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.
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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

Film and TV distribution for indies on Fire TV

The new Amazon Fire TV channel “Movies Plus” has a large assortment of Sci-Fi movies, and a growing catalog of Horror/Thriller, Action, Drama, Comedy, Documentary films and stuff like Boxing matches, and Season films (Christmas for example.)

If you’re a filmmaker/Producer then you might like to screen your project for free on the channel.  Screeners, Works-in-Progress, Pilots, TV shows, Webisodes (web series and narrative online shorts) and of course Feature films and short movies are accepted.  Programs of most any genre enjoy the support of Movie Plus (with the exception of “adult” content.)

Movies Plus encourages a great method to make your distribution plan solid.  Place your dotcom on your film – at the beginning and at the end, or perhaps a very very small watermark at the bottom of your letterboxed show.  Movies plus encourages their audience to make note of the filmmakers website address.  Later, after folks have watched your show, they can visit your website and buy an upgraded copy of your movie on DVD, or perhaps a T-shirt or even make a donation.  It works, it’s in some ways better than Crowdsourcing because you’re not dependent upon Kickstarter or anyone else’s method of fundraising…It’s all controlled by you on your website.

The channel is free and currently Ad-Free.

You may add Movies Plus from your Fire TV main screen.  Just scroll down on the left side to APPS, then scroll to the Categories section.  Movies Plus is listed number 4 out of hundreds in the Novelty category.

OR add the channel online here: http://www.amazon.com/Apple-Pie-Films-Movies-Plus/dp/B013MBOC4S/ref=sr_1_1?s=mobile-apps&ie=UTF8&qid=1449873117&sr=1-1

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Okay, so perhaps you don’t have a Fire TV stick or a way to watch Movies Plus right now — now worries you can still contact them and start the process of leveraging your film project.

I shouldn’t post the Curator’s email here for sake of spam…hmmm let’s see.  Okay email them at their gmail account, and please remember to remove the () marks.  Movies Plus care of: metrofilmfestival(@)gmail.com

Cheers, good movie watching…and making!