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.
- 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.