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Sunday, June 18, 2006

10 DIY & Self-Distro Features In 5 Years Project :: DIY filmmaking & Studio filmmaking :: Jacques Thelemaque re-defines the "BIG filmmaking dream"

The 10 DIY & Self-Distro Features In 5 Years Project

I did the math late last week. Selling 2000 DVDs of "Date Number One" will allow me to continue to work on its distribution at a higher level (spend more time on the distro project & set up more screenings & promote them) and also will allow me to shoot my next ultra-low budget feature. Through my mailing lists, networking sites & blogs I am in touch with more than 1000 people, so, once the DVD comes out in July I should be on my way to reaching that 1st sales goal: 2000 DVDs. Maybe w/ in the next two months I will be able to reach that goal. 2000 "Date Number One" DVDs sold by September? We shall see.

It may be possible for me to take an idea from script through production to distribution in 6 months. So I am going to set a 5 year production & distribution goal: 10 features. Under that goal I expect to make 2 new ultra-low budget features & get their DIY distribution started every year, generally speaking, give or take a few months. Let's see if I am able to complete & release 10 ultra-low budget features, at the rate of roughly 2 a year, by the end of 2010.

DIY Filmmaking & Studio Filmmaking

A couple of days ago I spoke w/ a filmmaker friend of mine who has an indie feature at the festival stage of distribution & who is, at the same time, working on getting Hollywood filmmaking work. That may be a smart way to go for some filmmakers. The Hollywood induced frustrations can be kept in check by regularly being productive through DIY filmmaking activities. And, as you get more films done & out through the DIY route, you may become more valuable in the eyes of potential collaborators, perhaps including Hollywood.

Jacques Thelemaque Re-defines the "BIG filmmaking dream"

Yesterday Jacques Thelemaque, Chief Community Officer of Withoutabox, sent out an essay as a part of a regular update/E-blast to the Withoutabox community. The essay reflected the classic DIY approach to the business of making & distributing art/independent movies. It is also concise & inspirational, fuel for the already burning fire. Here is the essay in its entirety. Published with permission. Thanks Jacques!

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Dream the BIG filmmaking dream
by Jacques Thelemaque
from Withoutabox Community Eblast: Vol. 1 Issue #6, 6/17/06

If you think I'm talking about the most common fantasy harbored secretly or bombastically by filmmakers - to one day direct studio films - you're dead wrong. In fact, quite the opposite. I'd like to snuff out that dream in all of you, if I could. The odds of directing a big studio or major cable film are slightly less ridiculous than winning the lottery. And even if you turn out to be the little filmmaking sperm that penetrates the big studio/corporate egg, you simply win, for the most part, the right to create big piles of slick, commercial poo. And you'll do it under the thumb of the studio brass who aren't going to hand over millions of dollars to some creative cowboy to run amok and make a dreaded "art" film. No, you're there to place your distinctive creative energies in service of freshening up stale ideas like "Saved By The Bell - The Movie." For every one "Crash" or "Brokeback Mountain" (yes, those are studio films despite all the hype about them being "independent"), the studio corporates pump out hundreds of "Kangaroo Jacks."

No, the BIG dream I'm talking about is something else - something both more realistic and infinitely more satisfying. And that is to become your own studio. Meaning create, and guide the distribution of, your own films. Build an audience around your "brand" (what is uniquely you in your films). Make enough money from your films so you can live comfortably and make more films. How? Well, to get into detail would make this enote impossibly long. But in short, technology on both ends of the filmmaking process have made this dream a reality for many filmmakers. Digital production makes high-end creation unbelievably accessible. And new internet tools (including WAB's Audience platform and Distribution Lab now ramping up) allow you to build and brand an on-line studio from which you can effectively manage the release of your films directly to your potential audiences.

No doubt there have been (and are) great studio films and great studio filmmakers. But like lottery winners, they most often emerge by chance, not design. Statistically, your dream of studio filmmaking simply equates to a long-shot fantasy of being a well-healed corporate lackey controlled and directed at every turn so that you can churn out visually stunning commercial garbage. Allow yourself to dream something far beyond that. Something both bolder and more accessible that serves and respects the creative being that you are. It simply demands you respect your innate uniqueness, that you answer to your creative (rather than careerist) ambitions and that you take advantage of the rapidly developing tools that will support your creative and financial independence. This is the new paradigm for your life as a filmmaker. Dream it and then live it.

- Jacques Thelemaque

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- Sujewa

1 comment:

minimovieguy said...

Very well said! New opportunities are now making it possible for filmmakers to create their own empire!!

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