The Road to Distribution is a very LONGGGGG Road!
Making a film and getting it to distribution is a long process. How long? Imagine being pregnant 3 years and counting. This is not to say we should be discouraged. If anything, this is inspiring. From when the writer/director, Carl Joglar and I talked about and finally made our dream come true, creating a feature length film, we were excited and still are excited. I received a notification on my birthday that not only was our screenplay accepted into a festival but it WON! We were overjoyed.
Next came planning, building team, coming up with funds, picking the right cast with the best on screen chemistry and finally, filming. The steps of editing were grueling with lots of ups and downs, correction correction sound design and finally getting a sales agent.
Wait! Did I say finally, lol. No, not finally. While we are lucky enough to have help along the way, having a sales agent, is not enough. Every film has it's own story of success or failure, but ours is still unfolding. Needless to say, it is a LONGGGGGGGG Road, but one that I would happily take again and again to get right where I am now.
Lessons learned. Get your ducks in a row.
1. Think you're organized, quadruple check it again.
2. Rehearse as much as possible. Have actors try the dialogue in a scene differently. Trust your actors. See how they improv a scene. Have a background on each character.
3. Take as many production classes as possible. Two are not enough (this is for newer people who didn't go to film school). I can recommend some of the classes I took.
4. Create a realistic budget. This includes pre, during and post. Then add 20%!!! Seriously.
5. Stay in Budget. Say it with me. Walmart is your friend!
6. Contracts are your friends. Keep people to their word, or in this case what they signed. If they cant deliver, it's okay to part ways, sooner rather than later. I believe all relationships are salvageable as long as you don't stay in one that outlived itself.
7. You can never have enough PA's on set.
8. Remember to take a break, a moment to smell the roses.
9. Crowd funding is hard. No, seriously. It will break you. Just have crazy glue close by at hand so you can mend the broken pieces of your heart and soul back together. You are too valuable to let a little thing like crowd funding get you down. Of yes, if you crowd fund, offer important IMDB titles like EP, AP, Producer for less. Dont list an Executive Producer credit for $5000. Think about it, who is going to give you $5000 for free and nothing in return? Maybe offer it for $1000 (depending on your REALISTIC budget). Give IMDB producer titles at $500. You never know you just might get more producers that way.
10. Keep it positive! ALWAYS!
Ciao for now! Alex :)