It's easy to dream. It takes courage to follow a dream. And business sense to develop a smart business strategy to execute after post production.
Here are some (beginning) questions to ask yourself:
What makes this film stand out? Who's its audience? Why will movie goers invest in seeing it? What's my business plan after making it?
When I began my film journey with LIS I can honestly say that I had absolutely no clue about the 'business' side of things. Not really. I come from a string of filmmaker friends who thrive on late night brainstorming sessions, finding good deals on equipment, and whose motto is to just shoot it however we have to! Nothing wrong with that, it's quite creative in fact, but we had never (really) SOLD anything. That's the big difference we're looking at with LIS.
After my front line experience with co-producing several Aether Paranormal documentaries, building a solid brand and audience, and spending countless days experimenting with social media, I know that putting yourself out there is not enough, if you're wanting to profit financially.
More questions to ask:
What's the incentive for an investor to invest in this project? Is it a low-no risk project? If not, how can I make it less of a risk? Do I have connections to well known talent? Do I need an agency rep?
Lost In Sunshine producer, Lorie's, understanding of post survival was key in our BP. When we first decided to make it together, I remember her saying that, "anyone can make a movie... sure, we'll make it... but we need to make sure we have funds to do something with it." I'm writing from memory, but you get the picture.
More to contemplate:
Am I focused on making a movie for the buyer(s) (distributors and/or studios)? Am I focused on making a movie for my audience?
Ted Hope makes a great point in one of his latest posts, Simple Thoughts on a Big Secret. He says, "I am dismayed by those that don’t recognize how irresponsible it is to just promote or adopt a “build it and they will come” philosophy."
Lorie was so on the money. Asking for big bucks is really a (different) ball game where you have to prove yourself all over again. Indie film producer, Jane Kosek, describes the life of a producer as constantly negotiating. She says, "a film is a business. And negotiating is an art form." (read more)
After an in depth conversation this morning with a person, whose company specializes in providing seed money for premiere projects, some ideas we'd been considering for LIS were clarified.
I'm learning about the power of being able to adapt, and adjust to the circumstances of our project, rather than hanging on to an old way.
If you're not where you thought you'd be -- don't give up. Use the unexpected time slot to reevaluate your business plan, pick brains, learn, and continue to grow as an artist. Be prepared for the Good that awaits.
But don't just rush to have a plan. Take time to prepare a smart one -- all the way through. People respond to smart, even if it's giving you an hour of their invaluable, precious time.... because they know you care... and they were there once, too.