Best Director Win at FirstGlance Film Festival for “Unlaced”

Patrick Ortman wins Best Director @ FirstGlance Hollywood Film festival 2013

Patrick Ortman wins Best Director @ FirstGlance Hollywood Film Festival 2013

I’m thrilled to announce that my film “Unlaced” won Best Director at the 2013 Hollywood FirstGlance Film Festival last week. It was a blast seeing our work projected at the Charlie Chaplin Theater in Hollywood, on the lot at Raleigh Studios, and it was great reconnecting with some special members of the crew, and our two awesome female leads in the movie- Ashley Bracken and Joanne Ryan. That’s Ashley, Joanne, me, and producer Kathi in the photo above.

Afterwards, FirstGlance interviewed Kathi and me about the win. I’m sure that video will pop up online at some point.

I enjoyed screening “Unlaced” at FirstGlance. They’re a class act. What’s more, this is the first festival I’ve attended where I wasn’t bored with the program. Every film that played was good, and worthy. Fantastic!


* photo copyright 2013 FirstGlance Film Festival, Hollywood

Producing Lawyer Videos Galore

Last week we went to San Diego and worked with two dozen attorneys to create web videos for their online marketing. It went fantastic. I like working with lawyers, especially when they appreciate the professionalism and quality they’re getting. I’ll post some examples on in a few weeks, to go with our existing corporate video production reel.

Blackmagic Changes Things Again

Today, Blackmagic Designs announced two new cameras (and some other stuff, like a new version of DaVinci Resolve- one of the tools I use every day to make beautiful videos and films). The first is a 4K, super35mm sensor camera that uses Canon EF lenses. Oh, and it’s got a global shutter. Price? $4,000. They claim it’ll be shipping in July, too.

The second is a pocket Super16mm 1080p camera that records ProRes or compressed DNG (like the 4K camera). It’s TINY. It fits in the palm of your hand. And it can use the beautiful Leica and Fuji lenses we own and use on our XPro-1, with an adapter. Price? $999.

This shakes things up quite a bit in my world. Now, if Blackmagic can actually ship these things in quantity, on time… well, it’ll change things for filmmakers of all budgets.

I pre-ordered the pocket one today. Why? Because it’s priced right, and because I can use lenses I love with it, and because I can put it in a bag and use it underwater if I like. It’s just incredibly flexible. Oh, and I’d be able to shoot stuff in crowds and in plain sight without getting busted by the police. Not that I’d ever do that, of course- one must obey the laws of one’s municipality regarding shooting films.

I’ll most likely get the 4K one, too, but I want to see some footage and get some “in the field” reports of it, first.

To me, these cameras really aren’t for TV commercial production, or corporate work. They’re for indie filmmakers. They’re what the RED Scarlet should have been, which is a quality way to record images that look like film. Blackmagic is even branding these cameras as “digital film”. For most TV jobs, we’ll stick to Alexas and Canon’s C-300 or whatever the latest is (that’s another story), because those cameras are the standards and they do an excellent job. But if I were shooting another indie film like “Unlaced”, or maybe a web series, I’d seriously consider using the Blackmagic cinema cameras.


Posted by in Filmmaking, Rant


What’s it like on a green screen set?

Here’s a video we made a few years back that shows exactly what it’s like to be on set in a green screen stage:

Posted by in Filmmaking


When a Competitor Lies

We recently lost a bid on a project- it happens, but when it does I always ask why. After all, I’m always trying to improve our business. In this case, I was told it wasn’t our quality of work, nor was it our budget. It was because we are a smaller company than the other guy, who boasts of a 30,000 square foot facility, staff of 20, etc. He felt comfortable going with them (at least partly) because he felt “bigger is better”.

In the interests of learning something to help us win against these guys in the future, I went to their website and did some digging. Well, they do not have a 30,000 square foot studio. Nor do they have a staff of 20. Their business is two guys in a tiny office above a shop. The only thing big about them is the lies they tell people on their website and in their proposals. Oh, and their work is pretty bad: very cliche 1990s-looking.

What did I do? Did I blow the whistle on them to the client, and suggest they rethink their choice?

No. I let it be. Mainly because I feel that the client’s getting what they deserve- if it only took me 10 minutes of digging to get the truth, anyone who did any due diligence at all could get to the truth, too. And if that particular client is so scared about making a purchase decision that they base it on the line of B.S. those guys fed him, well, it means he doesn’t care about quality (or even budget), and isn’t the kind of client we’d like to have, anyway.

In the end, life’s too short. Next!

“Unlaced” Official Selection, West Chester International Film Festival


We’re pleased to announce that “Unlaced” is an official selection of the West Chester International Film Festival. More on “Unlaced“.

Posted by in Filmmaking



“Unlaced” Movie Trailer

Here’s the promotional trailer for my film “Unlaced”. It’s about a man whose life has come undone, and it’s based on a true story. This is the theatrical trailer (so as Grandpa Simpson would say, “Turn it up! Turn it up!”), and it will play in front of movies at AMC theaters in Boston as part of the promotional campaign for the Boston International Film Festival.

More at ““.

Posted by in Filmmaking



“Unlaced” Official Selection of the Boston International Film Festival


We are thrilled to announce that my film “Unlaced” is an official selection of the Boston International Film Festival, this April in Boston, MA. Thank you, Boston! And congratulations to everyone in the “Unlaced” family.

Posted by in Filmmaking



A Little Perspective

I was driving down the 405 last week on my way to my office in Santa Monica, and got stuck in an obscene traffic jam. I shouldn’t have been surprised, LA traffic is insane. I figured it was just the ongoing/never-ending giant construction project on the 405 and Sepulveda that was causing it. Then I saw the flashing lights, and heard the sirens.

A few moments later, my little hybrid SUV crawled past the true reason for our slowdown: a car and a semi truck had a run-in. The truck, of course, won.

I’m not sure how the accident happened. Probably somebody was speeding, or maybe somebody wasn’t looking where they were going. Man, the car was trashed. It was upside-down, and the roof of the car was crushed down to about 8 inches tall. I watched the firemen go at the car with the jaws of life. Crossed my fingers the occupants survived.

I like to think that everyone who passed was hoping/praying the same thing. And of course, we all probably also thought to ourselves “I bet one of them was speeding”. Or, “one of them wasn’t looking where they were going”.

I never found out if those people were OK. I didn’t see anything on the news about it, but then, in a huge metropolis like Los Angeles, it wouldn’t necessarily be reported. By the time I thought to check the usual blotter websites, it was days later. I couldn’t find anything. I choose to believe that the people in the car survived.

And I know it’s a little weird, but I had a bit of an “aha” moment, hours after witnessing this horrific and tragic event.  I began to wonder, how many of us are speeding through life, or not looking where we’re going? I mean, it’s easy to do. We’re creatures of habit, and once you’re on the hamster wheel, it seems to make sense to keep spinning in it. It feels like you’re getting places. ‘Cause you are booking it! But in the larger scheme of things, you’re not. You’re just careening through life, without any regard for who or what’s around you, or with any thought as to where you’d really like to go.


Posted by in Rant


Studio City Film Festival Day and Time for “Unlaced”


Hey, everybody- “Unlaced” is playing in Block 18, on Friday, February 8th. We’re the second film in the block, and we’re playing immediately after “Elegy for a Revolutionary”, a really well-produced, big budget short film that’s won about 20 awards according to its website. Fantastic!

Tickets are $15 at the door, $12 if you reserve online. Check out for details.

Don’t know what “Unlaced” is about? Visit our page, or check us out on Facebook.


Posted by in Filmmaking



About PatrickOrtman, Inc.

PatrickOrtman, Inc. is one of the top-rated video production companies in Los Angeles and New York City. We make high-end corporate videos, and commercials for TV and digital for clients that include 11 Fortune 500s.