When you make a decision to step out in faith, there is often a price to be paid. Sacrifice comes when you believe in something so much and you know deep within your soul, this is the right direction, but there are many obstacles in the way.
One of the greatest obstacles in intellectual properties is capital. People don't like to talk about it, but I want to stop and make this the focus of this month's blog. Capitalization.
GREAT FILMMAKERS BELIEVED
Filmmakers have long determined that the pursuit is worth the effort when it comes to taking an idea and transitioning this idea into a film. George Lucas for years (almost seven) shopped Star Wars and without the success of American Graffiti, it would have been buried. Can you imagine if he had given up?
Mel Gibson spent twelve years to finally release the Passion of the Christ, but did you know the story began with him on the top of a building almost getting ready to commit suicide? The relentless pursuit of sharing a story with the world can often be tumultuous and rocky.
People just don't like talking about the "tough stuff", because everybody wants a happy ending and a Hollywood finish where it was all easy. The facts are simple that 8 of 10 films do not economically model very well, they lose money. Many people are making stories which are questionable to even be in cinema.
Speculation, like drilling an oil well is a simply put, a risk. So why does one decide to risk capital to put toward a film?
YOU MUST BELIEVE IN YOUR STORY
So many people are timid and not bold about their own belief in their story. My father used to say, "I have never seen someone so proud to be humble". Beware of these kind of people because they are filled with false humility. We are not talking about being full of pride, but instead being confident you "believe" your story is good.
When you ask yourself the question of "belief", ask others whom you have confidence if they also believe. Beware, we all are somewhat empirical and this leads to the next key in succeeding in your capital efforts just below.
YOU MUST BE WILLING TO LISTEN TO OTHERS
There are many different kinds of professionals out there, from Screen Writers, to Script Doctors, to professors of story and more. Filmmaking veterans and professional readers are worth seeking out, for their insight and knowledge. Finding a great team of people who have real cinematic experience can make all the difference in the world.
Notice I did not suggest you talk to mom, dad, family and friends. The reason is because they are usually not professionals in film. It's like a person who says, "I have seen a lot of movies and I know what is a good movie and what is not". They become self proclaimed experts with no real educational or professional experience. Look for good counselors, so this leads to the next section.
FIND THE RIGHT TEAM MEMBERS
Team is always such a big part of filmmaking and since we are focusing on capitalization, you need people who "care" about your subject matter. You need people who are not just "dumb money" in that all of us need people who can contribute even more than just money. These individuals have resources, talents, connectivity and partners who can expand on your ideas.
Finding the right team for capital will mean "someone" paying for their services. Don't expect people to come to your side for free. The good team members cost and they are worth the expense and become mere "dots" in the total process of filmmaking.
PUT SKIN IN THE GAME
When someone desires for "everyone else" to pay their bills, there is usually a red flag which goes up the pole. As a filmmaker, I have "skin" (finances, resources, research and even people) in ALL the games we play. For the past ten years, I have equity, cash, sweat equity and more in every movie we make and there is a cost to everything we do, not matter how large or small. Every movie has the entire team cheering for a win together.
One more thing about "skin in the game" I believe is important to note. Make sure you don't try to do it "all" by yourself. Get a group around you, find others who will believe in your dream and are willing to do this by putting their money where their mouth us. It's an expensive process to be in film, so know this part going in the door.
Don't give up on your efforts. We have authors, playwrights and screenwriters put on screenings for us all over the country. They invite investor prospects and we have the honor to show up, share one of our recent films and talk about the importance of great story-telling, well created and moving films which can impact an audience. The patience truly is a major part of all funding efforts.
Hopefully, this has been helpful as you consider the sacrifice you are willing to make to see if your "creative work" has the potential to make it to the big screen. Dream big dreams and don't give in to "stinking thinking", but believing in something even greater than yourself.
DON'T STOP BELIEVING
You can be a kid from Oklahoma who grew up in a modest home, self made and dream the dream of being in a movie and one day, be making movies, just like I did. Do everything you can to hone your craft, get a great education, tell your story with passion and don't stop believing, just as the song goes.
Dr. K is also called "Coach KMAC" and is a veteran filmmaker, speaker and author and coach who's been coaching hoops in the NCAA for 22 years with different University and leading schools with Bob Hoffman, Men's Basketball coach. His unique FILM COACH style is how this blog rolls.
Let us gather now as friends on the red carpet premiere for your new film.
"Our team of film coaches are among the finest anywhere. You won't find a better group of people in the world!"
Team members come together to find ways to increase our table just for you.
Dr. Miller Bargeron and Jennifer Calvert are authors who are now filmmakers, so remember YOU COULD JOIN US!
In Franklin, Josh Buchholtz and Rebecca Sharp just got engaged and we celebrate and congratulate our team members who are in love!
Doug Davis has been a true success story with the great Warren Theater Chain in Moore, Oklahoma. A dear friend and thinker in our industry for films/dining!
You will find many pros working together to make movies and we are unified in the excellence of the art!
Christi Craddock is from the group HTT based in Oklahoma City and is a rising star in counseling. Her group has many books you will want to know about more.
Roundtable Team are gathering in Penn., Hawaii, Washington and Alabama on new projects!