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New Blog Series: Film Production Gear

by on Jun.11, 2012, under Gear

On a film set, the most useful tools are often the simplest.

I’m launching a new series of blog posts on to talk about film gear.  There are tons of great sites on the Internet dedicated to the latest new camera or other filmmaking gizmos, but I haven’t found any that talk about the real gear that filmmakers work with every day.  Cameras are advancing in technology every moment, it seems.  C-stands and gel frames, not so much.  But these more common, less flashy tools of the filmmaking trade are often crucial to allowing a film crew achieve the look a director or cinematographer is after in a way that is efficient, reproducible, and safe.  In this new film gear series I’ll talk about a lot of the basic tools of the trade—things that I use regularly to make my shoots go better.

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Film Gear: Clamps

by on Jun.08, 2012, under Gear

Looks like you’ve got Clamps.

Clamps are often the silent heroes of the grip department.  Sure, a C-stand can hold up anything, as long as you have enough of them, and room to set one up on the floor.  But what about when you can’t put anything on the floor because you want to do a 360 pan around.  Or maybe you need to hang a light from a rail.  Who ya gonna call?

Clamps are champs

I generally don’t like buying a lot of gear.  It’s expensive and heavy to haul around, and small stuff can sometimes walk away on a big set.  So when I add something to my kit, it’s almost always because I was on a shoot where that item was either missing—and sorely missed at that, or the item was there and saved the day.  The fact that I have several types of clamps should indicate just how often the right one can save your keister.

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DIVERGENCE Season One First Look Video

by on May.30, 2012, under Internet Television, Projects

YouTube Preview Image

For all the readers out there who just can’t get enough of Douglas Horn by reading the blog, now you can watch me talk too!  DIVERGENCE is the first independent series from my company Popular Uprising.  This is a promo for Season One.

You can see more at

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Dear Filmmakers: Please Stop Doing It All by Yourselves

by on May.25, 2012, under Filmmaking

Seriously, now!

I have a confession to make.  Too often, I’m doing it all by myself. I’m here to tell you, it’s much better with a partner. Or even a big group. You can try more stuff that way, do it more often, and have a lot more fun.

I’m talking about filmmaking, of course.

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Film Festivals and Online Distribution

by on May.22, 2012, under Distribution, Filmmaking, Internet Television

There's nothing like a film festival Q&A in front of thousands of people with some very good friends.

It’s no secret, I strongly believe that independent series are the sweet spot for filmmakers/visual storytellers/narrative creatives—pick your moniker.  But it’s May in Seattle and that means it’s time for the biggest little film festival in America to kick off again—the Seattle International Film Festival.  I have a long history with SIFF—My short Full Disclosure won the Golden Space Needle Award in 2006, I was on the Short Film Jury in 2008.  This year I’m back with two films—I wrote the original screenplay for Ira Finkelstein’s Christmas, which is playing in the festival and Coffee & Pie, a short film I directed with Amy Seimetz and Sophia Takal is playing as well.  I’m also speaking on a panel about short films—which just proves that the minute to publicly proclaim your lack of interest in something, you’ll be asked to speak about it!

I don’t want anyone to take my excitement about independent series as a disdain for independent films.  I think series are the better option for the future, but features (and even shorts) are a great form of entertainment and artistic expression and are the right format for certain stories.  I have attended film festivals for over a decade and I’ve made a lot of great friends on the film festival circuit—filmmakers and curators/programmers who I really admire and enjoying knowing.  When I think about my focus on independent series, I get a little lump in my throat knowing that I may be removing myself from the film festival world to some extent.  The logical part of my brain knows I’m making the best decision, but at the emotional level, it’s hard to distance myself from participating in something that I’ve enjoyed so much for so long.

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