Full Stack Filmmaking
Dabble in audience research, IP acquisition, smart development, constructing financing plans, sales, distribution, and release plans, to name a few. PLUS a forward looking playbook for industry 2.0.
You may have seen in the news that discussions are set to resume between WGA and AMPTP so presumably…. maybe…. we can expect at least one of the strikes to wrap up by the fall…sometime?
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what’s on the other side of all this and how can we best position ourselves for the new ecosystem/environment that awaits us. Because we all know it’s not going to snap back into the same place we were with money-gushing streamers, endless commissions, big budgets, and fees to match. Buyers and commissioners are going to be a lot more cautious and scrutinize budgets more than before and that’s a fact.
Diversification is something I preach on a regular basis but for filmmakers and production companies it’s going to become even more important going forward, at least in the short term, as people and companies find their footing again.
For the companies I’m consulting for, in some cases that means stepping back from production planning right now, and leaning into distribution where I believe a lot of opportunities exist at the moment. Or hey, you weren’t an expert on alternative funding models to help finance those big budgets you want to pull off? Well we better figure that out now….and fast.
The Full Stack Filmmaker
In my last newsletter I talked about hacking international distribution and I’m feverishly working on international distribution strategies for a handful of client films and series as we speak. It’s an exciting place to be in right now!
Another concept I’ve been playing around with is what I like to call the full stack filmmaker. It’s a strategic approach to diversifying your skills and expertise so when you’re surrounded in turmoil, you can lean on different tools in your tool box to stay relevant and productive.
Let’s face it, today’s market requires a generalists mindset. Even if you’re not an expert on every part of the process, having an idea on how everything works so you can manage teams of experts/technicians effectively will set you up for success in today’s industry ecosystem. No more just staying in your single lane. You want to be able to dabble in audience research, IP acquisition, smart development, constructing financing plans, and sales, distribution, and release plans, to name a few. Taking a 360 approach to every project you engage in.
What does your current playbook look like?
For me, it’s shifting to smart development of new projects that I think might have a place in the market 2.0 / post strikes. Sadly that means some projects on my slate won’t make the cut, at least in the short term. They’ll head to the back burner while put attention and focus on the types of projects that I think have a shot at getting made in the new ecosystem.
For series that means anything scripted should adhere to a lower cost model and be a candidate for international co-production partners. For features I’m looking at only specific genres that can be done at a price. And I don’t consider any of this ‘chasing trends’ by the way…. it’s just a matter of being forward-looking and seeing where things are heading.
Also I’m experimenting with innovative release strategies for a couple of features I have in post so these cherished projects don’t fall flat when they hit the market. I’m applying that level of thinking to the client films I’m handling distribution on too and have been amazed at the quality of projects you all are sending me. Thank you! Keep ‘em coming ;)
You can drop me a line at email@example.com if you’re interested in working together on smart distribution strategies for your film or series as I have a few more consulting slots left.
I’d also love to hear from you below in the comments section about your own Playbook!
On that note, I’ll wrap it up for today. I hope you have a lovely day ahead and I’ll speak to you again soon.
To your success,