Who is this resource useful for?
Filmmaker in a Box, Case Study #1, is intended for independent filmmakers embarking on their first, second or even third feature film. Directors, producers, writers, cinematographers, editors, assistant directors, production managers and even actors and film students will benefit from this complete film production experience.
Why do I need this?
If you are a director, producer, writer, cinematographer, assistant director, sound mixer or even an actor, Filmmaker in a Box brings you step-by-step through the stages of production on a micro-budget feature film. It provides real-world examples of how obstacles were overcome, how specific problems were solved and creative decisions were made – with regard to extremely limited time and film budget.
What if I’ve already done a movie and I’m on my second or third, will this be useful to me?
Absolutely. If you’re still working in micro-budget independent films, this box set is extremely useful. The producing team behind both Filmmaker in a Box and the feature film 2 Million Stupid Women have a collective professional movie making experience of over 80 years in Hollywood, yet each and every member of the film production learned something through the making of 2 Million Stupid Women and the creation of Filmmaker in a Box. There are, quite possibly, different aspects of this production that you didn’t encounter on your first one, two or three projects – or a different approach to issues that might suit you better.
What do I get for money?
The world! No, not really, just 10 discs, 9 DVDs and a CD-Rom. You get over 17.5 hours of documentary material on the making of 2 Million Stupid Women including in-depth interviews with all the key film production personnel. You get a CD-Rom with hundreds of pages of actually used documents, the budget, the screenplay, script supervisor’s notes, director’s plan, actor’s contracts, crew deal memos, production contracts and more. The documentary material covers the production of the movie from prep through completion. You get all the inside details – the good, the bad and the ugly – all in one package. It is, hands down, the most comprehensive behind-the-scenes filmmaking documentary ever publicly offered.
Is this available on the web?
Not yet. We are working on a web version to be released in late mid-late 2011.
Will this work on a Mac or a PC?
Of course. Filmmaker in a Box is not software; it is a collection of standard DVDs that will play in any DVD player, set-top or computer drive. There is a CD-Rom of PDF documents included in the set, which will work in any computer with Adobe Acrobat or other PDF reader installed.
Who are you?
We’re Filmmaker in a Box! Nice to meet you! No, seriously, the two primary partners behind Filmmaker in a Box are Ryan Harper and Jay Holben. Ryan is an independent producer who was formerly a production manager for Michael Bay at Propaganda Films. He produced the Sundance Grand Jury Prize Nominee Steel City and co-produced the Brittany Snow film, On the Doll.. He started Your Half Media Group, which is a production company and distributor and has distributed half a dozen independent films including On the Doll, Stealing Martin Lane and Sean Penn’s Witch Hunt. Jay Holben is an independent producer and director with more than 20 years under his belt. He started in Hollywood as an electrician and made his way up to gaffer and then cinematographer before turning to producing and directing full time. Holben has been involved with productions like Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, Surviving Christmas, Wag the Dog and has produced the features Mothman, Barfighter and CamGirls. Holben was also a consultant on the first season of Showtime’s Dexter. In addition, he is a technical editor for DV magazine and a former technical editor for American Cinematographer Magazine. Holben was a producer and cinematographer on 2 Million Stupid Women. He is also the author of A Shot in the Dark: A Creative DIY Guide to Digital Video Lighting on (Almost) No Budget.
This one is “Case Study #1” – so that means there are more coming?
That is the plan. This is the first in an intended series that will cover many genres and budget levels.
Where can I find the movie?
2 Million Stupid Women is included in the Filmmaker in a Box set, but you can also find the movie itself at Blockbuster Video, Best Buy or Amazon, among others.
Does this play in all regions?
Yes. To make Filmmaker in a Box available to the widest audience, it was mastered in “region zero” for playability worldwide on NTSC systems.
Do you have a duty-free version?
No, but we ship “first class international” mail service by way of the United States Postal Service. We do this because many countries have a treaty with the USPS and do not charge duty on this type of educational of item. Please check with your countries customs or postal organizations to determine if you will have to pay duty or not.
What language is it in? Is it subtitled?
It is all in English and, no, there are no foreign-language subtitles.
Is this good for making movies outside of LA?
Absolutely. Although a number of the specific challenges faced in the making of 2 Million Stupid Women pertain to difficulties of shooting independent films in Los Angeles, the concepts, logistics and structure of the production can apply to films shot anywhere. The production was made in a ‘traditional’ Hollywood structure with regard to crew and production practices.
What’s the shipping cost?
Do I have to pay sales taxes?
No sales tax unless you live in the state of Nevada.
What’s the 30-day money back guarantee?
We’re so sure you’re going to get what you need out of Filmmaker in a Box – and that the information will be invaluable to you long after the first viewing – that we’re offering an unconditional 30-day money back guarantee. If it’s not to your liking, send it back to us and we’ll refund your purchase price, minus our shipping and handling costs.
What if this thing sucks?
Well that would make us really sad that you think so – but everyone has their own opinions. See above, however, regarding the money-back guarantee. You can also check out our reviews on the “review
” section of this website.
Will writers find this useful?
Definitely. The set not only includes the shooting draft of the screenplay, but an hour-long in-depth interview with the screenwriter and additional modules with discussions with the director and producers on the script, the changes, reasons why this script was chosen and so much more. In addition, writers can take a look at the writer’s agreement and, if they’re really adventurous, the full script supervisor’s notes to see what changes happened on set. In addition there’s discussion on the rough-cut of the movie, problems with the test audience’s reaction to the rough cut, new scenes that were written to solve those problems and the entire rough-cut of the movie is included in the box set.
Will directors find this useful?
Without a doubt. Filmmaking is a director’s medium and although Jamie Neese, the director of 2 Million Stupid Women, had never directed a feature film before – he has more than 20 years experience in the business working with some of the top directors in Hollywood including Sam Raimi and Mark Steven Johnson. Jamie has also spent years on television sets from Dexter to CSI: NY. His short films have won more than two dozen awards around the world and his work as a director made him a top-ten finalist for the final season of Project Greenlight. He is incredibly candid in his interviews and you get well over 7 hours of insight from the director alone during the course of this set – including his notes on actor’s auditions, rehearsals, blocking, problems on set and his experiences in post.
Will producers find this useful?
You betcha! There’s TONS of information for producers in here. The full budget and schedule is in here – uncensored – for you to see. In-depth discussions on the financing and negotiations. All contracts are included. In addition, discussions on crew, hiring, scheduling problems, deals struck, mistakes and shortcuts. Where they cheated and where they played by the rules (and why) are all included.
Will other crew people find this useful?
Most – absolutely. If you’re in craft service… probably not. But for every day of film production there are detailed discussions on lighting, sound and locations. There are detailed discussions on specific equipment used for camera, light and sound as well as problems with that equipment.
What else is like this?
There is really nothing else like Filmmaker in a Box currently on the market. Period. This kind of information, in this kind of format has never been publicly offered. Sure there are many behind-the-scenes additional features on DVDs – but none that offer the depth of information available here. In a recent review, this set was compared to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy as far as the depth of information covered – but Peter doesn’t offer up his budget, contracts and schedule for all to see. He also doesn’t break down lighting and sound setups for every location in the film. We do.
Has there ever been a product like this in the market place?
Unfortunately, no. In recent years there has been a trend to provide more and more behind-the-scenes information in DVD compilations and some great books have been written about the making of some classic films, but never before has this amount of detailed information been provided in one package on a film with a budget that is actually obtainable by most independent filmmakers. In addition, the actual, legitimate production information included in this package (budget, schedule, contracts, etc.) have never been offered to this degree.
Do you take credit cards?
Of course. Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Sorry, no Diner’s Club.
What if I don’t have a PayPal or Google account?
Not a problem. You can use any credit card through PayPal without having a formal PayPal account.
Can I get this in a store?
No. Not currently. We are however working with retailers for a summer 2011 offering.
Can I find this on Amazon?
Can I get a discount?
I dunno… Are you a nice person? Ah… sure. Try this one: FAQ50 for a $50 discount. See how nice we are? We figure if you read this far… eh… you get a cookie. Or $50 off…
I’m a poor filmmaker! Why should I spend my money on this?
We’re all poor filmmakers. We’re with you. In all honesty, the information contained in Filmmaker in a Box can, potentially, save you thousands and thousands of dollars. If nothing else, the contracts and deal memos can guide you in a direction to make your own and save a bundle on lawyer’s fees. Tips on lighting and sound on a budget can help you avoid pitfalls. If you’ve never made a film before – this package will give you as close as possible the experience of making a film – as if you were an assistant to every department on 2 Million Stupid Women for six months. It won’t answer every question you might have, it won’t solve all your problems – but it will give you a leg up and help you avoid a lot of pitfalls.
Do you offer educational pricing?
Yes. If you purchase six or more units for educational use, we offer them at $199 per unit. Please contact us to receive this special pricing.
Is this available for a college class or film school?
Absolutely. If you design your own curriculum, you will find this an excellent supplement to your film course. We do not have an official curriculum built for Filmmaker in a Box yet, although we are planning on creating one.
Is this available for high school film class?
This is up to you or your administration. The film 2 Million Stupid Women is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for “sexual content and pervasive language.” Although there is no nudity or violence in the film, the language is, indeed, pervasive. The behind-the-scenes and interview portions of Filmmaker in a Box are uncensored and, also, have language and candid comments. Please consult your administration before purchasing it; if you’d like to view a copy of the movie for this purpose please contact us.
Is this really worth the price?
Well… we’re a little biased in this one – but we firmly believe, yes – or we wouldn’t have priced it where we did. Three years of very hard work went into Filmmaker in a Box and this tool has the potential to save you a lot of time and money on your own production.