March 22nd, 2009Announcement: Welcome

Our focus is new film-makers in Philadelphia who are going to direct or produce but who don’t have the time or money for film school.   We have low-cost self-contained workshops to give you the necessary skills or information on a particular topic — in in just one or two  sessions.

I was invited by Project 21 festival folks, to give a presentation on fund-raising and financing indie films. This will not be the usual training about equity investors, bank loans, completion bonds, etc.  Why?  Because it’s 2009 and the finance world is tremulous and traditional pathway may be even more difficult for new filmmakers than ever before.

So I will present some relatively new alternatives. I will show participants how, they could get $10,000 to $25,000 in 3 months, make their movie in Philadelphia, and then distribute it through new media channels.  Some new methods allow filmmakers more control over their film than through most traditional routes.


International House Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut St. The conference rooms are on the 2nd Floor. Check back for specific room details as when they become available.


Sunday, October 4th. From 1:30 PM – 3:15 PM


$10 — please pay at the door unless you already have a pass for the festival. (Proceeds go to the Project 21 festival.)

NOTE:  This session is first come, first served. This is a festival environment: people with festival passes can get in for free. So arrive early increases your chances of getting in.



First we discuss how to make your movie project solid so that you can get money through multiple channels. It’s about building the basics: script, production schedule, budget, the package and the film business plan. The same items you need to go the traditional route can also be used to get funding through other channels.


We then discuss traditional sources for financing and distribution, such as co-productions, government & state incentives, pre-selling, equity investors,  gap financing, negative pickups, etc.


I will present at least 7 strategies to get your $10,000 to $25,000 in the short term (about 3 months). We will discuss ways to parlay this (maneuvering your assets to build up your assets). Then we discuss a brand new financial strategy – unveiled here first – the Producer Train.

These images are from “A Complete Guide to Special Effects Makeup:  Conceptual Artwork by Japanese Makeup Artists” by Graphic-Sha.   Click on them to see more detail.


When I first saw these images and then saw the how-to pages in the same book that showed how to get some of these effects, I realized that I didn’t know what was possible or how much effects cost or how long they took.   I could not successfully budget or schedule a movie that had a lot of special effects make up.

Most film / video / television productions need make up or special effect make-up.  But most new directors and producers may not know what’s possible.  Without good information and planning they can wind up with little or no make up for their actors, unconvincing special effects make up for critical scenes, and/or laughable monsters.

Lee Simms has put together comprehensive workshops to address these issues and deliver great effects.  Please see  the 4-page PDF workshop outlines below.

These two workshops are for indie filmmakers–especially new directors and producers–that are working on films, TV projects, or trailers to get funding. The knowledge gained in these workshops can significantly raise the quality your visuals, and make your leads more attractive and your monsters thoroughly disgusting. The cost of the workshops should pay you back many times over in saved money and saved time on the set.





WORKSHOP DATE: Saturday,  September 19th, 2009

Session 1 :  Make Up for Documentaries and Dramatic Characters: Noon to 2:30 PM

Session 2.  Special Effects Make-up for Film and Video: 3:00 PM to 5:30 PM

COST:  $25 per session or $40 for both sessions.

WORKSHOP LOCATION: LAVAZONE 4134 Lancaster Avenue. Street parking and public transportation (trolley and bus) are very available.


Both workshops are taught by Lee Simms,  licensed cosmetologist, and special effects make-up artist.

Both workshops are taught by Lee Simms.

Lee Simms, a cosmetologist with over 20 years of experience, specializes in creating special makeup effects with very little to no money. She also specializes in prosthetic make-up, foamed gelatin, severed body parts and the airbrush. She’s worked on a number of indie movies including “Out of Control”, “Monkey Paw” and “With Honors”. Lee currently works regularly with Gary Miller and Jen Murphy at RDS Productions. They’ve produced the short “Another Drop of Blood” and the recently released “Wet Kiss”.

Your motion picture project may require many kinds of make up –aging, sickness, beauty, injury, covering or creating tattoos,  or aliens, zombies, vampires,  fantasy creatures,  etc. With little or no dollars to spare you can:

1. Decide the budget for make up or special effects – including materials, artists, and make-up PAs.

2. Decide how to find an experienced make-up artist in Philly and how to train a PA quickly.

3. Decide how many make up people are needed on the set and what to pay them.

4. Decide how much time you should budget for prepping, making up, and clean up.

5. If you or a PA are doing this yourself learn where you can shop for the materials you need.

6. Learn how format (HD, film, video, etc) will affect some make-up decisions.

7. Learn how to cover tattoos or add them convincingly.


Please enter in your name,  phone number  and email address.  Then press the “Pay Now” button.

You will be given the option of paying either with PayPal or with a credit card.    If you have any questions or problems please call 215-384-3508.


Anders Uhl

Anders Uhl

NOTE: This course is 3 consecutive evenings:  Monday August 17th to Wednesday August 19th, from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM.  The cost is $75 for all three evenings.  To reserve a seat you must pay in advance, online. [Please look below the announcement for the Paypal/Credit Card options.]

For Whom: For film-makers (especially directors and producers) who are about to do a dramatic or documentary film and who want to learn how to determine and maintain a cohesive visual style.

When: (Mon to Weds) August 17th, 18th, and 19th from 6:30PM – 9:00 PM

Where: LAVAZONE 4134 Lancaster Avenue, Philly PA  19104

How long: Each evening session lasts 2 and 1/2 hours.

How Much: . All three sessions are $75 total.    Note: To reserve a seat participants must pay online in advance.


Anders Uhl, Instructor

In this course you will learn to develop a visual philosophy and structure for your film.

Topics covered will include:

ª Determining and maintaining a cohesive visual style for your film

ª Basic cinematographic principles as they apply to directing a film

ª Use of color (hue, chroma, lightness), contrast and sharpness

ª Choosing an appropriate shooting format

ª Attributes of different medium, formats and aspect ratios

ª Testing and collaboration with cinematographer and production designer

ª Composition and the creative use of lenses

We will discuss different approaches and styles that help to build the tone, pace and atmosphere of a film. By the end of the course you will have a solid foundation for defining the look of a film.  You will have a strong knowledge of the primary elements of pre-production as it applies to the cinematography of a film.

The class will be a combination of discussion, viewing examples and technical hand-outs.

Anders Uhl is a professional Director and award winning Cinematographer.  He has lectured and taught at Columbia College in Chicago, The New York Film Academy and The School of Visual Arts and Filmtech as well as working as an instructor to professional members of The International Cinematographers Guild.  He has worked on projects at all budget levels from indie features to documentaries, music videos and television commercials.


To reserve a seat for all 3 workshops (cost: $75)  please enter in your name, phone number, and email address.  Then press the “Pay Now” button.  You will be given the option of paying through PayPal or you can continue through checkout and pay with a credit card.    If you have any questions or problems please call 215-253-4390.

July 30th, 2009Thank You!

Thank you for registering for the workshop!

If you have any questions or comments please email or
call 215-384-3508.

Please enter your email below to get free coupons.  We promise not to give out your email to any other party and to keep your information private.

I am happy to announce the launch of a related project: Philly ScriptWriters which is a website and listserv project to help all the scriptwriters in the city (film, TV, plays, new media, etc.) with their writing and careers.

One way that the the two project can relate is that the School For Directors and Producers in some of their workshops can help develop or even shoot scenes of local scriptwriters.

If you know any professional or aspiring script writers in the city, please let them know about this project.  It’s free!

Hey folks, I found out about this event that PIFVA is presenting.  I think it will help many local indie filmmakers:


WHERE: PIFVA, 4212 Chestnut St., 3rd Fl., Philadelphia, PA

Visit or or 215-382-2579

This highly interactive Workshop is designed to help independent filmmakers tune up their careers and their projects by getting help from experienced consultant and fundraising guru Morrie Warshawski, and from participants that evening.

MORRIE WARSHAWSKI, noted writer and media consultant, is the former Executive Director of Bay Area Video Coalition and The Media Project, Inc.  His clients over the last 30 years include the American Film Institute, National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, MacArthur Foundation, WGBH-TV, President’s Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and many others.  Warshawski has served on numerous grant panels, has written over 500 proposals, and is the author of THE FUNDRAISING HOUSEPARTY, and SHAKING THE MONEY TREE: HOW TO GET GRANTS AND DONATIONS FOR FILM AND VIDEO- 2nd Edition.  You can find Warshawski and an audio clip on fundraising houseparties in cyberspace at:

I am pleased to tell you that we now have 10 locations around the city available for our teaching professionals to hold their workshops.

We  will be renting space from dance studios, yoga studios, acting centers, for the most part and in this way we can help support other arts and healing arts centers.  Many locations have great parking and/or access to public transportation.

These locations may also provide great subjects for brief docs for the documentary workshops being held.

Still Seeking:

We are still looking for an inexpensive space or two in South Philly–preferably with projection capabiliities.     We have (rentable) access to one film/TV studio but are looking for another.

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