When I started Filmmaking Stuff, I did so with the intention to help entrepreneurial filmmakers find viable ways to finance and distribute films. Back then, the DVD market was eroding and digital was gaining momentum. As a result, many distributors stopped paying BIG minimum guarantees. And many filmmakers lost money and quit the business.
Modern Moviemaking Is Entrepreneurial Filmmaking
In response to the paradigm shift from physical to digital, I published the original version of The Modern Moviemaking Manifesto. While the film industry (and the manifest0) has gone through several shifts since then, many filmmakers still ignore pragmatic business strategy in favor of hope.
“I just hope to get my film on Netflix. I don’t care if my film makes money…”
In case you’re wondering, this type of silly talk is not a business. This is a lottery ticket. And it’s a major reason why you might be having trouble raising money or getting a decent return. But what if instead, you focused on the stuff you can control? What if instead of hoping to land a dream distribution deal, you took time to figure out the following?
- What is your revenue goal?
- How many units do you need to sell?
- What media outlets will you leverage?
If you’re not willing to explore or embrace new filmmaking ideas, I get it. Choosing to create your own marketing and distribution plans requires work and carful planning. And I totally get that entrepreneurial filmmaking is easier said than done. But anybody who’s studied Rodger Corman and read his book, “How I Made A Hundred Movies In Hollywood And Never Lost A Dime” will quickly realize that the Modern Moviemaking Manifesto is not so “modern.”
One thing Corman did not have was non-discriminatory distribution channels. As a result of TVOD platforms (which are accessible via flat fee for service aggregators) we really have nothing holding us back from creating a similar empire. This is why I’m so full of enthusiasm for modern moviemaking. Nothing is holding us back from raising money, making movies and reaching our audience. And dividends from dozens of titles can really add up.