Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Independent Film Week = headslap
For more information, visit IndieWire for all their reports on what I've been rattling the cages on for a year.

I'm sore.  I'll admit it.  I didn't have the right amount of drive and wasn't born in the right town and don't have legacy film blood in me to start me off with a fighting chance.

But damn it!  The self-distribution game is wide open and hot and any chance to make a killing is getting swamped by all the press and institutional support of what the folks at Killer Films and Seed & Spark and many other companies and individuals are putting together to change the face of the industry.

It's very much the rallying us creators need.  But I feel like once more the strongest resources are going in the safest directions.  All this accessibility should have been a boon to level the playing field but there's a whole new tier of competition rising into the fray: technologists. who got into graphic design or web design or programming have a path into storytelling much like indie game programmers.  The harder learning curve is in the tech and while there are a lot of resources online to get things moving (primarily Youtube and Google), there is now a gatekeeper that hadn't been there before and that's singular capacity.  Every group endeavor is going to be affected by its weakest link and only the most committed and capable individuals will rise into the light.  Just because you understand the mythic structure doesn't mean you'll be able to breakdown wordpress or basic accounting, SEO or distribution deals and you need it all.

That may mean those eligible are people who don't have to worry about survival or are in fact crazies.  But those in between - the moderates and mild-mannered, the average joe storyteller looking for enough stability to pursue his dream - still doesn't have a shot.  You've got to flex money or you've gotta go crazy.  There's no other way to handle a campaign and that scares me.  The real commitment of competing filmmakers is involves a do-or-die approach that requires a complete personal sacrifice.

I'm jabbering and you get the picture.  The tips I pulled from a stream of articles were to
  1. not forget about grants and fiscal sponsorship when moving from short to feature
  2. build your audience on the way to your kickstarter, not after
  3. appreciate that story and character are still the highest priority above post production and gadgetry.
  4. know that at a certain point your content might be ripe for branding, be open to the opportunity and sit down with advertisers before you make a decision
  5. learn how to study your competition
  6. study the competition (it may be other production companies or just similar productions)
  7. accept that content begets everything and the more visual the better.  Create things for people to look at and then post it everywhere your audience might find it.

There really is too much more and you're just going to have to do some digging.  But I've experienced the self-repeating message and know that at some point you've got to take off the learning hat and put on the doing hat and it's going to take a certain amount of hours to build your story for the fans to take on.  I'm both thrilled and terrified to be moved into pursuing a transmedia project.  But quite honestly I really just want to play Destiny on an XBOX ONE.

For me, between the live subscription, game, console and a new TV, it's like a $1500 investment and I'm a destitute wannabe creator.  Well...for all of you out there that share my inertia, carpe diem bitches.  It's never too late.  For the sake of the glorious fantasy realms we may not have access to or the time for, we might as well be building our own for others to come and play.
wow... Inner child freaking.  Why's life gotta bust balls for?