Saturday 12 November 2011

Build A Diverse Audience

Do you have to make it in Hollywood? Is that really your goal?

Film is a business. If your films earn more than they cost to make, people will invest in you. Everyone talks about 'making it' in Hollywood, but why?

If you have a blockbuster you need to make, then it's possible you need a film studio. Otherwise, maybe not.

If your film costs $100,000 to make, and your film earns $105,000 through distribution in Germany, you're a success.

People don't realize that potential audiences are everywhere. Speak to a Ukrainian or someone from Finland, they know all the characters from 'Friends' and they can list their top five Tom Hanks movies.

If you have subtitles for your short film, you'll instantly have a bigger audience. It's a bit of an effort, but maybe it's worth it? Maybe your friend from France can tell you about a French website that filmmakers use to get feedback on their movies. Maybe there's a forum where Japanese people are sharing films.

Good ideas travel across the world - especially if they're executed well. There's no need to limit yourself to thinking of America. Everyone recognizes Woody Allen but it's the Europeans who love him. They love those kinds of movies.

If you're trying to get the attention of Hollywood, you're doing the same thing as thousands of others. We're the iPad generation. It doesn't matter where the viewer is from, they all have access. You have a unique voice as an artist, and maybe that unique voice will fit the Danish sense of humor perfectly, or maybe your visual style with excite French audiences.

That's why film festivals are so important. You're making your work available to people like you. How many people in your home town truly 'get' you? Maybe two. How many people in the world 'get' you? Maybe five million. Go find them.

We live in diverse towns with people of all nationalities, colors, shapes and sizes. Hollywood doesn't cater for everyone. Sure, they have the numbers at the box office, they can get you a huge opening weekend, but can they get you a soulmate in Finland? Maybe they can, but maybe you can do that yourself.

Take an evening to research. Who is your audience? Where in the world do you want to reach? What cultures appreciate what you appreciate?

Care to share?

1 comment:

  1. Making it in Hollywood seems like an impossibility. I wonder how many great movie ideas have been abandoned by talented people who couldn't get support.

    I agree that aspiring filmmakers can find an audience. I have found a handful of people that love my fiction - among an unbelievable number that don't. I just need to find more handfuls.