Great question - It really depends on my objectives for the project. If the primary objective was to make money with it, I wouldn’t release it online right away. I would likely target film festivals that could help me gain exposure, and approach distributors directly. But if my goal was to simply get as many views as possible, I would release it for free and spend a lot of effort marketing it to ensure it got significant exposure.
I think many directors focus on one aspect of the craft TOO much - they might be too obsessed with the script or the camera for instance. Directing is all about making the elements work in harmony together, so finding a way to make each facet work in unison should always be the goal.
What would that marketing look like, in your mind? Say if you want to get views/make a name for yourself online as the goal. Would it be social? Would it be supplemental (but thematically related) content? Would it be press releases, and if so, where would you send them?
How do you keep all that in mind while also giving actors what you need? (also, just, what’s your advice on working with actors?)
Anything that is recurring on a regular basis. For instance, a webseries might be a better fit than a feature film, since the series can release episodes every month on a subscription basis. That said, for a project like a feature film, ancillary content can also be created (such as educational videos or lessons) that can be released via Patreon…
Haha true! Have you considered doing something like that, since you/your name is kinda your brand and you make stuff semi-regularly it seems?
For me, this project needs more $ than my last, but not so much that I need private investors. The film after that will need a higher budget (somewhere in the $500K - $1MM range), so I will need to finance through private equity. As for doing multiple campaigns, you can absolutely go that route! I personally prefer to just do it once as I have a blog following that I respect very much and don’t want to ask too much of. But also, because as I grow as a filmmaker, I want to explore multiple avenues to allow my projects to get bigger and bigger in scope. Crowdfunding is great, but only up to a certain amount - unless you are really famous
Do you have an idea of how you’re approaching your first (and only) crowdfunding campaign?
I would try positioning it as a long term play. Maybe the web series is intentionally created at a loss so in the future it can be used to develop into a television series or feature film. That way, the investors can get in early on the “proof of concept” and have favorable terms in the deal when you create the larger project, spun off of the web series.
You will at minimum want a basic synopsis of the project, bios on the cast/crew, a directors statement, and ideally financial info (budget, repayment terms, etc.) if you are sharing with investors. The goal is to energize your potential investor with the creative, and give them the confidence in your business abilities to make this profitable or worth while.
Do you think there’s any value in making (and continuing to make) web series because you like that format, without it having to be a stepping stone to longer-form content? Do you think it’s possible to make your living that way?
Crowdfunding is probably the way to go. That said, even raising $5- $10K will require basically a full time commitment as you run the campaign. So for that amount, there’s also the option of simply doubling down on your day to day work (if you can) and saving the $ yourself. It may take less effort!
I always try to rotate my talent around the space, looking at every angle until the practical lights in the room hit their face in a flattering way. I’ll build out my scene from there, generally going for tighter angles if I’m unable to light the background properly. As long as you avoid flat lighting, you are going to be able to produce a nice image… Assuming you at least have some light in the room (a lamp, for instance), and a camera/lens combo that can handle a low light setup if you’re shooting at night.
Find an apartment with nice bright windows and shoot during the day Or alternatively, get a couple of flood lights to bring up the ambient levels, and then get a small soft source (china ball, litemat) that can be used to key your talent. A couple of bright lights and a small key may be all you need.
It was about damn time!
Thanks, Noam! Will definitely be checking out your blog now!!
Yes. I once chose a location that was very hard to get to (under a bridge, about a 1/2 mile walk from our parking lot), and when it started raining before our shoot we got screwed. Had to travel with gear through mud, my DP got sick, and the whole crew was mad at me!