I’ve been thinking about this issue for literally decades. I’ve often been in situations where there was a mandate from the top to put together a diverse crew. The challenge has always been finding the people – not the cast, but the Below-the-Line personnel. That’s when I concluded that the best way to find that crew was to start at the top – the Key Creative positions and the Department Heads. The selections are driven from the top down.
That’s why I’ve written this piece http://www.indiewire.com/article/why-we-need-diversity-incentives-for-film-and-television-20150207 about the need for Diversity Incentives at the top levels of the industry. The corporate decision makers have no reason to ask the question, “Could a woman direct this? Or perhaps an African-American? Or do the lead actors have to all be white?” The idea of a Diversity Incentive is just that – a reason for the decision makers to ask the question. In much the same way, they ask, “Could we shoot this in Louisiana? Or Georgia?” Those questions are asked every single day because of the financial incentives for shooting in those states.
Why not add that discussion to the make-up of the cast and crew?
It’s been a hectic 2014 during which I’ve been out of the country for the better part of the past six months. The new year will be bring me back to the site and to the ProuducingforFilm Meetup Group that was started last Spring. Keep a watch for new courses and up to date posts. Several new projects coming in 2015 including an adaptation of a noir thriller and a new original script. And as always, a dedication to getting The Secret Magdalene made!
Here’s wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season and a prosperous new year!
The ProducingforFilm Meet Up Group had a special guest last night – Erica Anderson from SeedandSpark.com – who gave us a really good workshop on how to approach crowd funding. I’ve been reluctant to get into the current model and have been researching the new equity-based or “regulation crowd funding” that is coming down the road. While that is still something I will pursue via Passion First, I have been won over to the approach that SeedandSpark is taking. In no particular order here are five bullet points that make me appreciate their approach.
1. The idea that there is more to the goal of raising small sums of money to make movies than just those small sums. Movies cost a lot and the idea of working very hard to raise $17,000 (the average amount raised on Kickstarter) seems quite inefficient based on the amount of work involved. So there has to be some other reason to do this.
2. The truth that preparing for and executing a crowd funding campaign is hard work and requires ingenuity and creativity. In that regard, crowd funding is no different from traditional methods of funding. In fact, the hard work aspect makes it fit right in to overall process of filmmaking. It all looks easy and often glamorous but making films or videos at any budget level and is challenging and requires long hours.
3. The practical tips on knowing your audience and understanding them is very important, especially the revolutionary idea that your audience is NOT a demographic. I love the suggestions for approaching this very thorny issue.
4. The strategy presented for the weeks of work required BEFORE you launch your campaign. To me, this is akin to the Pre-production period on a movie. If the prep is done correctly, the shoot will suffer – sometimes fatally.
5. Overall, the understanding that crowd funding is just one other tool in getting your movie made and that it shouldn’t end with the completion of your project. That there is a continuation and a career to be started, or to be grown if you already have one going.
Check out all of the information at SeedandSpark.com and watch for more on this topic in this space. Let me know how your crowd funding efforts have gone!
I’m very excited to be launching a series of webinar events tonight with a FREE session called “Protecting Your Material”. We will discuss issues of copyright and the protection of intellectual property with attorney and filmmaker Marc Simon. The webinar is full but for anyone not attending I will make a recording available for free on this site shortly.
This experience has required me to learn a lot and I can only hope all of the bases are covered. It’s a lot like production!
Check out the list of Webinars planned. Hope you’ll join us for some!
Organizing a Meet Up Group has led me to begin formulating a series of webinars – both free and paid ones. It’s all very exciting but hasn’t left a great deal of time to update my posts. I should be able to stay more on top of the blogging part now that the Meet Ups are well under way. If you are in the New York area I encourage you to join the group and get involved. My goal is to help people new to the business to become producers and to help more seasoned producers to create better content.
If you visit the Group site you’ll see a dynamite FREE webinar on “Protecting your Material” scheduled for May 12th. Entertainment attorney Marc Simon will be my guest and we’ll spend some time talking about this very important topic. Don’t sweat it if you can’t make it at that time – a recording of the webinar will be available on this site shortly after it ends.
If you have topics you’d like to discuss or explore in a Meet Up or webinar format please let me know. Meanwhile look for a series of workshops and webinars being scheduled.
A short post today to let everyone know that I have formed the first ProducingforFilm Meetup Group in New York. The idea is to create a group that will foster conversation and education about my personal passion – producing. I hope to have regularly scheduled Meet Ups that will be a combination of networking and learning. I’ll do free presentations about topics of interest to the group and offer discounted workshops and webinars along the way.
Producing content is a combination of business and creative knowledge. While it’s true that the best way to learn is by doing, there are many basics that are teachable and can put you in a better place to aid in the creative process. I’ll be scheduling Meeting very soon. I hope you’ll join the Group and look forward to meeting.