Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Learning Curve: The 100th RSFblog post!

A few weeks ago I clicked on an external link from the world renowned Internet Movie DataBase ( The link read something along the lines of "What to Do Once You've Made That Movie." "Surely this is fate," I thought. So I traveled across the digital domains and read a one page blurb about how this book will help the aspiring film makers of the future. There was a quote about how there were "So many great films that are made and never get seen." "I know exactly what you mean!" I thought. I wanted to make sure that DIVINE MANIPULATION OF THE THREADS was in fact one of the exceptions to the rule... that people would see this film, that it would be available for the public to pick up, that it would be screened at festivals around the country, win awards and the love of various film making communities, and that Memphis would be able to add another Cinderella Story to the books. Yes, we'd all love to be the ones that catch a windfall break -- changing our toad-like pre-film "nobody" status to being invited to the grand ball, freebies, and the respect of those that never knew we even existed (like wearing a $2000 new outfit to Sundance, and being crowned the king of the festival).

Well, I think that we're all painfully aware that events of the previously mentioned "dreamland" don't happen. There is a lot of hard work, a lot of pimping out your movie to the press (and anyone else that will listen), and a team of individuals that spends day and night getting your precious little film into the hands, hearts, and minds of the "right people." Of course, I don't know how in the hell to do that... and I'm realizing that as everyone with access to a camera, microphone, and a half-baked idea is flooding the marketplace with "no-budget Indie films," I'm not the only one with a desire and/or lack of knowledge about getting a movie MADE (Not finished through months of post-production but "made" like a slack-jawed Wiseguy/GoodFella from Jersey). You don't just make a movie and get scooped up. This book lets you know what you need to know and even gives you a couple of companies/people to look up and help you on the way. Now with that said, it will cost money to hire these people (unless someone falls so in love with your film that they have decided to champion it across the pitfalls of connections, make a phone call to make sure it's at the top of the 200 tape high pile sitting on someone's floor, or even grease the wheels of a 'friendly' movie critic -- and then win the hearts of buyers that are excited enough to offer you something -- with the understanding that you should have a Production Representative or Entertainment Lawyer to seal the deal for you). You can't do it alone. It should be no surprise that the business is all WHO YOU KNOW... and subsequently who THEY know and who THEY can get it to.

The book does help but it is a conundrum of rules that are exceptions to the rule. You see, the entire industry is an exception. The book states through a series of success stories and interviews that, "Your film has to speak for itself," but it doesn't hurt if someone influential is speaking for it. The best results come from getting your film into Sundance... but if Sundance doesn't put it into competition then there are other "major" festivals that can be just as good (Toronto, Cannes, Berlin, Telluride). Oh, and if it does get into Sundance it may not get the best screening time or it may be in one of the "off shoot" categories (and if it is in one of those categories, odds are no one will pay attention to it... unless you've had a press screener and someone wrote a favorable review). There are a lot of "This Works" but it can also burn you -- Or there's no way in hell it will happen this way, but THIS FILM FROM 1996 MAGICALLY PULLED IT OFF.

Long story short. It's a helpful book. Unfortunately in a world of following the rules the only true way to success is breaking the rules... so there really shouldn't be any rules, right? Wrong. Confused? Good. Next, up I'm reading "Story" because I've got to find another screenplay under my skin somewhere. A great screenplay is apparently the best way to get a film noticed. An original screenplay is even better. I read something the other day... make the movie that you want to make... but make it from deep within yourself. Tell a good story. So, I'm working on that... I can start the script, I just don't know where I'm going with it yet.

However, Rusted Sun Films has decided on it's next project. Unfortunately, I (Bevan) may be championing Rusted Sun Films West for a while. The rumors are true. I will be leaving Memphis-town before the end of the year. When will I be back? Don't know. Will I continue to work on films here? Yes, when situations allow. Will I invite a few of our brethren out to SF to act and create a movie on the other side of the country? Yes. Will they come? Don't know. Regardless, I'll have to swing that way for a while because of the love of a woman. How's that for a story? Been done you say?! Yeah, well here's the kicker... it's a surprise ending... because for the first time in my life, I'm pretty sure that I have no f-ing clue as to what I'm doing.

There will be a Christine's Going-Away/Birthday/DVD Release Party planned for July 1st. I don't have the location yet. I'll keep all of you updated.

So, if the pages change a little bit in the not-so-distant future (like the title changing to Rusted Sun Films 'West' - although the web address will have to stay the same) don't be shocked. The funny thing about life is that events aren't permanent unless you make them that way. I'm still here for a while... I've got a movie to pimp.