Once again I find it really depressing reading blog post after blog post about filmmakers just scraping by in their lives and spending all their time trying to get more fans on facebook and more donors to their crowd fudning campaigns, instead of actually earning more fans and donors. And I’m so tired of all the negative discussions happening about just scraping by and making films where everyone has to defer getting paid including you. Come on people… there’s a whole world of opportunities out there!
I just returned from a month in Australia where it really struck me – there’s so much opportunity all around us we just have to know where to look. Film is truly a global business and therefore it requires sometimes you look outside of your own country’s borders to put together the pieces of the puzzle. Every film I’m personally working on right now – both my own and my clients’ films – have multiple components in different countries. We don’t stop at the borders of Hollywood, we look far beyond them and think so outside the box that most people wonder what we’re doing (but believe me, it’s very deliberate) :)
I call this Strategic Producing and what it means in a nutshell is this. Do you want to thrive in todays film business? Not just survive, but thrive (that’s the level I’m aspiring to) …. then you have to be strategic on how you put together each project.
… That may mean going outside your comfort zone and getting on a plane to the next big Film Market and making relationships.
… That may mean shelving an arthouse drama project now in favor of something more commercial so you can get yourself on the map before you earn the right to make any film you want in any genre.
… It most probably means shifting your thinking a little (OK, a lot!) about how to put together the pieces of the funding puzzle.
…. And perhaps partnering with other Producers in other countries or ones who have a much bigger track record than you until you develop your own
…. And changing your attitude with regards to Social Media from ‘getting more fans’ to earning them over time. Realistically speaking, you can’t be Kevin Smith without years of earning a fan base so why kill yourself putting all your focus on ‘audience building’ in such a short amount of time? Focus on making better films, and yes, some commercial films, so you can put yourself on the map and guess what – fans will come to you if your work merits it! In my opinion, THIS is how you build a personal brand – not by employing the shotgun approach others are out there espousing.
So there it is – if you want to engage in all the negative conversations about shooting for the bottom of the barrel and just surviving in this business, then be my guest. But me and the clients I’m working with, we’re actually in this to thrive and make bigger films for bigger audiences and yes, earn bigger pay checks! (gasp!)
Which way are you headed? And what have I left out? Let me know what you’re doing to be a Strategic Producer in today’s global marketplace – I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments section below!
Interested in taking Strategic Producing to another level? Then join me in my LAST EVER Distribution In Reverse Virtual Intensive course which kicks off on Tuesday. There’s about 6 spots left at the time of this writing and after completing this small group intensive program you’ll look at every project you’re doing in a much different way and you’ll actually start making films for the marketplace (instead of waiting for the marketplace to come to you!). Get proactive about your career THRIVE instead of SURVIVE. This course is delivered via phone and web so not only can you attend from anywhere in the world, but you can do it at your convenience as every session is recorded and replays are on-demand. You can Register here.