Yesterday I decided to search for a filmmaking community. I know there are several out there and I know of several people that are involved in them, but I haven’t really felt a part of any of them myself. So I did a search on google for ‘filmmaker’. That was it. One of the first places I went to is http://www.filmmakermagazine.com/ which had several interesting things going for it right away. Having recently been part of Sundance, I recognized a few of the movies that were being talked about.
I then stumbled on a very interesting article about the value or purpose of film festivals. http://www.filmmakermagazine.com/news/2011/02/the-microbudget-conversation-what-are-festivals-good-for/ I was sucked in and had to read the whole thing.
It mentioned a rant from filmmaker Kevin Smith at Sundance which I had not heard about yet, and so followed the link and watched the whole thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90pcHCF2h44
It sure made me think. He has some interesting points and the article also brings up some interesting points about marketing a film at a film festival.
To boil down the ideas to bullet points to mull over:
- film festivals rarely serve the filmmakers or films as a gateway to getting your film seen across the country in normal theaters, nor getting the filmmakers a deal for a future project.
- getting into festivals costs money and is a gamble
- film festivals still do allow for networking with other filmmakers and industry insiders
- film festivals still provide a means to “get noticed”
- financing a film is hard in the first place, making the film is also hard, trying to market the film to get your money back is really really hard
- distributors only deal in big money- they almost never waste their time on low cost stuff. not enough profit, or potential profit to spend their time.
- Studios are distributors. That is how they make their money. They don’t make it from making movies, they make it from selling movies.
- Self distribution is hard because there is not much known or available to support it.
- Self promotion is hard unless you already have huge network of followers on social network sites and email lists, or have access to those that do.
- What Kevin Smith talks about (“road show” approach to marketing/exhibiting) has been done by may other people already- some successes and some failures. Warren Miller does this very thing, and has for 40+ years. Success. Some independent Mormon cinema tried this 5 years ago- flopped and lost money (Handcart).
I’m going to mull these over in my head for a bit and hav a followup post on some other things I’ve recently found that are related to the money/business side of filmmaking.