BackPack Film School™ an open forum for low-budget and no-budget digital filmmakers

Google Glass Videography Is So Yesterday

Here’s a clever indie short shot with Google Glass. And, er, it’s also about Glass. Like having a conversation on your smartphone about why you’re so smart to have a smartphone? Or why Siri never seems quite smart enough? Anyhow, the cop who sticks his head in toward the end of this clip is none other than sci-fi fanboy legend Tom Page, author of that creepy Hephaestus Plague.

All Indie Producers Should Be Focused on Where the Color Tablet Platform Is Going

06.30.2013 · Posted in Indie Shorts

Photo Credit:  Google Images

With Barnes & Noble color Nook sales struggling with disappointing numbers, they have decided to outsource their color tablet production. Indie producers may want to concentrate marketing their works to Apple / iPad and Amazon / Kindle, as they are still thriving.  Producers would also be best served closely monitoring the upcoming technological innovations in multimedia tablets, applications, and markets.  (



We’ve Changed Our Site’s Posting Policy

06.27.2013 · Posted in Webmaster

We no longer require you to register for site login to be able to post a comment. However you will need to provide a valid email address with your comment submission.This address will not be published on the post and it will not be added to our mailing lists. (Our mailing list currently contains only the addresses of our designated authors and contributors.)

All comments will continue to be moderated.

In the future, if we do start a subscribers’ mailing list, previously submitted email addresses will not be used, and the new list will require explicit opt-in.

This change in policy should not affect RSS feeds, if you have already set them up to follow our blog posts.

If you are a qualified filmmaker or instructor and wish to become a site author, please email your request for credentials.

Thanks for your interest in BackPack Film School, and we look forward to offering you more stimulating content on low-budget and no-budget indie filmmaking.

Webmaster info [at] lapuerta [dot] tv



With All the Latest NSA “Domestic Spying” Scandals, Why Not Help Big Brother See How Boring Your Life Really Is?

Photo from

With all the latest NSA domestic spying scandals, why not help Big Brother see how boring your life really is?  Life-log your life using this wearable camera, and 30 seconds won’t go by without a picture being taken.  Don’t forget to upload with the app and cloud storage so that the “No Such Agency” can peruse your uneventful life to their hearts’ content. One advantage about using this particular spy-cam trick is — no trouble getting the subject’s permission (usually a sticking point).


Seasick at the Movies?

06.19.2013 · Posted in Filmmaking Technology, Special Effects

Photo Courtesy of Daily Mail Online UK

With new hi speed 3D camera techniques, come some side effects.  Some viewers claim a bit of headaches and queasiness.  I recall watching Inception and personally experiencing disorientation or a feeling of being in the movie for about 15 minutes after the film was completed.  Watchers beware.  Maybe there should be a disclaimer for not operating motorized vehicles for a half-hour after a film?–Cinema-goers-complain-camera-speeds-3D-effects-caused-headaches-queasiness.html

Predicted Meltdown in Hollywood – Will It Open Doors to Alternative Media?

06.15.2013 · Posted in Documentaries, Indie Features, Promotion

Heaven forbid, Hollywood goes the way that the “lame stream media” has – in favor of the unwashed masses seeking explosive entertainment instead of valuable information from alternative, more thought-provoking venues (Indy films, foreign films, alternative films, alternative news, or cable television).   Filmmakers may have to find a different way of pushing ideas to the world’s population. Spielberg complains the highbrow audience is almost gone. And for evidence he says that Lincoln very nearly was relegated to premiering as an HBO “event.”

What Social Media Sites Do You Use to Promote Your Indie Film Projects?

06.12.2013 · Posted in Indie Features, Indie Shorts

Photo Courtesy of

Felix Salmon brings up excellent points about social media in today’s world with his Promiscuous Media Blog.  Beginner filmmakers who need to promote their Indie films for the best exposure may wonder, “What social media sites should I use for promoting my movie?”  There’s Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, and whatever new thing got started today.  According to Salmon, use whatever platform works for you and your project.  There is no right or wrong answer if you are able to build up a big following.  Although there may be more choices, this only lends itself to a more effective approach to marketing and social media.  What social media do you prefer to promote your Indie projects and why?  Share with us what works and what doesn’t.

How Will Google Glass Impact Filmmaking and the World As We Know It?

06.11.2013 · Posted in Documentaries, Filmmaking Technology

Contributor Steven Rosenbaum for Forbes discusses the controversy surrounding Google Glass and its resulting bans against wearing them in certain public situations.  For those of you who have not heard of Google Glass, it’s a new device that is worn like glasses with a hidden camera attached.  Debates are raging on how privacy rights will be violated with Google Glass, and they have a good point.  What are the implications for filmmakers, for example, who could use this technology to do investigative reporting?  They will have access to a hidden camera that they wear where they can film undercover.  Is this legal?  Should it be legal?  An aspiring filmmaker may be able to legitimately film on his iPhone or SmartPhone, so why are people so threatened by Google Glass?  Rosenbaum states “We are moving rapidly to a world of transparency.”  Do we want to live in a world where we can be constantly monitored under surveillance and maybe become an unwanted star in a movie without our consent? How far are we willing to go to “get the story”?


Is Amazon one of the easiest platforms to promote your low budget Indie project?

06.02.2013 · Posted in Promotion

Charts DVD Cover copy

“How to Lie with Charts” – Seminar version published as DVD-on-Demand from Amazon CreateSpace as well as streaming on Amazon VOD

The easiest and fastest way to promote your Indie film project may be via SD DVD to get the biggest audience.  Try Amazon CreateSpace burn-on-demand service, which is all about DVDs.  (To be future-proof, try shooting in HD 16:9 and down resolution/crop in post). Do you feel that Amazon is one of the easiest platforms on the net to promote your low budget Indie project?


“Hollywood Studio Production Techniques” – Just Out in Paper and Kindle

04.16.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized


Mercury Learning and Information has just released BackPack contributor Winnie Wong’s new book, Hollywood Studio Production Techniques. It’s available in both softcover and Kindle. The softcover edition comes with a companion DVD. If you buy the Kindle edition, contact the publisher with proof of purchase and they will send the disc to you.

This much-anticipated text starts the discussion where indie-targeted how-to books typically leave off. That is, at the gates of a major studio. Here’s an insider’s look at all the details – technical, business, and legal – involved in movie making, on the lot or on location, when there’s serious financing behind the project and some plan other than wishful thinking for distribution.


Winnie Wong