Throughout this whole crazy trip we've been on with the film, somewhere deep down inside I knew that we would be okay...that it wouldn't matter whether or not we landed a distribution deal the first year of our festival circuit run. We had heard about shady deals and unhappy filmmakers. And in the back of my mind lurked all the negative stories that my parents had told me about how they got screwed over by their past distributors (for their film, Is There Sex After Death?). Also, I felt pretty strongly that my dad's story was timeless and that somebody would eventually come along and see the potential in our documentary.
It's pretty ironic that the digital age enabled Jeff and I to make our film, but also threw a monkey wrench into the works of all the major motion picture companies. Studios began floundering and scrambling to catch up with the new technology while their stronghold in the industry began to crumble. In turn, their slow demise is what's allowing independent filmmakers to self-distribute their work.
I just read in MovieMaker magazine that 20,000 new independent films are produced every year. We're lumped in there somewhere along with all of the other filmmakers like us who edit movies in their living rooms on Macs equipped with Final Cut Pro. Also in this mix are the major's subsidiaries like Sony Pictures Classics and Warner Independent. Although I have never understood how a multi-million dollar budget film can be considered independent. Okay, I'm starting to sound like Andy Rooney from 60 minutes...
We've remained truly independent, licensing to a few foreign TV channels on our own and holding onto the remainder of the rights to our film - and we ultimately control the path that ABEL RAISES CAIN takes.
So now what? We have to be clever and take advantage of the networking opportunities that the internet age has to offer. There are several independents making waves right now and we have been keeping our eyes on them. Lance Weiler (Head Trauma), Arin Crumley and Susan Buice (Four Eyed Monsters), and M Dot Strange (We Are the Strange) are four filmmakers who have pioneered unbelievably innovative paths in terms of distributing their work.
These guys, collectively, have started up a new online discovery and distribution fest called From Here to Awesome. Their mission is "to create a direct connection between filmmaker and audience...FHTA attempts to create multiple revenue opportunities for the festival filmmakers by providing a platform that enables distribution across multiple outlets - mobile, online, living rooms and theaters. Filmmakers retain all their rights and choose how to price their work."
Filmmakers are encouraged to submit a 3-minute video explaining why their film is "awesome" and deserves to be seen by a wider audience. So, Jeff and I have spent the last week preparing our submission video. Here is the fruit of our labor:
If you are reading this now, please follow the above link and click on the big button that says, THIS FILM SEEMS AWESOME! You'll be led to a screen that allows you a chance to vote. Please help us even further and spread the link of our video as widely as humanly possibly (MySpace, Facebook, Blogs, etc).
Filmmakers who make it to the top ten are showcased during the month of April at participating venues throughout the world. This could be really instrumental in terms of us finally reaching our audience! Thank you, everybody!