Tag Archives: gina lockhart

New Year & Your Resolutions

A new year.
 
Just 24 hours ago, you were considering new goals, new resolutions, new dreams, new commitments and a new outlook on life. Each year, we see people posting about it while others giggle about it too.
 
Sure, it’s only another day but with a different number attached to the year, but it’s up to you on allowing it to be that clean slate you have wanted.
 

My reminder is that you never want to burden yourself with unrealistic goals. Keep your life simple and not allow family, friends or the news bring your down with negativity. I know that it’s harder with family. Many pretend to have it all together, but they don’t and they are far more miserable than you think and passing judgement on you and as they make fun of others is only a small reflection of the tortured and rotten souls they have within. Avoid them.You might be born into it, but you don’t have to belong.

You can always create goals throughout the year.

Go easy on yourself. Relax a little. Keep your goals simple to obtain them and feel great when you accomplish them. Now get on with your bad ass self!!
 
Peace within ~ Peace comes out.
Love within ~ Love comes out.
WhatDoesPeaceFeelLike-

 

Black Sheep

I worked, played, stalked by a creep and contacted the Feds, my father passed away, going back to blonde, health goals met, started noticing some flirting though “Stella ain’t got her groove back” yet – and survived it all.

I realize after hearing stories, that I’m nothing like the rest of the family and I’m extremely grateful for it. I’ll continue to treasure being the ‘black sheep’ of the family. It’s what I do best. I wish I had learned this years ago, but now is fine too. I am not sorry if you’re reading this. I do not like how you treat each other. A family gathering with you all is described as: A rabbit hole filled with cobras wearing crosses.

I do have a renewed faith in friendships again. Friendships really are like a garden, you have to remove the weeks to see the real fruit/veggies who feed (encourage etc) you as much as you feed (encourage etc) them. Update: I paused while writing this ‘blog’ and ended up finding this article called, “5 Tools for Pulling Weeds from Your Heart”  By Genevieve Schmitt.

Yep – this is probably the same shit written another year gone by. I don’t like to do too much details, it is after all, the Internet. I know all too well that there are some mentally unstable people out there who need to get help. So if this is boring, I’m proud that it is now.

I shall leave you with some of my favorite quotes – maybe they can inspire those of you who stumble on this blog:

“To thine own self be true…..”
~Shakespeare or Sir Francis Bacon depending on how much history you really are into.
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“Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.” ~ Unknown
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“If you’re absent during my struggle, don’t expect to be present during my success.” ~Actor, Will Smith
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I bend like a weed in the wind; My enemies perfect me.
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Before enlightenment – chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment – chop wood, carry water.
~Zen Buddhist Proverb
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Tomorrow always comes, and today is never yesterday. ~S.A. Sachs
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Reason and faith are both banks of the same river. ~Doménico Cieri Estrada
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“Philosophy, rightly defined, is simply the love of wisdom.”
~Marcus Tullius Cicero
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“Maybe some women are not meant to be tamed. Maybe they need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with”.
~~Carrie Bradshaw – Sex and The City

It took just one man.

On September 28th, I wrote this on Facebook and don’t want it to get lost in the sea of past posts. It’s a little vague in details because it I want it to be. I know the details. He knows the details and a few people know the details – that’s all that matters. It touched my soul.
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Over this past week, one man has shown me truth, his word, his integrity and honor. I will forever be grateful. Good men exist. He didn’t hesitate. He became the most incredible man in the World in my eyes. I have so much respect for him. I wish many amazing things go in his way.

I then showed someone else the same things and hope that person continues paying it forward. Good people exist who help and give without selfish expectations.

It was nice to reflect on this as I enjoyed my evening star gazing as the last day of summer for Washington. The air so fresh and the temp is just right. Life is such an interesting journey. I finally feel open to many things now. I know, pretty cryptic and deep.Some will understand and others may not. 

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.

Cheers.

Gina Lockhart
Producer/Director/Writer
Philosophia Studios

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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!
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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
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MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY:
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.
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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!
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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!
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Friday!!!
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!
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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!!
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Let no one and nothing ruin your day. CARPE DIEM!!!
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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!
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Be beautiful. Because you are. Each and every one of you.
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Now – have a fantastic Friday and let it make for a great weekend! Cheers!
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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!
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!!
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What is on my mind? That I freakin’ love you people! That’s what’s up!
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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
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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.
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Don’t get discouraged. Keep going.
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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!
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Feelin’ sassy, frisky, spunky and silly today. Bursting with great ideas and good things are happenin’.
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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!
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Never clip your own wings! Never settle for less!
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“Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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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!
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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!
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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
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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
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I AM REVOLUTIONARY.
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Resilient. Persistent. Determined. Focused. Not-A-Quitter. Always finds a way. *cracks whip*
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LET’S ROCK!!! Be humble. Be good. Be strong. Be funny. Be important – because you are. Cheers!

Producers Corner: I am quitting film….

QUITTING!

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…

DOUCHERSVILLE
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.

BLUNT
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.

SAF
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.

ANGER, VERIFY & REFERENCES
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.

THE ACTRESS WHO’S QUITTING- NOT TODAY
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.

SEATTLE PA QUITTER
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.

HE ADMITS HE SUCKS
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.

JUST QUIT – BY BOBCAT
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.

LEGACY
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.

I’M QUITTING
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 SUPPORT
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?

DOUCHING THE DOUCHERS
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.

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

Cheers.

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.

WISDOM
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.

DUDES & DICKS
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?

FILM
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.

LIFE & VAMPIRES
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.

TELL IT LIKE IT IS
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!

BE POSITIVE
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: So, You Wanna Be a Filmmaker

So you want to make a film.  What do you do?  Gather friends and strangers together and just do it?  Well, what if someone fell and cut their leg?   What if an actor broke their arm? Did you have contracts to protect yourself?  Did you get the insurance needed? Did you sign a contract protecting the business or home owner from such accidents?  Uh oh, do you even have a business license?

Oh sure, there are websites telling you that in four easy steps, you can become a filmmaker.  Yep.  It looks glamorous does it not?  Who doesn’t want to be an actor or a filmmaker?  It is easy work right?  Hmm.  Let’s take a look at what you really need to become a filmmaker.

This information is the difference between professional and doing a film as a hobby just for fun – and there is nothing wrong with that but, you really should protect your hobby too.  A car collector still has insurance and owns the title of his valuable cars – you should too for your films. So you hobby filmmakers should sit back and read too.

BUSINESS LICENSE

The first step you need to take is getting a business license from your state.  For Washington filmmakers: http://bls.dor.wa.gov.  The site will seem hard, but it really is not.  Just take your time and answer the questions – it sometimes helps if you know someone who has done it before.  You can take it one step further and make your business an LLC (Limited Liability Company – click on link to read up).  Huray!  You’re now on your way to being a business person!  After this – having a business plan is all up to you – another time, another blog.

TAXES – DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE

Be wise.  Be smart.  Here’s a load of information on the Washington Filmworks page about the Department of Revenue.

WASHINGTON STATE MOTION COMPETITIVENESS PROGRAM (TAX INCENTIVE)

It’s going to be easier to send you to Washington Filmworks website to follow up with and learn about the incentive.  You ARE going to need this information if you start making films with a budget.

With one of the industry’s most competitive incentive programs, Washington Filmworks provides funding assistance of up to 30% of in-state qualified expenditures (including Washington-based labor and talent). And we’ll cut you a check within 30 days. We’ve got millions in incentive funds to give away this year, offering you the opportunity to significantly cut costs without sacrificing production quality.

To qualify for our 30% return in 30 days incentive program, your production company must meet the following in-state spending thresholds:

  • $500,000 Motion Pictures
  • $300,000 Television (per episode)
  • $150,000 Commercial

CONTRACTS & OTHER FORMS

Alrighty!  So you have a script and you are in the big Producer/Director chair for your own film.  Now you want to hire crew and actors – or you might need a contract to buy a script from a Writer. Well, you need to come up with a contract that protects you, the actors, the crew, and the location you are filming in.  So – here is a list of BASIC contracts.  There are more websites out there showing basic contracts if you do an internet search. You can modify them but remember, it may still be a good idea to get an attorney to review it.
By the way – include Non-disclosure forms and a bunch of others into this category.  Yes, all the more reason to hire a person who knows how to do things – that person is called a Producer.

PRODUCER

What in tarnation is a Producer? Well, in short – they are the face and voice of your film.  Here’s a link to a blog I did – “What is a Producer?”  The Producer must have excellent and genuine customer service, marketing, administrative and business skills and knowledge. Without these skills, one will look disorganized, unprofessional, and will cause your film to be canceled, delayed or worse.  Hire a good Producer.

INSURANCE

This isn’t secret squirrel knowledge.  You can contact ANY insurance agency.  If they don’t have it, they will refer you to an agency that does.  You are looking for film insurance and a quote.  Shop around – it’s like car insurance, you want the best you can get for a good rate.  They will give you different options and you choose what’s best.

PERMITS

Unfortunately, we do need film permits and for all sorts of things.  Yes, you can swear all you want at “big brother” but it won’t get your film going any faster.  Please be professional and courteous with those who you’re submitting the permit to.  Here is a great link for Washington State Film (Washington Filmworks) to find what kind of permit you need.  For permits within Seattle, you can get them at the Seattle Office of Film & Music.  From the words of Seattle Producer/Director Kris Boustedt:  “I also want to add, re: permits. To any prospective readers/filmmakers: don’t be afraid of them (especially in Seattle). 🙂:-) The Seattle Office of Film and Music makes the process really simple and painless. They rule.”

COMMUNITY GUIDELINES

Yeah, it helps being professional at all times.  You are a contracted business and you are hiring people to work for you – even if it’s for pro bono.  Oh and just a note – don’t BS people by saying they get an IMDB credit for their work.  That only happens if you submit the (short) film to festivals and it gets accepted. Don’t say that.  So if it is pro bono (free) work – they are doing it for their own experience, to help you out (and you better return the favor), credit on the DVD and they get lunch/dinner.  That’s it.  Anyhow, here is a good guideline from Washington Filmworks about Filming Guidelines.  I also wrote a blog about safety for new crew/cast to film.

WASHINGTON STATE – CODE OF CONDUCT

I want to make sure you all understand The Code Of Conduct should be attached to the filming notification and distributed to the neighborhood.  I can’t say it any better than this:  “You are guests and should treat this location, as well as the public, with courtesy.  If we do not all work toward building a good relationship with the local communities in which we work, we will see less production, resulting in fewer jobs for us all.  Please adhere to the following guidelines.”

WASHINGTON STATE – LABOR AND INDUSTRIES             

I want to make sure that everyone understands that you are NOT exempt from City, State, or Federal laws just because you are a “filmmaker.”  Sexual harassment can happen anywhere.  Unfair treatment can happen anywhere.  Here is a list of Workplace Rights – know them.  Hiring children under 18, there are specific laws about it.  Read it.  Know it.

OSHA, WISHA, and DOSH – OH MY!

How do OSHAWISHA, and DOSH relate? What about RCWs and WACs?  I’m going to just let your read up on it all.  Safety, safety and more safety – by law, you are required to follow the rules and provide safety to cast/crew and yourself.
OSHA – federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration
WISHA – Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act of 1973
DOSH – Division of Occupational Safety and Health
I’m going to also point to my safety blog.

FIRST-AID KIT & EMERGENGY

Do you know what to do in an emergency?  Did you know you are by law to have a medical kit on set?  OSHA standard 1910.151 (b) also states an employer must have “adequate first aid supplies…readily available,” although specific first aid supplies are not listed.  Here’s a great emergency list to check out and follow.  I’m going to also point to my safety blog.

NOT A DATING SERVICE

Sorry to step on some toes here but film is not a dating service and if you’re using it as such, please read this.  For actors – You don’t need to do anything to get ahead other than audition.  Harassment in the Workplace – know it too.  The Washington State Law Against Discrimination (RCW 49.60) also prohibits sex discrimination in employment, which includes sexual harassment.  Under this law, individuals may file a lawsuit in state court or file a complaint with the Washington State Human Rights Commission.  Do not call someone hun, honey, baby, or other cute terms.  They are your colleagues and again, just because you’re not at Microsoft, doesn’t mean your exempt from the law.  Protect YOURSELF.

SAG-AFTRA

Do you even know what that means?  Lol  Don’t panic!  A lot of people don’t know this when they start making films.  Here’s your chance to learn and look them up on your own time.  Whatever you do, don’t ever feel pressure from anyone to know everything all the time.  SAG-Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA is American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.  I know, I know, a long title.  It represents over 150,000 film and television principal and background performers worldwide.  So – here’s the website to review them a bit more.  When you hire UNION actors, you will be going through SAG-AFTRA.

FI-CORE

Financial Core is the bastard child that no one wants to talk about.  Because I firmly believe that everyone should be given all information to make their own decisions – I’m posting this information.  FYI – by posting this, it does not mean I am anti-union.  In fact, I am vested in a union already.  I will not post anything about this – leaving you to read and decide ON YOUR OWN.  Do NOT let anyone intimidate or manipulate you one way or another.  Actors like Jon Voight, Gary Graham, Dennis Hopper and more are/were Fi-Core.   Both John Voight and Gary Graham explain why they chose this route as actors.  By the way – it’s not just actors who can go Fi-Core – Directors and Writers can too.

•Here’s what SAG has to say: http://www.sag.org/getthefacts/ficore2.html
•Here’s a great pro-fi-core article: http://www.coalminecanary.com/SAG.html

Now you are well informed as you should be.

PRODUCTION NAME

Make it something that is identifiable and don’t rip someone else off – for Google’s sake, make it professional.  Two Dogs Humping Productions is NOT going to get you jobs by the vast majority.

INVESTMENT FUNDING

This is where you will have to do a lot of research on your own.  Do NOT trust just anyone who says they are going to invest in your film.  Do NOT fly to meet with this person if they do not have a legit website, email address, phone number and can talk the language of finances.  There is no magic wand that will make money appear before your eyes to get your (hopefully) feature film.  Short films – either you all just do this for experience or if you feel the need, go to all the crowd funding sites and raise some disposable cash. That’s all short films are = disposable cash.  You will never make money from them but you can get funding for your future feature films if they show some good quality work.

You will have to work for this – unless you hire a Producer.  Here’s another thing – do not expect anyone to just hand over their investor contacts.  No one will and once you’re up and running – you shouldn’t either.  Yep – I’m telling you to protect your work, your investors, yourself, your crew and your cast in this whole entire blog.  I will warn you this – Investors know bullshit.  Don’t try to bullshit them or you will be out the door.

COMMUNITY – COMPETITOR

In every city, there are filmmakers just like you wanting to make money and build a great community.  The one piece of advice is to remember that while you’re building great relationships – never give out your project information.  Why?  Well it can be many things: a) you tell someone something, they forget it and six months later they have the same project because you put it in their subconscious b) they deliberately beat you to the chase and ripped you off c) it’s just not wise.  Don’t mentor.  Oh sure, you can do it, but once everyone has picked your brain to death, you’re left standing like a Zombie. Never give out what studio job you have sent your resume to.  Why?  Your community is your competitor too.  They want the same job because they want to be paid as well.  It’s not wrong – it’s business.

OFTEN COPIED – NEVER DUPLICATED

If you’re someone who’s really sharp and on the ball, be prepared for the copy-cat syndrome.  Just remember that you can be copied but never duplicated.  Smile with that.  This is another reason to keep a lid on your projects.  Yeah, yeah – they are going to watch you and do what you do.  People see through it.  What works naturally for you will not work for them.  Be thankful that you are in touch with yourself.  Look, no one can be you or repeat what you have done with your production company, your films or your acting style.  There is one Peter Jackson, Brad Pitt, and Sigourney Weaver. Heck, there’s even just one Megan Fox.

SHINY NEW TOY

A person on the move is a person that many will see as a shiny new toy.  Some of you will rise very fast and some a little slower and more calculated.  While it is great to network, socialize and all that pretty stuff – just be cautious who you let into your production. You’re going to have sycophants around you and that’s up to you to decide who they are.  You’ll be told how awesome you are and you won’t know that the last shiny new toy was told the exact same words six months and two projects earlier.  Just remember this – you’re not in this business to gain more “family” members, you’re here to make film and either do it as a career or to do it as a hobby.  This happens in any town or city, so don’t feel you need to move from Atlanta to LA or Austin to Seattle.  It just happens.  People want to get ahead at any cost.

COMMUNICATION

I’ll just send you over to this blog about communication.  Read it. Communication is a huge problem.  I repeat – Communication is a huge problem.

CREW/CAST RESPECT

Again – sending you to another blog about respect.  You better know it and do it because word gets around fast.

RESPONSIBILITY & CONSEQUENCES

Responsibility:  You are responsible for the safety and well-being of all your crew/cast that you hire along with the business and homes you use.  Professionalism is the best practice.  Always be courteous and helpful.  If it is too much for you, hire a Producer that can be a voice for your film.  While we are on “Responsibility”, if you screw up, step up and take responsibility for it.  Running away and hiding won’t build you any peace bridges any time soon.  It’s about being professional.
Consequences:  If someone is injured on set and you do not have insurance, you are running the risk of being sued. If you treat people badly, you run the risk of burning your own bridge with your local film community.

HOLY CRAP

I know what you’re thinking by now.  “Holy crap Gina, I don’t know if I want to make films after all – there seems to be so many laws and guidelines.  I just wanted to make a movie.”  Well, the answer is this – it’s called show business for a reason.  It really is a business and accountants, attorneys, auditors, tech editors, etc are all involved eventually.  It is a great industry to be in but you also have to treat it as a job and be responsible as well.  Just remember, you are representing yourself as a business.

MAKING A MOVIE

Go forth and make a movie.  Don’t forget about hiring crew/cast and that can mean pro bono as well.  Make sure the script is good, you have great lighting and actors.  You are now on your way to being a filmmaker!!!

OTHER RESOURCES RIGHT OFF THE WASHINGTON FILMMORKS SITE:

Resource Downloads
Business Seeking Work in Film Industry

Community Filming Guidelines

Excemption Certificate

Funding and Grant Resources

Guidelines for Private Property Owners

History of Film-TV in WA

Market Your Community to the Film Industry

Statute 6423

Statute 6558

Talent + Extras Cautions and Guidelines

Things to Consider when Location Scouting

WA State Code of Conduct

 WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION

Well as stated above, you can get the information from Washington Filmworks and Seattle Office of Film & Music.

I am no expert but I take the time to read up and I have fantastic mentors of years in Hollywood, Vancouver, New York, London, Washington DC, and those that fly back home to Seattle. If anyone would like me to add anything more to this – email me at:  officialginalockhart@gmail.com

Cheers.

Gina Lockhart
Producer/Director/Writer

Producer’s Corner: Safety Tips for New Cast/Crew to Film

SAFETY TIPS FOR NEW CAST/CREW TO FILM

Hello everyone!

So you’re new to film and you don’t know where to go or what to do.  I’m here to make this as simple and safe for WASHINGTON STATE filmmakers but you can apply this to your own State and look for film groups there.  These are basic items to help protect you and get you off and running with your film career.

1.   The first thing you want to do is join all of the below groups (links) and network – get to know filmmakers all over the State.

2.   Sit back a few days to watch conversations and converse with people to know them.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions in the group and introduce yourself.

3.  If someone wants to hire you from one of the groups, craigslist, personal invite – do a background check on them.  By this, I mean take their name and do a search on them in Google (or other browser).  Same goes for a production company name because there are times when it really is “too good to be true.”  So how does the search look?  Here’s an example:  Philosophia Studios and David S. Hogan

The search will look like this for a studio:
Philosophia Studios | Facebook
www.facebook.com/pages/Philosophia-Studios/218422578340
 Philosophia Studios, Seattle, WA. 431 likes

Philosophia Studios | Wix.comginalockhart.wix.com/philosophiastudios
Philosophia Studios is a quality multi-media film production, photography and graphics design company.

The search will look like this for a person:
Lisa Skvarla – IMDb
 Lisa Skvarla is known for her work on Worst Thing That Ever Happened to Me (2010), The Collectibles (2012) and When He Comes Back. … Lisa Skvarla on Twitter. Worst Thing That Ever Happened to Me Reenactment.

There should be good/normal websites when looking up the company/person’s name.  If there is something bad/negative written, it will usually come up within the first two search pages.  You can also type in studio/person name and scam.  Like so: John Bungalow scam.  Immediately, there should be something that comes up indicating they are a scammer.

If you still feel odd about a person – you can also use Washington State Courts website to look up a name. Be advised that anyone with a speeding ticket or divorces are in there but it does list restraining orders, etc.
http://dw.courts.wa.gov/

4.  BEFORE you ever sign a contract or work on a film, you should do a search.  This will save you time, nightmares and worry.

5.  When you join the below groups on Facebook, and after you get to know people enough, ask someone if they have heard of “Tinker Bajinker Productions.”  If they have not, contact the Seattle Office of Film & Music or Washington Filmworks (links below for contact info).

6.  TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS!! Even if there is no bad information on someone or the company, but your instincts are sending you vibes to back away – do it and now!  Don’t hesitate.

7.   There should never be any auditions at a home – especially if it’s a “private” audition.  For crew, same thing with interviews.  Always, always, always meet at  a public place.  Just because it’s film, doesn’t mean it’s exempt of having creepers as well.  The one thing to remember is that most people have day jobs and you should never feel like you’re being sexually harassed. The only way this can be done is with colleagues who know each other.  If you are a Producer/Director reading this – don’t do this, word gets around.  Trust me.

8.  Read the contracts.  As a new person in film, don’t buy into the work for free and you get an IMDB credit.  That happens only if they submit the film to a film festival and it gets accepted.  Make sure the contract says you get a copy of the film within one month of the final edit.  If they don’t provide a contract for this – do not work with them.  Integrity- either they have it or they don’t.

9.  Drugs and alcohol on set.  Do you think Boeing or Microsoft allows this?  If you see it – you might consider leaving the set immediately.  Safety violations, etc – you don’t want to be attached.

10.  Just remember, with any job you are hired with, you send in a resume and a reference check happens.  Film is (or should be) done the same way.  Being a contracted filmmaker does not make us exempt of City, State and Federal laws.

Have fun!  Work around on all sorts of film groups.

Cheers!

Gina Lockhart
Producer/Director/Writer

LINKS TO GET YOU STARTED!!!

Washinton Film Crew/Cast – Production Notice Only
https://www.facebook.com/groups/226864597369094/

For film information (Budgets, Contracts, Websites, etc) concerning Washington State film:
http://seattle-area-filmmakers.wikispaces.com/

Seattle Area Filmmakers fan page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Seattle-Area-filmmakers-SAF/282418219408?v=info&ref=nf

For posting anything: The Film Matrix – set up by Jeremiah Kaynor
https://www.facebook.com/groups/224305864261905/

For the Production Peeps private group –
ask a Washington Filmmaker to get in it.

For Visual FX Artists – After Effects Seattle (AESeattle)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/145072538846056/

For Actors (Producers/Directors welcome too) Seattle Film Makers and Actors – Set up by David S. Hogan https://www.facebook.com/groups/336252909744682/

David S. Hogan’s “Craft” Services – Set up by David S. Hogan
https://www.facebook.com/groups/338451366217340/

For Editors – Post Production Awareness
https://www.facebook.com/groups/200799869947605/

Seattle Film and Photo Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/244622442238622/

For Whatcom County Filmmakers
https://www.facebook.com/groups/103309633086439/

Women in Film/Seattle
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Women-in-FilmSeattle/127524323997?ref=ts

For Washington State film news: Washington Filmworks
ttps://www.facebook.com/pages/WashingtonFilmWorks/74223643959

Seattle Office of Film & Music
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Seattle-Office-of-Film-Music/110609935635907

Washington State House of Representatives:
http://www.leg.wa.gov/house/representatives/Pages/default.aspx

 For information about our sister cities:

Portland’s version of SAF – Portland Film and Video Networking
https://www.facebook.com/groups/116698035018404/

Vancouver – Vancouver Film Industry
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2375973360/

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.

http://www.lni.wa.gov/workplacerights/files/policies/esa1.pdf

http://www.lni.wa.gov

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.

Cheers!

Send hate mail to:  officialginalockhart@gmail.com  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.

WHAT’S THE DEAL GINA?

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.

OKAY, BUT WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT THIS?

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: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1706593/

Chronicle
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)

TWILIGHT’S BUDGET AND WHAT COULD HAVE GONE INTO THE STATE:

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.

OKAY, SO WHAT DOES IT BENEFIT FOR WASHINGTON STATE BUSINESSES?

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 WASHINGTON STATE FILMMAKERS & ALL OTHERS – WRITE IT UP

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:

http://www.leg.wa.gov/House/Committees/WAYS/Pages/MembersStaff.aspx

EASY WRITING OR YOUR OWN WORDS

Our friends at IndieClub have designed a wonderful online resource to  make writing Representatives fast and efficient.
http://www.indieclub.com/wasupport

OR

If you prefer to write in your own words or directly, click on your Reps name and then their email address.
http://www.leg.wa.gov/House/Committees/WAYS/Pages/MembersStaff.aspx

MAKE IT PERSONAL

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 (www.blog.washingtonfilmworks.org).

CALL

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/Director/Writer