I was able to attend the Film Independent’s Filmmaker Forum in Los Angeles, California October 10th and 11th. This was an incredibly educational experience for me. I think and speculate a great deal about the general state of independent filmmaking. A great challenge for me and all independent filmmakers, not only Pacific Islander filmmakers, is the fact that we are like little points of light thrown across a gigantic galaxy. It is really hard to get a sense of the bigger picture of what is currently happening in independent production because of this. As a result of this it is difficult for first time filmmakers to find their starting position in the film and media making arena let alone be able to empower themselves to guide their projects successfully from concept to distribution.
In addition the difficulties of being spread out independent filmmakers are also infinitely varied in size, approach, and goal. However, we are all unified by the goal of making movies. By being able to conference with other filmmakers of all types I was able to learn new techniques and strategies fit the goals, scope, and market of my own projects.
Attending the forum this weekend I was able gain a choice outlook on the landscape. I have decided to create a report in the form of three blog articles with the intention to expand it to 10 articles total over the next three months. Which I hope will be used to help other filmmakers especially those representing the Pacific Islands begin to make their way in the larger world of production. These articles are mostly made up of the new things I learned from other filmmakers. Information I found innovative, inspiring or informative, and a few of my own insights that solidified over the course of the weekend.
Here are the titles of the articles I plan to write:
The Four Budget Categories
The Budget and Genre Grid: Where does your film fit?
How does film business work?
Knowing your voice, the low-budget producer’s best weapon.
Lawyers, Publicists, and Music Rights: All the junk nobody wants to think about.
What’s up Doc? Methods of fundraising, and increasing your chances of success.
Fundraising – the indie world’s answer to “development hell”
Film Festivals: How to prepare and what to expect.
Traditional Distribution Routes: Pros and Cons
Online Audience Building: The indie film savior
New distribution models: What the heck is day and date?
Selling your movie at $300 per DVD. (The Educational Market Demystified)
Passion versus Ambition: An Encouraging Reality Check