NSI Features First – Anatomy of a Pitch

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Our final day of Phase 1 for the NSI Features First program consisted of a full-morning mock pitch session. We were lucky to meet four Producers from some of Canada’s top production companies, who came in for some one-on-one 20-minute pitches.

We welcomed Elise Cousineau from Sienna Films; Sonya Di Rienzo from Whizbang Films; Mark Montefiore from Montefiore Films and Kevin Krikst from Rhombus Media.

So what’s the best way to pitch your film? Read More →

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NSI Features First – Top 4 Distributor Needs

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Wow. Day 4 was enlightening in vastly different ways than our previous days at NSI Features First. Today we met with Broadcasters, Distributors, Telefilm and Marketing Strategists. It was definitely a day for the Producers, though Screenwriters should absolutely be paying attention to these lessons. Read More →

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NSI Features First – Ten Tips from Agents

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We met with three literary agents during our first phase of the NSI Features First program, and enjoyed some enlightening discussions about the nature of the screenwriter/agent relationship, the producer/agent relationship, what working with an agent is like and what agents look for these days.

Here are our Top Ten Tips from those conversations: Read More →

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NSI Features First – Chilling with Producer Martin Katz

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Take cover ’cause I’m droppin’ knowledge bombs.

We had a mind blowing discussion today with Canadian Producer Martin Katz from Prospero Pictures. Katz (pronounced Kaits) is most known for his Producing work with David Cronenberg. He’s also been a long-time advocate of new media content and has his fingers firmly on the pulse of the industry, in Canada and around the world. Our chat focused on the state of the film production industry in Canada and what the landscape is like for new and emerging filmmakers.
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NSI Features First – Ninjas and Unicorns

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Very happy to report Features First is already exceeding expectations.

Enough fluff, let’s get right into it.

The day started much like this post. A brief moment of introduction and pleasantries and we rolled up the sleeves and dove in. Day 1 consisted of a table read of 2 of the 4 projects, with all Producers and Writers sitting around a table, joined by Read More →

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NSI Features First Index

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Matt and Scott have embarked on their 10-month journey through the National Screen Institute’s Features First program on the road to producing Synapse. Their first phase was an intensive week-long session in Toronto, where they were deep into story editing and discussions with agents, distributors, executive producers and more! Phase 2 was another week in Toronto for Matt, and a mindblowing script consulting session for Scott.

Now, they’re off to Toronto to pitch their feature at TIFF.

They continue to blog and share their stories through the process. If you’d like to follow along and learn as they do, bookmark this post and they’ll update it throughout the program.

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4 Ways to Enhance Your Grant Applications

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Ahhh Alberta Filmmaking Grants… what polarizing, frustrating, wonderful beasts. Whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em (or both), you can’t deny that a grant can make the difference between a screenplay and a finished film.

Full Swing has had modest success with our grant applications over the years, and as we find ourselves in the middle of the early-year grant application season, we wanted to share a few grant-writing tips we’ve learned along the way.

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How to Dress on Camera

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Confession: I’m not a stylish dude. I often rely on my better half to “consult” on what I’m wearing, and when we film narrative content, I always try to collaborate with a Wardrobe Stylist to make the cast look their best.

But when we shoot a corporate video or an interview, having a Stylist on set is rarely practical. As such, we often get asked “What should I wear on camera?”. It’s an excellent question, as the wrong wardrobe can distract the audience from the subject matter, and can even end up ruining a great video!

If you’re appearing on camera any time soon, check out the handy guide below. And don’t worry, this comes from experience, not my fashion-sense.

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4 Ways to Get Started in Calgary’s Film Industry

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Last week, Matt and I got the opportunity to be Guest Lecturers for SAIT’s Film & Video Production program’s 1st year students. It turned into a 2-hour Q&A, and we were surprised to find it didn’t stray far from “how to get started in Calgary’s film industry” (specifically what to do after graduation).

Luckily for SAIT students, they have a bit of direction ahead of them. However we know many people in Calgary are interested in making movies, but have no idea where to start — this industry can seem extremely inaccessible. The good news is, while it will take some work, it’s actually not that hard to get started!

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