Lofty Goals and Loose Plans

Still from Mountain Cult – Doctor with the Red Houseware

After speaking with a competent and knowledgeable filmmaker, I am beginning work toward my next project. “Mountain Cult – Doctor with the Red Houseware” has yet to be released but I intend to make it widely available by the end of the month. I uploaded it to filmhub a couple days ago, but it failed quality control due to poster image & subtitle issues. I would like to provide my film to a marketplace distributor with the high-end goal of selling it before making it free to view. Lofty goal but shooters shoot.

So this competent filmmaker has consistently worked on other projects and takes his craft very seriously. I am excited about the opportunity to work with someone who knows what they are doing and recognizes the value in preparation.

Thought yesterday we made loose plans for rushing a script and filming a type of “practice” short relatively soon, I am now second guessing that idea in favor of my loftier goal for 2022. I would like to write a scene for a “sizzle reel” – a short scene that encompasses the tone, characters and premise of a feature film. If you want to secure funding for a film, the best way is to complete a visceral sizzle reel and use it to leverage your product’s merit with people who have the money to make it come to life. It is also wise to secure distribution before funding.

I have a few ideas floating around that vary in genre and budget requirements. The one thing I have learned through experience is that no matter what idea I pursue, I will inevitably fall in love with it and devote much more time and effort than I had initially planned. It is for this reason that I have decided against a practice shoot.

In other news, I have been updating an instagram account and facebook page for the film regularly. I hate doing it but it doesn’t take much time. I don’t quite understand how facebook business pages are supposed to attract followers when you cannot friend request them. I’ve built a good amount of “friends” on my personal page and use that one primarily to market the film. Because I click on random people each day to add as friends I inevitably have friends from regions of the world that don’t use English. I guess I have much to learn about marketing.

Anyways, that’s today’s update. Hope you have a great day.

Influencing Value

It takes less than 5 seconds to gain access to a free song or a free movie. We all have Netflix, Youtube, and Amazon. On these platforms you can casually stream content that required millions to manufacture. You pay in other ways – your privacy data, your subscription fee, your viewing of advertisements.

How do you begin making a dime creating what you love in a market like this? There is endless advice, insights, and “shortcuts”. But no matter which way you look at it, your success relies on unknown strangers willing to risk their time viewing your creation.

My mind has been running in circles trying to figure out my next step. My goal for 2022 is to secure funding and distribution for a feature film. It is no small task, but it is possible. If it were not possible, then nobody would do it.

I have a plan of action for how to do it – film a sizzle reel for story I like, put a 5 page treatment together, and begin making phone calls. But nothing can help my chances with investors better than demonstrating I was able to turn a profit during my latest film production.

I am constantly weighing methods to generate revenue for the short film I have just created. The only clear answer is to launch a kickstarter campaign, likely in January. The important aspect of this campaign is to succeed. I must hit the ground running with impeccable organization, an enticing trailer, and consistent updates. I have many of the rewards prepared that I will offer during this time. Obviously, supporters of the kickstarter campaign will have free access to viewing the episode on its release.

I cannot rid myself of the desire to place a paywall before the episode for a general audience. I am completely aware of how limiting that can be for a film of this magnitude. The issue I have is that artists today are so hungry for fame and recognition that they’ve devalued their own artwork. Imagine a hundred strangers have surrounded you to view, judge, and survey the artwork you’ve poured your heart, soul, and blood into. Is it really fair to any artist that they receive only a handful of pennies? It is the platform that is reaping the reward, not the artist.

But I get it… nobody wants to throw a dollar when there is much better, social-proofed content available for free in the blink of an eye.

This is where I feel you must cease viewing your work critically and instead view it as a salesperson. If someone wants something, they are not going to hesitate to fork over a buck to receive it.

The key to successful advertising is to create a need that wasn’t previously there. But why in the world would any person feel the need to view your artwork, poetry, or story?

There is a youtube channel called “Mr. Beast” that routinely features outlandish giveaways and enormous cash prizes. It is incredibly successful at generating views and sponsors. Its success is largely, if not entirely, due to the engagement of their fanbase that hopes to win this sort of lottery.

It seems that by upgrading my wordpress to a paid account, I will be able to offer a giveaway with the assistance of a plug in. Now if I am able to offer a $100 cash prize to one lucky viewer, I feel that my odds on receiving a $3-5 payment for viewing episode 5 improve drastically.

Another option I have is my youtube channel. By regularly uploading content that speaks to the behind the scenes efforts of “Mountain Cult” production, I feel I have a free method of generating interest for viewing the episode in its completed form. If I can build a fanbase for the show, I can also offer merchandising in the form of Coffee Mugs and T-shirts.

I know from experience that the effort to convert your work of passion into a fruitful pursuit is the greatest undertaking an artist can pursue. But I have also learned that the same steps and plateaus that cause you to stumble will also trip-up those around you. It is only by standing and learning to climb a different way that you will continue on your journey. Many will lack that fortitude. By educating yourself, taking action, and putting forth consistent effort any obstacle can be overcome.