Earlier this week, I caught wind of an indie production company based in Australia called Rapidfire Productions. This is a production company that operates as a self sustaining modern moviemaking business. They develop movies, get money, make their movies and through their own distribution arm, the company reaches the masses.
Independent movie investors invest because they want a return on their money. Creating a business plan will provide your prospective investor with a road map on how his or her money will be spent and hopefully recouped. In the old filmmaking model this wasn’t easy. Because distribution was once discriminatory, many first time independent feature filmmakers had to hold their breath in hopes their movies would get into a film festival, buil buzz, and (hopefully) garner a great distribution deal, complete with a cash advance. But that is an outdated model.
Since publishing the modern moviemaking manifesto, some of you have written, requesting an online community where you can share ideas with other filmmakers involved in our movement. So I have taken the initial steps to creating the modern moviemaking community. If you want to be among the first to know about it (because it’s exclusive), make sure you get on the list.
For those of you who are adding your own thoughts to the Modern Moviemaking Manifesto, what I’m proposing is easier said than done. It is easy for me to talk about the success of our first feature. It is much more difficult to admit that our second feature bombed miserably.
Part of why filmmaking seems challenging and impossible is because many of us start our career with the belief that filmmakers need a gazillion dollars, tons of experience and an address in Hollywood to make a living as a “real” filmmaker. While this was once true, the new model of movie making allows you to create and sell movies from anywhere in the world.
While nobody wants to make movies for pocket change, many filmmakers still believe we can somehow continually produce unprofitable (movie) products and expect the money and the subsequent jobs to keep rolling in. And unlike years past, filmmakers can no longer approach investors with the cliche pitch: “Filmmaking is a risky investment – if we are lucky, we might win Sundance and get a deal.” Now, with transparent distribution options availabe to all filmmakers, that line of give-me-money reasoning is reckless, no longer applicable, and in my opinion, unethical.