Methodology is Proven

It is one filmmaker on her or his own plus some actors in the new methodology.

It Just Takes One

It was just a few years ago that the methodology was proven. The idea was to show that it was possible for one person to write, direct, film, act in, edit and more, their own motion picture. As we’ve mentioned in the past, we only got to the point of editing on the project, but all along the way to that point was done by a single individual.

A Part of the Evolution

What does this mean to USA filmmaking? It shows a foreshadowing of what it to come. There may always be blockbusters that employ hundreds of artisans, but the single person filmmaker will likely evolve as a method of making movies.

Become an ArtisticPreneur

Even the business end can be done by the same person filming, thanks to the introduction of the ArtisticPreneur in the domain of Entertainment Entrepreneurship. And now USA How To, the experts of “How To” have stepped in to document the technique.

The Journey of Chazz Palminteri


A Journey From Stage to Screen

The primary goal and mission of DocuMystery is to explore no budget filmmaking methodologies, often times in the mystery genre. We’re definitely making an exception to that right now. Many of you have probably heard of Chazz Palminteri and his journey from writing and performing a one man show called “A Bronx Tale” that lead to a movie of the same name with Robert De Niro and then runs on Broadway, both with his one man show as well as a version that was a Broadway musical. Quite a process. A special thanks to Mental Floss for the content and inspiration used in this post.

A Process that Helped Director and Actor

On September 29, 1993, the now-defunct Savoy Pictures distributed the coming-of-age crime drama A Bronx Tale, starring Robert De Niro and Chazz Palminteri. It was based on a one-man show Palminteri had started performing in Los Angeles in 1989, and then performed it Off-Broadway the same year. Palminteri ended up writing the screenplay and using it as a vehicle to act in the film, whereas De Niro used the script to make his directorial debut.

Partially Based on Real Life

The film, which is set in the Bronx in the 1960s, centers on a kid named Calogero “C” Anello who witnesses a mafia boss, Sonny (Palminteri), murder someone. As Calogero grow ups, he sees Sonny as a father figure but also copes with his own father’s (De Niro) advice. Partly based on Palminteri’s own life (yes, he really witnessed a murder), the semi-autobiographical film grossed $17.2 million against a $10 million budget.

Made Into a Broadway Musical

In 2007, Palminteri resurrected the play on Broadway, and in 2016 A Bronx Tale: The Musical began performances on Broadway. Palminteri wrote the book and De Niro co-directed with Jerry Zaks. After 700 regular performances, the musical closed on August 5, 2018 (though it’s now on tour).

Turning Early Defeats to Victories

While living in Los Angeles and trying to be an actor in the ’80s, Palminteri worked various jobs, including a gig as a bouncer at a nightclub. “One night a guy was going to come in, and he was very rude to me,” Palminteri told The A.V. Club. “I told him I wasn’t going to let him in, he got mad and told me that I’d be fired in 15 minutes. I said, ‘Sure sure, everyone tells me that.’ That man turned out to be Swifty Lazar, the biggest agent in the world at the time—this was 1989—and sure enough, 15 minutes later I did get fired.”

Creating a One Man Show

Palminteri went home and considered his options. “I thought that if no one was going to give me a great part—and it was very difficult to break into film, obviously—then I’d write one myself.” He wrote the play in increments—every week he wrote more and performed the material at Los Angeles’s Theatre West. “I really honed it and sharpened it,” he said. “About 10 months or a year later, I had a 90-minute one-man show.”

Sticking to an Artistic Vision

Palminteri’s play garnered enough buzz that studios offered anywhere from $250,000 to $1 million to purchase the story rights, but they didn’t want Palminteri to act in it, as he wasn’t a big enough name. De Niro saw the play and decided to help Palminteri out. “At first, I didn’t want anything in the ingredients if I did a film of it—I wanted a totally clean slate—but I saw it and liked it and liked Chazz,” De Niro told Interview Magazine. “While he was writing the screenplay I said, ‘Let me make this clear. If you give it to a studio, they’ll pay you for it and people will get involved and they’ll give the Sonny part to another actor. If you give it to me now, I can guarantee you’ll be in it and we’ll set it up our own way and I’ll have more control, which is what I want. I don’t want any producer getting in the way and telling me what to do.’ I didn’t want all that mishmoshing—I knew what had to be done.”

Breaking Through the Stereotype

In real life, Palminteri’s father was a school bus driver and a saxophone player. “Too many movies speak about us as just gombas or Mafioso,” Palminteri told Roger Ebert. “I wanted a movie about the working man, about a real Italian-American community. The real fabric comes from working men. My dad was similar to Lorenzo. I used to see him put his boots on in the morning to go out and drive the bus. He’d get up in the rain, the snow, smiling, just to make his children’s lives better. That’s all he wanted. No dreams to be this, or that. To me, a man like that is a hero, and I wanted the movie to reflect that.”

Finding an Actor

In casting the film, De Niro wanted to hire non-actors from New York. “One day Marco Greco, who was casting for us, was on Jones Beach and he saw this kid and asked him if he wanted to audition for us,” De Niro told Roger Ebert. “The kid says, ‘You’re not looking for me. You’re looking for my brother.’ And his brother, Lillo Brancato, came out of the water, and started doing impersonations of me and Joe Pesci in Goodfellas. He was great. He was perfect for C. It always excites me to work with people who are new, who fit. To create this world—this medieval village in the Bronx—I needed real teenagers, not actors trying to be teenagers.”

A Warning from an On Screen Father

Soon after the film’s release, Brancato became an in-demand actor, even starring in season two of The Sopranos. But his on-screen father warned him about the trappings of fame. “De Niro came to my house in spring or summer of 1993, not only to warn me, but also my parents,” Brancato told People. “My parents are Italian immigrants and knew nothing about show biz and the temptations that lie ahead. De Niro talked about the changes that will occur in my life. He said this can be very dangerous if not handled the right way.”

A Prison Sentence

Unfortunately, Brancato did not heed De Niro’s advice and ended up serving eight years of a 10-year prison sentence following a 2005 attempted robbery that led to the death of a New York City police officer. Brancato was found guilty of attempted burglary but acquitted of murder. His co-defendant was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The Challenges of Being an Actor and Director

Because it was De Niro’s first time directing, he turned to regular collaborator Martin Scorsese for some tips. “I asked certain things about the way you do this or that,” De Niro told Interview Magazine. “I also talked to other actors who have turned directors, like Danny DeVito. I guess I felt that I’d be okay. I didn’t want to build up some kind of fear of it. Directing yourself isn’t stressful—you’re just a bit uncomfortable, because when you’re acting, you have to set your mind in a certain way, and then you have to direct everybody else.”

Real Life and Movie Life Merge

Eddie Mush was a gambler both in the movie and in real life. During a racetrack scene in the movie, Mush, Sonny, and Calogero bet on the same horse, Kryptonite, and lose. “We were looking for someone to play Bad Luck Eddie Mush, the guy who is a jinx,” Palminteri told Roger Ebert. “We couldn’t find anyone. Finally I told Bob [De Niro] the real guy, Eddie Montanaro, was still around, 63 years old. Bob saw him and cast him—but I was worried, because Eddie really does bring bad luck, and sure enough, the first day he worked, it rained.”

Doing a New Kind of Role

In 1993, De Niro told Interview Magazine he thought casting himself in the movie would “get it off the ground more easily.” He had already promised Palminteri the role of Sonny, a part De Niro could’ve played, but the role of Lorenzo—Calogero’s father—was more interesting to De Niro. “I hadn’t done this kind of part, and it’s something really different, and I wanted to do it for that reason, because people would expect me to play Sonny. As Lorenzo, I had my own experiences to draw on, and it’s something closer to me because of my kids. I have a son Lillo’s age.”

An Onscreen Romance

One of the film’s main storylines focuses on Calogero’s romance with Jane (Taral Hicks), a black girl from the neighborhood. De Niro told Interview Magazine the plotline almost got excised, but he wanted to keep it in. “People would say, ‘Just make it between a father and a son—that’s really a story in itself,’ which it was. But I felt that to take away any one of those elements would be wrong. The part with Jane is the one part that you didn’t expect, and for that reason alone I didn’t want to take it out. There’s a beginning, middle, and end to this whole relationship. It happens fast. They meet and fall in love and boom!—they come together.”

Help Getting off the Ground

The chairman and CEO of Sony Music—who’s also known as Mariah Carey’s first husband—helped get the musical off the ground. In an interview with The A.V. Club, Palminteri said it was the Bronx-born Tommy Mottola who suggested adapting the film into a Broadway musical. (He ended up producing it.) “Even though I had been trying to do one for years, it was him who put it on his back and made it happen,” Palminteri said. “If not for Tommy Mottola, it would not have happened. He put his money where his mouth was.”

Choosing Love over Fear

During a 2016 interview on The Today Show, Palminteri explained why he thinks the film and musical still resonate today. “There’s the black neighborhood and the Italian neighborhood, and what A Bronx Tale talks about is how people can come together,” he said. “One of the main aspects of the play is: Is it better to choose love or fear? Because Sonny studied Machiavelli in jail. He tells the boy, ‘What do you choose, love or fear?’ In the end, Sonny ends up choosing love. So I think that’s why it’s so relevant today.”

Introducing DIYdigi


Your Website

DocuMystery deals in digital filmmaking but it also explores digital marketing and collaborates with DigiComArts. DigiRefer in turn provides DigiComArts And there’s a new kid in town named DIYdigi. As the name implies it is a do it yourself digital system with a twist. DIY, unlike Wix, SquareSpace and Godaddy, will make your website for you.

eBook Learning

And another difference is that they will also create digital marketing tools for you that will be used by you in a DIY manner to get new customers. They will help you be DIY by supplying you with some of their educational eBooks in PDF form.

Full Service Option

Additionally, you will be given links to several videos so you can teach yoursel how to best use the tools for a maximum result. And if DIY doesn’t appeal to you, DIYdigi also offers full-service alternatives so that updating your tools each month for a new campaign does not fall upon you.

Learn from Mistakes

This really is a complete method that is ever evolving as DIYdigi perfects it. In fact, DIYdigi.com loves it when clients give them feedback so that they can make the approach better. In order to do this the client needs to activily doing campaigns to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Get New Customers

DIYdigi is a brand-new group. They are just starting out but have a great amount of marketing knowledge among themselves. They decided to put together a step by step methodology that enables the users to get new customers.

Tools Made for You

You may be familiar with “How to Get New Customers” which does just what their name implies. HGNC loves that NIYdigi has entered the arena because now there finally is a collective that is capable of developing tools that “How to Get New Customers” needs in order to get new customers. This organization also works with DigiComArts and DigiRefer.

Hold on to Your Customers

Of course, it’s not just about getting new customers but it also concerns the very real problem of keeping your customers once you get them. You ideally don’t want a heavy turnaround. You want to hold onto your customers.

Contact

Built into the fabric of DIYdigi.com is retention. Retention is executed through the monthly campaigns just as getting new customers is. Both problems are tackled at the same time. How do you learn more about campaigns? Contact DIYdigi.

Newsletter for Contact

The best way to get in touch with DIYdigi is to sign up for the USAcreate.com Newsletter. This subscribing action is done on the USAcreate website. And when you subscribe for free you will receive weekly marketing tips and behind the scenes of developing their marketing materials.

Free PDF eBook

Also free is a 10-day email course about marketing. Additionally, when signing up, you get a free instantly downloadable eBook that contains a checklist of all the things you will need to do a 19 part campaign. The eBook is also free.

New Free Option from USA Create

Both USA eLearning and USA Create have collaborated on bringing you new and educational DigiComArts tools!


A Great Option

Over the years DocuMystery.com has come into contact with a lot of different Online Marketing Arts solutions to be able to promote your DocuMystery creation. But never before have we stumbled upon a better free option than this which is a collaboration between USA Create and DigiRefer plus others.

A Big Apple Project so You Know You’re Going to Want to Take a Bite!

The USAcreate.com Newsletter is a free weekly newsletter that comes to you direct from New York City which is one of the most competitive areas in terms of offering Online Marketing Arts Services. And when you start to receive your free newsletter you’ll begin to understand why USAcreate.com is so successful in the challenging Manhattan, NY.

Works for You Regardless of Your Business or Career

Getting your instantly downloadable free checklist and eBook is very helpful because the publication has all in one place, the kinds of tools that you are going to need in order to be competitive in the marketplace of whatever is your particular business or career.

At No Cost to You

The 10 Day Email Course is an awesome way to, in only 10 days, get a perspective on how to market yourself. A new email is conveniently delivered to your inbox with information informing you of your DigiComArts tools options. And the best thing is that it is at no cost to you. Go to USA Create now.

You’re Not Going to Pass This Up for Your DocuMystery

Although the newsletter, checklist and email course information and knowledge can be applied to any type of business or career, it is especially useful to those of your who are developing documystery projects. And you know if DigiRefer is involved it is going to be good.

No Need to Pay for Marketing

Your documystery projects will be benefited by knowning the free tools you have access to to increase the audience for your documystery once you finish using them. You’ll get an education on how to promote your project, without even paying anything if you so decide!

The Filmmaking Methodology Evolves


Taking the Hassle Out of Filmmaking

Many thanks to DigRefer and Entertainment Entrepreneurship. I was one of those artists selected for the think tank that was done in conjunction with Thrillumentary. We had a great time deconstructing the way films are being made in the digital age but then took it one step further and developed a process for those who are solopreneurs, usually introverts, who want to make motion pictures but without having the hassle of coordinating a large group. In the case of what we developed it was only dependent on having actors, but surely soon this will be a time of digital actors, with animation of realistic looking figures.

Avoid Pain

I love the way that the discussion of what we did was based in the concept of emerging artist being and info seller. The key being that the information was solving some problem of some audience who really needed the solution. And of course since in this day and age there are many possible solutions involving media, the recommended technique is to try to solve a problem that hurts. Avoiding pain as a solution always trumps a solution that just solves a problem.

Gradually Your Art Becomes the Star

People want to avoid pain, and if there is a way for them to do so, you will have a valuable info product. And remember dear artists of all kinds, you can initially show your art alongside the info, then as time progresses because many will have been exposed to your art through your info projects, many of them will become fans of your art. That’s where you can start inching closer and closer to not having to be so much info-solving-problem-oriented. Your art can become the star instead of your info.

Find the Solution

And I loved how Entertainment Entrepreneurship recognized the importance of having an info product that appealed a great deal to your audience. One way of finding the right solution to a problem is through doing research. It can be somewhat informal, with the goal being to find out first hand how your solution resonates or maybe does not. Simply go on to another idea or even get the research subject actively involved potentially giving you the solution to the problem you need!

Are You the One?

Funny how DigiRefer felt that solopreneur’s are an often ignored demographic. I quite agree but had never really thought about as such with such focus. They are an underserved demographic ripe for bringing solutions to! Are YOU the one to do so?

Elevator Speech

Are you a documystery filmmaker who also does other media services for clients? If yes then you have likely heard of the term “Elevator Pitch” meaning being able to talk about what you do for a living in the length of time it would take you to ride in an elevator.

Now that USA Create is a reality, the founder of it is adding the collective into his elevator speech. We show you now his elevator speech at the time of writing this which could change/evolve at any moment to something else. Here now it is it at the present moment:

“Hi. I’m a Website Marketing Guy therefore you can reach me at WebsiteMarketingGuy.com. I have a company called USAcreate. We create online marketing made in the USA. What makes us different from other marketing companies is that we specialize in promoting those in the mind/body/spirit space and have created a special website just for that which is called MarketYourJourney.com. The concept is that your story is your most powerful promotional tool. What’s your story?”

So there you have it. Things that our founder talks about in the elevator. What’s your elevator speech?

Publicity is Easier to Get than Ever Before

Market Your Movie

It used to be difficult to promote. There was only a few options and these were run by people who were gatekeepers. Now with social media it is a simple task to “put out there” your latest project. The only problem is that everyone is doing it and some are more successful at it than others. In other words you can get lost in the shuffle.

Market Your Process

Are you working on a movie and would like to be able to market your process? Then it is important to to align yourself with allies, specifically bloggers. In this brief article ArtisticPreneur gives some tips on why and how to do this.

ArtisticPreneur.com Gets New Page

Jumping for joy over ArtisticPreneur'com's Web Page
At DocuMystery.com we’re jumping for joy over ArtisticPreneur.com’s new page.

Under a Microscope

A website that we watch closely here at DocuMystery Central is ArtisticPreneur.com. Why? Because this website leans toward being an informational marketing site.

ArtisticPreneurial Growth

The rumor is that ArtisticPreneur.com has planned on adding several new pages in the next couple of months. As of this writing there is a new pull-down submenu in the About section. The name of the new page is Mission and Vision.

Out of its Element

The interesting thing about the new page is that fact that it has a Mission and Vision at all. It’s usually nonprofit sites that do this. Also when we read the Mission and Vision it proved to be very idealistic. The collective of media artists freelancers at ArtisticPreneur.com tend to be realists, or even cynical.

Is America Getting Better or Worse?

How then does a group of realists put as their Mission/Vision page something so clearly full of “hope?” I mean, isn’t the evidence out there that our country has been hijacked? Things keep getting worse and worse. How then the hope?

Hoping for Hope

Having hope is something some artists have. We hope hope will spread along the lines of this pull-down submenu.

How to Make a No Budget DocuMystery

No Budget Movie
You probably already have a mobile phone and a computer. And that’s all you need to make a no budget film. In fact, if need be, you could not only shoot your movie on your phone but even edit your movie with it!

Want to Make a Documystery but don’t have a Budget? Not a Problem. This Blog post Will Show You How.

First off. Recognize the resources that you have available to you. Or as the folks at NoFilmSchool.com put it:

“Take stock of what you have and make a movie about it: Just looking around my office I’ve got handcuffs, an old Kodak Duaflex II, and an interesting crawl space inside a closet. Boom! Movie about a serial killer who handcuffs his victims inside a crawl space and takes photos of them right before he kills them.”

Two in One?

The next step is really two in one. The writing of the screenplay and the possible use of improvisation per WikiHow.com:

“If you have a plan, write a screenplay. It doesn’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to follow it 100%. It just gives you a great outline to start with. If you want, you can just write the scenes and have the actors improvise their lines.”

Shooting Your Masterpiece

Now that you’re officially in production here are some tips from FilmConnection.com:

“Don’t worry about filming in sequence. You might have to work around people’s schedules, so shoot out of order if necessary. This can be fixed in editing. Remember to be careful not to “cut” the scene pre-maturely. Some of the best films were created during the “unscripted” moments. Also, don’t forget to take close-ups and different angles of the same scene to have plenty of footage to use when editing.”

Editing and Promoting Your Film

We’ve lumped these two steps together because you really should be promoting your film all along.

Meanwhile, there are tons of really inexpensive or even free types of editing software out there. Pick one and learn how to use it as you are editing your movie.

What about promotion and marketing? A lot of people use social media to do so which is fine. But if you do, make sure you are willing to stay the course. By this we mean start documenting the behind-the-scenes of your movie from the very beginning if possible, followed by presenting every stage of your filmmaking process.

A Behind-the-Scenes Blog?

Don’t under estimate the power of doing a free blog. If you can update your blog as much as possible. And also be sure to link all your social posts to your blog.

What About Distribution?

Try to do this without spending anything on it. Check on Vimeo’s latest options as well as consider using YouTube’s “unlisted” option which means only those with the link can actually find your finished motion picture.

Congratulations, you’re done!

Time to start on your next picture.

DocuMystery Filmmakers: Become a Guest Blogger or Interviewee if You are Working in the Thrillumentary Genre as well as are Inspired by the 1968 version of “Night of the Living Dead”

Judith O'Dea of "Night of the Living Dead" inspired the DocuMystery and Thrillumentary genres.
Our in person interview with Judith O’Dea of the 1968 version of “Night of the Living Dead” inspired the development of the DocuMystery and Thrillumentary genres and filmmaking processes.

Movie Process

Calling all those of you out there who have made a film using a cell phone on an extremely low or no budget. If you would like to be an Interviewee or Guest Blogger on the DocuMystery website and blog, we would love to hear from you. You can get in contact with us here.

We believe that if you know the process then you can make a movie. And a great source for us to learn about the no budget filmmaking approach consists of those who have worked on motion pictures such as the amazing 1968 version of “Night of the Living Dead.”

And as luck would have it, we at Lights Camera Read landed an interview with Judith O’Dea who plays Barbara, the leading role in the “Night of the Living Dead.” She gave the interview for a good cause which was helping the nonprofit sponsored organization Lights Camera Read with its educational DigiComArts Workshops  at the New York Public Library.

Ms. O’Dea had lots to say about a number of different topics that included how to break into the industry as an actor, why “Night of the Living Dead” has remained popular for so long, as well as of course some of the filmmaking process strategies that were implemented on “Dead.” Unfotunately we are unable to provide a transcript of the interview which was shot using video.

Thrillumentary

Another film in the DocuMystery genre includes the digital movie experiment known as “Thrillumentary.” Thrillumentary started a day by day documenting of their process in August of 2016. The filmmaker stuck to only doing three steps a day taking him from development to getting the movie “in the can” by 2018. Although the picture was not edited, most important to him was that it proved that you could make a motion picture with virtually no budget and no crew.

It should be noted that the “DocuMystery” genre as well as the “Thrillumentary” one intersect at many points. And that’s not all, they both utilize a specific methodology. It’s a little known fact that this methodology is called The MultiMedia Movie Making Matrix and Methodology or the 6M approach. But enough with the shop talk, the most important thing is that it is…

Your Turn Now!

As we mentioned we are looking for those who work in the “Thrillumentary” and “DocuMystery” genres as well as utilize a “No Budget” technique. Please contact us now with a link to your work. If we are interested we will contact you to be a Guest Blogger or Interviewee.

We are additionally interested in those who are making movies and using “Product Placement” to help cover the budget. This was an approach that was used successfully by Digital Marketer Y. Stamas back in 2012.

You can also reach us through the folks at DigiRefer which is a site that if you’re a digital freelancer you should get in touch with. Looking forward to hearing from you!