Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Reader Question: Investors

Slidewhisker writes:

I'm in a film school about to graduate and want to make a movie with a friend of mines script. I woudl direct and we have raised some money from friends and family and was wondering if you took money from friends and family and how much pressure your under to make money on the movie and pay them back.

First off, I did take money from family and also put in much of my own. Secondly no... At this point I feel ZERO pressure about anything in regards to BL. None. Nada. Not a bit. I'm a new man and gaining weight again. The hair stays off but the waistline returns. Damn middle age.

You have to keep in mind that the people who sign on for your film -- this includes, cast, crew, producers, post-production, and most especially investors -- do so based on the script and the budget. They believe, like you, that if that script is properly realized on screen that their investment of time, money, or both will be worthwhile. And this is where the pressure comes in. As the director, your job is to bring that script to life on film in as good of shape or better.

The pressure to do that with BL was unbelievable for two very long years. And with the irreplacable help of all the people involved from day one to today, the movie's better than the script. I don't agree it's so much better as others believe, but I do agree it's better.

As the director you can't do anything more than that. That's your job. That's where you can let everyone down. That's your obligation. That's the pressure. Your job is to realize that script to its potential on screen within the budget allotted.

Once that's done, you can only hope the collective judgement of all those who invested their time and money in that script was correct: That once that script works on screen it will be appealing enough to the right distribution people to pay off on everyone's investment.

So, just don't make any false promises or claims. It's all a risk. Everyone knows that, or should know that. You can't make people buy something. All you can do is come up with a blue print everyone agrees on (the script), and then kill yourself to make the best product you can from that blueprint. After that, all you can do is work hard to get it sold, and hope...

I personally don't believe a film as small and eccentric as Beautiful Loser will ever see the inside of a movie theatre, and I never did. But I hope it's a resume enhancer for all those involved. I hope the investors get their money back. I hope it gets distributed in some fashion because I do believe there's an audience for it. Personally, it's already done more for me than I had hoped (though I very much want my money back).

So, save the pressure for the creative stuff. That's all that really matters anyway. In the end, if you like your own movie and met the obligation of realizing the script, all you can do from there is work hard to get it distributed and hope for the best.


Blogger Gina said...

"I personally don't believe a film as small and eccentric as Beautiful Loser will ever see the inside of a movie theatre, and I never did."

I wish you wouldn't say things like that (although I'm sure you don't enjoy saying them either). I wanna see this movie, darn it!!!

2:09 PM  

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