Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I love the discussion...

It looks like this little blog of mine is gaining in popularity. Though comments may often be scarce, I am seeing signs that quite a few folks come across these words.

So often I have written here without the slightest murmur. It's as if I am talking into a CB radio, sitting back and praying for someone, anyone to answer back. I guess it shows that if you can hold steady with an idea, somehow hold onto one's belief system, that maybe with enough effort you can make an impact. Just maybe you can be heard.

I am grateful to not be alone. There is a certain sense of comfort to know that these words are not wasted. At the same time, as I write these words, I have to block out the fact that you will actually read them. I am really just trying to dive deep into my mind, or maybe my soul, and find a way to have these thoughts pour out in an honest and truthful way. A way that I can learn and benefit from. And in the back of my mind, ideally for you to benefit.

I know I am not always clear in my thinking, in my ideas, and in this blog. With all this in mind, I first want to touch on my last blog entitled 'With Rejection Comes Fuel.'

It is certainly true that this latest rejection (referenced in the previous blog) stung. I just want to point out that by no means am I putting all my eggs in the festival basket. My stance is that the
festivals are nice and they can be a tremendous asset to filmmakers. They can help us with credibility and raising our reputations. Though, through my own due diligence and conversations with one filmmaker after another, I have learned just how political the festival landscape is right now. I am not going to wait around for anyone's approval. I came to that conclusion many months ago. Me and my crew are going to organize our own screenings. (If you want to help coordinate a screening with me, please do not hesitate to contact me) I am not going to chase the festival circuit. If anything, I am going to make them chase me. It is my responsibility to build the audience for my films. If there are festivals out there who want to ally with us, then we will kindly promote them with all of our might. We may see that happen a few times in the upcoming months. If it doesn't happen, it will not break us.

Here was the response from Double Edge Films to my last blog which I agree with one hundred percent.

We could go on for days and days about festivals but you have to remember that the quality of your film is not measured by the number of festivals you get into. This is a huge area where filmmakers fall down and feel bad about their projects - don't give into it. You are exactly right in that likely a good deal of films don't even get watched and it's often a "I know someone" game.

We're in a new time where you can pretty much bypass the festival circuit all together if you're willing to put in the hard work to get your own theatrical screenings. If there are some festivals out there that want to show your film, then of course you send it in because the end goal is having the film get watched. Just keep in mind that it is possible to bypass all of the "gatekeepers" in this business and go direct to the audience. Emerging film clubs like the Annapolis Pretentious Film Society and others are also coming onto the scene. My point is - there are so many other options out there these days so don't spend two minutes feeling bad about festivals!

It was then great to see CFalls piggyback those words

Getting into the festivals and getting a distributor is not our goal, it's getting people to watch the movie via theatre, DVD or download.Also, It's not so good to be a festival-type film. Look at any Sundance schedule and tell me how many movies you've heard of. There are two main benefits to festivals--getting audience feedback (and it's really tough to get honest feedback vs polite comments), and having a fun ego boost. Both are nice but don't serve the ultimate goal.Didn't get into bigger ones? Fine. Screen at smaller ones, get your quotable comments, awards if you're lucky, then move on and get to your audience.

Producer Paul J. Alessi with Karen and I outside the Film Courage Studio

And I love this comment from David (@indiemoviemaker) from my recent Film Courage Radio Show interview with Producer Paul J. Alessi on the subject of 'Deliverables'


Love the show but the deliverables spot frustrated me. I have 2 features to my credit now. Sure, "Deliverbales" are so important if you are selling to a distributor. The route I took with my first film required all that and it was in the budget, but 99% of filmmakers get shafted by distributors these days, so the new diy approach is the no brainer route now.

Sure, you still need to make sure you have contracts, clearances, watch what you are doing when you are making the film, but in most cases now you are not delivering to a distributor in the diy route. No, sorry, you should not being going that route as its not smart unless you have the next "blair witch"

My point. I got put off so many times with my second film because partner says we cant go ahead without film unless we get another 100k for all this other stuff. So I lost three years of my life trying to raise more money.
I done my own thing, shot the movie with nothing, I am doing diy, and the movie is heading for profit direct to an audience without any distributors.
And most important of all, I am getting noticed by the industry for the next projects. Point is, "Action" is the most important thing in this business, and anything that stops that is a negative force.

The worst that can happen is your left with a movie you cant sell, but you can show to the industry what you can do, as long as you make it cheap enough without investors.

There is enough reasons in this biz for people not to "move". This interview could stop others that are new to the biz from moving.

I get his point, if you are doing a film for distributors, but at the start, it should be just get the movie made with diy in mind

@indiemoviemaker (on Twitter)

I wholeheartedly agree with what David is saying here. I believe all independent filmmakers should begin with the strategy of self-distribution. Though I must say that I believe it is crucial for filmmakers to make themselves fully aware of 'Deliverables.' It's something so many of us are in the dark about and it was something Karen and I wanted to shed light on.

Once again, I hope you benefit from these words. And just as importantly, I want you to know that I benefit greatly when you participate in this dialogue. I love the discussion.

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