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Wanna make moving pictures? Jon Moritsugu shows you how

January 12, 2010, 12:00 am
By SFR Staff
The Realities of Low-Budget Movie-Making and Distribution
with Jon Moritsugu


10 am-5 pm
Saturday, Jan. 16


$50

Warehouse 21
1614 Paseo de Peralta
989-4423


Movie-making, at the risk of being Captain Obvious, is not easy. Anyone can get a camcorder at Best Buy, enlist a few friends who agree to be paid in pizza and beer, and go out into the woods with a script written on Microsoft Word. But it takes a lot more to really get into legit filmmaking. Of course, this isn't to say that the Best Buy-pizza-Microsoft movie won't be awesome, but if you're really serious about what you're doing, you may want to invest a little more time, effort and—yes—money.

Enter Santa Fe filmmaker Jon Moritsugu. SFR writer Rani Molla profiled Moritsugu in our Aug. 5, 2009 SFR Talk (Underground Arrival), where he revealed that it was not a generous private donor, but instead a serious injury that funded his first four films (kinda like Seth Rogen's character in Knocked Up, who was hit by a Canadian postal truck when he was a kid and, in his late 20s, was still living off the damages—yeah, we're cultured, we can make film references too!). We can't all be as lucky (err, lucky?), but we can find ways to scrounge up some money for low-low-low budget films—or, barring that, figure out how to make the film without the cash.

This weekend, Moritsugu teaches an intense one-day workshop titled "The Realities of Low-Budget Movie-Making and Distribution." The workshop hinges on two basic tenets of Santa Fe lifestyle: Many of us want to make films, and most of us are broke. Moritsugu has created films costing anywhere from $100 to $360,000, so he's seen both sides of the coin (though, in some circles, $360,000 is also petty cash). His films have screened at Sundance and Toronto film festivals, the Guggenheim and Whitney museums and numerous international venues.

For $50, Moritsugu clues workshop attendees in on all aspects of the movie industry, from finding cheap labor to not getting burned by scams and con artists. The workshop, he warns, is not for film fans—it's for serious budding film makers. It's okay if you don't have all the best equipment (Moritsugu filmed his movie Fame Whore on 16-mm film and was thus disqualified from the Academy Awards—but he's still down with the lo-fi), but have the best attitude and you've got a good chance of making it.

 

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