Indie Films Working Together?

fitzroyadmin : February 14, 2013 3:31 pm :

In the previous blog ‘Sharing the Love’ we shared a few crowd-funding projects that had caught our attention and at one point I wrote this:

‘These filmmakers are using Kickstarter to help get their film onto cinema screen. If indie films can’t help each other do that, then what hope do we have trying to compete with the Hollywood marketing machine?’

I wrote it quite glibly but then it got me to thinking…. why can’t independent films work together and promote each others’ films? Why can’t we share audiences?

There is an ongoing debate at Fitzroy HQ about how indie films can stand out and compete with big budget Hollywood fare and multimillion dollar marketing budgets.

Outlets for independent film are becoming smaller and smaller. Just in the last month here in the UK, two of the largest high-street outlets, Blockbuster and HMV, have gone into administration. The Picturehouse cinema chain has also been bought out by Cineworld – they say they won’t be changing the programming to more mainstream but I find that hard to believe.

Meanwhile, the rise of online distribution means small independent films are going to find it harder to stand out. Online distribution is a huge opportunity for small films but lets be honest, i-tunes, Netflix, blinkbox, etc are not a ‘browsing experience’. You are presented with maybe 20 to 40 featured films.

The sad fact is that nowadays, unless you have already heard of an indie film, you’re probably not going to stumble across one and take a punt.

So how do indie films fight back? How do they reach a bigger audience?

One possible answer is to share audiences and cross-promote indie films.

Crowd funding and social networking really is changing how indie films are financed and for me the next natural progression is that it will change how films are promoted and distributed.

Each crowd funded film achieves two things; a budget and, possibly more importantly, an audience. These films are being made and backed by film fans, so the chances are that those backers are also going to be interested in other projects. I know I am always on the hunt for new exciting, moving, interesting films to watch and share. It’s part of being a film fan.

Heck, this isn’t a revelation; Hollywood and the studios have been doing this for decades. They promote themselves as an industry and cross-promote other films. Trailers before the start of the film are the obvious example of this. ‘If you like this film then get ready for this film’. Imagine a world where indie films and indie filmmakers do this for themselves and others.

I’m not saying this is what we should do or that it’s a magic bullet to reaching an audience. There’s definitely a lot of problems in it as an idea. But it’s an interesting idea. If low budget films are to grow and thrive then we should embrace marketing and supporting each others’ work.

One thing we have learnt from our Kickstarter campaign is the power of the internet and working together is immense. Truly anything is possible. Even taking on the ‘big boys’.

Like I said at the beginning, these are just my initial thoughts and I offer no practical advice on how indie films do this or if it’s even practical. I’m just using this blog as a sounding board. If you have any thoughts, comments ideas please share in the comments.

If you’ve made it this far why not check out the previous blog of projects we love. NB we are not formally linked with any of these projects apart from loving what they are doing.

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Sharing the love.

fitzroyadmin : February 9, 2013 8:51 pm :

This is a blog I’ve wanted to do for a little while now.

During our crowd-funding campaign we received a lot of love and good will – not just families, friends and strangers but also from other filmmakers and crowd-funding projects.

Well, I would like to pass that good will on wherever we can. Personally I’m a huge fan of the crowd-funding model and not just because The Fitzroy reached it’s target. I truly believe it is the start of a new model for creatives to reach, build and share with an audience. It is, without doubt, an exciting time.

So I thought I would share with you a few projects that have caught my eye recently*. Hopefully this might become a semi-regular blog? Who knows.

*Disclaimer time: I’m not personally connected to any of these projects, but I have backed them all and think they are pretty awesome.

Without further ado, here they are.

Bid For My Life

Comedian, actor and filmmaker James Hamer-Morton looks to sell his soul* and make a hilarious documentary at the same time. I think this is going to be such a blast to watch.

*I don’t think he is actually selling his soul.

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We Are Monsters

A British sci-fi mutant film? Starring Doug Jones? Whats not to get excited about! These guys have been running an awesome campaign and made the amazing film PANIC BUTTON.

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Borrowed Time

I love the trailer to this film – really funny and sweet.

These filmmakers are using kickstarter to help get their film onto cinema screen. If indie films can’t help each other do that, then what hope do we have trying to compete with the Hollywood marketing machine?

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The Nightman of Nevermoor

An exciting short film from a phenomenally talented group of filmmakers. Seriously, check out their previous films and you’ll want to see what they do with this one – I do.

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Like I say I have no involvement in any of these projects, I just think they are very cool and wanted to help spread the word.

I hope you like them as much as I do and you can give them a tweet or facebook mention and help spread the word… I wanted to put ‘spread the love’ again but was worried this would turn into a love-in.

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Titles – the first steps

fitzroyadmin : January 24, 2013 7:47 pm :

It’s full steam ahead for The Fitzroy and we’ve started to have our first few creative meetings! It’s incredibly exciting.

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The title designers Chris and Marko skyping in the meeting

One of those meetings was for the titles. If you’ve been following us for a while you’ll be aware that the title sequence to the film will be animated and tell the backstory to the world of The Fitzroy (also you can be in it!! – more on that at the bottom).

I consider the titles to be integral to the film and we’ve got not just one, but two really talented guys working on them; Marko Anstice – he did the illustrations on our website – and Chris Tozer who did the gfx in the promo video. Do check out their work. It’s pretty amazing!

I love title sequences. One of my favourite sites is Art of the Title. For me the titles are a chance for the filmmaker to put the audience in the right mood for the film and reassure them that the film is going to be… well, good.

We also want our title sequence to do a few more things. Here’s the actual brief I gave the guys:

The titles must be…

  • Energetic, funny, engaging
  • Tell the narrative backstory of The Fitzroy
  • Answer ‘logistic’ questions about the world of the Fitzroy
  • Reflect the mood of the film
  • Contain all the characters.

Simple really.

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One of the first steps to any creative process (as far as I’m concerned) is to brainstorm and put together mood boards and references.

So that’s what we’ve been doing and we thought you might like to check it out. We’re using Pinterest and you can see all our references for the titles. This is a working tool and is constantly evolving and changing.

Click here to see the references on Pinterest

If you have any suggestions for references then let us know, either in the comments below or on our facebook page and if we like them we’ll throw them into the mix.

“JUST TELL ME HOW I CAN BE IN IT ALREADY!”

Okay one of the awesome rewards we offered during the Kickstarter campaign is to be featured as an animated character in the titles! How cool is that? We’ll turn you into a character and put you in the titles. A bit Like this…

cartoon charachter

NB* The style might change a little as we are still figuring out the look of the titles.

If you would like to be in the titles – just head over to our shop. All money goes to making the film better and bigger!

So that’s the first steps of creating the titles. Once we’ve locked down a look we will start working up some tests… I’ll keep you posted.

And just because it’s one of my favourite title sequences, here’s the titles to the Pink Panther.

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PROJECT OF THE MONTH

fitzroyadmin : January 22, 2013 6:28 pm :

The Fitzroy has won Indiewire’s project of the month!  

We’re over the moon and couldn’t be happier.  We now get a consultation from the Tribeca Film Institute about the film.  Hopefully this is the first and an important step in making The Fitzroy a hit.

Thank you all for voting, sharing and making this happen.

We’ll keep you up to date on how the talks go!

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Indiewire Project of the Month

fitzroyadmin : January 16, 2013 4:46 pm :

We’re up for Indiewire’s Project of the Month! …which is incredibly exciting. Put simply if The Fitzroy wins we receive a consultation with the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival and more importantly register a blip on the film world’s sonar!

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We had a production meeting over the weekend. At the very start we went around the table and all said what we want the film to achieve and what was most important to us. Of course stuff like ‘be the first step on the career ladder’, ‘win awards’, ‘gain industry respect’ and ‘make loads of money’, all came up. Those goals are important but there were two things that we all agreed stood above everything else.

1)     Make the best film possible.

2)     Get as many people to see it as possible.

Those are our goals for the film!

But to get as many people to see the film as possible we need to start building awareness now!

We’ve had a great start with Kickstarter but we really need your help in spreading the word about The Fitzroy and getting as many people behind the project.

In my head I see a Fitzroy army!

So please gather your arms, join the front line and vote for The Fitzroy.

HOW TO VOTE: 

Please be sure to follow these simple steps. If not, your vote will not count!

1) Visit Indiewire: LINK
2) VOTE for The Fitzroy (or whoever you like – but we hope it’s the Fitzroy).
3) Enter your EMAIL address and then click on “VOTE”.
4) Check your email for an email from “Polldaddy” (it might go to your junk folder!) and hit “Confirm Poll Vote.” 

And that’s it. If only democracy were as simple.

Please help us SPREAD THE WORD – post it on Facebook, email to your friends, tweet it… if you’re in a coffee shop and see an attractive person on their mobile device but are struggling to find an ice breaker? Go over and tell them to vote! Okay that last one is a bit specific but you get the picture.

We think the vote is going to go down to the wire – EVERY VOTE REALLY DOES COUNT.

Thank you

NB* Even if you voted for ‘project of the week’ in December, I’m afraid you need to vote again for it to register for ‘project of the month’.

Here’s the link if you want to share it:

http://www.indiewire.com/article/decide-who-talks-to-the-tribeca-film-institute-vote-for-decembers-project-of-the-month

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