Thursday, March 29, 2012

Transitioning out of post-production

Transitioning out of post-production has proven to be slightly more difficult than I imagined. I thought it'd be easy to jump into marketing and distribution after the film was finished.

Marketing and communications are familiar territory. I spent years being a voice for others, helping shape their story and translate it for the media. I wrote press releases, planned media events, and put together media kits. I handled interviews and set up phone calls with subject matter experts. It was fun!

I thought I'd be totally pumped about marketing and communications for Abandoned Allies, yet I find myself in uncharted territory once again trying to figure out the best way to move forward.

It's possible I'm entirely too close to this project. It's also possible that the past four years have left me exhausted. Or maybe I'm just thinking like a filmmaker instead of a marketer now.

The latter sounds most likely.

I think like a filmmaker now. I play out scenes in my head, envisioning how they would look on camera. I write scenes, get to know characters that live in my mind, geek out about the latest cameras, and enjoy talking shop with other indie filmmakers. I think about future projects, building a crew, and finding funding. I am constantly thinking of how these documentary film ideas could lead to great things.

Yeah, I've become a filmmaker--who'da thunk it? That's pretty cool. I still dig marketing and can't wait to talk distribution, but I'm transitioning out of post-production slowly and enjoying the fact that I have actually finished the film.

We have a lot of work ahead of us. I'm trying to enjoy the milestone, since we have so much work left to do. I also need to catch up on so many personal matters I put on hold while working on Abandoned Allies.

Balance is key, eh? Deep breath. One small step at a time...

Monday, March 26, 2012

DVD Duplication

We're making progress here. The key has been getting a solid DVD master before duplication, of course.

I have struggled with it on my iMac at home, but have had lots of great people helping me out. I'd especially like to thank David Iversen and Jim McQuaid for lending me their expertise; they've been incredibly helpful.

I think we're closing in on my desired end result: about 30 DVDs I can use to submit the film to festivals and share with a few other key folks. It's almost tangible.

What I'm trying to figure out next is DVD sales. This isn't to line my pockets, mind you, but to finally make the film available to those who have asked to see it. I also want a way to sell DVDs at events, should people be interested in that.

I don't want to be the bottleneck either, so it has to be a self-sustaining process. I need a way to upload the files somewhere, allow people to purchase the DVD, and have someone else do the fulfillment so I'm not running to the post-office constantly. I've heard that Amazon does a good job with this, but I still have quite a bit of research to do. (Recommendations are certainly welcome.)

When I talk to younger folks, they act shocked that I'm investing so much energy into DVDs when so much is  now VOD (video on demand). Right now DVDs are key for film festival submissions, and will be important for sharing the film with the Montagnards, Vietnam veterans, and their families. I think many different formats are important, and I'm learning about all of it.