Premiere Report and Fundraising Advice for Filmmakers
A beautiful and slightly chilly Sunday here in Michigan but I have the hot java to warm things up. Grandpa Jones playing the Bluegrass tune Mountain Dew on STING RAY music. It reminds me of some of the wonderful mornings at Robert’s Roost with my dear friends Robert and Ralphene in N. Carolina. Today I’m going to give the yard its first mow and rototiller the garden. Grilling is on-deck along with a little chilling later today.
Chasing the Star
So as a young actor I use to dread the trek into Detroit traffic and bustle for any meetings or auditions but I always found the “town” of Grand Rapids to be a much easier destination. Well, that has changed as Grand Rapids proper is a CITY no doubt. Our director of “Chasing the Star” Bret Miller, calls GR home and so last night we had a premiere kick off of the film at the UICA last night. It was a beautiful showing that showed the incredible camera work and art on-screen and I’ve never seen Dennis Therrian, our post sound and music supervisor so happy. The 5.1 surround sound mix was amazing and put you front and center of the action. We did a little Q&A after the film before heading to a local haunt which was a small joint with several pinball machines. I am not a fan of crowds and small places and so it was a celebratory king can of PBR and headed back home. I was up later than I usually stay up save being on night shoots on set. We had all three directors of the trilogy at the showing which was a special thing.
Jesse Low, Nathaniel Nose, producer Anthony “Tony” Hornus, Bret Miller
A lot of creative talent between these individuals. (Tony included:) CDI seeks out the wildly original and imaginative artists who also work within a no-nonsense business structure. I also got to share some advice with other upcoming filmmakers, which is always rewarding.
My advice when asked –
First, don’t say YES to that which you cannot do. Unfortunately, many say yes figuring we’ll just figure it out as we go. NOT WISE. Also, make the best of every opportunity. The question was narrowed to “how to finance your film?”
It’s hard, REALLY HARD to initially get business people behind you. You earn it by strong preparation, solid execution and staying on a timeline that other business entities (distributors) can rely on. Also don’t BS just be honest in these pitch meetings. Many of these people have been there, done that and gotten that Tee Shirt so don’t be a used car salesman. Also my advice was work out all agreements amongst production in advance of seeking or spending any investment money.
Once money does come in people change. People all have other ideas on how to spend budgets. They recall deal discussions differently. Deals cannot exist by hand shakes alone. Maybe at first but paperwork spells it out clearly. How much pay, when you pay and what you expect for that pay. Like bands many good creative teams break up because of misunderstandings. Eliminate that possibility by TCB (Elvis “Taking Care of Business”) before seeking out money. Also be reasonable about what amount you’re seeking and ask yourself if you can you really manage a project of that size. If no seek experienced help. By help I mean – Not “find me money” but “I now have this money can you help me manage my project” help.
Also don’t make heroes out of incompetent business folk in your circle. I was asked – Why is it so hard for us to raise $? I said, because you all have peers walking about that have poisoned the wells with their screw ups. Yet they are hailed as heroes of their own PR spin. That is not tolerated in many industries but they are allowed to survive and sometimes thrive in our industry. They leave a ruined path of projects and poisoned wells for those that come after. When the area is too poisoned they move on seeking new areas to exploit where their screw ups are not as widely known if at all. The issue is that it’s a small industry overall.
What I enjoyed about last night is once again, the important word is AGAIN, we showed that Collective Development Inc. pulls from a clear well where business artists can invest knowing their investment is getting an A+ effort.
Back to Chasing the Star…
The film is now heading for Lansing, MI followed by Royal Oak, MI and it was announced last night that the film will return for a run in Grand Rapids, MI at Celebration Cinema.
We’ll announce the GR dates soon! The national release is Sept 5th but if you get a chance to experience this on the big screen treat yourself.
Released by BMG April 4th to home video and will keep expanding its distribution to other countries. Take a watch if you have not and get ready for the third film releasing next Spring.
THE CHRIST SLAYER
It has officially moved into editing with our director Nathaniel Nose and we should have theatrical poster and teaser trailer coming soon.
BTS photo (Hagedorn, Perry, Anschutz)
This amazing film was a main topic at a recent meeting with one of our distributors and the interest in the TV series is there. We just have to pull all the right elements together. The feature film now has a picture lock and has moved to music and sound design. Stay tuned for many great updates including the first official teaser poster now in the works.
We’re in discussion on several CDI past films re-releasing out into the market. I’ve been prepping development work on new projects and doing some script writing. But right now I have to get to some yard work. Time to refill the coffee cup.
Have a great Sunday and rest of your week. Perhaps I will see some of you at Celebration Cinema on Monday and/or Tuesday for the 7:30 shows in Lansing, MI.
Be good to one another.