Week four of COWTOWN went extremely well. JOHNNY APPLEWEED from Johnny Cotugno and Tamara Reynolds played for a packed crowd of over 200 people. In the short film line up, I added the SAD KERMIT short from Backwards Slate’s Max Goah. Man oh man did that hit well with the audience, as I knew it would. I programmed it after the Uncle Pete and Telemarketer shorts; you have to ditch your ego and program what works best and that piece I knew was a home run.
During the trailers, I did something a bit different. Since several of the audience members are repeat viewers, I felt that the trailers start to get a bit grating being the same every week. So for HORRORS OF WAR, I decided I’d mix it up since I personally have several trailers. Since it was a comedy night, I played the Japanese DVD trailer, and just in case the joke was lost, I added a title at the end that said “Now in English” and thankfully it got laughs, big laughs no less. Even more cool was that about 6 people approached me to say that the thought the trailer was so kick ass, they want to see the movie again.
The great and powerful short film channel MOVIEOLA from the Great White North has approached me about showing the new short films. I had not been quite the marketing whore I once was in that I never submitted the Telemarketers or Uncle Petes to them. Since they bought a British TV network too, this is a bigger outlet than it once was. Thank god I have a connection and history with them as competition for air time is fierce these days.
The big SUZUKI push ended. I’m blitzed. Even though this was a smaller order, which only meant that I did more of the work myself instead of bringing in more people to help. Now that the economy has crashed, only a few weeks off from my earlier prediction of Mid-to-Late-August, we can expect a serious draught in work for many in the film & video realm.
I had an interesting discussion relating to the effects of the economy on filmmaking on various levels. The “indie film” will die a pretty immediate death, from the $1,000-$1,000,000 stages. Private investment has just left the building as everyone’s property and stocks have plummeted. The mini-majors in Hollywood will be the first ones to feel the squeeze as the banks pucker up the credit.
What most people don’t realize about a major Hollywood film is that they are financed not by investors in most cases, but low interest loans from banks. Warner Brothers, Sony, Fox, and Disney have assets and values so they can get a loan, as opposed to private investment. That means that now that there is less credit available to banks from bigger banks, there is less money for Hollywood, even though they are, in a general sense, profitable. Since virtually every single “indie” studio had been gobbled up by the big studios, there ain’t no money for Indies either.
So with private investment, studio deals, all out of the option window, what can we do? In a lot of cases, just wait it out. Practice. Make shorts. What else is there? We’re screwed for the time being.
The home video market had already been decimated by piracy, gluttony of product, and a lack of profitability thanks to Netflix, Video on Demand, and alternate sources. It seems the very same things that widen our audience diminish our chances of fiscal success.
The future is unwritten. We face various forms of uncertainty. My prediction remains positive, as the unknown is the future. I know that the next generation, the next wave will be in the unexpected, unpredictable new form.
- Peter John Ross