I always get asked how it all works. Well.... It's different for everyone and every project. I was writing this project for 11 years before I thought it was ready and I've only been sharing it with collaborators for one month. It's exciting to share it! And I can't wait to share the whole vision and process while it's happening! That's what this blog is all about. The uncut rawness and process... The tears... the fears everything. hahaha I laugh because this is precisely the opposite of my comfort zone. I'd prefer to roll in secrecy and then hit the world like Boom... look at this masterpiece I created effortlessly, but that's kinda boring, opaque and too easy. So here's the rawness:
- This film is not done: I made a kick ass trailer just to get collaborators. But that's not remarkable, everyone makes pitch trailers these days because no one reads scripts.
- I have no idea how this will all come together: The truth is no one knows how it all comes together until the end and there are nothing but problems along the way. In this way making a film is no different than producing any professional product. The real genius lies in problem solving and resourcefulness. And of course creativity.
- I already know everyone I need to make this project happen: This is kinda a dumb bullet but I write it more as a reminder to myself that we're all connected and only separated by six degrees. We all should be able to get whatever we need if only people knew and were willing to help. And people do want to help.
- This project is in the development stage: I'm still figuring out who will be in it. Who will shoot it and who will produce it. I have some promising leads so far. More on that later.
American Film Market
I decided to introduce the project to the industry last month at AFM. This is why I made the artwork, website and one sheet. It wasn't in my plan to attend AFM initially so a week before the market I was scrambling to get ready. The one sheet, poster, website were all produced in one week in addition to coming through researching the 100s of production companies attending and emailing the companies I thought may be interested in my film to get a meeting. I literally sent out 117 emails and only got 2 responses and no meetings. AFM works like this... production companies attend to buy and sell completed films. It's like speed dating... every hotel room is a production office and every day of the market is filled with meetings upon meetings. My film is not completed yet but a secondary function of the market is for people like me to pitch their projects in development or production. I was bummed I didn't have any meetings so I decided to crash and go into the offices cold and demand a meeting. I combed through my list again and identified about 30 production companies to visit. I only made it to about 5... lol My time was spent meeting new people randomly in the hotel lobby and at the pool at lunch. I meet new friends, ran into alumni from USC and even an old post productions supervisor who helped me with a telecine on my first short 10 years ago. I ended up pitching my project to whomever would listen and even some that didn't it got a good response. In the end the takeway was two new friends, a few producers interested, a reconnect with a USC alum and a whole lot of practice pitching the project. I also realized that no matter how good my preparations materials were that in the end there was no replacement for me being there. People want to know the "why". The story behind the story... If they are interested in you then they will make the film. The material doesn't do this alone. This reminds me of a book an old coworker gave me called "you are the message" written by Roger Allies. It's basically a book on communication that says always be yourself when communicating. That last sentence sounds trite and simple.... yeah just be yourself... but it's really a good read and I'm not doing it justice by my one sentence summary.
In the end people work with YOU because of who YOU are. And YOU work with them because of who they are. I met people who were interested in my project at AFM who I could tell just by meeting them that I would never work with them. Imagine that... someone wants to make the first time directors film and the director turns him down. It's not arrogance it's intuition. It's a life journey and I have to feel completely comfortable with who I work with. Usually I can figure it out by asking them why? Why are they making films and why they want to make this. I know the perfect team is right around the corner and I can't wait to meet them. This is just the beginning.