Sometimes it takes a long time to turn a buck on an idea…
Twelve years ago (1994), I gave a talk that recommended to filmmakers that they look to the Internet as a way to connect more powerfully with their audiences, especially before their films were released.
My idea was that the Internet was an ideal medium for starting and growing a buzz.
Then, as we all know, the producers of “The Blair Witch Project” played that idea like a violin in 1999, creating the most financially successful independent film of all time.
Now in 2006, they’re at it again with a horror flick called “Altered” and I’m on board as an investor.
Talk about rolling the dice…
Here are some of the things you have to think about when you invest in a movie:
1. Will the film get finished?
2. Will it come in on budget?
3. Assuming it gets finished, will anyone want to buy it for more than you paid to make it?
Of course these are issues all small business people face, but with movie making everything is amplified because:
a) So much blood, sweat and tears goes into the product (literally sometimes)
b) You have such a narrow window to succeed in the marketplace,
c) Your product is truly “hand made” and one-of-a-kind
To the ever-lasting credit of my Blair Witch colleagues they finished the film, it came in *under* budget, and all of us investors have already gotten our money back with healthy interest on pre-sales *before* the film releases.
How often does this happen in the independent film business? One out of 1,000 times? One out of 10,000 times? One out of 1 million times?
I don’t know, but I can tell you it’s rare.
Will I invest in a movie again? Maybe, but only when all the stars line up this way again: great producers with a great track record and a great business model. Actually, these are guidelines that work for any kind of business or investment, even ones that appear risky.
What follows is a completely shameless plug for “my” new movie…
“Watch the trailer for the new DVD “Altered” on YouTube
and help us put some “views” on the scoreboard so we can
sell more of these puppies.”
It’s a horror film, so be prepared to be horrified 🙂
The Internet Video Marketing Letter