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April 16 at 8:15am

What Issues Do Filmmakers Need To Track?

A creative life is a precarious thing.  Actions occur that could profoundly effect your ability to earn a living doing what you love.  We get blindsided again and again, sometimes not recognizing things until they are too late to alter them.  It’s one of the reasons I have tried to meticulously track for you what are the good thing and bad things happening in indie film these days.  Yet, it seems to me we all need to do a better job of tracking them if we don’t want to get trapped in a future we won’t be part of..

My thought is that we should be able to define a series of issues in which we can put events, ideas, and articles into as they occur, helping each other stay on top of them. 

The first step is to define the issues.  That is what I am doing today . [...]


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March 3 at 8:15am

Beer Buzz #3: Audience Building — The Key to Success Building

By Steven C. Beer

In the marketing and distribution of independent films, the most critical and frequently overlooked key to success is the building of an audience. Whether you pursue traditional or alternate distribution platforms, or a combination thereof, your ability to identify, aggregate and mobilize an audience base directly impacts the prospect of your project’s success. Timing your audience building campaign is crucial. According to Jason Ward of Candy Factory Productions, you must begin to target and recruit your supporters the minute you decide to produce a film. Audience building is a slow and steady process that can take many months, if not years, so a multi-step game plan that evolves over time can serve as an audience building blueprint. Here are some tips I learned while moderating the Audience Building Panel at the New York Lounge at Sundance 2014: [...]


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October 15 at 8:15am

Distribution Case Study Masterlist

HopeForFilm Distribution Case Study Masterlist

HopeForFilm Distribution Case Study Masterlist

Okay, I am disappointed. Again.  This is 2013.  It’s not what I thought the future would look like. Don’t get me started, but I did think things would be better for us, and  certainly in the Direct Distribution world.  I thought we knew that we were all in this together.  I thought we knew that if we shared information it would lift us all up higher.  That is why I created this blog after all.  But of course if knowledge and information changed behavior, no one would smoke, eat refined sugar, or have unprotected sex. But I digress… I went looking for all the Distribution Case Studies I could find, and have compiled them for you.   [...]


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July 30 at 8:15am

How to Make Money in the Age of Abundance, Part 1

Part One: The Stuggles You Are Facing and How You Can Cope

By Jon Reiss

Since the collapse of the traditional distribution for filmmakers in 2007 we as a community have been struggling to figure out new solutions of how to monetize our work – in other words:  how to make money from our content and create a sustainable living.  In this two part series I will reformulate and address some of the problems we are facing – but also present some potential solutions for independent filmmakers.   These thoughts come from a creating a series of new presentations on Artistic Entrepreneurship over the past year that I presented at the recent SFFS A2E Workshop (http://www.sffs.org/Filmmaker360/A2E-Artist-to-Entrepreneur.aspx) and this spring’s IFP Filmmaker Labs (http://www.ifp.org/programs/labs/).   I welcome your comments!

While there were a number of factors that caused an upheaval of the distribution landscape in 2007 and while there have been many positive signs of improvement, filmmakers and all artists still face an enormously changed market for content.

[...]


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July 9 at 8:30am

Words Of Advice For The 80%: Getting To That SECOND Film

By Jennifer Phang

When Ted and I spoke about a possible post here, he mentioned that 80% of feature film directors never get to make a second feature.  Why is that?

One reason is that it’s difficult to sustain the momentum of a crew. You are creating a whole village around a project which has an indefinite, but definitely finite, lifetime. Morale starts high, because the act of creation is invigorating, and then people get exhausted, because it’s a gigantic process, and along the way the money runs out, because the village grows and every new villager brings new skills and also new needs. And somehow you have to sustain the discipline to find the beauty in every shot, but also the momentum to finish the film.

The first time is not exactly traumatizing, but it can feel catastrophic, especially if you set out with high ambitions. It’s possibly your one chance to [...]


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February 19 at 1:00pm

Forward! Film Funding’s Future

By Rob Millis

Two changes in tech and finance are about to have a huge impact on independent film: crowdfunding and the JOBS Act.

We all know about Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, the crowdfunding platforms that have been helping independent creators launch projects. These platforms and others have already been hugely successful with DIY projects and direct-to-fan networking, yet even after years of growing popularity they haven’t come anywhere close to their full potential.

Last year the Slated networking and fundraising platform joined the market as well. Slated offers a system geared toward film professionals seeking (or supplying) investment dollars. Unlike previous crowdfunding platforms, Slated’s approach is less about DIY and more about professional partnerships. In short, they are taking crowdfunding to the next level. [...]


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January 17 at 1:00pm

Filmmakers, It’s 2013. Do You Know Where Your Jobs Act Is? Part 3

Written by Michael R. Barnard

FILMMAKERS, IT’S 2013. DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR JOBS ACT IS?
Part 3 of 3 parts.
 
Yesterday, in Part 2, we learned that cash is available and that the JOBS Act is going to give filmmakers an opportunity to more easily access that cash for investment to make movies and rebuild the independent film industry.

The Internet enlarged the playing field for securities offerings, whether valid or not, and for potential investors, whether knowledgeable or not.

How do you legally and ethically access that hoarded cash and encourage its investment in your well-developed movie project so you can hire people and make your movie? [...]


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