Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Roger Corman


Okay it's no secret that I'm a huge admirer of Roger Corman. I believe he has kind of sort of retired now, but at 80 he is still the man to beat when it comes to his track record of movie production. Corman directed early on his career, and his films include "The House of Usher" "Little Shop of Horrors", and "The Raven". These are just three films that he directed & produced. In the late 60's and early 70's Corman created his own studio that feed the drive-in circuits, and eventually the video market, which was to come later. Corman brags that he never lost a dime on any of his pictures and the reason he didn't is that he is a good businessman. Yes folks after all it is called show "business". He's done many interviews and has been honored at a number of festivals, and it is only now that I truly understand what Corman did. He has said in recent interviews that the number of films available to distributors has increased, due to the decrease cost of production equipment. The smartest thing you can do is NOT making a picture. What? You say. NOT make a picture? Isn't this about filmmaking, and making films?

Well yes Virginia, this blog is about making films, but it is about making profitable films, and films people actually want to see. Corman risked nothing during production. He had his cash already from advances given to him by distributors who knew how to target the movie they were making. When you make a film you have to say, "what is your target audience?" Who is going to see this film and better yet who will most certainly buy this film. As I've said before the market is fragmented, and there are many niche markets out there. Horror, action/adventure/ thriller, erotic thriller, comedy and so on. Before doing your film examine trends, and see what's selling and what's not. That's not to say that you can’t and shouldn't make your film about "surfing dogs", but you better know the audience who will pluck down their hard earned cash for your DVD. That's where the specialty markets exist, and if you keep your cost down during production and make it cheap enough then maybe you'll be able to re-coup your money back.

Okay so you've heard all this and still you’re fired up about making a film. Great just remember that the film doesn't end when the shooting stops or even when the cutting stops. I'll try and go into a little more detail on what I'm doing and whether I'm successful in marketing my film. If you already made your film like I did then it's time to take stock in who might be your audience and if there is any cross over interest in the film. There are several avenues to go, and you have to decide which is best for you. What do you want to get out of the deal? That's the basic question here, and one everyone should ask themselves.

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