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  • Concept & Story Development
  • Screenwriting
  • Proper Screenplay Format
  • Script Breakdown, Scheduling, and Budgeting
  • Casting and Auditions
  • Financing
  • Legal Issues
  • Preproduction
  • Directing
  • Production
  • Who Does What on the Set
  • Post Production
  • Editing
  • Marketing
  • Film Festivals
  • Distribution

"Honestly, this is probably the most interesting and entertaining presentation I've ever seen at BGSU. You spoke for just 2.5 hours and I was able to pay attention the whole time. This is my 4th year here and I literally have never been able to pay attention for the entire 90 minute class. I felt like I could have listened to you for many more hours." (M. Krause, BGSU Film Studies Student)

Tom talks about financing your independent film  - one of the topics covered in this seminar

​​​​Director's Notes - directly from the "From Idea to Audience" Seminar.

(Check out Tom's Blog for more notes)

You want to look your best.

If you are cast as an actor in a production, depending on the size and scope of the project as well as many other factors, there is a very good possibility that there will be a hair and/or makeup person on set. If the producer or coordinator for the project in charge of actors doesn’t tell you this information, you need to ask… “Will there be hair and makeup on set?”

If hair and/or makeup will be on set, the default for most actors is that you arrive on set with NO MAKEUP on and that you do nothing with your hair. You should wash your face and hair but do nothing cosmetic to either. If you do come with any makeup on or any product in your hair, the makeup / hair person will likely have to undo and redo everything and this will just add time to the shoot. If you adhere to this policy you can be reasonably sure that, at least as far as hair and makeup is concerned, you will not be responsible for the job going into an overtime situation.

When I am producing or coordinating, I ALWAYS send this information out to my cast. I have been on shoots in the past where actors have disregarded this recommendation and it has, on several occasions, caused us to go into overtime which costs the production money.

Here’s another important point for actors to keep in mind. If there is a hair and/or makeup person on set, it is THEIR job to reapply any makeup or make any changes to your hair. It is not YOUR job. Your job is to act. The hair and makeup person is on set to do …. hair and makeup. Let them do their job and you do yours (and ne’er the twain shall meet).

For example, NEVER help yourself to the lipstick in the makeup person’s kit and do your own touch-up. A really good makeup artist will have his/her own method to apply lipstick which will not allow for contamination of the lipstick in the kit by being used directly on the mouth of several actors. 

When in the role of an actor, I don’t want to be exposed to any possible contamination by being made up with the same brush or lipstick tube as another actor. There are too many contact-types of skin disorders that can be transmitted in this way and I want to avoid them at all costs. A careful and thoughtful makeup artist will be mindful of the exposure issues and will do everything she or he can to keep you safe.

Of course, as with any rule, there are always going to be exceptions. However, until you hear what those exceptions are, you should always err on the side of safety and professionalism. 
To reiterate, your face must be CLEAN with NO MAKEUP at all - nothing, nada, zip. Also, your hair should be CLEAN with NO PRODUCT at all - nothing, nada, zip. 

You'll learn this and a whole lot more at the "From Idea to Audience" 2-Day Seminar. Keep an eye on this site for Seminar dates in your area. Check out the seminar information on the home page and REGISTER TODAY!!

"This is the most inspirational talk I have ever witnessed. It has given me even greater motivation to shoot my screenplay next summer. Thank you!" (L. Wetley, Independent Filmmaker)

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I've had several people ask me why am I offering this seminar. That's a really good question. 

When I made my first feature film back in 2001, I made a ton of mistakes - a TON! It's hard making a film. Really hard and when you're the person responsible for raising the money and assembling the cast and crew and scouting the locations and determining a budget and creating a shooting schedule and putting a craft services table together and shooting the damn thing and buying the editing system and editing the film and finding the music and making deals with people to keep the cost of the music down and... geez, I have to take a nap just writing that. And that's just scratching the surface. 

I wish I would have had someone to teach me all of that (or even just to familiarize me with the whole process). And in spite of all of that, I ended up making a pretty good movie. 

FYI here's the TRAILER

But now I have that knowledge, earned the hard way, and I want to help the new filmmaker who is chasing that dream or the actor who needs new content on the Internet and is willing to make it him or herself. 

That's why the investment is pretty small but the payoff is going to be huge. 

I promise you're going to learn a ton. I'll be talking about things that even the best filmmaking books don't tell you - little tricks that people tend to forget. 

So stop beating your head against a wall. Put $199 into your film budget for a consultant and take this seminar. It'll be worth it.

Oh, and sign up early. I have to make sure there are enough people for me to lock in a meeting space, book my flight and rent my car. 

I hope to see you this summer!!

"If you're looking for some inside filmmaking knowledge, Tom Hofbauer is the guy to learn it from. The price for the seminar may be a bit of a stretch for some but if you can afford it, it will be money well invested." (D. Kazee, BGSU Film Studies Student)

"Loved it!!! (Tom's) enthusiasm is contagious and I feel more informed" (Theatre Student, University of Central Oklahoma)

"Wanna be a filmmaker, but not sure where to start? Learn from best! Director Tom Hofbauer will show you the ropes! (Jamal Wallace Knight, Independent Filmmaker, Toledo, OH)

"Tom is a real pro. His film production knowledge combined with his stand-up comedy experience makes for a terrific entertaining learning experience. Don't miss it!!" (Bill Monks, Owner & Executive Producer, Phoenix Communications)

Lots of great information for

The  independent filmmaker.

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Topics covered

"Tom, I really enjoyed having you this week. I came in not knowing what to expect and your presentation set the bar and surpassed it. Some of the material did not directly appeal to anything I have planned for myself but I found it interesting - and who knows, I may be happy to have heard it in the future. Again, thank you and good luck." (E. Shively, BGSU Film Studies Student)