Great speech this week by James D. Stern. To any of you about to make an independent movie, I would highly recommend reading Stern’s speech (found here), as well as Mark Gill’s famous one from last year (found here).
I recently completed one major piece of our push with The Last Lullaby. We signed a deal with the foreign sales company Cinemavault out of Canada. They will be repping Lullaby at the various foreign markets. Recently, they screened the film at the Marché du Film (Cannes Film Market) and felt very encouraged by the interest in the movie. The next major stop will be November’s American Film Market (AFM).
As I figure out the next move with Lullaby, I wanted to share a few thoughts—things I’ve noticed or learned that I don’t think I’ve articulated yet in the pages of this blog:
1. The American Indie Narrative
I was looking at last week’s independent box office chart and it was pretty bleak. But it’s particularly bleak for the American independent narrative film. Most independent distributors right now are doing better with either documentaries or foreign films. I’m not sure of the explanation for this. But if you’re going after the adult audience, which we are with Lullaby, I’m not entirely sure how you reach them with a narrative in this current landscape.
2. Now vs. The New Hollywood
Like many in my generation, some of my favorite movies came out between 1967 and 1980, the period that historians have deemed “The New Hollywood.” But I think it’s important to mention one of the major differences between now and then (just in case any of you are chasing ghosts like I find myself doing sometimes). Most of the famous movies of that period were not independent movies but movies financed and distributed by one of the major studios. Most of these movies, including Taxi Driver, Chinatown, and even the esoteric McCabe & Mrs. Miller had sizable budgets. And even though they were personal and artistic, they had time, money and resources; all things usually not synonymous with independent moviemaking.
3. Your Movie Will Be Stale
Fear seems to rule so much of this business. But, from my perspective, I did want to mention something that I’ve found to be simply untrue. After a festival premiere, I’ve seen more than one moviemaker rush into a deal with someone from fear that his/her movie will soon be stale. I’ve heard people say that
unlike wine, movies lose value as they age. To all this, I say, “Bulls—t!” Take your time with your movie, don’t worry about it going stale and try to build as much momentum with it as you can. Remember how long it took you to make the movie and how long it might be before you get to do it again. Let that drive you. Not the fear that your movie will soon be stale.
After living in Los Angeles for seven years, Jeffrey Goodman returned to his hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana to direct The Last Lullaby. Co-written by the creator of Road to Perdition, and starring Tom Sizemore and Sasha Alexander, The Last Lullaby was filmed entirely in and around Shreveport and financed by 48 local investors.