Hello everyone. This past Saturday marked the creation of a Film Alliance in my city. To give you an idea of where I am geographically, if there's a bright center of the movie making industry I'm in the city that is farthest from. OK, it's not that bad, but I couldn't resist the reference. I'm in Springfield, MO and we're not exactly known as a film spot. St. Louis and Kansas City have film communities, but not here. At least that's what I thought. So Satruday I attend this meeting. The core of the Alliance is four people who worked in the industry in LA, got tired of the big city and moved out here, and one local independed filmmaker. The goal of the Alliance is to help bring productions to Springfield and to help facilitate independent film in the area. They're opening an Art Cinema, starting a two week film festival, building a place where sets and props can be constructed, and hope to put in an actual production lot. So far we've just done membership and I signed on board as soon as I could.
I'm told that other states who have started Alliances such as this have seen a real turn around. As I understand it, Louisiana got Runaway Jury and Dukes of Hazard because of it.
My question is, do any of you have any experience with this kind of thing? Do you have local Film Alliances, or is this something that's just starting to crop up around the US? Does having an Alliance really bring more production attention to your area? It looks really promising, and as an independent filmmaker I was just ecstatic to see other people in my area with an interest in this (for a meeting that was only advertised with fliers and in the newspaper there were over 100 people there). What do you think? Am I getting my hopes up?
Thread: Film Alliance???
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11-01-2004 08:09 AMChris Johnson
11-02-2004 06:06 PM
You're going to need lots of money. There's already people all over the world trying to do something similar and one of the biggest proplem is MONEY. Good luck.
11-02-2004 06:22 PM
it's all about money in the end
11-03-2004 02:20 AM
"Show me the money, show me the money, oh wait he aint got none."
11-03-2004 10:44 AM
[quote author=krestofre link=board=MesPhotos;num=1099325347;start=0#0 date=11/01/04 at 08:09:07]The goal of the Alliance is to help bring productions to Springfield and to help facilitate independent film in the area [/quote]
Work at finding a niche that your alliance can fill in fostering indies. I say that because your state already has a government film commission that is trying to attract any production that has big enough bucks. Bigger productions are looking for:
- financial incentives (tax breaks and free or discounted stuff like hotel rooms, etc.)
- Locations (they must fit the needs of the script)
- talent and crew
So again, what is the niche that you can fill? You might consider simply creating a bulletin board (BB, like DVXUSER.com) to make a virtual meeting place for resources like cast, crew, wannabes and people who are willing to share equipment. For this you don't have the allure of the DVX to attract users so you would want to promote it somehow with like flyers or classified in the alterntaive tabloids or both.
Another alternative is to start a subsidized production house that rents out obsolete Super8, 16mm, and Video equipment at like $5-$15 per day with obsolete editing facilities priced similarly. You an get the stuff for next to nothing or free if it is old. For people who have nothing, anything is better than nothing and they will have fun.
An even narrower niche would be to make the above program primarily to teach kids and teens. It wouldn't be hard to get even newer equipment donated if it is to create the future Speilbergs out of hometown kids. Every larger city has a similar nonprofit film/video/media center. Promote it with the same BB. Follow it up with a film festival made exclusively with the resources of the center. Strategize how to expand from ANY small beginnings to what you and the other founders ultimately want it to be.
Enlist a hotshot local Marketing/PR firm pro bono to get the word out to the community and their clients$$. Once you have any kind of plan his is probably the most efficent way to go. These firms have deep pockets and deep connections and all these business types are always looking to improve their standing in the community. Choose carefully, though; they are sharks.
Some examples of programs:
Anyway, strategize what niche(s) you can find in your city that can both get you easily started and allow growth to where you want to be. No doubt hard work but if you're all willing to start small and build strategically, others have been doing it for decades and you can too.
Hope this helped,
04-14-2006 09:49 PM
Its been a while since we spoke... not sure if you're still staying around Springfield or not... one thing the MFAS needs to do is get more active...
Now I know I've been gone... but I still have friends there... the MFAS... needs to have more mixers...
Another thing we need to start training our people back there... productions need crews that know the difference between a pancake and a apple box...
Plus the state needs to get more involved... for example not to get myself in trouble... but spoke with someone about an incentive if I bring my feature there...
Now I could be wrong... but this person seemed like he was more interested in bringing studio films to the state... said I was from Springfield... boy seemed like the door was shut right then... the guy has no idea that I've done five feature films as a producer or line producer... he didn't even want to take the time to talk...
My feature may be small but I have three named actors in roles for the film... actually I'm rewriting a part of the script because one of the actor didn't want to play the bad guy... he wanted to play the lead male role... so the rewrite is to make everything work... plus he wants his acting buddy to play his brother in the film...
Now the funny thing... I go to the New York Film People on the same day... they ask me how I'm doing... do I want to bring another feature there... how come I didn't bring the feature that I'm doing now there... because I've shot two features there...
Plus they introduce me to the governor's top aide... what a difference... treated with respect...
I've always said that we need to build a word a mouth about us... like Snoddy says we need to build a base... like DVXUSERS... were people can come and post questions I don't care if they're from Mars... we need to address their questions or if we don't know find someone who can...
I've been posting on the MFAS board... I have a producer friend looking for a place that would look like a gothic run down mental ward... a friend who's not even in the MFAS sent me a link just last night to a place... I passed that link onto my friend and she liked it...
But knowone from the MFAS has even said anything... we need to get our blog growing an alive like this board...
I've always said we need to start turning out our little films... and the word of my mouth will spread...
Well just my .02 for the night...
Gary, a Springfielder stuck in California...