Today I’ve post the 5th and final installment of the behind the scenes process of creating “Doctor with the Red Houseware.” I discuss the specific challenges of this day that included prop design, time management, and acting in a scene when you are feeling delirious.
I’m beyond ecstatic to announce “Doctor with the Red Houseware” is live and available for viewing on Tubi. Tubi is a free streaming platform available on all devices. If you’d like to support my work, please click the link above and give it a “thumbs up” when prompted.
Today was a good day.
I’m still working on the animated video regarding admiral byrd, but in the meantime here’s a look at day 3 of production on “Doctor with the Red Houseware”
I’ve been working on a video about the strangest conspiracy you’ve never heard of, and look forward to posting some thoughts on it here. In the meantime, check out the video above about day 2 of production for “Doctor With the Red Houseware.”
Doctor with the Red Houseware was filmed over the course of 5 days. I intend to summarize each of the challenges and obstacles throughout the filmmaking process through a series of videos, and this video summarizes day 1.
I have been tirelessly editing 5 separate youtube videos that briefly summarize the work that went into the production of “Doctor with the Red Houseware” – a 32 minute film that has now been picked up by Xumo, Tubi, Box Brazil Play, and Lookhu.
It seems counter-intuitive, but the reality is that artwork dies as an unknown soldier if it is merely brought into existence. In other words, I have discovered that the least inspiring actions are often the most important. Similar to people and society.
For example, gaining acceptance from filmhub required a 2 week effort to create a new poster, render the film according to new specifications, and capture stills in 16:9, rather than the 1:35 aspect ratio that the film was mastered in.
One of the best practices of any modern artist/entepreneur/pipe-dreamer is to sit down and identify exactly what they seek to accomplish. Each and every day we have time to work. But simply working is no guarantee that you are moving anywhere.
Off the top of my head, I can think of a numerous “to-do” list – email a singer a track, re-record the roulette wheel sounds, add to my film financing notes, identify an accessible film market, record narration for youtube videos, read the 3 writing books I purchased, etc.
Only 1 or 2 of these objectives can make a fat impact on my filmmaking journey. Shaking hands with professionals at a filmmaking marketplace would be by far the most beneficial to me, but promoting a film that I’ve already completed is a necessary final step in its production.
I must be diligent with time. I love writing on wordpress (though adding photographs or italics makes me want to punch a wall…it wasn’t always this way), but it is time. Every task requires time, yet every task is necessary. So how can a nobody like me get anywhere?
Deadlines. I’ve begun requiring production of myself regardless of how unprepared or overwhelmed I feel at the onset of an uncomfortable undertaking. Attacking with a blunt axe-head to escape a whimsical dungeon.
By tomorrow I will have 5 youtube videos ready to go. I will release each video separately in order to promote the film’s release. I will simultaneously market the film through Instagram. I can than put “Doctor with the Red Houseware” behind me and focus single-mindedly on the writing and financing of a feature length story.
I’ve spoken much about distinguishing between actions that move you toward your ultimate goals and those that provide minimal return. I consider instagram, wordpress, and youtube as minor annoyances that I could enthusiastically abandon. I will not however, as a consistent effort in these self-promotional activities builds an audience, a brand, and a community.
I created The Riverside Film Network (a Meetup group) because I didn’t have any local network of filmmakers to communicate with. That group now has 200 members, a consistent conversation on its own discord server, and weekly discussions. The group includes producers, actors, agents, and writers. This wordpress blog has over 1000 followers, and my youtube channel has 70 or so (lol).
Consistently releasing material over time, regardless of its quality, is more beneficial than spending years crafting an imaginary plan for success.
I know I began a short story last week, and I intend to continue that as soon as possible. But today I just wanted to provide a brief update.
I’ve spoken here often about improving my own time management. I am constantly working on something, but different projects require different amounts of time. For instance, editing a film, mastering a song, or molding a story are tasks that can be done in a day or a year. A great example that demonstrates this trend is the song that I’ve been working on for the past month. No matter how much I try to recreate the emotion through synthetic instruments on Ableton it has not matched the emotional impact it provided when I first played it on acoustic. I have to practice the song on a real guitar, stay true to the tempo, and learn the same chord progression in the key of Bb major. All the work I’ve put in through Ableton has been wasted, though I have created some unique synthesizers in the process.
Regardless of your aim in the world of creativity, a simple step back allows you to view the reality of accomplishing your goals. I fundamentally disagree with the longing to “get discovered”. Carving out a sustainable career is a result of a relentless effort to master the skills required for a specific profession. Eminem constantly references Dr. Dre for discovering him and exploding his career. Though he no doubt became a breakthrough artist thanks to Dr. Dre, Eminem was the one honed the skills that unlocked his meteoric rise. He needed a platform for what he was selling – but the product was already top quality.
I am trying to quantify the steps that I must take to produce a feature length film that will prove a profitable undertaking. Whether that means making more short films, knocking on doors, or building a large online following, I am game. I am certain I must have a completed script before I can be taken seriously in any avenue. Before that is completed, however, I am attempting to identify daily habits that will continuously bring me closer to my goal.
The two most obvious are daily writing/research specific to the story I am developing. The second obvious step is to educate myself on film financing.
I love wordpress and the audience that I can reach. It is the one task I can complete while I am at work. I also intend to return to creating youtube videos, but I need a more regimented system. Oftentimes I will write a script in a day, film it the following day, then require 2 weeks to edit all of the footage and music together. I’m considering creating videos where the focus is scene analysis on films that I’ve enjoyed. I feel I can come out with one of these each week. The most important aspect of creating youtube videos would be to dedicate no more than 30 minutes each day over the course of a week to create the video.
I am still waiting to find my film “Doctor with the Red Houseware” on Xumo. Once it is featured I will be happy to advertise it. As it stands, I have not released the film for free viewing on youtube. This week I am going to take steps to market the film again and set up for a free release online. I can do this by posting regularly to instagram and creating videos detailing the struggles encountered throughout the production process.
Anyways, hope all is well and to write again tomorrow. I do intend on further exploring the short story I began. It is a story I loved and one that I would consider producing. Because I have many ideas that I love I realize in my lifetime I will be unable to tell them all unless I sacrifice a little of the production quality in order to simply tell them. Have a good day.
Good morning. I’ve enjoyed my return to wordpress and communicating here again.
In case you missed it, I created a post with specific information for film financing. I included 3 videos, all by Sky Moore, and summarized his main points. I learned a ton from summarizing the videos so I have decided to do it again today. Furthermore, the information he provides is practical. I’ve seen far too many videos that fail to provide any tangible directions.
Pre-sale financing is how a filmmaker will raise the majority of the money for their project. With a script and an actor attached, you can attend a film market and “Pre-sell” the film. This is often done with the assistance of a sales agent. You may then sell distribution rights to a foreign distributor so that they may acquire the rights to your film once it is done. These distributors may agree to pay you a large amount money, but they will require delivery of the film prior to forking over the dough.
Take the contracts acquired over to the bank. Here you will change out those contracts for a “Notice of Assignment.” Here the distributors agree to pay the bank once the bank delivers the film to them. This new contract will typically override whatever was in the initial distribution agreement. You are now eligible for a sizable loan to budget your film.
But what if the film never reaches completion? For the bank to ensure that it will receive its money, you will need to involve a “Completion Guarantee” company. This company guarantees that the film will either A) get made, all contracts work as planned B) not get made, and the company guarantees the bank that it will receive its money from the loan provided to you.
For a typical film budget – $10 million – you may be able to do pre-sales of 7 million. After taking the contracts to the bank and following the steps above, the bank may provide a 6 million loan. Congratulations, 60% percent of your $10 million dollar budget is now covered.
Today I want to get a bit boring. I’ve discussed vapid dreams and ambitions here for quite a while now. But as I set out to begin a new project, I must prepare to deal with an element that I haven’t encountered before – raising money.
In the world of art the dollar symbol is nearly a curse word. There is so much joy throughout the creative process that the financial burden is completely ignored in favor of fantasized recognition. The irony is that a person who loses a quarter of their income on a poor financial investment will be more angry than an artist who pisses away half their lifetime on a masterpiece that’s never fully realized.
I’m making a commitment to myself to learn more about film financing. I cannot make legitimate films without an external source of income. Today I’m going to summarize a few of the key points from the video series I’ve been viewing, with links to each. I want to add that I have no connection to Sky Moore and am citing his videos specifically due to the wealth of information he provides in each. If you enjoy his videos, I encourage you to “like” them and subscribe to his channel. My summaries simply recite the main points that he provides.
- Basics of Film Financing –
Sky Moore urges us prioritize learning inner workings of the film industry over all other aspects of filmmaking. He states that 80% of films that are made lose money. Moore informs us that studios make money primarily through distribution. They often acquire films that were financed by a third party, get the film to a distributor, and take a cut from that. The principal distinction between film studios & independent studios is that Independent Studios will often collapse after one film failure. They do not have deep enough pockets to cover a major loss. Studios control distribution – Independent Studios do not. Never invest in your own film.
2. Equity & Security –
Moore tells us that if we violate the securities laws, we go to jail. We are also at risk for being held liable for any losses incurred. Security laws apply anytime a person is paying money with an expectation of receiving money back. You can comply with the security laws by filing with the SEC (a headache) or by filing for an exemption. Rely on Rule 506 – All investors must be credited investors: (investors with net worth over a million (excluding their homes), annual income above 300k, or an entity with over 5 million dollars of gross assets. They must meet one of those requirements and also sign a document stating such. Congrats, you got yourself a credited investor! Now file form D with the SEC and don’t do advertising (not sure why).
You have an obligation to disclose all material facts to your investors through a Private Placement Memorandum. (A summary of script, projected budget, distribution plan, your background, etc. Can be short but must meet the burden of meeting all material facts.)
3. Tax Financing –
There are 3 different ways to use tax subsidies for film financing:
1. Foreign (tax shelters) – Sale/lease back model. Sell your rights to a foreign entity. They license the rights back to you. You recover 10% of your budget.
2. US – Section 181. Deduct the first 15 million dollars of the cost of a film produced in the United States. Realize it’s not a credit. It accelerates the deduction by a year. It doesn’t work and ya goofed.
3. State tax credits – This one does work. There are two different models.
- Assignable – Receive tax credit based on producing in a local jurisdiction. Sell the credit to a buyer (taxpayer) within that jurisdiction. Some states will give a credit of 20-30%. Spend a million on your film, receive a credit as high as 300k.
- Refundable – The state will refund the amount of your credit. You may not be able to sell it but you can borrow against it. You can pledge it to a bank and monetize it (use it to raise money for your film).
I hope these videos and summaries were helpful to you. I know very little about film financing but am motivated to educate myself. I stumbled upon these videos online and found them immensely helpful. I share them with the hope that someone else can find them as invaluable as I have. Once again, I have no connection to Sky Moore.
Have a good one.
Moore, Sky. “1_ Basics of Film Financing – YouTube.” Www.youtube.com, Sky Moore Attorney, 3 Aug. 2017, youtu.be/Qyf97tFxUEE.
Moore, Sky. “3_ Equity & Security – YouTube.” Www.youtube.com, Sky Moore Attorney, 3 Aug. 2017, youtu.be/zkt2EvkSvDg. Accessed 15 May 2022.
Moore, Sky. “4_ Tax Financing – YouTube.” Www.youtube.com, 3 Aug. 2017, youtu.be/2vFJLztFQwc. Accessed 15 May 2022.
I’ve been largely absent from this blog this year. That’s in large part due to my interest in music. I’ve really enjoyed learning more about music theory, production and sound design. After completing “Doctor with the Red Houseware,” I needed some time before I felt ready to tackle another project.
I have a terrible habit of overthinking details. This results in the phenomenon of “Analysis leads to paralysis”. I’ve flirted with several premises I would like to develop but have yet to take the plunge and commit to any of them. There are a few main reasons for this – but the greatest pitfall has been the almighty dollar.
I feel filmmaking is somewhat unique to other branches of entertainment. If you are a great musician, comedian, actor, or even writer, your number one asset is yourself, your number 2 asset is exposure. The creation of a film has much less to do with talent, ability, and skills, and much more to do with budget. You can create an outstanding film with less, sure, and you can use your problem-solving skills to tackle obstacles that pose a risk to production. But at the end of the day, you’re going to need money if you intend to create a film that can rub shoulders with major box office productions. You will want the best camera, best sound, best effects, and most famous actors you can afford.
Acquiring that money is the obvious challenge, but of course there are unlimited strategies to accomplish that. From watching interviews with other filmmakers online, I’ve arrived at a variety of potentially successful avenues. The common thread for soliciting investments, however, tends to involve having a product worth selling – so obviously you must begin with a completed script.
As any writer knows, each project requires an overwhelming amount of time, effort, and anguish to complete. The major salt on the wound for writers is finding a single reader is even more of a challenge.
Part of the joy I’ve experienced in filmmaking has been the knowledge that I would produce and shoot the scripts that I wrote. As I begin work on a new feature length script I can’t help but confront the obvious – I am going to need external financing to complete a 110-130 page story.
I have developed several daily habits that require 30 minutes or less. I find that the more I limit my time the better I manage it. I’m actively considering ways in which I could post a new video to youtube each day. I feel that developing a fanbase could help me reach my goal in more ways than one. I also fear, however, that I will be tempted to devote more time to each video.
Another habit I am considering implementing has to do with knocking on doors. By routinely networking with other producers, distributors, and production companies, I can greatly improve my odds of having an ear open for me when my story is ready to pitch. I can begin to immerse myself in the business of filmmaking rather than hiding in the fantasy of it all.
I would like to return to the idea of crowdfunding the film. Of course, before I can launch a kickstarter campaign I will need to have the script completed and a sizzle reel shot. The sizzle reel is something I can take care of without any hefty investments. This would include a single location with legitimate actors that provides the overall tone and promise of the story I would like to tell.
Just wanted to share some thoughts today. I hope to do so again tomorrow.