Now that we’ve wrapped post-production on Abandoned Allies (and we’re planning screenings), I find myself constantly thinking about future films and how to fund them. I’m shamefully hooked on filmmaking, and anxious to do it again.
[Mind you, this isn't because I feel totally finished with Allies. We have plenty of work left there: screenings, creating DVDs, seeking distribution, developing additional material, etc. You can follow along that adventure on a separate blog called Diary of a Documentary or www.abandonedallies.com.]
Most days, I feel incredibly lucky to be a filmmaker right now. Things have changed drastically: great cameras are relatively affordable, people are relatively eager to work with you in exchange for experience, and social media has made it possible to share what you’re doing (with niche audiences genuinely interested in what you’re doing).
There are a lot of new ways to fund your own project, often from people who have never met you. At the 2012 Full Frame Film Festival, I even heard a film industry exec talk about how he trolls Kickstarter, looking for projects to support.
The game has definitely changed. What exists is plenty of opportunities–if you’re willing to put forth the effort and be smart about your campaign.
So I’ve been studying case studies where indie filmmakers not only funded their project, but found an audience willing to support them after post-production wrapped. Translation: the film idea became a film and found an audience. This, to me, is some enjoyable success for a filmmaker. Having not only funded the making of your film, but helping it find an audience after it’s finished. That means it has to be a great story, told well.
Right now I have plenty of ideas, and a some of them are rising to the top. Some require much more effort (and greater resources) than others. I’m drawing some conclusions on how to fund my future films, and look forward to sharing results when they’re ready.