I'd been thinking about raising financing for a slate of three films: one "art house" indie, and two low-budget genre movies. My head says it's the smart thing to do - spread the risk over several projects, not just one; and, it is, with caveats. There are NO SURE THINGS. Even genre movies , which generally sell better than other genres, take work, commitment, and most importantly, heart to see them through to any successes they might have.
After a lot of homework on low-budget genre films, and the challenges of balancing my time between nearly-full-time toddler parenting and indie film producing (not to mention, this blog), I've decided to focus singly on my current "heart" project: Lost In Sunshine.
I'm feverishly working on my business plan for it. We're looking at a $500K budget, and another couple hundred thousand additionally, for end-game operating capital: P&A costs, distribution deliverables costs, market attendance expenses, and so on. I'm deeply in the throes of sketching out how the project will be monetized in its varied distribution outlets. I'm looking at the viability of foreign sales for our genre and budget, festival strategy and whether I can coordinate ancillary screenings in a fest's region, direct sales of DVDs (at screenings, off web site, etc.), downloads and VOD windows, and whether/how to execute a DIY theatrical tour of the movie. I'm also looking at existing distributors who might "ping" to our movie.
All this on top of charting potential cast, their costs, their "bankability," their suitability, etc., researching comparable titles, and the fun stuff of pre-production with my filmmaker: storyboards, location scouting, budgeting, crewing up, and so on.
I also continually find myself inspired by Ted Hope's postings and musings at Truly Free Film. I'm trying to incorporate the ideas put forth there into my plans for LIS.
Then, there's my website. It's taking me longer to get it out there in cyber-space (what else is new?), but it's coming. Soon. Really.
If you've seen the solicitations for applicants to the IFP Filmmaker Lab, I recommend it highly. jumping off bridges was one of eight participants during its inaugural year in 2005. It was four days of focus, sharing, learning, collegiality, and digesting. We learned a LOT about the life of our movie after it was "completed." Basically, there was a whole 'nother life after that point. :)
Back to work.