Monday, March 16, 2009


As if there weren't enough distractions.

Cell phones and land lines ringing. Email arriving. Instant messages. Facebook notifications. Twitter alerts. It's almost impossible to sit at your computer writing or budgeting or doing virtually anything productive without this swarm of other things demanding a moment or two of your attention.

Oh, you can ignore them all for an hour or two at a stretch, but in the film business (as in most trades, I would imagine) there is a pressing need to remain current and up to speed on everything going on around you.

Add the instant access to the trades, to Skype, to online video conferences, CRTC hearings and scheduling what you do so you can keep earning a living from it rapidly begins eating into what used to be your personal time.

And now there's Movieset.

In many ways, this just might be the most brilliant concept for building awareness of your movie project that's ever come along.

Based out of Vancouver and created by Canadian producer Colleen Nystedt, MovieSet brings the experience of working on a film set online. Fans (and fellow filmmakers) can follow the creation of movies from development, through production, to release.

This access includes uninterrupted live feeds from set as the films are shot, call sheets, photos, videos, blogs and other information designed to keep fans fully abreast of everything happening from development to distribution. The current site even offers a couple of invitations to debut screenings and their after-parties.

Needing that big and often expensive PR push to let people know about your movie might just have become a thing of the past.

Today, tomorrow and Friday, Movieset is streaming continuous coverage from the set of "Death Warrior", a martial arts pic produced by champion fighter Hector Echavarria, Barry Brooker and Stan Wertlieb. The film is directed by Bill Corcoran, written and starring Echavarria. Also in the cast are Canadian actors Tanya Clark ("Tenderness", "Year Zero") and Nick Mancuso ("Ticket to Heaven", "Stingray").

I watched a few minutes from the set this afternoon as two fighters, one brandishing a bullwhip, went through a well choreographed fight scene. And as I watched, I realized just how confident and frankly "brave" everybody involved in this new enterprise has to be.

Film sets can be incredibly stressful places, as Christian Bale's recent rant and any number of Youtube clips perfectly exemplify. Knowing that there are thousands of potential ticket buyers watching what you do cannot be easy; not to mention the thought that future employers who might be secretly evaluating your work ethic.

I sent Corcoran (who I've had the pleasure of working with several times) a note asking him to speed the work along. Luckily, the crew broke for lunch before he could respond to my "input".

Although still in beta, I have a feeling Movieset will soon become as much a part of your average set as bad coffee and purse-lipped writers.

Check it out for yourself. I gotta get back to what I'm doing.

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