Film Entrepreneur New to Forum Looking to Do Big Things

Plus? As a screenwriter and somewhat filmmaker? I want to write MY stories. I don't want to write some story based on someone's interests. I don't want to change my structure so that it appeals to a specific population or worse... A member on some website. It is what it is.

I'm assuming you're talking about some kind of platform online where there would be MANY members... Enough members so that most of us anywhere in the country could meet up and team up with others who think likewise... i.e., wanting to either make a film or willing to help out on a film so they can eventually get that help reciprocated... With some new twist that is going to somehow put the RIGHT PEOPLE in front of each other... LOL.

Like eHarmony for filmmakers? Not for dating obviously but for teaming up on projects?
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I think it's funny that we have a new member promoting the importance of collaboration .... but he's been making films in baltimore all this time and ive never heard of any attempts to collaborate with him. I've never seen him on IT in the 7 years i've been on here, never seen his face in the maryland film group on facebook.

If it's so great to collaborate how come you've never joined IT before and tried to collaborate with anybody?

One time my cousin told me about this app idea she had, and now the app exists.
I asked her if she bought it? No she said. Lol. Well then it's not a very good idea then if you dont even want to buy your own app. right?

there are all these tools for collaboration like indietalk, and you never use those tools
then come here saying we need a tool for collaboration. i dont get it. a guy thats never used a hammer saying we need a sleeker hammer.

I think what normally happens when someone comes on here and makes a post looking for a screen writing partner...
There is an imbalance always between two people. And the better writer doesnt want a partner that sucks.
 
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The problem that needs to be solved is how to get people to pay to
watch. The only way to get a return on the investment is for people
to pay to watch the movie.

In your new business plan how do you hope to solve that issue?
Excellent question! At the moment it would pretty much be a death sentence to compete with the current distribution platforms out there because they do it so well and everyone is familiar with them, so the crowds flock to those areas. Instead, our plan is to build enough quality use cases to gain the interests of major distribution platforms like Netflix or Hulu so that users who are able to successfully build their films or get themselves in a promising position to complete them will have access to these hubs to sell their films.

Distribution platforms are scouring the Internet and other places just to find quality content so if we can successfully facilitate the creation of this quality content, then we can foster partnerships and bring value to those distribution giants and thus, more value to the customers we're helping.

Long term, though, if we're successful enough, we'd like to create our own distribution platform similar to the ones out there right now, but with an extra layer that could make it significantly bigger. Again, I hate to be elusive about this, but unfortunately, I can't speak too specifically about the nuts and bolts of what we're trying to accomplish. But, it is pretty crazy and we're extremely excited about it!

I'm just happy to talk about this and glad it's at least creating some interesting conversations and debates. Really can't wait to show everyone exactly what we're talking about.
 
It sounds like youre trying to solve the problem of sorting out who should work with whom.
But there's not a plethora of people looking for partners like that.

Like theres just SO many people looking to work with me that I need an algorithm to sort them all out? lol. come on now.
I have to hold my own boom pole while i direct. nobody is chomping at the bit to work with me.

and my brother isnt interested in making films.
he has two children and runs a cyber security company. more than enough on his plate.
Not exactly. This is a place for people to find stories and other professionals whom they otherwise didn't realize they even wanted to meet in the first place. The networking doesn't center on the people so much as it centers around the stories because it's the stories, particularly ones that are feasible to make and local that provide the opportunities.

For instance, when I work with someone, I'm not working with them just because they're friendly and we have some things in common. I'm working with them because they have a story that needs to be made and I want to work on it to A. enhance my network B. learn more about filmmaking and C. because I like the story. And while not every filmmaker joins a story for that reason, they join a story because of some reason or another. It's the stories that we gravitate towards more so than the people because the stories are where the action is. The stories are where the opportunities are. If there weren't any stories there wouldn't be anything to work on.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Making a movie isn't easy. I'm sorry you thought that is what I said.
Easy wasn't quite accurate.
I thought you said it wasn't an issue. it's definitely an issue for me.
There are so many types of stories i would love to tell but i cannot afford to

one of my best ideas of my life i have been sitting on for 7 years
its just not something i can afford. it is "an issue" to get it made
 
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I think it's funny that we have a new member promoting the importance of collaboration .... but he's been making films in baltimore all this time and ive never heard of any attempts to collaborate with him. I've never seen him on IT in the 7 years i've been on here, never seen his face in the maryland film group on facebook.
Which is exactly why there might be value in an online platform like this. Baltimore/D.C is a large area with a lot of filmmakers so it's challenging to meet the right people to help you make your stories. But the funny thing is, the right people may just be a few miles away from you. You just never realized it because maybe you didn't join the same film and writing groups that I joined like Charm City Filmmakers or worked on the same projects with the people I know.

What's even funnier is the fact that I personally know tons of very talented filmmakers who are eager to jump on a good story and are willing to do it for a reduced price or free if the story is good enough and it's not crazy complicated. A lot of these people work commercial gigs that are boring to them, which is why they go off on the weekends and make films. But these filmmakers never took the time to learn how to write so their stories need writers and they need stories to work on because, at the end of the day, most filmmakers want to get money and recognition for their creative work, which means they need content.

Obviously, money plays a big role, but not as big as you might think especially for shorts that are really really good. If you can give a filmmaker a short that's easy enough to shoot and guaranteed to place well in festivals and possibly go viral then you have all the filmmakers and resources you need to get yourself and others in the position you want to be. The only problem? You need the connections.

Indietalk is a great place to find stories and learn about writing. So is Reddit and a lot of other places. It's even better to join mastermind groups like the Charm City Filmmakers because ultimately you want to build meaningful connections. So why not have an app that can facilitate these connections?

Sure money is still a problem, particularly if you're trying to scale up, but that's why we're working on a solution that may be promising. I don't know, but at least it's worth a shot.
 
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sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Sure money is still a problem, particularly if you're trying to scale up, but that's why we're working on a solution that may be promising. I don't know, but at least it's worth a shot.
Well I wish you luck. I want the best for everybody struggling to make it in the industry.
 

onebaldman

Pro Member
indiePRO
IOTM Winner
It sounds like an aggregator site that categorizes requests for work. They already have this with Facebook, and Facebook is way ahead of most marketing sites with machine learning. Personally, no other platform has worked as good as Facebook for me as an up and coming filmmaker in finding cast and crew.

I've tried multiple sites, including Stage 32 and Production Hub. Even VIMEO has a seriously complicated but highly lucrative job posting platform that only needs a little more polish to compete with Facebook as a focused creative hub.

I think the only way you would skyrocket into success with another site like that would be to have a very well known group of industry giants supporting the platform. If you don't have that, then it will be really really hard to stand out from the crowd at the surface level, no matter how great the machine learning is.

The big players would basically have to volunteer to use the platform to hire up and coming talent matching their style. Even then, what about the 2,000 film fest entrants as @directorik said, can they afford it? Can they compete and stand out on the platform?

Are they posting videos directly or linking from Youtube/Vimeo? If that's the case, the amount of views and likes will play into decisions also.
I think the extreme challenge is that social life on the internet changes every minute of the day. One film uploaded will take off and go viral... The film that is uploaded with a similar amount of quality a second later doesn't get that treatment.

Sorry if I'm rambling. I think about this stuff alot, and it gets disheartening as a filmmaker, especially when you know deep down that it isn't the platform that matters as much as your talent and the people you know.
 
I saw this exact same speech on another forum, word for word. And I just can't follow it. What is the plan exactly?

I don't quite understand the premise that there is some self driven movie force out there that somehow isn't being managed well. That's not how this works. How it works is that we all get out of bed in the morning and bust our asses, hoping that ten thousand things will go right and that somehow a piece of creativity MIGHT come out of it that MIGHT pay for itself, or god forbid, earn a profit.

This is exceptionally difficult to do in the best of circumstances. The worlds very best, biggest, smartest and richest companies have tried - over and over to build a reliable machine - and failed over and over. If there was a model that was sure-fire, I am confident that those better, bigger, smarter and richer would have found it. The movies you so dislike are the direct result of those attempts.

Read the story of Dreamworks SKG.

Good movies are not a municipal utility, like water to be pumped from the ground in the most equitable and efficient way possible. They are a gold strike, given up by the gods under duress, only with brutal, hard determined work - plus a mountain of luck.

If you have a plan that will work, you don't need us. You just need the capital to go do it. What is the plan?
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
Excellent post, Kevin.

I hope Telkk will come back when his new business model for the film
industry is up and running. I very much what to see all the details.

This “a way where any filmmaker with a great idea was able to connect
to the right professionals and raise funding for their film; ” already exists.
The right professionals and people with money are always looking for
great ideas. Everyone feels they have that great idea. Most don't.

What I'm most interested in is this: “a way where people could find jobs
on the projects that mattered to them most, not in some far off place, but
right at home”. As a film worker I would love to find jobs on projects that
matter the most to me. I live in Los Angeles where there are hundreds of
projects made every month, but I rarely get to work on a project that matters
to me. It would be great if Telkk's business model can help a film worker
in, say, Muncie or Wichita can find jobs on projects that matter to them.
Or Santa Barbara where I grew up and had to leave because there just
wasn't enough projects that mattered to me being made.

“instead of having big studios or agencies we have independent professionals
coalescing and collaborating on the projects that not only matter to them most”
As I said in my first post, this is reinventing the wheel. But there is always room
for another platform that will allow independent professionals to get together.
 
I really get all this... I really do. But at the end of the day? The fact remains... Most indie filmmakers simply do not make films that make audience members sit up and take notice. Assuming most are chasing a theatrical run? The odds are even WORSE. Most screenwriters I know... Or should I say... Wannabe screenwriters... Can't write anything original enough to gain any traction either yet everyone THINKS their material is ALL that.

I only mention this because at some point? In my humble opinion... The output has to be better in order for something like this to work and unfortunately... I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Which is WHY a handful of projects end up breaking through the barrier... The industry... Both Hollywood AND the Indie community is literally inundated with garbage and with so much garbage? When something new and original does hit the street?

It stands out.

But standing out in and of itself doesn't guarantee anything either... In a strange way? What I've experienced over the last decade is with so much garbage floating around? New and original material that really stands OUT? Makes people second-guess themselves and wonder IF the material is worth the risk and most of the time?

They decide it is NOT.

Quite the quandary actually.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I really get all this... I really do. But at the end of the day? The fact remains... Most indie filmmakers simply do not make films that make audience members sit up and take notice. Assuming most are chasing a theatrical run? The odds are even WORSE. Most screenwriters I know... Or should I say... Wannabe screenwriters... Can't write anything original enough to gain any traction either yet everyone THINKS their material is ALL that.

I only mention this because at some point? In my humble opinion... The output has to be better in order for something like this to work and unfortunately... I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Which is WHY a handful of projects end up breaking through the barrier... The industry... Both Hollywood AND the Indie community is literally inundated with garbage and with so much garbage? When something new and original does hit the street?

It stands out.

But standing out in and of itself doesn't guarantee anything either... In a strange way? What I've experienced over the last decade is with so much garbage floating around? New and original material that really stands OUT? Makes people second-guess themselves and wonder IF the material is worth the risk and most of the time?

They decide it is NOT.

Quite the quandary actually.
I mean ... didn’t it take like 5+ years at least for the matrix script to get interest? One of the most outstanding movies Of the last two decades....

so it’s not like talent and quality alone do it
 
Not quite sure what you mean... THE MATRIX was a spec script. It got interest right away and took maybe only a year or so to be greenlit. Plus, the Wachowskis really wanted to direct it themselves because ASSASSINS, another spec that was greenlit and produced before THE MATRIX was rewritten and didn't come off very much like their original material.

When they wrote and directed BOUND? BOUND hits theaters and it was considered more of an arthouse film with a bent toward noirish thrillers. Pretty sure BOUND was in fact the film that got Hollywood's attention i.e., the Wachowskis working as both writers and directors.

Because of BOUND? Everyone's now looking at THE MATRIX and now willing to let them direct it. This is now something like summer of 1997.

But the output of their work was NOT garbage by any means... They had total command of storytelling so I'm not quite sure why you use them or THE MATRIX as an example. In fact? I do believe it was exactly their TALENT and QUALITY and of course their execution of BOUND that lessened the RISK in the minds of the studio to go ahead and let them direct.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Not quite sure what you mean... THE MATRIX was a spec script. It got interest right away and took maybe only a year or so to be greenlit. Plus, the Wachowskis really wanted to direct it themselves because ASSASSINS, another spec that was greenlit and produced before THE MATRIX was rewritten and didn't come off very much like their original material.

When they wrote and directed BOUND? BOUND hits theaters and it was considered more of an arthouse film with a bent toward noirish thrillers. Pretty sure BOUND was in fact the film that got Hollywood's attention i.e., the Wachowskis working as both writers and directors.

Because of BOUND? Everyone's now looking at THE MATRIX and now willing to let them direct it. This is now something like summer of 1997.

But the output of their work was NOT garbage by any means... They had total command of storytelling so I'm not quite sure why you use them or THE MATRIX as an example. In fact? I do believe it was exactly their TALENT and QUALITY and of course their execution of BOUND that lessened the RISK in the minds of the studio to go ahead and let them direct.
Okay well some of my facts were definitely wrong but youre off too lol.

It was written in 1994, took 5 years after that for it to be made. 3 years to get greenlit.
anyway my point was an outstanding script can still take years to get greenlit.
 
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Not trying to argue with you but how was I wrong? I said it was greenlit in '97. Your article confirms that. LOL.

Plus? You're preaching to the choir... I've sold 4 spec screenplays and NONE of them have been produced (greenlit).

And? I still have no idea what they have to do with Indie films and my #34 reply. While I know... Based on interviews over the years... The Wachowskis had always wanted to create a new world... Maybe for comics when they began but later on for the movie world. But make no mistake... By the time they submitted THE MATRIX to the market? They had already gotten into the system i.e., THE MATRIX wasn't Indie.

Clint Eastwood bought UNFORGIVEN years before he ever made it as a movie. Selling a spec means NOTHING except money and maybe credit. It certainly doesn't guarantee production. There are plenty of specs out there that are amazing that have been sold and haven't been produced.

Not quite sure what any of that has to do with the discussion... Although I do agree with you. LOL.

All I was saying is that most of the stuff I watch and read by Indie filmmakers and screenwriters hoping to break into the business are simply not good enough to do that when in fact? Many times their originators think their material is good enough to do that. And? Since everyone's opinion is different? How does one go about making sure only the cream rises to the top? Competitions? LOL.

No... The filmmaker or the screenwriter has to just gut it out on their own... Keep making films and keep writing and hopefully HONING their skills to the point that one day? Their work will begin moving them up the ladder of success.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Not trying to argue with you but how was I wrong? I said it was greenlit in '97. Your article confirms that. LOL.

Plus? You're preaching to the choir... I've sold 4 spec screenplays and NONE of them have been produced (greenlit).

And? I still have no idea what they have to do with Indie films and my #34 reply. While I know... Based on interviews over the years... The Wachowskis had always wanted to create a new world... Maybe for comics when they began but later on for the movie world. But make no mistake... By the time they submitted THE MATRIX to the market? They had already gotten into the system i.e., THE MATRIX wasn't Indie.

Clint Eastwood bought UNFORGIVEN years before he ever made it as a movie. Selling a spec means NOTHING except money and maybe credit. It certainly doesn't guarantee production. There are plenty of specs out there that are amazing that have been sold and haven't been produced.

Not quite sure what any of that has to do with the discussion... Although I do agree with you. LOL.

All I was saying is that most of the stuff I watch and read by Indie filmmakers and screenwriters hoping to break into the business are simply not good enough to do that when in fact? Many times their originators think their material is good enough to do that. And? Since everyone's opinion is different? How does one go about making sure only the cream rises to the top? Competitions? LOL.

No... The filmmaker or the screenwriter has to just gut it out on their own... Keep making films and keep writing and hopefully HONING their skills to the point that one day? Their work will begin moving them up the ladder of success.
when you said "it got interest right away and took maybe only a year or so to be greenlit. "
but I'm going to come out here and clearly say that I was the one that was wrong 😄 that happens sometimes when i speak off the cuff about shit like this. I really should look it up first to confirm the history smh. I see where i got the 5 year number tho. written 1994. release 1999.

Also i think its healthier to be optimistic and believe that if you become good enough and "build it they will come" like youre saying.
 
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Ah... Well I do know it got interest right away... I was pulling from memory instead of looking it up. My mistake.

For screenwriters who can really EXECUTE? I do think it's only a matter of coming up with a great concept... For breaking into Hollywood that is. If you're going Indie, one can obviously do anything they want... Yet? Having said that? If I were going to be making an Indie film, I sure as hell would try to NAIL the concept down so that the story itself is KING.

Along the road of my journey in this business? I've helped more screenwriters than I can count... Many of them have obtained representation and even won competitions but none (none that I've helped) have actually sold a spec yet and my personal opinion is simply because of their concept... We've basically seen IT already.

It's even HARDER today... In fact? I have a difficult time getting screenwriters wanting to break in to the business to believe that their concept is EASILY as important (and sometimes MORE important) than the execution. You can still sell a shitty execution with a great concept... LOL. I KEEP SEEING IT HAPPEN every year.

I wrote a couple of articles about high concept for ScriptMag.com a few years back... Maybe more. As it turns out, according to ScriptMag's editor? Those two articles by far get sometimes a third to half the traffic the entire site gets even after all these years. Because of those two articles? I receive anywhere from 1 to 25 DMs in Twitter on a daily basis of screenwriters asking me to read their scripts. They want to know if their script is HIGH CONCEPT.

So instead of reading them... I just do not have the time to read all those... I ask them to just pitch me their logline.

More than half the time? I never hear back but when I do? We've seen it before. Once I tell them the truth... Sounds derivative of such and such movie and based on your logline, we've probably seen something very similar to it before? In my opinion, it would be a difficult sell.

Just today alone, I had 3 filmmakers ask me to watch their short films on YouTube. All were way too long for what the story was about. But I watched each one of them and told the filmmakers what I thought. So far? One disagreed with me and proceeded to try and sell me on WHY he was right and I was wrong.

I could very well be wrong... I like what I like. But I'm also a producer and a writer. I read professional specs all the time. Even a lot of those are SHIT in my humble opinion. Why? They are executed well but they are movies we've already seen.

I guess what I'm saying is simply this... You can even try to help someone and trust me... I try to be NICE about my critiques and I actually put quite a bit of thought into them as well but 90% of the time? All I get are arguments about WHY the choices they made about their story are good enough. They will even CONFIRM to me that what they've created is something we've already seen before by telling me it's easily as good as such and such movie... LOL. Most of the time? It's a very weak knockoff of such and such movie.

I take all of it with a grain of salt though because I think we all know that most of the people getting involved in filmmaking or screenwriting won't stick with it for the duration. Unfortunately, I have no crystal ball to know who those people are so I try to be honest and NICE as I critique their material and remember... They came to ME. I never seek them out.

My guess is that a lot of filmmakers and screenwriters feel so good about their material that they really think getting someone in the business to read or watch is going to confirm their opinion. And? I get that. I really do. But I also think I have an obligation to be honest with them. So I am. All the time HOPING they stick with it (assuming it really is what they want to DO).

So this is another long-winded reply from me simply to say... That unless there is a way to skim the cream off the top? A new website putting people together is fine and dandy but it doesn't guarantee anything except getting collaborators together.

Like @directorik said somewhere above about working on projects that MATTERED TO HIM? No matter HOW you find those projects... You're going to have to be the judge of whether the material matters to you or not. Usually? By either reading the script and or FEELING the passion of the filmmaker or writer of the material and getting inspired.
 
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