Who says filmmaking doesn't pay off? My first official check for Enter the Dark from DVD and streaming sales at IndieFlix is a whopper! $21 big bucks! Looks like I can now pay off that line item for Oreos eaten during production of my little horror flick.
... In all seriousness, any money, no matter how small, generated from this film represents a huge success! And it's not about the money anyway - for now it's all about going through the filmmaking process, learning from it, getting my name out there and getting the film in front of as many folks as possible.
Speaking of which...
April through May will see ETD screened in theaters worldwide! I kid you not!
From Los Angeles to Scotland, to Australia the world will be abuzz with horrified viewers passing out in their seats, barely able to catch their breath from the terrifying menace that is ENTER THE DARK!!!
(well, actually just a few theaters worldwide... six to be exact... but it sounds much more impressive to say it the other way... and folks probably won't be passing out... unless they get low blood sugar from not picking up a snack before watching hours upon hours of indie films... or if they get up too fast from their seats after sitting too long for a while... that can do it to me sometimes, ya know... well, not actually passing out, but kinda light-headed and seeing a couple of stars pass by... that's gotta count for something, right?)
Anyway, here's the official-sounding dealio for Enter the Dark's 2011 World Tour:
Enter the Dark is excited to be an Official Selection of the following film festivals:
- A Night of Horror International Film Festival - Sydney Australia
Saturday, April 2, 4pm
- Famous Monsters of Filmland Imagi-Movies - Beverly Hills, CA
April 8 - 10
- Indie Spirit Film Festival - Colorado Springs, CO
April 14 -17
- Bare Bones Film Festival - Muskogee, OK
April 25 - May 1
- Dead by Dawn - Edinburgh, Scotland
May 5 - 8
- High Desert Shorts International Film Festival - Pahrump, NV
Friday, May 27, 11:15pm
Phew, now that's a whirlwind tour! I'd love to be able to attend all of these festivals, but alas, such is not the way for the lowly indie filmmaker. I'm planning on going to the High Desert Shorts (tie it in with a trip to Vegas), and seeing if I can make it to Famous Monsters in LA.
So far, 2011 has blazed to action with a blistering start and I still have many festivals to hear from. While it may seem excessive to enter into some 60 or more film fests, I find it money well-spent as it is really the only way for and indie filmmaker to have their work screened in theaters... or community centers... or casino ballrooms. It really makes no difference to me as long as the lights are out, butts are planted in seats and all the hard work of my cast and crew is projected on a screen. The ability to have people see our vision is priceless (well, actually on average, it's about $35/ per festival submission, plus burning the DVDs, shipping, making the postcards, etc.), but still, the marketing payoff is huge.
And speaking of marketing payoffs...
A number of months ago, I received the exciting news that I had won an award from the Maverick Movie Awards for Best Sound Design/Editing. I had also been nominated for Best Director and Best Special Effects. Now this was totally unexpected and very very cool news, but when I let people know, their response was tepid at best.
Now, let's face it, no one really knows what the Maverick Movie Awards are. I hadn't even heard of them myself, until I had submitted my film for their perusal. So, it's not like I had won an Oscar or anything, but still, any recognition is greatly appreciated.
Anyway, as with a lot of these award contests, the winners had an option of buying an actual award trophy or plaque for an additional cost. Now, my usual reaction to this had been "Eff that! This is all just a scam to make money off of inflated costs for stupid plastic keepsakes", so I wasn't really considering it. But then, these guys seemed like legit folks, and they weren't really pushing the trophies - just offering it as an option since so may people had asked. "Oh, what the hell", I thought, "I need something sparkly for my office and I can write it off as a marketing expense anyway."
So I pulled the trigger and bought the dang thing:
|The mighty acrylic monolith next to a DVD copy of Enter the Dark (still only $5.95 from IndieFlix)|
Lesson learned. Saying you have won an award is one thing. Having something people can actually see, hold in their hands and reflect upon is another. And while my natural inclination is not to toot my own horn, so to speak, I'm learning that shameless self-promotion is a necessary evil of this whole game of filmmaking.
Just a few months ago, my 8-year old was shoving his cheap, tacky plastic soccer trophies in my face, "Hey dad, how come you don't have any trophies? And why do you keep making movies that don't make any money?" Now I can blast him back, "Hah!!! Look at me now buddy! Feast upon the bounty that is my $21 check!! And bow down in worship to the mystical glory of my gold-tinted acrylic-crystal glittering monolithic behemoth!!"
Yeah... lesson learned...