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Techniques for Independent Production
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Old February 21st, 2009, 12:47 AM   #1
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The life of a film

Okay, so I'm not really sure what happens in the lifetime of a film. I'm familiar with preproduction, production, postproduction, but what happens after? Festivals I'm familiar with. What else is there?

In case you haven't noticed, I'm ignorant.
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Old February 21st, 2009, 03:04 AM   #2
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Your question is about as general as they come but I'll give it a shot.

The life of the film is contingent on the creator of the film.
The film is what you make it after its completed.
Either it will collect dust on your shelf or you'll get it out there.
Festivals should exist for distribution but they are usually self bloated events. A lot of verbal fellatio goes on at these things. Your question for any event where you screen your film is "What do I want to get out of this?" Answer that well and maybe the festival is an unnecessary step, invented to delay the filmmaker from moving on.

It has been said that festival submission gives the filmmaker a sense of validation. You feel validated that someone takes interest in something that you've poured your heart and soul into, but this is like eating candy when you're in the mood for Steak. Your desire and drive for storytelling should be inner to outer. Kudos feel great but they shouldn't be needed to feel validated. Looking in the mirror is a scary thing sometimes, but being honest with your reflection is essential (Never Ending Story). Feel comfortable with yourself and your art - and ignore that human need.

Distribution - blah. You really want to see your film in Blockbuster Video, right? Well, that is easier than you think. It must be a feature (83 min +), it must be a genre film and it must be marketable. That is the ultimate resting place of the film. Ultimate meaning: You want it to collect dust in the video store and not on your shelf or computer hard drive. Just don't expect money. Never expect that and you won't be disappointed.

If your film sucks (many do - mine included). You can self distribute (look to companies like CreateSpace or Apple iTunes (Tunecore).

If that doesn't work. Splice it up into 10 minute chunks and post it to youtube.

Nothing is worse than an unreleased film. I lied - an unedited film is worse. Get it done, get it out there and don't watch it again until you have to.
-C
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Old February 21st, 2009, 10:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Wood View Post
Okay, so I'm not really sure what happens in the lifetime of a film. I'm familiar with preproduction, production, postproduction, but what happens after? Festivals I'm familiar with. What else is there?

In case you haven't noticed, I'm ignorant.
There is usually an order to the markets you should approach.

1) festivals. Get some buzz (if only to add the "Official Selection" laurels to the beginning of the film and on your promo material);
2) if you get buzz, use that to get the film shown in theaters (either local or wide release);
3) Pay TV;
4) "regular" TV (basic cable, networks, etc.);
5) video rentals/distribution;
6) online streaming.

In each case, a distributor can greatly help you but they'll take a huge cut of the profit (it's up to you to decide whether they'll pay for themselves). You can also start at any step you want, but know that in many cases you can't go backwards (i.e. many festivals ask for a premiere, and options 1 to 5 become closed in most cases once your film's been on the internet).

In every case (except maybe for #6), get release forms and contracts. For everything: actors, crew, locations, etc. And don't show any logos or trademarks.


J.
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Old February 21st, 2009, 04:42 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, this is really helpful.
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