Home Authors Posts by Mike

53 POSTS 2 COMMENTS
Filmmaker, writer, candlestick-maker...ok, not that last one. But when I'm not being the Product Manager at IndieReign, those are things you'll most likely find me partaking in.

0 53891

Funding Bodies: Indie Film Production – Part 2

What Can You Get Funding For

Funding Bodies Indie Film Production IndieReignThere are many varied stages of a films production, and the same goes for the funding side of it, and you’ll find these types of local and national bodies might be able to help in every area. So if you’re looking for funding to support you during the development of a slate of projects, overhead costs, writing the scripts, pre production, production, post production, and even for the promotion of the film locally, nationally, or at overseas film festivals, you can find funding for any one of them, if not all of them. But it’s not as easy as it sounds.

First of all, really think about what you need the money for. If you feel like you can do a lot of the work yourself before asking for a handout, do it, as this will make your project look a lot stronger. The reason being, like any good funder would ask you, or investor for that matter, “what have ‘you’ done so far with the project?” If you say nothing, as you expect money first before doing anything on it, more often than not, they’ll send you packing.

I know I said you might be able to apply for upfront costs, as well as development costs, but normally that will only be for filmmakers with a track record, and a solid one at that. But for the majority of people, you’ll need to have proven your blood, sweet, and tears have already been put into the project before you find money coming your way to help with it.

So do everything in your power to get a project made before looking for money, as the more advanced it is, the more likely you will be to raise the needed funds to finish or promote it. Also knowing what you need the money for, will also dictate whom you approach for money. Asking an arts board who has a grant for artists looking to showcase their work, is not the right one to contact about getting pre production, production, or even post production funds. So be smart about it.

Should They Be Relied On

Funding Bodies Indie Film Production IndieReignMoney from these funding bodies may sound like a holy grail, and to some it might be, but often the amounts involved is only enough to get the job done, and it’s unlikely anyone will ever make much from these funding ventures. What it does do, is gives you enough to get the project made, giving you the ability of using it as a calling card for moving onto bigger and better projects that will hopefully solidify your career within the film industry.

Even then, like I said in Part 1 of this article, if you’re looking to become rich off the industry, you might be in the wrong place, as those who can make a great living out of it is actually fewer than you’d think considering the size of the industry, and even more so for independent filmmakers. As an example, there is currently only one feature film director in Australia that makes a career out of it, and that’s Rolf De Heer. There are of course others, but they need to make films internationally, make music videos, commercials, and even corporate work to keep their careers going.

But the question for this section is should they be relied on? Well, like with anything, don’t rest all your plans upon receiving this money, as it can often be incredibly hard to get, and may not even be enough to finish the whole job anyway. I’ve seen too many filmmakers over the years get hooked up on the funding bodies, where if they don’t get money from them, the projects either die a quick death, or it dies a slow death as the filmmaker grumbles and groans as they continually go hunting for the money from them as if it’s the only source of it.

Just like when figuring out what to apply for, also keep in mind that they aren’t the only way to find money, let alone get a film made. Approach them at the right times, with the right projects, and always keep paramount that it’s your blood, sweet, and tears that will get this film made, and if you live by that rule, funding bodies will see the value in both your project, and you as an artist. If not, that’s ok also, as though it will make the journey tougher, it may even end up being more rewarding in the end.

 

It’s the revolution of independent cinema! Discover, watch and distribute films at IndieReign now!

1 2930
History Channel WW2 From Space IndieReign

DVD Review – History Channels WW2 From Space

History Channel WW2 From Space IndieReignDo you ever get that sense of déjà vu? I sure do, in fact it’s a feeling that I savour when it washes over me. But there’s another type of déjà vu, one that isn’t as cool, as it comes from knowingly seeing the same thing, over and over again. Well, when it comes to war documentaries, especially about the 20th century conflicts, it really does feel like they just keep retelling the same story, as new ones come out every single year, without fail, and just tell it from a slightly different viewpoint.

This special History Channel show, WW2 From Space, fits into this box perfectly, as it retells how the war unfolded, but with one major different viewpoint, it does it mostly from a bird’s eye view using CGI. Being a bit of a war buff, but also starting to feel the war documentary fatigue setting in, I was both intrigued and weary of giving another show a try, but seeing as this different viewpoint was an interesting one, I decide let’s give it one last shot.

“This spectacular two-hour special delivers the tipping points of World War II as you’ve never seen them before. The key editorial feature of the program is an all-seeing CGI eye; a satellite, flying above earth, bringing a new visual approach to the biggest conflict of all time.

Flying through space and time from above, we’ll see these monumental moments in their global context, bringing new information to the forefront and explaining how a nation ranked 19th in the world’s militaries in 1939, emerged six years later as the planet’s only atomic superpower.

History Channel WW2 From Space IndieReignOur view from above means we can re-interpret WWII; placing key events in perspective, flying around the world to show the importance of simultaneity, revealing the hidden ripple effects of crucial incidents, and re-creating ground-breaking moments that could never have been captured on camera.”

The show itself was just what I thought it would be, with the same information you’ve seen and heard many times before, but the bird’s eye view did give it a unique feel, and I actually enjoyed the way it worked. Often you can lose perspective of where things are happening, and the times they are happening, especially if it’s at the same time, but this show nicely wove together the time and place with the satellite imagery.

Was it enough to save the genre of war documentaries for me though? Not really. This isn’t to say this wasn’t a good show, and I’m sure fans of war, history, and TV in general will enjoy it, but for me, I think I’ll be picking fewer and further between war shows from here on in.

 

It’s the revolution of independent cinema! Discover, watch and distribute films at IndieReign now!

0 10828
Funding Bodies Indie Film Production IndieReign

Funding Bodies: Indie Film Production – Part 1

Funding Bodies Indie Film Production IndieReignLife can be tough. Work, paying the bills, relationships, maintaining friendships, eating healthy, keeping fit, and generally just looking after yourself, can all be tough, and even more so if you have kids to look after. Now, try doing all of that when you’re an independent filmmaker also, and it takes things to whole other level.

The hours can be long and varied, jobs come through inconsistently and sometimes less frequent than you’d hope, friendships are left at the door due to said long and crazy hours, and the same can often be the case with relationships, eating becomes more routine than healthy with the often subpar on-set meals, and keeping fit becomes a thing of the past.

With all those challenges, you can often ask the question why. Why do this to ourselves? Well, simple answer is that we love it, and for those doing it only for the money are few and far between, though the public often don’t see it this way. But if they knew just how hard it is to make films, and maintain a career doing so when you’re not in the ‘system’, they would know our reasons are more pure than at first glance.

One of the main hardships that every, and I mean EVERY, indie filmmaker comes across, is financing their projects. Be it self funding through part time jobs, or even a full time job, as there are many weekend filmmakers running around when everyone else is off enjoying themselves with friends and family. Or maybe you’re trying to find the funds through aforementioned friends and family, which over a course of a career, could be one of the reasons why relationships with them are now strained.

Funding Bodies Indie Film Production IndieReignThere are of course the wealthy type investors you can find, or maybe even patrons of the arts willing to fund your pet project, but both of these are also hard to find and complicated in their own right. But one major source for the funding of independent films is local or national funding bodies. These bodies could be city run initiatives to help build cultural awareness within the city, a regional programme, or maybe even a wider reaching national one, but either way, this is one crucial source for financing, and will be the focus of this article.

Where Can You Find Funding

Let’s start at the beginning, or at least at the closest place to where you might be based, and that’s the city you live in. Within your city, you might be lucky to find various funding bodies, that may not even be film based, but either cultural or business focused, of which both can still be approached with a film idea, if approached correctly.

These funding bodies will most likely be run by the city council, or an organization run in conjunction with the council, as often these initiatives can be both funded with public and private money. So contact the local council for information on any of these types of opportunities, and they may even be able to inform you of other ones in the city. Other places to check are arts boards, universities, techs, libraries, or even the local papers, as you never know where these opportunities will be advertised, and don’t take for granted that you’ll find out about them just by being a filmmaker.

Funding Bodies Indie Film Production IndieReign

The next level of funding to look for is regional, be that state, or just a wider grouping of cities that make up a region of your country. Often just like your own city council, they will have funding bodies helping various projects, and often for either cultural reasons alone, or to help facilitate business in the area. There will of course be more competition for this funding, and from many various types of groups, but it’s still an important piece of the puzzle of independent film financing.

National funding bodies are the crème de la crème when it comes to film financing, as this is often where you can pick up decent amounts of money for projects, though as the amount of money increases, so does the competition for it and the amount of work to prove you’re deserving of it. But at its root, it’s dealt with just like the regional and city funding, and in fact, if you’ve gone through the lower rungs first, and picked up funding, it will make your last step of funding easier as your project has already been validated.

The last way to look for funding is through the 100% cultural funding groups, and I mean this as more than just art culture, but more based on the native heritage of your region or country. Now, the very first thing to take into consideration here is that not all projects can apply under this type of funding, as for one, your project needs to be culturally focused enough to justify funding. But if it does tick the boxes, apply, as often this money can help validate your project more than any other, as in the politically correct world we live in, this can have great weight behind it.

Check out Part 2 here! (Coming Soon)

 

It’s the revolution of independent cinema! Discover, watch and distribute films at IndieReign now!

0 1651
How The States Got Their Shapes IndieReign

DVD Review – How The States Got Their Shapes

How The States Got Their Shapes IndieReignWe take many things for granted in life, with one of them being how our very own countries came into being. Though one thing that might be taken even more for granted, especially for those who live in big countries, is how said countries then got broken down into their various regional areas, or states.

So when I had this DVD, ‘How The States Got Their Shapes’, come across my review desk, I was interested to give it a look. Not because I’m from America, but because I’ve always wondered how the USA did in fact decide what-was-what with their states shapes and sizes, and it also made me think about my own country.

‘How The States Got Their Shapes, follows correspondent Brian Unger as he criss-crosses the country reporting on the tales behind the boundaries. Think: Why does Montana look like it took a bite out of Idaho? Or how are flying fish threatening to re-draw the lines of Illinois?’

How The States Got Their Shapes IndieReignThis was only a one off 90 minute special, though I see it’s now spun off into its own series, but it still informed me greatly on not only the history of the United States, but things that are still affecting its changing borders even today. It also had a great section where they talked to locals about their own states, and I guess it wasn’t surprising, but more often than not they knew why they had the shape they did.

As a foreigner, it was both insightful and entertaining, and I think for natives of the US, they’ll find it incredibly engaging, and at the very least, will enlighten them to their own state if they didn’t already know, or inform them of why their next-door neighbour state looks the way they do. At the very least, as a viewer, it should make you look around at your own hometown and make you wonder how it all came to pass.

 

It’s the revolution of independent cinema! Discover, watch and distribute films at IndieReign now!

1 2280
Errors Of The Human Body IndieReign

Movie Review – Errors Of The Human Body

Errors Of The Human Body IndieReignI’ve got to say I’m not a big fan of medical laboratory dramas, be they TV series, or films like ‘Errors Of The Human Body’, and I really don’t know why. It could be argued that it has something to do with the slow nature of such stories, but that’s not the case, as there are many slow burning films that I love. Maybe it’s the ‘body horror’ or ‘experiment gone wrong’ aspect I don’t connect with, as they’ve been done to death.

When I had the chance to review this movie, that looked like both a ‘body horror’ and ‘experiment gone wrong’ laboratory film, I already had in my head this might be something I may not really connect with. Though like with any film I watch, I tried to wipe my mind clean before heading in so that I could let the film tell its own story, and either happily surprise me, or end up being another film from this genre that I just don’t like.

“When a potentially lethal virus is created within his new lab, Dr Geoff Burton is shocked to discover he is not only the unwitting cause, but also its first victim.”

This film had a very ‘interesting’ feel to it that I can only pinpoint to the fact it was a first time director, on what I’m guessing, was a limited budget. There were many well-shot and moodily created scenes, but there were also many others that just didn’t work. As I said, this could come down to this being his first feature, or a lack of time and money to make everything perfect, but overall it had a dark and constant feel to the film that played well into the storytelling.

Errors Of The Human Body IndieReign

The acting was decent, though there were no standouts, unless you count Rik Mayall who was playing the very serious and straightforward head of the laboratory. Though he wasn’t a standout because he was great, but because I just couldn’t get past the fact that in my head he’s either Fred from ‘Drop Dead Fred’, Richie from ‘Bottom’, or Flashheart from ‘Blackadder’, which aren’t serious roles in the slightest.

The story itself was standard fair when it comes to these types of films, but there was a twist ending that made it pretty dark and I thought was a brave choice, but overall there was nothing that really made me think that my thoughts on laboratory dramas would change, and I put this film into the same category as the other ones I’ve seen and thought were rather average.

 

It’s the revolution of independent cinema! Discover, watch and distribute films at IndieReign now!

0 1699
Attending Film Festivals As A Film Lover IndieReign

Attending Film Festivals As A Film Lover

During this series of articles, Attending Film Festivals, I’m going to be talking about my festival experiences from all the various angles, because I am one of the few, and dear I say lucky ones, that have attended festivals in almost every facet; as a reviewer, filmmaker, distributor, and of course a fan.

This article will be dealing with what attending film festivals as a film lover is like, because even as easy as that sounds, there are lessons that can be learnt to make things easier on you. The reason being, that this is aimed at those willing to take on the challenge of seeing dozens of films at a festival, and not for those who only want to see a couple of films, it’s for those of you who might end up seeing 40, 60, or even 100 over the festival. So sit back, enjoy, and hopefully learn a thing or two.

Picking Your Films

Attending Film Festivals As A Film Lover IndieReignWhen attending a festival as a fan, you’ll have the issue of what films to see, and some may think this is actually an easy decision, and in some ways it is, but when a festivals schedule is taken into account, it’s not always the case. If you keep picking out more and more films you want to see, the end result will be you’re going to have more and more clashes, meaning some will have to be cut, and some good ones as well.

My very first piece of advice on this is to grab the schedule, read through it, and during this first pass, with a marker pen, cross out the ones you really don’t want to see. Because if you have clashes, and the only option on a certain day, at a certain time, is a film you really don’t want to see, it’s often easy just to go along and see it anyway. But because you’re in this for the long haul, having a break during that time is actually a much bigger benefit than seeing a film you know you won’t like just for the sake of it.

Now that you’ve knocked out some films, and I hope for your sake more than a few, it’s time to go through again and pick the films you really want to see, or your Top Tier films, ones that you would really regret missing. Be picky here, and even if the list ends up only being in the single digits by the end, that’s fine, as it’s good to know the ones that could end up being what makes this festival a special experience or not.

When you have this Top Tier list of films you really want to see, it’s time to start working on your schedule, or at least the chiselled in stone foundation of your schedule. Grab a pen and paper, and mark down on it that list of films you really want to see, and their various screening times. Even with a small list, you’ll find the odd film that will only fit into the schedule due to clashes with other films you really want to see. But that’s fine, as that just means that time, and that film, are locked in already.

Once you’ve done this, it’s time to go back to the festival booklet for a third read through, and this time rank the films that are left into three categories, 1 Star, 2 Star, and 3 Star. The more stars it has, the more you’d like to see it. Be brutal with this, as you’ve already figured out the ones you can’t live without seeing, and the ones you really don’t care about, so don’t feel bad throwing lots of different stars around to knock out this next stage.

With this next list completed, take the 3 Star list and start working those films into your schedule, and make them fit around your Top Tier film list. Because these top films still have extra screenings that you can still pick from, I suggest starting with 3 Star films that happen to play and clash with them. By doing this, you can fit a 3 Star film into a slot where a Top Tier film sat, which means you lock in that Top Tier films other screening. By the end of this, more than likely, you’ll have every single Top Tier film now locked in place!

With your Top Tier locked in place, and more than likely a good number of 3 Star films, it’s time to fill out the schedule with the rest of the 3 Star films. Even at this stage you’re likely to have to cut some of the films due to clashes, and this could be a good time to go back and see if others can’t be rejigged. I’ve spent many hours going back and forth to make a schedule work, and that often means drafts and revisions, so don’t be scared to change one thing, as it could mean making two other things fall perfectly into place.

Keep doing this as you make your way through your 3 Star films, and eventually you’ll start placing some 2 Star films also. Be prepared though, if you’re trying to see as many films as possible, that your final schedule will be a mixture of Top Tier, 3 Star, 2 Star, and 1 Star films, which isn’t a bad thing, as you’ll also find some of those 2 and 1 Star films end up being little gems that stay with you long after their screenings and may even end up being your favourite films of the festival.

Now, the best thing to do is for this to happen as soon as the festival announces its line up, as more often than not you might find screenings sell out if enough time is left go by. So once you’ve locked in your films, buy them! If you do leave it late and find some screenings are sold out, go back to your list and start fitting in other films, most likely from your 2 and 1 Star list. But if it’s looking good, and you have all your tickets, than you’re ready for a massive adventure ahead!

Taking Breaks To Eat, Drink, Exercise, And Rest

Attending Film Festivals As A Film Lover IndieReignWith dozens and dozens of films to watch, and very little time for anything else during that time period, you’ll find the next most important thing will be eating, drinking, resting, and sleeping, which may be harder to fit in than you first except.

Eating and drink are easy, kind of, as at worse you can take food in with you, and you can eat inside the cinema. Some festivals and cinemas may frown on this, but if you look like a film lover who’s excited for the films ahead, they may not mind you taking a bag in with you, as long as you don’t overtly show you’re also taking in lots of food and drink inside it. But if you do get a chance to eat and drink between films, do it, as some times that little rest period is rather necessary to help you make it through the marathon that is seeing so many films in a short space of time.

Exercise is something you’ll most likely have to give up during the festival, but that’s not to say you can’t fit in lots of walking. Walking between cinemas, walking up and down stairs, and even taking walking breaks in-between films, is all key to keeping energy levels up. You may think resting is a better way to saving energy, but when you’re spending most of the day sitting, and watching something passively, you’ll find your body and mind will react to a bit of exercise in a very positive way.

As mentioned above, rest is important, and that could mean going for a walk, or even creating gaps in your schedule on purpose due to the lack of a film you really want to see, and instead heading home, if you can, for a nap. These breaks will help break up the day, which can easily morph into each other and that can play with your mind. So take those moments to have breaks and rest, because once again, you’re in for the long haul on this one.

Join In The Fun

Attending Film Festivals As A Film Lover IndieReignYou’re at a film festival, but like with any type of festival, it’s often made up of more than just the main focus. So keep an eye out for Film Quiz nights, live bands, seminars, and other such things the festival puts on to help fill out the activities. These aren’t only good for breaking up the endless films, but can also be a lot of fun, which brings me to my next point.

Find a film buddy, or buddies! You most likely won’t be able to find a buddy for all your films, but you might be able to find a few, which added up might join you for a decent number of them. Watching films is great, and having someone to enjoy that experience with you is even better, especially considering if they are film festival fans as well. So hunt them out before the festival, or worse case scenario, talk and meet fellow film lovers at your screenings, and you never know, you may end up meeting some good friends that will last outside the confines of the festival environment.

So there you go, a quick guide to attending film festivals as a film lover, and I hope I’ve imparted some knowledge and tips that you’ll find handy the next time you’re attending a festival. Good luck, happy watching, and never forget, watching a lot of films in a small amount of time is as much a physical challenge as it is a mental one, so prepare for it.

 

It’s the revolution of independent cinema! Discover, watch and distribute films at IndieReign now!

2 1808
IndieReign Profiles Rebecca Hilliar

IndieReign Profiles is our way of introducing our team to everyone out there, because like any independent filmmaker knows, it takes a team to make a film, and soon enough that team becomes a family, no matter how diverse their personalities or roles on set might be.

The exact same thing applies to IndieReign, because not only are we a bunch of film lovers, we are also developers, designers, marketers, and a whole host of other skill sets with varied backgrounds and outlooks. But we too are a family. So this is our chance to introduce our family, to you, our extended family, which is exactly how we see all of you, because this worldwide independent film community needs to be as tightknit as possible, be you a filmmaker, film lover, or independent film distributor!

IndieReign Profiles: Rebecca Hilliar (Sales & Acquisitions Manager)

What’s your role at IndieReign?

IndieReign Profiles Rebecca HilliarI began my time with IndieReign as a marketing intern, became a sales & acquisitions assistant and am now the sales & acquisitions manager at IndieReign! This involves a great amount of interaction with the IndieReign community from being a support person to filmmakers, reaching out to them about their films, to working with our VOD partners at IndieReign. I spend most of my time chatting with awesome filmmakers and people within the film industry and helping grow our IndieReign community.

What’s your background?

I have done many different things in my young life so far! I am currently finishing my degree in a Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours, majoring in Marketing and Accounting. This has taken up four years of my life and I have been doing many different things along this journey of study.

I have been a marketing intern for Waikato Rugby, an events manager in which I ran my own sporting festival for two years along with working on the festivals involved in the company. In 2011 I began working for a marketing company as a junior account manager which involved me being between Hamilton and Auckland and then moved to their media company being a media planner and buyer.

IndieReign Profiles Rebecca Hilliar

I am a huge sports head and get involved with as many activities and sports that I can. Having played netball all my life and still to this day, when a coaching opportunity became apparent to me in 2011 I took it on board and coached netball at a private school for two years. When the opportunity came up to develop a website for the sport and leisure department of the University of Waikato I took it and enjoyed the chance to work with this group.

The reason the role at IndieReign was interesting to me was due to the media course I did in my last year of school which was largely focused around film. This began my love for old & classic cinema which I still hold dear today.

How long have you been working for IndieReign?

I began working at IndieReign on the 7th January 2013 so therefore have been here for seven months!

What’s your most memorable moment at IndieReign?

IndieReign Profiles Rebecca HilliarSo, I have just learned how to say ‘memorable’ properly, that was definitely a moment (or 7) at IndieReign! In terms of the most memorable, there is something going on at IndieReign right now that has been happening for a few months and may continue for a few months yet, that I feel is going to be very memorable to look back on with my time at IndieReign.

Quick background story, the team at IndieReign are very sociable people and we are always on the look out for new activities to do as a team. A few of the team last year took part in the tough guy and gal challenge in Rotorua and the whole team has decided to get on board and do it this year. We have split the workplace into two, so there are two teams competing against each other, and we have each been matched up with a person from the opposite team to compete against. I have been matched up with Dave, IndieReign CEO.

Now the reason this is so memorable for me is because of the competitive spirit between Dave and I. We have known about this for months now and there has been much competitive banter between the two of us. Now the race is happening next weekend (17th August, 2013) and I must admit I have been training for this event as I do not want to lose to Dave, and his training (or non-training) has been kept quiet.

Whoever looses this challenge is going to be landed with continuous banter for the coming months, so whether I come out on top or not this has, and will, be a memorable experience at IndieReign! Going for the win!

What are your 5 favourite films?

IndieReign Profiles Rebecca HilliarMy favourite 5 films would have to be…

1 – The Notebook (I know I know)
2 – It Happened One Night
3 – Shrek 1 & 2
4 – Casablanca
5 – Mamma Mia

What’s your favourite film genre? Why?

Favourite film genre would have to be old school films! I fell in love with this genre when we studied old classic films in my final year of high school. We studied such films as Casablanca, It Happened One Night and Bonnie & Clyde and I loved it! The innocent nature of the period 1930′s-1950′s shows film in a completely different light in comparison with films today. This period has also been called the ‘Golden Age of Hollywood’ and I 100% agree!

What’s your least favourite genre? Why?

My least favourite genre would have to be horror and gore! I cannot stand to see any humans being tortured or cut up of any kind.

Want to keep up to date with Rebecca? Find her on Twitter!  twitter

 

It’s the revolution of independent cinema! Discover, watch and distribute films at IndieReign now!

0 16688
Attending Film Festivals As A Filmmaker IndieReign

Attending Film Festivals As A Filmmaker -Part 2

During this series of articles, Attending Film Festivals, I’m going to be talking about my festival experiences from all the various angles, because I am one of the few, and dear I say lucky ones, that have attended festivals in almost every facet; as a reviewer, filmmaker, distributor, and of course a fan.

In today’s article, we’ll be following on from the last article, which was about Attending Film Festivals As A Filmmaker, but in today’s article, we’ll be dealing with looking for sales agents, distributors, and trying to get your next project off the ground. Hopefully the lessons learnt here can help filmmakers who are attending either because their film is screening, or in competition. So sit back, enjoy, and hopefully learn a thing or two.

Time To Upgrade To A Better Model

Attending Film Festivals As A Filmmaker IndieReignWhat are sales agents and distributors I hear you say? Well, maybe I don’t actually hear you saying it, but I’m sure that’s something some of you are thinking. Sales agents are people, or organizations, that help sell your film to the various distributors from around the world, and they can do this by either owning the worldwide rights to do so, or for specific regions, such as Europe, North America, etc, and the exact same thing goes for the distributors who pick up the rights to the films, but they focus on distributing your film through various channels, be they theatrical, home entertainment, or VOD.

This of course brings extra layers of profit sharing, as normally the sales agent gets paid a fee upfront from the distributor as part of the acquisition fee, and in rare circumstances, they’ll take a profit share from the earnings of that film through that distributor. The sales agents can also handle all sides of selling the film, as not all distributors are made equal, as some focus on only theatrical, home entertainment, TV, and VOD, or a mixture of those.

The experience the sales agents and distributors have in the industry dealing with the contracts and worldwide issues around film and TV distribution is hugely important, and not to mention their extensive networks in markets you may never have heard of, all adds up to them being an integral part of the distribution model. Or at least they were.

These days, and especially for the independent filmmakers and films of the world, online self distribution is becoming the key to a viable and sustainable industry, and not to mention increasing the profits the filmmakers actually see at the end of the day.

The old model would see the consumer buy the product, and then the seller (Cinema or Retailer) will take a cut, then the Distributor, then the sales agent, then all marketing costs need to be covered, then the investors or funders of the film get paid back, and then, and only then, will the filmmaker see any profits. This model normally meant that a film needed to make 4 times its original budget for it to actually make profits to be shared out to people involved in the project, such as cast and crew.

This is of course the old model, and one that is dying a slow and painful death, as many of the layers of the system are refusing to give up their part in this failing and antiquated system. So though the team at IndieReign suggest looking into all your options, including sales agents, distributors, as well as self-distribution, we also back the idea for indie filmmakers to do it themselves with platforms like IndieReign.

Because this article is about attending film festivals with your film however, I will go into how you can look for sales agents and distributors in the old school way, as understanding how the old system works, and maybe even being a apart of it while it’s still around, could help down the road with your future projects, as knowledge is power. Not to mention, for now, they are still both important for helping raise money for future films.

My Kingdom For A Sales Agent

Attending Film Festivals As A Filmmaker IndieReignWhen attending film festivals, the first thing to realise is there won’t always be sales agents in attendance, as they mainly hold out for the markets where they buy in bulk. This doesn’t mean you can’t lay some groundwork to get one to attend, and that’s why my first point is all about doing your homework, well in advance of the festival itself.

Once you know you’ll be attending a film festival, find out if there is a market attached. If so, contact the festival and ask for a list of all attending sales agents. Reach out to them, and ask about setting up a meeting during the festival to discuss your project. You of course won’t get every meeting you hope to arrange, but this is key to getting in front of people, as often leaving it to the actual event will be too late, as their busy schedules will already be booked up.

The same goes for if there isn’t a market attached, as you can reach out to sales agents anyway and ask if they’ll have anyone in the area for the festival, or if they will be attending in a standalone capacity. This can both work to set up meetings if they are going, or maybe even convincing them that attending will be in their best interest.

Because of this, make all communication with them as personal as possible, by using their first names, and also knowing enough about their company so that the idea of representing your film makes sense to them and their company.

Once on the ground, make sure you have all the marketing material you could possibly need to promote your film, so that if you do get face time with a sales agent, you can have something to give them so as to jog their memory after the festival when they look to make their final decisions. Once again, any face time you do get had better be in a personal sense, as often times business decisions can be made based on the product as much as the person selling it.

Make sure to invite these sales agents to all your screenings, and in doing so, make sure you attend and keep an eye out for them, because it really is that personal touch that might get you across the line. Even in a bigger sense this relationship building can pay off years later, with future projects. But be prepared that even if they are interested, deals may not be done till well after the festival or market, as they need to see what projects, and how many, they can actually take on.

Wherefore Art Thou Distributors

Attending Film Festivals As A Filmmaker IndieReignWhen it comes to distributors, it’s actually almost exactly the same as for sales agents, but normally with distributors you’ll be dealing with many different companies about varying markets. This is of course a tough thing to do, which is why sales agents have been important for years, as they did this work for you, and why 1 sales agent can be worth a lot more to you than 5 various deals with smaller distributors of varying far flung markets.

The one thing that makes dealing with distributors different though is that each company seems to have its own unique style or genre of film they are after. This makes research even more important, as trying to set up a meeting at a festival with a family focused distribution company is a waste of both yours and their time if you’re trying to get a deal for your R rated horror film.

Like with the sales agent though, there will be a lot of networking, a lot of talking, and a lot of personal interaction to get these deals across the line. And just like with sales agents, think of the long term game, because if your film doesn’t fit their current slate, they may be very keen to help you get your next project off the ground, as it fits their brief better.

The Future Starts Today

Attending Film Festivals As A Filmmaker IndieReignIf I was only ever allowed to give one piece of advice to a filmmaker attending a film festival with their film, it would be this, go with other projects, in varying stages of development, be they in logline, synopsis, treatment, script, teaser trailer, or rough edited form, as sales agents and distributors like filmmakers with an eye to the future, no matter how good this one project might be.

In their eyes, when they are either selling your film to distributors, or selling your film to retailers or other forms of distribution, if they can then sell your next film easier, because of your past work, then that makes their job easier. So relationships they build with your products now will pay dividends down the road with future work. If you have no idea of your future work, or it seems too far off, they’ll take that into consideration, as it would mean your brand is harder to sell to their networks.

This isn’t only a benefit for the sales agents and distributors, but it’s vitally important for you as a filmmaker, as the heat and buzz around your current project is exactly what you need to get your next project off the ground. Of which, right now, sales agents and distributors are still a key part of, as deal memos from them can be the last piece of the puzzle, or the first piece, that means you’ll be looking to sell another film in 18-24 months time, instead of 5-10 years.

So there you go, a quick guide to attending film festivals as a filmmaker, and I hope I’ve imparted some knowledge and tips that you’ll find handy the next time you’re attending. Good luck, happy watching, happy talking, happy wheeling and dealing, and never forget, watching a lot of films and having endless meetings is as much a physical challenge as it is a mental one, so prepare for it.

 

It’s the revolution of independent cinema! Discover, watch and distribute films at IndieReign now!

0 11676
Andy Made A Friend VOD Case Studies IndieReign

VOD Case Studies – Andy Made A Friend

Introduction

Andy Made A Friend VOD Case Studies IndieReignOnline distribution, or VOD for the lack of a better word, is still in its infancy as a form of content delivery to an audience, and even the big players in the market, such as Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes, have yet to perfect the model. Their models tend to benefit only the users of the sites, as well as the host companies themselves, as the studios, which are the content providers, struggle to make a decent return on it unless they get large upfront acquisition payments.

This is why Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, and other such VOD platforms, are now creating their own content, as the studios wise up and realize they need to be in control of their own content, and online destiny, so as to make it a viable side of their business model. So when it comes to independent cinema, it’s even more of an unknown dimension in the life cycle of an indie film.

Because of this, there need to be VOD Case Studies for small independent films releasing on independent VOD platforms. Not to prove that the independent platforms ways are better, but to showcase that there are many factors why a film succeeds online, be it a major studio film, or a small low budget indie gem.

In this series of VOD Case Studies from IndieReign, we will be talking about some of our great success stories, where independent films, and their makers, have sold large numbers, and all using varying strategies. So though these may not all prove successful for every film, they at least show what can be done in the online world when it comes to VOD releases of independent films.

Short Films

Andy Made A Friend VOD Case Studies IndieReignShort Films, as a rule, are not income generators, and are more used to showcase a filmmaker, a studio, or make an artistic expression, be it part of a funding body, or a personal bit of cinema. So though there is a lot of importance around short films, the monetary value isn’t one of them.

Online distribution though is an interesting area to experiment with short films, as though most filmmakers and studios upload their films directly to sites like YouTube and Vimeo, so audiences can see them for free, others are seeing if finally it’s a way for short films to actually get monetized, or at least utilized in a different way.

In this series of VOD Case Studies, we’ll be broaching various types of films, and strategies, and this particular study will be focusing on a 12 minute short film, Andy Made A Friend, that works as a great example of not only how to make and market an independent film, but that short films can in fact make money, and how IndieReign helped facilitate its success.

Andy Made A Friend

Heather Morris Andy Made A Friend VOD Case Studies IndieReignEven as an indie filmmaker, you need to be aware of why other films succeed or don’t. Often an amazing film will go unnoticed, while others that don’t deserve attention, will get lots of success. One of the ways to help your film stand out from the bunch, be it good or bad, is to have a known face on screen, and I’m not talking a super star.

Yes, this is easier said than done, but for this case study, Andy Made A Friend is a great example of how having a known face, even if it’s a niche audience, can mean the difference between making or breaking an independent project.

Heather Morris, a supporting character on the TV show Glee, is cast as one of the two leads in Andy Made A Friend, and with Glee being a show with an audience of 8-10 million per episode in the US market, means Morris has received a lot of exposure during the shows 4 seasons. With this exposure, she crafted an online fan base with over 75,000 Twitter fans, which as any marketer will tell you, is the perfect foundation for a campaign.

Andy Made A Friend VOD Case Studies IndieReign Ashley Lendzion

The other star of the film, and also the writer, Ashley Lendzion, had crafted out her own fan base over years of working within the entertainment industry, with over 5,000 Twitter fans, and with nearly 900 Facebook fans on the films official page. Add into the mix IndieReign’s own marketing power and user base, with over 50,000 users worldwide, made the marketing push around Andy Made A Friend a perfect independent film promotion storm.

When the film was fully set up on IndieReign, and every I had been dotted, and every T crossed, and the team behind Andy Made A Friend having hyped up the anticipation of the film for their fans over the previous months, meant the film had pressure building behind it and was waiting to be released. Then, with the help of the team at IndieReign, launched the campaign with promotions through Twitter, Facebook, E-mail Newsletters, Blog Posts, and various other posts on Forums, and within the day, this 12 minute short film had sold hundreds of copies, and by the end of the campaign, it had sold many hundreds more.

It wasn’t just left there though, as it was continually pushed over the weeks and months that followed, and even though the main bulk of sales happened in the first week, it did continue to consistently sell. This was done by more social media pushes, and just more interaction with the fan base, and getting them to promote the film out to their friends and families, as servicing your fans is also key to the success of indie films.

Lessons To Learn

1 - Short films ‘can’ make money.

2 - If possible, try and get a recognizable actor or actress in your film, as any niche market you can target is worth its weight in gold.

3 - Build your social media reach and fan base all the time, so that with every new project, you’ll have a bigger and better launching pad for your next film.

4 - Service this fan base to keep them as fans, and if you always deal with them honestly and in a personal way, you’ll have a strong group of fans that wont only buy your films, but promote them to their connections as well.

 

It’s the revolution of independent cinema! Discover, watch and distribute films at IndieReign now!

0 3584
DVD Review Ancient Aliens Season 4 IndieReign

DVD Review – Ancient Aliens Season 4

DVD Review Ancient Aliens Season 4 IndieReign

Ancient Aliens is a History Channel series, and right up there with my favorite shows to watch, because I see myself as a bit of a UFO and conspiracy buff, which this show combines to great effect. Not to say I take everything that is said in the show as fact, as it’s more just learning about other ways of thinking, and boy do some of the theories put across in this show define the term ‘different way of thinking’.

In the episode called Aliens And Dinosaurs, they talk about the various references throughout history, and from varying cultures separated by great distance, that not only talk about large dinosaur like creatures walking amongst them, but drawing anatomically correct depictions of said creatures. Even in modern science we didn’t know about most of these creatures till the last 100-150 years, so for the ancients to have had any idea about them is at the very least intriguing.

In the episode called The Time Travelers, they talk about the idea UFOs and Aliens are just our ancestors coming back from the future to guide us along our path. It talks about the Nazi ‘Bell’ experiment, and how that was potentially an attempt by the Nazis to time travel to win WW2, right through to examples of where interactions with said Alien beings more felt like dealing with future selves rather than Aliens from far-flung galaxies.

DVD Review Ancient Aliens Season 4 IndieReignEven Leonardo gets a look in with the episode The Da Vinci Conspiracy, where they look into the fact humans have had ‘special’ people through the ages who have advanced us along, with Da Vinci being one of the most important ones. The theories range from him coming from another time or place, or having been taken away and imparted with knowledge from beings from either our future, or from somewhere else, out there.

Over the seasons of this series, and yes, I’ve watched and reviewed them all, the show has started to move away from just the concept of Ancient Aliens, and I think that’s a good thing, as it now makes the series a more general UFO and Alien show. But they also go into more modern day subjects, as well as more ‘out there’ concepts, with an episode on modern day NASA for the former, as well as the latter being represented by an episode about Bigfoot possibly being an alien hybrid inter-dimensional being. Told you some of the ideas are ‘out there’.

The series rounds itself out with episodes on The Mystery Of Puma Punku, Aliens And Mega-Disasters, The Greys, The Mayan Conspiracy, and The Doomsday Prophecies. So with such a diverse range of subjects, all within the scope of UFOs and Aliens, makes this another good series, and as I said after reviewing season 1, 2, and 3, I can’t wait for the next one!

 

It’s the revolution of independent cinema! Discover, watch and distribute films at IndieReign now!

0 18921
How To Market Your Film On Twitter IndieReign

How To Market Your Film On Twitter will take you through the whys and hows Twitter should be used when marketing your film. From the basics of setting up an account, to the more in-depth ways it can help spread the word of your film to a wider audience.How To Market Your Film On Twitter IndieReign

How To Market Your Film On Twitter – Part 4

Twitter Ads

How To Market Your Film On Twitter IndieReignSo you’ve created your Twitter account, got it looking just right for your brand or product you’re promoting, be it your film, Production Company, or yourself as a filmmaker, and have got all your friends, family, cast, crew, and fans to follow you. Now what? Well, if you’re still struggling to pick up traction on your site, you can spend some money and give Twitter ads a try.

With Twitter ads, you can get your account, and individual Tweets, in front of more people, and you can target them so specifically that these will most likely be engaged users, rather than empty followers. Twitter has two different types of ads, Promoted Accounts, and Promoted Tweets, and they also have a great Analytics system allowing you to track every dollar spent and the campaigns success.

These ads allow you to pick a location you’d like to advertise to, be it locally, nationally, or somewhere around the world, or a mixture. You can also target the interests of people, so directly targeting film lovers is possible, or why not fans of horror to help promote your Zombie film.

There is a cost involved in all of this of course, and for some indie filmmakers, you might think it’s not worth spending the money on ads. But always remember, the fans you build now might be with you for the rest of your career, so spending money now to find fans could pay dividends in years to come. Not to mention that with Twitter ads you only pay for actual results, be it new followers, retweets, favorites, replies, or if they click on a link you’re promoting, let’s say to your website or where people can buy or rent your film, like on IndieReign.

Promoted Accounts

How To Market Your Film On Twitter IndieReignPromoted Accounts is exactly as the name implies, it’s where you directly promote your account to new users, and with an aim to get new members to follow your account. With every new member who follows you, you’ve grown not only your user base, making your account look like one others want to follow, but you’ve increased your base of people you can directly promote your films to.

When you place an ad to promote your account, your account will appear in the Who To Follow section of the Twitter homepage, which you’ll find on the left hand side of the screen. It will display your Avatar image, the full name of the page, and the @ name of the page. It will also display the fact it’s a promoted post, but as you’re only paying per person who actually follows you, you’ll only be getting and paying for followers who accept that fact.

You of course can fine-tune these ads so that they only appear in users Who To Follow feed that are likely to like your product, and you do this by choosing options such as where they live, their interests, gender, and even what device they are using, ie Smartphone, Tablet, or Computer.

Promoted Tweets

How To Market Your Film On Twitter IndieReignOnce again, it’s all in the name, and Promoted Tweets is exactly as it sounds, it’s where you directly promote Tweets you’ve posted. A normal Tweet only goes to your current followers, or if you’ve used @, it will go to a specific person, or a #, it will go to people searching that specific subject. Promoted Tweets on the other hand get sent out to users who may find them interesting, even if they have never followed your page.

Just like with Promoted Account ads, you can target these Promoted Tweets to location, interests, genre, and device. You can also do keyword targeting, so let’s say you use Zombie and Film as keywords, and then your Promoted Tweet can target users who have used the keywords Zombie, or Film, in their recent posts. They didn’t even need to # them, as simply using the words in their own Tweets is enough to have them as a possible target for your ad.

You also only pay when you actually get results from these Tweets, as in getting retweets, favorites, replies, or if they click on a link you’re promoting within the Tweet. If you don’t get any interaction with the Tweet, then you pay nothing. This means you can easily do many different keyword and ad experiments at no risk, because if they don’t work, you pay nothing. If they do work, there will be a cost, but you’ll also be getting exactly what you were after, user interaction with your brand and your messages.

Analytics

How To Market Your Film On Twitter IndieReignTwitter also offers you in-depth analytic data tracking for all your ads, and in real time. They will track the number of new followers, impressions, clicks, and click rates, and represent them all in graph and text form, making it easy to visually see how everything is going.

This kind of data is great for updating and changing future ad campaigns, because learning from past mistakes, and successes, is one of the keys to marketing, and it can both save massive amounts of time, and also increases the effectiveness of promoting your films.

So there you go, and if you want to get started today on Twitter ads to help promote your account, and spread the word about your film, your production company, or yourself as a filmmaker, than head along to this link and get started today! And remember; give a shout out to @indiereign, as we might just help promote you to the world!

 

It’s the revolution of independent cinema! Discover, watch and distribute films at IndieReign now!

0 11682
How To Market Your Film On Twitter IndieReign

How To Market Your Film On Twitter will take you through the whys and hows Twitter should be used when marketing your film. From the basics of setting up an account, to the more in-depth ways it can help spread the word of your film to a wider audience.How To Market Your Film On Twitter IndieReign

How To Market Your Film On Twitter – Part 3

Designing Your Page

Now that you’ve set up your page, updated your profile information, sent your first Tweet, and learnt the basics, it’s time to turn your page into a more personalized design to better represent you or your film.

How To Market Your Film On Twitter IndieReignStep 1: On your homepage, click on the Cog button at the top right hand of your screen, and then click on Settings.

Step 2: On the left hand side of the screen, you’ll see a list with Account at the top. Go down to Design and click on that.

Step 3: If you’re not looking to put up your own design, than there are premade themes to chose from. Pick the one you like, and then click Save Changes at the bottom of the screen.

Step 4: If you want to be a little more hands on with the design and look of your Twitter page, than instead of picking a premade theme, go a little bit further down the screen to the Customize Your Own section, where you’ll see the button Change Background. Click on that, and then click on Choose Existing Image, and find the image you’d like to have as your background. If you have yet to design this, go to Step 5, if you’ve already designed it, double click on the desired image file, and move to Step 10.

Step 5: First of all, you need to design the background you want to put up, and this should be consistent with the ‘brand’ you’re trying to promote, and again this could either be for a film, your production company, or for yourself as a filmmaker, so put some thought into that.

Step 6: Take into account the image you upload can either be tiled over and over again, or one big image that covers the whole screen. Either way, the whole middle section of Twitter is covered by your Newsfeed and other information, so the only place where the actual design will be seen are on the left and right hand margins. Try and design the image with it being centered, as you’re given the option after locking in your image to pick Left, Right, or Centre justified.

Roughly speaking, 85% of current Twitter users will see 194px (pixels) either side of the information in the center, and this is because they are using a 1280px wide resolution. Because of this, we suggest using dimensions of 1920x1080px for your main image, but the main thing is to try a few different versions, and make sure it looks good on your computer.

Step 7: Save all your images as .PNG files, and make sure you have half a dozen variations of varying sizes and resolutions, so that you can test a whole host of them in quick succession.

Step 8: Go back to the Customize Your Own section, click on the Change Background button, and then click on Choose Existing Image. Pick your first image, and then click Save Changes.

Step 9: Go back to you home page, and see what it looks like. Repeat Step 8 with your other images, and find out which one works best. If none of them do, refine the image, and try again. If you’re happy with one of them, than leave it and head back to the Customize Your Own section.

Step 10: Background Color, Link Color, and Overlay, should all be tested with your own design, or premade design, and it’s entirely up to you if you use them or not. If done right though, these options can work in nicely with your design choice, and help put the finishing touches on it. Just test everything to see what does or doesn’t work.

Step 11: Once you’re happy with everything, click Save Changes, and head back to your home page.

Note: If you are promoting yourself as a filmmaker, or your production company, rather than a film, you can always update this image and design to represent your most current project. This stops you having to create different accounts for every project you make, and centralizes your fan base on one main account. Plus this updating of the image from time to time will make things feel nice and fresh for people who go to your homepage often.

Build Your Audience

How To Market Your Film On Twitter IndieReignTwitter is one of the largest social-networking sites in the world, and depending on whom you talk to, and how you read the numbers, it currently ranks 4th, behind, Facebook, Google+, and YouTube, with over 200 million active users. Active being the key word, as at a glance, most social networking sites have nearly double the number of users on their site than active users, as often these empty profiles are either fake, or long abandoned ones.

With this in mind, it is one of the perfect places for filmmakers to gather an audience and promote their films to supporters. The first step after creating a Twitter fan page is to share that page with your friends, family, cast, crew and the fans that you already have, as they will always be your number one supporters, so don’t be shy to ask them for help – just be sure to give them an autograph or two later on if you make the big time!

Your close connections will begin to share your page and before you know it, your fans and connections will continue to grow. If you still feel that your page needs more exposure and have exhausted all your close connections, remember to share the fact you’ve got a Twitter page on your other social media platforms. Often you can find a great upswing of new members when you share this fact across multiple platforms.

Keep in mind that there is far more value in a highly engaged and targeted audience, than thousands of random people who don’t really care. Don’t fall into the trap of focusing on vanity metrics such as the number of followers and fans; make sure that those followers and fans have an interest in your film, or you, and what you stand for.

On Twitter, you want to be seen as influential, meaning you want to have more people follow you than you follow, but at the beginning, if someone new follows you, why not check their account out, and maybe follow them as well. This instantly creates a better connection between the two of you, and suddenly you may have an active user and fan, rather than just an empty follower.

When connecting with people who follow you, why not follow them back, say hi and thank them for joining your page, and just interact where you can. You obviously can’t connect with every single person, especially if your numbers grow, but that’s where Tweets can be handy, as you can use it as a sort of bulk message to all your fans, or groups of them.

Building Your Audience 101 though, is to use and share your Twitter username as much as you can, from business cards, e-mail signatures, or on info pages wherever you, your film, or Production Company is mentioned. Making it easy for people to find, and connect with you, is a sure fire way of building quick and consistent growth on Twitter.

Check out Part 4 of the guide here!

 

It’s the revolution of independent cinema! Discover, watch and distribute films at IndieReign now!

2 10235
Attending Film Festivals As A Filmmaker Part 1 IndieReign

Attending Film Festivals As A Filmmaker – Part 1

During this series of articles, Attending Film Festivals, I’m going to be talking about my festival experiences from all the various angles, because I am one of the few, and dear I say lucky ones, that have attended festivals in almost every facet; as a reviewer, filmmaker, distributor, and of course a fan.

In today’s article, we’ll be dealing with what attending film festivals as a filmmaker is like, and the lessons learnt here can help filmmakers who are attending either because their film is screening, or in competition. So sit back, enjoy, and hopefully learn a thing or two.

Find Your Bearings Before You Lose Your Marbles

Attending Film Festivals As A Filmmaker Part 1 IndieReignMy very first bit of advice to any filmmaker attending a film festival is to get your bearings of the layout, as some of the bigger ones can be spread throughout a large city. This also helps when booking accommodation, looking for good places to eat and drink, and most importantly, making sure you have the time to make it to any of your films screenings from your home base.

For example, when attending the Cannes Film Festival in May 2013, we were invited to a screening that we had been led to believe was just outside the city, and a walkable distance. If they had of known the area better, and we had done a little of our own research, we wouldn’t have spent over an hour walking before finally grabbing a taxi which took us a further 10 minutes down the road. We made it literally as the film started, but this could have been avoided knowing the layout of the festival better.

It’s also a good idea to learn a bit more about the city the festival is in, so that if you do get invited to after screening drinks, or any other type of event that might be held outside the festivals programme, you’ll be better equipped for getting there, or even knowing if it’s practical to accept the invitation.

Look, Ma, I Made It

Attending Film Festivals As A Filmmaker Part 1 IndieReignHaving your film accepted to a festival is a huge buzz, and if you ever lose that buzz, then it might be time to revaluate things, because if that doesn’t excite you anymore, you might be in it for the wrong reasons. Being accepted is one thing though, but attending and seeing your film on the big screen with an audience is even more of a thrill!

If it is your world premiere, don’t feel ashamed to make a big deal of it, so dress up in a black suit and tie or formal gown, invite all cast, crew, friends, and family along who can make it, and why not even order a limo for the big event. You may not have this experience often in your career, so when you do, live a little!

If it’s not your world premiere, or even the premiere for that country, still enjoy the moment, and soak up everything you can. Because remember, whenever your film is screening, and you’re there representing it, you are on show as much as your film is. If you have an eye to the future with your career as a whole, what you do during these screenings could make or break those plans.

Ask Me No Questions, And I’ll Tell You No Lies

Attending Film Festivals As A Filmmaker Part 1 IndieReignIf you’re lucky enough to have a Q&A after your films screening, than you had better be prepared for it. I don’t mean you need to have answers already written down, but you should at least have as many facts about your film memorized as possible. Seeing a filmmaker stumble of their answers, showing that they know almost as little as the audience does, is not a good look.

Expect to get the straightforward types of questions, with people asking about the budget, where you filmed it, issues with cast and crew, and especially questions about the storyline. You’ll find there are some people in the crowd who want to make the Q&A about themselves, and will try and stump you with a curly question about the characters, their motivations, and the major themes of the story, so make sure you’ve at least put some thought into these types of things.

All up, enjoy yourself, as a Q&A can actually be a really fun thing, especially when you get asked great questions that shows the audience, or at least that one person, really was taking notice of what was happening on the screen. It’s also good practice in talking about your film, as with any festival, or film promotion in general, you’ll be doing a lot of that.

So, What Did You Think Of My Film

Attending Film Festivals As A Filmmaker Part 1 IndieReignWhen showing your film at festivals, you’ll end up meeting just as many other filmmakers as you will audience members who are just there to see films. Just like yourself, who is most likely interested in knowing what people think about your film, expect the exact same thing from fellow filmmakers, which is something to think of, so as to help mitigate any possible awkward situations.

On that note, try and see as many other films as you can from other filmmakers, because at the end of the day it’s a film festival, and you might be able to check out some great cinema. It will also create goodwill, which will be paid back to you from other filmmakers when your film screens.

If you did attend a screening, and then are asked by the filmmaker what you think of the film, I can only say that being honest is the best thing, but in a constructive and gentle way, if necessary. If you lie, most times people can see through it, so talk about what you loved, mention moments you think worked well, and if you feel some advice about how something could be improved would help, say it. But this is a double-edged sword, so expect the exact same thing about your film when you ask this question.

I’d Like To Thank The Academy

Attending Film Festivals As A Filmmaker Part 1 IndieReignIf your film happens to also be screening in competition, then that brings a whole other level of both excitement and nerves into the mix. Sometimes you know well before hand that you’ll be in competition or not, but sometimes it may not be so clear, as some festivals will screen all films with no awards at all, while others will have only the main section eligible for them, but there are times when you get nominated for awards you didn’t even know the festival had.

If there is an awards night, and even if you’re not nominated for anything, I always advise heading along for the fun, as if they do it right it can be a great atmosphere, and maybe even another excuse to crack out that suit or dress you wore at your premiere. If you are up for an award though, than make sure you’re there, because once again, it’s not just your film on show.

If you do win, try and set those nerves aside, and thank your cast, crew, investors, your family and friends, and most of all, thank the festival itself. Other than that, try and keep it short, because nothing makes people go from being excited for you, to annoyed, than a long rambling acceptance speech. Also, as soon as you can, jump onto your social media platforms and tell the world what you won, so that everyone who couldn’t be there with you, can join in on the excitement!

So there you go, a quick guide to attending film festivals as a filmmaker, and I hope I’ve imparted some knowledge and tips that you’ll find handy the next time you’re attending. Good luck, happy watching, happy talking, happy wheeling and dealing, and never forget, watching a lot of films and having endless meetings is as much a physical challenge as it is a mental one, so prepare for it.

Check out Part 2 next week where I’ll deal with looking for sales agents, distributors, and how to utilise festivals with getting future projects off the ground.

It’s the revolution of independent cinema! Discover, watch and distribute films at IndieReign now!

0 1787
IndieReign Profile Anna Powell

IndieReign Profiles is our way of introducing our team to everyone out there, because like any independent filmmaker knows, it takes a team to make a film, and soon enough that team becomes a family, no matter how diverse their personalities or roles on set might be.

The exact same thing applies to IndieReign, because not only are we a bunch of film lovers, we are also developers, designers, marketers, and a whole host of other skill sets with varied backgrounds and outlooks. But we too are a family. So this is our chance to introduce our family, to you, our extended family, which is exactly how we see all of you, because this worldwide independent film community needs to be as tightknit as possible, be you a filmmaker, film lover, or independent film distributor!

IndieReign Profiles: Anna Powell (Communications Manager)

What’s your role at IndieReign?

Since I’ve been a part of this awesome tech start up company, I’ve gone from a Marketing Intern, to Marketing Assistant, to now Communications Manager.

In this position I’m responsible for maintaining some of IndieReign’s partnerships, managing the crowdfunding initiative, managing the blog, and the newsletters, and writing reports about it all, covering things like A/B testing and performance statistics.

So basically it’s a lot of writing, but I also get to talk to amazing people and filmmakers, and sometimes I even get to pretend I’m a designer while I mock up webpages.

What’s your background?

My background is so diverse I don’t even know where to begin… As far as film goes, my passion for it has been long engrained in me. My biggest dream since I can remember was to be a “famous” actress, but my deep appreciation and thirst for film knowledge started at high school when I had an amazing teacher that introduced me to the world of Hitchcock.

Not only did we watch Psycho about 5 times in class (which was AWESOME) but I was also introduced to the deep, meaningful and technological world of film theory, which was when my eyes were totally opened to the difference slight camera angles and the use of lighting and shadows can channel meaning within a scene, and it was nothing but fascinating to me!

IndieReign Profiles: Anna Powell

Later I went on to make a short documentary with two friends, for a project about the music scene in my home town, Hamilton, New Zealand, and it was so great! Spending late nights in the editing room and getting the satisfaction when the cuts and the music matched and everything sounded and looked great was immensely enjoyable.

I also ended up doing a lot of acting, both in theatre with a ton of Shakespeare (I’ve played characters such as Hermia in Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Reagan in King Lear) and other great playwrights such as Anton Chekov (I was Lubov in The Cherry Orchard), to characters in small film projects. I joined the Shakespeare club, travelled around the country a bit, and was a contender for some pretty big national student awards. I was literally living the dream!

Over the past few years I’ve worked in a bunch of different places, from being a software support officer at a big corporate giant, to various hospitality jobs, working in an outdoor supplies shop, and getting the odd photography gig. Before IndieReign, I was working for the council at the Museum, and at an art gallery, while I completed my degree in Media Arts, it was at the end of this all that I stumbled into the interview for a dream job, and since then, my life has been dedicated to IndieReign!

How long have you been working for IndieReign?

I was interviewed for my position in on December 14th, 2012, and found out on the 18th of December that I had a position at IndieReign as a paid intern! January 7th, 2013 was my first day, so as of today (August 1st 2013), I’ve been working here officially for 206 days…not that I’m counting or anything…

What’s your most memorable moment at IndieReign?

I would like to come up with a really funny story, or my first day, or the first time one of my articles got over 100 ‘likes’ on our blog, but really, the most amazing moment happened just a few days ago, and I think it’s going to be my most memorable for quite some time. Currently I’m going through a tough decision, my cat, ‘Sooty’, (don’t judge, I named her when I was 10) is sick, as she has gum disease and is in pain and can’t eat properly. She’s really old, and needs an operation for her teeth to come out or the infection will spread to her organs and she will die slowly and painfully.

IndieReign Profiles: Anna Powell

I made the decision to put her down and messaged Mike (my Marketing Manager) about it and to say I would be late to work. Well, I took my little Sooty to the vets, but in the end I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I went home and got ready for work, promising myself that I would be cheerful when I got there. I walked in and David (CEO of IndieReign) put his hand up for a high five, I asked what it was for, saying “I don’t think I deserve a high five right now”, feeling pretty miserable as tears started forming in my eyes.

Dave then gave me a hug and of course I immediately started crying while I was trying to explain what happened with my cat. I was tat tempting desperately to compose myself while telling the story in our little office, when Luke, one of our developers, said he would contribute to my cat’s vet fund, and then so did Barry, one of the operations managers, and then Dave said they would start up a “save Anna’s cat fund” and everyone in our office was so lovely!

Well of course this brought on a whole new round of tears, but this time it was happy tears. I was so grateful for them all wanting to help out, and it was then that I felt this oddball mixture of us all were really like family to me, and that is why I love working here so much. We all work hard and have great moments, but at the end of the day, we all really care about each other too, and that is the best feeling.

IndieReign Profiles: Anna Powell Star Wars

What are your 5 favorite films?

This is a ridiculous question! My top films generally change depending on my mood, and I find it really hard to define a “top five”, but right now, if a gun was pointed to my head, I would say the following five films have been the most memorable and the most life changing:

1 – Star Wars (If I have to choose ONE Episode IV, A New Hope)
2 – Garden State
3 – Juno
4 – Pulp Fiction
5 – The Breakfast Club

What’s your favorite film genre? Why?

There are so many things I enjoy, so it’s difficult defining a favorite! If I had to say one specific genre it would be biography dramas with a music sub-genre. This is all pretty specific, but unlike other genres, I’ve never met one I didn’t like! Recently I really enjoyed The Sapphires, and I’m always down for something like Ray, The Blues Brothers, Walk the Line, and I’m Not There, what can I say? I’m a music nerd. My second favorite genre is sci-fi!

What’s your least favorite genre? Why?

Probably horror films – particularly splatter. When I watch films I want to be taken away with a captivating storyline, likable characters, and awesome cinematography. I find horror films generally do not entice me at all, and I sit through them thinking how silly, or just plain disturbed the characters in them are.

Want to keep up to date with Anna? Find her on Twitter!  twitter

 

It’s the revolution of independent cinema! Discover, watch and distribute films at IndieReign now!

SOCIAL

0FansLike
0FollowersFollow