Avoiding Pitfalls for a 1st Time Director on a Low Indie Budget

Learn From a Sundance Director
Hosted by JT Mollner

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JT Mollner

Webinar hosted by: JT Mollner

Director (Official Sundance Selection 'Outlaws & Angels')

JT Mollner is a feature film director with his latest film "Outlaws & Angels" becoming an official 2016 Sundance selection and released theatrically by MGM/Orion. Mollner's Writer/ Director credits include "The Red Room" (2008), "Henry John and the Little Bug" (2009), and "Sugartown" (2011); all 3 award winning shorts that played the festival circuit and have now been acquired by Shorts International for worldwide distribution -- a rarity in the world of short form cinema. JT has directed numerous commercials and music videos, most noteworthy being a spot for Lincoln MKS that aired during the Grammy Awards in 2011. In 2015, Mollner made an impact by presenting screen legend Dee Wallace (America's Mom) in the against-type role of a drug addicted, chain smoking bad girl in his 16mm short film "Flowers in December" - inspired by the gritty, "blue collar dramas" of the 1970's. His debut feature film, "Outlaws and Angels", Produced by Rosanne Korenberg (Half Nelson, Hard Candy) and Chris Ivan Cevic shoot in late 2015 and was based on his own original screenplay. It's has been described as a brutal, ultra-realistic home invasion drama set in the old west: Peckinpah's "Straw Dogs" meets "Lolita".JT is a proponent of celluloid image capture and has partnered with Kodak Motion Picture Film and Panavision on multiple projects.After winning multiple awards at Hollyshorts Film Festival, JT became a Jury member in 2012 and has remained ever since.Mollner's production company, "No Remake Pictures", is committed to injecting original, unique, and sometimes controversial stories into a market saturated with remakes and safe, formula fare. The company (an advocate of real film stock, and not digital) is a proponent of practical effects over CGI and VFX. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

"My film was shot under $1MM, premiered at Sundance, sold to a major distributor and had a theatrical release. I will impart the wisdom I acquired along the way." - Writer/Director JT Mollner

 

  

Testimonials

"I loved it!" - Romina Schwedler

"It was great to hear many sides of a situation and how to make the most difficult scenarios work. Thanks!" - Sindy Jeffrey

"This webinar was a GREAT way to prep me for what's ahead. I have no delusions about the tough road on which I embark, but knowing some of the pitfalls will certainly help avoid them. Thank you for taking the time to share what you've learned." -Arial Burnz

What You'll Learn

In this Stage 32 webinar, director JT Mollner will go over the common pitfalls 1st time directors face and how you can avoid them. Through his own experience filming "Outlaws & Angels", which became a 2016 Sundance selection and was released theatrically by MGM/Orion, he will share first hand what you should know as you step on set.

Mapping out the movie

  • What to do the day your film is greenlit
  • What to prioritize and why
  • Where you can get into trouble if you prioritize the “wrong” things first
  • Who to bring to location with you early if you only have a budget for a skeleton crew
  • What to focus on once your feet are on the ground

Shot listing

  • In this section we will focus on making your film look "cinematic" even with budgetary limitations.
  • Understanding what goes into shot lists on a low budget film
  • What to do and what happens when you deviate from your initial plan
  • What not to do and what common traps are to avoid
  • Examples of shot lists

Preparing the Visual Style of the Film

  • In this section will focus on the all-encompassing visual aspect of auteur-driven filmmaking.
  • We will talk about authorship, creative responsibility, and where the buck inevitably stops when it comes to the look of your film.
  • There is much more that will contribute to the look of your film than cinematography, shot authorship, framing, and composition.
  • Understanding production design – color palette, costumes, landscapes, makeup and more
  • How to have your hands in everything without annoying your department heads

Casting & Preparing Actors 

  • Robert Altman once was asked what his secret was to directing great performances and he famously replied: "casting".
  • The art of casting
  • How to spot talent and workability in an audition room or meeting
  • Best ways to prepare your cast and let them to greatness in the heart of the battle. 

On-Set Advice:

  • How to command respect from your cast and crew
  • What battles you'll face and how to prepare for them
  • How to be efficient on a low budget

RESOURCES!

JT will give you a list of his must-have resources that will help you on your journey as a director.

Q&A

About Your Instructor

JT Mollner is a feature film director with his latest film "Outlaws & Angels" becoming an official 2016 Sundance selection and released theatrically by MGM/Orion.

Mollner's Writer/ Director credits include "The Red Room" (2008), "Henry John and the Little Bug" (2009), and "Sugartown" (2011); all 3 award winning shorts that played the festival circuit and have now been acquired by Shorts International for worldwide distribution -- a rarity in the world of short form cinema. JT has directed numerous commercials and music videos, most noteworthy being a spot for Lincoln MKS that aired during the Grammy Awards in 2011. In 2015, Mollner made an impact by presenting screen legend Dee Wallace (America's Mom) in the against-type role of a drug addicted, chain smoking bad girl in his 16mm short film "Flowers in December" - inspired by the gritty, "blue collar dramas" of the 1970's. His debut feature film, "Outlaws and Angels", Produced by Rosanne Korenberg (Half Nelson, Hard Candy) and Chris Ivan Cevic shoot in late 2015 and was based on his own original screenplay. It's has been described as a brutal, ultra-realistic home invasion drama set in the old west: Peckinpah's "Straw Dogs" meets "Lolita".

JT is a proponent of celluloid image capture and has partnered with Kodak Motion Picture Film and Panavision on multiple projects.

After winning multiple awards at Hollyshorts Film Festival, JT became a Jury member in 2012 and has remained ever since.

Mollner's production company, "No Remake Pictures", is committed to injecting original, unique, and sometimes controversial stories into a market saturated with remakes and safe, formula fare. The company (an advocate of real film stock, and not digital) is a proponent of practical effects over CGI and VFX.

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Testimonials

I loved it! - Romina Schwedler

It was great to hear many sides of a situation and how to make the most difficult scenarios work. Thanks! - Sindy Jeffrey

This webinar was a GREAT way to prep me for what's ahead. I have no delusions about the tough road on which I embark, but knowing some of the pitfalls will certainly help avoid them. Thank you for taking the time to share what you've learned. -Arial Burnz

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