Cannes Film Festival is here and that means purgatory for countless filmmakers trying to get their projects out there. That makes this a good time to remind everyone how you can help indie filmmakers. I originally posted this a year ago. This is a slightly updated version.
Our community has helped us in several ways, from giving us concrete ideas and materials via Wreckamovie to helping us finance the movie by buying merchandise or investing directly in the movie. This help is not cosmetic or a gimmick, it’s very important for us in a very concrete way, and we are truly grateful for your support!
There’s also another thing people can do that really helps us – something you might not think of as being useful or important. Moreover this is something that’s very easy to do and also free. This something is SHARING.
When we publish something interesting on our blog, website, Facebook, YouTube or other place we frequent, go nd share it to your pals in social networks, forums you frequent and in your blog; Digg the article and submit it to Reddit, Stumbleupon, and so on. Also, drop in the www.ironsky.net/demand/ link with the stuff you share, because those red dots on the map are very important for us.
Why is this important? How is the fact that some guy or gal shares our teaser or blog entry to his pals in Facebook actually hugely useful for Iron Sky?
The thing is, publicity is enormously important for indie projects that are not backed by big money. When people think about movie publicity, they think about just getting people to the theaters when the movie is done – and that’s how it might be for the big studio backed movies. Those filmmakers can announce the movie, start producing it and then have the studio throw €30 million for marketing when the film is done. That’s really not how small or even multi million euro budget indie movies work, especially if it’s aimed for a wide theater distribution.
Indie filmmakers need good buzz right from the moment they start pitching the film to production companies, distributors and investors. They must convince all those people that the idea is viable, has potential and that there are people who are interested in it – and keep convincing them until the movie is done. For every Paranormal Activity there’s a dozen films that couldn’t get the buzz going. This is part of why indie projects seem to take an age to be completed: you don’t hear about big studio movies until they are almost done, but indie movies need to make noise right from the pre-production phase.
(Well, sometimes indie movies really do take ages to make… )
So, for projects like Iron Sky publicity not just about the amount of viewers: at the production stage it’s almost literal currency with which we can get resources and freedom to make the movie we want to and convince that theater near you to show the finished film. A $10 million project can’t get by on crowd funding and the personal finances of the creators alone, although both of those are often extremely important sources to get the train rolling. Projects this size must deal and co-operate with the traditional side of movie business.
Distributors, investors etc. are very interested in how much buzz a project has, and these people love numbers and figures. When negotiating with them, website statistics, YouTube views, Facebook likes and amount of demands turn out to be cold hard cash and at times the most effective bargaining tool. Those red dots on the Demand map are catnip for the business people. “Here’s our movie idea, and here’s our ready made audience that can’t wait to see it – please give us resources and free hands to do our stuff!” It’s also the matter of artistic integrity: the more there is buzz about the film, the less chance there is that they panic and start demanding changes that would make the movie more “commercially viable”.
Iron Sky is not the only indie project that needs buzz – some interesting new films are Dr. Professor’s Thesis of Evil, “8″, Vampyre Princess 3D and The Music of Erich Zann. Give them a shout as well!
So, when it comes to indie movies, sharing is caring. Act now and join the fight for a new way of making movies: from fans to fans – with fans!