Film Production

IFNYC#013: Ken Feinberg & Making a Micro-Budget Feature Film

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Ken Feinberg talks about Making a Micro-Budget Feature Film

For this episode I’ve got an interview with independent filmmaker, Ken Feinberg about his career in acting, teaching acting to young performers in Atlanta, and his upcoming feature film, Santa’s Boot Camp.

In 2005, after years of working mainly as an actor in Los Angeles, Ken relocated to Atlanta and founded the Creative Studios of Atlanta, where he’s had the opportunity to be a part of the lives of many people looking to break into acting.  As part of the course for the Creative Studios of Atlanta, the students get the opportunity to be the lead role in their own short film near the end of every semester.

With the number of students that attend Ken’s courses, that means an upward of twenty short films being produced each semester.

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Santa’s Bootcamp Movie Poster

Having gone through that process a few times, Ken decided it would be an interesting experiment to instead make one feature film that all the students could participate in, and the result of that experiment is Santa’s Boot Camp.

Santa’s Boot Camp gave these young actors the experience of working through a larger story and provided them with valuable on-set experience that’s not easy to come by.  In addition, Ken was able to bring in more seasoned actors for the adult roles in the film, and was even able to convince Eric Roberts to take on a key role.

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Eric Roberts enjoying his time on set with actor Tim Baran

As you’ll hear in our conversation, this film was no exception to the difficulties that almost all indie filmmakers face when they are financing, shooting and distributing their film.  There were many challenges that faced this film and Ken gives us an unfiltered look at how those challenges played out.

Obviously, Ken is hopeful that Santa’s Boot Camp will appeal to a great number of people and that hearing his story on the podcast will make you interested enough to check it out, but as a teacher, he also wants to help his fellow filmmakers.  So, if you’re trying to finance a project,  about to go into production or looking to distribute a completed film, if the story of Ken’s trials, tribulations, and ultimate success can guide or help you in any way, then sharing his story will have been worth it.

I think the one thing that Ken’s story illustrates is how much time and effort one needs to put behind a feature film.  From concept to distribution, no one will care about your film more than you do, so you can never do enough to keep the project going and get the word out once the film is completed.

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Erika Bierman as Twinkle the Elf

If you have any questions, comments or insights that you’d like to share with IndieFilmNYC, please reach out to us. You can do that by leaving a comment on any of the show pages, emailing me at  john@indiefilmnyc.com, or go to our contact page at indiefilmnyc.com/contact/

LINKS AND INFORMATION MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

 

Santa’s Boot Camp – Movie Trailer

Santa’s Boot Camp – Behind the Scenes Promo

SBC 2 minute promo from Ken Feinberg on Vimeo.

 

Werner Herzog’s Masterclass in Filmmaking

I’d like to also mention Werner Herzog’s Masterclass in filmmaking.  As you probably know, Werner Herzog is one of the most prolific filmmakers ever.  Between documentaries and narrative films, Werner has produced and or directed over 60 films, including Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans with Nicholas Cage and the multi award winning documentary, Grizzly man.

This class is perfectly suited for those filmmakers who are still developing their skills and are looking to get into filmmaking as a career, but are still deciding if film school is right for them.

The great thing about this class is that it’s only $90. That’s less than the price of the first five seasons of The Game of Thrones on Blu-ray.  Classes of comparable knowledge, which are usually facilitated by people of much less artistic stature than Werner Herzog can easily run five, six, or seven-hundred dollars, making them much riskier propositions.

With such an affordable cost to an introduction on expert filmmaking from a great artist, even if you do decide to go to film school, the information will have you ahead of the curve when you get there.

If you’re a seasoned filmmaker, and especially if you’re a fan of Werner Herzog’s work, then there’s still a lot of value and some tricks of the craft that you’ll likely pick up.  Again, the value versus the cost make this class unique in its scope and presentation.

So, if you’re interested in learning more, please visit indiefilmnyc.com/masterclass/ where I did a write up on the 5 ways that this class will help you achieve success as an independent filmmaker.

You can sign up for the course right on the page by clicking the affiliate link image located on the top of the sidebar column or at the bottom of the page.

Grizzly Man – Trailer

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If you haven’t checked out Episode #000 yet, it explains what Indie Film NYC is all about and why we started this website and podcast. Check it out on iTunes!

If you enjoyed IFNYC #013:Making a Micro-Budget Feature with Ken Feinbert, please share it on your social media networks. You may also post it to your blog or anywhere you feel it would be useful information.
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