Following on from my recent blog posts - here are 2 short extracts from Screen International this week. Just to show that I'm not on a one man ranting crusade...
The first is from Agustin Almodovar who produces for this brother Pedro.
"We make business our ally. There's no difference between the making of a film and its commercial exploitation. Pedro and I approve each commercial venture associated with the movie.
The second story concerns John Sayles. An indie film veteran he says...
"You've noticed in the last five years that independent movies live or die in their first weekend, and they can't survive that way. Most of our films took three or four weeks before people started to talk about them. Our films play to people over 30. Those people don't go the first weekend. It was clear to us that some new way of getting these movies out has to come around"
John solution is what he calls 'a grass roots political campaign'. it involves a touring band. Marketing wise, he targets specific local areas that have blue-grass music fans - the topic of his new film.
What's clear is that if, as a low-budget or indie film maker, you don't have an exciting plan for distribution you may as well not shoot the film. Just as much as if you didn't have a script.
If you're a scriptwriter then stories that will appeal to passionate fans (e.g. Sideways for wine buffs) are going to be much more appealing to these new producers AND you can offer added value as an expert in that field due to your research.
Its a new world of niche marketing and niche films. But its 100% there for the taking. By all of us. People who will miss out in this new world are - writers who 'just' write scripts and are scared to get involved with production, film makers with no marketing ideas, big films who want to appeal to wide audiences (but they'll look after themselves anyway) and lastly - people who don't want to get out and meet the audience.
Picture of Almodovar brothers fromhere. Picture of Sayles fromhere.