Is it me or has fall crept up on us? It’s like this – we’re now in September and basically have about 3 ‘usable’ months left in the year (once you take into account the holidays) to get our sh*t together and get our projects off the ground with some semblance of momentum going into 2012. Yikes!
It’s also that time of the year when I start getting lots of emails from filmmakers, consulting inquiries, and forum posts with the most outlandish and unrealistic expectations about their films – people pitching me movies with over-inflated budgets and completed films with grand plans of attracting a theatrical distributor because their film is ‘different’. It’s very strange, is as if the end of the year is making people really desperate and as a result any hint of sanity has gone out the window.
Keep It Real.
It’s time to take a moment and review the fundamentals of the film business.
Like…. if you’re independently financing a film without cast and pre-sales from distributors, don’t think you can raise any money over a few hundred thousand and have a sound Business Plan for investors. I have filmmakers showing me their Business Plans on projects with $3 million budgets and $7 million in P&A that make my jaw drop because I don’t know where they think they’re going to make back a few hundred thousand from, let along $10 million!
And….Just because you had a theatrical screening or two of your film and the audience loved it and you maybe even made a bit of money, don’t think that you can turn that into a theatrical distribution deal with a mini-major. Probably not going to happen! Keep touring with your film and booking theaters and alternative venues yourself, sell your merchandise and DVD’s…that’s where the margins are.
Momentum Is The Thing.
So let’s all get a hold of ourselves here and see things for how they really are, but at the same time, kick things into high gear and make as much headway as possible over the next few months. Momentum is a beautiful thing…. and for me, that’s the one thing I try to sustain on a daily basis with my projects. Because without momentum, we’re just sitting ducks waiting passively to hear back from people.
So let’s all get proactive together, shall we? Tell me what your plans are for the rest of 2011…. what do you hope to achieve, get going, sustain momentum on, accomplish, and push forward while keeping a level head? What do you think about creating an informal ’90 Day Challenge’ on the packaging and financing fronts and see how many of us can get things moving before the holidays?