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3 Tips to a Standout Documentary

3 Tips to a Standout Documentary 6000 4000 Dani Lyman

I recently binged watched Andrew Jarecki’s six-part documentary, The Jinx, on HBO and I was enthralled. Most of us had heard of Robert Durst before. We’d seen headlines and heard rumors, maybe even watched Jarecki’s first film about Durst, All Good Things, but we had never seen him like this. Here, the monster, the murderer, is a small, awkward old man shifting in his seat uncomfortably while Jarecki tries to pry the truth out of his decades of silence… and we’re never quite sure we get it.

Documentaries are about truth. They are visual essays intended to share knowledge and perspective and to enlighten an audience. They are created by people who have a story that HAS to be told. The passion runs so deep they bury themselves in paperwork and evidence half a century old and surrender their own time, money and resources to share the story with the world.

In some cases, these stories are revolutionary and groundbreaking. In others, they are eye-opening and thought provoking.

The three key elements great documentaries contain to keep viewers hooked

INTRIGUE

Who cares? Before you delve into the depths of creating your own documentary you have to ask yourself, “Who cares about this topic?” The follow-up question is, “How can I make people care?” Much like writing a screenplay or marketing a business, you must be sure you’re telling the story in a way which makes the viewer care. When they are mindlessly flipping through the endless possibilities on Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Sling, etc.

What is it about your documentary that stands out among the crowd?

The intrigue element speaks to our intellect. It says we will gain new knowledge about how to drop weight quickly and revolutionize our health. It promises we can learn new tools for success in the business world. It says we are going to learn the answer to a question we didn’t even know we had.

Intrigue makes the viewer press select on YOUR documentary.

REVELATION

Now that you’ve posed the question, you must reveal an answer. You need to reveal a new truth through providing new evidence on a cold case, new findings for a study, or a new perspective on an old topic.

The way and order you reveal the truth of your story, the way you personalize it and the way you present new information is how you hook the viewer. Building up the tension, hinting at what comes next, foreshadowing the breakthrough or demise of your characters, and finding that pivotal piece makes a human connection.

If intrigue speaks to our intellect, then reveal speaks to our emotions. Fear. Empathy. Outrage. That’s how you get viewers to binge Making a Murderer and then spread the word on social media and to friends and around the water cooler.

INSPIRATION

A solid documentary inspires the audience to ask more questions long after it’s over.

Did he really do it? Was that UFO only a military experiment? If I become a Keto Vegan, could I take over the world?

As a truth-seeking storyteller, your job is to present the most accurate information in a meaningful and visually-interesting way to your viewer and then trust them to take it from there. Is there a call to action? Should the viewer donate to a charity? Should they vote on an upcoming bill? Or are you simply hoping to satisfy a curiosity or inspire a thought-provoking discussion over a bottle of wine?

If your documentary doesn’t inspire the viewer to ask more questions, you may be doing it wrong.

The foundation of documentary storytelling is truth. What truth do you need to tell?

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

 

Last-minute tips to turn your house into a horror set

Last-minute tips to turn your house into a horror set 4608 3072 Dani Lyman

That time of the year has finally arrived! Crisp fall leaves, foggy nights, a deranged serial killer hiding behind every corner. It’s Halloween! This is the perfect time of year to bring your love for theatrics to life by adding some spooky accessories to your front porch or using the natural ambience to shoot that horror film you’ve been dying to finish!

Whether you want to film your masterpiece or just scare your neighbors or, here are a few last minute tips to turn your Halloween into a horror movie!

FOGGY AMBIENCE

When it comes to Halloween, fall leaves tossed by a slight breeze give the eerie impression that perfectly merges innocence and creepiness. However, if you live in a state with unpredictable weather like I do in Colorado (I currently have a foot of snow stacked in my backyard) and there’s no depending on the weather, then there’s one easy and fantastic solution: a fog machine!

Available at any Halloween store and even grocery stores this time of year, this easy-to-use product will quickly set the ambience for a perfect fall evening ready for some haunted fun.

No time to run to the store before the little devils and princesses come prancing to your doorstep? Here’s a quick and easy dry ice recipe that can be added to caldrons or hidden in the background for a spooky witch effect.

Sounds Effects

Squeaky doors, shattering glass, and wood creaking under footsteps. Nothing makes us crawl out of our skin like creepy sound effects. So, whether you’re working on your next indie horror or just want to frighten the bejeezus out of the neighborhood kids, sound effects are a MUST! You can purchase all the decrepit or haunting screams you want (some even downloaded for free online) and make your own playlist. Remember: Using license-free sounds makes it easy to throw your video masterpiece on YouTube without any restrictions.

Another last minute fun Halloween toy to creep out the neighbors is this motion sensor you can find on Amazon or most Spirit Halloween stores.

Visual Effects Makeup

Back in the day, I was an Assistant Director and an actor/zombie extra on a low-budget horror film filmed in Bisbee, AZ. It has all the mediocre acting and confusing plotlines you’d expect from a C horror Western/ Zombie movie, but man, did our Visual Effects Makeup Artist KILL IT! Every zombie, bite mark, and moment of flesh tearing looked nearly realistic. It was ridiculously fun and gory to watch. Whether you’re making a mini horror flick for your Insta or you want to truly impress you’re friends with your costume, do not slack on effects makeups! It truly wows and disgusts your audience.

To get that great deep, dark red that looks more realistic try this fake blood recipe posted by Studiobinder.com. If you’re looking for something a little tastier, you can even throw some chocolate syrup in the mix!

If you’re not too squeamish, check out this amazing video by make-up artist Chloe Morello who reveals the secrets behind ripped and torn skin. Ouch!

This is how I will be answering the door this Halloween. Poor little kids.

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

The death and resurrection of music videos (and why you should produce one)

The death and resurrection of music videos (and why you should produce one) 1500 2246 Dani Lyman

Despite the fact that MTV and VH1 have devolved from boundary-pushing, career-launching creative networks into conveyer belts of reality shows, music videos are not extinct. Directors are still breaking barriers and making history. And millennials ARE watching: just not on TV anymore.

As a producer or director interested in building your portfolio, creating music videos is usually a less expensive alternative to indie films and a more creative endeavor than corporate videos. However, with the video landscape constantly changing, you have to consider a few questions. Are music videos still worth producing? Are they worth the financial investment? Where will they live and, most importantly, will millennials watch them?

First, a look back

  • MTV killed the video star: When I first started film school in 2006 my ultimate goal was to become a sick music video director who used technology to push musicians’ visions to the limit and to reach my potential as a brilliant creative genius. Unfortunately, during that era, MTV was revamping their brand and social media hadn’t quite hit its stride. Music videos, for several years, became lost in the shuffle and industry insiders were on the verge of naming it a lost art. And then, something dramatic happened.
  • Apps took over the world! Musicians began reaching new audiences through social media platforms and direct online marketing. Creative videos presented an excellent opportunity to recruit new fans and increase loyalty from old ones. Music videos resurged as an attention-grabbing avenue for experimentation while allowing bands to reach more people across more platforms than ever.

While extinction once seemed likely, the evolution continued instead

To stay up on the trends, the content of videos changed as well. Gone are the days of sexy female singers dancing in a leather one-piece to keep the viewer hooked. Millennials are so inundated with risqué and controversial content that hair-ography doesn’t provide the entertainment value it used to. Instead, we’ve watched the content evolve into abstract artistic performances that are unusual and out of the box (think anything Lady Gaga did before “A Star is Born”). And yes, music videos are still relevant.

With social media, tabloids, and numerous entertainment gossip shows constantly overexposing artists, the music video has become an art form musicians can hide behind. It is an outlet where they can express themselves and connect with their fans and share their story without even showing their face. Consider Rihanna’s decision to barely appear in Lemon. Instead of making another expected video that emphasizes her sex appeal, she showcased an amazing dancer. The vibe, intensity, and tone were perfect for the song and caught people’s attention. To the tune of over 100 million views on YouTube to date.

Up & comers

The music video not only allows viewers to connect to their favorite musicians, it also helps the up-and-comers get the attention they deserve. Through social media, music apps like Spotify and Pandora, and, of course, YouTube—the god of the video world itself—new artists are getting more exposure than ever.

For fans, the experience of falling in love with a new artist is incomplete if their new single isn’t accompanied by a music video that supports their brand. It doesn’t even have to be fancy, eccentric or expensive. Just check out this smooth and simple video from hip hop artist Jidenna. One easy location, one great visual effect to tie the tone together and one great performer—that’s all you need to create a music video that tells a story and hooks new fans.

The case for making a music video

  • People aren’t watching like they used to, they’re watching more! Aside from satisfying artistic expression and finding a new home through social media and apps, a big question still remains: Are people really watching music videos like they did before? The answer is a resounding NO! According to this article, Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” has 6.41 billion views. BILLION. People are not watching music videos like they used to. They are watching them MORE. They are also sharing with their friends and posting on social media more. And in more countries than ever.
  • The risk is low and opportunity for creative expression is high. The biggest question to any business-minded individual is whether the financial investment is worth the risk. In the case of producing music videos, the answer is a resounding YES! The potential to reach a widespread audience and the current acceptance of abstract creativity makes right now the perfect time to invest your time and talent in music videos.

Now all you need is to find a talented unknown band with the financial backing and commitment to a project. While we can’t help you with that, we can help with a lot of other things—like getting you in front of high-quality clients via our online database of searchable, vetted crews.

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

Creative editing techniques straight from Hollywood

Creative editing techniques straight from Hollywood 5408 3648 Dani Lyman

If you’ve ever had an interest in film, then you’re familiar with the handful of essential editing techniques like the jump cut, match cut, montage or dissolve. These simple actions used in diverse ways can lead to incredibly stylistic edits. They can evoke emotion, jar an audience, or make people laugh until it hurts. But art and technology are always evolvingespecially with visual effects—and there are a few new moves you may want to keep in mind for your next project. 

Continuous Shot

The awe-inspiring one shot—like Scorcese’s famous Goodfellas scene following Ray Liotta through the kitchen of a restaurant—is usually perfected in production.  With advanced editing software and a collaboration with a badass cinematographer and post team, editors can now perfect the look through the post. 

Birdman is the perfect example of how effective, moving, and even disorienting the one-shot look can be. An entire movie filmed and edited to look like it’s happening in real time elevated the one-camera documentary look. 

Check out this video essay‘s expert breakdown of the tricks used to execute this increasingly-popular technique.

Anything Tony Scott Ever Did

The late Tony Scott is an amazing example of forcing your own style and voice on a genre. In the early 2000s, the younger of the Scott brothers made a sub-genre of action films that was so jam packed with stylistic editing choices it either annoyed critics or created obsessed fans (like myself).

Tony and his brother are a solid 60% percent of the reason I went to film school. Marty Scorsese, The Godfather 2, and Guy Ritchie share the other 40%. While Tony’s distinct and notable style may be a bit outdated, the techniques can still be reworked for this generation.

Following are some of my favorites from his signature style: manipulating multiple layers, creating a blur effect, toying with time warps within a short scene, and tinkering with the exposure during high-impact, overly-emotional scenes or flashbacks. 

Some key techniques in Scott’s work you can include in your next project are  jump cuts, fast cutting, using loud sound design to jump with the cut, mutli-layers and flickering light and opacity. If you haven’t already seen it a hundred times, Man on Fire is an excellent study.

Cut to the Music

Have you seen Baby Driver? If you’re an editor, it’s non-negotiable. The elaborate planning and attention to detail that went into every cut started long before any footage made it to post. There was immense consideration about how to execute this dynamic vision in the early pre-production phase. Members of the post team were on set daily ingesting footage and making sure the take and timing were absolutely perfect to cut to the pre-selected music. 

The end result is fun, out-of-the-box and impressive as hell. 

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

When to rent versus buy camera equipment: Answers to your questions

When to rent versus buy camera equipment: Answers to your questions 2880 1767 Alicia East

It’s a lasting dilemma for film crews, production houses, and freelance camera people: Do I buy camera equipment or rent gear on a case-by-case basis? You may purchase the latest and greatest only to find it sitting on the shelf when the next best thing replaces it a month later. We talked to Pierre Habib of Dunia Films to take some of the mystery out of renting camera equipment.

Here’s what we found out.

What to think about no matter what:

Freelance video production gear maintenance comes with a cost. You can buy great gear and get quality images without having to spend an arm and a leg. But lower quality film equipment also has a tendency to get beat up more quickly. Video production is rigorous. Reputable rental companies can provide a replacement if something happens to your gear —a guarantee you may not be able to make yourself.

Not all cameras are created equally. Entry-level cameras depreciate in a couple of years. High-level ones have a longer shelf life. The camera that starts out filming high-budget films may be more appropriate for indies and TV commercials after a couple of years, but that still gives you time to ride the wave. If you buy something entry-level, consider selling before it depreciates completely and using that money to invest in your next piece of gear.

Grips are forever

Grip gear has been the same for the last 100 years and will remain so for the foreseeable future. You may upgrade your camera 35 times before you need a new jib. It maintains its value forever. That said, if you don’t want to haul your stuff around when traveling and spend big bucks checking an extra bag at the airport, you can rent grip gear for about $4 a day versus buying it new for $130.

…but lighting isn’t

Speaking of hauling crap around—LED lights are big, bulky and rapidly evolving. Like cameras, their value depreciates instantly. The second you walk out of the store with a new piece of lighting equipment, there will be something better and cheaper available. Keep this in mind as you determine how to best invest in your business.

A camera is never just a camera

With all their promise and sparkle, they are really fun to buy, but in order for it to be everything you want it to be, you will need to buy more than the device itself. If you can’t afford the accessories that make it functional, you can’t afford the camera. It’s that simple.

Four scenarios to buy camera equipment new:

  • If you will use the gear a lot. Check out rental houses’ day rates. They typically range from around 5% to 9% of the cost to own the equipment. So if you do the math and know you’ll use the gear for 20 days or more, you are better off buying.
  • The risks are low and the rewards are potentially high. Even if you don’t expect a piece of gear to be a large part of your business, if the technology isn’t too cost- or time-prohibitive, you don’t have much to lose. Now that the costs have come down, drones are a good example of a low-risk product. You can buy a low-end drone, get a ton of practice, and invest in something better later if you find it serves your business well. Dive in. Have fun.
  • You’ll make it a big portion of your business model. If your budget allows and you will use the equipment frequently—invest. It may be a financial stretch upfront, but if it brings new business or allows you to offer the best to your clients, it’s worth it.
  • You will get high value for your gear even if the technology quickly improves. If a product offers a huge value to the business today, who cares if something better and sleeker equipment is available later? Some dinosaur cameras like the MD MARK II give a look and feel that people love. If you can get a great deal on something like that and get great practice using it, you have nothing to lose.

What to think about when buying used or renting online:

Buy used when you don’t need the latest and greatest. Rental houses make money in two ways. They rent gear until they make a profit and then they sell the used gear. You can get something pretty great from their retail side at a much better price. The same applies online at places like lensauthority.com. By skipping brick and mortar, online companies are able to offer lower prices, but the lower cost comes with a downside. You don’t get a chance to see or test your equipment. And even with overnight shipping, any malfunction means waiting for replacement gear, which can be very costly when you have other crew members and a tight schedule.

Consider participating in a gear exchange site. KitSplit allows owners to rent their own gear out to make a few bucks and renters to find the gear they need from others in the film industry.

The bottom line

If you arm yourself with a little bit of info, you can make smart decisions about new technology.

This post originally appeared on ProductionHub here.

Enjoying our series on how to invest in your freelance company? With almost three decades in the industry, we have a lot of tips—and connections. Sign yourself up on Crew Connection for free and let our international clients come to you. Want to talk to one of our coordinators? Contact Us here or call us anytime at 303-526-4900.

How to crush your reality TV gig

How to crush your reality TV gig 150 150 Dani Lyman

I recently picked up a job as an editor in a world completely new to me, the land of unscripted television, otherwise known as, “reality TV.” Every entertainment medium comes with its own pitfalls and challenges, but reality is a game all its own. Tensions run high with tight deadlines, unpredictable shoot days and a complicated editing process. However, it’s a great opportunity to grow in your field while working on recognizable shows with big networks. The reward can be worth the work.

In order to get all the material you need to tell a cohesive story there’s a little behind the scenes maneuvering that needs to take place. Believe me, not everything is unveiling right before the camera lens.

Here are a few tips to make your carefully-planned TV show feel like reality:

Pre-production is still king

Whether your reality show is a DIY tiny house theme or a dramatic ladies-throwing-wine-on-other-ladies brand of TV, you still need to bury yourself in pre-pro. You still need permits to shoot at a restaurant or on public property. You still need a storyline created by skilled writers and a shot list to ensure your camera team gets every angle of that inevitable fight, arrest, or beauty shot. You need to know in advance where and when the main action is going to take place and have your team ready to go when everything erupts. Plan, plan, plan. That way, you earn the opportunity to be spontaneous.

Be ready for everything

As much as you can (and absolutely should) plan, the universe has a way of being unpredictable. Often, that’s when the best moments happen. Whether you’re a camera operator suddenly needing to chase a bad guy down over a fence, a writer switching storylines when a construction worker falls off the roof of a house, or a showrunner nurturing a scene that could take a different emotional direction, you always want to be ready to shift gears. Be flexible. Allow the story to unfold before you. Let it breathe and become what it’s meant to be. Don’t force it to be something you’ve designed. After all, the reality aspect is what is most intriguing to the viewer, isn’t it?

The edit is harder than you think

If you’re looking to sharpen your editing skills on a reality show, be prepared for long days (and nights) more footage than you know what to do with and tight, tight, tight turnarounds.

The process of logging, ingesting, and organizing footage from countless cameras is a days’-long process in itself. Then the process of grouping footage, reviewing with writers, making changes, and incorporating producers’ notes all takes place before the rough cut process even begins.  If you’re working with a professional company that has streamlined the process, numerous technical issues and mishaps will be sure to arise and wreak havoc on your perfectly-streamlined system.

Making a schedule with hard deadlines, keeping to it, and holding your team accountable is key. Even in the post-stage of a small show, it takes a large team of people working together in a timely manner.

Final notes

If you want to make your editor happy: SLATE EVERY SCENE!

If you want to make your producer happy: Take initiative and finish projects before they even ask.

And if you want to make your writers happy: Well… you let me know when you figure that one out.

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3 tips to slay your first EPK shoot

3 tips to slay your first EPK shoot 6371 4247 Dani Lyman

Over the years Crew Connection has provided talented crews for countless EPK shoots for movies and TV shows produced by major names. When done correctly, these gigs provide ongoing jobs, a very nice payday and great opportunity to shine. When done incorrectly… well, it can lead to a scarlet letter in the EPK game.

Here are a few tips to make your Electronic Press Kit shoot a massive success!

Professional Behavior is Everything

I know it should go without saying, but it really does need to be said: be professional. We work in an odd industry where off-color jokes and throwing temper tantrums after long hard days are the norm. However, if you want to take your business to the next level you need to walk and talk the part.

Have your crew dress in their best attire, say some “yes, sirs” and “yes, ma’ams,” leave the bickering and complaining behind the scenes and most importantly, I cannot stress this enough, it is so important, do not let anyone on your crew post pictures to social media of the talent, the set or anything revealing about the project!

Again, this really should go without saying, but, unfortunately, it really does need to be said.

Don’t act like star-struck fans, even though you are geeking out inside.

Lighting is Also Everything

There are a few key rules to lighting an EPK:

Don’t get too creative

Make the actors look good

Light for different platforms

EPK footage is intended for use by multiple media outlets. This isn’t a project you want to put your stylized stamp on. Instead, you want to deliver interview footage that can be used anywhere from website clips to E! News, without drawing attention to itself.  So, don’t bust your Tony Scott jagged camera motions out for this event. Instead, keep it fresh and consistent, make the actors look even more beautiful than their natural selves and turn over raw footage that will have the production company and future clients calling you back for more.

Make it Fun

Sometimes, this needs to be said as well. If you’re moving on to the EPK world for the first time, it can be overwhelming to be surrounded by the power players and celebrities. But, if you and your crew are laid back, relaxed, and professional, then the talent is more relaxed and that comes across on camera in a really noticeable way.

If it’s your place on set, give some advice for interesting questions that haven’t been asked yet, or tell a light joke to loosen up a tense actor. You and your crew can really help alleviate stress and create a better piece by controlling the atmosphere in the room.

Remember, you will be judged for the final project. Be professional, light to impress, and have fun! You’ll be sure to have clients knocking on your door.

 

About Crew Connection

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Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

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Most Anticipated Shows of the Summer

Most Anticipated Shows of the Summer 4871 3026 Dani Lyman

Summer! It’s a time for slowing down long enough to sip lemonade on the front porch or get lost in a book oceanside. And of course, long, scorching days and short evenings filled with thunderstorms mean we have also officially entered the season of hunkering down indoors to binge-watch our favorite TV shows.

Here are four sizzling summer hits

 

Stranger Things 3

America’s freedom isn’t the only thing to celebrate this Independence Day. July 4th, Netflix releases the third season of the fan favorite show, Stranger Things. Rumor has it that season three brings even more special effects as well as twists and turns. Always staying on brand to remind us of all the magic and fear of childhood, this season will take place during the summer with the tagline promise that “One summer can change everything.” Eight episodes will be released at once so prepare to binge.

Big Little Lies

The Monterey Five are back and trying to cope with life after covering up a murder. Their lies, trauma, and conscience catch up to them in this sizzling summer hit. Hollywood legend Meryl Streep joins the cast as Nicole Kidman’s mother-in-law who will stop at nothing to uncover the truth behind her son’s death. There has never before been a show filled with such a strong female cast. The performances are riveting, often painful and always truthful. If you missed them, you can catch up on the first two episodes now on HBO GO and OnDemand.

Snowfall

The return of Snowfall has everyone talking this summer after co-creator John Singleton’s unexpected death in April. Singleton left his mark on Hollywood creating powerful films as both producer and director. His success led to the hit drama that tells the story of the crack cocaine epidemic that emerged in the 1980s. Singleton leaves behind a legacy of controversial films which force viewers to contemplate tough issues like racism, prejudice, and the culture and hardships of underprivileged black youths in America. Snowfall piggybacks off these themes while resonating with a modern America. The third season premiers on FX July 10th and will stay true to the voice and tone Singleton helped to define in this breakout series.

Surprise Sleeper Hit?

Danny McBride returns to HBO with a new comedy that is sure to strike a chord with American viewers. Always one to push the envelope, this one will likely incite some backlash, but the trailer alone is enough to conjure up some laughs. We don’t recommend this show for everyone, but if it sparks your curiosity you can catch the not-so-family-friendly trailer here.

 

Summer movies to make you feel like a kid again

Summer movies to make you feel like a kid again 150 150 Dani Lyman

This summer movie theaters are sure to be packed with a new generation of viewers who will be introduced to some of our favorite childhood characters. However, kids’ movies aren’t just made for kids these days. Those of us who grew up with beloved characters such as Aladdin, Simba, and Agent Jay will also flock to theaters in droves to revisit our childhood.

I was one of the millions of viewers who rushed to the theater over Memorial Day weekend to witness Guy Ritchie’s fantastical live-action version of Aladdin. Sitting in my reclining leather chair, reminiscing on how different things were when I was a kid, I couldn’t help but wonder why the remakes, reboots, and sequels appeal to us older folk as much as they do to the children.

The performances are charismatic, the humor delightful, the choreographed action sequences captivating and the brilliant colors are mesmerizing. So, no doubt, viewers of varying ages will be entertained. But, at the core, this was a story about true love in the form of friendship, romance, and family. A kind of love that is truthful, accepting, forgiving and willing to put others ahead of our own agenda. It was touching and challenged the viewer to reflect on their own self-worth and motives.

Perhaps as adults, we get so caught up in the rat race of life that we forget the simple principles we learned as children. These nostalgic reboots serve as a reminder of the innocence of childhood. They are also pure entertainment.

Here are 3 movies hitting theaters this summers that are sure to make you feel like a kid again!

The Lion King

Simba comes of age as you’ve never seen him before on July 19th. James Earl Jones reprises his role as Mufasa with a voice full of wisdom that will certainly spark childhood memories.

Toy Story 4

On June 20th, your favorite toys come to life on the big screen (and not in the murderous Child’s Play way, that’s a different movie that also releases that weekend)! Tom Hanks and Tim Allen bring life to Woody and Buzz alongside a cast of great voice actors, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Jordan Peele and many more.

Men in Black: International

A new generation of alien-capturing agents hit theaters this Friday! Not only is Chris Hemsworth sure to draw a crowd (both young and more mature), but Tessa Thompson will introduce a new female hero as the first woman MIB agent.

Here’s to the magic of childhood, summer, and the big screen.

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Why you should hire a child wrangler for your next shoot

Why you should hire a child wrangler for your next shoot 1440 1440 Dani Lyman

Kids are the best! They are adorable, sweet, funny and can really elevate a video project. But they are also unpredictable, illogical and unreliable. That’s where the Child Wrangler comes in! It is one of the most challenging yet important jobs in video production.

Here are 4 reasons you need to hire an expert Child Wrangler if your next shoot calls for a tiny human actor!

They are good with kids

This may sound like a no brainer, but some people have this gift with children that many of the rest of us (including myself) just do not have. They understand them and can talk to them in that special way that keeps them engaged without being condescending. I have looked on flabbergasted at the way one person can, almost magically, guide a child into an action or mood. A Child Wrangler is that gifted kind of human being. They’re the kind of person you would want working with your own child.

They understand video production

In addition to being great with children, a Child Wrangler also understands the ins and outs of video production. Kids may not have a concept of the monetary value of time on a set, but a Child Wrangler does. They’ll have their actors ready for their scene on time. They also respect the AD and the Director and help children to do the same. They help the production flow smoothly and efficiently. Someone who thinks like a producer and is also good with kids is a rare gem in the video world!

They know how to talk to parents

Have you ever tried to tell a parent what to do with their child? I wouldn’t recommend it. Directors, producers and ADs are often so focused on the outcome of the project that they may overlook the necessary empathetic small talk a video pro needs to engage in with parents. An expert Child Wrangler knows how to make parents feel like a valued part of the production while also making them feel confident that they can hand their child over to the process.

They advocate for children on set

An experienced Child Wrangler will be able to recognize and properly communicate with the production team if a child needs a break, is too sick to work, or isn’t on their game and needs more rehearsal time. They can be the voice for children who are incapable of speaking up for themselves. We’ve heard horror stories of child actors being taken advantage of and dealing with lifelong trauma from working in the production world. An expert Child Wrangler will fight for the child actor’s rights in a professional manner. By adding a Child Wrangler to your video production team, you are helping to ensure the safety of the child you’re working with. Isn’t that what’s most important?

Working with children is no doubt a difficult experience in any field! By adding the right expert to your team you can eliminate some of the hassle and make for a fun, safe and successful environment for child actors on your next shoot.

 

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post-production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.