October is always one of my favorite months of the year. Fall is officially here, holiday excitement is creeping in, leaves are turning electric shades, and cool breezes send shivers down your spine. Things smell and taste of warm pumpkin (for better or for worse) and spices. Horror films saturate Netflix. It’s also the start of fall film festival season!
This evening we fly out for Portland, Oregon until Wednesday for Portland Cocktail Week (James will be attending that… I will just be floating around!). On the itinerary is visiting Mt. Hood, one of my favorite places on earth. Wednesday we leave Portland and head to Pepin, Wisconsin for the Flyway Film Festival. James and I did all of their branding/design this year! On top of that, they are screening Little Cabbage and Bottomless. Little Cabbage is also playing at the Orlando Film Festival that same weekend… wish we could be in two places at once!
The New Orleans Sazerac is in the hands of its first festivals for consideration. That’s a really great thing to be able to say! We’ll have some news on that front later in the year/beginning of next… for now we keep applying and wishing on lucky stars.
This week I got my last round of notes back from two amazing readers for Electric Bleau. I hope to have the new draft completed over the weekend. I’ve had some exciting conversations with potential talent as well that has left me so excited that my head might pop off! Things are moving a little faster than I originally thought, and that’s a big positive. Now we just need to catch up on some other key elements so everything is on the same page. While I’m in Portland I plan to do just that. By the end of November we should have a strong hold on what this film looks & feels like, art, the beginnings of a marketing strategy, and a killer pitch book. I’m eager to start talking to potential production company partners.
Someone was just saying the other day that they wished someone would actually talk about the struggles behind filmmaking, that a lot of the community only posts good news and happy high notes. It’s true – most of the rejection and judgement that I get in my life comes directly from being a filmmaker… and I often don’t share that stuff. It’s hard out there. Like any other thing in your life that you love and nurture, you want other people to appreciate it too. It’s a representation of yourself, in a lot of ways. The reality is that NO ONE likes or loves the same things, especially in entertainment. Also, there is a great deal of strategy that goes into the success of a film. On top of that, everyone’s definition of success is different. It’s hard to get into festivals when you haven’t created relationships (and even then, it’s still difficult!). Festival rejections are something you just have to get used to. And when you finally get into one that you’re really proud of, you want to scream it from the rooftops! Someone does like you. Someone does appreciate your work. Someone does want you to succeed. Finally, people get to see what you’ve put blood, sweat, and tears into. it’s a big deal.
If you’re an indie filmmaker, these hardships are by no means unique. They’ve touched us all. I am fortunate that I manage to have an optimistic (and realistic) attitude most of the time… both on the inside and the outside. 97% of the time my belief in my own abilities is much greater than the sadness of a rejection or harsh comment. It makes me happy to create films, and I want to keep getting better at it.
I ain’t no chicken, y’all.