A Hierarchy of Objectives

new logo for “TMW Productions” that I made yesterday

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.

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.

Sunset – Part 3

sunset 5

If you missed Part 1, click here.

If you missed Part 2, click here.

D’angelo shook his head, took two quick steps, then checked over his shoulder – John hadn’t moved. D’angelo broke into a sprint away.

He charged two blocks, stopped for no one, then rushed up the stoop and into his apartment. D’angelo leaned back against his front door to smack it shut, then sucked in oxygen as fast as possible. Humidity was bad in California – enough to leave him drenched in sweat from the hasty dash.

D’angelo stared at the cheap wood flooring in his studio apartment for a while. He rubbed his bald head, then rocked it back and gazed up at his ceiling fan.

“God-damn!” he said to himself, then laughed.

A casual Tuesday at the bar had turned into a nightmare – first the vixen who’d taken his digits and booked it, then the nutcase who could’ve found patterns in pigeons.

D’angelo strolled over to his home computer. The next five minutes he spent listening to it hum as it booted up. Once he had it up and running, D’angelo went to work – time to find out who this Sunset chick was.

Couldn’t be that hard, a name like that is one in a million – a rare type that no man forgets. D’angelo browsed facebook, instagram, twitter – nothing.

D’angelo scoffed.

“Where you at, girl.”

He tried ‘Sun Set’. Still Nothing.

D’angelo went to the fridge, popped open a Michelob Ultra, then returned to his seat. Rolled up the blinds, raised the window, and kicked his feet up. D’angelo watched the orange sun finish disappearing behind the city skyline. He let out a sigh, drained half his beer with a few gulps, then burped.

“We both know you ain’t in livin’ in no damn cave…”

He shut his eyes and took another sip. He froze in position, shot his eyelids apart, then pounced over to his keyboard.

Sunset Coors Light

He entered the terms into the search engine, then scrolled down like mad to see if he could find anything. The first couple pages were no help, but the third included a link to an article – and a picture of her beside it.

“Damnnn!” said D’angelo.

Sunset was a Coors Light girl – meaning she went to popular sports venues wearing a skimpy two-piece outfit and cheered behind her Coors Light booth. The girl got paid to show up and look good.

The article included a caption with her name at the bottom –

Sunsett Martinez

D’angelo scratched his bald head, wondering if the poor girl had any idea her name was spelled wrong.

He stuck ‘Sunsett’ into his web browser, and an extensive list of profiles lit up his screen. He clicked on her facebook, then bobbed his head back and covered his mouth.

“What the fu…” He muttered.

Tons of half-nude picks – bra and panties, bikinis, and short purple dresses. D’angelo couldn’t look away – but her body had nothing to do with it.

Every shot showed her with a different weapon – steak knife, butcher knife, swiss knife – the girl loved blades.

“I don’t fuck wichu,” D’angelo whispered.

He noticed one of his facebook friends, someone he didn’t know in real life, named Aaron, had posted up and down on her wall. Dude was obsessed – he’d commented and liked every single thing she’d slapped up there. Girl could’ve dressed a corpse like Hitler and he would clicked ‘like’.

D’angelo twisted his lips, then hovered his fingers over the keyboard. He grabbed the mouse instead and clicked on Aaron’s profile.

Pictures of him out drinking with the guys.

“Okay,” said D’angelo. “Okay.”

He fired a direct message off to Aaron.

“You know Sunset?”

Aaron responded before he could blink.

“Yea, of course!”

“She cool?” wrote D’angelo.

“Huh?”

“Don’t know how to say this bro… but is she C-R-A-Z-Y???”

D’angelo tapped his fingers on the desk. He groaned, stood up, grabbed another beer, then sat back down. Aaron still hadn’t responded. D’angelo cracked open his beer and inhaled a fresh sip. Still no response. D’angelo waited. And waited. And waited…

Tired of staring at the screen, he propped his feet up on the windowsill and coddled his beer.  He watched the cars pass by without much interest, until a purple civic caught his attention. Nothing super bizarre – it just kept driving past his apartment one direction, then return going the other direction every ten minutes or so. He told himself it was nothing – John from the loony bin was in his head. Dude claimed cars drove in patterns, after all.

The half-empty Michelob Ultra slipped from D’angelo’s grip and dinged against his wood-paneled floor as he dozed off. He remained out cold, until the repetitive and loud beep from his phone finally woke him up.

D’angelo rubbed his eyes open, gave his cheek a little slap, then made his way over to the fridge. He tugged the door open when his phone beeped again. D’angelo slid it out from his pocket – text from an unknown number. D’angelo opened it.

Coming to kill you.

To be continued…

  • Thomas M. Watt

CLICK HERE FOR PART 4!