AMA With Noam Kroll


(Noam Kroll) #21

Early on, I would self finance everything, or figure out a way to shoot what I needed to for no budget. As my needs grew and the projects increased in scope, I started working with other colleagues with mutual interests to raise money. For instance, on one of my short films I worked with 3 producers who each put forward an investment. They wanted some skin in the game and experience making a film, and I needed the capital to finance the project. Reaching out to producers/friends/potential investors directly is always an option.

For my next film, I’ll be crowdfunding. I’ve waited to do it until now, because I only want to do it once! I also just released a podcast interview on fundraising you can listen to after the AMA here: http://noamkroll.com/podcast-5-options-for-financing-your-independent-feature-film/


(Anna Bateman) #22

What’s your opinion on all the different fundraising options available these days? Which do you think have staying power or which should people just stop worrying about? Crowdfunding, Patreons, etc


(Rodrigo Diaz Ricci) #23

Hi, Noam. Thank you for coming to share your experience.

What keeps you motivated? How do you manage to face each challenge?


(Rayne M) #24

Why do you only want to crowdfund once? What do you expect to change after the first time?


(Noam Kroll) #25

Great question. It was all designed around educational content that I shared throughout my blog. My hunch when I started the blog was that no one would really care about my work right away, so I should earn their trust by giving out as much free content as I could. As I was learning and growing as a filmmaker, I shared all of that with the readers. The community is really part of the blog, as my readers are engaged in my online content, podcast, and newsletter. Once in a while I pepper in an article about my personal work, but even then I try to make it educational, so it’s not just self promotion!


(Meg Carroway) #26

How did you find all those people (or how did they find you)? There are tons of filmmaking blogs- Stareable has one too that’s great!


(Ayelette Robinson) #27

Following up on the fundraising question: For someone who’s never done it before, would you be able to outline the key steps for finding and reaching out to investors? (Not sure if that’s too broad a question.)


(Noam Kroll) #28

Similar to one of my last answers, I would re-iterate that keeping is simple is always best. Sometimes when you’re lighting yourself, less is more. Once you turn on more than two or three lights, the shadows can get difficult to manage (at least when you’re working by yourself). When working on my own, I usually use natural light or a single soft source (like a china ball) to avoid having to counteract too many shadows. As for color, the same applies - simple basic grades are always the best! I usually use color LUTs (filters) to audition looks, and then dial them in more specifically once I’m in the right ballpark.


(Noam Kroll) #29

Mainly authentic content. I wasn’t trying to grow quickly, I was just trying to make valuable content. Because of that, it was shared organically and picked up by a lot of other reputable websites which helped my ranking.


(Bri Castellini) #30

What does your pre-production process look like, especially when you’re holding multiple roles like directing and lighting and writing? Where do you start/how do you prioritize?


(Rayne M) #31

Doesn’t a lack of lights look kinda low budget, though? I can always spot a student film because it’s lit only by incidentals


(Noam Kroll) #32

This may be a very basic answer… But I’ve found simply picking the right locations that work “as-is” is the way to go. On my personal projects I often don’t have a production designer on board, so I work very hard in pre-production to find locations that have the right look, props, and overall design inherently, so when I walk onto set we can just start rolling.


(sam lockie-waring) #33

fair enough. so obviously each project needs different things but on like a general level, what do you look for in a location? what’s on your checklist that, if a location lacks, you won’t use it unless it’s a last resort?


(Noam Kroll) #34

One way is through my blog. I highly recommend everyone out there find a way to create your own channel. Whatever it may be - YouTube, a personal blog, twitter, etc. Find the medium that suits your voice, and really double down on it. I like a personal blog for myself because I own the material, and am not relying on a 3rd party (a social media platform for instance) to host my content forever.


(Noam Kroll) #35

Possibly! I could definitely see myself producing or writing one - I love the format. As a director though, my brain tends to think in long form, feature length format…


(Jane) #36

What are other ways, though? Like specifically about raising awareness of a particular work- a latest film. What do you do when you want people to watch your film somewhere?


(Noam Kroll) #37

I love directing above all else. I do the other jobs to allow me to direct - for me it’s the job that’s most creatively satisfying and allows me to get my creative thoughts out of my system and into a finished piece.


(Bri Castellini) #38

Since you’ve primarily worked in longer form and (I assume) generally go the festival route first, what, based on what you’ve seen, would you do with your hypothetical web series one it was complte? Release it for free immediately? Hold out for one of the (few and far between) distributors to pick you up with a good monetization share?


(Noam Kroll) #39

I think they are all great - it just depends on what you are doing. Seed & Spark is one of my favorites as they allow you to not only receive cash donations, but also gear or resources (locations, etc.) from your supporters. Patreon is amazing too, but you need the right type of content/audience to make it work. I think it’s about matching your style and objectives with the platform that will help you reach the right audience.


(Meg Carroway) #40

Do you have a few first time director tips? Like maybe things you know other new directors tend to forget about/mistakes they make?