Pitching our next film at Film-Com

My producing partner Aaron Wiederspahn and I recently had the privilege of attending a rather unique film event in Nashville, narrowly missing the devastating floods that have inundated Music City, USA in recent days.

Unique is a good word to describe this three-day gathering—as far as I know, something that has never been attempted before. Called Film-Com, it took place just prior to the Nashville Film Festival and consisted of bringing together two dozen film executives from Los Angeles and from other points around the country—major players in established production and Read the rest of this entry »

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Patience and filmmaking

One of the things I’ve learned as a producer of low budget features is the degree of patience it all takes. A patience that allows one to keep his or her sanity as a project creeps along at a snail’s pace even though you keep pushing as hard as you can on a daily basis to make it breathe and take on a life of its own.

Of course this is not a new concept. Every producer knows that tenacity and perseverance are primary ingredients if a good film is ever going to materialize. But let’s take a closer look at the kind of patience needed to work in this industry and then how it should be applied.

I used to be struck by the sheer amount of time Read the rest of this entry »

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What’s the ideal future scenario for filmmakers?

As our company struggles to raise the financing for our next feature, we’re spending a lot of time and effort asking ourselves—and lot of others who are following the rapid changes in our segment of the industry—just what might be the ideal set up for us in the future from the development phase of a project through distribution.

Mind you, we’re a small production company operating outside of the Hollywood “system” trying as best we can to produce films of artistic Read the rest of this entry »

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Part 20, On the road to distribution

buzz_mclaughlin_producerAs our festival run got underway with San Sebastian, we were already thinking in terms of finding a distributor.

I have to say at the outset of sharing this part of our journey that the timing for us with this film in terms of what was beginning to happen in the industry in general for indie filmmakers was not the most advantageous.

A retrenchment among distributors of indie films was at that time already quietly underway—a retrenchment that surfaced big time about a year ago with the demise Read the rest of this entry »

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A true independent film

buzz_mclaughlin_producerPart 1: Independent vs. Studio films

Often I find that people are confused by what is meant by an “independent feature film” as opposed to any other film you might see at a theatre.

A true independent film is one that has been entirely produced outside of the Hollywood studio system.  It has no studio financing, no studio control over artistic elements or personnel, including the final cut of the film, and, in most cases, no guarantee of distribution.  It is conceived of, financed, and made by a group of people who have a collective passion for the story they want to tell and an almost obsessive determination to get their movie completed and into the marketplace so it can be experienced by the public they’re convinced is going to embrace it with open arms.

An independent feature film company is a David facing the Goliath of the Hollywood “System.” Read the rest of this entry »

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