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IndieReign guest blogger, Nathan Ives, First Pass, It's Not You, It's Me director

“Nathan Ives, the director of It’s Not You, It’s Me, is here on IndieReign to provide filmmakers and film fans alike, with an inside insight to his latest adventure – taking his film on tour, old-school band styles. During his new monthly piece, IndieRoad, we’ll hear about his progress, how his travels affect his VOD sales, and any other interesting stories that happen along the way…”

…I was half way through shooting It’s Not You, It’s Me, we were over budget and I needed 15K to finish and was desperate. During our one day off, I went to the dentist for a cleaning, pitched him the film, the next day he brought a check for 15k to set.

Nathan Ives, Director of 'It's Not You, It's Me'.

Nathan Ives, Director of ‘It’s Not You, It’s Me’.

That pretty well sums up how I raised the money for the film, if you got within five feet of me, I was going to pitch it to you.

I didn’t raise any marketing money because my marketing plan was free and looked like this: It’s Not You, It’s Me would get into Sundance, I’d party like a rock star at the festival, we would WIN Sundance, Lionsgate would buy the film for ten times the budget, and within the year my agent at CAA would have me directing the next Johnny Depp film.

We didn’t get into Sundance. Not Cannes. Not Toronto. I’ll stop, you get the point.

The good news was, the film was good, not great, but a solid effort that won some awards at smaller festivals and was generally very well received.

So now I’m completely exhausted from the two years since beginning to write the film and I’m completely broke. I waste the next year, of the films two year market life, talking with sales agents and distributors (Satan and his angels) and getting bad offers with 10 year contracts, large ‘marketing fees,’ and little or no upfront money.

The biggest problem? I have absolutely fallen head over heels in love with the filmmaking process and can’t imagine doing anything else.

The total budget on It’s Not You, It’s Me is around 180K, if I could find a way to make that money back for my investors, I could easily move onto the next film and continue doing something I’m truly passionate about. By my estimation, the only job better than director is rock star and I simply don’t have the musical talent.

After a lot of pondering and laying on my floor, depressed, listening to Tom Waits ‘Closing Time’ over and over, I eventually emerged with an idea. I would take my film on tour!

The idea was by touring with the film, I could drive VOD sales.

While I live in LA, I started randomly calling theaters in the Southeast where I’m originally from, renting them, and filling my tour schedule. My parents still live there and I figured I could use their place as a home base while I toured.

I set up 34 screenings from October 1st to December 15th in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee.

I left LA in my Nissan pick-up on September 24th loaded down with 500 DVD’s to sell, some clothes, and a pack of peanut M&M’s (love those things). When I drove out of my driveway I played Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again.

I’m now back in LA after touring through December, next month I have screenings in San Diego, Phoenix, Seattle, San Francisco.

I’ve learned a tremendous amount about how to fill theaters, how to sleep at rest areas at 2am with the truckers, and about the HUGE importance of an email list.

I don’t know yet if my plan of driving VOD sales is working, I don’t have enough data yet, but I’m sure having a good time! I’ll share more about what I’ve learned and by that time should have some, IndieReign,  iTunes, and Amazon sales numbers to share with you!

Nathan Ives is the director of It’s Not You, It’s Me, now available on IndieReign!

Hopeless romantic, serial commitment-phobe, Dave, is reeling from his decision to break up with his near perfect, now ex-girlfriend. As he tries to forget her, his battling inner voices come to life and cloud his mind with conflicting desires. Meanwhile, Carrie’s own disjointed inner voices push her to move on with someone less complicated. Sensing time is short, Dave embarks on a sincere and sometimes fumbled personal journey to conquer his fear of commitment.

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