Still plugging away on the feature film. The script is pretty much locked down, though that won’t stop me from fiddling with dialogue. We’re squarely in pre-production now. Starting to discuss locations, compiling a list of possible crew (the DP and sound are the crucial ones for us), trying to figure out a budget, and mulling casting options (perhaps a casting call for the four biggest roles, and then hunting down local talent for the smaller parts).
I’m pretty confident we can pull of a solid picture for a reasonable budget. I’ve worked on quite a few shoe-string shoots and I think I have a decent feel for how to keep it together. Jeff, the producer, is a practical, hard-working man with a solid head on his shoulders. He’s the pre-production linchpin and he’s not walking into this with stars in his eyes. Making a film is tedious (that’s why so many accountants tend to be involved in such projects); but, if you understand that, it’s doable.
At any rate, if we pull this one off, it’ll prove the low-budget model (for us, at least) is profitable. You don’t have to get your film into theaters to turn a profit. Not if you keep the budget within reason. TV sales (foreign and domestic), video-on-demand, iTunes, Redbox, Netflix, direct-to-video. There are lots of sales options.
The model is somewhat equivalent to what Amazon has done with the book industry. Granted, it’s a bit more complicated and involves a heck of a lot more people (you can pull off a book totally solo if you write, edit, and do your own cover design), but it’s essentially the same kind of de-centralized, cottage industry model.
Anyway, if the model works on this first one, we’re going to move straight on to the next film. Plenty of stories to be told! And there are some massive, untapped marketplaces out there that Hollywood is either completely blind to or simply disdains. For the life of me, I don’t understand that particular issue (might make for an interesting essay later on), but…