Film Making

Top Cities to Live in for Your Film Career

Are you into film-making? Are you pursuing a career in the movie industry? If so, then you might want to live in a recognized movie-making city that offers ample opportunities for you to grow. This post highlights the 5 top international cities for filmmakers.

1.   Atlanta

Surprised? Don’t be. This city’s film industry generated a whopping $6 billion in 2016. Yes, the state of Georgia has the third biggest film industry in the whole of the U.S, and it looks like things will even get better. The reason behind this is that Georgia offers some pretty decent tax incentives to attract producers. A lot of locations in this city are also permit-free, which means film procedures don’t have to pay hefty permit fees. This favorable environment has seen an influx of talent flow into the state, only making things better. Some of the top TV shows produced in this city include The Vampire Diaries, and The Walking Dead, among many others. Captain American Civil War, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Accountant were all filmed in Atlanta (and Georgia in large) over the last few years. Atlanta is no doubt the first city you should think about if you’re keen on a film industry career.

2.   Toronto

Toronto

For many years, US producers who are on a tight budget have crossed the border and set camp north in an attempt to cut costs. There’s a never-ending list of movies that have been shot in this filmmaking city. Among others, they include Mean Girls, American Psycho, and Crash (1996). London’s popular Pinewood Studios decided to call Toronto home, shining a bright light on the city’s future film industry.

3.   Albuquerque

When you think of Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad TV Show, Albuquerque New Mexico comes to mind. In fact, this TV Show is what catapulted the city into the limelight as a filming destination. But many popular films have been shot in New Mexico over the years. These include No Country for Old Men, Silkwood, Avengers (2002), and Frank (the comedy by Lenny Abrahamson), among many others. The state has put together a serious of clever incentives to attract filmmakers to the city over the years. It’s no wonder Albuquerque is so popular with low-budget indie producers.

4.   London

This list would never be complete without London in it, or would it? The city has definitely earned its stars as an international filming destination. It’s no surprise that London is often referred to as ‘The Hollywood of Europe’. The city’s prowess as a filming destination has been cemented for decades. Incredible landmarks such as the Buckingham Palace, the Tower Bridge, and Westminster ring a bell on many people’s mind – even for those who’ve never been to London. Some of the biggest London-based filming firms, Warner Bros Studios and Pinewood Studios, have greatly contributed to the success of this city. So if you want to try your luck on being a member of the team that creates the next James Bond, Notting Hill, Love Actually or Wonder Woman move – go to London.

5.   Los Angeles

Home to Hollywood – Los Angeles is an obviously great destination for anyone who harbors aspirations in the film industry. Over a century, the city has claimed its spot as the world’s premier filming hub – thanks to ample filming infrastructure. Training opportunities around Los Angeles has helped produced some of the greatest acting talent in the world. There are millions of people looking for acting, script writing, and other opportunities in the film making business here. Keep in mind though that competition in LA might be a bit steeper than in the other cities on this list.

Cinemas

Most Outstanding Cinema Experiences in the World

If you think of yourself as a movie junkie, then you know very well that the cinema environment can have a major influence on whether or not you have a good time. Theatre operators know that they have to offer something unique to make lovebirds and individual movie lovers ditch their home couch and Netflix device. In this post, we highlight the 9 most majestic theatres in the whole world.

1.   Cine Thisio, Athens

If watching the latest blockbuster under the stars in the midst of the night sounds like something that might tingle you, then you need to buy a plan ticket and fly to the Cine Thisio in Athens, Greece. This is one of the oldest movie theaters in the city – and it has been hailed as one of the most outstanding cinema experiences the world over. Built back in 1935, this movie theater only opens between April and October.

2.   Alamo Drafthouse in Texas

The Alamo movie theater opened in Austin, Texas, back in 1997. Currently, the chain has managed to open a total of 22 locations across the nation. The Alamo cinema is known for its luxury experience, comfy seating, fine dining and drinks. They also have some pretty unique policies that go a stretch further to make this movie theater interesting. Children under the age of 6 are not allowed, and attendees cannot talk. There’s also a very strict no-cellphone policy plus no ads are shown before the movie. You get to enjoy just what you pay for – great movies, some food, and maybe a beer or two.

3.   Kino International in Berlin

Dating back to the cold war Era, the Kino International is one of Berlin’s finest movie spots. International filmmakers use the cinema due to its ambience. Visitors from Berlin and the city’s environs are also fond of the theater’s history and intriguing experience. Outside the theater, hand-painted film posters show what’s screening for the week. If you’re passing by Berlin and have some time to spare, make sure you catch the latest movie in this truly unique movie theater.

4.   Colosseum Kino

Situated in Oslo’s Majorstuen district, the Colosseum Kino started back in 1928. It had a seating room of over 2000, making it the largest Scandinavian cinema at the time. Build by architects Gerhard Iversen and Jacob Hansen, this theater has a Classical-styled entrance and a massive dome that features its auditorium.

In 1987, the old expansive cinema was divided into three different areas with seating capacities of 115, 151, and 274. In terms of appearance, this is one of the most striking movie theaters in the world. What’s more, you enjoy the great sound and overall experience watching a movie here.

5.   Uplink X in Tokyo

The Uplink X refers to itself as the tiniest theater in Japan. It has just 40 seats and is housed in a multiple purpose building. The most outstanding feature about this cinema is the ‘social seating’ layout. There are 10 different seat types that can be moved around within the space, allowing for an interactive, social experience.

6.   Electric Cinema in London

Situated in London’s Notting Hill, the Electric Cinema combines the appeal of an old cinema with the allure of modern amenities. The cinema was originally built in 1910, but has been renovated in recent times. The seats are very big and comfy, and beds are also available. Movie lovers also get to enjoy drinks from the full bar, and food from the accompanying Electric Diner.

7.   Olympia Music Hall, France

How about ditching the bad weather outside and catching a movie in bed? If that sounds like something you might do, then the Olympia music hall in Paris is the place to be. Make your dreams come true and roll in bed as you enjoy your favorite movies.

8.   TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles

The TCL Chinese Theatre is one of the most popular movie theaters worldwide. Many of the most successful movies, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, have premiered in this cinema. Tourists from all over the world flock here to view the foot and hand prints left by top movie stars in the cement outside – on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

9.   Cine de Chef in Seoul

Owned by Korean movie theater company the CGV, this cinema gives a luxury spin to ‘dinner and a movie’. Although many of the movie theaters on this list do provide food and drinks to movie watches, the Cine de Chef takes the experience to another level. You’ll be treated to upscale Italian-French cuisine prepared by Chef Park Hyatt. After enjoying the diner, you get to relax in the special seats as you watch the movie.

Business

Genworth Hits Bump in the LTC Road

Just read a great article about Thomas McInerney the CEO of Genworth in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.  It started with a great line about investors being unhappy with the company lately and it helped put things in perspective for me. Genworth, by rejecting Wall Street’s cries to drop Long Term Care insurance, is setting an amazing example for other insurance companies. By putting their customers first and trying to find a new path for Genworth Long Term Care insurance, Genworth is boldly asserting the necessity of the service they provide. The company is admitting that they misjudged Long Term Care insurance in 3 specific areas, lapse rates, length of claim, and ROI on their product. The fact that they have isolated the areas that need adjustment is a positive step forward.

The lapse rates were anticipated at 5 or 6% and yet the actual rate was 1%. The demand for the insurance was much higher than anticipated. The older policies are the biggest problem that the company is facing. As the company moves forward they will not be basing their expectations on unfounded research, but on the track record of Long Term Insurance over the last 30 or so years. McInerney has been working with lawmakers in many States, not just to hike rates, but to make the process easier on everyone. Genworth wants gradual rate adjustments that allow the companies to make their business profitable while easing the stress on the policy holders.

The length of claim was underestimated as well and while it was a difference of months the steep costs of assisted living and nursing home care made a huge dent in Genworth’s quarterly budget. Again the biggest problem was on the older policies and McInerney has said that Genworth is only hoping to break even on those policies. The state of modern medicine has made people more reliant on home care and nursing homes. More illnesses such as Alzheimer’s are treatable and these treatments often require bed rest and people are left needing help. Genworth and the other companies who have stayed in the Long Term Care insurance game know that they are providing a necessary service.

Genworth has acknowledged that the return on investment that they had anticipated is simply not there for this product. They will of course adjust their business model and try to make a profit on it, but the riches they thought lay at the end of this rainbow are not there. What is at the end of this rainbow is offering people an affordable way to get the care that they need during a very vulnerable point in their lives. Vulnerable both physically and financially, and private insurance will allow them the freedom to get the care without having to jump through the hoops that are always associated with public insurance options. The more I read about the Genworth “crisis” the more my faith is renewed in the Long Term Care industry.

Film Making

Top Business Opportunities in the Movie Industry – 2018

Many people get into Hollywood looking to be big shot directors. There’s nothing wrong with that – in fact, it’s good to be so ambitious. The fact of the matter though is that there are only so many spots for directors and big producers. The good news is that there are many other opportunities in the movie industry that may be just as interesting and lucrative. This post highlights the top 11 business opportunities in the movie industry 2018.

1.   Acting

Just like being a producer, acting is not for everyone. You need to be talented if you want to stand out of the crowd and make a name for yourself. So if you think you have the skills and believe in yourself, go right ahead. Being an actor or actress can be one of the most lucrative opportunity in the film industry.

2.   Scriptwriting

Every movie that is filmed in Hollywood needs a script. If you’re creative, you might want to give scriptwriting a shot. Some of the best script writers in Hollywood right now started out as playwrights, novelists, journalists, or professional writers. If you have a knack for creating cohesive and creative stories, you might make a lot of money in the film industry as a scriptwriter.

3.   Art Director

An art director (sometimes also referred to as a movie director) works with the producer and other directors to ensure a detailed set, as well as great locations/surroundings for films. The art director also has a duty to ensure that each actor or actress plays their role well. As a director, you won’t be involved in the financial side of film-making, but it’s your job to make sure that the artistic vision is perfectly executed.

4.   Photography

Photography/Cinematography is another major opportunity available in the movie industry. Your role here is to translate the script writers’ narrative and director’s artistic vision into video. To make it as a cinematographer in Hollywood, you need to be an expert in camera technology.

5.   Movie Auditing

Movie auditors are responsible for tracking the production cost and making sure that expenses do not exceed the budget. The auditor is like an accountant who needs to ensure that every penny spent during the creation of the film is accounted for.

6.   Movie Animation

Are you a trained computer animator? Then you might be able to make some good money helping create animations in the movie industry. Your role as an animator is to create characters with emotions and dialogue. Think of it as being a virtual puppeteer.

7.   Choreography

If you’re an incredible dancer, then you might be able to make a living as a choreographer in the movie industry. The role of choreographers is to create dance sequences in the film. As a choreographer, you can make or break a movie based on the dance themes or musicals that you select.

8.   Talent Hunter/Agent

How about being the deal maker? As a talent agent, you can search scripts for directors you represent. Talent agents are also (often) involved in promotional and sponsorship activities on behalf of their clients (movie-makers).

9.   Makeup Artist

Do you fancy working with different types of makeups and changing how people look? If so, then you can make a career as a makeup artists in the film industry. Your job is to apply makeup to lead actors/actresses and extras in a film. Makeup artists follow the vision and characters envisioned by the scriptwriter to get the job done.

10.                     Movie Marketing

This is a major role in the film industry. Once produced, every movie needs marketing so that it can be popularized in front of the audience. The purpose of a movie marketer is to ensure maximum distribution for the film. This position is still important, but might be phased out in the future as the internet eats away at the traditional film business model.

11.                     Costume Design

Costume designers are the folks who clothe actors and extras in a movie. They will select the color, style, fabric, and quality of clothing and other costume (and accessories) used in the movie. To be a costume designer, you need to be a fashion star who understands the impression of various colors, clothing, and styles.

Film Making

8 Trends That are Taking Centerstage in the Film Industry

Thanks to technology and other growth factors, the movie industry is always changing. Film producers, directors, and other stakeholders are always looking for ways to keep up with rampant trends in the industry. This article highlights the 8 most prominent trends in the film industry 2018.

1)      Computer Generated Imagery and Practical Effects

A few years ago, everyone would have thought that Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) would be replacing practical effects as far as special effects are concerned. But this has turned out not to be the case. Practical effects have made a major comeback in the space – and it appears like they’ll be here to stay. Some of the major films using practical effects include Max Max: Fury Road, an Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In the foreseeable future, practical effects will continue to play a role alongside CGI.

2)      Evolving Consumer Ecosystems

The rise of direct-to-consumer platforms such as Netflix and Amazon is keeping film procedures up all night. Powered by stable, better internet connections, this trend isn’t slowing down any time soon. This disruption in the industry’s traditional business model has an impact on the production, distribution, and marketing of films. Players in the sector have no option but to learn to work within these evolving consumer ecosystems. On the positive side, the new tech-based platforms have opened an easy worldwide market for film producers.

3)      What’s Next for Virtual and Augmented Reality

Never-ending changes in technology are also having a direct influence on the storytelling. In the recent past, technology has enabled virtual reality (computer generated simulations of 3-dimensional images/environments). Upcoming technology will give a push to augmented reality, which has been lagging behind on multiple fronts.

4)      Low-Budget Films are Cropping Up Online

There’s a boom of short low-budget films available on Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, and other video platforms. As technology makes distribution of films easier, student groups and little known producers are using these platforms to launch their productions. This trend is going to continue into the future, and as consumers spend a lot of time on the social web – the low-budget films will be able to compete for more of the consumers’ time.

5)      Increased Diversity in Films

Perhaps due to increased social commentary, we are seeing more and more diversity in films. Female leads are showing up in traditionally male roles, and racial diversity is becoming a common thing in films that traditionally included an all-white cast. The film industry is – and will continue to be – more accommodative of diversity, flexibility, and creativity.

6)      More Films Based on Real-Life Events

Statistics show that less than 7% of films in US Cinemas were based on real-life events in 1996. Fast forward to 2016 (2 decades later) and the situation is entirely different – up to 27% of films are inspired by real life events. The majority of these films are low-budget, with the romantic comedy taking up the biggest percentage of films that are based on real-life.

7)      Faith-Based Films are Becoming More Profitable

Faith-based films are becoming intensely profitable in the market. In fact, some of the most profitable films created over the last 10 years were targeted for Christians. A good example is ‘The Passion of the Christ’, which used a $30 budget but ended up grossing a whopping $612 million in the box office. This was a record 2,040% box office-budget ratio. Other faith-based movies that have been very successful include ‘God’s Not Dead’, ‘War Room’, ‘Heaven Is for Real’, and ‘Courageous’.

8)      We Have Here a Horror Movie Boom

Over the last few years, film production levels have been increasing across genres. But no sector has seen a faster boom than the ‘Horror’ genre. In 2016 alone, over 1,000 horror movies were churned out, accounting for 12% of all films produced in the year. This is a far cry from the situation 20 years ago in 1996, when horror films constituted just 4% of total film production.

Business

5 Reasons Why 9 Out of Every 10 Startups Fail

Over 62% of all businesses in the U. S are small businesses (with less than 5 employees). That’s according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Roughly 540,000 Americans become new business owners every month. Out of these only, a meagre 10% succeed. That means 90% of all startups launched in this country are going down the drain. But why? This article explores some of the common reasons why 90% of startups fail.

1.   The Idea Was Never Good Enough

Who doesn’t have a business idea running in their mind right now? It’s one thing to have a business idea, and another to have an idea that really solves a big problem. Some of the most successful startups were businesses that solved a really big problem. Think of Facebook and their ability to make online social networking bliss, or Google and their power to make information access the least of your worries. Many startups fail because they don’t have a solution to a problem that is big enough (or that affects a lot of people). It’s important for entrepreneurs to rethink their idea and market viability before blindly letting the ship sale.

2.   Financial Problems

Of course, this is expected. Hundreds of thousands of startups fail every month because they someone cannot manage to survive tough financial times. Entrepreneurs should carefully think about their cash options. Does giving a piece of the pie away help the business stay afloat? Is the budget properly optimized to take the firm through till such a time when a profit can be turned. What strategies for obtaining funds or generating revenue (in the near future) are there? Are these strategies good enough?

3.   The Team is Not Good Enough

If there’s a crack in the team, then there’s a crack in the business – because after all, a business is all about the people running it. Many startups fail because the founders disagree and can’t get along well. Others fail because the entrepreneur doesn’t take the time to hire employees that really add value to the business. If you’re looking to build a business that can weather the storm during hard times, leadership and effective management are very crucial.

4.   Inability to Take on the Competition

In almost every industry, there’s serious competition for people who are looking to launch a new business. It’s often hard to topple the status quo. Think about it – stationery, kitchenware, electronics…many consumers already have brands that they trust. It takes serious work and a clever strategy to convince people to ditch these brands and go for your products. If a new business is not able to take on the competition, then there’s a very high probability that it will fail within its first 2 years.

5.   Founders Get Stuck

According to Nicolas Cole, a business contributor at Inc.com, many startups fail because the founders get stuck and lack a sense of self awareness.

  • They want to scale their firms horizontally (which is easier) rather than vertically.
  • They fail to run hypotheticals that assume for the worst.
  • They make decisions about things they know little – or nothing – about.
  • They are unable to manage their personal emotional turmoil and thus take their feelings to work.
  • They tend to think that raising money will solve their problems.
  • They think they know a lot and try to prove it – rather than listening and paying attention to learn.

According to Mr. Cole, startup owners should refuse to get stuck on the original idea. They should be ready to pivot, learn, and adjust based on the existing conditions. This is very important because often – entrepreneurs become so wrapped up in their idea and vision that they lose the perspective. That’s why it’s often a good idea to seek venture capital from people who already understand your target market.

Being open-minded, flexible, and able to learn are some of the key factors that can make your startup a success. Make sure you do not ignore anything, and set up a team that can recover fast from the hard-knock of startup life.

Business

Let’s Speak Easily About Business

Starting up a business is one thing, directing it to success is another. It is possible for anyone to begin a business but it takes a lot to maintain and have that business expanded over time. However, there are things to importantly consider before venturing into one. You must keep in mind the common mistakes when starting up on something like a business. Having knowledge on such matters would help you to avoid those same usual errors that most of the beginning entrepreneurs are committing on their first venture.

Not Creating a Strong Business Plan

Business plan is your groundwork for your venture. Many do not fully realize it but business plan is the essential embodiment of all your undertakings. You cannot go about the whole thing of putting up a business without a concrete structure of your whereabouts and where you are planning to go. Business plan helps you identify your goals, objectives, vision and mission and such will serve as your driving force, your pathway for your long term aspirations.

Of course, you got a plan, and you have the potential ideas otherwise you wouldn’t be able to come up on starting up a business. Thus to hold firmly to these aspirations of yours, make sure to create an excellent business plan that will include your marketing strategy on how are you going to work out the whole business thing. Without a business plan to support your undertaking, you are just like someone with lots of ideas floating on your “thought balloon” and those balloons are in the risk of being popped or pricked anytime.

Going Easy on the Market

Never ever go light about the market because that will be the main bloodline of your business. Not giving much importance on it is as much saying as not having the single interest to make your business succeed. Plan carefully your marketing strategy because that would be the key in regulating the good circulation of money in the business. An excellent marketing tactic would deliver to you what all business entrepreneurs are working hard for – more customer leads. Thus, a good business plan is not all enough until you put up on it a good marketing plan as well.

Defining your objectives, mission, and vision would serve as your motivation but a marketing plan would map out the ways on how to take appropriate actions to achieve these set goals and objectives. Business field is like one big arena and it just a matter of survival at the end of the day. When you are the leading and winning player, it doesn’t mean that you already have to relax all the way. Your rivals are just waiting for the right time to pull you down or beat you up, so always be secured with a good marketing plan because that would save you enough from much worse trouble.

Self-Limiting Thoughts

One common mistake that beginning entrepreneurs usually commit is setting up small goal, small ambition. It is just right to be realistic but it doesn’t mean that you can never dream much bigger. Just look on the successful business tycoons now and see way back on how and where they started. You might be awed to find out that some of them even started with lesser than what you already have at the moment. But because they aimed higher and bigger, they have finally made it to the peak of success. Dreaming bigger isn’t bad at all, fearsome maybe but fear of giant dreams are proven to be conquerable.

Not Seeking Advice

Anyone who’s new in the field must learn to seek advices from those who have been there already. All beginning entrepreneurs need assistance in one way or another. There might be some important notions that you are missing out so before delving deeply to the idea of venturing into the business, make a thorough investigation first of the field that you are planning to enter. Seek advices and opinions from different people and make sure that you are asking those who are knowledgeable about the matters.

It is not necessary however that you heed to their advices, not after you have carefully studied it and come up with the notion that their advices seem to not befit on your case. By then, you can go and search again for another person to ask. No matter how many useful advices you sought out, in the end it would still be up to you if you will take their suggestions or not. For sure, you have an idea of your own, only that you need others’ opinion to weigh out carefully which is the better thing to do and which is not.

Resisting Necessary Changes and Adjustments

In connection about seeking advices, another common error that new entrepreneurs commit is standing too firm about their idea. Resisting the necessity of changes is what often brings down a certain business. Right from the start, an entrepreneur must embrace the fact that no matter how he laid out a concrete business plan and map out an excellent marketing plan, there may still come an unexpected time that he needs to pose some changes and alterations on the over-all plan.

Being too rigid about your own idea, ignoring the negative implications that it might create would do nothing good about your business. But that kind of attitude would only pave the pathway down to the great failure of your endeavors. A potential businessman must learn to be flexible enough to adapt to the constantly changing environment of the business industry.

Draining Up Your Bank Account

Never did it become wise to give up all that you have, financially. When you are starting up a business, don’t invest too much beyond your financial capabilities. Doing that thing is close to committing a suicide. Though the potential percent of your planned business to succeed is 99% out of 100% still you cannot drain up your entire savings for that risky venture. Be wise enough to invest only the rightful amount and to start with the type of business that is within your capability to fund.