NYWIFT Blog

Takeaways from Demystifying Film Delivery: What Every Producer Should Know

You are a producer and due to the pandemic your project – be it in development, pre-production, production or post stage – is on hold. What can you do now to make sure all the pieces are in place when the industry opens back up? Stacey Smith of CinePointe Advisors suggests preparing for delivery. It is a crucial, final step needed to ready a film for distribution and GET PAID! However, delivery is often an afterthought in financing agreements, production budgets and workflows.

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 A Look Behind the Scenes of “Unintended”

Childhood memories of summers spent in the country are typically happy ones. But for 13-year-old Lea, the main character in Unintended, one summer is fraught with tension and leads to deep unresolved issues. We sat down with the female duo behind the film to discuss its themes of childhood trauma and resilience, as well as the logistics behind its shoot in upstate New York.

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Documentary Storytelling with Sound Design – Top Takeaways

Sound design in the secret sauce that adds that magical third dimension to media projects. Well-designed audio is so seamless that it is often overlooked because it so beautifully integrates with the visuals. In our recent NYWIFT program, a panel of sound design experts explained how their craft can transform documentary storytelling.

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Michele Remsen’s First Feature Film Defies the Odds

Great ideas, even when plentiful, can have a short shelf life when confronted with sobering realities. But NYWIFT Michele Remsen knows how to persevere. As co-star, producer, director, and screenwriter of an anti-romantic comedy that defies expectations, Michele was the force that made it happen: in 12 days, on a shoestring budget.

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The Business of Adaptations: Top Takeaways

Movies like Brokeback Mountain, The Irishman, and Little Women have more in common than mere artistry, critical acclaim or commercial success. They were all adaptations of literary works. But before getting your pens out, there’s more to it than you think. Literary works are great resources for screenwriters in search of stories, but to negotiate the business end and avoid pitfalls or potential legal liabilities, you need advice from experts. The NYWIFT Business of Adaptations for Film and TV virtual program brought a panel of industry powerhouses to weigh in.

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Top Takeaways: Preserving Your Mental Health During Challenging Times

As a director and producer, NYWIFT board member Kathryn O'Kane is a planner and she's used to solving problems. The biggest challenge she's finding during the COVID-19 crisis is that there’s not enough information to be able to plan. She attended the NYWIFT “Mental Health and Career Sustainability in the Doc World” panel because to learn how producers can come to terms with that and how to relax into the uncertainty of the moment when it goes against our nature. She offers her top takeaways.

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Shifting the Conversation: Mental Health and Career Sustainability in the Doc World

Living in survival mode and keeping it all together for their crew and subjects is what documentary filmmakers are good at, but it often comes at great costs to their own mental health and physical well-being. Member Janine McGoldrick offers a recap of NYWIFT's recent panel on mental health in the doc world, and how some leaders are starting to shift the conversation to address what was once a taboo subject.

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Pennhurst: A Story that Needed to be Told

NYWIFT member Jodie Alexandra Taylor's documentary Pennhurst, which screens at the Member Screening Series on February 25th, was inspired by her visit to what remains of one of the largest and oldest institutions for the intellectually and developmentally disabled. One chapter of the story ended when the institution closed, but the fight for equitable treatment and representation for the disabled continues to this day. Making the movie inspired a fervent commitment on Taylor’s part to continue that dialogue and, in so doing, change the future narrative. Taylor sat down with us to discuss the film and its potential impact.

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“Ask for Jane” Producer and Star Cait Cortelyou Brings Women’s History to Life on Screen

NYWIFT member Cait Cortelyou has performed on stage or film since childhood but makes a breakthrough debut as producer (and star) of Ask for Jane, which screens at the NYWIFT Member Screening Series on November 19th. Cait sat down with us to discuss how a slice of women's history inspired her to make her producing debut, and what opportunities she sees for women working in the industry today.

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Talya Tibbon’s “Sky and Ground” Puts a Human Face on the Refugee Crisis

NYWIFT Member Talya Tibbon's Sky and Ground tells the harrowing tale of one Syrian family's three-month journey from Greece to Germany feeling violence in their homeland. Facing setbacks, heartaches and threats of deportation, their determination propels them towards a better future. In advance of the film's screening as part of the NYWIFT Member Screening Series, Talya discusses her process and how being an "outsider" is an asset to documentary filmmaking.

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Three Takeaways from NYWIFT’s Web Series Panel

How do you turn your web series into a true success? We offer three takeaways from the NYWIFT Web Series: From Creation to Distribution panel.

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NYWIFT’s “Women’s Media Workshop” Comes to Staten Island

On Saturday, June 15th, 2019, Special Projects Associate Easmanie Michel brought NYWIFT’s Women's Media Workshop, a full-day training, collaboration, and production workshop to Staten Island for the very first time. Instructed by Filmmaker and Theatre Artist Abigail Zealey Bess (a current professor at NYU, and award-winning film director), the group of nine women, ranging in ages from 15 to 50, gathered at the HH Biddle House in Staten Island at 10am and worked collaboratively and tirelessly until one complete short film was developed and all the scenes were captured.

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Feelin’ Like Film Distribution Reality Bites? Bite [Me] back! Four ‘A’ Takeaways from the NYWIFT Bite Me Panel

The team behind the independent feature Bite Me recently joined NYWIFT for a panel case study on how they flipped the film distribution paradigm from something you “get” into something you “do.” As they journey on their 40-city Joyful Vampire Tour of America, we recap some key nuggets of wisdom.

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Five Takeaways: Finding the Right Documentary Lab for Your Film

Participating in a documentary film lab can be a great way to refine your story, develop your creative vision and build partnerships. But which one should you pick? NYWIFT member Janine McGoldrick has the scoop.

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Five Tax Takeaways: Changes for Filing this Year

There are some significant changes to the tax law this year, many of which particularly affect freelancers and entertainment industry multi-hyphenates. Mellini Kantayya breaks down some of key differences to look out for as you prepare to file for 2018.

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The Art of Directing and Running a Show: Takeaways from a Conversation with Annetta Marion and Kathryn O’Kane

At a recent NYWIFT program, board members (and director/showrunners) Kathryn O’Kane and Annetta Marion discussed the unique role of the showrunner, and the combination of skill, gumption, and inspiration essential in helming a show.

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7 Tips to Building a Successful Partnership to Create an Oscar-Nominated Film

In the inaugural conversation of NYWIFT’s new series Master Collaborations: The Power of Creative Partnerships on May 23, 2018, director Kahane Cooperman and producer Raphaela Neihausen opened up about how they worked together to create Joe’s Violin – and its road to being nominated for the Academy Awards.

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AfriAmerican Immigrant Screening: Local Stories, Global Themes

In Astoria’s historic Kaufman Studios, filmmakers from the African diaspora shared local stories that reverberated deep into universal themes and questions as part of New York Women in Film & Television’s Women Filmmakers: Immigrant Stories screening on May 31, 2018. Featured in the fourth season of this NYWIFT series highlighting narrative and documentary films about the New York immigrant experience, these short films tackled issues ranging from the #MeToo movement, to President Trump’s travel ban, to the immigrant experience, to what it means to be American, among many more.

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