Monthly Archives: November 2010

The New York Times on How Websites Connect Filmmakers to Fans

There is a great survey of filmmakers and their websites (and the importance of one) by Manohla Dargis in the New York Times today titled Hitchcock Would’ve Had a Web Site. Its a good primer for those filmmakers who still don’t have a website – as well as putting a director’s website into historical context. “There’s something satisfying in how new technologies have closed the distance between some directors and the public, bringing them closer to us in a way unimaginable when that deeply sincere fan, David Stephens, wrote Frank Capra that “there must be something else in the world.” Yet this new intimacy has perhaps come at a price, because even as the filmmakers have come closer, their movies often feel so much smaller.”

A little shameless self promotion – she also lists me “and the producer Ted Hope, are using the Internet to try to create a new model for independent cinema.” I was very pleased that they included an image of, but it made me realize that I have been putting all my web oriented effort into revamping the websites for Bomb It and Think Outside the Box Office (as well as my blog) and that I need to update my own personal front page!

If you are coming here for the first time – welcome. I post here about distribution and marketing – as well as host guest posts on the same subject. Feel free to connect with me using the links on this page.

This Week on Babelgum Bomb It 2 – South East Asia

For this week’s Bomb It 2 installment on Babelgum we went back to Asia to look at Jakarta, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Jakarta has a vibrant graffiti and street art scene and was my first stop after Bangkok (covered in week 1 of Bomb It 2). I was there for only six hours – but I had a chance to film and interview Darbotz who paints a giant monster squid and freely talks about street art and its relationship to semiotics!

Finding graffiti writers in Singapore was perhaps the most startling since I was familiar with the very strict laws and caning used against graffiti writers there. I was headed to Singapore to teach at the NYU campus there and planned to use that as a base to film graffiti and street art elsewhere in Asia, but I didn’t think that I was going to meet any there. But I was pleasantly surprised to be able to talk to both Killer Gerbil as well as Zero, two street artists who were very aware of the odd relationship that their country has with illegal painting on walls and how the country while clamping down on graffiti also tries to co-opt it.

Finally this week are two pieces on the Hong Kong artists Mic and Xeme. Xeme is also responsible for Invasion Magazine – about all things street and graff in Asia. In Hong Kong as with much of the rest of Asia – there are many walls to paint – and not that many artists – or anti graffiti sentiment – eg it is pretty easy to paint in Asia. Xeme finds himself bringing graffiti tourists around to the best spots. But I particularly liked that he spoke about writing in Chinese – and the difficulty communicating with an international scene when he uses his local language.

Mic talks not only about the irony of being arrested by the Chinese government for doing graffiti – while at the same time being commissioned to do murals for the same government (even the police). He also speaks eloquently about his works relationship to the public space in Hong Kong and the plethora of advertising that they are assaulted with every day.

I hope you like the pieces – and I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Bomb It 2 Graffiti in the West Bank

No guest post today – instead I wanted to write about the Bomb It 2 episodes that we uploaded to Babelgum this week.

The attitudes and motivations of graffiti and street artists in the Palestinian refugee camps on the West Bank is quite different than those of most writer’s I have spoken to around the world. Their work is much more politicized – it centers around the struggle that they face every day. I had the pleasure of meeting and filmming four current and former graffiti artists and street artists in the Muhnned Alazzh, Ayed Arafah, Aysar Daward and Khaled Ajainia. The results of those interviews now comprise three Bomb It 2 Webisodes on our Babelgum channel. Let me know what you think!

The key difference of West Bank writers was the subject matter that they wrote about – how they used graffiti as a means of expression. Traditionally in the camps, graffiti has been a method of communication between the Palestinian leaders and the people. Also as a means of communication between people in the camps.

From those early uses a number of artists moved into more creative uses of graffiti and street art. Muhnned and Aysar both are heavily influenced by slain Palestinian caricaturist Naji Alali – painting his work throughout the camps.

The original work painted for my by Ayed Arafah deals with the tragedy that he is so close to the sea, but because of his status, he has never been allowed to see the sea.

One of the most interesting discussions was how the artists felt about painting on the “Apartheid Wall” the gigantic separation between Israel and the West Bank. The dominant position was that by beautifying the wall with art – you make it acceptable, that instead of talking about how horrible it is, you devolve into discussions about the art. They want to retain the brutal nature of the wall, and not beautify it with art. An interesting counterpoint by Khaled Ajainia was that while life in the camps is brutal, it is important to embrace art and celebrate life.

Guest Post: Kim Garland on Scriptchat and Building a Twitter Community

I had the pleasure of meeting Kim Garland when I was in NYC for Independent Film Week in September. I was fascinated by how she and her Treefort group built a devoted community on twitter using regular Twitter chat sessions. She graciously agreed to write a post explaining their process – but in the process she provides great guidelines on building community.

Building a Dedicated (and Rocking) Twitter Community
By Kim Garland

Sometimes the real action is happening in the peanut gallery. There’s the main show on stage, carefully planned and rehearsed, and then there’s that wild bunch in the crowd, landing more jokes than the paid performers. I’ve always been partial to the rebellious, high-spirited nature of a good peanut gallery, and that’s where the Twitter community called Scriptchat began.

A year ago, a few screenwriters and I popped into a Twitter chat for writers. We found it to be entertaining, and a cool way to talk craft, but quickly realized the chat was geared to Fiction writers – a fine form but not the one we were obsessing about – and we started bellyaching to each other about how we didn’t have a chat of our own.

In the time it takes to type 140 characters, the idea for #scriptchat was born, and by the next week we were hosting our own chat.
Continue reading →

Atlanta TOTBO Workshop with Sheri Candler!

I’m heading to Atlanta, GA to do a Think Outside the Box Office Workshop presented by the Atlanta Film Festival 365 and Push Push Theater November 12, 13th and 14th. Sheri Candler will be coming out to give presentations on personal branding, social media and crowdfunding!

This will be the first TOTBO workshop in the South and I’m looking forward to meeting new filmmakers as well as potential Producer’s of Marketing and Distribution (PMDs). Lots of networking opportunities for attendees – the weekend starts Friday night with a cocktail reception and on Saturday night there will be a networking happy hour. For more information about the workshops go to the TOTBO website.

In addition – I’ll be doing presentations Georgia State University on Friday and on Monday I travel to Western Kentucky University.