I wrote a post for Peter Marshall’s great website Film Directing Tips that was published today. In it, I explain 5 things I learned from co writing our book. These are my personal observations of course and may differ from those of my fellow authors.  Here is a snippet from the post:

1) Myth and secrecy are rampant in the film industry. No wonder no one knows the true state of the industry or what to base their decisions off of! Filmmakers won’t talk (or their investors won’t let them) about how much is spent making their films because they are trying to get a sales agent or distributor interested in buying it and paying as much upfront as possible, but how can anyone possibly know what is achievable and what is fantasy?

Secrecy in the industry is probably not really a revelation to you, but by holding back information in the hope of sales that mostly aren’t materializing, it keeps anyone from really knowing what budget level films should be made at if recoupment is part of the plan. Solid decisions, both by filmmakers and by investors, can’t really be made if no one knows the truth, both about the budgets and about the profit.

ps: for more on this code of secrecy, I came across this great podcast on NPR with author Edward Jay Epstein. You should start the audio at 11:21 and then read his book The Hollywood Economist. He explains why no one tells the truth in the film industry. The book should take away some affinity for those still wanting to be completely dependent on a traditional distribution deal too.

2) A realistic budget level for indie films. In order for an indie film using a hybrid or DIY strategy to see recoupment and possibly more, the production AND marketing and distribution budget must stay low. Based on our case studies, that number is below $200,000. Films that went over this budget level were far less likely to recoup within the first 2 years of release, none of the cases over this amount in the book have recouped in full yet.

For the full post, visit Film Directing Tips.

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