Wednesday, December 01, 2010


Ted Hope has a great little "list-post" outlining how to stand out in this crazy film biz.

Of particular interest is item #10 (which in my mind should be item #1 and be beaten into every film student's skull like the Phantom's ring). It reads:

Don’t look to be discovered.  The film industry encourages a plantation or corporate hierarchy way of thinking, which again only benefits the status quo.  This is most represented by the old way of bringing a film to market upon completion.  The filmmakers who design their projects to take directly to their audiences will demonstrate a forward and practical way of thinking — and one that does not negate a later adoption of old methods (if someone wants to dump a pot of gold on you that is).  Abandon the belief that all you have to do is make a good film and the rest will work out — it’s akin to a slave mentality.  Why do you need someone to discover you?  What you need is to find a way to keep producing new work.

This is the key to longevity in this business... 

If there are an estimated 27,000 indie films produced every year  and less than 600 get any sort of distribution then don't you think you need to think differently than the other guy?  Don't you think you need to make sure your film gets to the right audience instead of leaving it up to the distributor to try and find them?  

  • I'm telling you that you do need to think differently. 
  • I'm telling you that your film probably isn't that special and could do with some "sprucing up." Most likely at the development stage where most productions go wrong.  
  • I'm telling you that if you don't make it better, or if you leave it to the distributor to do then you are leaving money on the table as you walk away. 
  • I'm telling you that you can do it yourself - it's not easy, but the rewards will go to you and your investors first instead of to the middleman. 
  • I'm telling you this because I've worked (am working) for the distributors and production companies.  They don't know anything you don't know or can't learn quickly.  
But mostly, I am telling you to be passionate about what you do, and stand up for it because it will make all of the difference.  It will make all the hard work, the frustration, the lawsuits and the angry phone calls and emails worth it.  I speak from hard-fought experience.  


Jhon Davis said...

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wcmartell said...

Sometime in mid-2011 I am shooting a movie that has been designed as a serial and will debut online. Once it has played out online (first couple of episodes free, then a dirt cheap price or suggested donation for the rest of the episodes), I'm going to try traditional DVD distribs... and if there are no takers, I'll self distribute. But there's already distrib interest based on a one pager. I'm not waiting for someone to give me permission.

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