The Million Dollar Movie
I’ve been known to be very politically charged and highly opinionated, both on the blog and on the podcast as well as in my own life away from Film Fervor. One of the things that really bother me is the fact that the “Hollywood” industry seems to think that you need to have a $300,000,000 budget in order to make something financially profitable and successful. I disagree with this entirely. I believe that the only thing you really need to make a good, profitable movie is a strong story, good actors and powerful cinematography and I believe that can be done for, no more than, a million dollars.
The Million Dollar Movie just doesn’t exist in the large scope of the Hollywood release platforms. Most of the producers and financiers in the Hollywood industry consider that to be too small of a budget to really handle all aspects of the film release. If we’re talking about traditional methods of release and advertisement, then I’d agree with that aspect, but we live in a world of social media and connectivity, of viral successes and marketing strategies that fit into a very specific, but very powerful, niche in the current dynamic of sharing.
I believe that the million dollar movie can flourish in this day and age. Developing a marketing budget and a business plan for the release of a film is important in all levels of filming, not just the hundred-million-plus films and not just the ultra low budget where the Subway sandwich bill is a third of your total budget. Consider that if a group of investors did put in one million dollars and used their networks and resources that they have available to promote, push and build up the release of the film, there could be a lot of money made in the release and distribution side. A million dollars isn’t a huge risk for a film investor, when they are often required to come up with vast, massive sums to fund the next “blockbuster” that is the same thing we’ve always seen. Taking a risk on a million dollars isn’t something that we, the independent film community, could ever dream of doing ourselves, but with the right backing and the right business plan, I believe it is something that the film industry could get behind.
What I want to know is ,if the Independent filmmakers who have been on this podcast and are out there now, making movies and pursuing their dreams, were to be given One Million Dollars to produce, film, edit and distribute their film: how would you do that? Specifically, what would your budget look like for the actual filming of your movie but also the distribution, marketing and business side of the production.
To that end, I am curious what independent filmmakers would want out of a larger network of distributors and providers, people who will pick up your project after it’s completed and release it to the world. What would be your dream distributor? Would you want to do it all on social media and online, with distribution going to VOD platforms and other digital releases, or would you want theatrical releases?