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As an aspiring filmmaker, if I had to pick one thing that is most difficult about this career path it's funding. It makes a huge difference in what movies can be made. I tend to lean towards the horror and sci-fi genres, however I am taking a liking to dark comedies as well. I've tried the crowd funding thing with little to no success in the past. Now I'm just wondering what my other options are? Hmmm.. I don't know. What do you guys think?

ReBrew2115 6 Mar 13

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I find it kind of odd-- a lot of beginning filmmakers want to do science fiction films. I remember talking to oe filmmaker. "Why not do a western instead?' And then he replied with "Well, I don't have the money for sets, costumes, props..." His comments could be applied to science fiction films as well.

Horror films are a bit easier to do, in that horror does not need to be done with a big budget. Look at "Blair Witch": it was shot on video by the actors themselves, with the director literally phoning in instructions every few days.

Back in The Day, I helped finance a direct to video film called "Gorgasm." I was promised that I would be paid back, as well as appear in the film. I appeared in the film as Max, a foul mouthed publisher of a sex ad magazine.

The money I loaned for the film? Used to get airplane tickets for the actors. One was a woman who was willing to do nude scenes: female nudity is an essential part of horror films today.

It was all a good load of fun, probably the most fun I've ever had. And part of the agreement I had was that I got to be there when the director was shooting the nude scenes.

The director finally "paid" me back by sending me a case of 8mm porno films and video transfers of them, saying "You can make your money back selling these."

I'd love to get back into that. The director wants to do a "Gorgasm 2." And eventually I hope to talk to him about doing a film called "The Diabolical Doctor Fetus," a horror film set in an abortion clinic.

Holy shit!!! I own Goregasm!!! Bought it at the Wild Eye Releasing booth at the Texas Frightmare Festival last year!! They were also promoting my best friends first feature "Bonejangles" (which I also did second unit audio for).

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It would be good if you had a specific project in mind. Fund Me and other venues depend on people to understand where they put thier five or five hundred buck. Sorry, that's all I have.

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I think it's the same in the music business. Funding for demos etc. It's not cheap, unless you do them yourself on a home studio. As for me, I just write and play the piano. Home studios are like alien technology for me.

Do you play live gigs? I've tried getting in with small, local production companies that do basic commercial work, but they are rarely hiring. The music industry has changed a lot since the rise of things like iTunes and streaming services.

@ReBrew2115 I just write. I don't perform. I think the biggest thing that has changed is the royalties that are paid now. They are almost non-existent. Streaming services take advantage of writers.

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I wish you could do a short film about us! your Agnostic.com family.
film making is one profession that is alot easier when you have the hollywood machine behind you. Dont give up tho....perhaps you will be connected with a investment partner

Hmmm.... ideas brewing perhaps?.....

@ReBrew2115 i think we are an interesting group !

@twshield And I am inclined to believe you. So far everyone has been very nice and helpful.

@ReBrew2115 glad you have a good experience and i hope you have a brilliant film career

@twshield Thank you! I appreciate the kind words. πŸ™‚

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I don't think the genre matters as mch as a good story arch.

Joseph Campbell, who studied myths from aroudn the world foudn that (almost) all great stories have common elements. he talks about it in "The Hero's Journey". Vurtually every successful movie can be plotted out using the plot points of classic myths and stories tht Joseph Cambell laid out.

If looking at scripts, you may want to look at "The Writer's Journey" by Christopher Vogler.

I got my BA in Sociology, but I minored in Fiolm and Theater and tried to be an actor fo rseveral years, so i am nto totally ignorant of the industry.

1

Well one good thing going for you is that the cost of technology needed to render & produce a quality film has dropped dramatically. If you can find a few actors willing to commit to your vision and a small investment tech wise, with a good screenplay you could get far!

Where there's a will there's a way. πŸ™‚

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Having worked in that industry back in the 90s, funding a film project is indeed the hardest aspect of the entire filmmaking process.

First off, do you have a script that is tight and well written, one that you have submitted to professional readers and received feedback on? (this costs money too)

Secondly, do you want to just sell the screenplay, or do you want go the full auteur route? If that is the case, you need a demo reel to prove you can direct. Have you submitted your demo reel to film festivals? Have you won any awards? Trying to sell yourself as an auteur filmmaker is tough. It really does come down to who you know versus what you know. Being that you are in South Dakota, I have no clue if there is even a film community there, let alone a university with a Film program. Hollywood is still the the place where deals are made. You will at one point or another need to relocate here if you are serious about producing a film.

If you are brave enough to go the full indie route, you can establish an LLC and get some angel investors in your community. Doctors, dentists, and business owners have traditionally been talked into being backers, but make them be aware the odds of a return on investment is a long shot.

My best friend was able to put together a full feature length film with independent financing. He got really good screenings of it, but even after 10 years he's still be unable to secure a good distributor.

I hate to tell you this, but for the most part, filmmaking is for those who have money already, or who have the salesmanship to sell themselves and have the good fortune of meeting the right people and delivering to them what you promised. It's not easy by a longshot. It requires the coordination of many people.

Someone already mentioned Project Greenlight. That is a start, but you also have to keep in mind the subjectivity of the organizations you'll be submitting your project to. You mentioned you gravitate towards horror/sci-fi (my favorite too), but your story has to have a universal appeal, and that begins with the writing.

Film financing has become a very very complicated discipline. I would seek out an experienced producer to help you. Back in the old days, for me that would be the 80s, Roger Corman and Tony Bill were known for helping and grooming young directors and filmmakers. I have no clue who is known for that today.

Unfortunately, I don't think anyone is known for that these days. But I do think the "Roger Corman's" of the world are starting to re-surface. I know a few indie filmmakers who, while not raking in the millions, are still getting their movies made and starting back others of a sort. It's exciting news for folks like myself and others who yearn for the days when someone like Roger Corman and Tony Bill were still around.

The one thing I did fail to mention is that I do have SOME experience making short films. Have been doing it for ten years, just haven't been able to get people to watch them.

@ReBrew2115 If you've got stuff in the can already, submit it to film festivals. So many cities have gotten onto that bandwagon, and there's also YouTube. Promote yourself as much as you can. It's the only way to generate buzz.

@LucifersPen I actually am on YouTube. Been on there for quite some time. It's quite discouraging though, I still can't people to watch it for free no YouTube.

@ReBrew2115 Post a link!

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I dig the stories of the little filmmakers who tied a shoe-string budget together with loans and credit cards to make a really solid film. Watch Robert Townsend's "Hollywood Shuffle". Now check out how big all those names are of the people he rounded up for that film. Also "Amazon Women on the Moon" with Donald "No Soul" Simmons.

I will definitely have to check those ones out.

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I know nothing about that career either, but I wish you great success!

As an occasional moviegoer, I would think that since you indicated that funding is an issue, you will probably need to start with something with more mass appeal such as the horror or sci-fi as opposed to dark comedy. Just from movies I've seen, it seems that the movie sets and costumes would be much more expensive to make a credible sci-fi film rather than a horror film

I am sure you are familiar with the story of director George Romero, who in 1968 made "Night of the Living Dead" in black-and-white on a very limited budget. Something to think about …and whatever you do, do not use Edward Wood as your role model πŸ™‚

Sam Rami "Evil Dead" series.....

1

Well you could jump into bed with Pepsico or Ford co...but I suspect you don't want to sell yourself out..so shop your idea around the country or apply for grants..and you could try other countries.

I've often thought about hitting up the foreign market.

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Personally I don't think money matters to make a good movie . There are thousands of low budget movies which are simply brilliant.

3

Don't know if you're familiar with Project Greenlight.
If not, here ya go. Good luck, and remember, if it's not on the page, chances are
it's not going to just show up.

[projectgreenlight.com]

1

There are tons of people that will work something like that for low or no pay just for the exposure.

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