Tuesday, September 10, 2013

On the Distribution Revolution

On the Distribution Revolution,

For more information, visit: Declaration of Indies: Just Sell It Yourself!

I love this article! 

Some ideas to throw around:

a) consultants or consulting firms are switching their model to flat fees from percentages. Still do your research but this makes things a little easier to negotiate for indie distribution. And its good to know that some people are finding success dealing with consultants rather than having to take the entire marketing/distributing burden on their own shoulders, or worse, taking crappy deals from larger commercial entities that don't see the income potential and won't invest the appropriate time.

b) Hybrid distribution is what happens when you maintain your direct sales rights while selling off platforms such as DVD or VOD. The original method had you providing all rights to one domestic distributor.

c) Virtual Infrastructure is the network you create cross-promoting with other content creators across the internet. Because websites can bounce information around so quickly, it means you can setup your online store, attach it to your blog, go to work sharing your story and supporting other artists and still be promoting your work and your revenue. It's like social media with the buy component (see LittleCast and VHX)

D) Transmedia is telling a story or exploiting a story elements across multiple platforms. Think your film would make a great video game, contact indie developers. Think your story would make great fan fiction or a graphic novel, continue the journey across other mediums. Spread out the universe of your world and you'll have what Lucas built, a franchise.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

Who's Buying Me Lunch (when the film doesn't sell)?

Who's Buying Me Lunch (when the film doesn't sell)?

For more information visit: No Film Distributor? Then D.I.Y.

In no instance is success guaranteed. I have always liked the idea of growing things. As a kid, when I was done eating an apple, I would throw the pit into someone's garden in the hopes that a tree would sprout up the next year.

Even with a strategy there is a chance of failure. But you can't plan to get that close to opportunity without having a system and a backup plan.

Your film costs money. And enough people joined up for the opportunity because they believed it was worth it. In this business, for some, money is just a formality. I'd rather get paid less working for a humble and passionate person than get paid a lot to work for a tyrant. And even if I need the money I'd be tempted to work in a spiteful manner if I felt disrespected, and that is bad for everyone. It makes the show a waste of time because that energy is going to end up in the soup. This is to say that if your crew signed on and stuck with it, then they probably valued your idea and there's an audience with similar interests out there just for you.

You can't begin to negotiate a sale without understanding what the project should have cost. No one worth their salt is really working for free, they are giving you a discount and you have to understand the Actual budget before you settle on a deal with a distributor.

If the right numbers aren't showing up that's a good time to consider independent methods. This article was from over five years ago but it's a taste of the uncertainty that comes up when newly successful talent finally run into the middle-men of the industry, people who probably don't know what it took or what your potential is just by looking at you.

Know the industry. Knowledge is power.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

Sunday, September 8, 2013

On the wholly unsatisfactory, discomforting reality of a career in film

On the wholly unsatisfactory, discomforting reality of a career in film,


Recently exposed myself to a collection of blog entries about quitting the film industry. Some are rallying calls in disguise and that's cool. But the ones bordering on a real loss of faith are as unnerving as "White Lightning" or "Requiem for Dream."

There is a nightmare existence comprised of the details we often compile detailing our year-to-year experiences trying to make it. So much is sacrificed and it often appears to take an insane sensibility to weather the storm of uncertainty defining the pursuit of success.

We just want to survive on creating our content. Such a simple idea is responsible for torturous crusades and pained ideals and the emergence of cold cynical behavior that betrays the love and generosity of spirit it often takes to create something worthwhile. Dealing with people is hard. But when we accomplish things together, it's a fantastic miracle. This is one of the good things about film-making. Each film is a proof of our compassion, even to a limited degree, for one another.

Still, lives are at stake. It's a compelling problem: finding stability and supporting one another.  So what do we do?

Maybe it's cell memory. Or maybe it's middle-school history lessons. But somehow I think we already know. Perhaps its more about not getting distracted, focusing on the attitude and the strategy, working smart as opposed to working hard. I think the times have changed and we need to sit back and read and think a little more. Then we need to go to work and limit our bets on unknown elements, all the while building relationships we can depend on when it really counts.

We have to make films, the smaller the better, that we care about. Presumably the more we care the more audiences like ourselves will care. Maybe that was the trick all along. I'm not sure. What I am sure of is that right now I can't quit. I've sacrificed a lot and I refuse to accept that a world created of man-made consequence has become so precarious as to prevent any degree of impassioned expression. I am a man and I'm in this and certainly I can be one of negative consequence, on in favor of equal opportunity and support of home life. A system that suffocates the lives of working filmmakers, thereby stifling their existence is a system that has to change. I'm not talking about handouts, but the culture is a bitter one and all that ire and frustration is at the bottom level, where most of us are, when in their place should be the most hope and excitement.

It makes me wonder about what we all think we want when we enter the field. I believe I was originally interested in fiction-writing and later this developed into a fascination with the product of film and the limitless potential of it to bring almost anything into being. 

What a trip...Yeah, I remember now. It's gold.  It's Don Quixote Gold.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

Friday, September 6, 2013

On building something beautiful and finding the world ready to chip in

On building something beautiful and finding the world ready to chip in,

For more information, visit: Dogfish Helps Get 8 Cutting-Edge Film Companies Off the Ground with $18,000 Accelerator Grants

Call me jealous yet thrilled. I'm not ashamed to say I'll probably buy some indulgent ice-cream and send crush emails all around.

But seriously, some of us know we want to have a home where our business is filmmaking all year long, but we don't give a second thought to build a structure.  Some of us do but because we aren't directed to the how's we just kind of squander the time until reality hits us in our 30s (true story).  

But look at these groups and you'll start to gain some understanding on what it means to provide a service for others that is wholly you're own, not unlike a film.  This is how the middle class will return to America.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

A 2nd Edition to the Direct-to-Fan Wave

A 2nd Edition to the Direct-to-Fan Wave,

For more information, visit: LittleCast Launches Direct-to-Fan Video Distribution Platform: Allows Producers to Sell Videos On Facebook and Mobile Apps

This one works directly with Facebook. Very cool. Filmmakers, now compare this with VHX and consider your options. Make a few short films, do some networking, make sure you take a day each week to stay abreast of the tools available. You can't continue filmmaking without revenue and since the tech is getting easier and easier, the real question is how many people can you inspire to pay your price? How much is your work worth? Where do you start? Does it compel your audience to keep you alive? Who has the time right? What a dilemma! But, the indie creators that figure out how to avoid their own mental shutdown and figure out the balance will be the people winning the race. One tip: don't go it alone.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

On Pitching

On Pitching,

For more information visit: Balls of Steel: Pitching Insights & Tips For Before You Submit Your Script

What a great and rewarding read. Bowerman hooked me into four more posts before I was able to pull myself away. One thing that stands out for me is a necessity for the emerging filmmaker to become familiar with that 2-minute (or 15 second) opportunity. You may have dreamed of making movies all your life but there's no reality check quite like that slap in the face you feel when someone with a check is finally ready to listen. This advice goes for directors and creative producers as well as writers: Prepare!

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

Online Film Festivals?! Here we fucking go.

Online Film Festivals?!  Here we fucking go.

For more information, visit: New York Times Launches First Ever Indie Online Film Festival, Curated by Film Independent (TRAILERS)

Online film-festivals ay? I'm slapping myself right now.  This was inevitable.  Now we just gotta wait for the sundance/cannes formula to hit the web.  Everything's gonna get easier and messier.  First the implosion of content cause you're talking billions of global subscribers to the web and millions of filmmakers getting in on the actions.

I don't see currently enough ways to regulate and reduce the streams of revenue.  How can anyone control advertising on the internet.  There's no physical space to get a monopoly on!  Crazy!  And since this draws attention away from physical spaces such as signage at Times Square and screens at regional theater chains, some things are definitely gonna change.

I believe ultimately it will have a lot to do with the filmmakers connection with his audience.  It will become a stock responsibility for content creators to court their viewers and word of mouth is gonna be so much more dynamite that it ever was.

The good news for now is that we digest so much content, I'm talking about the digital generation in general, that we won't experience the down side for a while.  There aren't any people equipped to understand what quality is.  No one can really be an authority on access.  It's a super free market.  And that means there's a lot to take for people with the balls to go get it.  There's just too much confusion.  Anyone with a plan and a team is going to have an edge.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

On Crowd-funding and how to set expectations

On Crowd-funding and how to set expectations,

For more information visit: The Top 10 Myths of Crowdfunding: According to Indiegogo

On Crowdfunding:

There's a little more to be drawn from this. Pitching to a crowd can be impersonal. If the only people that know you personally from your outreach are broke filmmakers like yourself then financing this way can be appear counter-intuitive.

Now lets talk about buzz, momentum, heat, or whatever that thing is. I'm still not sure what makes one idea more exciting than another. What excites me most about a script is whether or not anyone believes it'll be relevant (too few in my community are actively submitting and so we don't really know what competition might be like).  But a general audience approached as part of an outreach or grassroots campaign needs to be brought into the momentum.  What are we most worried about if, as writer-directors for example, we go the distance and try to get out there in front of a bunch of strangers?  Do we have practical goals?  Here's my take on what it means to be an audience member:

I take new concepts as a way to learn about the lives of others. If the filmmaking is done properly, I'm immersed in the world and that's it. In general one pays attention and takes away what they can. Filmmakers are just communicating ideas and I never think about one being more effective than another, I just try to pay attention to what they're saying.  And either they are effective or they aren't.  It's quite possible I wasn't their target audience.  So did they test the concept appropriately and are their creative decisions actually decisions?

Entertainment films, let's say, have their agenda and we base the quality of these films on how well they respond to the expectations they have set. Everyone's a critic. If the filmmaking is done properly, it may not seem genius but competent and I at least can enjoy that, knowing what it takes.

I do not make a very discerning audience, and little more an investor (is the crew competent? are you absolutely thrilled to shoot it?  do you know what it takes to shoot it?  does anyone with experience believe you? Yes, OK then!), but as a creative producer I would invest myself heavily on every stage once involved and so for me compatibility is important. Personalities have to get along: crew with director, director with story, story with producer, producer with market, all of the above with some sensible taste - I mean in general when something is worth doing you feel it.

My point is that people have to like you and be enthused by how earnest you are. If you're not true to your vision cause your vision is fluff, it'll come to light.  If you've no energy for the job, you can't lead.  It'll show up on screen and the audience will know.  They come to believe your world and share in the excitement and the logic with which you're pursuing this project. You need to campaign long enough to get the right level of sympathy behind you and that has just as much to do with who you are as it would do with what you're project is about.  The good news is if you're clear and consistent to your target audience, word of mouth is a shoe in.

By this process, both a mass appeal or niche appeal can be conceived by doing that thing which most people are terrified by, exposing yourself. Be human, be real, be intimate and do enough of development and prepro work so that people start engaging their imaginations as early as possible.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Discussing NY Times 20 Directors to Watch

Discussing NY Times 20 Directors to Watch,

For more information visit: 20 Directors to Watch

Before I re-post my original digression on presale qualification, I should take a moment to actually submit a digestion on the filmmakers themselves: I realized TODAY something that I'd always known but never thought about.  I do not have a refined sense of cinema.  It either makes sense or it doesn't.  I don't value a heavy investment on captured moments without proper story.  I'm addicted to compelling narrative found in commercial cinema.  I struggle to connect with foreign cinema and of all the cinema I've seen listed by the NY Times critics, I was mainly confused by their success.  I don't hate any of it and more power to them, but I am confused.

I feel as if film is going the route of amateur poetry and is becoming meaningless in how varied the use is translated.  Everything can be recorded and what we once believed was a supposed to be a show, a tale, an escape, is quickly merging with home recording making it appear that greater accessibility to equipment means anyone can do anything and have the possibility of renown thrust upon them out of sheer brazen interest.

I feel like cinema is made primarily for the adventure or the mystery and now it's more about disguising the director's memoir (or not disguising it at all).  I'm not sure if I'm fascinated with any of it.  But many of these directors have gone on to win at several festivals and in certain cases pay their bills, so...  It makes me think about the value of pure accomplishment and the people behind it that can resist the temptations of doubt.  It makes me think about the machine that must make use of the people who dare to create anything, the press and so forth.

It makes me think that despite my education in film, there's so much more I need to understand about people and audiences, and so much more credit I have to give to people who dare to finish something.  I can't care about these films because it feels too much like I'm hearing the directors tell me of the random of their imagination - disjointed images, alien soundscapes, long awkward holds on anything, docu-style process films...what?  and why?  We could've gone through this over a couple of beers.

I'm spoiled.  I can go across the globe and witness the world of visionaries for free in just two minutes and I'm too American to care.


I just want to say that I called it AGAIN!

On August 6th I commented on a blog post explaining the new SEC Job Acts ruling that will open up public options for investment in show production.

My thinking is that since investors are always looking for an edge in information, there will be work on setting up information on film investment in such a way that it will be easier to observe successful trends and predict success. Marketing departments already do this and for generations but how producers setup the proposal is anyone's guess, although I'm sure we're looking at paperwork much like a business plan.

With the Job Acts ruling, the potential for wider investment in a non-direct way means there needs to be an objective assessment protocol mediated by experienced analysts, much the way brokers provide agency for investor capital today. This might mean something like package elements receiving arbitrary numerical values that equal a score which can indicate investor viability. It would repeat what we've done with sports, the race track, straight up gambling etc. The system was a prediction of mine but really it's likely a normal amount of common sense applied by anyone watching the weather. Still, I was impressed with myself.

In the very first excerpts from interviews of the "20 to watch," Dee Rees admits that she needs a specific element to get an indie film greenlit: a white, known, a-list action-hero because there's a foreign-value spreadsheet that scores her current package below acceptance for foreign pre-sale.

That she needed the white-guy was not what stunned me. That there is already collected data ready to support statistical evaluation did and made me think we are actually way closer to seeing a new form of broker and business emerge to answer the call of translating film potential to private investors.

As an aspiring filmmaker among filmmakers I did not anticipate having to write press releases or prepare proposals for the broker, but here goes a new spin on how funding will be acquired and another way in which we need to be looking ahead.

C.M. Sanchez III

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The first major Direct-to-fan platform!

The first major Direct-to-fan platform!

Visit VHX Gets Funded!

And: What in the hell . . . MY IDEA! Lolololol

Grab a surf board, the wave's a comin!

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

Exploring the Model for Emerging Producers

Exploring the Model for Emerging Producers,

For more information visit: How Much Does An American Indie Producer Get Paid?

In entertainment industries all over it seems there are parallels of the insufferable economics many emerging artists undergo. Despite all the opportunity trending, the numbers simply don't add up. 

How in the world can independent producers survive?

My first strategic enforcement is to separate the layers of indie cinema so that we might account for budgets beneath $2 million aimed at venues that would include online distribution and local film fests. The truth is, his lowest estimates are beyond what many emerging artists have access to. We simply don't know the language or the expectations that deal in millions and without adequate outreach to educational platforms, college students can't spread the word on opportunity.

The producer in question would need a partner in production management with the capacity to effectively communicate the producer's vision, while passionately employing his own diligence and work standards on the set. This way the producer can maintain the web of resource support and marketing tactics needed to keep the content in play.

The producer would limit the scale of development and preproduction against active scripts in such a way that would allow him to engage in physical production every month. According to Hope's numbers, the producer would need to start a $65k budget film to qualify for about $1.5k in monthly pay from negative cost alone. The danger is in the loss of quality. Scripts would have needed to be much longer in development or conversely capable of straightforward entertainment in limited scope but with an active and responsive community supporting; ideal situations both.

The only projects that might conform to this are no-budget indie features or web shows. Functioning revenue models are tricky at the low end without loyal fan base, and even still. The campaigning alone would keep said producer on edge considering that, to conserve time, he'd be in post of one film while in pre-production of another to keep the slate filled and I'm unsure of how capable one man can be when concerned with a precondition of financial hardship (presuming the producers are college students or emerging artists elsewhere without a solid career that would have otherwise impeded initial exploration into independent production)

The timing of creative leadership and other character drama approaching principal photography could seriously disrupt office activity. I wouldn't imagine production funds are paying for the producer's lawyer and he's likely doing the accounting himself to start. This adds up to a lot of work that doesn't leave a lot of time to find new talent or earn money elsewhere and if you aren't focused on the task, how can you expect to master the craft? This might require the office of 3rd position in acquisitions.

These initial 3, however, having the appropriate synergy might be able to, with the appropriate technical skill, earn money elsewhere as a working production team, saving the funds needed in part of the year to survive off of in another (providing the gigs are available and consistent).

In the hypothetical anything seems possible. But with so many dangers lurking that will lead one to ruin, it's important that you sit down and plot and the path. Ted's last name may be Hope but he seems to be prescribing doom. What's really important is that producers produce and they can't do that if they're homeless. You're greatest investment is in yourself. As a producer, you are a medium between inspiration and reality and you must take the time to consider the lay of the land, not simply venture out in blind interest, if you are going to do the good work AND survive.

I could crunch the possibilities all day before considering the chance of a sale, but anyway you put it, producing is a daring gamble of personal time BECAUSE its essentially his or her responsibility to determine his or her own value. The only consolation to the worry is that producers have existed for a long time and if they can figure out, so can you.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

The Basics of a Film Site

The Basics of a Film Site,

For more information visit: 7 Things You Absolutely Must Have On Your Film's Web Site

Holy Shit - No Way?  Yes Way - just marketing your film properly can improve your chances of rising in the ranks.  The "gatekeepers" are audience members and potential fans too but if you make their work harder for them than is necessary you run into unforeseen problems such as being glossed over.

Developing a web-site is like an ancient mystical practice to me (even though it shouldn't be, arguably I'm part of the generation where the internet really took off).  It's a lot of not film or production related jargin that is thoroughly dis-interesting to me.  But you know what IS interesting to me?  Success.  So fuck it.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

Adam Goldman and Kickstarter

Adam Goldman and Kickstarter,

For more information, visit: Interview: Filmmaker Adam Goldman on "Whatever This Is," "The Outs," and Making Crowd-Funded Series

An inside look on Kickstarter success by a small group of Brooklynite filmmakers and another inspiring story pushing us to build the content, build the fanbase and feed the beast. The internet continues to evolve entertainment and expand its storehouse.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

On Refining Your Screenplay

On Refining Your Screenplay,

For more information, visit: DIY Monday: Script Criteria Checklist

Here's a good set of tips from Moviemaker.com to set off the discussion with your feedback readers, or use as a baseline for your edits. There are of course tendencies toward commercial exploitation that take into account the financier's concerns, but you WANT people to engage in your material and starting your career by dismissing the audience or their expectations is a quick way to nowhere. So get started on stacking the odds in your favor and good luck.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

On Specializing Vs.Being a Jack of Trades

On Specializing Vs.Being a Jack of Trades,

For more information, visit ‘Afternoon Delight’s’ Jill Soloway: ‘Brain Pickins’

"Perhaps I was having motivation problems because the only variety in my daily diet was bong for breakfast, pipe for lunch, joint for dinner. I harumphed, then just before I hung up, I told him, “Well … well … if writers write, then agents … age!” Ha ha! I sure showed him." - Jill Soloway on Writing.

I fear in my pursuit of demystifying success in the film industry I've become victim of that rather common problem of spreading one's focus. Soloway says "writers write." Joke and Biaggio say "producers producer." Essentially, the heart of a filmmaker is in making stuff.

Recently I've been reading a book called 'Steven Spielberg: Interviews,' Edts. Friedman and Notbohn.
Spielberg started out going through the whole 9 yards with his 8mm camera in his early teens. Not just pointing a camera, not just editing, but layering film for visual effect, composing his own score, splicing in stock footage, flash-cuts, sound-mixing, you name it.

It's an odd paradox that in order to be a good filmmaker you want to have your hands in everything at first, but having your hands in everything can sometimes get in the way at being truly competitive at one thing. Then a long time friend of mine tells me "You'll always be more valuable if you can do 10 things with moderate success than 1 thing expertly." Put that sage wisdom against 'Jiro Dreams of Sushi [Netflix]' and you'll see my conundrum. There's a delicate balance in play needed for maturing into a successful, practicing artist and there are no easy answers save one: as long as every so often you have something to show, you're going somewhere.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

Labor Shifts East

Labor Shifts East,

For more information, visit: L.A. Mayor Declares State of ‘Emergency’ As Movie, TV Production Flees Hollywood

"Many local businesses that support production have closed or been forced to lay off workers, and the trade unions report high levels of unemployment among their California members, according to the study." - Ted Johnson, Senior Editor at Variety

It's long been an accepted truth on the East Coast that at some point your vying for an invite from Hollywood to go to work. It would have represented a milestone in one's career, as the assumption is once you're brought into a California filmmaking network, the jobs are consistent. We presumed for a while that there was simply more opportunity over there, while here in NYC there's a lot of close competition.

This article says a whole lot of otherwise. Rethink moving west until the dust settles and better trends emerge or possibly find yourself going from unemployed to more unemployed.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

Monday, August 26, 2013

Demand from the Gatekeepers - Posted Publicly

Demand from the Gatekeepers - Posted Publicly,

To writers of literary inclination (and the fostering producers that can goad them to an adapted screenplay): Explore the Manuscript Wish Lists of Countless Literary Agents

Aside from the interests tweeted there, we need to consider the similarities between entertainment service industries and understand that literary publication also has its tentpoles.  Any publisher would take another Harry Potter success.  Any publisher would relish the interest of a movie deal.  These avenues are just important to respect and follow and if you can cut in early on the demand by somehow sponsoring the fiction that gets the deal, you are in a better position to bargain later.  Maybe you are the writer or you know someone who's developing a manuscript.  Take the advantage.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

Kevin Spacey on the Advent of Good TV

Kevin Spacey on the Advent of Good TV,

For more information visit: Kevin Spacey Laments Lack Of Ballsy TV Execs In Wide-Ranging MacTaggart Lecture

Kevin Spacey, excerpts from Edinburgh 2013:

“And the audience has spoken: they want stories. They’re dying for them. They are rooting for us to give them the right thing. And they will talk about it, binge on it, carry it with them on the bus and to the hairdresser, force it on their friends, tweet, blog, Facebook, make fan pages, silly Jifs and god knows what else about it, engage with it with a passion and an intimacy that a blockbuster movie could only dream of. All we have to do is give it to them. The prize fruit is right there. Shinier and juicier than it has ever been before. So it will be all the more shame on each and every one of us if we don’t reach out and seize it.”

“If someone can watch an entire season of a TV series in one day, doesn’t that show an incredible attention span? When the story is good enough, people can watch something three times the length of an opera. We can make NO ASSUMPTIONS about what viewers want or how they want to experience things. We must observe, adapt, and TRY NEW THINGS to discover appetites we didn’t know were there.”

Aside from being inspired by a great actor, take note of the increased consumption rate of entertainment due to Netflix's season-packages. The fact that more people will be ready to move onto the next thing quicker should mean that demand for new narrative content is through the roof. But with all that demand, who's qualified to deliver? What have you been doing lately?

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Discussing Story, Character, Pushing the Mid-level Show in TV

Discussing Story, Character, and Pushing Mid-level Show in TV,


"This surprise revival was spurred in part by the studios’ collective neglect of the so-called “small story” that still clearly resonates with audiences. In an industry that remains fixated on tentpoles, the difficulty of getting mature dramas shown in theaters has made television all the more attractive to top film talent, who are turning, ever-frequently, to the small screen in order to deliver high-caliber, sophisticated content." - Aimee Manis, Studio System News

For the emerging filmmaker, it is important to track this. Why? Because where you make your money will be largely dependent upon where you work can be sold. Production constraints from limited budget won't exactly make you a top contender for blockbuster directing any time soon. You work will have to be intelligent and provocative and the roles will have to be meaty because the accessible market place today exists wherever there is drive to fill in the middle-level demand. Does this mean you'll be contending with Steven Soderbergh for the sale? Not necessarily. The ways in which a good film can be delivered have increased; consider HBO GO for example. That veteran filmmakers are taking the time to maintain the interest in smaller yet better seasoned product, as well as using kickstarter in some cases to garner the support of their fanbase, is great in that it drives attention to the tools and mediums that rising creative talent must also utilize to develop their career. Therein lies opportunity when audiences are proven comfortable and appreciative of lower scale (in terms of cost and advertising) productions.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

The Value of the Rerun

The Value of the Rerun

For more information, visit: I'm Worried That The Cable Rerun Movie Is in Danger of Dying Out

If the post seems obscure, I just want you to read this in the context of maneuver where you keep your old content relevant.  This is discussed in BOND's 360 Equation, but the gist is that by withholding individual sales rights and having pricing control you can inject steam into your business each time something new is released or for a variety of event-based reasons.  Old content doesn't have to be treated like old content and as long as you're growing in skill and capacity, it's just as likely your audience will appreciate the less masterful content anyway.  So if you're idea was to hide old work once it's done, don't.

"Once they’ve blown up a town, then they have to blow up a city, and then a country. That’s why no building has survived a movie in the past several years." - Amanda Dobbins on why Cable reruns of yesteryear have a special quality over reruns of more recent tentpole shows hitting the networks.

This is silly...but I get it. This is often how I commune with my mom. Everything she says brings to light an interesting idea about how we scroll off the old for the new, even though the old worked and when done well works in perpetuity. But a thought just occurred to me: for everything that the no-budget community creates, can we ever get to the point where we make a product of that raw, unfinished but oddly magical quality represented by emerging cinema? We can now look back on documentaries featuring the beginning of current master actors with a sense of awe, not really sticking on the idea that they sucked at the time. Perhaps that same nostalgia can be invested in the wealth of unknown content filled with cinematic nuance being developed all over right now? All it needs is the right venue and a moderately sized audience of people willing to appreciate story and who knows? Perhaps the comforting predictability of the future will come from memories of the moment.

No disregard to the cheesy classics of course, they made us.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

VOD and why it's important

VOD and why it's important,

For more information, visit: After destroying newspapers, the Internet is now poised to disrupt television

'You might have to abandon cable distribution and get a slot on Netflix, but content is in such high demand “that you will be able to make money… It really shouldn’t change your financial outlook or your survival.”'

We need to bring this point up: Up until this generation of digital streaming, content providers had to cap their productions to how many slots were available at primetime or how many weekends were available for theater exhibition throughout the year. It didn't matter the genre, or demographic, there was only so much viewing potential given what you're aiming for, so even if you were good, you could be rightly refused because there's nowhere to put you. That's changed.

Now that people can view on-demand during times that are convenient for them, store content indefinitely and share content quicker, the idea that content is in constant demand should speak to indie-producers and emerging artists as a reason for greater commitment and conviction to to the cause. If you're not coming across this idea at school, or from your peers, mentors or business partners, here it is. Start producing and start selling. So far as the rumor mill has it, your audience is effectively opening up to the world at large where there is no limit to show-times available or the amount of people you can reach. That means financiers are looking and will be open to more show and those that can't keep an open and aggressive mind for new talent but not be getting the point anyway. So, what have you been up to lately?

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

Terry Gilliam Speaks Out

Terry Gilliam Speaks Out,

For more information visit: Fleming Q&As Terry Gilliam On His Venice-Bound ‘Zero Theorem,’ Don Quixote And Hollywood’s Big Budget Fixation

Add another master to voices of dissent. I've got a gut feeling that pressure from above and below (where most of the rest of us are) is going to settle on the emergence of some new form of industry within show-business where the middle-class can return in force. It's just gotta happen.

"The 1% are those tentpole pictures where all the money goes. What happens in society is that the middle class is getting hammered, and films in the middle range cost-wise are just not happening now." - Terry Gilliam

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

On assessing Box Office dollars and whether or not it matters

On assessing Box Office dollars and whether or not it matters,

For more information, visit: Record Summer Movie Box Office? Great News for Universal, Bad News for Sony

You're right Scott. It doesn't matter to Wall St. It doesn't matter to the studios compared to how their individual performance matters. But what we can take away from the record-breaking Box-Office totals is either one of two things: more people are watching films than ever OR these numbers are indicative of the 3D-induced price-hikes and could just as well represent a decrease in overall attendance masked to confuse the public into believing they are actually watching more movies and they might as well continue to do so. A marketing ploy that benefits the entire industry is one that makes us think we've always been to the movies and will continue to be there, and not Netflix, nor On-Demand, nor Day & Date releases can stop it. But I wonder, if just as many movie-goers were paying $18 instead of the $7 they used to a decade ago, if the numbers and attendance rates would in-fact be way higher.

It makes me think about how marketers manipulate information, and sadly, if there isn't something to be gained by such a practice in the pursuit of stable filmmaking. With all the money in play, I can't say I blame them.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

On the Internal War

On the Internal War and fighting the demons that make you suck,

For more information, visit: How Do I Get Over My Bad Habit of Procrastinating?

It doesn't matter what it is, it's a glaring problem. It could be relegated to doubt and fear. It could be an addiction, hard or soft. It could be excuses that de-prioritize that which you'd rather do because engaging your passion is somehow a crime. No matter what it is, it's a wall. And a wall can be scaled and vaulted over, crashed through, bombed to hell, flown or surfed over when the elements are right. It can even be carefully deconstructed or transformed into a bridge.

All the tools that created the obstacle are the same tools that can create the answer to it. What the Forbes article below explains is how those tools were developed eons ago, they respond primarily to absolute necessity but remain manageable given focused assessment. Take for example "positivity:" a million people will tell you stay positive and you'll be able to accomplish your goals. You know what they really mean is keep your head clear of doubt so you can focus on your actions and stay moving forward. And that would be easy if your real motivators, whatever they are, didn't run off on you. It's logical to assume that success and pride are enough to get us to act. But we don't really care. Not wanting to do something is as strong a motivator as any positive slogan we can fabricate. Even love can lose its luster. This is why the gym is such a hard sell.

But what if we consider something that generally has a "negative" connotation, like addiction. A variant of this is obsession. The stuff we associate with obsession is much closer to the base of our motivation than what the logical brain decrees. That 'need/want hemorrhage is damn near elemental. But if we were obsessed with health, obsessed with writing, obsessed with making films that matter, obsessed with creating jobs, then life would turn almost violent with righteous passion. For some reason, I instinctively feel it's easier to activate an obsession, a hunt, than it is to champion a discipline, a restraint. I learned that about myself. You too can debug your activators and mechanisms to create pathways to action. It takes time and consideration. But they say that economic mobility is dead. Dreamers have nothing to lose by breaking themselves down and rebuilding themselves anew. Read below and then go have a talk with your inner lizard.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

On Harnessing E-mail

On Harnessing E-mail,

For more information, visit: 37 Tips for Writing Emails that Get Opened, Read, and Clicked

It's the digital mouthpiece and communications work-horse: the E-mail

I like that phone calls have moved into a realm of near-intimacy. We've become passive in our engagements, leaning on texts and e-mails to properly formulate our arguments and our identities for our recipients. So when a call is made, it's serious.

We, as rising self-starters, can use this to our advantage and distinguish ourselves from the rest of the world by reaching out with a warm and hearty hello (and follow it up with "now where the hell's the shotlist?!")

For everyone else though, we still have work to do. An e-mail can either be an impersonal excuse for not finding the contact valuable enough to invest a human moment with, or you can take the time, as I do, to write with faith and concern to your wider audience or extended network.

It is unlikely you can spend the time on the phone communicating value to everyone when the expectations for meaningful conversation don't sync up with the incoming call. A beer or a funny text or a meaningful letter take precedent. We like our anonymity. We like our distance. But it doesn't mean we don't appreciate being thought of in a way worthy of the personal investment.

[DISCLAIMER: I'm an English major, and probably setting myself up for grief, but I like a good letter]

In this copyblogger post, some valuable common sense becomes easy points for practice for all your communication needs; be it your address in a casting call, your followup with that producer, the invitation for a screening event, and so forth.

Be yourself, be engaged, be concise but not lazy, and by all means open up a little to your contacts. For all you know it's a breath of fresh air for them and their reason for a closer look.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

Learn to read

For more information, visit: BOND 360 on 'INDIE GAME'


Why? Because if you want to turn your dream into a career you're going to need smart and useful information coming to you by people who are invested in your advancement. Marc Schiller at Bond Influence sees a future where more and more indie filmmakers have taken up DIY marketing and distribution and found success.

Let's define success for a second. Lets say you make a short film for $5k. You find a way to make 1 or 2 more. You have no way to make money on short films BUT, 3 short films with behind the scenes footage that shows a compelling drama about the struggle of filmmaking might certainly make the rounds. If the narratives are entertaining and the packaging is attractive, you've got a triple threat that would go NO WHERE unless you took the risk to place it in the market while building up a grassroots fan base.

By the time your ready to produce or direct your feature, you might actually have the money to pursue the next level of marketing and afford companies like Bond to assist. But crossing the gap is our job and blogs like BOND 360, Joke and Biaggio, Coppy Blogger, Filmonomics and those featured by Raindance and Tribeca film festivals allows us to course-correct effectively and stay in the game.

Click on the link above and see an example of how one set of filmmakers are setting the pace.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

On shooting first and asking questions later

On shooting first and asking questions later,

For more information, visit: Producers Make Stuff

Apparently . . . producers make stuff.

The implication is that execution means more than anything else. If you can make can get a final cut out of crap, then you can certainly seal the deal elsewhere. The burning question you'd want to ask: "but who wants to make crap?"

Ah ha! Well, I once had a talk with an evil Frenchman (ahem, not all French are evil) who said that filmmaking was a battle between an artist and his pretensions. Once he accepts he will may make shit, he must proceed to make the shittiest thing possible. And then he will have made a film.

This is bad advice.

DO NOT take J&Bs tip below out of context. You have a standard that is reflected with sensible ideas like "block, light, shoot." You will look for proper and compelling character arcs within your scripts. You will find the marketing angle for your film and the audience that must respond to it to keep your director and your crew moving on to more show. You'll care for your crew and feed them. You'll care for your actors and get them the DVD. You'll manage your paperwork and build your brand because people who are not producers are relying on you.

But what I'm promoting here, is that being a perfectionist, and forgetting that concessions are part of the job, will harm you. Everyone is making them on set when time, money and weather are the true emperors. Perhaps more important than arbitrary standards is output. Any intelligent industry vet can imagine what you could have done with an extra $100k and another month with a captive crew. The fact you did anything at all with only $3k is fantastic.

Accept your limitations, adorn them like a crown and produce a script you enjoy anyway (even if quality had to level out at 80% to make the day). Make use of absence and focus on craft and performance and prove as many times over as possible that you don't just shoot, you produce. You don't just accept the title, you produce. You don't just think you produce. You've produced.

Go get as much of that action in the past tense, and your quality standards will inevitably raise as a matter of survival and respect for the game (cause you can't produce continually if no one likes you or you don't pay attention to feedback; unless ofcourse you have money and no concern that the rest of you may be meaningless).

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Never Stop Learning

Never Stop Learning,

For info, visit: "The Movie Business Book" on Facebook

I'm excited to the point of absurdity. While I await for the shaky exuberance to subside, I've found a clear line of action to move me, which is suggesting this book. The reason for my excitement comes from the marriage of information to purpose - that is, I want to find a meaningful way to engage in marketing & distribution that will aid my emerging community of fimmakers (who don't have a strong grasp of much beyond physical production). What this book (2nd Edition) has done is demystify the ways in which money is procured, leveraged, risked and invested; by each sections of the industry and by every motive. While there are certain reflections that are dated, the basic math is extremely useful and has allowed me to undergo calculations and operational brainstorming yielding ways in which my original purpose might be manifested.

It is a technical and laborious read. But for anyone that is passionately interested in creating opportunity for themselves and their peers, for anyone that doesn't want to suffer beneath the whims of chance and is looking for practices and strategies they can utilize today in how they will maneuver into their career, read this book. If you're heart and mind are in the right place and focused, the information will thrill you and enable you to speak with confidence and passion when gathering support to your brand and your business.

Often creative artists are paralyzed by a world of commerce that they criticize out of stubborn fear. There is more to filmmaking than the art. It has survived because the people want it. But if we are going to be responsible for something we all want, then those of us assuming the mantle of filmmaker must be sustained. It's only fair. In order to be sustained we must first understand all the working parts and then make these definitions relative to our place in the game, so that we can actually sit down and play it. Never stop learning.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

On Cast Directing

On Cast Directing,

For more information, visit: 'CASTING BY' Homepage

My fellow filmies, if you are an emerging creative artist, please watch this documentary on HBO (go or on demand). It's really an eye-opener and beautifully done. I'm looking at casting in whole new light.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

On Investor Psychology

On Investor Psychology,

For more information, visit: Landing The Next Big Thing

I love that I was born with eyes and can read, and read English, and have fingers to power the internet and I exist in the time of the internet and once had the insight to invest in a laptop and have the odd arrangement to read for an afternoon about film with a brain that can react and so on and so on.

While I set myself to produce a short film in the fall as well as my own string of short film ideas, I'm also highly interested in the approach to investors since that will be a large part of the future gambits.

Being trusted means a lot of things, including learning how to write your ass off when it comes to a film proposal. But understanding what's been going on outside of our industry is important too. This blog [SLATED] provides meaningful insight on the investment perspective and how to understand the issues guarding the money flow (among other things of course)

What I've pulled from this entry is that the systems in which investor money enters the equation for filmmaking is different than most other gambles. Often the packages are made (and usually the film is shot) before distribution enters the arena and provides avenues to repay investors and make profit. This isn't true elsewhere where there are venture capitalists and angel investors. When the success rate between the odd indie film hitting a home run is similar to that of the new web startup, the question for indie producers comes from knowing there's a larger pool out there of people willing to take a risk if only they knew the game.

Read and follow the blog and as a producer remember that it's up to you to explain the value of your film in about a million different ways. All that practice will make perfect however and making a career out of it should be just a matter of time.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

On the SEC Jobs Act and You

On the SEC Jobs Act and You,

For more information visit: After SEC JOBS Act Ruling, How Can You Approach Film Investors?


What is this mumbo jumbo?! I need to adopt an MBA.

From what I can tell, there was something preventing investors from becoming legally involved with a production via public option. You had to have a personal relationship developed. The easiest way I can think about this is they way people currently invest in stocks, via their broker for example. Now that rule is changing, and while the oversight and background checks the S.E.C. demands over trade may become initially burdensome as this becomes publicized and pursued by producers, my question is how will this change the way producers fundraise?

There is already a lean in the discussion to implicate a heavy involvement of crowdsourcing mechanics. And I'm betting on an emergence of new business specialties and careers bridging the gap for what's lost in translation between non-film and film industry investments. As an example, read my next post regarding the Filmonomics blog entry on discussing Silicon Valley vs. Hollywood.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III

On Spike Lee doin it wrong

On Spike Lee doin' it wrong,

For more information, visit: Spike Lee Does the Right Thing: The Seven Ways He Revamped His Kickstarter Campaign

Even veterans need to reassess their approach on occasion. If your fundraising campaign is falling short, remember it's meant to be organic. The world is wide enough that there's no final word on how and where the money will arrive. Dust off, recollect, figure out what to do better and move forward.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M.Sanchez III

Pinterest Leads

Visit: 10 Pinterest Boards Filmmakers Should Be Following

Indie producers keep your head right and your info coming in. Always have something to read and learn from. IW has a nice list of online trade sources to pour over and build your strategy with. Not being a vet is no excuse to remain ignorant about the parameters of success.

Note: I hate lists.

Let's get what we came for anyway,
C.M. Sanchez III

Monday, August 5, 2013

On the pitch

On the pitch,

For more information, visit: Here's How Screenwriters Can Learn to Talk to Movie Moguls and Agents

In this IW post, a chapter from this new book on Screenwriting by Max Adams was referenced detailing some common sense items for concept creators a little further up the path to success.

1: Know that the suit is looking at how to explain your idea in terms of cash potential, e.g. box office. They want movies that have done well to represent certain elements or decisions in the story you've created. They want Actor's who are recently trending to be suggested for the lead roles. So as you read trades, start to look closer at trending names of actors and directors who are having success. Perhaps profile their style or sensibilities. Or if that's too much work to do it as a hobby, make sure the research is part of your pre-pitch planning.

2. When you explain the film, they want you to explain the plot because they are thinking of how the trailer will be crafted. Intangible and internal/emotional qualities of the script are for you alone, unless they ask you to explain the subtext, specifically. What they want is a compelling film atop a marketable foundation. You were thinking a marketable film built atop a thematic foundation, but no. But you can find the middle ground by going to the heart of the plot and demonstrating a need for the principal character to move forward. Really good story is based around really compelling motives that allow a character to drive scenes forward. In that way you can suggest a deeper need that will pull at the audience and hopefully your producer. But it's gotta be in present tense and it has to be in film-able terms and you have to have the appropriate references that speak success to them so they can forward your concept with gusto.

3. We are sometimes told to yell "Action!" or perhaps say it in the emotional tone of the scene. You want to get everyone focused and in the proper mood in the instance that it affects their professional demeanor and helps provide the right environment for the actors.

What this article suggests is something in line with this idea, you dress to your pitch appointment in a manner somehow supporting your script's pitchable qualities. Don't take this to an extreme and show up in an alien costume for a sci-fi. As stated in the read, if the script might be defined as edgy, dress a little sharper yourself. If you just wrote a stoner-comdey, come relaxed as opposed to conservative. If you are pitching a $200 million dollar eye gouger, perhaps put a suit on. Consider reasonable fashion choices that will help the interviewer believe that you have the personality suited to command the responsibility your interviewing for. Couldn't hurt.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III