Monthly Archives: April 2014

Event – The History and Present of Australian Adventure Documentary

Received an intriguing email from OzDox this week that should give me some insight into perseverance in documentary filmmaking.
Hope to see you there.
 
OZDOX – THE AUSTRALIAN DOCUMENTARY FORUM
 
In association with ADG and AFTRS presents:
 
“The History and Present of Australian Adventure Documentary”
 
– OPENING PRESENTATION OF EARLY ADVENTURE FILMMAKERS & FILMS
 
– PANEL DISCUSSION WITH SOME OF THE NEW ADVENTURE FILMMAKERS  
 
Wednesday 14th May 2014
 
PRESENTATION:
“WHO WERE THE TRAILBLAZERS OF AUSTRALIAN DOCUMENTARY?”
SOME ARE VIRTUALLY UNKNOWN BUT MOST ARE HOUSEHOLD NAMES AND COVER BUSH & WORLD SAFARIS, POLAR EXPLORATION, EARLY SURFING & UNDERWATER SCENE, ETC. HEAR THIS UPLIFTING HISTORY ABOUT DRIVEN PEOPLE DOING EXTAORDINARY THINGS..  
 
PANEL DISCUSSION:
 
SEE CLIPS OF THEIR WORK AND HEAR HOW THEY BECAME FILMMAKERS, THE MOTIVATION BEHIND THEIR WORK, ETC.
 
Panellists to be confirmed. Save the date!!
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
WHENWednesday 14th May 2014
TIME6.00pm arrival for 6.30pm start
 
WHERE: AFTRS Theatre
Entertainment Quarter, 130 Bent St, Moore Park NSW
 
ENTRY: Suggested donation $7
 
RSVP not required, but be early to ensure your seat.
This event is open to the public. 
Parking fees discounted after 6pm.
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Startup Success: It’s All About Relationship

The tech start up world is proving to be a rich source of inspiration for my thesis. In this article for IncAngel investor Brian Cohen talks to Issie Lapowsky about the importance of team chemistry, husband-wife dynamics, and how not to ask for money. 

His advice, insights and experiences can easily apply to the world of feature film making.

brian-cohen

Your ‘Rate of Learning’ is at its highest as an entrepreneur

One of the key insights coming out of my thesis is this notion that other tangible benefits are the drivers for filmmakers as opposed to just monetary benefits. The term ‘psychic income‘ is often used to describe this
Psychic income is the personal or subjective benefits, rewards, or satisfactions derived from a  job or undertaking as separate from objective or financial ones.

I came across this new term on LinkedIn this afternoon- the ‘ROL’  or the Rate of Learning Definition: Rate-of-learning is the velocity at which you are aggregating new insights and deploying them in ways that build value.

This article by Kyle Tibbits for Medium.com demonstrates that the most valuable compensation for working at a startup as opposed to a “normal job” is a dramatically higher rate-of-learning (ROL)

Do read the article but this diagram provides a neat summation. The phrase ‘you cant buy experience’ is well known and there is something to be said about just going ahead and making the film happen.

rate of learning

Interview with Michael Budd

I have had some postcards printed to market my project The Art of Perseverance in Australian feature film making, on which there is a quote saying that ‘the average feature film takes 7 years to make’. The point I was suggesting was that Perseverance usually manifests itself in the form of endurance eg the long long time it takes to make a film. Well Michael Budd has demonstrated to me that if you put your mind to it, perserverance can be manifested as laser focus energy and concentration when it comes to feature film making.

You see this week, his debut feature film as a director, ‘Love of my Life’, is available for Pre-order on iTunes which would mean, according to my 7 year statistic, he would have started Development in 2007. Nup. Michael started in August 2013 – yep 9 months ago. Those biologically minded amongst you will recognise that 9 months as our gestation period and so its also quite fitting that Michael became a father to Master Harry Alister Budd in March this year as well. Talk about doing everything at once.

In March this year, I interviewed Michael at The Dolphin Hotel in Surry Hills at the monthly meeting of NAFA (Networking and Action for Filmmakers and Actors), run by Tony Chu and Sidat da Silva.

During the course of the interview Michael explained how he developed and produced ‘Love of My Life’ by producing the film as quickly as possible. His rationale for making the film was purely economical by knowing he needed to get a feature film up to act as his Calling Card, He pragmatically reckoned he could only realistically raise maybe $250k, and that it was unlikely he could get theatrical release meaning online distribution was his primary distribution method. So he looked at what genre’s work best for online delivery, and that is horror with its loyal and social fan base.

In September, Michael and screenwriter Liam Barrett got stuck into developing the script whilst looking for funding simultaneously. Michael said that when he got his first commitment of private funding, he knew he had to persevere, he had to make the film and honour the investment. The film became very real. It was his ‘Point of No Return’. The snowball had started rolling down the mountain!

Michael went into production in December for a 30 day shoot managing a production crew of about 40 people with over 200 people working on the film throughout. He revealed he knew it was important to maintain a calm and controlled exterior, even if internally he was juggling a million things at once, and at times was very close to circumstance stopping production from continuing, such as the local council only granting them approval for a location two days prior to scheduling.
Michael also gave an interesting insight when it came to Post Production. He was keen to get the film out and knew he didn’t have the budget to polish it to the way he would have liked, and finally said enough is enough. Hie view as let’s get this thing to our audience and he is very proud of what he has produced.

At the time of the interview, Michael was a month out from worldwide release and the marketing engine had just started but needless to say he was excited about its release and seeing how VOD distribution would fare. He partnered with Gravitas Ventures who aggregate all the VOD providers providing a reach of over 100miliion viewers across consoles, set top boxes and online streaming providers in America.

In conclusion, Michael taught me that perseverance can comes in many forms. His perseverance was condensed into a comparatively short and sharp burst of 9 months from development through to distribution.

No doubt he has completed his objectives of creating a professionally produced feature film that can help him attract the attention of producers and investors higher up the food chain in global feature film making.
Key findings:

  • If you put your mind to it anything can happen. Laser focus required.
  • Especially for your first film, create something achievable within your budget and resources.
  • Maintain a cool and calm exterior at all times.
  • You won’t please everyone so make sure the things key to your vision are done your way.

About Michael Budd
About Love of my Life
Buy Love of my Life

 

 

 

Research – Hearts and Minds by Screen Australia

Hearts & Minds explores how and why Australians engage with local screen  stories on both television and film.
What is the role of local content in the screen diets of Australian viewers?
And more broadly, what is its cultural value?
What role does it play in the formulation of national identity?
How does it build towards a sense of belonging and participation?

All this and more is presented in a 28 page report by Screen Australia, developed as part of The Mind and Mood Report at IPSOS Australia.

Kim Dalton provided this keynote speech at the Dollars, Hearts and Mind conference in June 2013 elaborating on some of the key findings.

Hearts and Minds front cover

Research – Stephen Follows ‘2014 Film Industry Survey ‘

One of the benefits of doing a thesis is that it forces you to research your sector and you come across new thought leaders. Stephen Follows is one such commentator I didn’t know of and now I always look forward to his emails in my InBox.

So I hope you find his 2014 Film industry Survey as interesting as I do. download the whole
There is alot ot take in here but I thought this element was particularly of interest

Stephen Follows 2014 Film Industry Survey

Here is the Executive Summary
Thank you for reading the full results of my 2014 Film Industry Survey
On my blog I explore data and statistics within the film industry. This started as sharing existing public
statistics but quickly grew to include the gathering of new data.

The film industry is heavily influenced by shifting opinions, so I thought it would be fascinating to take its
temperature on a number of hot topics including piracy, the appeal of 3D, gender, and how optimistic
industry professionals are for 2014.

I contacted a cross-section of industry professionals and asked them questions on a variety of topics. My full methodology is outlined at the end of this report.

As with all my research, my aim is not to prove a particular point but to see what interesting results the data provides.

Some of these results confirm the conventional wisdom while others challenge it. I am looking forward to seeing how film professionals, pressure groups and journalists respond to these results.

If you would like to know more, offer help/advice on future research or to just drop me a line, I can be reached at http://www.stephenfollows.com/contact.

It’s always nice to hear from people who enjoy or use my research. I am also open to new collaborations and commercial projects.

Enjoy the results,
Stephen Follows

Research – SPA Briefing Document – Industry Overview 2013

In March 2014, Screen Producers Australia released a briefing paper called ‘Industry Overview 2013’ which compiles recent information about the industry, including a table of fast facts.

Data includes economic contribution, production characteristics, participation and performance, cultural impact, spending and advertising and productivity trends.

Please download the report form the Screen Producers Australia website