There's never been a better time to be a filmmaker, yet few of us realize just how lucky we are. If you are both clever and creative, there's no reason that you can't make your movie and tell the story you want for very little money. DLSRs have made cinematic imagery available to everyone. Software companies are now offering subscription models allowing you to play with the same tools that the big boys use. Developers are creating free options if you really dislike or can't afford subscriptions. Online platforms like YouTube and Vimeo means your film can be seen by hundreds, thousands, even millions of viewers. There truly has been no better time to be a filmmaker.
And yet, frequenting forums and talking with friends, all I hear is excuses for why they haven't made their movie. "I need 4K." "There's too many special effects and I don't know how to do them." "I can't afford a sound guy." "It needs to be perfect and I don't have the skills to do that yet." Sound familiar? Look, I've made numerous short films as well as three features. Are they Oscar winners? Not even close, but I told the stories I wanted to tell and was able to reach my audience. I also learned valuable skills that allowed me to become the visual effects supervisor for a small production outfit in the Pacific Northwest.
I love helping people learn new things, and I love helping people achieve their dreams, and that's why I developed Indie Rebel. I wanted to condense my real world experience from my features and VFX supervision and distill them down to core techniques that can help anyone bring their vision to life. Whether they're a high school student or working professional that wants to expand their skills, there's something for everyone in Indie Rebel.
At it's core, Indie Rebel is the course that I wish was available when I was starting out: Affordable, and focused on techniques that Hollywood uses, modifying them when needed to save money and time.
To produce this course, I made a list of what I believe are essential skills that every filmmaker or budding VFX artist should know. Skills that enable, rather than limit, the kinds of stories you want to tell. This process alone took a few weeks, making sure that everything was absolutely essential and effective. Next, I wrote a short film/trailer script that would incorporate all the techniques and then proceeded to shoot the short over a weekend with a friend, just as many people making their first shorts will do.
The short has been edited and now I'm in the middle of doing the VFX, recording tutorials as I go and trying to use free software whenever possible. My reasoning for this is that when you're starting out, you don't want to make a big investment for software until you know that filmmaking is something that you enjoy and want to stick with. The main software I'm choosing to use is Natron, which is a free and open source compositing application that is VERY similar to Nuke (the industry standard compositing app). By teaching someone Natron, they're essentially learning to composite like the pros, using a legally free version of the pro software.
Indie Rebel: VFX will be available for purchase by the end of November 2016 and will be the perfect gift for the aspiring filmmaker or seasoned professional.