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I was forwarded this clip of me yesterday; I am quite confident is from before I was offered the job to become the Executive Director of the San Francisco Film Society. In it, I am clearly frustrated with the state of the film industry, where I felt I (and my contemporaries) were being rewarded for quantity over quality. No wonder I accepted the job when it was offered; I had already [...]
Chris Dorr’s recent post on MoviePass helped me recognize the world as it truly is today. It wasn’t MoviePass that I needed to recognize. It was that the same thing that allowed Independent Film to flourish is the same thing that is now spurring on innovation everywhere. Once filmmakers stopped asking for permission to tell their stories, the floodgates opened to a far more diverse approach to culture generation. To the powers that be the end of permission looks like anarchy, but to the leaders to come, this is the stepping stone to necessary change. And we are seeing that now. [...]
It was with great pleasure that on Friday, I saw that it was announced that the IFP (of which I am on the board of) was awarded the RFP for a new digital media center in New York City. I, and many others, had been struggling with the lack of interaction between the two fields. The Mayor’s Office stepped into do something about it. This is a truly great initiative and should be a model for cities throughout the country (Hey San Francisco: hint, hint).
This is the official press release:
Media Center Will Promote Collaboration between Entertainment, Advertising and New Media Industries and Offer Educational Programs to Support the Next Generation of Innovators
On Monday September 17th, Jay Van Hoy and I had a public discussion for IFP’s Independent Film Week on how to package your film. I drafted this post up to help prepare me for the discussion.
Producing requires that you look beyond your own projects and looks at how you build it better for everybody. I frankly don’t have respect for producers who only work on their projects. I want to know they give back to the community in general. That does not have much to do with packaging frankly, but it is why I write this blog.
To that end, I want to share with you my thoughts on how to package your film in such a way that your film will gather momentum, get made, and succeed in the marketplace. I have come up with twenty points. I wanted to know what I forgot, so I hope you add to the list.
- Recognize what you are doing when you package a project. You package a project because you want to finance or sell your film. You put actors in it not just for the creative enhancement, but also for the financial benefit. If you fail to make the movie or to use the actors well, you devalue them in the market place. That’s a HUGE risk for them. It’s not true that if an actor attaches herself to the project and it doesn’t get made, no harm is done. Attaching an actor exposes them to the marketplace — and kind of checks their value. If a project an actor attaches himself to does not get made, it appears that buyers are not interested in them (because they presume that audiences does not value them). By attaching actors to your project, you are risking their career. Do not even approach them, until you are can demonstrate to everyone around them that is not the case.
- Develop a positive reputation for consistently delivering films of quality and acclaim. It may sound like a Catch 22, but [...]
My former business partner and a regular collaborator of mine — both good friends — will be speaking live at Independent Film Week in 30 minutes at 4P EST. They know as much as anyone on the past & present of indie film; maybe they can see the future too. You can watch it live for free on [...]
It took me a week but I finally caught up with Mynette Louie’s IFP Blog Post “Innovate Or Die“. She does an excellent job at capturing the Indie Producer’s life at this point in our cultural era. More importantly, she makes a fantastic and necessary plea to us all:
“let’s put our heads together and figure out how to sustain not only ourselves, but ultimately, the art that we love so dearly, and the diversity of artistic voices that make it. There is a better way, and we’ve got to find it soon.”