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Monday, April 26, 2010

Avoid People who talk (too much), know your film goals, focus on true love, and don't use the "S" word.

Hi, my lovely (film) friends!

Today, I want to talk about our true love(s), warn you about people that, 'just talk' so you can perhaps save some valuable time, and encourage you to discuss your film goals.

People talk so much sometimes, I'm surprised they don't leave their jaws places. Just to rest.

Words are like love in a relationship. They mean something. They're the most powerful thing we can put together - a group of words to evoke emotion. But I think they get devalued when there's a lack of action behind them, like any relationship - Love's just not enough. There has to be understanding and trust, too. Not all this song and dance around the heart of what's important.

So no song and dance today - only love...

I can't tell you how many hours of my day have been wasted away just 'talking' to people (you know where) about 'what to do next.' Similarly, I find myself at the mercy of the social media phase taking over the way we do business. I read an interesting article today about social media and the over-use of the word, and how that may adversely effect us.

In the end, I just want to (write AND) make my fucking movie. I want to make movie(s). I want to create a moving picture. How many ways can I say it?

But it's not (always) that simple. Depending on what your goals are, the answers may vary as to how you conduct your business.

Here's a really great article by, Jon Reiss that my LIS producer, Lorie Marsh, pointed out to me last week. We had a great discussion about where we are with our own goals and how that might match up, and if it really matters that they match up. To a degree, of course it does! We're partners. We're making a movie together.

The big question, as Lorie reassembles our business plan accordingly to more accurately reflect necessary changes, is what kind of movie are we going to make. By that, I mean - budgetarily speaking. We've determined, with the help of our amazing (however, maybe temporary!) line producer, Megan Gilbride, that we are not an ultra low picture. We compared the ultra low budget with the moderate budget, and so on. With the LIS story and its number of characters, we simply can't be ultra low without compromising our story in some capacity, which neither of us are willing to do. And if we are moderate, we would have to use recognizable faces to make back money.

The deal is this - you can have a DIY POA if the budget is in the right, sweet spot. And that alone is still challenging to recoup. As soon as you move over the line of ultra low, movies require recognizable cast on some level to recoup costs. There are exceptions, I know, but today I'm not talking about those. This is just logic we're dealing with, really.

And back to social media (sorry, don't know how else to say the "S" word, YET) might be a valuable tool for very low budget projects (such as my other team's Aether Paranormal documentaries) to recoup some kind of costs, but we can't count on it to help us make back a million bills (not saying it won't help spread the word!). Now, a hybrid version (what we currently are) seems to be hard to sell to both the investor and the audience. SO, where does that leave us... under a million? Over a million? And what does it mean for our production as a whole? What type of mental investment should I put into the time consuming world of social media, if that's the case? See where it gets complicated again?

A producer's job is never easy, or done. RESPECT. And for all the newbies out there (like me) I encourage you to keep going and do your thang! Ain't nobody gonna do it for you. Nope, not even the ones who talk about it all day. Let me rephrase - especially the ones who talk about it all day. If they're talking ALL DAY about what they/you should do, that means they're not DOING. Your ego(s) will slowly dissolve with each "no" (hopefully), it will hopefully empower you instead of anger you, and you'll learn, as I am learning, what a humbling position this is to be in - to make movies, successfully.

I don't want to end on a seemingly subjective note, (success) so it's important for me to tell you that I don't believe in failure - only the results we obtain from trying. and trying. and trying again. Until we reach our goal, and want to do it all over again.

May you keep trying until you reach your true love.
Peace, Jentri

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