Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Indie Film Take Back the Night!

Great announcement this weekend at Sundance.  Although I think you'll find you'll spend a dime or two on marketing.. time is money (not to mention phone calls, gasoline, hotel rooms, and booking fees). 

Frankly, its a great concept.  I thought so back in May 2009 when I said it the first time and still thought so when I brought it back up six months later.  Heck, its why I'm taking control of my own destiny with my own projects: selling foreign, domestic, DVD, VOD, TV, et al.  But I've been on both sides of the fence (day job with a sales agent, yes I work for the evil empire) and have seen what needs to be done, what can be negotiated, what is just a cost of doing business, etc.

Most indie film makers can't afford to schlepp their movie around the country or they want to move on to the next thing or they just don't have the money to keep themselves afloat.  Remember, it takes money to book a theater.  The number of indie film makers I've run into that don't even have the money to finish their film let alone four-wall it, is astounding.  And that's why distributors end up holding the purse-strings... because Indie Filmmakers are uninformed and walk in with a completed picture and get all excited about their first deal and sign away their rights, responsibilities, and their [interchangeable: right arm, first born, soul].

Add something to your screenings.  Add a day of education.  Real education (not pipe dream stuff) about the business of film making.  DIY classes touch on it, but they don't really talk about playing with the big boys.  Yes, sir, add education to your new distribution arm.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

2010 Edublog Awards

The 2010 Edublog Awards are open and its time to nominate:

Best New Blog - Pop Goes the Classroom

Pop Goes the Classroom is an innovative professional development opportunity that introduces educators to pop culture as a tool to engage students. They attempt to identify pop culture trends that can be used to make learning relevant for today's youth. They evaluate existing artifacts related to these tends and develop tools that support their meet learning goals and academic standards across a variety of academic areas.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Its your job to believe in your dopey vision!

Amen, sir! I just saw this, rather lengthy, tweat come through. A shining piece of wisdom that everyone should read and take to heart. Not just for us fat writer/directors, but every one who is in charge of any endevor; be it creative or just business:

@Henrikse "Dont you always think the next film's gonna be the big one?" That's the director's job: to believe in their dopey vision- quest so much that it fuels not just him/her, but the entire cast & crew as well. For months. As the person everyone's looking to for answers, you've GOTTA believe. Anyone can be negative, because bitching takes no discernible talent and costs nothing. And sure: every once in awhile, you die in despair a bit, brokenhearted that your ideas didn't reach more people. But until then? You have hope that the next flick WILL reach a larger audience. You're living in hope. Living ON hope. And hope is life's sweet elixir, touching not just human beings, but every thinking organism on the planet. Living in a constant state/haze of hope = smoking God's own strain of Kush.

Kudos sir.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hello Red Bank!

It looks like I have a fan in Red Bank, NJ. I won't assume its you, Mr. Smith, but someone from your home town is poking in taking a look-see. So, shout-out to Red Bank! HELLO NEW JERSEY!

Sir, I'll be in L.A. again in two weeks. Would love for a quick sit down with you, Mr. Kevin Smith. Will totally understand if you aren't available.

Speaking of events (ok, so that was a VERY sloppy transition). This coming Friday we're hosting a family and friends picnic for the entire film industry in good old Phoenix, Arizona. Looks to be more than 100 people in attendence. That is if everyone that RSVP'd actually makes it. If they don't show... well, we know where you are people. Besides, what else are you doing on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We all know the shopping is on Friday. Football isn't until Sunday. And you can watch Ninja Assassin after lunch, so come on out to Encanto Park, 11 to 3pm. Its a pot luck, so bring something to share!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hello sir!

Yes, its been too fuckin' long since I last dropped you a note again. Been busy, but wanted to update you.

My last film, Star Quest, released across the U.S. earlier this November. It's a campy little homage to Star Trek. Nothing special, but it did hit U.S. shelves just six months after we finished the sound design. Quick and dirty and successful. Screw the haters out there. Like your films its already been profitable.

I still feel you should look at creating a View-Askew distribution company (see previous posting). It was in answer to your "What Makes you a film maker" interview back in May.

And I'm still waiting to hear from your lusty bride about that film she always wanted to see (click here and here).

Well, good day to you, sir. Can't wait to hear from you.

Monday, September 7, 2009

There goes the summer...

Well, there went the summer, sir. Spent the whole time, it seems going back and forth to LA and the most work completed ended up happening here in freakin Phoenix, AZ. Yeah hot as hell and more work done here than in the movie capital... Or is that Iowa?

Anyway, watchin the tweetfest today and realized I haven't dropped you a line in a while. As I said, business is picking up. Presold a slate of films to Asia and working on closing that deal along with a possible TV show that would be simply fucking amazing if you'd do a little cameo on. Consider it, sir.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Kevin Smith - Distributors?

Mr. Smith, sir, just saw your interview with Gavin Michael Booth and his "How Many Days" project (see below).

You ask a very important question in your interview "In this economy, who's going to start up a distribution company?" The answer seems obvious, "You." A boutique distribution company with your name on it would move many an independent film. Your name would open doors, even if you had nothing to do with the day to day operations.

Heck, my day job these days (besides setting up The Evil Dead Breakfast Club [see Trailer here]) is in distribution. I could definately give you a hand (drop me a line at info [at] infspec [dot] com). Heck, I'll even be in LA all this week, but you're probably in Cannes with the rest of my company.

There are many, many, distributors out there, though. The problem with a lot of independent film is either:

1) Not quality
2) Not marketable in a foreign market.

Quality is partially relative, but you still need good sound, in focus visual, and a good SOLID story. In this day where everyone can pick up a digital camera and make a movie, you need to get your ducks in a row. You are competing against MILLIONS of film makers worldwide. Do your homework. Develop your project. Put together a great, top notch team, make something everyone will want to see and be proud of.

As to marketability, this doesn't have to mean selling out or not working on your art, but a talking head drama will not do well in foreign markets because they will have to read a lot or listen to a bad voice over. Middle America doesn't love reading a movie, what makes you think Germany, France, or Thailand does? By incorporating good story, visual, action, and FX you give them something to enjoy and they won't mind the occasional subtitle or bad sync'd dialog. And comedy? Just remember, not everyone in the world has your sense of humor. In fact somethings funny here aren't in other cultures.

Keep it all in mind. Talk to distributors before you even start making your film. Put some business in the art and see what happens.