How to get money for your film

This video by Film Riot discusses the in’s and out’s of money making for indie filmmakers. Please take note that he does mention that Film Riot videos do make about $1,000 on Youtube because they have over 1-MILLION views. Yep, there’s a stat to take notice of.

Host Ryan Connolly also mentions that he sells Posters and some ancillary products — but he never recoups his cost. “Short films are passion products…you make them to get exposure…you rarely make any money…”

How does he get money to make a film? He goes to people to sponsor him — of course, Film Riot has a large subscriber base, and products like Adobe, and manufactures of cameras respect Film Riot, so he has a realistic approach to getting investors based upon his Film Riot following. Do you have an audience of millions like Film Riot?

Another method, do what Alex did with the Movies Plus Fire TV channel. He streamed his film for 6 months. He then took the download stats to an investor (about 70,000 downloads) and Alex got financing based upon his success on Fire TV. See how you can do this for $4 on https://filmfreeway.com/Metro-Film-and-TV-Awards

Kickstarter, Film Riot has never used it. He does talk to a filmmaker who treated Kickstarter campaign like a full time job and made “Pizza Time.”

Also, The film “Sky Watch” (released on Youtube) is discussed, and how the filmmakers no-budget, badly made short films finally helped him to produce films like Sky Watch successfully. He says “you can’t make money on narrative films…” And he “fostered relationships from short films” to gain financing on a bigger productions. That’s a lesson.

If you treat your cast and crew like peons or minions, do you think they’ll help you on future productions?

David Sandberg talks about how he used low budget equipment like a homemade built dolly made from Ikea parts, cheap 300 watt lights to shoot his early shorts, and like Blender 3D software (free). He says “professional gear takes a beating and will go on forever…cheap gear will [cost] you…time.”

Below is another Film Riot – budget oriented video. Before watching it, Youtube played a “Masterclass” advert-video by Ron Howard. It was very interesting to me, and one thing stuck out. This is a little off topic, but please indulge me for a second.

They showed Ron Howard behind the scenes, he instructed an actor to say a line a particular way, and Ron said the line the way that he, an actor would say it. I’d like to point out that Ron Howard has the acting chops to do this, while other Directors might not have the experience to suggest to an actor that they emulate his delivery. (A little food for thought.) Let’s move on to the next video.

What is low budget?
This is mostly a video about independent films made with low or now budget. Ryan says a micro budget is up to $500,000 outside of the Hollywood system, but geared towards being sold to legitimate distributors, some who are “Hollywood.”

Note that Ryan mentions these are not hard and fast rules and “numbers.” When focusing on shorts, budget can depend largely on where your located. His short films were all low budget films (like $300.) And he discusses how he progressed up to $100,000 for his “Ballistic” short, where he depended on allot of free crew-work and more. He says “…The more money I had…the more stress…and tighter restraints.” So, the take home lesson here is that having more money does not guarantee that you’ll have an easy, stress-free shoot.

I hope you enjoyed this article. If you’d like to read more, please visit my Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/moviesplus

Cheers,
Dean

Film Festivals are canceling but Online Fests are thriving

Who would have thought that this whole dang virus thing would screw up every live event on the planet? I didn’t anticipate this kind of things months ago when I entered my film into Film Festivals via the FilmFreeway website.

And now, I’m getting email notices. The fests I entered are either postponing or canceling until next year. There’s almost no alternative. Except my own Festival.

Yep, I created a film festival 6 years ago. It’s an online Festival that offers the winners the option to have their movie streamed online and on Roku, Fire TV, and Android.

A little more history…I started building Roku channels years ago. In order to get content that was not the usual public domain fair, I operated two Facebook Video/Photo contests and I also contacted some film buddies and I offered them a free deal to get their films streamed to my audience. The formula worked, although none of us made any money. That’s okay, because the exposure was great — and no one makes money on short films anyway.

If you think you can recoup your cost of producing a short film — then you’re dreaming…and may God bless the dreamer.

Next, I asked filmmakers if they wanted their film compiled into a feature film or a 30-minute featurette for streaming purposes. The result was my “Zombie Pix” feature film, distributed by VODO to 15 thousand VODO viewers online. Secondly the 30 minute compilation film project was and is still being streamed on my channels, it’s an all-genre video called “Film Fest Best” — and it is one of the most popular videos that I stream. In the end, these two compilation videos gave filmmakers free exposure, and I have some good content for my streaming TV audience.

In 2015, after successfully running (2) video/photo contests on Facebook, I decided to give my Festival a more tangible presence. I built a website, http://www.MetroFilmFestival.com and then I developed an Amazon Fire TV channel. Both worked very nicely. And the audience has grown ever since.
Roku4
Now, I have over 375,000 subscribers on my Fire TV channel, called “Movies Plus.” And, I have built several new Roku channels, in which the total subscribers are over 1 million. That’s great reach. And it’s free for filmmakers who would like to stream their film on my channels.

There’s even a success story. A filmmaker named Alex who took the initiative to leverage my Fire TV channel. He streamed his “Down River” feature film for 6 months. Then he took the stats from the streaming experience (about 70,000 views) and he presented this to a venture capitalist. It impressed the money-man so much that he agreed to finance Alex’s next film. Now Alex has his movie, “The Directive” on Hulu. There’s a newspaper article that tells the whole story — read it via my Festival page on FilmFreeway.

Okay, so to wrap things up a little, now I have many channels. The most popular are TMN (The Movie Network) and “Movies Plus TV.” And I have my Film Festival that is online and supported by my Roku and Fire TV channels. I also have an Android App, but that is still in the “launching” phase, so I don’t brag about my Android subscribers just yet. You may add the channels and TV-Apps via www.moviesplus.org

If you’re a filmmaker looking for free film distribution…You can get in on this, free.
If you’re a filmmaker looking for free exposure for your movie, TV or web series…You can get in on this, free.
If you’re a filmmaker looking for free publicity and promotion for your movie or TV Pilot or series…You can get in on this, free.

To get started, you may email me directly, BUT I suggest using the free service film freeway. My Festival is only $5 to $8 to enter. That’s cheap! The submission fees are less than 9 dollars. And in return you get access to all the resources I listed above. Free online streaming for your movie, TV show, Pilot, web series and more.

(Please note that the current Festival doesn’t have a category for Features, therefore if you’d like to have your feature streamed, simply contact me directly on Facebook or through the links on my moviesplus website.)

Also, TRAILERS AND TEASERS are FREE TO ENTER, and you may get yours immediately streamed on Android by visiting my Youtube channel, again the link is on the Movies Plus website.

To enter the Festival for FREE or for as low as $5, please visit https://filmfreeway.com/Metro-Film-and-TV-Awards

Cheers and good Streaming,
Dean Lachiusa
Curator, the Metro Film Festival.
http://www.MetroFilmFestival.com

The Top 12 things Sci-Fi fans may hate about Star Trek Discovery

1. It’s DARK. The show does not embrace the principles of Diversity and Enlightenment that many of us expect from Star Trek.

2. 3D Animaton. The outer space scenes are flat, dark, and the animated ships are not as beautiful as constructed-models. It still can be done, see The Orville.

3. Klingon Boobies. Brief, but aggressive sex scenes may just embarrass your kids and your mom too.

4. Fast subtitles. The Klingon translations run too fast, and the Klingon dialog sounds clunky, it reminds me of when they fed a horse named Mr. Ed peanut butter.

5. 12 actors, or less. Important characters get killed off, and there are very few supporting actors. I expect to see supportive crew that make it plausible to operate an enormous space ship like the Discovery.

6. The F word. Battlestar Galactica was smart enough to say FRAK, but apparently in this future, the Star Fleet crew finds the need to express themselves with foul language and mediocre attitudes. Not in front of my kid, please.

7. Rehashed storylines. After 2 to 3 seasons I expect to see a Parallel Universe or something like a Flashback episode, but not in the first season.

8. No Women. I miss the days when gorgeous women like “Seven of Nine” commanded attention on Star Trek Voyager. I think Discovery could use a little more eye candy. Discovery’s White-Dressed Klingon chick with the cud-chewing voice makes me woof my cookies.

9. Lazy Susans. I hate it when Evil Empress’s use Lazy Susans to spin around in order to impress people. Okay, so this is kind of a spoiler, but only if you take notice of the scene I’m referring to.

10. No Badguys. I have to admit that up until about the 6th episode I couldn’t really tell if StarFleet or the Klingons were the evil-doers.

11. It’s Muddy. Just when I thought Star Fleet was going to administer a little justice, judgement is cast in the opposite way that an old Star Trek episode would have played out.

12. Legacy Killer. After watching the first 12 episodes, I find Star Trek Discovery is not bold or ground breaking – but rather predictable and disappointing. I hope they change this, because I’d hate to see the Star Trek legacy marred.

– Dean Lachiusa, curator for Movies Plus

Uggh, I hate to ask for help

Movies Plus just reached our goal of 100,000 subscribers, and I plan to add more and more great content, without commercial adverts.

How can I do it?

With your help.  Please send whatever you can afford to gift/donate to me via the Paypal service.  paypal-print(If you don’t like using Paypal, then use your favorite service and my webmail address.)

Whatever you donate or gift me, it all goes into Movies Plus.  5 bucks…$50…whatever you send will be greatly appreciated by me. AND if you like, comment here or via the PayPal/email, and I can add your name to our list of supporters here on this blog and/or on MoviesPlus.  Thank you.

To send money via PayPal to my webmail (DeanLach@yahoo.com) it’s pretty simple, or click the donate button below and it will be an easy process too.

Thank you,

Dean Lachiusa, curator for Movies Plus.

paypal.me/MoviesPlus

movies-plus

Metro Film Festival accepting Submissions

March 31, 2016.
Dean Lachiusa
Curator and Developer of Broadcast Channels for the Metro Film Festival.
INTRODUCTION TO “CONNECTED TV” CHANNELS OPERATED BY METRO FILM FESTIVAL
Dean Lachiusa, curator for the Metro Film Festival publishes content on Roku, Fire TV, FLIPPS, SPBTV and other Smart TV platforms.  Streaming Indie produced Film, Television, and Webisode videos augment the Metro Film Festival’s efforts, and hopefully yours.
Right now, we have free opportunities on our latest Amazon Fire TV channel called Movies Plus.  If you’re not familiar with Fire TV, it’s a “set top box” that connects to your Television and utilizes your Internet connection to broadcast programming on your TV.  Movies Plus is much like the Networks you’re familiar with.  We have much the same quality as Crackle, USA, Encore, etc.  The difference is, we’re not controlled by Hollywood — our content is Indie made.  Movies Plus officially opened it’s doors to Indie Filmmakers January 2016, and since then over 10,000 Amazon Fire TV owners have Subscribed to us.  We’re growing day by day.

Movies Plus is the only Broadcaster that allows you to control the amount of exposure for your movie or television program, and there’s no binding contract.

I’m sure you’re interested in seeing the channel with your own two-eyes.  Currently, if you have a Fire TV device, you may add Movies Plus for free via the Amazon store.  If you don’t have Fire TV, an alternative way to watch the channel is on certain Android Browsers, but please be aware that the Channel is not designed (yet) for Android TV, and therefore you may watch films, but with limited functionality.  For example the “autoplay, and skip functions” will not work on Droids.  On your Android’s Html5 compatible browser, check out https://metrofilmfestival.com to get an idea of the great indie filmmakers that you may be sharing the Movies Plus channel with.
Okay, would you like to know more?  Movies Plus is new, and therefore we are growing to meet the requirements of broadcast platforms like Android TV, and the needs of filmmakers like you.  This is good for you, because this allows MP to offer you a place on our channel at no cost, and with no obligation to keep your Film/TV/Webisode with us.  You’ll get great exposure on the Movies Plus channel, as we are listed among the top 10 Apps in our Fire TV Category.
We leave the power of distribution in your hands.  You may stream your movie for a month to test the results…or let it broadcast for a longer period if you’d like greater exposure.  Your distribution strategy is controlled by you.
How do you participate?
If you like, we will host your movie for the first month for free on our CDN…Yes, space is limited!  OR you may choose to use your own host and therefore control your bandwidth costs, if any.  (Hosting on Vimeo/Youtube will NOT work with Roku or Fire TV.)  This is important to note: If you choose to host your content on your own domain or a free/cheap CDN service, then it frees you up to remove your film from Movies Plus at any time.  And it gives you the option to update what you screen on Movies Plus.
For example, you don’t have to screen your entire movie, you may first try screening a “featurette” of your movie, and then later on you might like to screen a Directors Cut.  Pilots and Screeners are also welcome.  Trailers and Teasers are not.  We encourage you to leverage Movies Plus in creative ways in order to set us apart from all those typical distributors and online venues who promise the world, but never deliver a penny to you.
About this “Leverage” stuff…
The Metro Film Festival and our channels like Movies Plus might sound a little unusual, so let’s look at an example of a movie currently streaming on MP.  The following image was taken from the feature film, The Tunnel.  This artcard was encoded into the start and end of their film, and it’s a good example of how filmmakers use Movies Plus to direct the audience to their website for purposes of promotion, publicity, sales, and all around marketing and distribution strategies.
example-artcard-b4-movie-plays-and-after
The filmmaker could also have elected to feature a “Donation, or Tip” button on their website or Point of Sale.  Or, filmmakers might also like to sell a T-Shirt or another Ancillary product rather than selling film “frames” or DVD’s.
We leave this up to you.  It’s wide open, there’s no obligation to strategize this way…but we welcome your ideas and we will try to help you monetize your content — if this is your goal.  Remember, you don’t have to prepare a special version like the above example, and you are not obligated in any way to motivate folks to visit your website.  (Maybe you just want to get your film seen — that’s cool.)
What does MP and the Metro Film Festival get out of this?
Well, right now we’re footing the bill, but in the future we hope to open the Metro Film Festival up to the public in much the same way that traditional film festivals monetize themselves.  And perhaps we’ll place adverts or sponsors on our broadcast Channels.  But in the meantime, we might just do a Kickstarter campaign to help pay our curator to keep up with submissions.
That’s about all for the moment, please contact Dean Lachiusa via http://www.Facebook.com/DeanLach to share your thoughts, and when you’re ready to submit your film then please email: curator@metrofilmfestival.com with a link to your video-preview or screener.
Cheers!
We hope you join us.

The Cure for common cold is related to baldness

Today – Newswired: Researchers have found a cure for the common cold, and it’s related to baldness in Men and Women.

Persis-Khambatta
It seems the cure has been related to the symptom called “scalpscratchyness.”  This is the nervous response of scratching one’s scalp in which many people experience when trying to find something interesting to watch on television.
The cure it seems, is in the hands of Indie Filmmakers who screen their films on a new channel sponsored by the Metro Film Festival.  The channel, called Movies Plus, is currently available for free on Amazon Fire TV devices, and coming soon to Roku.
“It’s truly a miracle” says Movies Plus founder Dean Lachiusa. “I collaborated with reknowned specialist Alfred E. Neuman of the agency Snap, Crackle and Pop…And they’ve come up with the statistics that prove that watching Movies Plus truly can cure the symptoms related to the common cold and baldness. It worked for me. And curiously enough, I lost 10 LBs of Prenatal weight too…”
Fact: It’s in the skin
Filmmakers have to have skin in the game in order to see results…A film/TV producer may screen their movie, TV, or webisode for free on the Movies Plus channel…the results are miraculous!”
Dean further says to “PM him on Facebook or email him at curator@metrofilmfestival.com for more information; or read the rest of this blurb:
Movies Plus is the place for Indie shows, and now is the time to take control of your project…don’t lose your film/show to a digital distributor who will never pay you!” (Did you know that most distributors commonly act as middle men, licensing your film to other sub-distributors who you do not have an agreement with. And these subdistributors might promise to split the ad-revenues with the distributor you originally sign with, but think about it…How many royalty splits can you have before you get nothing? Let’s do the math: 50% of zero is zero, carry the zero, times nothing, equals nothing!
Movies Plus is the only Broadcaster that allows you to control the amount of exposure for your movie or television program, and there’s no binding contract. We’ll stream your complete film, screener, pilot, or webisode. This in turn drives the audience to your website or point-of-sale. Typically a filmmakers website will feature several easy, do-it-yourself methods of monetization. Some filmmakers feature a PayPal Donation button, some offer a special DVD and they sell ancillary products like T-shirts.

It’s the perfect way to create publicity and leverage ones work without being tied to a distributor…Try us for a month or so, you can always move to a traditional distributor when/if you get the right offer.

Not by Persis Khambatta

 

 

Ed Burns distribution advice

The following is an excerpt from an article from filmmaker Ed Burns and Shohawk.com.
We start at the digital concentration, step #24.  The link to the entire article entitled “30 Tips: Making and Releasing Microbudget films!” is below.

  1. Embrace Your Strategy

We would not make excuses for our nontheatrical release. We would embrace it.”

512yk0rajdlDon’t treat your “small” release strategy as the equivalent of having a movie go straight to video in the 1990s. The climate is different now.

Embrace your means, use them to your advantage in promotion, and own your path to the audience. This will maximize productivity by focusing on what can work best for your film, not someone else’s.

  1. Festivals Are The Indie-Theatrical

I realized I could also have a theatrical release. It was called the festival circuit.”

The vast majority of films and filmmakers cannot afford a traditional theatrical run. But theatrical runs don’t conventionally serve to make a profit.

They are a means of promoting your film across the country or world in hopes that word will spread, people will later buy or rent the movie, and it will live on for a long time after.

Using festivals as your film’s theatrical run is a fairly inexpensive way to gain that exposure and propagate your film’s reputation in multiple markets. Instead of focusing on awards, use the festival circuit to create and connect with fans.

This point was heavily driven home in Jon Reiss’ game changing indie film distribution handbook, Think Outside The Box Office. Michael bought me this book for my birthday in 2011 and it changed my life.

  1. Utilize The Whole Internet

Marc and his team target tech bloggers, hip websites, tastemakers, and connectors to help create buzz on films lacking bigger marketing budgets and resources.”

There are companies dedicated to this, and you can do it with your small team. There’s more to promoting a film than posting on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Think of your movie’s key characters, plot-points, themes, and overall genre. What kinds of audiences are generally interested in such material? Where else do they spend their time? Are there specific blogs, forums, Reddit threads, or social groups they congregate at?

Using these online spaces to promote your film is a low-cost way to spread word; much like casting hungry young actors, these promotions are a mutually beneficial relationship: blogs, forums, and groups subsist on regular content. Make your film a part of that content stream.

Find the entire article here: http://shohawk.com/microbudgettips/

— Dean Lachiusa (curator for Movies Plus, a free Indie Film/TV distribution and broadcast channel on Amazon Fire TV and other connected TV platforms.)