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February 12 at 3:30pm

Creating “Live” Films Can Be Artistically and Financially Fulfilling

By Sheri Candler

Originally published on www.thefilmcollaborative.org

TheMeasureofAllThingsScre_RyanJohnson_180 (2)There is a lot of talk in independent film circles about the need to “eventize” the cinematic experience. The thought is that audiences are increasingly satisfied with viewing films and other video material on their private devices whenever their schedule permits and the need to leave the house to go to a separate place to watch is becoming an outdated notion, especially for younger audiences. But making your work an event that can only be experienced in a live setting is something few creators are exploring at the moment. Sure, some filmmakers and distributors are adding live Q&As with the director or cast, sometimes in person and sometimes via Skype; discussion panels with local organizations are often included with documentary screenings; and sometimes live musical performances are included featuring the musicians on the film’s soundtrack, but what about work that can ONLY be enjoyed as a live experience? Work that will never appear on DVD or digital outlets? Not only is there an artistic reason for creating such work, but there can be a business reason as well.

In reading a New York Times piece entitled “The one filmmaker who doesn’t want a distribution deal”  about the Sundance premiere of Sam Green’s live documentary The Measure of All Things, I was curious to find out why a filmmaker would say he never plans for this work to show on streaming outlets like Netflix, only as a live event piece. I contacted Sam Green and he was kind enough to share his thoughts about why he likes creating for and participating with the audience of his work and why the economics of this form could be much more lucrative for documentary filmmakers. [...]


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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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January 16 at 1:00pm

Filmmakers, It’s 2013. Do You Know Where Your Jobs Act Is? Part 2

Written by Michael R. Barnard

FILMMAKERS, IT’S 2013. DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR JOBS ACT IS?

Part 2 of 3 parts.

Yesterday, in Part 1, we looked at the general state of affairs for raising money from investors for your movie, and introduced the JOBS Act for its potential to help rebuild the independent film industry in America.
Offering securities for your film is tightly restricted and regulated by the SEC. For every rule of the SEC that you ignore, your disgruntled investor’s attorneys will accuse you of fraud and deception and other wrongdoing. They will win, and collect good sums of money for their clients.
“If somebody loses their money in a film investment,” says Jeff Steele of Film Closings, “Nine out of ten times, they’re going to sue the producer. That’s how the world works. The difference between being sued by ma and pa investors or Accredited Investors is that Accredited Investors have better lawyers.”

For the definition of “Accredited Investors,” see http://www.sec.gov/info/smallbus/secg/accredited-investor-net-worth-standard-secg.htm

In simple terms – explanations that are more complex require attorneys – the process to raise money for your movie by legally offering securities is referred to generally as a “Private Placement Memorandum,” which usually costs about $15,000 or more in time and fees.

When you have your expensive PPM, what can you do with it? [...]


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January 15 at 1:00pm

Filmmakers, It’s 2013. Do You Know Where Your Jobs Act Is? Part 1

Written by Michael R. Barnard
FILMMAKERS, IT’S 2013. DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR JOBS ACT IS?
PART 1 of 3 parts
Young filmmakers today – those of you in your early to mid-twenties – entered filmmaking after the Great Recession and complications of rapid technological developments began to cripple the independent filmmaking industry in America. You entered the field just as the then-new perks-based donor crowdfunding function blossomed in the debris of crushed distribution companies, shrunken Minimum Guarantees, destroyed bank credit, and disappearance of most equity investment by hedge funds, institutions, and high-net-worth individuals. Those of us who are older are still smarting from the destruction, still aware of the way things had been.
The independent film industry in America shows signs of poverty, with many independent filmmakers living lives of ‘the starving artist,’ and jobs within the industry seem to be rare. Rarer still are consistent jobs that pay a living wage.
President Obama signed into law the American JOBS Act last spring. Called the “Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act,” its purpose is to help Americans who have good, sound business projects to attract cash from investors more easily. Businesses create jobs and hire people, and America needs that. The independent film industry in America needs that.
President Obama said, [...]


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October 1 at 8:00am

Have Crowd. Will Collaborate.

by Angie Fielder

Crowdfunding is definitely the social media flavour of the month as creative people connect with online audiences who want to help finance their dreams. On Kickstarter alone, nearly 3 million people have helped over 30,000 projects, generating more than $US300 million in pledges.

As producers of The Second Coming, a feature film that is currently seeking funds via crowdfunding site Pozible (www.pozible.com), we recognise the need, in this fast-becoming-saturated crowdfunding environment, to think outside the box when it comes to incentivising people to pledge. Particularly if we want to go beyond our personal network of family and friends. That’s the real challenge with crowdfunding – engaging people outside of your own contacts, outside of your existing support networks. [...]


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