Bright Ideas is where community members and industry leaders share lessons they have learned and hopes for where independent cinema can go. If you have a Bright Idea you'd like to share, email us at email@example.com.
Someone once told me that if you’re looking for money, you should ask for advice and if you’re looking for advice, you should ask for money. It’s the sort of vulgar, hardboiled adage that could only have been dreamed up in Silicon Valley or Hollywood, where ambition and moxie get you a lot further than good manners and modesty.
I didn't think starting this company would be like producing a movie, but it's REALLY similar if not basically the same. It's my job to hold the vision, to keep us moving forward, to respond to feedback, and to iterate, iterate, iterate our strategy for the product. It's like re-writing your film's business plan even as you're sending a script back for rewrites, all the while remembering the story you're trying to tell in the first place. And there's never enough money.
I grew up in a ghost town that used to make cars; to drown out the sound of poverty we made music. Music was an escape that allowed us to become completely entwined in the moment, those moments became practice, the practice became a skill and eventually I landed a job at a radio station. I was 18 and producing network album premiers and a major market breakfast show. I have since realized that youthful confidence is jet fuel. I didn't know enough to realize I didn't really know a damn thing.
It was a really exciting first quarter over here, and we've been getting questions recently about our stats. We wanted to share with you the small data sample on our progress so far, discuss where we think we're succeeding and where we can improve, and invite your comments, questions, and bright ideas! If there is a stat you'd like to know more about, leave it in the comments and we'll get right back to you.
If you're new to us, here's a few quick things to know so you can better interpret this data:
I started caribBEING + The Flatbush Film Festival in 2010 after 10+ years of desiring more representation for NYC’s Caribbean & Caribbean-American population in the media. An old friend, who was running the Caribbean Literary & Cultural Center at the Flatbush Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, called me and asked if we could produce a film series. She reminded me of my idea to start a Caribbean Film Festival in 1999 when we were undergraduate Anthropology & Caribbean Studies Students at CUNY.
Editor's note: Fact about indie films: we usually make them with our friends. Those friends become close friends, and often become lovers and spouses, and we've probably all been on set to see that go sour. Some filmmaking couples agree never to work together. Bodine Boling wrote, stars in, and is editing Movement+Location, which her husband Alexis directed and shot. They shot 112 pages in 18 days and are still married. We want to know how.
If you’ve been procrastinating, or perhaps feeling overwhelmed by all that lies ahead in your filmmaking journey, we’ve made one (big!) step a whole lot easier with our new Social Media Handbook.
Theoretically, life has never been better for independent filmmakers. Inexpensive cameras capture superlative images. Sophisticated editing tools run smoothly on laptops and free tools like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube allow you to market to a global audience. Emerging platforms like Seed & Spark help you distribute your film directly to your audience—and get paid for your efforts. So why aren’t there more successful independent films?
Editor's note: We know many of you are off to your first, second, third, or thirtieth festival this season, and there is an oft-overlooked part of audience outreach we've wanted to address for some time: the Q&A. Nothing will make your festival audience advocate for you more than if they love your film and then they feel like they got a chance to connect with you.