This is my first attempt at writing a blog. Recently I have been invited to give a workshop on "Independent Filmmaking in a New Economy" at a fairly large film festival. Invited is perhaps too strong of a word – we pitched the workshop as a way to get my flight paid for so I could attend the festival where Surrogate Valentine, a film I produced, will be playing. The nice people at the festival agreed, will be paying for my flight (though I must sleep on the floor of the director’s hotel – nothing new there), and expect me to give a workshop. Which is great. Except, I’ve never given a workshop on filmmaking. I’ve never taken a class on filmmaking. I’m not exactly sure where to begin.
I have produced a few features now and have several in the works. All of these have gotten out there a bit (played at festivals, have had various distribution successes). I know about some things that I didn’t know about before I started producing. I can talk about those things because I’ve learned about them from experience. I just have to figure out a way to organize them so they’re the most helpful.
There are a lot of great websites out there that talk extensively about independent film (I'll try to promote them often in this blog). As I search online, however, for articles about low-budget independent film production most of it seems pretty impractical. A lot of it is more than a few years old, so essentially out-of-date. A lot is vanity stuff that seems to be about promoting projects themselves (which, I must say, isn’t ever a bad idea). Most are about Robert Rodriguez and how you can become like him. Personally, I don’t think you can. Rodriguez was a product of his era. We are in a different era and today’s independent filmmakers have to expect different results.
I’m gonna try to write about those results and how to go about them as a way to prepare for this upcoming workshop. Hopefully it will help me collect my thoughts. Hopefully someone might read it and it might be helpful… or at lease it will help me collect my thoughts. Hopefully.
I’ll call the blog “Low, Ultra Low, and No.” These are the budget parameters I’m most familiar with, the ones that most filmmakers start out at, and all I'm really qualified to muse publicly about.