Hi Film Folk!
Being Film Doctors, we, of course, focus on films. Short ones, feature ones. Independent, studio. Experimental, genre and formula driven.
And our Monday Prescriptions try to inform on all aspects; idea generation, screenwriting, money raising, shooting technique, logistics, post-production, marketing and distribution.
Whatever issue we’re helping with, it’s film, film, FILM!
WHY OH WHY?
But why film? Why, in this multi-media landscape, should anybody make a film?
What?!?! This is the opposite to what everyone’s saying! you scream, appalled.
Indeed, it is. They say ‘it’s never been easier’. They say ‘what are you waiting for?’ They say ‘just go out and do it’.
In many respects they are right, but whoooaaa Nelly! You need to take a long hard look and have a long hard think, first.
The current industry is different from how it used to be. It’s ever-changing. There are phones, tablets, laptops, apps and computers all vying for attention. Watching entertainment/art has broken up the business and, simultaneously, converged it in so many different ways.
Each ‘outlet’ requires a different market knowledge, discipline and calculation. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t just try something then bound in like an excited dog, tongue out, tail wagging and expect all media industries to pay attention.
You need a producer. Or, to be one. You need to know if your story/idea/concept can be delivered to a film market or another market.
There are a myriad of storytelling forms; song, short story, video game, novel, novella, play, one hour drama, a 10 season series, a short online video.
You must know if film is absolutely the medium best suited to your writings/producings and, if so, what specific ‘platform’ (phone/cinema/VOD/installation) your film is best suited to.
To answer the question ‘why film?’ we must first ask ‘what is film today’? What is being screened on what platforms where? And how large is the audience? And how successful are those films with that audience? What are the lengths of these films? Do they work internationally?
Do your research. Find that information. Some of it is easy to find. Some will require major digging. Target your approach. Your success will all come down to market knowledge and ensuring everything is ship shape before you set sail.
Of course the film business is still the film business, but now, as things rapidly continue to change, perhaps an apt ‘umbrella term’ is the ‘screen business’. It’s up to you to figure out which screen you want to write/produce/shoot for and to engineer your script/project to work for it.
And so our answer is not an answer, but a question. ‘Why film it?’