NYC trip Sat 8/12 - Mon 8/14 :: Am now open to considering all collaborative production & distribution options (film fests,indiewood,hollywood, etc.)
Hey everyone, I am coming to NYC for a visit! Time to go put out some flyers & other promo material for the Date Number One 8/31 NYC premiere @ Pioneer Theater, help make some tix sales happen. Also looking forward to checking out the city, hanging out w/ some friends, making some new friends. I'll be in NYC from Sat 8/12 until Mon 8/14 (leaving on Mon PM or Tue 8/15 AM), if ya wanna hang, let me know (wilddiner AT aol.com).
Through my own work & through the work of a few other DIY filmmakers/projects (The Last Broadcast & Head Trauma/Lance Weiler, Greg Pak's Robot Stories, Gene Cajone's The Debut, etc.) it is fully clear to me that an interesting & excellent feature length film can be made for a very low budget, can be self-distributed, and can be profitable. So I know I will always have a way to make movies & get them out. I am currently planning two films to be shot back to back next year.
So far my films have been mostly self-financed - w/ some money from friends & small investors - and have been self-distributed. I have largely avoided festivals and submitting the film to other distributors for possible distribution collaboration considerations. The DIY path yields results - of a relatively small scale, but I am now interested in much wider distribution of my films and working with higher budgets (allowing for greater & perhaps more interesting collaborations w/ certain actors & crew). So, instead of working with a $10K budget on a film that has no "stars" & will be self-distributed, I am now open for all manner of collaborations - playing festivals, working w/ "stars", working with more investors, working with other distribution companies, etc. Because by doing so I may be able to get more people to see my movies & a lot more stranger & unpredictable films may result :) & I may be able to make more money (a lot of milk cows can be bought for a $100,000 :).
Re: festivals: I've always been ambivalent about festivals since they do not pay filmmakers - for the most part. I'll continue to push fests to consider sharing some of the $s generated by a film with its makers, and I will organize such a fest in the near future, and I will give preference to such festivals (if choosing between the two kinds ever comes up) AND now I will also submit to a few festivals, even though they don't pay - 'cause it may be a fun networking opportunity if I get in, a good opportunity to get more press, a chance to check out some interesting new films, a chance to gain some new customers - at least make some new people aware of the existence of my films, & maybe I'll sell a few more DVDs at least because of playing a fest.
I don't expect to see too many huge changes happening to the current Date Number One distribution plan - a very DIY thing. My goal, pretty much since the movie got completed in May, for DNO distro has been: 100s of screenings, 1000s of DVD sales. The DIY path can definitely produce that w/ in a couple of years. The New Direction will most likely affect my '07 films.
Of course working w/ festivals, indiewood, hollywood is not a sure thing like DIY, the New Direction may or may not happen. But trying to make it happen will be more interesting, also the rewards may be greater. The ideal work situation to create is something similar to what Jim Jarmusch has done for a while - working with low millions, investors, studios, foreign financing, some "stars", getting wide distribution of his films, but retaining the ownership of the films. Also, Lance Weiler's DVD distro collaboration approach is a model - working out agreements for nationwide DVD distribution while retaining key rights to the film.
The New Direction may or may not materialize, but having traveled the DIY path I know I can make a movie & make it available for the audience. And I plan on keep on doing that, hopefully at a rate of at least 1-3 movies a year. If the movies can be made for more money, w/ some widely known talent & if the movies can get wider distribution - excellent. If not, if the movies have to be made for an ultra-low budget w/ no "stars" & have to be self-distributed - excellent :)
hmmm, i guess if the New Direction does take hold, i will have to drop the DIY from the name of this blog, it'll just become Filmmaker Sujewa, oh well, we'll see what happens :)