New York Television Festival 2018

By Jason Godbey, Creative Director, Behind the Rabbit Productions

The New York Television Festival is thriving in its 10th year. It’s a festival more about informing the participating creators and matching them with networks than red carpet galas and fan screenings.

NYTVF has a very pragmatic way of approaching a festival. All of the panels were very informative with useful, practical information. The network executives and television writers paint a realistic picture of what it was like to deal with a network as a new show creator as well as what it would be like to be in a writers’ room.  There were also panels discussing what writers can expect from general meetings and pitch meetings. They gave practical advice on pitching and how to manage relationships in the business.

NYTVF is a difficult festival to get into with a finished pilot or a script. Everyone who spoke on a panel or as a keynote speaker spoke about NYTVF as an exclusive club. Everyone with work in the festival should be proud to be there and take advantage of the opportunity. If you want to make television and you feel your work is strong, I would highly recommend it.

For more on NYTVF and the festivals we’ve covered this year, check out our No Rest for the Weekend podcast.

 

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Podcast Episode 208: Lea Pfandler

In this episode actor/writer/producer Lea Pflander talks about making the leap from acting to directing as well as her current and upcoming projects.

No Rest for the Weekend is now live on our website, YouTube, iTunes, Pocket Casts, Anchor.fm, and Google Play. Please remember to like, rate, subscribe, and share. You can also send us your questions, and suggestions for topics, and let us know if you’d like to nominate a creator to be a guest on our show.

Podcast Episode 205: Canon C200 Review

In this episode Matthew Hendershot and I review the Canon C200. How does it hold up a year after its release? Watch and find out.

No Rest for the Weekend is now live on our website, YouTube, iTunes, Pocket Casts, Anchor.fm, and Google Play. Please remember to like, rate, subscribe, and share. You can also send us your questions, and suggestions for topics, and let us know if you’d like to nominate a creator to be a guest on our show.

Podcast Episode 203: Jason Stefaniak

4749584By Jason Godbey, Creative Director, Behind the Rabbit Productions

In this episode I sit down with Jason Stefaniak the Feature Narrative Programmer for the Brooklyn Film Festival about BFF and best strategies for film festivals.

No Rest for the Weekend is now live on our website, YouTube, iTunes, Pocket Casts, Anchor.fm, and Google Play. We would love to hear your feedback. Send us your questions, suggestions for topics, and let us know if you’d like to nominate a creator to be a guest on our show.

Podcast Episode 201: Jenny Paul

4749584By Jason Godbey, Creative Director, Behind the Rabbit Productions

In this episode I talk with actor/producer Jenny Paul about the need for actors to produce their own work and building a career in film and television.

The No Rest for the Weekend podcast is now live on our website, YouTube, iTunes, Pocket Casts, Anchor.fm, and Google Play. We would love to hear your feedback. Send us your questions, suggestions for topics, and let us know if you’d like to nominate a creator to be a guest on our show.

Podcast Episode 104- James Oxford

4749584 By Jason Godbey, Creative Director, Behind the Rabbit Productions

In this episode I sit down with indie film producer, James Oxford about his career and the importance of making short films.

No Rest for the Weekend is hosted by Victoria Oliver and is now live on our website, YouTube, iTunes, Pocket Casts, Anchor.fm, and SoundCloud. We would love to hear your feedback. Send us your questions, suggestions for topics, and let us know if you’d like to nominate a creator to be a guest on our show.

Podcast Episode 101- Ajay Kishore

4749584By Jason Godbey, Creative Director, Behind the Rabbit Productions

I’m very pleased to announce the first six episodes of our podcast is now live on our website, YouTube, iTunes, Pocket Casts, Anchor.fm, and SoundCloud. The podcast is an extension of this blog. It’s dedicated to indie filmmakers and content creators. It’s a must see/must listen for everyone from the film professional looking to move up in the industry to the weekend warrior/DIY filmmaker.

Series one is hosted by Victoria Oliver, and in the first six episodes, I sat down with Ajay Kishore and Bri Castellini of Stareable.com, Director Meredith Edwards, Composer Adonis Tsilimparis, and Director Richard Lemay. It was an honor and a pleasure to talk to such accomplished artists and innovators in the world of indie film and series.

We would love to hear your feedback. Send us your questions, suggestions for topics, and let us know if you’d like to nominate a creator to be a guest on our show.

Artist Profiles-Nicola Raggi

4749584By Jason Godbey, Creative Director, Behind the Rabbit Productions

Nicola Raggi, an accomplished cinematographer from Italy. I spent a day with him while he was shooting a film in Central Park. I shot some behind the scenes footage of the movie and got him to talk about himself and his craft.

Casey Neistat & The Art of the Vlog

4749584by Jason Godbey, Creative Director of Behind the Rabbit Productions

Recently Casey Neistat, one of YouTube’s most famous vloggers,  after posting more than 500 episodes, one episode per day, he decided to end his vlog. He brought the blog to a close because it was no longer a challenge.

I was a fan of the vlog mainly because I admire Casey’s style of filmmaking and his work ethic. Putting out a video every day takes a tremendous amount of effort and dedication. It’s a big undertaking, and I admire anyone who would even attempt it. 

I first learned about Casey Neistat through his HBO show, The Neistat Brothers. The premise of the show was simple: Casey and his brother Van would go on adventures and make movies of their experiences. The films were made on consumer camcorders from the pre-HD era. The quality wasn’t the best, but the films were innovative and entertaining. This was a new style of filmmaking we hadn’t seen on television. It was cool, edgy, and personal.

Casey took that style into his own YouTube vlog beginning on March 26, 2015, and he continued vlogging until November 19 of 2016. With only a few exceptions, he uploaded a video every day. His vlogs incorporate timelapse, stop-motion animation, and drone footage. Although other vloggers may have uploaded more videos over the years, it’s arguable that no one has created a vlog of the same quality as Neistat’s.

Vlogging as a form of storytelling raises some questions. Is it filmmaking? Is it its own art form? What is the overall impact it has on filmmaking, art, and society as a whole?  Is it a “real film,” or is this a filmmaker indulging his own narcissism? Will people go back and rewatch these vlogs, or are they to be consumed and forgotten? 

Some would say making a video of one’s life and uploading it everyday for the world to see is self-indulgent. It’s arrogant to think one’s life is worthy of such attention. I would argue that the best filmmaking is somewhat autobiographical and self-indulgent. Consider All That Jazz by Bob Fosse, 8 ½ by Federico Fellini, or Annie Hall by Woody Allen, three autobiographical films from three self-indulgent filmmakers. All three films are brilliant  because these men put themselves into their work. Perhaps vlogging is just more direct, the most personal form of filmmaking.

Vlogging presents an interesting challenge. How do you find something interesting to say every day? Casey managed to make an average work day seem interesting by presenting the story creatively. He would talk to the camera while skateboarding around New York City and amaze us with beautiful timelapses of the cityscape, cloudy skies,  traffic, and sunsets. 

He told us stories about his personal life–how he came to New York City and became a filmmaker. Granted, Neistat has a more interesting life than many. He owns a tech platform, and he travels all over the world. If you’re going to vlog about your life, it helps to have an compelling one.

His vlog became a textbook for YouTubers, a virtual how-to video. Through his innovation, he inspired others and started a new method of presenting a video diary. Perhaps the Neistat Method of vlogging will one day be taught in film school. 

As his popularity grew, people began to copy and then lampoon his style. Videos like How to Casey Neistat a Vlog became popular on YouTube. Perhaps Neistat gave up his vlog because it started to become a cliche. 

Is vlogging an art form? It’s difficult to say. There doesn’t seem to be a standard yet. Casey’s high-production-value videos with the sweeping drone shots from all around the world are considered a vlog just the same as the one where a vlogger speaks into her camera phone from her parents’ basement.

As far as the impact of vlogging on filmmaking, It’s certainly had one on me. Much of what we do now is made for the internet.  A vlogger like Neistat knows how to to grab the viewer’s attention and hold it, an elusive skill many of us struggle with daily. The fast-paced editing, the movement of the camera, and the action of the vlogs make them compelling to watch. And that’s what we’re all trying to do: create a compelling narrative in order to entertain an audience.

I don’t know that I would recommend vlogging for every would-be filmmaker, but there are skills that can be learned from vlogging. It’s a type of video you can make by yourself- you don’t need a cast or crew.  If you’re a beginner and you want to learn editing, shooting a talk-to-camera segment and putting it together in an interesting way could be a good learning tool.

Vlogging could also be a good way to journal for a filmmaker. It doesn’t have to be a public, but if you’re more comfortable talking than you are writing, speaking into a camera while you go about your day can serve as a way to stimulate your creativity for other projects. If you’re a filmmaker and you feel vlogging can help you become better at what you do, go for it.

Vlogging is still an emerging practice, and only time will tell its impact on society.  Video is an ever growing presence on the internet these days. With more and more social media sites incorporating video, it’s fair to say it’ll be the dominate form of communication online. Perhaps vlogs will one day serve as a document for their time in history. One day we may look back on these videos as we would a time capsule. For all we know, Casey Neistat or one of his contemporaries will be heralded as the chronicler of the YouTube age.