How To Make Your Movie Rise Above The Noise

Working in film distribution, I can tell you that everything is changing. Production is getting cheaper and easy access to the marketplace is the norm. This is an exciting time to be a filmmaker.

Paradoxically, because more and more movies are getting made each year, this is also one of the most challenging times for making money as a filmmaker. We are experiencing a market saturation similar to what happens when sweatshop factories start producing comparable goods for less money.

And while you may argue that many backyard indies are amateur garbage, this doesn’t change the fact that filmmakers now have more competition than ever before. Your biggest problem is figuring out how to make your movie rise above the noise.

Rise Above The Noise

Photo © Sergey Nivens / Dollar Photo Club

How To Make Your Movie Rise Above The Noise

Before you pour your heart and soul into your passion project, answer these questions:

  1. What is your movie about?
  2. Who is in your movie?
  3. Who is going to buy your movie?

Most filmmakers never take time to answer these simple, yet essential questions. Or if they do, the answers are often based on hope or delusions of grandeur. My target audience is everybody!

Having well rehearsed answers to these questions (that you can deliver with enthusiasm) will increase the odds that a movie distributor or a fan could potentially (easily) tell other people about your movie.

sell your movie“Zooey Deschanel is attached to your movie?!?”

Having a name actor or a strong story hook makes your movie memorable. Knowing that an audience exists for your type of movie, as well as having a promotional plan for reaching your audience is also helpful.

That is what word-of-mouth is all about.

Once your pitch is established, all of your other movie marketing tasks such like your logo, font, DVD cover (still important), poster and website will be much easier to design.

So I’ll end today’s thought with three questions: What is your movie about? Who’s in it? And who is gonna buy it?  And if you like this sort of stuff, you’ll love my Sell Your Movie System.

 

Are You Part of The Filmmaking Class?

Canon EOS 7D, front view.

The Cannon EOS 7D is changing the ways filmmakers make movies. Image via Wikipedia

Last week I had a debate with my buddy about filmmaking class. And no, I’m not talking about the classroom. But I am talking about social filmmaking status.

Basically the debate went like this: how do you decide what movies are “real” movies and what movies are “fake.”

(I know. Stupid debate, right? But if you read this, I’ll dispel a myth and forever end Hollywood movie snobbery. Promise.)

In other words, let’s say you’re a filmmaker and you decide to grab your Cannon EOS 7D and shoot a feature – how do you determine if you made a real movie or not?

ARE YOU READY TO LEARN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FAKE MOVIE AND A REAL MOVIE? Then here is the official Jason Brubaker criteria to determine if you created a “real” movie:

Does your movie make money?

If the answer is yes, you my filmmaking friend have a real movie.

“But there are no stars in your stupid movie that you made for 20K on a borrowed camera.”

“Yeah. But it makes more money than that Tom Cruise box office bomb.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

I don’t give a crap about the idiot Hollywood snobs who would much rather ignore you and your HD camera. And so what if you never worked with Spielberg or for that matter any “name” talent. And who really cares if some band of ivy league film school graduates spent their 30k making an 8 minute, 35mm short, when you decided to make a feature?

Seriously.

The only thing that matters is if your movie makes money.

Again, seriously.

You’re a filmmaker. If you want to be in business, you must create a product. Your product is a feature film. And if you happen to shoot your feature for no money, with limited locations, with scenes that are under-lit, starring no name actors – but you actually FINISH your feature film and you find your audience and they agree to buy your movie, guess what?

  1. First of all, you are what us business minded folks call “efficient.”
  2. Secondly, by keeping your overhead low, it will take less sales to recoup your initial investment.
  3. And most importantly, you have just created a REAL movie. You are a real, professional filmmaker.

So “F” any Hollywood snob that tells you otherwise. I mean, be nice – but seriously, tell em’ to take a hike. They are probably just worried about job security – and they should be.

Here is why:

Take a look at the ever eroding options for traditional distribution. There are more feature films than ever with better and better images for less of a budget. And very soon, the entire world will be flooded with high production valued content – the likes of which Hollywood has never encountered. (For a historical reference, read about how inexpensive product and cheap labor killed Bethalam Steel and compare this to what’s happening in Hollywood.)

So as a filmmaker, you now have a few choices:

  1. Wait around for someone to discover your project and give you a gazillion dollars – so that you can have a “real” movie that will play the festivals and probably end up on iTunes and Amazon.
  2. Move to Los Angeles, fetch coffee on various “real” productions so that you can one day make a movie that will probably play the festivals and guess what? End up on Amazon and iTunes?
  3. Or starting today, you can create a movie structured around your current cash and equipment and location limitations that will (this is the kicker) play the festivals and probably end up on iTunes and Amazon.

Do you see what I’m getting at? Theatrical distribution is not a viable outlet for independent filmmakers. And video stores are changing and becoming a less viable sales outlet for indie filmmakers. So where does this leave Hollywood filmmakers and you? You got it. The internet.

And yes, I’m once again referring to:

digital self distribution.

(Tell your filmmaking friends – it’s time to face reality.)

You see, for any business to survive, you need a product (or a service) and a group of people willing to recognize that the value of your product outweighs the value of their cash.

Your movie is your product. And thanks to innovations in both production and digital self distribution, there is really no difference between the dollars spent for “real” Hollywood movies or your movie.

And if you’re making a living doing what you love, who really cares if some idiot thinks your work is sub par? I mean, this debate never bothered Roger Corman, so why should it bother you?

Now the important question is – what does this mean? For that answer, I offer a FREE filmmaking book:

www.FreeFilmmakingBook.com

– – –

Jason Brubaker is a Los Angeles based independent producer and an expert in digital self distribution. He makes movies and he writes about making movies. More of his articles can be found at www.filmmakingstuff.com

HD Camera Guide Learning Center Videos Get Interactive

Here is some information about HDCameraGuide.com – I posted this press release because I think some of you might benefit from an informative site on HD Camera information:

Imagine watching a video online, and being able to contact the featured speaker. You can on HDCameraGuide.com. The site, which features broadcast and professional HD cameras, lenses, and accessories – and which has a complete reference and review guide for consumer camcorder and digital cameras – has added a new feature that lets the viewer “Ask This Speaker a Question.”

The feature is available on all broadcast and professional product videos, as well as the site’s exclusive Learning Center videos at http://hdcameraguide.com/guide/faqs/learning-center-videos. Viewers can use this feature to ask television technology consultant Mark Schubin to elaborate on a point he made during his video tutorial on HD camera-imager sizes.

They can submit their question to Larry Thorpe of Canon’s Broadcast Division’s HD optics authority, while watching his video on the importance of quality camera optics. They can even reach out to veteran director of photography James Mathers to ask which HD cameras are gaining popularity for Hollywood feature production.

“Interacting with our exclusive Learning Center videos is one more advantage we offer at HDCameraGuide.com,” states Bob Richards, Director of Video Services. “It’s not a real-time podcast, which means you don’t have to sit at your computer and wait for an answer. You can watch the Learning Center videos anytime, email your question for the experts, and read the email reply at your convenience.” Visitors can also register for Learning Center video updates free and easy.

Since its launch less than a year ago, HDCameraGuide.com has become the fastest growing online guide to broadcast/professional and consumer HD cameras. The site is video-rich and includes tutorial videos – as well as product videos – from such companies as Sony, Canon, Panasonic, Ikegami, Grass Valley, and many more. HDCameraGuide.com also features three unique Interactive Selector Guides.

The first is an interactive Teleprompter Selector. It enables visitors to select their camera brand and model, type of lens, pan/tilt head brand and series, and then receive first- and second-choice teleprompter model recommendations. The user can then find out more by clicking on either recommendation for complete details. An interactive Camera Selector lets site visitors search by brand or application to find the camera that’s right for their particular needs.

Using the HD Lens Selector, visitors can chose the right lens for their camera brand, model, and intended use (news, documentary, digital cinematography, sports, etc.). HDCameraGuide.com continues to generate Page One results on the leading search engines for a wide range of industry-specific keywords including “HD camera,” “best HD camera,” and many other brand/model-specific searches. The site also enables visitors to go to manufacturer websites without leaving HDCameraGuide.com.