Future filmmaking BOOK Coming Soon!

For those of you following filmmaking stuff, you know that I have been working on an awesome and comprehensive filmmaking book for quite some time.

I am pleased to announce that the filmmaking book is almost complete. (Update – the book is complete and available here.)

One of the biggest challenges I had was coming up with a title. Thankfully one of our Filmmaking Stuff readers wrote me on the Filmmaking Stuff facebook wall: “How about: Filmmaking Stuff-The Book.”

While the idea seemed simple, the more I thought about it – the more I realized this was the correct course of action! First of all, most of you know me (or you do now) and secondly, if you didn’t know about Filmmaking Stuff, after reading the book you will. I look at this as a win-win for our growing community.

The next step was coming up with a synopsis. I had something written down, but my friend, screenwriter Jurgen Wolff took my crappy writing and cleaned it up a bit. As a result, the following sums up the book pretty well:

“The future of filmmaking is not Hollywood. It’s the thousands of independent filmmakers empowered by the digital revolution. This book shows them how to write the script, use crowdfunding to raise the money, make the journey from screenplay to screen, distribute the movie, and build an audience anxious to see their next one.”

Once I had the content, the title and the synopsis, the next task was creating a preliminary cover design. For this, I chose the famed graphic artist, Ian Hannin.

As a sneak peek, I have included the current iteration of our cover design. You can tell that the cover is based on the aesthetics of the filmmaking stuff site – which is intentional brand consistency.

Right now I am awaiting some quotes from some VIP filmmaker types. I have reached out the usual suspects. And I am eager to get this book into YOUR hands.

With that said, the book is almost ready for the presses. I will initially release it as a hard cover book that you can order through Amazon and other retailers.

Then later, you will be able to grab a copy on your kindle. If you want to be the first to know about the book, make sure you sign up for the Filmmaking Stuff mailing list.

Anyway, happy filmmaking!

(Super excited to get this Filmmaking Book into YOUR hands!)




Final Sundance Recap

If you were one of the readers of Filmmaking Stuff who got to meet me at Sundance, you know that the Sundance Film Festival was a blast. Snow. Cold. Wet feet – And a gazillion filmmakers all trudging through the elements to just be part of the action. And my action these days is Movie Distribution and crowdfunding.

Specifically, I enjoy showing filmmakers how to leverage the internet to source an audience – so that you can get movies seen and selling.

Inline with this passion, I was invited to participate on a crowdfunding and distribution panel with some folks.

John Rustin (BnY), Jerad Anderson (Watchbox Media, Inc.), Jason Brubaker (Filmmaking Stuff), Danae Ringelmann (IndieGoGo), Moderated by John Corser

This panel was interesting. I was impressed by Danae Ringelmann (of IndieGoGo) and some of the tips she shared on successful crowdfunding. Such as: Start early. Know why you want to make your movie. Have some idea of how to reach your target audience.

After that the conversation moved over to distribution and sourcing an audience… During this time, I shared a few of my usual tips on how to market and sell your movie. And this led us to the topic of streaming platforms. I was totally excited about Jerad Anderson of Watchbox and what he shared about his new streaming platform for filmmakers.

Later in the talk, Adam Chapnick from Distribber walked into the room. Distribber allows you to get your movie seen and selling on all the popular video on demand marketplaces without the creative accounting usually found in traditional distribution deals.

And finally… If you missed Sudance but you want to get the good stuff, check out www.HowToSellYourMovie.com


Why Two Movies in One Day Is Good For Filmmakers

The movie Super 8 is good for filmmakers

Super 8 Image via Wikipedia

Like most filmmakers, I constantly spend my life pushing myself from project to my next project. I have been in LA for close to six years, and in that time, I’ve garnered producer credits on four features. Pretty fun.

But I gotta tell you, as we enter the remaining six months of 2011, I am trying very hard to do a little less grinding, and hopefully finding time to have a lot more fun.

Yesterday I sat through two movies. And during that time, with my phone turned off, I realized once again why it’s awesome to make movies. We make movies because sharing our work with the world is special and magical. We have stories and we need to tell them.

As a filmmaker, it’s essential to recharge your creative batteries at least once a week… I’m interested to know what you do to unwind. Filmmaking comments welcome below >>


Modern Marketing For Filmmakers

Modern Marketing For Filmmakers

When it comes to marketing your movie, you need to become proficient at driving targeted traffic to your movie website. While old school filmmakers could rely on various video stores and retail outlets to sell their movies, these days the popular marketplaces are Amazon and iTunes.

Both of these markets are web based. And both are accessible through my partner distribber. But just because your movie gets into the market doesn’t mean people will find you. This means, you’ll have to drive traffic to your movie website. But before you start driving traffic, you must first figure out your filmmaker website strategy.

I suggest creating something my internet marketing friend, Fred Gleeck calls a conversion funnel. Basically it looks like this:

Filmmaker Conversion Funnel

This simple movie marketing model demonstrates that  not everybody who visits your  movie website will buy your movie. But by working to get more and more targeted prospects into the top of your funnel, you will increase your chances of making more sales at the bottom. Additionally, in the event a prospect tries to leave your movie website prematurely (abandon the funnel), you will ask these folks to “opt-in” to your audience list.

Once these prospects opt-in, they will get to know you and know more your movie. Utilizing this “lead capture” strategy, your odds of converting a prospect into customer increases.


Tennessee Williams’ advice to screenwriters

OK, I’m fibbing, it was actually Tennessee Williams’ advice to playwrights, but it applies just as much to screenwriters:

“What shouldn’t you do if you’re a playwright? Don’t bore the audience! I mean, even if you have to resort to totally arbitrary killing onstage, or pointless gunfire, at least it’ll catch their attention and keep them awake. Just keep the thing going anyway you can.”

Of course you don’t really want totally arbitrary events in your script, but if you need to capture their attention, put it in and then in the next draft work your way backward in the story so it has some motivation or at least is foreshadowed and work your way forward in the story to make sure it has a consequence.

(Jurgen Wolff offers a new screenwriting tip here every Tuesday; also see his site, www.ScreenwritingSuccess.com and his book, “Your Writing Coach.”)