Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Being an Indie filmmaker in India: What Should I think before making a film

It is difficult to travel on a journey of independent film-making in India, especially when you are not connected to film industry here. Even if you have money or you have a knowledge of telling the story, you hardly have right forums where your talent could be blossom . People who want to become film-makers believe that it is as easy as buying a camera and start shooting videos in different frames. Yes, it is as easy to make films due to digital revolution but it is as difficult to take your film to around the world as getting honey from honeycomb surrounded by honeybees. Also, it is impossible to sell your film and earn revenue without getting recognition at the right platforms.

Then what should a film-maker do?

Right from the beginning, A film-maker should understand that film-making is not just the artistic craft but also a product that can be sellable and at-least could return the investment that was made to make a film. And a film could return the investment only when the film-maker have thought about getting money back right from the beginning. To achieve this, a film-maker should have following things in mind:

·         Is this story or subject could bring donations or partnership with any company
·         Will I use any brand/product in my film and should I connect with the product firm for getting some investment
·         Should I start getting donations from friends based on the idea itself
·         Is my friend working in any of the company who can do spend CSR money in my film initiative (social projects)
·         Do I need to do odd jobs to earn money for investing it in my film
·         Did I mark the upcoming grants or film-market dates in my calendar
·         Do I have a marketing strategy of the film/ film-promo in mind
·         Did I Create a balance sheet of my film that can capture all the costs vs. donations
·         How much it will cost me to make website, marketing in online platforms
·         Do I know someone who could write about the film project
·         Do I have an automated program that will send emails to millions when the time arises

As an independent film-maker, he/she cannot afford to employ multiple people for multiple tasks, he/she should function like a corporate company owner who changes its hat from CEO to CFO to CMO to CTO. In any position, the company employee always think of bringing revenue from the amount of hour spent on the task, A film-maker should also think in similar line. After all, a film-maker’s time is also an investment even if he is able to save money through his creative ideas.

When should a film-maker start raising fund?
As soon as an idea becomes an action. That means as soon as filmmaker makes sure to execute the project, he/she should start raising funds from all the possible ventures. Be it friends, relatives, colleagues, product related companies, foundations, producers etc. This helps in many ways like:

·         Boosting up the confidence of film-maker as he/she can enjoy a bit of liberty in decision making
·         Helping in marketing of the project as people come to know about the project from beginning itself
·         Leading to larger deals as it may form some sort of links to big donors.

When I started making Black Is Beautiful documentary film three years ago, I immediately started raising funds as I knew that my odd jobs could not compensate the entire money for the project. I shared the idea with my close friends, they liked it and started donating some amount of money. Some could not donate due to their financial issues but by the time I started the project, people were knowing about it and the buzz was already getting created. People started waiting for the updates on project and world of mouth opened up new avenues for funding

Why project’s visibility is important?

In today’s digital era, everything is driven through marketing and more often social marketing. The invention of Facebook/Twitter etc. has made independent film-maker’s life very easy but I believe that film-makers are still not able to fully utilize the platform. It is because they are really not connecting with right people using these networks. If an independent film-maker can get cast and crew from the social platform then why not funders, donors, media partners, distributors etc. Once the buzz is created on social network, you get a lot of attention from friends and they start understanding your passion for cinema. Now, out of thousand odd friends, you might have a friend who is blog writer and could write about your film. A friend might recommend your film for CSR donations in his/her company or might connect with right people to take the film forward.

As the film-maker progresses in pre-production or production, he/she will have a fair idea of the targeted audiences. He/she should in-parallel work on film’s marketing strategy and should identify the targeted blogs, twitter accounts, email-groups and should connect with them through different mediums. If a film-maker has a prior experience of working in software industry then he/she can develop tools to automatically send messages. If a film-maker was associated with business research or PR/Media agency, he/she should parallel compile the blog links and should reach out to them from the production itself.

Do you stop after completing your film?
Completing a film is easier then selling your film because while making a film, a film-maker is working with known people. There is a comfort zone while dealing with people or dealing with situations. But while selling your film, it is not easy at all. You need to understand the psyche of an unknown person, and tell what he/she actually wants to hear which is already in his/her pre-occupied mind. Predicting unknown people from different geography always becomes difficult to crack the deals due to the cultural, socio-political differences and differences in communication.

Time becomes more precious after the film is ready and if the film-maker has already thought about all the activities and have planned from the first day of writing the script itself then his film will defiantly reach to very high level. Beginning always begins with the ideas of an end and an independent film-maker should carry all the ideas in his shoulder from the beginning itself.

About the Author:

Author is an independent film-maker from India. His upcoming documentary feature Black Is Beautiful is a life journey of 11 visually impaired children who go through a change through improvisational theatre.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Paragravity film's Clock Anti-clock project won many awards in 2013

The team spent an year in researching and planning of the shoot before making a 6.5 minute science thriller. The film won Best spot film and Best Direction award at Chaya 2013. The film was also part of IDSFK Kerala 2013, National Science film festival 2013, Cologne 1X Germany, Toyama film festival Japan and a few others in India.

Synopsis: Our lives, knowingly or unknowingly, sometimes get stuck in some timeframe because of some object, incident or desire. We cannot come out from that loop without identifying the reason. So happened with protagonist.

Film can be viewed on Youtube:

The Cast:
Rohit Kapoor

The Crew:
Writer, Director and Producer - Deepak Sharma
Editor - Sanjib Nath
Cinemetography - Prahlad Patel
Sound and Music - Anand Prakash
Production - Paragravity films in association with SN Films
For more Info  -
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