INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: 10 Tips for Marketing & DIY Distribution
By Kim Adelman. Courtesy of LA Film Festival and IndieWire. Click on Talk Back to discuss with other NALIPsters!
Kicking off with an "it can only get better" rallying speech from indie film guru Ted Hope and concluding with cautionary "budget for P&A" advice from "Bass Ackwards" producer Thomas Woodrow, the Los Angeles Film Festival presented an extremely insightful marketing and distribution symposium over the weekend. Those independent filmmakers lucky enough to be one of the 200 people seated in the Grammy Museum auditorium heard innumerable words of wisdom from heavy hitters such as Jon Reiss, Peter Broderick, and Kickstarter's Yancey Stickler. Here are ten things that particularly resonated.
1. "The world we're living in is worse than what we're moving forward to." - Ted Hope
In his opening remarks, Ted Hope said people in the independent film business are still nervous about what the future landscape is going to be. But there is no reason to fear the future. We are entering the age of the artist/entrepreneur. "For the first time, we have the potential to establish a broad middle class of creative individuals who support themselves through their art, aligning and collaborating with specifically defined audiences, and not having to conform to the limited dictates of the mass marketplace and its controllers."
Hope raced through his power point presentation, which he promised to put online at some point in the future. Two other notes from his speech:
2. "We are no longer in the business of one-offs."
Hope clarified, "You cannot afford to rebuild the wheel with each project. Focus on the ongoing conversation with your audience. You won't be delivering a single product anymore. You will be delivering many products in many formats in many variations."
3. "It will be to your advantage to have a previously aggregated audience base."
Audience building before production even begins was a key part of many speaker's presentations. Hope's advice was to collect 5,000 fans prior to seeking financing, then gain 500 fans per month during prep, prod, and post.
NALAC Announces Sixth NFA Grant Cycle
The National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC) is happy to announce the availability of the guidelines and online application for our sixth NALAC Fund for the Arts (NFA) funding cycle. In its first five years, the NFA has awarded $677,000 to 244 projects by Latino artists, ensembles and arts & cultural organizations working in every discipline and region of the country. We are excited about this year's NFA program and invite you to consider submitting a proposal.
The deadline for submitting proposals for this year's NFA grant is Friday, September 24, 2010.
The 2010 NALAC Fund for the Arts will offer the following types of grants:
- Individual artist and organization grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000
- Artist Fellowship grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.
- A Master Artist Grant ranging from $10,000 to $20,000,
NFA guidelines, forms and online application are available at www.nalac.org
The NALAC Fund for the Arts (NFA) is a field-advised, grant program designed to help Latinos develop their creative talents and make lasting contributions to our communities and society as a whole. The NFA Grant program is focused on providing financial resources to strengthen Latino arts organizations and to support Latino artists in the creation of their work.
We look forward to continue serving the Latino arts and culture community through programs such as the NFA. If you have any questions regarding this year's NFA grant cycle, please do not hesitate to contact Victor Payan (Director of Programs, NALAC) via email at email@example.com
The NALAC FUND for the Arts is made possible with support from the Ford Foundation, Southwest Airlines, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Heineken USA, The City of San Antonio Cultural Collaborative and MetLife Foundation.
Deadline Approaching: IDA Documentary Awards 2010
The IDA Documentary Awards is the foremost event dedicated to the art of documentary film. All winners will be announced at the IDA Documentary Awards in Los Angeles, December 2010.
Judging is based on overall creative excellence. A committee of documentary filmmaking professionals screens all entries and selects all nominees. IDA members or a Blue Ribbon panel picks the award winners.
Late Deadline: June 29, 2010
Final Deadline: July 6, 2010
To apply for the 2010 IDA Documentary Awards, please use the online submission process at Withoutabox.com.
IDA Distinguished Award Main Categories
FEATURE: Individual, stand-alone documentary, more than 40 minutes long. Student projects are strongly encouraged to consider entering as an IDA/David L. Wolper Award if they were matriculating students at the time the project was finished. Award recipient - Limited to two persons, one of whom must be the credited Director who exercised directorial control, and the other of whom must have a Producer or Director credit.
SHORT: Individual, stand-alone documentary, less than or equal to 40 minutes long. Student short projects not eligible in this category, and should submit as an entry in the IDA/David L. Wolper Award below. Award recipients - Limited to two persons, one of whom must be the credited Director who exercised directorial control, and the other of whom must have a Producer or Director credit.
LIMITED SERIES: A limited series of episodes with a specific, continuing theme, topic or subject. (Sin City Law, The Supreme Court). Student projects are not eligible in this category. Award recipients - Limited to two persons. While co-production partners may be credited, only the Series Producer(s) will be presented with the award.
CONTINUING SERIES: An ongoing series. (American Masters, Nova, This American Life). While co-production partners may be credited, only the Executive Producer(s) of the continuing series will be presented with the award. Student projects are not eligible in this category. Award recipients - Limited to two persons.
IDA/DAVID L. WOLPER STUDENT DOCUMENTARY ACHIEVEMENT: A short or feature film/video, produced by registered, degree-seeking student(s). This award recognizes exceptional achievement in non-fiction film and video production at the university level and brings greater public and industry awareness to the work of students in the documentary field. PRIZE: Cash honorarium and $1,000 toward the purchase of motion picture film, courtesy of The Eastman Kodak Company.
Special Recognition Awards
Not all main categories of awards are eligible for every special recognition award. See below for specific rules relating to which categories can be submitted for special recognition.
IDA/ABCNEWS VIDEOSOURCE AWARD for the best use of news footage as an integral component in a documentary. �News footage� is defined here as factual footage, contemporary or historical, shot for use in context such as newsreels, news specials, magazines or nightly news. �Integral component� is defined here as footage which is central to the structure, meaning and impact of the work. Student projects are not eligible in this category. PRIZE: Cash Honorarium and research time at the ABCNEWS VideoSource facility in New York.
IDA/PARE LORENTZ AWARD In keeping with the nature of Pare Lorentz�s films�a successful candidate for the Pare Lorentz Award will demonstrate one or more of Lorentz's central concerns�the appropriate use of the natural environment, justice for all and the illumination of pressing social problems�presented as a compelling story by skillful film-making. A Pare Lorentz film will exhibit the highest production values: objective research, artistic writing, and outstanding music composition along with skillful direction, camerawork and editing. Student projects are not eligible in this category. PRIZE: Cash Honorarium.
IDA/HUMANITAS AWARD is given to a documentarian whose film strives to unify the human family by exploring the stories of human beings who are different in culture, race, lifestyle, political loyalties and religious beliefs in order to break down the wall of ignorance and fear that separates us. Only entries into the Distinguished Feature main category may apply for this award. Student projects are not eligible in this category. PRIZE: $2500 Honorarium.
IDA MUSIC DOCUMENTARY AWARD is given to a filmmaker for an outstanding documentary communicating the cultural importance of music and its power to enrich the human spirit. The entry must have all rights cleared. The award goes to ONE recipient: the credited individual who exercised creative control. Only stand-alone entries into the Distinguished Feature or Short main category may apply for this award. Student projects are not eligible in this category.
To apply for IDA Documentary Awards, please go to Withoutabox.com to submit your entry online.
Futures: Undertow Director Javier Fuentes-León
By Brian Brooks, indieWIRE
"The seed for the story came accidentally while I was studying," director Javier Fuentes-León told indieWIRE of his 2010 Sundance award-winning film, "Contracorriente" (Undertow). The unusual story, which opened the recent NewFest in New York and is one of 4 in focus at this year's Outfest, takes place in a small conservative seaside village in Peru. On the surface, all appears well for a fisherman and his devoted wife who are expecting their first baby. The hero is a hardworking and respected member of his community, which holds fast to rigid traditions.
There is one wrinkle - he is also devoted to his male lover. A catastrophic accident does not erase the presence of his lover, as the fisherman must now contend with the apparitions of his forbidden love and the gossip and disapproving stares of his neighbors. And it may go without saying - his wife isn't too pleased either.
"I started working on 'Undertow' in 2002 and was invited to a screenwriting lab at Outfest. There I got advice from Don Roos ("The Opposite of Sex") and John Cooper from Sundance." From there, the project took on a saga of its own, with Fuentes-León later attending the Talent Campus in Berlin, meeting German co-producers in Cologne. There was also money fundraising in France, a screenwriting workshop in Argentina, and meeting Colombian producers. Finally, he secured financing from Peru where he grew up. "They became my guardian angels really," Fuentes-León said from Los Angeles. Production began in June 2008 with principal photography taking place in November and December of that year.
The result is an entertaining and unique story. Too often, gay cinema can be one note, but "Undertow" marks a maturation for queer film and Fuentes-León is a fresh cinematic voice.
"It was amazing...," said Fuentes-León. The reaction was great and we had four screenings - two with standing ovations. And then we won the Audience Award. I hope I don't sound cliche but it was great."
Fuentes-León also felt vindicated because some had told him the supernatural aspect in the story would narrow the potential audience for "Undertow." "People said that it was a fine line. The film is gay and it has a ghost and not too many people would get it. The screenings at Sundance were a great affirmation."
Now that he has his first feature under his belt, Fuentes-León is looking to carry on with other projects, though he is still traveling to festivals around the world with "Undertow" (the film is currently showing at the Sydneay Film Festival in Australia).
"I have three different projects and they're all over the place," Fuentes-León said with laughs. "One is another love story, but it's between and man and a woman. I also have a psychological thriller set in L.A., and another one is a rock musical." The one common thread in his ideas, including "Undertow," is an element of the fantastical present. "There's a fragile realism [in my stories]. Bringing something that is real, but somehow a bit off is natural. It allows you to talk about issues that in a way is very liberating."
One Million Plate for the Arts
It's a crucial time for the arts in California. Our economy relies on creative minds, artistic organizations and innovative workers, yet our per capita state investment in the arts is the lowest in the nation. But there's something each Californian can do to turn this around...
Help us reach one million Arts plates! One million cars with California Arts Plates would mean $40 million for the arts. That would put California near the top in arts funding rather than dead last. Californians have the power to take our state from last to first in arts funding by choosing the Arts Plate for their cars and supporting arts for children and a strong creative economy and arts infrastructure.
Register for your Arts License Plate today and make a tax-deductible contribution to the future of our economy:
1 - Go to www.artsplate.org
2 - Click Order Now! and follow the registration steps.
3 - Receive your Arts License Plate, install it on your vehicle and drive the arts.
THE CALIFORNIA ARTS COUNCIL
We are the state agency responsible for advancing Californians through the arts and creativity. Established in 1976 and working with the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council has historically supported the arts through grant programs and technical support to arts organizations and artists that provide services to children and communities.
YOU CAN HELP DRIVE NEW ARTS FUNDING.
The Million Plates Campaign for the Arts empowers every Californian to impact the arts. By registering for the official Arts License Plate, you make a direct investment in state arts programs. If one million Californians register, our schools and communities will receive over $40 million in arts funding.
CALIFORNIA IS AN EPICENTER OF IDEAS
The world looks up to us because we dare to dream what could be and then turn our dreams into reality. The arts are the foundation for this creativity; they help establish us as a leader in America and the world - culturally, politically and economically. Despite California's reliance on creative minds, artistic organizations and innovative workers, we're not investing enough in the State's arts programs that help drive our economy. In fact, our per capita funding of the arts is the lowest in the nation.
nonprofit arts & arts-active organizations in California
dollars in revenue generated by arts organizations
full and part-time creative jobs in California, many in high-growth fields
as many film and entertainment-related jobs in California than any other state in the country
WHAT IS THE ARTS LICENSE PLATE?
The Arts License Plate is an official license plate with a specially designed background of palm trees and sunset issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for vehicles registered in California. California's Arts License Plate was the first license plate in the nation solely designed to benefit the arts.
WHY A MILLION PLATES FOR THE ARTS IN CALIFORNIA?
Because of budget difficulties, California is currently dead last in per capita state arts funding. Currently only 12c per person is spent on the arts in the Golden State--compared to $2.58 in New York. If a million California cars had Arts License Plates, there would be approximately $40 million for the arts, bringing California from the bottom to near the top.
ARE ARTS LICENSE PLATE FEES TAX DEDUCTIBLE?
According to a Franchise Tax Board information letter from November 2009, the Arts License Plate fees may be considered a charitable contribution to the California Arts Council and the State of California.
CAN I PUT ARTS LICENSE PLATES ON MY BUSINESS VEHICLES?
Most certainly! The California Arts Council strongly encourages fleet owners interested in supporting California Arts to get Arts License Plates--and we can help streamline the process directly with the DMV.
HOW MUCH DOES THE ARTS LICENSE PLATE COST?
A standard Arts License Plate (DMV chooses the numbers/ letters) can be purchased for $50; a personalized plate (car owner chooses the numbers/letters) can be purchased for $98. Annual renewal fees are $40 and $78 respectively.
HOW MUCH OF THE FEE GOES TO THE ARTS?
For each standard and personalized Arts License Plate, approximately $34.63 of the initial purchase and $40 of the renewal is placed in the Arts License Plate Fund.
HOW ARE THE ARTS LICENSE PLATE FUNDS SPENT?
Proceeds from the plate sales benefit communities statewide through California Arts Council programs that focus on arts education and local arts. Over 300 nonprofit arts organiza- tions received support from the California Arts Council's programs and initiatives--providing arts for kids and communities to tens of thousands of Californians. These numbers would increase if more funding was available.
DO I HAVE TO WAIT FOR MY ANNUAL REGISTRATION RENEWAL TO GET MY ARTS LICENSE PLATE?
No need to wait! You may purchase the plate at any time during your registration cycle and start supporting California Arts right away.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A STANDARD PLATE AND A PERSONALIZED PLATE?
A standard plate has a random DMV assigned set of numbers and letters (e.g. "ABC 123"). A personalized plate has letters and numbers specifically chosen by the owner of the vehicle (e.g., "ART LVR").
I'M BUYING A NEW CAR. CAN I GET AN ARTS LICENSE PLATE FROM THE DEALERSHIP?
We recommend that new-car owners be issued a standard white plate and then order their Arts License Plate through the internet directly from the DMV. It's the easiest way to get an Arts License Plate and has the quickest turn-around.
HOW MUCH DOES THE CAC RECEIVE FOR EACH PLATE?
The California Arts Council receives the same amount for both types of plates--just under $35 for the initial cost and then $40 for renewal.
IS IT BETTER TO ORDER ONLINE OR THROUGH THE MAIL?
Online ordering through the DMV website is faster. It allows you to check immediately if the personalized message of your choice is available or has already been taken by another vehicle owner.
HOW MANY LETTERS AND/OR NUMBERS CAN I HAVE ON MY ARTS LICENSE PLATE?
You may have any unique combination of up to six (6) character spaces.
WILL I KEEP MY EXISTING LICENSE PLATE NUMBER?
For standard plates, a new sequence of six characters will be assigned to you; for personalized plates you can transfer any message that is six characters or less.
WHEN AND HOW WILL I RECEIVE THE PLATE?
You should allow approximately 6-10 weeks to process your order. Sequential plates will be mailed to you directly; for personalized plates, registrants will receive a notice to pick them up at their local DMV.
DID AN ARTIST DESIGN THE ARTS LICENSE PLATE?
The Arts License Plate (officially titled "Coastline") was designed by internationally renowned California artist, Wayne Thiebaud. The Arts License Plate is the most popular specialty plate in California, and its sunset and palm trees image is often thought of as one of the "icons" of California.
CAN I ORDER AN ARTS LICENSE PLATE FOR MY MOTORCYCLE?
Currently, the Arts License Plate is only available for automobiles and trucks, but we're working on it!
IF I HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, WHERE CAN I GET ANSWERS?
California Arts Council: www.cac.ca.gov 800-201-6201 firstname.lastname@example.org