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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3 Rookie Mistakes Media Production Companies Make

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People have peculiar ideas about launching start ups. Before the Internet, I knew an inexperienced producer who was convinced that to be taken seriously, he had to deliver everything important (scripts, contracts, etc) via Federal Express. It didn’t take long to run up a $250,000 Fed-Ex bill and he eventually declared bankruptcy. Others have equally unproductive ideas about launching projects. So if you’re an investor in a media production company, or a major donor in a nonprofit media effort, here’s 3 of the biggest red flags you should be looking for:

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Why You Should Tell Your Story With Short Videos

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There’s a great deal of buzz about short videos these days, and there are good reasons. More video content is uploaded in 30 days than all three major U.S. T.V. networks combined have created in 30 years. So today, if your church, ministry, or nonprofit isn’t producing short videos regularly, then you’re missing an enormous opportunity to share you story with a growing audience. Here’s some key reasons why you should consider picking up a camera:

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5 Professional Tips for Filming with Drones

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Camera drones are all the rage, and we’re seeing them everywhere – like the snow ski run above.  But a great number of young filmmakers are using them without any experience whatsoever.  Not only does that end up with bad results, but with a drone, you can end up in jail!  So I asked John Montana, from No Title Production Films to give us a few tips on using drones.  Here’s what John suggested:

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The Secrets to Producing Successful Media Projects Overseas

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Shooting internationally can be an incredible experience. Over the years, our team at Cooke Pictures has produced programming in more than 60 countries around the world, and we’ve only experienced a handful of bad incidents. That’s not to say things haven’t been difficult – like when we did an interview with a Brazilian drug dealer while his gang held a gun on our cameraman, or when my crew was arrested at the airport in Lagos, Nigeria, or when we got caught up in a military coup. There’s been more, but you get the picture. During it all, we’ve learned a few things about how to keep those incidents to a minimum, so the next time you produce an overseas project, maybe this list will help:

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The 10 Keys To Shooting A Great Video Interview

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Some marketing experts are calling this year “The Year of Online Video.” It’s becoming one of the most popular and effective ways to tell the story of products, organizations, and ideas. 2-4 minute videos can be powerfully compelling ways to tell a story, but in many cases, when they involve interviewing people, they fall flat. Interviews with fascinating people can be the key to many successful video presentations, but most video interviews are boring, without emotion, and pointless. Here’s 10 keys to shooting more effective interviews – the kind of interviews that get a response from viewers:

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Ten Things To Remember Your First Day on a Film Shoot

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After decades working in the industry, I’m still amazed at the clueless production assistants that manage to get hired on video and film productions. No matter how low you are on the food chain, you’re there for a reason, and people are watching.  So to make sure your first day isn’t your last day, and with a hat-tip to DP and Director Brad Knull, here’s 10 things you should never forget:

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