Los Angeles didn’t really have much of a summer. We never really shook off the chill of spring. Each time the sun broke through the gray, it felt more like a false hope than anything else. A day here, a day there, but the heat we were expecting never really broke through.
Sounds kind of familiar, yes?
But, even though we are well into autumn and the rain is falling in L.A., it feels as though we have the sun on our backs. We are preparing to hibernate. We are just getting our second wind.
If I could give just one piece of advice to any filmmaker, it would be to embrace the NO. Don’t be afraid to hear it, and don’t be afraid to say it when you need to.
No is my new best friend.
After the no we had to give (see previous post), there was an opportunity to start embracing a fair share of YES. Yes, we have a new Line Producer. Yes, she is amazing. Yes, we have a new budget, and it is a thing a beauty. And, if I could give a second piece of advice to any filmmaker, it would be to do a full, honest, no bullsh*t, don’t-leave-anything-out/don’t-include-tax-credits-or-incentives-in-it budget that includes everything you really want/need. Walk away with a number you know is real, that will deliver the film in the way you want it done. There will be plenty of room to compromise later, but I say start with the most accurate financial portrayal of your story rather than aim for a number people assume is palatable.
Oh, believe me, I swallowed hard when I heard what we were coming in at, until I read through it. The budget is set for shooting in Los Angeles (which has always been my goal). We have our music covered, contingency, post, wrap party, final print and even research screenings. To say it is thorough is an understatement. I had to wipe away a tear of joy upon reading it. It tells me YES, we can make the movie the way we want to make it at a reasonable amount.
This is all a huge learning curve for me. The budget is the easy part. Math I get. But now I have to learn a new world of lingo for financing and pre-sales. They don’t seem to have a translation app for that (but I would kiss anyone who would come up with such a thing). But, I find this rather exciting. The old paradigm is gone. We not only get to break some rules, but blaze a new path or two (she says optimistically).
And I am optimistic. I feel like this is a fresh, new, wonderful start. We have made more progress in the last six weeks than we have in the last six months. Everyone is following through and everything is falling into place. All we need now is money and actors.
That’s the easy part, right?
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