Three Things You Need When Filming on Location

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Over the years, I’ve produced and directed programming on location in more than 50 countries around the world.  For everyone that spends lots of time on a film or video set – particularly in far away places – there are certain things you just don’t leave behind.  Novices could do well to learn what more experienced filmmakers consider “must have” items during a shoot.  For me?  The top 3 would probably be my laptop (I’m always writing), a raincoat, and a great bag.  In fact, I’m a little obsessive about bags and have way more than I should.  But on location, a bag is my office, so I’m not afraid to spend money for one that does what I need. So I asked some other experienced professionals what were the top 3 absolutely “must have” items they take to every location.  Here’s a few answers:

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The Main Thing You Need to Know About Fundraising

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So many churches, ministries, and nonprofits struggle with fundraising these days, and there’s no question that in today’s culture, there are many challenges with raising money. So I asked Tim Smith (who’s been involved in donor development for a long time, and today is the Chief Development Officer of The Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC.) what he considers the “main thing” when it comes to fundraising. Here’s his reply:

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How to Maximize Volunteers

The Lifeblood of a Church, Ministry, or Nonprofit

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One of the biggest challenges many of our clients face is maximizing their volunteer teams.  Some have just given up and don’t use them at all.  However, no matter how big your organization, you can stretch your resources and impact by bringing on motivated volunteers.  I asked Dan Wathen, our Executive Producer at Cooke Pictures about it because he’s been a church media director and knows just how effective great volunteers can be for an organization.  When it comes to creating a great volunteer team, here’s Dan’s suggestions:

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Creatives: Should You Discuss Your Project Before It’s Finished?

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I’m fortunate to be friends with a lot of highly creative writers, artists, musicians, and filmmakers. But a significant number never realize their full potential, and in fact, never actually finish many projects. It baffled me for awhile, but then after years of observing them, I discovered the problem:

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The Insanity of God – A Fathom Event

Coming to Theaters Near You...

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On August 30th, Fathom Events is showing our feature documentary “The Insanity of God” nationwide in theaters across America for one night only. How we got to this point might be a lesson in how the film business has changed and an encouragement to beginning independent filmmakers. It started as a

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How to Select a Great Director of Photography

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I see a great number of independent movies, reality pilots, short films, and other video work from people around the world. But in the vast majority of cases, there’s one overwhelming shortcoming with the project: It just doesn’t look very good. The truth is – even in the era of inexpensive high definition and 4K cameras – the Director of Photography matters more than the equipment. If you’re a producer, director, or investor, you need to make sure the person behind the camera knows what he or she is doing. So in the interest of a more visually compelling world, here’s a handful of criteria I use to find the right DP or camera operator for my projects:

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Globalizing Your Media Means Localizing Your Media

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Whenever I travel internationally, I’m always surprised to find that when watching American produced religious programming, the vast majority of programs do nothing related to local audiences.  In other words, the program open and close, structure, and even commercial spots were the exact same as the program that had been broadcast in Cleveland, Atlanta, or Tulsa.  It goes without saying that creating a commercial spot with an American phone number and a price in dollars is going to fail when its broadcast in Russia, South Africa, or Bolivia.  And yet,

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