Ten years ago I packed up my crappy car and drove to New York City. My sole objective was to find out how to make movies. And I got lucky. Soon after moving to New York, I found work, working for an independent producer. Initially I started out reading query letters and poorly written screenplay submissions and writing coverage. But then the producer asked if I wanted to be his assistant.
Over the months that followed, I participated in a whirlwind of meetings that took a few of our projects from script to screen. And it was during that time, that I learned a lot about how to make movies. Unfortunately, I also found out that if you didn’t have a movie distribution strategy, making money with your movies was impossible.
Keep in mind that this was before iTunes, before social media and before crowdfunding… Back then, if you wanted to make money making movies, you had to take whatever crappy distribution deal came your way. The funny part was, many of these deals did not pay – Especially if you were a first time feature filmmaker.
Thankfully, in the decade since my NYC experience, a lot has changed. As a result of internet technology, filmmakers no longer need to wait for some middle man distributor to provide access to the marketplace. Instead, filmmakers can simply go online and submit their movies to any number of popular marketplaces, like iTunes, Hulu, Watchbox and Amazon.
Of course, access to the marketplace is only part of the filmmaking success equation. You still need to source your audience. Or let me rephrase this – you still need to source an audience of people willing to PAY YOU for the privilege of watching your movies. So the new question is, how does a modern moviemaker get started?
As you probably know, there is a lot of outdated filmmaking advice out there. Almost every time I speak at a film festival, I end up meeting some old school filmmaking hotshot who tries to tell me that foreign pre-sales is the way to go… Or even funnier are the people who still talk about “the sweet spot” or DVD distribution and I sort of want to puke in my mouth… DVD distribution? Sweet spot?
Get a grip.
When was the last time you stepped foot in a video store? I mean, think about it… Video on demand distribution is the future. Not DVD. Not Blu ray. But I really can’t blame anybody for trying to hold on to the old days when physical DVD product reined supreme. But those days are gone. And if you want to be successful in this ever-changing world of indie filmmaking, I suggest you add a few more skills to your resume ASAP.
Here are three essential filmmaking skills you need to master:
1.Become an Internet marketer: Or team up with someone who is. Why? Because there will come a time when there is no delineation between the Internet and your television. Or your mobile device. Or your mobile holographic device. (This hasn’t been invented yet. But it will be.)
2.Find Out How To Crowdfund: Honestly, crowdfunding involves social networking, real-world networking and Internet marketing. Your goal is to test all your movie concepts before you dive in both feet first. And if successful, your goal is to snowball your supporters into one giant mailing list so you can gain their support for your next projects…
3.Your Audience Is Your Business: Internet marketing nerds have a saying, “The money is in your list.” It is now no different to filmmakers. Your ongoing goal is to create work that encourages people to come back for more. Source your audience and grow your list! Next!
Let’s face it. Despite the scaredy cats who would tell you otherwise, this is an AWESOME time to make movies. Between crowdfunding and non-discriminatory distribution, you have an opportunity to start and run your own mini-movie-studio. You no longer need to ask permission to make your movie! All you gotta do is pick up a camera and you go for it.
If you’re interested in finding out how to take action and make your movie now, I wrote a NEW filmmaking book. I wrote the book because I think most other filmmaking books are outdated. The future of filmmaking is not Hollywood. It is the thousands of independent filmmakers (like you) who are empowered by the digital revolution.
The book is called “Filmmaking Stuff – How to Make, Market and Sell Your Movie Without The Middle-Man.” In it, you will find out how to utilize crowdfunding to raise the money, how to make the journey from screenplay to screen and then how to access popular distribution channels to sell your movie while at the same time – build an audience eager to see your next movie!
So if you are looking for a new filmmaking book to add to your collection, you can find out more about Filmmaking Stuff by clicking here.