Independent (Indie) film making involves a lot of sacrifice. As filmmakers we sacrifice the little bit of money we have to do what we need to do. For what we can’t pay for we pay for with our free time. The entire cast and crews time. But we make these sacrifices in hopes someone will see our dream, our idea, our film.
In 2009 I set out with an actor named Kj Misek Jr. to make a film called “Tace”. We shot the film in Lincoln, Nebraska over two weekends. We had a solid cast and crew. The monetary budget we spent on the film was probably close to $3,000. After the shooting wrapped we worked on editing that film until late 2011. From there we entered it into close to 80 festivals. It has yet to be accepted. This took a toll on me. I am still digging out of the hole I dug using credits cards to fund a good chunk of the film. As well as my own personal feelings about being rejected that many times. I still gained a lot of knowledge about how to do things (as well as how not to do things) from the entire process.
In 2012 I began working with a friend named Casey Kappes to bring to life an idea for a film I’ve had for a number of years named “L. Redding”. Because of the results of the last film, I could only come up with about $300 to pay for some food and a couple of props. This budget really wasn’t enough but luckily my wife came up with the little bit extra we needed (thanks Caryline). We shot the film in a single weekend with a similar sized crew and less gear than we had on Tace. This film had a lot less pre production, and planning than the last. L. Redding has been accepted into multiple festivals now and each time has been met with lots of great responses.
Each of these films is different. Each of these films had different luck. Was the judge just in a bad mood? Had they just watched 15 other entries very similar? Did they just not like the style my film was made in? I will probably not ever know the answers to these questions. I’ve realized that when I started to send Tace to festivals I was looking for recognition. I was hoping for something big to happen. When I made L. Redding I just wanted to make something cool. I wanted to get out and create. I wanted to do. So now when I enter festivals my only goal is to reach people I might not reach otherwise and some day possibly collaborate. Which is why I went ahead and shared Tace for free on our facebook page. And soon after I’ll release L. Redding. More news on that soon!