Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Second Hardest Part of Filmmaking

In seminars and talks before filmmaking groups, I used to say that this was the hardest part of filmmaking. I think Jeff Rodgers is the one who corrected me: it's the second hardest part. Raising Money for the movie.

Certainly, this is the first big hurdle... the Khumbu Icefall on the way to the summit of Everest. And I like to use mountain climbing as an apt analogy. Many a filmmaker climber cannot traverse the icefall of fundraising.

There are not a lot of easy answers here. Not very many helicopters that can just give you a ride to the top of Everest. You're going to have to put one foot in front of the other, even when you're tired, out of breath and discouraged. Maybe a storm has set in. When this happens, you have to know the basics and keep doing them.

What are the basics? First of all, you've got to have a great plan. You need to know the market, and clearly communicate how you're going to get from point A to point Z. A killer business plan is a must.

One of the first things I advise first time filmmakers is to clearly state your goals. What do you want it to look like at the end? You want it playing in 2000 theaters and have Hollywood calling you on your cell phone with huge offers? You want it to find some distribution and make the money back for the investors? You don't care if it makes money-- you just want it to be a calling card for your ability to write and direct?

The answer here dictates which path you go. My advice for the person who wants to hit big bucks will be different than the advice for the calling card person.

Now sure there are exceptions to everything, but in filmmaking, we're not talking a ten percent chance... we're talking about lottery odds. So you need to do everything you can to minimize risk and set yourself up to achieve your goal.

I am going to talk about what are the things you can do to move yourself to the front of the line at the seminar on Saturday Dec. 5. If you want to register to save your seat, click here.

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