it’s not for anything else. Getting things started right for YOU benefits others. Prioritize your tasks, projects and reward yourself at the end of the day. Think positive, be beautiful – because you are! Cheers.
HellooooOooOooOooo beautiful and sexylicious Facebook friends! Be good to yourself and turn unhappy situations into humor. Humor has a way of allowing you to be creative, healing and forgiving. Enjoy your day!
Have a great day – put on some music, a smile, clothes, and some sassitude. Let’s all take a moment today and be grateful that spiders can’t fly. Cheers!
This has been an amazing week and I’m filled with gratitude!!! I want to thank those who gave me some feedback for the film posters. You rock!
No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying. Bam! Now have a great day!!
Let no one and nothing ruin your day. CARPE DIEM!!!
MONDAY IS HERE!! Don’t forget to have a little more coffee since it is more coffee Monday. Focus on you, your loved ones, friends and then then beyond. Be good to you. Now – get motivated and rip this week up for you to own it!
Be beautiful. Because you are. Each and every one of you.
Now – have a fantastic Friday and let it make for a great weekend! Cheers!
Oh and another very point blank tip of the day and specifically to those in the entertainment industry:
Fuck what others think of you.
Fuck what others are doing.
Fuck the ‘in crowd’ because I’ve seen amazing work come from outcasts.
Go forth and work on your career with higher expectations and goals!
Honestly….. I don’t care what a film is shot with. If you don’t have a story, good actors, and lighting – it’s over with and the targeted audience (non filmmakers) won’t give two dumps what it was shot with. ~~Gina Lockhart
So very many things in life are worth the wait. Never give up with your belief that things can change, someone amazing will come along, that your (dreams to) goals can happen.
In life, you will always find that some people get ahead who don’t deserve it. You don’t know how they got there and why due to lack of skills….but they did. This happens all over the place – it could even be your own boss that you’re thinking of as you work away right now (snicker – on Facebook). Remind yourself that it’s not about you trying harder or that there is something wrong with you.
This topic could get really deep but I’m trying to encourage you all in a short status. So, the moral is this – maybe you’re limiting yourself and that isn’t the only place to work. Sometimes we confine ourselves to our simple worlds and we don’t look out there to see that there is a whole lot more than just the world we confine ourselves in. Release yourself. Fly.
Holy awesomesauce!! You’re all amazing and beautiful people. Why? Because you all have different thoughts, feelings, views, beliefs, religions and you manage to get along. Why? Because you are child-like and not grown up stuffy jerks. When you become a complete jerk and don’t allow someone else to have a view and call the other person names, it’s you that needs to un-grow up. Have a beautiful day!!
What is on my mind? That I freakin’ love you people! That’s what’s up!
Know thyself. Own your decisions, your surroundings, your thoughts, your feelings and your actions. Be good and do things with integrity and not with a motive. Clinging to hate, bitterness, etc only keeps you from finding positive solutions. Be responsible. Walk in light, walk with peace.  ~Gina Lockhart
I don’t know why people are so effin’ negative. Without asking, without trying, without hope…what good would the world be? It’s one thing to play “devil’s advocate” (logic) but when you piss all over people’s ideas, efforts and asking – that’s just straight up negative. Negative people are like plague. Avoid at all cost.
Don’t get discouraged. Keep going.
Having a positive attitude doesn’t come from a secret, a book, a religion, or a big mouthed money making new age speaker. Attitude is within YOU – your heart, mind and soul = your being. It’s you connecting within you and choosing to think and feel in a positive direction for personal happiness. Screw all the money makers – happiness and a positive attitude is FREE – not a secret. Have a great day!
Feelin’ sassy, frisky, spunky and silly today. Bursting with great ideas and good things are happenin’.
Today – make the most of every move you do. Down? Think on good things. Jealous? Why? Be you and only you. Angry? Resolve it peacefully. Prideful? “Pride goes before a fall.” Insecure? Look within and love. Happy? Outstanding! Now move away from negative/bad influences and press on with your future. Get with those who are like you and your beliefs. Two magnets back to back do nothing. Have a great day!
Never clip your own wings! Never settle for less!
“Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” ~ Oscar Wilde
Do one thing today towards your goals/dreams that is outside of your comfort zone. Write. Call someone. Apply for a new job. Plan a trip to where you want to live. Meet with someone new. Buy a new notebook as a journal. It will make you smile and you’ll like the feeling. What are you waiting for? Go for it!
Today is a great day to be grateful. Why? Because you’re alive and no matter how you look at it, your live could be worse but it isn’t. Everything in your life is changeable. Are you miserable? Change it. In debt? Patience. Regrets? Forgive yourself and move on. Took a wrong turn in your career? Create a new path to achieve it!
Lead by example of what you say you are – be it a Christian, a filmmaker, a lover, a Buddhist, a happy person, an activist, etc. Lead by your words and your actions with integrity, honor, peace, love and earning the trust of others. Never use or take for granted those you love, work with, and run into or you will find yourself alone. Give. It will come back to you. ~~Gina
Passion, it lies in all of us. It speaks to us, guides us – passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. If we could live without passion maybe we`d know some kind of peace… but we would be hollow… Empty rooms shuttered and dank. Without passion we`d be truly dead. ~~Joss Whedon
Resilient. Persistent. Determined. Focused. Not-A-Quitter. Always finds a way. *cracks whip*
LET’S ROCK!!! Be humble. Be good. Be strong. Be funny. Be important – because you are. Cheers!

Producers Corner: I am quitting film….


You hear it all:
Quitting is for losers.
Never give up.
Don’t give up.

Over the past year or so, I have given thought to quitting what I really love doing – filming.  It is not even the pay issues really that does it in for me because you really should love what you are doing and also know the basics of film to understand that they is not a lot of money unless it’s a feature.  Setting that aside…

I have been douched over by some of the best assholes out there and some you think are your friends for now.  But the one thing I have learned is that being a land shark has not made any of these douchers go any further up the escalator than my own ride. So, being a douche does not always pay off.  I have dedicated time to these people and nothing comes in return but this is how people like this work and once they are done with you (depending on the position like Producer knowledge), you will not see them again. So, I am sick of working with these kind of people.  This topic could go on and on and on.  I do not even want to give this negativity another moment.  They know who they are.

Yep, I am finally being blunt about it because I do not ever plan to work with them either so who gives a crap about bluntness or so called blacklists.  Oh, I am shaking in my sandals, Mr. (pretending to be) Spielberg.  *yawn*

I have heard every bullshit story out there possible.  You are going to have to trust me on this one.

I’ve tried to do a film support group called Seattle Area Filmmakers but people wanted to take it over and then hated on me and my idea because I NEVER once wanted it to be for my advantage or others involved to take advantage and use it for their “career gain.”  So, it got silently dissed.  I tried to do events but people are so wishy-washy anymore that they say but do different things.  I had an equipment guy spend THREE fucking days setting up his gear at a school field for an even that of the 70 people saying they were coming – 0 committed the day before and I had to cancel it because it was sunny out.  So much for dedication/time and the guy never wanted to do it again.  I was going to set up more events but worried that it would waste more artists time who wanted to give back to the community.  It just seems that there are so few willing to be behind the curtain to assist with the community – many want to use things to get noticed and be in the spotlight.  I can’t blame them, but it’s not my style.

I should be angry.  I’m not.  Why?  Because I trusted these people without any kind of verification.   I’m telling you – verify who the heck you’re potentially working with.  I assure you, they are blowing smoke up your arse – I don’t care how pretty their website is, how many short films they have on their IMDB (maybe  one or two known features as a distant extra), how lovely their words sound, how excited they seem, etc….VERIFY and get REFERENCES (read).   Read that blog.  It will help you.  I wish I had someone telling me that very thing in 2008.

So along comes a blog (read) about Quitting.
Me: She asks the same thing I have been thinking and it was like she was writing a clean version of my own thoughts.

I decided to see if there were others out there wondering the same thing – quitting.  Sure enough, there were people out there expression their views online.

Here’s one guy (read) from Seattle even.  I do have to chuckle about the hours thing though – 12 hours is pretty standard and if in fact he’s working on feature films – they would be compensating for over the 12 hour mark.
Me:  I have no issues working the hours – I have worked long hard hours for years.

This one (read) blew me away but at least he recognized that he just didn’t have what it takes.
Me:  I know damned good and well that I have good scripts that are thoughtfully executed, allowed to breath for a time and sent out to critical friends who don’t bullshit me into thinking my crap script is the next best thing and rush the fuck out to film it three weeks later after ruining anyone else’s chance with a good script of getting crowd-funding….. yeah, I said it.  I said what a lot of people are whispering about. So.

Then came this article (read)  about quitting from Bobcat.  He advises to actually quit.  Yep.  You’ll see why.  I was also impressed that he used the word douche-y.  I like him.

What it has come down to is this – I want to have some day, my great grand kids to be able to say, “Wow, she worked on that film” versus, “Omg, what a pile of shit.  Did she not see that it was a pile of shit when reading the script?”  Yes.  I probably did and did it for the meager amount being paid (or not paid most times) and thinking I was doing a good thing for people who called me a “friend” at the time and stupidly hoped they would return the favor.  No more.

What I have decided is that I am quitting film.  I will only dedicate time to quality scripts sent to me and I will dedicate my time to that film and if it is a short film – even if it does not obtain financial support, I will be committed to it.  After all, since when do short films actually make money.  Yep.  That’s right.  A good story is the best story.  I am doing it for the LOVE of filming, to entertain an audience, to create thought- provoking moments, and to help my fellow filmmaker FRIENDS out.  Even if that means one film a year, so be it.  Quality over quantity and quality has always been something I have harped about for years and I have severely failed myself.

No longer, will I support anyone who has not supported or recommended me for films.  So please, do not ask me to forward your crap when you could not even support my own film that is behind due to lack of support, trusting people, letting people tell me their schedules, giving chances when I should have set the hammer down but because we all were not getting paid vs doing it for love – I was too soft and easy which was a failure moment for me.  I fully admit it.  I can do that.  How many can?

Does this mean I am now a snob to the snobs or douchers?  No.  It means I am finally standing my own ground and saying:  “Fuck you.”  I just want to make quality films with friends that mean something and not for a fuckin’ buck or to go around acting like some big shot.  Yep, I am probably an asshole after this blog but like everything else, in two days, no one will remember it.

I will continue to write.  Because I love it and no one can douche me on writing.


Gina Lockhart
Producer/Director/Screenwriter and most of all…Human Being.

PRODUCER’S CORNER: Lessons from 2012

It’s 2013 already and I’m finally getting around to my 2012 review.   Some things are going to blow your mind and others, well, you probably experienced it yourself.  Not all of this is going to be about film or dudes – It’s everything under the sink time.  I’m going to do my best to keep this as humorous as possible when I can.

So here it goes.

DISCLAIMER:  Not for sissy-pants.  You have been warned.  F-bombs may be included.  Reader discretion is advised.

I’ve learned a great deal last year.  Yep.  As years go by, you would think that the learning would slow down from being ‘wiser’ than the year before.  Whoever said that crap is a complete moron.  I assure you, you will never stop learning and the odds are, you’re going to make the same mistakes again and again.

Dude #1:  I have said goodbye to a long time ‘well-known’ Composer who was so full of crap with everything he said to me and hell, we were not intimate – just friends.  He would say he was going to buy two cameras and start his own film production company and all these ‘things.’  I was told that due to not being intimate, I was his muse.  His greatest inspiration due to me keeping things professional. Until one day, he decided to send a photo of his junk….and I’m not talking in a garbage can folks.  Imagine my face starring at an over-inflated hot dog.  I told this ‘friend’ that it was inappropriate and to not treat me like that but also added that with his career, it’s not wise to do stupid stuff like this because I know I was not the only one.  He likes Skype a lot.  So, a great supportive friendship went down the ‘tube’ because of an idiot.  I removed him completely so I am no longer his muse which makes me amused.    Maybe with all the hot air he has, he can fill a blow up doll.

Dude #2:  A depressed news person who makes perverted comments to the point his work notices it and tells him to stop….mmyah……’nuff said.

Dude #3:  A dude on Facebook who wants to ‘get to know me’ but freaks out because I don’t email him back and says he’s out.  I emailed and said that he was never in.  I was not even attracted to the guy and I get into trouble.

What is wrong with men today?

Wow.  What a bi-polar year with the high lows.

Lesson #1: Don’t mentor.  Don’t do it or you will beat yourself like you’re on fire and need to get the flames out.  If you mentor, make sure it’s someone who has TRUE potential to do it.  If you don’t, light yourself on fire and beat out the flames.

Lesson #2: If you say that you know Matt Damon, the odds are pretty fucking good that I’m going to find out.  When I contact Matt Damon and he doesn’t know you or the person you claim was recommended to you, that’s when I throw you out the window of a 747 in mid-flight.  This is sound advice for filmmakers – do NOT pretend you know celebrities higher than you.  There are smart fuckers like me who find out and know people for ‘realz yo’ but we don’t tell.

Lesson #3: Trust in your instincts.  What’s it going to take for you do to it – your stomach to crawl through your belly wall and talk to you?  When your instincts go off, it’s your subconscious level warning you that there are troubles ahead and you should step away from the steaming pile of dog doo.  But hey, it’s your choice.   Do you go ahead and step in it to see what scent it is or do you walk away feeling fresh as a daisy?  Make the choice.

Lesson #4:  Holy hell Film Man, you’re not the only filmmaker out there and quit pointing the finger at other people’s film calling them ‘shit’ when your own work sucks.  Oops – I finally said it.

Lesson #5: Shut up and make movies – all the complaining about money with short films. Who wouldn’t want to get paid?  But if you want to get paid – go find the money for the filmmaker who has the film.  Eh?   *crickets*  The odds of anyone in a local scene (pick any major film city) for film (only) making money is damned few.  Otherwise, it’s commercial gigs, corporate gigs, wedding and funerals for us all.  You have to love what you do first.  If you hate making movies without pay – what are you in this for?

Lesson #6:  In 2011, I told a colleague of an idea after talking with the Mayor of Sultan about a film and now his friend is making something very similar that I found in 2012.  Yes, I have documentation.

Lesson #6:  I watch one fan film production say slanderous things about another fan film production that has the authentic celebrities involved from the real franchise that they are fans from.  Fucking moron.  I’d say that the real celebrity (choose any generation) fan film based off the franchise production has a better chance of surviving and running free.  Oh and um….better god damned acting too.  So – I said it.  What of it?  Call each other and cry or make fun of people like normal.  *eye roll*  Again, another reason not to be like these kind of so called filmmakers.

Lesson #7:  There are some really amazing people out there who are willing to help.  They don’t make fun of you.  They don’t talk shit about you.  They want to work with you and get something done together.  REMEMBER THIS. It’s really important to remember this when things are tough.  Place an ad and find people.  There are always actors and crew who are looking for experience but don’t get it because they are not in with the crowd or just need a chance.

Lesson #8: Don’t believe what people say without verifying it.  Go read my Dude #1 story.  There are people out there with hidden motives who will lie, cheat, and steal from you.  Be very careful out there.

Lesson #9: What’s the rush?  Don’t hurry into a production after writing.  Take your time to perfect it and film it.  Let it have the best chance at quality your film can have.  You will thank yourself later.

Lesson #10: Everything else under the kitchen sink goes here.

In case you don’t know this, life is great!  It’s an amazing adventure filled with good and bad people.  Sure, you’re going to run across negative people but it is you who can control how much energy they get out of you.  I like to avoid ‘energy vampires.’  Every now and then I stumble across one that zaps me because I don’t see the signs right away.  Some appear to be positive but then zap you.

Stop lying.  Be honest with people.  I have seen people say stuff and turn around and smile, shake hands and say they love the person they just said stuff about.  I end up in a daze not believing what I just witnessed.  Oh and if you don’t like what something that someone did to you, speak up.  Now is a great time to start doing this – it is liberating!

Look, no one is 100% positive.  If someone says they are, they are so full of shit – they’re eyes are brown.  Red if they ate beets but you get the idea.  Surround yourself around positive people when you’re down.  If you are around someone who repeatedly says, “I’m going to quit…” it will rub off on you.  Get rid of that person in your life.  Believe me, it’s life changing to eliminate that kind of talk and vibe.

Alrighty – that’s a wrap on this baby before it ends up being a book.  Not as funny as I thought it might be but hey, I’m no professional comedian dang it.

Let’s roll forward on to a beautiful year with 2013.

Producer’s Corner: Communication

Recognize this conversation?

JOHN MCLATER walks down the street all happy as a camper with toilet paper when he’s stopped by MONICA SILENCE

Monica:  Hey John!  Great to see you!!!
John:  What’s up Monnie?!
Monica:  Oh not much.  I’ve been thinking about working on that short film by Jeff Bingeta.
John:  You mean the one that starts in two weeks?
Monica:  Yeah that one.
John:  Well, you sure about that?  I mean, we just had a production meeting two nights ago.
Monica:  Wait?  They contacted me about being Script Supervisor.  They can’t do that.
John:  When did you get the email?
Monica:  Two weeks ago.  I’ve been so busy……


DISCLAIMER:  Not for sissy-pants.  You have been warned.  By the way, when I write blogs, they also teach me a lot of things.  So when it seems I’m pointing fingers at people, I am a firm believer in looking in a mirror.   So my blogs also teach me things to better myself as a human being.

I have actually heard very similar moments and I experience trying to herd people into emailing back a response….and the sad thing is, it doesn’t matter if it’s a paid or pro bono gig.  In any industry this is not acceptable but in the entertainment industry that is contracted and expected to be fast with responses – taking your time to respond is a very bad habit to have.  I will admit that I’m not alone when I say my local area is bad about returning emails.  I can get a quicker response from Scotland, Washington DC, India, New Orleans and Hollywood than I can from some Seattle peeps.

What is it with people not responding to emails?
Is it:
a) I’m so busy that I just don’t have time to check emails.
Answer)  Get out of the industry so others can get gigs.
b) I’m tech dumb.
Answer) Take classes – anyone under the age of 70 should know how to use a PC by now.  I mean, you do realize those baby-boomer people were working on videos games right?
c) I’m just a damned hipster and I figure the world owes me everything – waiting for me too.  It’s just me, myself and my ear plugs.
Answer) This industry waits for no one. Now go put a chain through your ear plug and lock yourself behind a Greyhound bus headed for Portland.

What’s a proper way of communicating through emails?
1. First of all, don’t take more than 24 hours to respond.   Sure, stuff happens and an email slips through the cracks but over-all – do not take more than 24 hours to respond.  You lose gigs, clients, etc for what business you are working in.
2. If you are within the entertainment industry or sales, you better be checking your emails every hour or immediately when one comes in.   You will do yourself a favor by being Johnny/Suzy Jackrabbit with your email responses.
3. Don’t write one liner responses.  Nobody knows what the hell you’re talking about because they don’t read minds.
4. Don’t respond to an audition with your website link. Are you kidding me?  Producers want to hear why you’re interested – no, you don’t need to do a novel.  Just write a paragraph thanking the shit out of them for the opportunity and why you are perfect for this role.  A paragraph is up to five sentences.
5. If you are contacted from a Producer and you don’t respond, it probably will be the last time you hear from that Producer ever again.
6. Email or call if you’re going to flake out on an audition. If you don’t contact, it may be the last time you hear from that Producer ever again.
7. Don’t use text slang:  WTF yo!  I rly wnt da rlz u has on ad.  I don’t think I need to talk about this any further, yo.  Go watch this video for poor communication and being clear on what you’re saying.

It’s funny but …see what I mean?

So there you are – writing out things and organizing it so that even an ADHD reader can quickly grasp what you just laid out for instructions.  Then along comes some dip shit that waits a week and asks you the same gorram thing you posted in the email.  Don’t be a dip shit – read all of the instructions.  ALL OF IT!  No really – I mean it.  People who don’t read emails are the ones who whine that they got into a contract with deferred payment and they don’t even know what it means.  READ PEOPLE READ!  You’re breaking the hearts of books all over the world.   I mean….who’s on first?

Phone calls are from that mobile devise you have attached (literally) to your hot little hand.  It’s what we did before text messaging came out.  I’m pretty damned sure that 98% of you remember a land line phone.  A quick phone call is faster than trying to text and fix the friggin’ auto correct.  Respect the fact that not everyone is on the same plan so keep it short and to the point – or get voxer on your phone and do voice texting.

For the love of all humanity – do not ever text business.  It’s fine to say – “John, I’m stuck in traffic” but to text out something like, “John,  the contravariant and the covariant vectors are related to each other through the metric tensor of the four dimensional manifold, commonly known as the Minkowski space. Since the contravariant and the covariant vectors transform in an inverse manner, such a product is easily seen to be invariant under Lorentz transformations. This is the generalization of the scalar product of the three dimensional Euclidean space to the four dimensional Minkowski space and is invariant under Lorentz transformations which are the analogs of rotations in Minkowski space.”
See how business looks in a text message? Eh?  Eh?  Don’t ever do it again.

If you back out of an audition or a gig without contacting anyone TWENTY-FOUR HOURS BEFORE, more than likely you’re never going to hear from that Producer(s) crew and probably the other actors EVER again.  Take on the responsibility of contacting people – IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.  You are the one who chose to be in an industry that relies on you to be responsible.  Have I mentioned enough times that it’s your responsibility to be responsible for your own responsibility?  Call, text, or email the people in charge TWENTY-FOUR HOURS BEFORE the audition/gig.

Learn when it’s fuckin’ okay to swear or not.  Whoops, my bad –this is not the place today.  I like the word fuck just like a lot of you do but it’s not okay to just walk into an audition or be on set and just let it all fuckin’ slip out.  Look – I don’t buy the whole “it shows your lack of education if you swear” – BS.  It’s a morals thing – some people think it’s really offensive to them and I think it’s fine to respect that on set or any other work related place. You are going to work with all sorts of people in this industry so just be cool with swearing, politics, religion and sex.   Now, if the Producer initiates a little fuckin’ – caution, it might be a trick.  Just sayin.’

When a Facebook friend recommended I cover eye contact, at first I thought that it might not fit in but really it does in the long run.  Have you ever been around someone who just won’t look you in the eyes?  If someone is too close to me without my glasses – I lose focus and end up looking outward a lot but I mention this.  Again, if you are in the entertainment industry, you are your business.  You must know how to sell yourself – this goes for crew and actors.  You are contracted for each film.

Don’t contact business through Facebook. Don’t contact business through Facebook. Don’t contact business through Facebook. Email the person for their email address.  If an ad says to email x email address, don’t contact business through Facebook.  Just because you’re a friend doesn’t give you special rights because there are other friends who are thinking the same thing you are.  Don’t contact business through Facebook.

Look – I’m no pro at all this and heck, I’ve been guilty a time or two but not repeatedly.  Communication has different forms and meanings.  It’s up to you to be aware of other styles and ways.  It’s like movies and distribution in other countries.  What may be an appropriate title and cover here in America, may mean “I just ate sacred cow” in India.  Of course that would be offensive and you better care because it can cost you sales.

So the point here is what?
1. Answer your emails right away.
2. Call if you need to chat about something.
3. Text friends not business partners.
4. Look at a person when you’re talking/listening.
5. Don’t swear a whole lot.
6. Fuck Facebook.


Gina Lockhart

Producer’s Corner: Respect, Praise and Payment for Crew & Talent

Producers – you are responsible for all the action or lack of action that goes on your self with pre, mid, and post production.  You are the rudder of a ship and you have the choice to take your project out to sea or run it into the rocks. It is you that is the business person, not Dad or Mom of a crew. Your crew are people you hired as a contracted filmmaker to get a project completed in some cases, you bond with many and return over and over which is a nice compliment by the way.

Like in my last blog on describing what a Producer is – not everyone is cut out to be one. You can’t be a land-shark in this industry either. If you’re out to make the big bucks on your own project but pay your crew with dog stool dollars, you’re hurting yourself in the long run – remember?  You are responsible for all the action, feeling, thoughts and energy that goes on with the production.  Here – read what a Producer does just in case you don’t know or need a refresher course.  Producer’s Corner: What is a Movie Producer.  Make sure you’re seeking to be a Producer for the right reasons.

Below are some topics that I borrowed from a previous blog I wrote last year that always seem to be an issue with the film industry.

DISCLAIMER:  When I write blogs, they also teach me a lot of things.  So when it seems I’m pointing fingers at people, I am a firm believer in looking in a mirror.   So my blogs also teach me things to better myself as a human being above all, to keep me from being an egotistical narcissistic nightmare, a better fillm maker, friend and colleague.

Crew Titles
Give credit where it’s due and don’t take advantage of people who may have more knowledge but are hired for something lower – like someone is normally a Producer but volunteered or paid to be a Script Supervisor and you start picking their brain for information. That’s not what you hired them for and it’s not cool. Crew – protect yourselves with contracts. A Director is a Director – not a PA. An AC is not a PA. A PA is not a 2nd AC. If they have to switch gears on set, be sure to give them full credit for what they did. I don’t care if it’s an independent film – there are plenty of people out there who are willing to help out for experience so hire them – stop with the ‘tight ass’ crew syndrome.  Know the difference between a UPM (Unit Production Manager) and an LP (Line Producer).  That’s research for you.

Crew Praise
You didn’t make that film. Your crew and cast did – this is the biggest pet peeve I have experienced and won’t ever tolerate this self-glory crap again. This is why I set the standard of everyone seeing on movie fan pages that I’m the Producer on to see ALL crew/cast members.  Yes, it’s the Director’s vision but without crew/cast – wouldn’t have happened.

Crew Respect
“I’m working as hard as I’m getting paid” said a DP once on set as he was receiving no pay but being ordered around to hurry and such by the AD/Director. At the time, it might seem disrespectful, but a couple years later, I clearly understand why the DP made that comment.  We could pick this apart by saying that the DP should be working hard no matter if it’s volunteer or paid but there is a different attitude when you’re paid. Now, if the DP was working for close colleagues, I’m sure he would have done everything possible to bust his hump, but was he out of line as he uses a $2,500 camera outside when the production has no equipment insurance to protect the gear? I don’t think so.

However, there comes the factor that we are all our own contracted business and how hard we work reflects on who we are. Personally, I give 100% to any gig – paid or non-paid because it’s just right to do so for the best interest of yourself and of the film. What if due to your slacking off on a non-paid gig that YOU volunteered for caused the film to look like crap and what if the whole crew had the same attitude? Nothing would get done.  What would have been better for the DP above is to pull the AD, Director and Producer to the side and gave a piece of his mind for some resolution about the lack of planning.

I will point out that if you’re volunteering on a flaming ship that is sinking due to the Producer/Directors on board, there is nothing, not one thing you can do – it’s your choice to jump ship or keep going if you really need something on your reel.  If you stay, just do the best you can at your job – you owe it to yourself.

Paid gigs are the priority – absolutely! I am a firm believer of paid gigs and family is a priority over a pro bono gig.

Payment – Contracts
It’s one thing to do a pro bono gig for close colleagues and another thing to do something for experience, but when a production company has full intentions of sending their movie to a film festival in hopes for it to be bought and made into a feature film or have full intentions of the movie going into distribution – crew, protect YOURSELF. Make sure that the contract you sign has the language of at least deferred payment with a base pay and a percentage depending on your position. Cast – this goes for you too.

Payment – DVD
This is the biggest complaint I receive on the Seattle Area Filmmakers emails or hear from colleagues. Why is it so hard for productions to just squeeze out a copy of the DVD for their crew/cast who have worked so hard to make ‘their’ dreams come true? Shelved or not, give your cast/crew a copy of the movie they worked on and save your reputation. Give them something so they can use it for their demo reel – you OWE it to them no matter what.  Otherwise, don’t be so shocked when they won’t return or others won’t work with you.  Word does get around fast – no matter how good of an excuse you create.

Payment – IMDB
Please don’t promise this unless you have full intentions of going to film festivals or DVD distribution. Oh and by the way – that’s IF a festival considers the film to get an IMDB credit – must be submitted AND considered in order for them to validate your work. It’s a really lame excuse for payment as well and I would never offer it as a serious form of compensation. It just shows a filmmaker clearly know nothing about how the industry works and screams amateur.

Payment – Experience
Just because they work on your production, does not mean they get treated like the new kid to haze or make them bust their hump harder. There are a lot of people who would like to work in film – give them a chance to fill in a position. Don’t forget about interns from colleges. Treat them good!

Payment – Volunteer or Intern
Let’s look at it this way, you apply to a job at Microsoft or Boeing an they ask you one of two things: 1. What is the lowest pay you will accept or 2. Can you work pro bono for this job. Huh? You mean they don’t do that? Oh that’s right they don’t because as a legal/licensed business within the State of Washington, they follow the legal guidelines for hiring people.

What’s the legal guidelines you ask – here it is:
WA State:
See (d) for volunteerism. If they are working for IMDB credits and a DVD – you might want to give it to them. But we should all take a look at the few lines before (e) – for profit. This is an eye opener for us all.

I talked with the Labor and Industries to make sure of what I read and what I posted above IS correct information. If a filmmaker is seeking to profit from the film (distribution), then people can’t volunteer. They suggested that a filmmaker (with a business license) pay something to their volunteers and also with their Industrial Insurance to get Volunteer coverage as well to protect their business because volunteers have grounds for small claim suits and file worker right claims.

Payment – Food
Some people got PB&J food for lunch and most people are pretty cool with this if they know ahead of time. There’s also a problem with this that many of you didn’t see already.  It’s legally in your best interest to ASK your crew about dietary restrictions (not requests).  If someone has a peanut allergy, someone is Jewish and you serve pork, someone is gluten free, someone has seed restrictions, etc – you have to be aware of these things as a someone in the production team.

Burning Bridges
Burning bridges in this town, in this town…..please. Listen, no one is big enough to screw your career up. The only person who can screw up your career is you. You can do that by how you treat people. First of all, no one is on the level of Mr. Lucas or Spielberg and even then, they are not jerks about their status either.

If people turn their back on you because you can’t work on their production for some reason various reason – you don’t need to have those people in your database.

If they don’t like you because you don’t booze it up and take a line with them – you’re not screwing up or burning bridges, you’re looking out for your career.

If you did any of the above things like not paying crew when it was a paid gig, not giving their DVD (raw or completed), lie, cheat, steal, or not giving their credit where due – expect a cold shoulder and no referral with good reason. Don’t expect those crew people to be pleased to see you.  That’s a legitimate reason that you burned your own bridge.

There are people who have bailed on me over and over but their reasons were legit – I don’t shun them for it. Who am I? Just a filmmaker in an area trying to get my work out. No one controls any area – no one is the boss of film in any city.

I don’t see Mr. Spielberg acting like a 15 year old kid claiming to be the King of Hollywood. It doesn’t matter if you’re broke or wealthy trying to do film – do it! No one owns you, no one controls you and this is a free country with a lot of filmmakers. Just always remember, treat your crew/cast with respect.

Be upfront with your crew/talent. Most people are pretty understanding about things but hate being lied to.  Do the right thing in the first place and it will help you in the long run.

Things need to change.  They need to change fast.  We are a city that is trying to look as professional as Hollywood, Atlanta, New York City or Vancouver BC – so, start acting like it.


Send hate mail to:  Yep – have a chat with me through email or call me if you don’t like what I said above.  I’m not an expert but I’m doing my best to learn as I go.

What ALL Washington State residents should know about SB 5539

This is a personal request for support to all my friends who work just as hard as I do.  Boeing, Microsoft, Real Estate, Media, Retail, Graphic Artist, Game Industry, Musicians, State Employees, Teachers, Union and Non-Union – Yes, there are Union and Non-Union jobs within the film industry.


Washington’s Motion Picture Competitiveness Program gives a refund of up to 30 percent to movies, television shows and commercials filmed in Washington (providing the budget is over $500,000).

SB 5539, the bill to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program,  was voted out of the House Committee on Community & Economic  Development & Housing on Monday with a vote of 8 to 1. Representative  Santos was the single no vote on the committee. We are working with  Representative Santos to address her issues with the legislation and  we hope to have her vote when the bill comes up on the floor.

SB 5539 will now be referred to the House Ways and Means Committee chaired by Representative Ross Hunter and we will likely have a hearing scheduled  this week. As a reminder, Representative Hunter put an amendment on  the bill during the 2011 legislative session which cut the funding for  the program in half so we expect it to be a tough committee and will  need your support.


Well it helps keep myself and other filmmakers here in Washington so that we provide you all with work too and it brings Hollywood/International Studios back to Washington State to film the ‘real’ Washington vs. going to Vancouver BC or Portland…or worse, a recent film called “Chronicle” was filmed in South Africa to be Seattle. They even used Seattle as the cover for their movie:

Budget: $12M (estimated)
Opening Wknd:  $22M (USA)
Gross: $83.9M (Worldwide)

If they had really filmed here and only 10% of that budget went to Washington State – it would be $1.2 million dollars.

Twilight is another example but this time, it is a HUGE franchise that  – filmed in Louisiana, Oregon and B.C with a few establishing shots needed to remind the viewer that it’s based in rainy Washington.   Let’s quickly take a look at the financial figures:

The first movie Twilight:
Budget: $37M (estimated)
Opening Wknd:  $69.6M (USA)
Gross: $351M (Worldwide)

The second – New Moon:
Budget: $50M (estimated)
Opening Wknd:  $143M (USA)
Gross: $710M (Worldwide)

The third – Eclipse:
Budget: $68M (estimated)
Opening Wknd: $83.6M (USA)
Gross: $695M (Worldwide)

The fourth – Breaking Dawn P1
Budget: $110M (estimated)
Opening Wknd: $41.7M (USA)|
Gross: $662M (Worldwide)


Breaking Dawn P1 & P2: Filming began on November 1, 2010 and wrapped on April 15, 2011. They are the only two installments of the franchise not entirely filmed on location in Canada. Filming took place on location in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Rio de Janiero, Brazil as well as in Vancouver, Canada.

So adding up the budgets (since part 2 info isn’t out yet, I made the budget equal P1) it comes to $375,000,000.

IF only 10% of that money went into Washington State’s economy – that would be $37.5 MILLION dollars.  Corry’s Cleaners, Production Assistants, Extras, Taxis, WA State Ferry system, restaurants, hotels, hardware stores etc would have benefited from it.


The first thing to remember is that this is not about Seattle. Filming has gone around the entire State of Washington for decades.  From Snohomish to Spokane to Oak Harbor to Seattle.

Filming in Washington State means business for you by productions using: Hardware stores, SeaTac, restaurants, catering services, Attorneys, hiring security, taxi/van services, Macs, grocery stores, night clubs, gas stations, Adobe products, PCs, local musicians, graphic artists, clothespins for god sakes, and much more.

It also means tourism which means revenue for businesses as well.  Had Twilight actually been entirely filmed here in Washington – imagine the tourism revenue like what Northern Exposure and Twin Peaks did for North Bend and other places.  The very airport runway that I used for filming the “Carrera” car race was the same airport that Northern Exposure used.

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, is one of the bill’s sponsors. She says the bill’s focus is on jobs and points out that projects don’t get any incentive money until they have gone through a rigorous review of their spending, including wages and benefits, in the state.


For all film industry professionals, write your Representatives to urge them to support the renewal of the program. It is especially important that members of the Ways and Means Committee hear from constituents in their districts.

For all others such as businesses and people who just want to support, please contact them and explain why you support as well.  For a full list of members on this committee visit the following link:


Our friends at IndieClub have designed a wonderful online resource to  make writing Representatives fast and efficient.


If you prefer to write in your own words or directly, click on your Reps name and then their email address.


As always you are encouraged to personalize your letters and tell your  representatives how this program has impacted your lives.  This is a critical week for the legislation. We have a series of blog  posts scheduled to publish this week to encourage the film industry to get involved. Please remind your team members to check the blog regularly for the most up to date information about the status of the  bill (


Legislative Hotline Operators: 1-800-562-6000
Just remember, it’s only one minute of your time to call as well.

Thanks for your continued support!

Gina Lockhart

Producer’s Corner: What is a Movie Producer

What is a Movie Producer?

Around the first of the year (2012), I asked Facebook people if they would like to see me do a blog called, “Producer’s Corner.” I had a lot of people say yes, so this is the beginning. The first thing I want to add here is that I am not an expert Producer. These are the things that I have learned on my own, through research, through my valuable mentors who are experts that I personally know and the other experts who I don’t know but value the interviews I read.

If you have to ask a Producer questions on running your movie (short or feature) – hire them either as a consultant or as your Producer. It will in fact, save you a lot of time, money and conflicts later on with your film.

Above all things – a Producer is the face and voice of your production.  The Producer must have excellent and genuine customer service, marketing, administrative and business skills and knowledge. They cannot come across as a used car salesperson or trying too hard. People see through each other and get vibes, so being genuine is the key. Another time-related quality a Producer will acquire is thick skin. Their role is to think about the audience.

Producers are your pre-production geniuses. They do not like to look at a script, film it the next weekend, and slap it together for show ‘n tell to have a ‘then what’ moment.  That’s not what good Producers do.  A lot of planning goes into a script – what is the target?  Art or something marketable. Decisions like that are important.  The final cut should go through the Producer who may have decisions that all may not like unless they too are hired as a Co-Producer or by a production/studio who have the final decision whether it is right or wrong.

Producers have financial and administrative control the production – they own the rights to the script because they bought it.  The Producer’s job is to raise the money needed and to keep the production within that budget. The producer is responsible for ultimately turning a profit for the investors providing it’s not a short film that is used as a calling-card – some will enter film festivals and hope their film is good enough to be purchased.

Movie Producers may be employed by film studios or they may work independently. Studio Producers usually turn towards novels, especially bestsellers, buy the rights and they often become successful plays and motion pictures.  Independent film Producers will get indie scripts and read through them but the finances are much different from a studio Producer.

The Producer (with the Director) hires/fires the staff—actors, designers, and other workers. A large staff often includes several Production Assistants, Associate Producers, or Assistant Producers who are in charge of various parts of the production.  Yes, believe it or not, Production Assistants are not always just an ‘on set’ job.

Most Producers work very closely with the director but it does vary in each case. Some producers have very little contact with their productions, while others go to every audition and rehearsal. The producer of a low-budget documentary film may also be the director and may even operate the camera but remember, you are your own customer service at that point.

Producers are also involved with post-production.  They are there for the best interest of the film in the long run. Again, their role is to think about the audience.  Should there be a budget for marketing and festivals, it is the Producer’s job to get the movie out there.

In short – this is what a Producer is:

To learn more about other crew positions – here are a couple of links for job descriptions:

Want more info?

American Film Institute
2021 N. Western Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027-1657
(323) 856-7600

Association of Independent Commercial Producers
3 W. 18th St., 5th Fl.
New York, NY 10011
(212) 929-3000

Producers Guild of America, Inc.
8530 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 450
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
(310) 358-9020


Gina Lockhart
DISCLAIMER:  When I write blogs, they also teach me a lot of things.  So when it seems I’m pointing fingers at people, I am a firm believer in looking in a mirror.   So my blogs also teach me things to better myself as a human being above all, to keep me from being an egotistical narcissistic nightmare, a better fillm maker, friend and colleague.